Effort to block Confederate statue's removal goes to court

Melba VasquezMay 11, 2017

Massive cranes and work trucks were being put into position early Thursday morning as the city prepared to remove the monument to former Confederate President Jefferson Davis.

That sentiment echoed and spearheaded by New Orleans' Mayor Mitch Landrieu, who tweeted: "This historic moment is an opportunity to join together as one city and redefine our future". "The time line is when it happens, and it's going to happen sooner rather than later".

"Another historic monument was removed under the cover of darkness using amatuer, masked workers in armour, unmarked vehicles and equipment, and with a heavy law enforcement presence", the group said in a statement.

In the past, Landrieu has said the monuments will be placed in a warehouse until another location is chosen.

Landrieu said the city began removing statues erected to honor the Confederacy in late April. "The city is trying to be as honest and critical in reflecting on our history and all of its complexity". Monument supporters say each of the statues weighs tons and they feared moving the aging icons could result in significant damage. Parks displaying dozens of Communist monuments from the Cold War are tourist attractions in Hungary and Russian Federation.

The victory in SC for proponents of removing Confederate symbols from public spaces, state emblems, colleges and historical sites preceded a wave of protest in the region, ultimately leading to decision to remove the statues in New Orleans.

Two additional monuments in the city of Confederate generals Robert E. Lee and Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard are also scheduled for relocation.

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Barricades set up by NOPD in advance of the removal seemed created to act as corrals that protesters could be directed into and which would allow a line of barriers and police to remain between the two groups.

The Davis monument stood at the intersection of the parkway that bears his name and Canal Street. A fourth, the Liberty Place monument, was removed in the dead of night without advance notice last month due to threats of violence. The statue, nearly 17-feet tall and standing on a 68-foot pedestal, weighs more than 3 tons. The Davis statue has been the scene of protests by supporters and opponents of the monuments' removal.

The Davis statue stood on top of a roughly 12-foot column, and depicted the Confederate president with his right arm outstretched, towering over the street also named after him.

Jefferson Davis was a U.S. representative and senator from MS who later led the Confederacy during the Civil War. It was built in 1884 after 14 years of fundraisers and negotiations, the University of New Orleans says.

Davis lived in New Orleans after the Civil War and died there in 1889.

But New Orleans is not without its own more immediately pressing problems and yet managed to take action. A slave owner himself, memorials and monuments celebrating him in several states - including Texas, Virginia, Washington, and of course Louisiana - have come under fire in recent years.

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