Removal of 2nd Confederate statue in New Orleans to begin

Judge denies temporary restraining order for removal of PGT Beauregard monumentMore

Judge denies temporary restraining order for removal of PGT Beauregard monumentMore

In the early hours of 11 May 2017, a statue of Jefferson Davis (the president of the Confederate States of America during the Civil War) was removed in New Orleans, the second Confederate monument to be uninstalled in the city.

"This historic moment is an opportunity to join together as one city and redefine our future", Mayor Mitch Landrieu said Thursday, announcing that crews had begun removing the statue, the second of four planned removals of four Confederacy-related monuments.

Last month, the city dismantled the first of its four monuments scheduled for removal - an obelisk commemorating the Battle of Liberty Place.

Statues of Beauregard, General Robert E. Lee, and Confederate President Jefferson Davis are to be removed soon.

Officials had refused to give advance public notice of Thursday morning's removal, citing threats of violence against contractors and workers involved in the effort. Richard Marksbury, a New Orleans resident and monument supporter, said he may go to an appeal court to block removal.

That monument honored a rebellion by whites who battled a biracial Reconstruction-era government in New Orleans.

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The staff at the Morris Jeff Community School, located near the Jefferson Davis monument, sent out a recorded message late Wednesday to parents, saying that the New Orleans Police Department had confirmed that the statue would be removed overnight. "I believe we must remember all of our history, but we need not revere it", he added. The Lee statue is the most prominent of the four. Protests that have at times turned violent have erupted at the site of the Jefferson Davis Monument after the Battle at Liberty Place monument was taken down in the middle of the night on April 24. When the Confederate flag was not lowered to half-mast on the SC statehouse house grounds following the shooting - as had been done with the U.S. flag and the state flag in mourning for the victims - those pictures sparked a contentious debate that led then-Governor Nikki Haley to make a strong appeal to legislators that resulted in the flag being removed from the statehouse grounds altogether.

Demonstrators in New Orleans this week echoed those sentiments: "Take 'em down!"

In 2015, the city chose to take the monuments down, and a United States appeals court ruled in March that it had the right to proceed.

The huge bronze image of Beauregard on horseback sits in the center of a traffic circle at the entrance to New Orleans City Park. The statues are coming down after a judge rejected a last-minute injunction to halt the removal of the monuments.

As workers slung a strap around the statue's waist and lifted it off its pedestal, "At least 100 people cheered from across the street, outnumbering the few dozen protesters, some waving Confederate flags", member station WWNO's Laine Kaplan-Levenson reports.

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