Protesters tear down Confederate statue in Durham, North Carolina

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Protesters in Durham, North Carolina, have toppled a Confederate monument that stood outside the county’s old courthouse for nearly 100 years. It comes just days after a white supremacist rally in Virginia ended in violence.

The incident happened just after 7 p.m. ET on Monday when several hundred protesters had gathered around the Confederate Soldiers Monument, which was located in front of the old Durham County courthouse.

Videos from the scene showed protesters putting rope around the statue, after which it was pulled down. The protesters – many of whom were holding signs against racism – erupted in cheers and some began hitting the statue.

The Confederate Soldiers Monument showed an armed and uniformed soldier atop a granite tower adorned with the Confederate seal. On the base of the monument are four stone cannon balls and two lighted lamps. It was dedicated on May 10, 1924.

Confederate symbols have become increasingly controversial since a white supremacist opened fire at a black church in South Carolina in 2015, killing 9 people. The issue of Confederate statues is under renewed controversy since Saturday’s white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

The rally in Charlottesville led to violent clashes, prompting the state’s governor to declare a state of emergency. Hours later, a man who participated in the white supremacist rally drove his car into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing a woman and injuring 19 others.

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