Activists Push for Removal of Statue of Freed Slave Kneeling Before Lincoln

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“When I look at that statue, I’m reminded my freedom and my liberation is only dictated by white peoples’ terms,” said Glenn Foster, 20, who formed The Freedom Neighborhood, a local group that has organized efforts to topple the memorial. “We’re trying to let the government know we’re not going to wait any longer for our freedom to happen.”

Word spread quickly of the group’s intentions, and on Friday, supporters of the statue showed up alongside those prepared to topple it, as well as those who wanted to wait for the legal process to play out.

“Things have gone from zero to 100 in a matter of days,” said Ms. Cole, who often portrays Charlotte Scott, the African-American woman who raised funds for the memorial after Lincoln’s assassination, in re-enactments and other events organized by a group associated with the African-American Civil War Museum. Scott is remembered in a plaque below the memorial.

But tensions were not limited to the streets o

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