Published: Thu, May 18, 2017
USA | By Kelli Rowe

Beauvoir: We'll take all of the Confederate monuments


The plan to remove Civil War-era monuments in New Orleans came nearly two years ago after Landrieu said he wanted four monuments removed: the Jefferson Davis, Liberty Place, the P.G.T Beauregard, and the General Robert E. Lee in the heart of the city.

Due to the widely known intimidation, threats, and violence, serious safety concerns remain. As with two earlier removals, it happened under cover of darkness. "New Orleans is one of the highest crime rate cities in the nation". The Beauregard statue occupied a traffic circle near the entrance to City Park, a space that also is home to an oak tree that is reportedly 800 years old and has a colorful local history, which includes balls, fairs and duels. The New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) separated the crowd with a series of barricades at Moss Street and Esplanade Avenue facing Beauregard.

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"When I was a little girl the statue was something fun that I drove by on my way to school", said Janet Rupert, a supporter of removing the monuments. There's now one confederate monument that's still slated for removal: the statue of Robert E. Lee. A spokesperson told us, "The PGT Beauregard statue and Jefferson Davis base are being temporarily staged at a securely gated city facility until they can be moved to a long-term location".

Efforts to remove Confederate statues are underway in other parts of the South. Three depict individuals deeply influential within the Confederacy, and the fourth honors an insurrection of mostly Confederate veterans who battled against the City's racially integrated police and state militia.

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A Norco father and son were arrested Wednesday for spray-painting graffiti on the base where the P.G.T. Beauregard statue once stood, police said. "We didn't plan it, but it's our history", David Cox, a former Caddo Parish Commissioner, said at the meeting, according to the Shreveport Times.

It's been nearly 18 months since the New Orleans City Council voted 6-1 to remove three monuments to Confederate leaders and one monument to a Reconstruction-era white supremacist revolt, but the formidable structures have only started coming down during the past few weeks. One day after clashing demonstrations at Lee Circle, monument supporters rallied at outside City Park on May 8 to support Richard Marksbury's request for a temporary restraining order to stop the city from removing the monument. An inscription extolling white supremacy was added in 1932.

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The Monumental Task Committee, in perhaps its most strongly-worded statement since the removal of the statues began, said the statue was of perhaps the most historically-significant Creole who ever lived.

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