New Orleans takes down 3rd Confederate-era monument

The 100-plus protesters and onlookers were mostly peaceful, though there were a few minor clashes around 11 p.m.

The city of New Orleans will take down a prominent statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee on Friday, completing the southern city's removal of four Confederate-related statues that some called divisive.

His was the third of four monuments coming down in the city's attempt to rectify post-Civil War divisions and eliminate icons of white supremacy from places of prominence, but some object to what they consider erasing history.

The Robert E. Lee statue was a familiar landmark for tourists and commuters who travel busy St. Charles Avenue by auto or on one of the city's historic streetcars. The issue gained momentum after the 2015 massacre of nine black parishioners in Charleston, South Carolina, by a self-described white supremacist. Contractors in the removal process have been threatened, and the work stalled for months as statue supporters looked in vain to the courts to stop it.

Those removing the first two memorials generally wore bulletproof vests, helmets and face coverings to shield their identities as the work took place well after midnight to minimize attention.

Some people see the Confederate monuments as symbols of racial injustice and slavery, and others say they are a part of history and heritage.

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Well, according to New Orleans native, and conservative columnist, absolutely. It commemorated the Battle of Liberty Place - a rebellion in 1874 by whites against a biracial Reconstruction-era government in New Orleans.

New Orleans has already taken down the Davis statue as well as that of Confederate Gen. PGT Beauregard. The giant statue of Robert E. Lee in the middle of Lee Circle. "It's always made me feel as if they were put there by people who don't respect us".

Beauregard commanded the attack at Fort Sumter, South Carolina, that marked the outbreak of the Civil War.

Of the four monuments, Lee's was easily the most prominent, with the bronze statue alone being close to 20 feet tall. The monument of Jefferson Davis, the slave-owning president of the Confederate States, was taken down earlier this week. It was unveiled in 1884.

"Mitch Landrieu removed a monument to G T Beauregard, arguably the most historically significant Creole to ever live", said Peirre McGraw, President of the Monumental Task Committee, in a Facebook post.

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