Dozens Gather as Jefferson Davis Memorial Comes Down


The figure of Jefferson Davis is removed from its base as a police officer stands watch over demonstrators both for and against the removal of confederate era statues in New Orleans, Thursday, May 11, 2017.

Mayor Landrieu has said the two remaining Confederate monuments slated to be removed, of Generals Robert E. Lee and P.G.T. Beauregard, may come down at "anytime, sooner rather than later". As opponents of the move shouted "totalitarianism", workers removed the 6-foot statue from its 12-foot pedestal and put it on a trailer to be moved to a city warehouse, reports the New Orleans Times-Picayune.

"Three weeks ago, we began a challenging but long overdue process of removing four statues that honor the "Lost Cause of the Confederacy".

Removing the remaining statues required the use of a heavy crane, and the mayor had told the Times-Picayune that every crane company in the region had received threats.

More than nearly any other city in the world, New Orleans is truly a city of many nations.

To the monument's defenders, however, they represent an important link to the city's history and taking them down is equivalent to ripping out pages from a textbook. They are an inaccurate recitation of our past, an affront to our present and a poor prescription for our future.

To Burkhalter, those who want to keep the Confederate monuments and those who would tear them down are separated by a century.

The first of these, the Liberty Monument erected in 1891, was pulled down last month.

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At the behest of Mayor Mitch Landrieu, the City Council voted in 2015 to take down four monuments.

Workers began lifting the monument around 5 a.m. Thursday morning.

The full removal is slated to take several hours. "We should not be afraid to confront and reconcile our past", he said.

After we're done moving these monuments, we'll face an even greater task: coming together to decide who we are as a city - and as a nation. Landrieu said the statues will go to storage while the city looks for a suitable place to display them, such as a museum. "The constituency for these monuments has diluted significantly", says David Goldfield, a history professor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte who studies Confederate symbolism.

According to CNN, as the statue came down, some supporters of the Confederate monument stood silent nearby, and those who opposed the statue cheered.

Both sides clashed during the removal as supporters waving Confederate flags chanted "President Davis", while others yelled "take 'em down" in reference to the monuments seen by many as symbols of racism and white supremacy.

The Jefferson Davis Monument is one of four monuments that critics have been pushing to have dismantled in New Orleans.