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Man sues to stop New Orleans from removing Confederate statue

13 May 2017

Demonstrators calling for the statues removal chanted: "Hey hey, ho ho, white supremacy's got to go" while those who would like them to stay waved Confederate battle flags and American flags.

Police prepared for the protests, knowing that both sides would be out in force on the same Sunday as the last day of Jazz Fest - a nationally popular music festival - and the 299th anniversary of the city's founding.

The city plans on removing three remaining Confederate monuments. Another memorial has already been removed. Judge Kern Reese scheduled a Wednesday morning hearing in the case. Hours earlier, monument supporters filed suit saying the city does not own the statue of Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard, and therefore can not remove it.

Officials say after they're removed, they'll be placed in storage and eventually relocated to a museum.

The judge in that suit refused Monday to issue an immediate, temporary order blocking removal of the Beauregard statue.

The state removed the Confederate flag from its statehouse in the weeks after the attack and other cities are also considering taking down monuments.

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The national attention comes after the group Take 'Em Down NOLA came face-to-face with pro-monument protesters on Sunday in front of the statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee in Lee Circle.

"We now have some documents that I believe will make a difference and show that City Park, as an incorporated association under the lieutenant governor's office, owns the land that the monument is on, and owns the monument", Marksbury said in front of the 15-foot sculpture.

The City Council voted to remove in 2015 to take down four monuments.

The first statue was the Liberty Monument, which commemorates whites who tried to topple a biracial post-Civil War government in New Orleans.

The statue honoring Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee is nearly 17 feet tall, stands on a 68-foot pedestal and weighs more than 3 tons. Robert E. Lee and P.G.T. Beauregard, and a 15,000-pound obelisk, almost 40 feet tall, commemorating the bloody 1874 attack by a racist white militia on integrated police forces during Reconstruction. Beauregard on horseback is at the main entrance to New Orleans City Park. In this battle over history, heritage and race, the mayor of New Orleans has said that these statues put the Confederacy on a pedestal, and that is out of step with today's values of racial diversity and inclusion.

Man sues to stop New Orleans from removing Confederate statue