Strong emotions over court ruling to take Confederate monuments down

Caresse Jackman talks about an appeals court decision on the removal of Confederate Monuments.

NEW ORLEANS -- Emotions are high after a court ruling gave the City of New Orleans permission Monday to take down three Confederate monuments. 

MORE: Appeals court rules New Orleans can remove Confederate-era monuments

Many believe the monuments are a symbol of racism, while others say they represent history and heritage.

"As far I am concerned they can be thrown in the Mississippi River," Take Em Down NOLA coordinator Malcolm Suber said.

Suber is calling the Fifth District Court of Appeals ruling a victory.

The court sided with a district court, giving the city of New Orleans approval to take down the statues of Robert E. Lee at Lee Circle, P.G.T. Beauregard near City Park, and Jefferson Davis on Jeff Davis Parkway.

Mayor Mitch Landrieu proposed the removal, with the City Council approving it more than a year ago. The proposal sparked several protests, demonstrations and court battles.

Mayor Landrieu released a statement saying in part:

"There are however, several people who are angry and appalled at the court ruling. Many people who want to see the statues remain up say you cannot change history."

Members of the Monumental Task Committee fought to keep the statues. The committee released a statement saying that they are carefully

Residents took to social media voicing their anger. Many people on WWL-TV's Facebook page said they cannot picture the area without the monuments. Others wrote in saying that the court's decision is just plain stupid.

"I have no interest at all in preserving white supremacy monuments that honor the people who try to enslave and exploit our people," Suber said.

Suber said he is now looking ahead to his next fight. He wants Andrew Jackson's statue at Jackson Square changed to honor runaway slave and abolitionist Harriet Tubman.

"If Harriet Tubman can be placed on the $20 bill, in coming years, we can remove Jackson from Jackson Square and call it Tubman Square," Suber said.

Eyewitness News did reach out to the Monumental Task Committee for an interview on camera, but they declined.

The city will now have to hire a contractor or crew to take down the statues. Mayor Mitch Landrieu said the city will begin accepting bids from companies within the next few days.


 

© 2017 WWL-TV


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