City Council votes to remove John C. Calhoun statue from Charleston Square

CharlEstonia’s city council voted unanimously on Tuesday to remove and relocate a statue of former vice president and slave advocate John C. Calhoun from a downtown plaza.

the resolution passed It will allow the 100-foot monument in Marion Square to be moved to “an appropriate site where it will be protected and preserved.” The 13-0 vote came almost a week after Mayor John Tecklenburg (D) announced that he would. send the resolution to the legislature.

A special panel will determine the statue’s new destination, and a date has not been scheduled for its removal, The Associated Press reported.

“I think we are establishing a new chapter, a more equitable chapter, in the history of our city,” Tecklenburg said before the vote, according to the AP. “We are taking the right step. It is simply what we should do. “

Most public comments were in favor of removing or relocating the statue, with approximately 291 in favor of the resolution and about 50 advocating keeping the monument. Charleston City Paper reported.

Calhoun strongly supported slavery, calling the institution a “positive good” and saying it should be extended to the western territories.

The Mayor has argued that the removal of the statue does not violate the South Carolina Heritage Act of 2000, which prevents changes to historic monuments and building names, because the monument is not on public property or in commemoration of a historical event contained in the law.

The city technically leases the land where the statue is located, according to the National Park Service, AP reported.

The vote comes days after the fifth anniversary of the shooting at the African Methodist Episcopal Church Emanuel that left nine African Americans dead.

Calls for the removal of the statues of Confederate leaders were renewed in the last month after protests erupted over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody. Several protesters have overthrown and defaced these monuments as part of the protests.