New Orleans takes down 3rd Confederate-era monument
- Author: Larry Hoffman May 20, 2017,
May 20, 2017, 4:56
The last Confederate monument scheduled to be removed is the statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee, which is located in the center of Lee Circle.
It had been tied up in legal battles over efforts to remove it since at least the 1980s.
Workers in New Orleans took down a Confederate monument to Gen. PGT Beauregard shortly after 3am Wednesday, the third of four such monuments to come down in the city as part of a removal process that has been anything but easy.
"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 last week removed a statue of Confederate icon Jefferson Davis from Mid-City as part of a "march to reconciliation".
Mayor Mitch Landrieu began pushing for the monuments' removal in 2015 after Dylann Roof massacred nine black Charleston churchgoers. The city said Tuesday that due to "intimidation, threats, and violence, serious safety concerns remain" so it would not announce a timeline for Lee's removal.
Landrieu plans to address city residents later in the afternoon.
Instead, the pale-skinned Landrieu wants to do something his four African-American predecessors didn't even pursue as their top policy agenda - remove the four "evil" Confederate monuments that are, apparently, at fault for people fleeing the city. "How the city can get away with moving a 102-year-old monument, against the advice of the Lt. Governor and Attorney General, and without first proving ownership, defies any sort of logic". The City Park Improvement Association, civic groups and the city will decide what will go where the Beauregard statue once stood. Lee's is the last to be removed in accordance with a 2015 City Council vote. Three depict individuals deeply influential within the Confederacy, and the fourth honors an insurrection of mostly Confederate veterans who battled against the City's racially integrated police and state militia. But removal of the monuments has drawn praise from those who saw them as brutal reminders of slavery and symbols of the historic oppression of black people. On Sunday morning, with protections of snipers, masked workers and a dumbstruck audience, the worst of all of the monuments was cut and carried., the Liberty Monument.
On April 24, a monument to a deadly 1874 white supremacist uprising was the first to come down.
The removal of the Beauregard monument comes amid questions about who owns the monument and the land where it sits.
Statues and flags honoring the Confederacy have been removed from public spaces across the United States since 2015, after a white supremacist murdered nine black parishioners at a SC church.
The statue of Lee, who commanded Confederate armies fighting the United States in the Civil War, will be taken down from atop a 60-foot (18 meters)-high pedestal where it was been since 1884.
Crowds gathered behind barricades in New Orleans on Friday to watch as workers began the hours-long process of removing a towering statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee.