Protesters gather around Confederate statue in downtown Salisbury

SALISBURY, N.C. — Two groups of protesters gathered around a Confederate memorial in the heart of downtown Salisbury overnight.

The gathering on Innes Street came amid calls to take down Confederate monuments across the country.

The Daughters of the Confederacy owns the small section of land on Innes Street which the towering statue sits on.

[READ MORE: Trump calls efforts to remove Confederate monuments 'so foolish']

Channel 9 was there as people who planned to protest the removal of the memorial waited through the night. Of the nine protesters, three were Confederate historians.

For years, the downtown statue has been a source of division and bitter debate in Salisbury. In 2015, Channel 9 reported that the City Council tried to find a solution but their efforts sputtered out.

The statue depicts an angel carrying a fallen Confederate soldier. Some argue it's a part of history and should be saved. Others say the memorial is a deep source of pain because it represents a history of oppression and terror.

Channel 9 will continue monitoring the situation in downtown Salisbury, check back with, for updates throughout the day.

The North Carolina Senate leader said it's unlikely lawmakers will repeal a state law protecting Confederate monuments.

Gov. Roy Cooper wants them to come down across the state, hoping to prevent another scene like the one in Durham earlier this week.

Republican lawmakers passed a law in 2015 requiring state approval before removing statues on government-owned land.

All of the unrest comes after last weekend's deadly protest in Charlottesville, Virginia. The mayor of Charlottesville is expected to make an announcement Friday about the Robert E. Lee statue at the center of the white supremacist rally.

On Thursday, President Donald Trump denounced the removal of Confederate monuments, calling it “sad and foolish.”

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