Sat | Sep 23, 2017

New Orleans takes down white supremacist monument

Published:Tuesday | April 25, 2017 | 4:00 AM
Workers dismantle the Liberty Place monument yesterday, which commemorates whites who tried to topple a biracial post-Civil War government, in New Orleans.

NEW ORLEANS (AP);

A monument to a deadly white-supremacist uprising in 1874 was removed under cover of darkness by workers in masks and bulletproof vests yesterday as New Orleans joined the movement to take down symbols of the Confederacy and the Jim Crow South.

The Liberty Place monument, a 35-foot granite obelisk that pays tribute to whites who tried to topple a biracial Reconstruction government installed in New Orleans after the Civil War, was taken away on a truck in pieces before daybreak after a few hours of work.

In the coming days, the city will also remove three statues of Confederate Gens. Robert E. Lee and P.G.T. Beauregard and Confederate President Jefferson Davis, now that legal challenges have been overcome.

"We will no longer allow the Confederacy to literally be put on a pedestal in the heart of our city," Mayor Mitch Landrieu vowed.

The removal of the obelisk was carried out early in the morning because of death threats and fears of disruption from supporters of the monuments.

 

POLICE KEEPING WATCH

 

The workers wore military-style helmets and had scarves over their faces. Police were on hand, with officers watching from atop a hotel parking garage.

"The statue was put up to honour the killing of police officers by white supremacists," Landrieu said. "Of the four that we will move, this statue is perhaps the most blatant affront to the values that make America and New Orleans strong today."

Citing safety concerns, the mayor would not disclose exactly when the other monuments would be taken down, except to say that it will be done at night to avoid trouble.

He said the monuments would be put in storage until an appropriate place to display them is determined.