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Court Denies Motion To Halt Asheville Confederate Monument Demolition

A light brown, sand colored monument in front of a brown building. The monument is made up of bricks, the bricks are stacked ontop of each other, narrowing as it goes upwards
Billy Hathorn // CC

An appeals court in North Carolina has denied an emergency motion to halt the ongoing demolition of a 75-foot-tall Confederate monument in downtown Asheville.

The Citizen-Times reports that Friday's decision by the North Carolina Court of Appeals is a blow to last-ditch efforts by a historic preservation group that opposes demolition.

The monument is to Confederate colonel and governor Zebulon Vance. The emergency motion was filed by the Society for the Historical Preservation of the 26th North Carolina Troops.

A quarter of the memorial had been removed by a city contractor as of Friday.

The court's denial may not be the last word in the legal fight because court invited further written arguments by the parties involved.

“The city may well submit further briefing but, at present, it remains free to continue its removal of the monument,” said Senior Assistant City Attorney Eric Edgerton.

Edward Phillips, an attorney for the N.C. 26th, said the group plans to pursue all of its legal options.

Confederate monuments have long been viewed by many as symbols of white supremacy. And they’ve drawn increasing attention following the death of George Floyd, a Black man who died in Minneapolis police custody last year.

The memorials are being taken down, whether by demonstrators opposed to racial injustice or by authorities seeking to dismantle them through official channels.

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