USA

Trumpet star Blanchard: Confederate statue removal historic

Trumpet star Blanchard: Confederate statue removal historic

Workers in New Orleans took down a Confederate monument to Gen. PGT Beauregard shortly after 3am Wednesday, the third of four such monuments to come down in the city as part of a removal process that has been anything but easy.

"Today, we take another step in defining our city not by our past, but by our bright future", said Mayor Mitch Landrieu in a statement.

The other two monuments that have been taken down were: a statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis and a memorial to a white rebellion against the biracial Reconstruction-era government in New Orleans.

Lee commanded Confederate armies against the United States in the Civil War and is a revered figure among supporters of the old South.

Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee's statue at Lee Circle was erected in 1884. Dozens more protesters showed up on Friday morning, and the crowds grew steadily throughout the day.

"For example, to require a vote of people before any of these not just statues or plaques or monuments, but any structure, can be altered or moved". Officials say safety concerns are the reason all of the work so far has been carried out in darkness. The monument, an estimated 18 feet tall, had a bronze likeness of Davis standing astride a tall stone pedestal. "These monuments celebrate a fictional, sanitized Confederacy; ignoring the death, ignoring the enslavement, ignoring the terror that it actually stood for", he said. The removal of the statue comes after the city has already taken. "The cultural, economic, and spiritual loss to the city for having those statues up that have run people out of the city".

The MTC is a volunteer-run monument preservation organization that was founded in New Orleans in 1989.

Former FBI Director Mueller Appointed Special Counsel to Oversee Russia Probe
Israeli intelligence agents were concerned that information given to Russian Federation could be passed on to Iran, it reported. The White House initially said last week that Trump was prompted to fire Comey after reading the Rosenstein letter.

As part of the extra security Friday, police cordoned off a one-block radius around Lee Circle to cars in anticipation of protests.

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu called for the removal of the monument in the wake of the 2015 massacre of nine black parishioners at a SC church. The website contained pictures of the killer posing with the Confederate battle flag in photos, recharging the debate over whether Confederate emblems represent racism or an honorable heritage.

The city has received offers from public and private institutions to take individual monuments, so it will solicit proposals on where they will go through an "open and transparent selection".

As Landrieu enters his final 12 months in office, leading up to the city's 300th anniversary celebration, his administration has chosen to create a park with a water feature and public art in place of Lee.

Statues and flags honoring the Confederacy have been removed from public spaces across the United States since 2015, after a white supremacist murdered nine black parishioners at a SC church.

Those three statues were taken down in pre-dawn hours without advance public notice, a precautionary measure after officials said threats were made against contractors and workers involved.

Jesse J. Holland covers race and ethnicity for The Associated Press.


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