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Final confederate statue coming down in New Orleans

20 May 2017, 02:00 | Marion Schneider

Paulscrawl via Wikimedia Commons

Final Confederate statue coming down in New Orleans

Mayor Landrieu gave a "special address" concerning the monuments' removal at Gallier Hall on Friday afternoon.

(AP Photo/Scott Threlkeld). Anti-monument protesters Rose Hunter, left, and her son, Deshaun Washington make their case with pro-monument supporters, right, near the statue of Confederate Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard as the statue was prepared for removal fr.

City officials said in a statement Tuesday evening that the Beauregard monument, the third Confederate monument targeted for removal, would be removed over the next few hours.

The city will begin a competitive RFP process to decide where the statues will eventually go.

Earlier this month, dozens of supporters of the monuments clashed with hundreds of demonstrators near the site of the Robert E. Lee statue. According to the mayor's office, Lee's statue and the 8-foot, 4-inch base it stands on will be removed. Many in the crowd had waited since morning. "But look! It's happening".

The process was delayed for almost two years by a succession of lawsuits from historic preservation groups and monument supporters.

The issue gained momentum after the 2015 massacre of nine black parishioners in Charleston, South Carolina, by a self-described white supremacist who prosecutors said posed for photos with the Confederate battle flag. But in explaining his reasoning, the mayor has repeatedly said they do not represent the diversity and future of New Orleans.

It's important, he added, that taking down the statues isn't just a "cosmetic fix". He says in an interview with The Associated Press that "we don't want these statues in places of reverence; they need to be in places of remembrance".

"They're actually a denial of our history and they were done in a time when people who still controlled the Confederacy were in charge of this city and it only represents a four-year period in our 1000-year march to where we are today".

New Orleans takes down Robert E. Lee statue
The bill allows local governments to take down a memorial only if voters approve the action at "an election held for that goal ". Lee, the last of four monuments the city is taking down because they have been deemed racially offensive, officials said .


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Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee's statue at Lee Circle was erected in 1884. It's an image of Lee standing tall in uniform, with his arms crossed defiantly, looking toward the northern horizon from atop a roughly 60-foot-tall column.

On the day of the unveiling, a crowd of almost 15,000 people came to watch, the Daily Picayune newspaper reported the next day.

The atmosphere Friday was nearly festive as dozens of people, some with lawn chairs, came out to see what many called history in the making. The obelisk marked a deadly fight between the Crescent City White League, a group opposed to the city's racially integrated police force, and state militia after the Civil War. The Confederacy was on the wrong side of humanity.

But others criticized the move. New Orleans, the largest of all Confederate cities - and one strategically placed at the mouth of the Mississippi River - was later captured in a Union naval assault on May 1, 1862. Lee's is the last to be removed in accordance with a 2015 City Council vote.

It's the fourth and final Confederate monument the city had slated to take down, and its removal marks the end of one of America's more successful ― and publicized ― campaigns to expel symbols of white supremacy from public property. P.G.T. Beauregard early Wednesday.

Attention now shifts to where the monuments will go and what will take their place.

Late Thursday night, officers arrested a man who claimed to be the "Lord and Savior".

Certain conditions apply, however; the statues can not be displayed outdoors on public property in New Orleans. The process started around 7 a.m. and the statue still hadn't been removed as of 3 p.m.

According to the city, Lee's statue will be replaced by a water feature and public art, while a US flag will be placed at the site of the Davis statue. In years following Katrina, the city had gotten safer.



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