The City of New Orleans began its confederate monument removal process early this morning.
According to the Mayor’s Office, construction crews removed The Battle of Liberty Place statue, located at Canal Place, around 2 a.m. this morning. The Office said that it secured private funding to remove the remaining confederate monuments.
The other three statues listed for removal include Robert E. Lee at Lee Circle, P.G.T. Beaugard at the entrance to City Park, and Jefferson Davis Parkway in Mid-City.
“The removal of these statues sends a clear and unequivocal message to the people of New Orleans and the nation: New Orleans celebrates our diversity, inclusion and tolerance,” said Mayor Mitch Landrieu in an official statement.
“Relocating these Confederate monuments is not about taking something away from someone else. This is not about politics, blame or retaliation. This is not a naïve quest to solve all our problems at once. This is about showing the whole world that we as a city and as a people are able to acknowledge, understand, reconcile—and most importantly—choose a better future. We can remember these divisive chapters in our history in a museum or other facility where they can be put in context –and that’s where these statues belong,” he added.
Anticipating a security risk, the City will not notify the public about future statue removals. The Mayor’s office announced statues will be housed in a private warehouse and will be relocated to museums at a later date.
In opposition of the removal of monuments, roughly 50 demonstrators held a candlelight vigil at the Jefferson Davis Monument on Sunday night, which was organized by the Monumental Task Committee.
In February of 2015, Mayor Mitch Landrieu signed an ordinance advocating the removal and relocation of four confederate statues, which was later approved by a 6-1 vote by City Council. On March 8, 2017, The United States District Court of the Eastern District of Louisiana affirmed the City’s right to remove the statues.