Removal of 2nd Confederate statue in New Orleans to begin

Workers Thursday morning removed the statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis in New Orleans, the second of four Confederate monuments slated for removal in a contentious, months-long process that has sparked protests on both sides.

They wrapped the statue in bubble wrap early Thursday morning, and the Davis monument was successfully lifted off its foundation at 6:15 a.m. ET.

The remaining two monuments of Confederate generals Robert E. Lee and Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard are also slated for removal.

Small groups of pro-monument protesters have maintained a constant vigil at the statue since April 24, when the city took down the monument to the Battle of Liberty Place at the end of Iberville Street.

A committee member sued on Monday to stop the city from removing a statue of Confederate States Army General P.G.T. Beauregard. Landrieu said the statues will be put in storage while the city looks for a suitable place to display them, such as a museum.

Mayor Mitch Landrieu called for removal of the Confederate memorials in New Orleans in the same spirit.

To Burkhalter, those who want to keep the Confederate monuments and those who would tear them down are separated by a century.

The City of New Orleans had a Davis statue because Davis lived in New Orleans following the Civil War and died in the city in 1889, CNN reports.

"Another historic monument was removed under the cover of darkness using amateur, masked workers in armor, unmarked vehicles and equipment with a heavy police presence", said Peter McGraw, president of the Monumental Task Committee in a statement. The statues' removal follows decades of debate and a 2015 City Council vote at Mayor Mitch Landrieu's request. The original firm we'd hired to remove the monuments backed out after receiving death threats and having one of his cars set ablaze. It was moved from busy Canal Street to a more obscure location in the 1990s, with a plaque calling for racial harmony. "Today we continue the mission", said Landrieu. It was erected by the Crescent City White League to remember a deadly insurrection led by white supremacists against the city's racially integrated government. They are an inaccurate recitation of our past, an affront to our present and a poor prescription for our future.

Just beyond the chain link fence and barricades installed by police to ensure that simmering tensions didn't break into a boil, supporters and opponents of removal shouted into the night.

In recent weeks, the passions of those two groups - those who see the statues as history and heritage, and those who see them as symbols of racism and white supremacy - have resulted in sometimes violent clashes, as well as a number of arrests. "We should not be afraid to confront and reconcile our past".

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