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Mecklenburg Confederate statue still stands after Anonymous announces threat

South Boston News / August 23, 2017

The Confederate statue on the grounds of the Courthouse in Boydton remains standing despite threats by the hactivist collective Anonymous to tear it and 10 other monuments down around the country this past Friday at 6 p.m.

On Aug. 16, Anonymous released a video calling for a “Denouncement Day to denounce the Confederacy, to denounce racism, bigotry and hate.” Claiming that the Trump White House had “sold its moral and ethical obligation to represent the citizens of the United States in exchange for individuals who believe they are simply better than those who do not look like them or follow their sadistic ideologies,” the group said, “It is time to take down these monuments of hate ourselves.”

They promised to continue their campaign against ideologies of hate until they are “dead and buried forever.” Anonymous is a loosely-associated international network of computer hackers who are notorious for disrupting the websites of organizations that the group targets. The hacktivist community has also been behind a number of high-profile stunts that have embarrassed groups from ISIS to the Church of Scientology.

“Anons,” members of the group, often appear in public wearing Guy Fawkes masks, popularized by the graphic novel and movie, “V for Vendetta.”

The Confederate monuments targeted for removal were of Rear Adm. Raphael Semmes in Mobile, Ala.; the Confederate Soldiers Monument in Little Rock, Ark.; the Jackson Guards Memorial in Jacksonport, Ark.; the Searcy Confederate Memorial in Searcy, Ark.; the Our Confederate Dead monument in Munn Park in Lakeland, Fla.; the Confederate Monument in Piedmont Park in Atlanta; the Corinth Confederate Monument in Corinth, Miss.; the Confederate Soldiers Monument at the Bryan County Courthouse in Durant, Ok.; the Confederate Monument in Lynchburg; the Mecklenburg Confederate Soldier in Boydton; and the Robert E. Lee statue at Charlottesville’s Emancipation Park.

None of the monuments were toppled by the group. One was vandalized, albeit before the call to action by Anonymous. Protesters in Atlanta defaced the Confederate Monument in Piedmont Park with spray paint. The group said they were responding to white supremacist violence in Charlottesville.

Boydton’s Confederate monument, erected by the L.A. Armistead Camp, Confederate Veterans, was dedicated on Aug. 7, 1908 and rededicated on Nov. 2, 2002 after a restoration led by the Armistead-Hill-Goode-Elam Sons of Confederate Veterans Camp No. 749.

The bronze statue is said to be in the image of a Third Virginia Cavalry member named John Bowen. It is seven feet tall, weighs 1,600 pounds, and originally cost $1,000 to have made, delivered and set in place. The monument’s granite base is 12 feet high and engraved with the inscriptions: “To the Confederate Soldiers of Mecklenburg,” “From Bethel to Appomattox,” “1861-1865.”

Around 4 p.m. Friday, local members of the Sons of the Confederacy showed up on the grounds of the Mecklenburg County Courthouse armed with walking sticks. They were there to protect their heritage and the statue, explained one member who asked that his name be withheld.

Virginia State Troopers, Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s deputies and Boydton Police Chief Danny Fox stepped up patrols around Courthouse Square late Friday afternoon and into the evening.

Local law enforcement said Boydton may have been included on Anonymous’ threat list because of the publicity surrounding this weekend’s Big Bad BBQ contest, a nationally-recognized event sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbecue Society. The competition, which began Friday night, drew people from across the southeast to Boydton.

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This is a communist movement plain and simple.


Hopefully they were packing more than walking sticks. Antifa and their assorted cohorts are dangerous and prone to violence.

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