A New Orleans Crowd Watched The Statue Of Confederate President Jefferson Davis Come Down Overnight

Very early Thursday morning, Danny Monteverde (of WWL-TV, New Orleans’ CBS affiliate) captured plenty of video footage and photos of the city’s removal of the second Confederate statue (with two more to go) after area lawmakers recently deemed the monuments as symbols of white supremacy, racism, and hate. The statues, located in an area near the cities downtown called Lee Circle, will be removed in favor of monuments that better represent the city’s ideals.

In the wee hours of Thursday, cranes lowered the 15-foot statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis, which had been sitting in Lee Circle since 1911, onto the back of an 18-wheeler and drove it away as a crowd of onlookers and media looked on. Members of the Take ‘Em Down crowd had gathered in celebratory anticipation.

The early-morning removal of the controversial statue was no mistake, as city officials had reportedly hoped to avoid too many protests. Last month, a 35-foot-tall statue known as the Liberty Place monument was the first to fall. That statue also was removed at night in hopes fewer people would be around to protest the removal. Nonetheless, this video shows the tension between pro-and anti-monument groups last night.

For two years, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu has argued the monuments should come down from the square. On Thursday, the mayor expressed his pleasure with their removal, via LA Times.

“These monuments have stood not as historic or educational markers of our legacy of slavery and segregation, but in celebration of it. I believe we must remember all of our history, but we need not revere it. To literally put the Confederacy on a pedestal in some of our most prominent public places is not only an inaccurate reflection of our past, it is an affront to our present, and a bad prescription for our future. We should not be afraid to confront and reconcile our past.”

Photos showed the statue being wrapped and prepped for removal.

Last week, white supremacists clashed with supporters of the Take ‘Em Down movement that led to the removal of the Civil War-era monuments. SWAT team members and police again stood between the two groups on Thursday as the pair shouted each other down. And here’s all that was left.

(Via LA Times and WWLTV)