Many civil rights groups spoke out on the fifth anniversary of the Mother Emmanuel shooting. They demanded the removal of the John C. Calhoun statue from Marion Square. Calhoun was a supporter of slavery and a former vice president of the United States.
The 115-ft statue is protected by The Heritage Act, a law sheltering state monuments. Because the memorial is owned by The City of Charleston and falls under The Heritage Act, it takes a two-thirds vote of the state legislature to authorize its removal.
On June 17th, Mayor John Tecklenburg called for the relocation of the statue to a local museum. “Well folks, this is not a war memorial,” he said. “By [removing the statue] I believe we bring peace.”
President and CEO of the International African American Museum, Michael B. Moore, agrees the statue should come down. “We’re saying that the confederacy and all that it stood for, of dehumanizing people of African descent, of enslaving them, we’re saying that that’s okay and the reality is that that’s not okay,” said Moore.
Protests at the base of the statue called for its removal while some vandalized it. At the Mayor’s live press conference he announced officially that the Calhoun monument is to be relocated to a Charleston museum.