NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana — The removal of Civil War-era monuments is underway after almost two years of calls by Mayor Mitch Landrieu (D) to remove four that he deemed “racist”.
The Liberty Place monument is the first of four monuments to come down under the direction of Landrieu and a Democrat-majority city council, which voted in 2015 to remove the monuments, according to FOX 8 News.
Landrieu said the Liberty Place monument was “the most offensive of the four,” as crews of city workers began removing it in the middle of the night at around 1:30 a.m. Central Time.
Also on the chopping block for removal is the Robert E. Lee monument at Lee Circle, the Jefferson Davis statue, and a monument near City Park dedicated to PGT Beauregard.
At the height of the heated debate over removing monuments in New Orleans, a poll by WWL-TV showed that 68 percent of New Orleans residents opposed the removal or renaming of monuments. Only 18 percent at the time supported removals.
While addressing the issue today, Landrieu reiterated to local media his claims that removing the monuments is about celebrating “diversity.”
“The removal of these statues sends a clear message that New Orleans celebrates our diversity,” Landrieu said. “What is done is done. We will no longer allow the confederacy to be put on a pedestal in the heart of our city.”
Back in 2015, Landrieu had the monuments declared a “public nuisance” in order to push for their removal. Unrest in the city did not come until after Landrieu demanded they be removed, however.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart Texas. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.