Crowds protest for and against the removal of the Confederate monument in downtown Winston-Salem

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Crowds gathered in downtown Winston-Salem on Sunday to protest for and against the removal of a Confederate monument.

A crowd of supporters stood near it, while people who want it down stood across the street.

The City of Winston-Salem has ordered the removal and relocation of a Confederate statue in the city’s downtown.

The order comes in the wake of another vandalism of the privately-owned monument, which got the city “to thinking that this could be a situation that can create violence,” according to Winston-Salem Mayor Allen Joines.

The statue was vandalized on Christmas Day with the words “cowards & traitors” written on it in what appeared to be permanent marker.

The monument is owned by the United Daughters of the Confederacy, but the ground on which it stands is owned by Winston Courthouse, LLC, according to documents.

It was erected in 1905 and sits at the corner of Fourth and Liberty streets.