Group frustrated with delay removing confederate monuments

'Take 'Em Down NOLA' members say they are frustrated at the delay in taking down four Confederate-era monuments.

NEW ORLEANS, La. - Frustration is growing among members of one local group who demand the removal of four confederate monuments in the city. 'Take Em Down NOLA' expressed their anger toward the city about the project's delay.

Nearly 14 months after the decision was made to remove the monuments, the group is wondering why they're still standing.

“There has been a lot of curiosity about why that can't happen," said member Katie Wills.

“These statues were put up to reinforce the notions of white supremacy, they were put up to intimidate African-American people, and we don’t think they should be allowed to stand," said Malcolm Suber, also with Take Em Down NOLA.

At a press conference Monday, the group expressed frustration regarding the city's efforts to take down the Robert E. Lee, P.G.T. Beauregard, Jefferson Davis and Liberty Place monuments. They were clearly displeased with how long it has taken.

“I think people deserve to have a chance to celebrate an end to this really long history of oppression in this city," said Wills.

The project comes with a hefty price tag after only one bid came to the city at $600,000 - much steeper than the city had expected. Even after receiving an anonymous donation of $170,000 it's still unclear how the city will pay for the job. Safety has also caused delays after threats were received by those associated with the monuments' removal.  A request for an interview was answered with a statement saying:

"As we said last week, the rumors shared with you are not factual. Cuzan, LLC provided a bid and the required post-bid documents to remove three of the Confederate monuments. We remain committed to taking down the Confederate monuments and securing the funds necessary to do so.  The city has up to 45 days from the day of the bid opening to award a contract. Due to the widely known intimidation, threats and violence there remains serious safety concerns. Therefore, we will not be sharing the details on removal timeline."

However as frustrations mount with 'Take Em Down NOLA' they say they'll just have to wait it out, no matter how much longer the removal could take.

"This has always been a public conversation, this is about public space, it's about symbolism," said Quess Moore.

© 2017 WWL-TV


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