RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Crews in Charlottesville are preparing to remove a Confederate statue that became a rallying point for white supremacists and helped inspire their violent 2017 rally in the Virginia city.

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Saturday’s removal of a statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee and another of Gen. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson will come nearly four years after violence erupted at the August 2017 “Unite the Right” rally.

Peaceful counterprotester Heather Heyer was killed in the violence, which sparked a national debate over racial equity.

The city announced its plans to hoist away the statues Friday after a long legal fight held up the removal plans for years.

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