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Confederate Memorial Day: New Orleans Begins Removing Confederate Monuments

09 May 2017

New Orleans began the process of taking down Confederate statutes early Monday with the removal of the monument to the Battle at Liberty Place and Mayor Mitch Landrieu said the other three would come down "sooner rather than later".

New Orleans city officials began the long-planned removal of four Confederate monuments early Monday morning as crews dismantled an obelisk commemorating an 1874 white supremacist uprising. The obelisk was put up in the 1800's by a white supremacy group. Now, a federal judge in Louisiana finally approved the plans, and the city issued a statement revealing that private funding had been obtained to remove the monuments, per CBS News. That's because city officials have said supporters who want the monuments to stay have made death threats.

The other monuments at the site, honoring Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis and P.G.T. Beauregard, are scheduled for removal as well.

The four statues will be initially moved to storage, then the city will look into relocating them to a museum or other location.

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That plaque remained until 1989, when the monument was moved, and a new plaque was printed, reading: "In honor of those Americans on both sides who died in the Battle of Liberty Place".

In opposition of the removal of monuments, roughly 50 demonstrators held a candle light vigil at the Jefferson Davis Monument on Sunday night, which was organized by the Monumental Task Committee.

Statues and flags that include Confederate symbols have been under fire since the 2015 attack on a Black church in Charleston, S.C. that killed nine churchgoers.

There are three statues left to take down before Mitch can pretend that he's solved all of the problems in New Orleans. "When you start removing the history of the city, you start losing money", Bonner said. "It only represents a four-year period in our 1000-year march to where we are today", Landrieu said when asked about the historical significance of the statues to the city of New Orleans. The Southern Poverty Law Center has identified at least 700 Confederate statues or monuments in public spaces across the country, with almost 300 in Georgia, Virginia and North Carolina alone.

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Of course when there's talk or action about removing anything confederate, there will be protests.

"Due to intense level of threats we will not be sharing details", Landrieu said.

The Liberty Monument, which commemorated a group of white people who attempted to take down a bi-racial government that followed the Civil War, was removed by truckers at around 1:25 a.m. on Monday. "Nobody seems to think we've got much of a leg to stand on", Nungesser said.

Some locals view the monuments as part of their history, creating controversy around the removal.

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New Orleans removed the memorial from busy Canal Street during a paving project in 1989 and didn't put it back up until the city was sued.

Confederate Memorial Day: New Orleans Begins Removing Confederate Monuments