New Orleans removes 2nd of 4 Confederate statues before dawn

Cameron Gross
May 17, 2017

The New Orleans City Council voted to remove the statue of Davis, along with three other Confederate landmarks, in December 2015.

Groups both in favor and opposed to the statue's removal gathered at the site, with police separating the two groups with barricades.

Still to go are monuments to Confederate Generals Robert E. Lee and Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard. Mayor Landrieu says the removals are to make "New Orleans more diverse, but Landrieu can not be inclusive, tolerant, or diverse when he is erasing a very specific and undeniable part of New Orleans' history", said Pierre McGraw, President of the Monumental Task Committee. According to the network, workers removed the statue in the dead of night to reduce the chances of problems.

Various news outlets were at the scene and captured different vantage points of the moment.

The 60 foot Lee statue, in tribute to General Robert E. Lee, is another monument slated for removal, along with Confederate General P G T Beauregard on horseback which sits in the city's largest park.

Charlie Schmitz, a white attorney in New Orleans who also stood among the Confederate supporters, said he anxious that taking down the monuments is essentially rewriting history. One man saluted the statue, while other members chanted "President Davis".

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"Another historic monument was removed under the cover of darkness using amateur, masked workers in armor, unmarked vehicles and equipment, and with a heavy law enforcement presence", its statement said. The crews then placed yellow straps around the center of the statue, below the arms, to hoist the statue from the base.

A construction crew removed the second of four Confederate monuments in New Orleans before dawn on Thursday, CNN reported. The slayings re-charged the debate over whether Confederate emblems represent racism or an honorable heritage.

The New Orleans monument that was taken down has been the subject of frequent vandalism in past years.

"The Battle of New Orleans", they call it - the statues' defenders and detractors alike. The Lee statue is the most prominent of the four. "This morning we continue our march to reconciliation by removing the Jefferson Davis Confederate statue from its pedestal of reverence". Some have likened these monuments to other monuments around the world from bygone eras, and have argued that civic resources would be better spent trying to educate the public about the history they embody. However, that doesn't mean we must valorize the ugliest chapters, as we do when we put the Confederacy on a pedestal - literally - in our most prominent public places. A state judge on Wednesday refused to grant an injunction blocking its removal, rejecting arguments that it belongs not to the city, but to an independent agency overseen by the state.

"These monuments have stood not as historic or educational markers of our legacy of slavery and segregation, but in celebration of it", New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu said in a statement released Thursday morning.

Quess Moore said he came out to watch the monument be taken down "to celebrate the victory in the battle against white supremacy particularly in New Orleans".

Other reports by BadHub

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