Protesters toppled two statues and physically attacked a state senator outside the Wisconsin Capitol building Tuesday night, the state’s governor said.
Demonstrators began assembling throughout the day near the Capitol in Madison, Wisconsin. However, they became agitated following the arrest of a black man who brought a baseball bat and megaphone into a nearby restaurant, according to The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
“What happened in Madison last night presented a stark contrast from the peaceful protests we have seen across our state in recent weeks, including significant damage to state property,” Gov. Tony Evers, a Democrat, tweeted Wednesday morning.
“We are prepared to activate the Wisconsin National Guard to protect state buildings and infrastructure,” Evers added.
Protesters tore down the “Forward” and Col. Hans Christian Heg statues. The “Forward” statue, which has stood outside the Capitol since 1895, was designed to be an allegory of “devotion and progress,” according to the Wisconsin Historical Society.
Heg was a Norwegian immigrant who fought for the North in the Civil War, according to the Wisconsin Historical Society. He commanded an entire brigade, which forced Confederate troops to retreat through Tennessee, Alabama, and Georgia. Heg was shot in a battle in Georgia in September 1863 and died the next morning.
State Sen. Tim Carpenter, a Democrat, was assaulted late at night as protests turned violent. Carpenter was punched and kicked in the head, he tweeted Wednesday morning.
“Any single act of injustice against one person is less justice for all of us, and the people who committed these acts of violence will be held accountable,” Evers tweeted. “My thoughts are with @TimCarpenterMKE who was among the individuals attacked last night and wish him a quick recovery.”
Statues and monuments have been under attack across the country in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd. Floyd died May 25 after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for about nine minutes, video of the arrest showed.
“It’s a healthy expression of people saying let’s get some priorities here and let’s remember the sin and mistake that this nation made and let’s not celebrate it,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, said Tuesday.
Cuomo reiterated his support for the removal of the Theodore Roosevelt statue outside the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.
Rioters attempted to tear down a monument to former President Andrew Jackson near the White House on Monday night.
The statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis in Richmond, a George Washington statue in Chicago, and a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee in Montgomery, Alabama, have also been attacked in the weeks following Floyd’s death.
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