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New Orleans votes to remove Confederate statues

The New Orleans City Council voted 6-1 on Thursday to remove four Confederate monuments from the city, including those dedicated to Jefferson Davis and Civil War Gen. Robert E. Lee.

The decision followed months of heated debate, spurred in June when Democratic Mayor Mitch Landrieu, who is eyeing a Senate bid, requested the statues be taken out of the public square and placed in a museum.

{mosads}“The time surely comes when [justice] must and will be heard,” Landrieu said before the vote, according to The Times-Picayune. “Members of the council, that day is today.”

Councilman James Gray, who is black, said at the public forum the statues paid homage to “murders and rapists.”

“I am happy and impressed that we have a white mayor who understands a little bit what it means to be an African-American, and he’s on our side on this,” he said.

The lone dissenter on the panel, Councilwoman Stacy Head, said she voted against the measure because it had no limiting principle.

She asked her fellow council members whether other historical landmarks, such as a statue to former President and Battle of New Orleans war hero Andrew Jackson, should also come down.

Head had put forward a plan to add explanatory plaques to the monuments, but said “compromise was not given any chance.”

The four monuments, also including a statue of Confederate Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard and a plaque dedicating the Battle of Liberty Place — a paramilitary uprising by the Crescent City White League against the Reconstruction state government — were erected between 1884 and 1915.

Tags Confederacy Confederate States of America Mitch Landrieu New Orleans

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