Judge rejects effort to block Confederate statue's removal

Jerome Frank
May 12, 2017

Some of the pro-monument demonstrators chanted "Mitch for prison" - a reference to New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu who is backing the monuments' removal.

It's the second Confederate monument to come down after the New Orleans city council voted to remove four such landmarks back in 2015.

Workers wearing bulletproof vests and helmets have removed the statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis from its pedestal before dawn in New Orleans.

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.

Just beyond the chain link fence and barricades installed by police to ensure that simmering tensions didn't break into a boil, supporters and opponents of removal shouted into the night. One has already been removed: that honoring a rebellion against a Reconstruction era-government in New Orleans.

The Davis statue was the second of the four monuments to be removed in the Crescent City.

Multiple protesters were arrested and charged with disturbing the peace on Sunday after a fight broke out at an event held to celebrate the removal of the Liberty Place monument.

They say documents show the statue belongs to a state agency that oversees the park where the statue is located.

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Landrieu aired his plan to remove the four Confederate monuments a week after the Charleston church massacre of 2015, when nine black worshippers were killed by a white gunman who had displayed a Confederate flag.

Police had cordoned off the 6-foot tall bronze statue of Davis with a chain-link fence to keep protesters out. It was built in 1884 after 14 years of fundraisers and negotiations, the University of New Orleans says.

They tied the statue's torso with what appeared to be a long yellow banding, securing it to a crane. "I believe we must remember all of our history, but we need not revere it", he added.

The remaining two monuments - those of Confederate generals Robert E. Lee and Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard - are also scheduled for relocation.

People against 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.

The statue of Jefferson Davis is removed from its base in New Orleans as police officers stand watch early Thursday.

Reese denied the injunction, which would have stopped the removal of the monument until it was determined who owned the monument.

In fact, a legal challenge was heard Wednesday morning on the status of the P.G.T. Beauregard monument, which sits at the entrance to City Park.

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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