City Begins Removing Confederate Monuments

Part of Liberty Monument taken away

Part of Liberty Monument taken away

Nola.com reports that previous contractors assigned to the removal received death threats.

The mayor announced on Monday that the statues dedicated to Confederate Generals Robert E. Lee and PGT Beauregard, as well as another commemorating Confederate States of America President Jefferson Davis, will be removed using the same method in the coming days.

"If there was ever a statue that needed to be taken down, it's that one", he said.

The timing of the unannounced removal was created to minimize protests by vocal opponents who had been staging vigils, the authorities said. The name of the company on the truck's sides was concealed by tape and cardboard, and the workers wore black vests, yellow helmets, and pieces of cloth to cover their faces. Police were on hand, with officers watching from atop a hotel parking garage. Landrieu also said the city "has secured the private funding necessary to relocate all four statues", despite the only bidder for their removal offering more than double the city's initial $170,00 budget.

Nationally, the debate over Confederate symbols has become heated since nine parishioners were killed at a black church in SC in June 2015.

Soon after, SC passed legislation to remove Confederate flags from its State House grounds. The monument glorified segregation in the southern state.

There are three statues left to take down before Mitch can pretend that he's solved all of the problems in New Orleans.

While efforts to remove Confederate monuments haven't yet reached most of the Gulf Coast, New Orleans isn't the first Southern city to take such steps.

Landrieu said the threats have been aggressive and that led to the monument being removed overnight.

Opponents of the memorials say they are offensive artifacts honoring the region's racist past.

"But let me be clear, we will not be deterred", he said.

The statues that have little relevance to New Orleans were installed decades after the end of the Civil War in 1865, as part of the "Cult of the Lost Cause", the city said in a statement. "You start losing where you came from and where you've been".

"The Monumental Task Committee has opposed moving and removing monuments throughout its 29 years". The monument was erected by the Crescent City White League, including Confederate veterans, who attempted an overthrow of the Reconstruction Louisiana government made up of the outnumbered Metropolitan Police and state militia.

It commemorated The Battle of Liberty Place, or Battle of Canal Street.

Defendants were the city, the U.S. Department of Transportation and the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority.

There are plans to remove three other monuments in the near future. "This is about showing the whole world that we as a city and as a people are able to acknowledge, understand, reconcile - and most importantly - choose a better future".

Information for this article was contributed by Avi Selk of The Washington Post and by Jesse J. Holland, Gerald Herbert and staff members of The Associated Press.

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