City removes 2nd of 4 Confederate statues in New Orleans

Marsha Scott
May 12, 2017

As the statue was lifted from its perch on a grassy median along one of the city's main thoroughfares, a cheer went up from some of the dozens of protesters on the scene who have been pushing for the monument's removal.

"This historic moment is an opportunity to join together as one city and redefine our future", Mayor Mitch Landrieu said Thursday, announcing that crews had begun removing the statue, the second of four planned removals of four Confederacy-related monuments. After legal battles delayed the work, the first - a granite obelisk honoring whites who rebelled against a biracial Reconstruction government - came down late last month.

The suit contends that a statue of Confederate General P.G.T. Beauregard on horseback at the main entrance to New Orleans City Park is not owned by the city.

Equipment and personnel were moving into place in Mid-City late Wednesday (May 10) to take down the statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis.

Quess Moore said he came out "to celebrate the victory in the battle against white supremacy, particularly in New Orleans".

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Earlier in the day, Mayor Mitch Landrieu reiterated that he would not discuss the timeline for the statue's removal due to security concerns in the wake of threats that have been leveled at contractors and city employees involved in the job. "I believe we must remember all of our history, but we need not revere it..."

The fourth statue slated for removal is of Gen. Robert E. Lee, commander of the Confederate Army.

The 6-foot-tall bronze statue stands atop a roughly 12-foot tall column in a street also named after Davis. Adam Swensek, an assistant city attorney, noted court precedents holding otherwise and said delays in removing the monuments only prolong a controversy that has resulted in tense confrontations between pro- and anti-monument groups at monument sites.

Protesters gather before a monument of Jefferson Davis is removed in New Orleans on Thursday. It was built in 1884 after 14 years of fundraisers and negotiations, the University of New Orleans says. In 2015, the city decide to remove them and in March, a US appeals court ruled that city had the right to proceed. 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. The demonstration attracted more than 700 people, including counter-protesters who carried Confederate flags.

In Reese's court, Franklin Jones, an attorney for Marksbury, cited documents asserting that the independent, state-supervised board that oversees City Park owns the Beauregard statue and the tract of land on which it sits.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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