Jeff Davis monument comes down after 106 years

Olive Rios
May 13, 2017

The New Orleans monument that was taken down has been the subject of frequent vandalism in past years.

Unlike those extravagant displays in New Orleans, most other Confederate monuments and markers in metro Atlanta are in context, such as at Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park or the Marietta Confederate Cemetery. About 50 police kept watch on dozens of protesters backing and opposing its removal. Supporters and opponents were separated by barricades, similar to how NOPD organized protesters at Lee Circle on May 7. The removal began with crews wrapping the monument at its waist with what appears to be protective plastic.

The New Orleans monuments are part of the larger controversy surrounding Confederate symbols, which some say represent slavery and racial injustice. We must always remember our history and learn from it.

In a statement Thursday morning, Landrieu called the Confederate memorials "not only an inaccurate reflection of our past, it is an affront to our present, and a bad prescription for our future". "This morning we continue our march to reconciliation by removing the Jefferson Davis Confederate statue from its pedestal of reverence".

The first statue to be removed was the Liberty Monument. The obelisk was a tribute to whites who battled a biracial Reconstruction government installed in New Orleans after the Civil War.

The two remaining monuments set to be removed are those of Confederate generals Robert E Lee and Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard. "That didn't happen here", referring to the sometimes-violent clashes outside Lee's statue. Landrieu said the monuments will be removed and put into storage until a suitable and permanent home can be found. The move came as part of a national response to the shooting of nine black parishioners at a church in SC by racist Dylann Roof earlier that year. Richard Marksbury, a New Orleans resident and monument supporter, said he may go to an appeal court to block removal.

The city council voted in favor of Landrieu's removal proposal, 6-1, in December 2015, six months after the deadly Charleston, S.C. church massacre by white supremacist Dylann Roof.

Crews, wearing masks to cover their faces, worked under a heavy police presence starting at 3 dismantle the statue, which was erected in 1911, almost 50 years after the end of the war, and commissioned by the Jefferson Davis Memorial Association.

New Orleans officials have not released a timeline for removing the remaining two monuments - statues of Confederate generals Robert E. Lee and P.G.T. Beauregard.

The Davis statue stood on top of a roughly 12-foot column and depicted the Confederate president with his right arm outstretched, towering over the street also named after him.

People in favor of the removal of confederate era statues demonstrate across the street from the Jefferson Davis statue, in anticipation of its imminent removal in New Orleans, Thursday, May 11, 2017. But she thinks Mayor Mitch Landrieu's initiative to remove four monuments to Confederate-era figures was a mistake.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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