Masked metropolis employees in New Orleans have eliminated the final of 4 monuments to the pro-slavery insurrection defeated within the US Civil Conflict.
The 133-year-old statue depicted Common Robert E Lee, the highest army chief within the Confederacy, crossing his arms as he confronted north in the direction of his previous enemy.
Critics say monuments to the Confederacy are racially offensive, however supporters say they’re vital symbols of town’s Southern heritage.
The three different statues have been all eliminated at night time to restrict clashes.
The employees on the job have been carrying bullet-proof vests in addition to masks.
In a press release on Thursday, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu mentioned the condemned statues “have been erected a long time after the Civil Conflict to rejoice the ‘Cult of the Misplaced Trigger’, a motion recognised throughout the South as celebrating and selling white supremacy.”
Barricades went up in a single day across the park the place the 16ft (four.8m) statue was perched atop a 60ft column.
The cables for a close-by streetcar have been additionally quickly taken down to permit development tools into the park.
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Earlier than police cleared the realm on Thursday, practically 200 protesters gathered to voice help and opposition to the monument.
Demonstrations have been principally peaceable, native media report.
The one flashpoint was when a pro-removal protester snatched a Accomplice battle flag.
One man was arrested for climbing on to the monument’s pedestal and refusing to come back down.
The monument to Lee was erected on 22 February 1884 – practically 20 years after the Civil Conflict ended.
On the day of the revealing, a crowd of practically 15,000 individuals got here to observe, the Every day Picayune newspaper reported the subsequent day.
On the actual second that the statue was unveiled, a 100-gun salute was fired, and “a mighty shout went up from the troopers of the Confederacy”, the Every day Picayune reported.
Metropolis officers say the monuments will likely be moved someplace corresponding to a museum the place they are often “positioned of their correct historic context from a darkish interval of American historical past”.
However WWL-TV has found the removed monuments to Accomplice President Jefferson Davis and PGT Beauregard in a city-owned scrap yard.
Supporters of the monuments say they’re a cultural legacy that promotes heritage reasonably than racism.
The choice to take away the statues got here in December 2015, six months after a white supremacist shot dead nine black worshippers at a South Carolina church.