New Orleans Takes Down 'Lost Cause' Confederate Statue

Opponents shouted 'totalitarianism' as Jefferson Davis statue taken down
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 11, 2017 4:33 AM CDT
New Orleans Takes Down Confederate Statue
A statue of Confederate Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard at the entrance to New Orleans City Park.   (Kevin McGill)

Workers took down a statue of Jefferson Davis in New Orleans early Thursday—152 years and one day after the Confederate president was captured by Union forces. As opponents of the move shouted "totalitarianism," workers removed the 6-foot statue from its 12-foot pedestal and put it on a trailer to be moved to a city warehouse, reports the New Orleans Times-Picayune. Police kept supporters and opponents of the move apart. The office of Mayor Mitch Landrieu issued a statement saying the city had begun removing statues erected decades after the Civil War by the "Cult of the Lost Cause," which the office calls a "movement recognized across the South as celebrating and promoting white supremacy."

Davis lived in New Orleans for years after the war and died there in 1889. In an earlier statement, the mayor said it was an "affront" to "literally put the Confederacy on a pedestal" in the city's public places, CNN reports. Statues of Confederate Gens. Robert E. Lee and PGT Beauregard are also due to be removed, the AP reports. Another monument, commemorating whites who tried to topple a biracial post-Civil War government, came down last month. The city council voted to remove the monuments in 2015, but more than a year of legal wrangling followed. On Wednesday, Orleans Parish judge Kern Reese ruled that the removal of the huge bronze statue of Beauregard on horseback can proceed, saying, "This has gone on an inordinate amount of time." (More New Orleans stories.)

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