Removal of 3rd Confederate-era monument begins

Remigio Civitarese
Mag 18, 2017

The statue at the main entrance to the 1,300-acre City Park is one of four that the City Council and Mayor Mitch Landrieu have targeted for removal in an attempt to put post-Civil War divisions to rest.

Others felt the city has bigger problems Mayor Mitch Landrieu is ignoring other than removing the monuments.

During the monument removal process, people have said they feel left out and voters should have been the ones to chose if the monument stay.

It was the third of four monuments to Confederate-era figures slated for removal in New Orleans.

"Today we take another step in defining our city not by our past but by our bright future", Landrieu said in a statement on Tuesday.

New Orleans police say they've arrested a father and son for spray painting the base of a statue of a Confederate general that was removed earlier in the day. "We didn't plan it, but it's our history", David Cox, a former Caddo Parish Commissioner, said at the meeting, according to the Shreveport Times.

"When I was a little girl the statue was something fun that I drove by on my way to school", said Janet Rupert, a supporter of removing the monuments. A Civil District Court judge refused to issue an injunction to stop the impending removal, leading monument advocates to seek a temporary restraining order. It was the third of four such monuments to be removed in the city.

Schneider said he lack of public comment - and lack of a public vote outside of City Council - made the whole endeavor "wrong".

NOPD officers have put barricades in place in City Park near the PGT Beauregard monument, fueling speculation that the statue is coming down as soon as tonight, WGNO reports.

"We shouldn't be intimidated by these out-of-towners who come here to scare the residents and police", said Take Em Down NOLA member Belva Kelly. People in kayaks and canoes could be seen at times watching workers prepare the statue for removal. It commemorated the Battle of Liberty Place - a rebellion in 1874 by whites against a biracial Reconstruction-era government in New Orleans. The issue rose to prominence after the 2015 massacre of nine black parishioners at the historically black Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal church in Charleston, South Carolina, by a self-described white supremacist. His statue sits at a traffic circle near the entrance to New Orleans City Park and the New Orleans Museum of Art.

Unveiled in 1911, the memorial to the Confederacy's only president was in the Mid-City neighborhood on a broad green space and was the second monument to be removed.

The public memorials to Beauregard and other heroes of the U.S. Civil War's pro-slavery Confederacy have been denounced by critics as an affront to the ideals of multi-racial tolerance and diversity in the majority-black Louisiana city.

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