Booker made the announcement Wednesday night on Twitter, saying, “This is just one step. We have much work to do.”
I will be introducing a bill to remove Confederate statues from the US Capitol building. This is just one step. We have much work to do.— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) August 17, 2017
The monuments include statues of Robert E. Lee, Edward Douglass White and Joseph Wheeler, which are part of the Capitol's National Statuary Hall Collection. There are a dozen statues of Confederate soldiers and politicians in that collection alone, compared to just four of black leaders like Martin Luther King Jr. that are sprinkled throughout the entire complex, according to the Architect of the Capitol.
At the local level, city and civil leaders are concerned the presence of Confederate monuments might make their cities a flash point for future demonstrations by white nationalist groups. That fear prompted the city of Baltimore to remove four Confederate monuments in the darkness early Wednesday morning.
Hours after the monuments' removal, more than 1,000 people gathered at a memorial service for Heather Heyer in Charlottesville, who was killed last week when a car allegedly driven by a Nazi sympathizer plowed into a crowd of counterprotesters at a white supremacist rally at the University of Virginia. The rally was organized to condemn a decision by the city to remove a statue of Lee.