Activist Group calls for removal of John C. Calhoun Statue through demonstration

Published: May. 16, 2019 at 11:11 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC)- A national organization protested the John C. Calhoun statue in Marion Square. It was part of an effort to call for the removal of the statue.

The Make it Right Project works with local activists to remove confederate monuments across the country. The group is most notably known for removing the Silent Sam memorial in North Carolina.

The Make it Right Project partnered with Redux Contemporary Art Center to put on a performance, as part of an ongoing performance series called Standing/Still.

On Thursday, local artists performed speeches and songs in front of the statue, while reciting direct quotes from Calhoun.

The director of the Make it Right Project, Kali Holloway, says the statue is a symbol of white supremacy and a constant reminder of terror and violence.

“ Make this a welcoming space for everyone in Charleston which is now a destination city, by taking down a monument to a known slavery and pro-slavery advocate," said Holloway.

Calhoun was a two-time U.S. Vice President who advocated for states rights, but also called slavery a “positive good.”

While some people at the protest came to support the call for action, others believed the statue should stay where it is.

Michael S. Kogan, a retired professor, said, “He deserves to be honored in this city. The fact that he was a defender of slavery, that’s true. But that does not wipe out the tremendous contributions he made to constitutional government of this country.”

The statue has been a topic of debate for a long time.

In 2017, Charleston’s city council deferred a proposal to put a plaque on the statue that would have stated his “white-supremacist” views.

The group is working with faith communities to present a petition to remove the statue, to city council.

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