04/25/2017 (Tue) 01:14:17
Landrieu refused to say who the city would be using to remove the statues because of the intimidation attempts. The removals will begin at night to ensure police can secure the sites to protect workers, and to ease the burden on traffic for people who live and work in the city, Landrieu said.
"All of what we will do in the next days will be designed to make sure that we protect everybody, that the workers are safe, the folks around the monuments are safe and that nobody gets hurt," Landrieu said.
"The monuments are an aberration," he said. "They're actually a denial of our history and they were done in a time when people who still controlled the Confederacy were in charge of this city, and it only represents a four-year period in our 1,000-year march to where we are today."
The Liberty Place monument, was an 1891 obelisk honoring the Crescent City White League.
Landrieu has called the Liberty Place monument "the most offensive of the four" and said it was erected to "revere white supremacy."
"If there was ever a statue that needed to be taken down, it's that one," he said.
The Crescent City White League attempted to overthrow a biracial Reconstruction government in New Orleans after the Civil War. That attempt failed, but white supremacist Democrats later took control of the state.
An inscription added in 1932 said the Yankees withdrew federal troops and "recognized white supremacy in the South" after the group challenged Louisiana's biracial government after the Civil War. In 1993, these words were covered by a granite slab with a new inscription, saying the obelisk honors "Americans on both sides" who died and that the conflict "should teach us lessons for the future."
The Liberty Place monument had been the target of a previous lawsuit after the city removed it from a location on the main downtown thoroughfare of Canal Street during a federally financed paving project in 1989. The city didn't put the monument back up until it was sued, and moved the monument to an obscure spot on a side street near the entrance to a parking garage.