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emfizz.com June 23, 2017


New Orleans removing last of four statues linked to pro-slavery era

20 May 2017, 04:36 | Gladys Abbott

Protesters gather before a monument of Jefferson Davis is removed in New Orleans Louisiana

Protesters gather before a monument of Jefferson Davis is removed in New Orleans Louisiana

On Tuesday, the city of New Orleans began removal of a statue of Gen. P.G.T Beauregard, a Confederate general.

The removal of several Confederate statues has been a contentious topic in New Orleans, as groups for and against the move have taken to the streets in protest.

In December 2015, Mayor Landrieu signed an ordinance calling for the removal and relocation of the four prominent Confederate monuments displayed publicly in the City of New Orleans, citing that these statues did not reflect the diversity, values or full history of the City and should be removed.

Landrieu had proposed the removal of the monuments after the 2015 massacre of nine black parishioners at a SC church.

"New Orleans' City Council approved the move past year, but officials were met with opposition from supporters who fought to keep the monuments up".

While the previous three monuments were removed under cover of darkness in part because workers had received death threats for carrying out the city's plan, Mayor Mitch Landrieu ordered that the monument to Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee be brought down in broad daylight Friday.

As a bill that would require a local vote before removing Confederate monuments advances in the Legislature, we're hearing what Gov. John Bel Edwards has to say about the controversy.

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"This cult had one goal and one goal only: through monuments and other means to rewrite history, to hide the truth, which is that the Confederacy was on the wrong side of humanity", Landrieu said. On Wednesday, the workers still wore helmets and covered their face during the removal process but the scene was more subdued.

"I've never looked at them as a source of pride", Blanchard said. "Learning more about the history of what it really represents, more than just it's a work of art, it's a statue, the reasons why it was put up in the first place, I think it's time to take them down". But to some it was the most objectionable.

An obelisk dedicated to the Battle of Liberty Place, which commemorated whites who tried to topple a biracial post-Civil War government, was dismantled on April 24, the New York Times reported.

The Beauregard monument has been at the center of a legal battle, launched by the Monumental Task Committee, a group aiming for the statues to remain in place.

The statue of Lee - who surrendered the Confederate Army to Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant in 1865, effectively ending the Civil War - is the first to be taken down in the light of day.

Of the four monuments, Lee's was easily the most prominent, with the bronze statue alone being close to 20 feet tall. It's been there since 1915.

The statues could eventually make their way to a museum, or another site, "where they can be placed in their proper historical context from a dark period of American history", the city said. 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 (18 meters)-tall column.



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