In New Orleans, Confederate monuments are gone _ Lee last

In New Orleans, Confederate monuments are gone _ Lee last

The last of four Confederate monuments New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu wants removed from public property, the statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee, is set to spend just a few more hours looking to the north from its 60-foot column as crews prepare to remove it Friday (May 19).

City officials say the monuments will be moved somewhere such as a museum where they can be "placed in their proper historical context from a dark period of American history". The mass shooting recharged debate over whether Confederate emblems represent racism or an honorable heritage. Unlike the first three monuments, city officials plan to take Lee's statue down during the day.

Last month, a monument was taken down that commemorated an 1874 attack on the racially integrated city police and state militia by a white supremacist group called the "Crescent City White League".

Almost two years after the whole Confederate monument drama started, P.G.T Beauregard is dow...

FILE - In this September 2, 2015 file photo, the statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee stands in Lee Circle in New Orleans.

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu took photographs of the Jefferson Davis statue being removed from its pedestal overnight.

In a strongly-worded defense of the removal of the monuments, Landrieu slammed the defenders of the Confederate monuments for romanticizing what they believe are the heroic actions of the South during Civil War times and beyond, but forgetting about the bad things that also occurred. The local chapter of the Sons of Confederate Veterans sued the city in an effort to block the plan, and in March a U.S. Court of Appeals found in favor of the city, clearing the path for removal. "Today is a sign that we are forcing New Orleans to have a conversation about race and economics and politics that has honestly not happened here in the city before".

The city plans to leave the column at Lee's Circle intact and will mount public art in its place.

New death in Venezuela puts toll at level of 2014 unrest
On Wednesday, Maduro denounced the " fascist escalation " against his supporters, whom he called the " Jews of the 21st century ". Clashes have erupted across the country during protests in anger at Maduro's handling of an economic and political crisis .

"This "cult" had one goal", he explained, "through monuments and through other means, to rewrite history to hide the truth, which is that the Confederacy was on the wrong side of humanity.

And after the Civil War, these monuments were part of that terrorism as much as burning a cross on someone's lawn", Landrieu said. "These monuments celebrate a fictional account of the Confederacy".

Of the Confederate past, he said: "It's my history, but it's not my heritage". These men did not fight for the United States of America.

A couple of weeks later, a statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis was toppled; on Wednesday, a statue of Confederate General P.G.T. Beauregard was removed. Only nonprofits and government entities will be allowed to take part, and the city said the process will not include the Beauregard statue because of legal issues.

Certain conditions apply, however; the statues can not be displayed outdoors on public property in New Orleans.

Overnight there was an incident where someone in a auto took a flag from a monument supporter.

The city had kept quiet about the timing of the earlier ones, citing what it said were threats that some had made toward contractors who would do the work.

Backlash against removing New Orleans' Confederate monuments has been building.

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