Two Ohio cities remove Confederate markers in wake of protests

FRANKLIN, Ohio— Ohio cities have removed Confederate markers in the wake of last week’s violent protest in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the planned removal of a statute of Gen. Robert E. Lee.

Police in Franklin on Saturday asked businesses near the site of a former marker to close early out of precaution.

A stone marker in Franklin commemorating Lee was removed Thursday, the Hamilton-Middletown Journal News reported . Franklin is about 40 miles northeast of Cincinnati.

Several people with Confederate flags showed up at the site Saturday, protesting the removal of the marker.

Larry Wood, who lives in nearby Franklin Township, told the paper that city and township officials should have allowed residents to vote on whether to remove the marker.

A food mart and a hair salon were among those businesses told to close at 2 p.m. as a precautionary measure.

In central Ohio, the city of Worthington said an historic marker outside the former home of a Confederate general was removed in anticipation of protests.

The marker commemorated Gen. Roswell Ripley, who was born and raised in Worthington just north of Columbus.

The house is owned privately and is not open to the public. The marker was taken down sometime Friday, according to the Columbus Dispatch, which first reported the marker’s removal.

“Worthington seeks to be a community that promotes tolerance, respect and inclusion so we, with the permission of the owner of the property where the sign was located, have removed the marker,” Robyn Stewart, assistant city manager, said in a statement.

Stewart said the city wants to discuss how best to represent Worthington’s ties to the Civil War.

Those ties include a history of underground railroad stations, Union soldiers who fought in the Battle of Shiloh, and being Ripley’s birthplace.

In downtown Boston Saturday, thousands of demonstrators chanted anti-Nazi slogans in a rally that dwarfed a small group of conservatives who cut short their planned “free speech rally.”