Crowds gathered early Wednesday in Charleston, South Carolina, to celebrate the removal of a statue of former Vice President John C. Calhoun from the city’s Marion Square. NPR reports the city council voted unanimously Tuesday to get rid of the statue—and didn’t waste any time getting to work. The Charleston Police Department announced just before midnight that the streets around the statue would closed for several hours as workers moved in to remove the statue. Work was ongoing early Wednesday morning. The city's mayor, John Tecklenburg, previously said he wanted the statue to be relocated to a museum or educational institution. He called Calhoun both “South Carolina's most prominent national statesman” and “its most consequential defender of slavery and white supremacy.” Calhoun, who lived from 1782 to 1850, once told the Senate that slavery was a “positive good” for the nation. Prior to this morning, the statue sat a block and half from Ebenezer AME Church, the site of the killing of nine Black parishioners at the hands of a white supremacist five years ago this month.
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