New Orleans takes down 3rd Confederate-era monument

Remigio Civitarese
Mag 20, 2017

While the previous three monuments were removed under cover of darkness in part because workers had received death threats for carrying out the city's plan, Mayor Mitch Landrieu ordered that the monument to Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee be brought down in broad daylight Friday. In the months since, intense public debate over the meaning of the monuments sparked protests, fights on social media and lawsuits meant to block the removal, legal maneuvering that ultimately failed.

The following is a statement from the Monumental Task Committee on the removal of the statue of P.G.T. Beauregard.

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Workers tied ropes around a towering statue of Gen. Robert E Lee, preparing to take down the last of New Orleans' four Confederate monuments Friday as hundreds gawked and some danced in the streets.

Workers took down a Confederate monument to Gen.

But doing away with them has met with staunch resistance from groups who argue the statues are nevertheless important symbols of the city's Southern heritage.

Its mission, which began due to the abundance of historic monuments in New Orleans that had been neglected, has been to restore, fix and forever maintain all monuments located in the city. "I don't know that the bill, even if it made it all the way through, would be done in time to address any of those things in New Orleans".

Al Kennedy, who is white and a former New Orleans school board member, supported removal of the statues.

Unlike the earlier statues, city officials were taking Lee's statue down in broad daylight. The city is facing a larger opioid epidemic as drug traffickers feel as the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) remains understaffed.

"If those monuments are removed, they ought to be put somewhere in a historically accurate, factual, appropriate setting. like a museum", he said.

Landrieu called for removing the monuments in the emotional aftermath of the 2015 massacre of nine black parishioners at a SC church.

The other two monuments that have been taken down were: a statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis and a memorial to a white rebellion against the biracial Reconstruction-era government in New Orleans.

The removal of the statues follows a final decision on March 8, 2017 by the United States District Court of the Eastern District of Louisiana affirming the City's legal right to remove the statue.

On April 24, a monument to a deadly 1874 white supremacist uprising was the first to come down. The demonstration attracted more than 700 people, including counter-protesters who carried Confederate flags. In 1989, construction on Canal Street forced the removal of the monument, but it was relocated to its past location on Iberville Street in 1993.

Crews laboring under the glare of floodlights began what appeared to be the work of sawing the bottom of the 14-foot-tall statue - a bronze likeness of Beauregard on horseback - from its pedestal while some 200 bystanders looked on near the entrance of City Park.

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