Confederate memorial in Helena ordered removed

The Helena City Commission has ordered the removal of a Confederate memorial from a city park.

Mayor Jim Smith said during an administrative meeting Wednesday evening that he believes the memorial poses a safety concern following a weekend of violence, including a death, at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

The Independent Record reports Smith was previously opposed to removing or altering the granite fountain, which was commissioned by the United Daughters of the Confederacy and dedicated in 1916.

Native American lawmakers in Montana called for the memorial's removal Tuesday, saying such monuments have stood for segregation, secession and slavery.

Removing the memorial was first considered two years ago, after a man who had been photographed with the Confederate flag shot and killed nine people at a South Carolina church. At the time, Smith cautioned against "obliterating history."

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