New Orleans Begins Confederate Monument Removal
Was it because it would disrupt the normal flow of traffic that workers started dismantling the first of four Confederate monuments in New Orleans shortly after 2 AM this morning? Or, was it more about dealing with a highly emotional issue while most people were still asleep the reason the early morning hours were chosen?
Regardless of the reason, a contractor hired to begin the removal of these contentious monuments has begun the work that would bring down the controversial Liberty Monument. With a very strong New Orleans Police presence and the dispatching of snipers on the rooftops of buildings around the area, the removal process got underway under cover of darkness in the wee small hours of Monday morning.
Despite the fact that the New Orleans City Council voted to remove four monuments from the city's landscape by a vote of 6 to 1 there seems to be a more closely divided split among the populace of the Crescent City. That's the reason for the precautionary approach by police.
A group of protesters held a candlelight vigil around two of the memorials scheduled to be removed. It was then that unmarked construction vehicles or vehicles with the name of the contractor hidden by tape begin the dismantling process.
By the way, the monuments are not being destroyed. They are being dismantled and will be stored in city-owned warehouses. It will be up to the courts and public opinion to decide what their final fate will be.
When the bright light of Monday morning shines on New Orleans and a piece of the city's history has been removed is when you can expect the reality of the situation to become even more inflammatory. How will New Orleans react once the sun is shining on an empty piece of ground where a monument once stood? That remains to be seen.