Black Lives Matter sign and LGBTQ pride flag are projected onto statue of Robert E. Lee in Virginia

Black Lives Matter sign and LGBTQ pride flag are projected onto statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee in Virginia

  • Protesters have been gathering around statue of Robert E. Lee in Richmond, Virginia, on a daily basis 
  • Black Lives Matter protesters have been demanding racial justice since May 25 death of George Floyd, 46 
  • Activists have projected images of the LGBTQ pride flag and prominent African Americans onto the statue 
  • Virginia Governor Ralph Northam has ordered the monument removed, but a judge has blocked the order
  • Several statues and monuments honoring controversial historical figures have been removed in recent weeks 

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Black Lives Matter activists in Richmond, Virginia, projected the LGBTQ rainbow flag as well as images of African Americans killed by police including George Floyd on to the statue of Confederate General Robert E.

Lee.

The statue on Monument Avenue in Richmond, in which Lee is depicted on a horse, has been the site of massive protests since the May 25 police-involved killing of Floyd.

Black Lives Matter activists projected the 'BLM' letters onto the statue on Friday. The LGBTQ pride flag as well as prominent black activists including Angela Davis and Malcolm X were also projected onto the monument. 

Floyd, a 46-year-old African American man, died in the custody of Minneapolis police.

Four officers, including one who was seen kneeling on his neck for nearly nine minutes, have been charged over his murder.

Black Lives Matter protesters have projected the colors of the LGTBQ rainbow flag onto the monument

Black Lives Matter sign and LGBTQ pride flag are projected onto statue of Robert E. Lee in Virginia

An image of George Floyd is seen above projected onto the statue of Robert E. Lee in Richmond, Virginia, on Friday

Black Lives Matter sign and LGBTQ pride flag are projected onto statue of Robert E. Lee in Virginia

People gather around a monument of Confederate General Robert E. Lee in Richmond, Virginia, on Wednesday

Black Lives Matter sign and LGBTQ pride flag are projected onto statue of Robert E. Lee in Virginia

The governor of Virginia has ordered that the monument be taken down, but a judge has put those plans on hold after a lawsuit was filed to block the move

Black Lives Matter sign and LGBTQ pride flag are projected onto statue of Robert E. Lee in Virginia

Since the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody on May 25, the statue has drawn protesters in Richmond

Floyd's death ignited worldwide protests as millions took to the streets calling for racial justice and an end to police brutality.

The incident also reignited the debate over the future of Confederate statues and monuments as well as other memorials for controversial figures in American history who owned slaves.

Democratic Governor Ralph Northam last week ordered the removal of the 12-ton, 61ft-high equestrian statue of Lee, the most revered Confederate of them all, but a judge on Monday blocked such action for at least 10 days.

The spokesman for the Virginia division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, B. Frank Earnest, condemned the toppling of 'public works of art' and likened losing the Confederate statues to losing a family member.

Black Lives Matter sign and LGBTQ pride flag are projected onto statue of Robert E. Lee in Virginia

Activists have also projected the letters 'BLM' onto the statue of Lee, who is depicted on a horse

Black Lives Matter sign and LGBTQ pride flag are projected onto statue of Robert E. Lee in Virginia

Activists have also projected the images of prominent African American activists including the late black nationalist leader Malcolm X

Black Lives Matter sign and LGBTQ pride flag are projected onto statue of Robert E. Lee in Virginia

Activists also projected the image of Angela Davis, the former far-left activist author and speaker 

'The men who served under Robert E.

Lee were my great-grandfathers or their brothers and their cousins. So it is my family,' he said.

'What if a crowd of any other group went and found the symbols of someone they didn't like and decided to tear them down? Everybody would be appalled.'

He added: 'I don't know why it's acceptable, why people who are descended from the Confederate Army and the Confederate soldiers, it's accepted in this country that you can do anything to us you want.' 

Protesters also projected the images of American Americans who were killed by including Trayvon Martin.

Martin was the Florida teen who was shot and killed by a security guard in 2012. 

Black Lives Matter sign and LGBTQ pride flag are projected onto statue of Robert E. Lee in Virginia

The image of Trayvon Martin, the young black man who was shot and killed by a security guard in Florida in 2012, was also projected onto the statue

Black Lives Matter sign and LGBTQ pride flag are projected onto statue of Robert E. Lee in Virginia

Activists also projected the image of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, the slain civil rights leader, onto the statue

Black Lives Matter sign and LGBTQ pride flag are projected onto statue of Robert E. Lee in Virginia

Democratic Governor Ralph Northam last week ordered the removal of the 12-ton, 61ft-high equestrian statue of Lee, the most revered Confederate of them all, but a judge on Monday blocked such action for at least 10 days

It comes after protesters on Thursday pulled down a century-old statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis in Richmond, which is also the former capital of the Confederacy, adding it to the list of Old South monuments removed or damaged around the US in the wake of Floyd's death.

The 8ft bronze figure on Richmond's grand Monument Avenue had been all but marked for removal by city leaders in a matter of months, but demonstrators took matters into their own hands Wednesday night, tying ropes around its legs and toppling it from its stone pedestal onto the pavement.

A crowd cheered and police looked on as the monument - installed by a Confederate heritage group in 1907 - was towed away.

Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney had recently announced he would introduce an ordinance in July to remove the Davis monument and statues of other Confederates, including Gens.

Stonewall Jackson and J.E.B. Stuart.

A new state law that goes into effect this summer undoes protections for Confederate monuments and lets local governments decide what to do with them.

Stoney tweeted Thursday that he will push to quickly dismantle the other monuments. Both he and the governor asked protesters not to do it themselves.

'For the sake of public safety, I ask the community to allow us to legally contract to have the remaining ones removed professionally, to prevent any potential harm that could result from attempts to remove them without professional experience,' Stoney said.

Black Lives Matter sign and LGBTQ pride flag are projected onto statue of Robert E. Lee in Virginia

Large crowds of protesters were seen near the statue on Saturday. The spokesman for the Virginia division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, B. Frank Earnest, condemned the toppling of 'public works of art' and likened losing the Confederate statues to losing a family member

Black Lives Matter sign and LGBTQ pride flag are projected onto statue of Robert E. Lee in Virginia

Protesters carry signs and chant slogans near the statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee in Richmond, Virginia, on Saturday

Black Lives Matter sign and LGBTQ pride flag are projected onto statue of Robert E. Lee in Virginia

Protesters are seen above holding a sign which reads 'No justice, no peace! Black Lives Matter!' in Richmond on Saturday

Black Lives Matter sign and LGBTQ pride flag are projected onto statue of Robert E. Lee in Virginia

Several protesters were seen sitting at the foot of the statue in Richmond, Virginia, on Saturday

Black Lives Matter sign and LGBTQ pride flag are projected onto statue of Robert E. Lee in Virginia

A close-up of the statue of Robert E. Lee is seen in the above image from Saturday in Richmond, Virginia

Black Lives Matter sign and LGBTQ pride flag are projected onto statue of Robert E. Lee in Virginia

Speaker Sherri Robinson chants 'tear this statue down' to protesters at a rally against racial inequality in Richmond on Saturday

Crews on Friday removed a 113-year-old statue of a Confederate soldier that stood atop an 80ft-tall Confederate monument in downtown Norfolk, Virginia.

The city said in a statement Friday that the statue, nicknamed Johnny Reb, came down in less than two hours.

The 15ft-figure was removed out of concern for public safety.

A protester had suffered life-threatening injuries in the neighboring city of Portsmouth after demonstrators pulled down a confederate statue in that city on Wednesday.

Norfolk's city council members passed a resolution expressing their desire to remove the statue after a violent white nationalist rally in Charlottesville in 2017.

But a state law protecting memorials to war veterans prohibited Norfolk from doing so.

That law was rewritten earlier this year by the new Democratic majority at the General Assembly and will give localities the ability to decide what to do with monuments.

Norfolk Mayor Kenny Alexander acknowledged that the new version doesn't go into effect until July 1 but said he thinks public safety trumps waiting.

He said the remaining pieces of the column would be taken down in coming weeks.

Black Lives Matter protesters rip down bust of slave owner John McDonogh in New Orleans then throw it into the Mississippi River 

Protesters tore down a bust of a slave owner and then took the remains to the Mississippi River and rolled it down the banks into the water.

The destruction of the John McDonogh bust is part of a nationwide effort to remove monuments to the Confederacy or with links to slavery as the country grapples with widespread protests against police brutality toward African Americans in the aftermath of George Floyd's death.

Police said in a statement Saturday that demonstrators at Duncan Plaza, which is directly across the street from City Hall, dragged the bust into the streets, loaded it onto trucks and took it to the Mississippi River where they threw it in.

Two people who were driving the trucks transporting the bust were apprehended by police, authorities said. Their names were not given in the statement.

Black Lives Matter sign and LGBTQ pride flag are projected onto statue of Robert E. Lee in Virginia

Video on social media showed dozens of people surrounding the bust which sat on a pedestal while some people pulled on a rope tied to the bust and another hit it with what appears to be a skateboard 

Black Lives Matter sign and LGBTQ pride flag are projected onto statue of Robert E. Lee in Virginia

The image shows the moment McDonogh's bust is pulled off its foundation in Duncan Plaza

Arrest records indicate that Caleb Wassell, 27, and Michaela Davis, 30, each face multiple charges, including inciting a riot, according to WWL-TV

Wassell is white and Davis is black. 

Wassell has been charged with illegal possession of stolen property, inciting a riot, theft under £1,000 and inciting a felony.

Davis faces charges of battery of a police officer, being a principal to theft, possession of marijuana, inciting a riot, inciting a felony and aggravated flight from an officer.

This is the first arrest for both individuals in New Orleans.

They were reportedly booked into Orleans Parish Jail early Sunday morning.

Local reports indicate that they were also questioned by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. 

Authorities allege that Wassell and Davis were the two who drove the toppled bust to the banks of the Mississippi River, where it was eventually thrown into the water. 

Black Lives Matter sign and LGBTQ pride flag are projected onto statue of Robert E. Lee in Virginia

McDonogh owned slaves while building his wealth, but he also freed them after his death and left part of his fortune to cities so that they can build public schools

Black Lives Matter sign and LGBTQ pride flag are projected onto statue of Robert E. Lee in Virginia

New Orleans police said that after the bust was toppled, it was then loaded onto a truck and taken to Jax Brewery

Black Lives Matter sign and LGBTQ pride flag are projected onto statue of Robert E. Lee in Virginia Black Lives Matter sign and LGBTQ pride flag are projected onto statue of Robert E. Lee in Virginia

Caleb Wassell (left), 27, and Michaela Davis (right), 30, each face multiple charges, including inciting a riot.

Authorities say Wassell and Davis hauled the bust away and drove it in a truck to the river

Video on social media showed dozens of people surrounding the bust which sat on a pedestal while some people pulled on a rope tied to the bust and another hit it with what appears to be a skateboard. 

As the bust tilts and then crashes to the ground the crowd cheers. 

Another video posted on social media shows a crowd watching as the bust is rolled down the rocky banks of the Mississippi River and into the water.

Mayor LaToya Cantrell said in a tweet that the city 'rejects vandalism and destruction of City property.

It is unlawful'.

When he died, McDonogh left a large portion of his money to New Orleans and Baltimore for schools, and many schools in New Orleans are named after him. 

The McDonogh Day celebration in which schoolchildren across the city laid flowers at a different monument to McDonogh became the subject of boycotts in the 1950s. 

The ceremony was racially segregated, and African-American children would have to wait for hours for white children to lay their flowers first. 

Black Lives Matter sign and LGBTQ pride flag are projected onto statue of Robert E. Lee in Virginia

The bust on Saturday was replaced with Black Lives Matter signs and a LGBTQ rights placards

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