New Orleans crews begin removing statue of Confederate general


New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu on Wednesday said workers removed a statue of Confederate Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard from City Park, calling it a "another step forward for our city".

Due to the widely known intimidation, threats, and violence, serious safety concerns remain. "How the city can get away with moving a 102-year-old monument, against the advice of the Lt. Governor and Attorney General, and without first proving ownership, defies any sort of logic." .

In order to allow the City's contractors to safely conduct the work, Moss Street between Desaix Boulevard and Esplanade Avenue and North Carrolton Avenue between Esplanade Avenue, and City Park Avenue will be closed to vehicular and pedestrian traffic.

Supporters say removing the monuments is akin to erasing history.

The city has been secretive about when and how the monuments will come down, with Liberty Place and Jefferson Davis being taken down at 3 a.m.

The Beauregard monument was unveiled to a crowd of hundreds, and with a 17-gun salute the afternoon of November 11, 1915, by Hilda Beauregard, a granddaughter of the Confederate general, WWL-TV reports was in a Times-Picayune the next morning.

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It had been tied up in legal battles over efforts to remove it since at least the 1980s. Three depict individuals deeply influential within the Confederacy, and the fourth honors an insurrection of mostly Confederate veterans who battled against the City's racially integrated police and state militia. Demonstrators have come out to protest their removal while waving Confederate battle flags.

The famous equestrian P.G.T Beauregard monument at the heart of New Orleans' City Park, across from the New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA), was removed by city employees in the middle of the night, marking the third time the City has removed a Civil War-era monument in the last two months. "We didn't plan it, but it's our history", David Cox, a former Caddo Parish Commissioner, said at the meeting, according to the Shreveport Times. Officials have also pledged to take down a monument to Gen. Robert E. Lee.

Anti-monument protesters Rose Hunter, left, and her son, Deshaun Washington make their case with pro-monument supporters, right, near the statue of Confederate Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard as the statue was prepared for removal from the entrance to City Park in New Orleans, Tuesday, May 16, 2017. An inscription extolling white supremacy was added in 1932.

Confederate President Jefferson Davis retired to Beauvoir in Biloxi.

"To me, they are a historic landmark in the city, like a placeholder that has survived countless hurricanes", said a man who only identified himself as George.