Sometimes, great things happen after midnight
There’s a decent chance that, two days ago, you had no idea you were heading into work on a holiday. There probably weren’t any cakes or speeches in your office for Confederate Memorial Day, but the decidedly racist observation was conducted in several southern states, including Mississippi, Georgia, and Louisiana.
Though Louisiana’s official observation day is Saturday, June 3, there, unsurprisingly, didn’t seem to be a great deal of coordination, so marches and demonstrations took place concurrently with those in other states on April 24. While little came of the pro-Confederacy marches, gatherings, and bluster, headlines were made for much better reasons by the city of New Orleans, who figured the holiday was as good a time as any take down a statue that honors the Battle of Liberty in 1874.
The conflict pitted a white supremacy group known as the Crescent City White League against a recently integrated city police force in New Orleans. The statue had been standing since 1891, but under cover of night, workers donning body armor and masks got to work removing it. Contractors aiding in the removal also covered the logos on their shirts and trucks with tape to avoid retaliation from white supremacy groups.
According to recent reports, firefighters and, possibly, other city employees were involved in the removal as well:
'Handful' of New Orleans firefighters involved in Liberty Place removal, official says, raising safety concerns… https://t.co/7Hl8VMWr4d— New Orleans Advocate (@New Orleans Advocate)1493225954.0
Three more statues (honoring Confederate General Robert E. Lee, Confederate President Jefferson Davis, and Confederate General P.T. Beauregard) are slated to be “decommissioned” in the near future, but in light of security concerns, the city is keeping the dates of removal under wraps for now.
Unsurprisingly, the proposed removals have faced criticism, but a federal judge has upheld the city’s right to do so, leaving only logistics to sort out.
All four statues will be housed in storage until a suitable venue display is determined.