USA

Birmingham begins removing Confederate monument after protests

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Workers in Alabama’s largest city began removing a Confederate monument Monday night after demonstrators failed to knock down the obelisk the night before.

Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin sent workers with heavy equipment to take down the more than 50-foot-tall Confederate monument made of stone. Late on Monday, after a 7 p.m. curfew took effect and streets were mostly clear, crews began their work.

Live video showed workers attaching straps to the peak of the obelisk so it could be lifted away with a crane. Within a few hours they had removed the top of the monument.

Woodfin said the city would see if the memorial could be given to a museum or another group.

Woodfin said the fine the city may face for violating a state law banning the removal of Confederate and other long-standing monuments is more affordable than the cost of continued unrest in the city.

Attorney General Steve Marshall, in a statement, said the city would face an assessment of $25,000 if it removed the monument, which has been the subject of a court fight between the mostly black city and Republican-controlled state.

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