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Groups Gather Outside Charlottesville Court Hearing, Protesting Confederate Statues

Posted: Updated: Sep 01, 2017 06:07 PM
Protestors outside of Charlottesville Circuit Court Protestors outside of Charlottesville Circuit Court
Rosia Parker Rosia Parker
Ben Doherty Ben Doherty
Katerina Sevastakis. Katerina Sevastakis.
Lisa Woolfork Lisa Woolfork
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -

Protestors crowded outside the Charlottesville Courthouse on September 1 rallying for the Lee and Jackson statues to come down.

A circuit court judge was slated to hear arguments from both sides over the battle to remove the statues from around 1:30 p.m. to around 3:30 p.m.

People across the country are debating whether or not confederate monuments should be removed. Charlottesville has been in the spotlight, because city council has sought to remove the Robert E. Lee statue from Emancipation Park and "Stonewall" Jackson statue from Justice Park. That was the reason organizers gave for holding the controversial Unite the Right rally on August 12.

Protestors from Black Lives Matter, Showing Up for Racial Justice, and Solidarity Cville were outside the courtroom before the hearing started.     

For many in Charlottesville, the court hearing on the removal of confederate statues is more than just a legal matter.

"This is history. This is history that's going down to be able to teach our children what we stood for. Very grateful to see all these people out here,” said Rosia Parker.

Protestors outside the court say it is time for the statues to go.

"For too long we've had these monuments in place serving as emblems of racial terrorism and we need to finally move them and move ahead as a community," said Ben Doherty, 

The group said a law should not prevent the court from doing what is right.

"This war memorial law in Virginia should not be used to force us to keep these confederate monuments in place," Ben Doherty

"White silence equals violence which basically means that if you remain neutral in situations of oppression you've chosen the side of the oppressor," said Katerina Sevastakis.

Protestors say the statue is a painful reminder of white supremacy, and does not represent the new Charlottesville, proud to raise voices for racial justice. 

"Those statues might have been useful in the 1920s but they have no use and no place in our present day Charlottesville," said Lisa Woolfork. "A small group of people can come together and defend our community. This is what democracy looks like. This is what community defense looks like. This is what love looks like." 
  
The protestors also told NBC29 that they want Charlottesville to become a blueprint for other cities to also take down confederate monuments.