Published: Fri, May 19, 2017
National | By Rosalie Gross

Mayor Mitch Landrieu to give remarks on removal of four Confederate statues

Mayor Mitch Landrieu to give remarks on removal of four Confederate statues

Protestors turned out again, and security was tight, as the statue of P.G.T. Beauregard was taken down.

It's been nearly 18 months since the New Orleans City Council voted 6-1 to remove three monuments to Confederate leaders and one monument to a Reconstruction-era white supremacist revolt, but the formidable structures have only started coming down during the past few weeks.

Mayor Mitch Landrieu will make a special address Friday on the removal of the four Confederate monuments he has sought to remove in New Orleans.

Lee is the final of four monuments marked for removal by the New Orleans City Council.

"No parking" signs appeared on streets around the circle Thursday morning, and New Orleans police began adding barricades near the site during the day.

Statues and flags honoring the Confederacy have been removed from public spaces across the United States since 2015, after a white supremacist murdered nine black parishioners at a SC church. The monument of Jefferson Davis, the slave-owning president of the Confederate States, was taken down earlier this week. A saw cut into the statue's base where it meets the pedestal as crews hovered above in cherry pickers to strap Beauregard to a crane using yellow straps. The website contained pictures of the killer posing with the Confederate battle flag in photos, recharging the debate over whether Confederate emblems represent racism or an honorable heritage. His statue sat at a traffic circle near the entrance to New Orleans City Park and the New Orleans Museum of Art.

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The work to remove them has met with bitter opposition from supporters of the monuments.

But for many in this majority black city, the monuments pay honor to a history of slavery and segregation, and they want them down. That's a lesson you can teach that's a better lesson than saying oh we're going to destroy this iconic piece of New Orleans architecture or sculpture in order to try to position the mayor for a presidential race.

The monument was shown off for the first time to a crowd of hundreds - most being relatives of Confederate veterans - during closing ceremonies for the annual convention and reunion of the Louisiana Division of United Confederate Veterans, The Picayune reported.

On Tuesday, News 25 spoke with Beauvoir Executive Director Thomas Payne who said he's pushing for the monuments taken down in New Orleans to be kept at the Beauvoir and not in storage.

The Lee statue was erected in 1884 in honor of the military leader of the Army of Northern Virginia.

Mayor Mitch Landrieu will give a special address on the removal of New Orleans historical mo...

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