Masked metropolis employees in New Orleans have eliminated the final of 4 monuments to the pro-slavery revolt defeated within the US Civil Conflict.
The 133-year-old statue depicted Basic Robert E Lee, the highest navy chief within the Confederacy, crossing his arms as he confronted north in the direction of his outdated enemy.
Critics say monuments to the Confederacy are racially offensive, however supporters say they’re necessary symbols of town’s Southern heritage.
The three different statues had been all eliminated at evening to restrict clashes.
The employees on the job had been carrying bullet-proof vests in addition to masks.
In a press release on Thursday, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu stated the condemned statues “had been erected many years after the Civil Conflict to have a good time 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 had been additionally quickly taken down to permit building gear into the park.
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Earlier than police cleared the realm on Thursday, practically 200 protesters gathered to voice assist and opposition to the monument.
Demonstrations had been largely 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 return 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 folks got here to observe, the Each day Picayune newspaper reported the subsequent day.
On the precise 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 Each day Picayune reported.
Metropolis officers say the monuments might be moved someplace equivalent 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 fairly 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.