Removal of 2nd Confederate statue in New Orleans to begin

Geneva Matthews
May 12, 2017

The protests come as the city plans to remove three remaining Confederate monuments - to Lee, Confederate Gen. P.G.T Beauregard and Confederate States of America President Jefferson Davis.

"After almost two years of planning and court battles, City officials began the process today of removing the three remaining monuments that prominently celebrate the 'Lost Cause of the Confederacy.' The statues that are being removed were erected decades after the Civil War to celebrate the 'Cult of the Lost Cause, ' a movement recognized across the South as celebrating and promoting white supremacy", Landrieu said in a statement.

The Jefferson Davis Memorial, located at Jefferson Davis Parkway and Canal Street is being removed about two and a half weeks after the monument to the Battle of Liberty Place was removed.

However, Landrieu previously said the monument of Davis and the statues of Confederate generals Robert E. Lee and P.G.T. Beauregard could come down "anytime, sooner rather than later".

Officials had refused to give advance public notice of Thursday morning's removal, citing threats of violence against contractors and workers involved in the effort.

Supporters of Confederate monuments have filed a lawsuit to save the statue of Confederate General Pierre Beauregard.

That monument honored a rebellion by whites who battled a biracial Reconstruction-era government in New Orleans.

"I believe we must remember all of our history, but we need not revere it", New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu said in a statement.

Small groups of pro-monument protesters have maintained a constant vigil at the statue since April 24, when the city took down the monument to the Battle of Liberty Place at the end of Iberville Street. The monument, an estimated 18 feet tall, had a bronze likeness of Davis standing astride a tall stone pedestal. The statue, nearly 17-feet tall and standing on a 68-foot pedestal, weighs more than 3 tons. Unveiled in 1884, the monument is on a mound at a traffic circle - Lee Circle - that splits historic St. Charles line and the rail line on which 1920s-era streetcars rumble by.

"Behind the barricade, everybody behind the barricade", says one New Orleans police officer.

As the statue was lifted shortly after 5 a.m. (6 a.m. ET), those who wanted it removed cheered, and sang the chorus from "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye".

Protesters gather before a monument of Jefferson Davis is removed in New Orleans on Thursday.

Reese denied the injunction, which would have stopped the removal of the monument until it was determined who owned the monument. The demonstration attracted more than 700 people, including counter-protesters who carried Confederate flags.

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