Robert E. Lee Statue Removed

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The fourth monument to be taken down by the New Orleans city council and Mayor Mitch Landrieu was the Robert E. Lee statue which sat on a 70-foot perch downtown.

The previous 3 statues had been removed in the middle of the night without warning while workers wore masks to hide their identity and police and snipers were on duty to ensure orderly removal.

Opponents of the movement claim it is a rewriting or erasing of history, and the moves have been protested as well as supported.

Last week, the Louisiana statehouse passed HB71 to require a referendum before any memorial could be altered, removed, relocated or destroyed. Black members walked out to demonstrate their opposition to the law. The move was taken in order to prevent local governments like Landrieu’s from removing more Confederate monuments.

Confederate Monument Removal Protesters Clash

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New Orleans has been removing monuments to its Confederate history, led by Mayor Mitch Landrieu.

Sunday afternoon protesters met at Lee Square, as did people who support monument removal.

The protesters included some considered to be white supremacists, but the peaceful protesters of all beliefs were aligned, as, in the words of one man who attended who did not give his full name: “As long as they’re fighting for my interests I’m with them.”

Many have voiced their concern about the erasing of history, whether they agree with the beliefs of those commemorated at the time or not.

However, monument removal advocates voiced their opinion in chants such as “Go home racists,” and “Hey hey, ho ho, white supremacy’s got to go.”

Monument Removal Continues: Confederate President Statue

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New Orleans City Council and Mayor Mitch Landrieu have continued their plan to remove monuments to Confederate history by removing a statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis on Davis Street. The statue stood for 106 years.

The removal was conduced in the middle of the night, as Landrieu said removals would be done, early Thursday while police stood between dozens of people, some voicing opposition and protest, some support.

Another Monument Removal in U.S. City

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New Orleans removed a monument to the Battle of Liberty Place, part of what is seen as a wider movement to remove symbols of Confederacy and Jim Crow.

In the 1874 battle, a mostly Confederate veteran army which was part of the Democratic Party, fought New Orleans metro police and state militia, and held official buildings for days until federal troops removed them.

The battle was part of violence that followed a contested 1872 gubernatorial election in which both parties claimed victory.

The monument was erected in 1891 to celebrate and remember the Democratic insurrection. A white obelisk and inscription expressed what some consider white supremacist views.

Mayor Mitch Landrieu removed the monument without warning in the early morning hours, and told the public other monuments would be taken down in the same way.

Some called Landrieu’s method “the coward’s way,” and criticised Landrieu for removing pieces of New Orleans’ history, which is also an important part of the city’s tourist economy.

By way of explanation, Landrieu stated, “We will no longer allow the Confederacy to literally be put on a pedestal in the heart of our city.”