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Is this the end for public monuments to the Confederacy?

Confederate monument

Confederate monuments are being removed-both officially and unofficially-across the U.S.

Earlier on Wednesday in Portsmouth, Virginia, protesters beheaded and defaced statues that were part of the city's Confederate monument.

Statues of Columbus in Boston, Miami and Virginia have been vandalised.

But the great majority of tributes to Confederate leaders were not pride-preserving declarations in Southern states nursing their wounds after the Civil War.

Protesters had spray painted slogans such as "Black Lives Matter" over the monument and covered the statues in a bucket of yellow paint.

Portsmouth Police Chief Angela Greene told News 3 reporter Nana-Séntuo Bonsu there will be extra patrols at the monument through Thursday morning.

Protesters toppled a statue of the president of the Confederacy in the Virginia state capital of Richmond late on Wednesday, the latest USA monument to be torn down during nationwide demonstrations demanding an end to racial injustice.

The iconoclasm spree comes this week on the back of mass protests against police brutality and institutionalized racism triggered by the choking to death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

On Monday a Richmond Circuit Court judge ordered a 10-day stay of Northam's directive so a lawsuit filed to prevent the statue's removal can be heard.

His death in Minneapolis has led to protests in the United States and internationally against police brutality and racial inequality.

A three-metre tall (10ft) bronze statue of Columbus was toppled in Saint Paul, Minnesota, on Wednesday.

A Virginia law that allows cities to move or alter Confederate memorials they own goes into effect July 1.

Some protesters had been blocking police cars before the confrontation, news outlets reported. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi recently called for the removal of 11 other statues across the country, including those of Jefferson Davis and General Robert E. Lee.

But Native American activists have long objected to honouring Columbus, saying that his expeditions to the Americas led to the colonisation and genocide of their ancestors.

Stock-car racing organisers Nascar announced on Wednesday it was banning Confederate flags, frequently seen at races. Protesters toppled the statue late Wednesday.