NEW ORLEANS -- Mayor LaToya Cantrell continues to review a committee’s suggestions about what should happen to the Confederate monuments removed last year, despite cries from some to let the public decide their future.
Malcolm Suber, who heads up Take ’Em Down Nola, said Wednesday during a press conference on the steps of City Hall that he does not believe the committee’s recommendations are what most people in the city want.
“As far as I'm concerned personally, they (the monuments) could be thrown in the Mississippi River, but that's not for me to decide,” he said. “What we are saying is there should be a public process, and we are more than convinced the majority of the people in this city don't want to see these white supremacy monuments returned.”
The seven-person committee Cantrell set up includes people who opposed Landrieu’s plan to take down the statues of Confederate President Jefferson Davis, Confederate generals Robert E. Lee and P.G.T. Beauregard, and the Liberty Place monument.
That group suggested the statues of Lee and Beauregard should be moved to Greenwood Cemetery in Lakeview, while Davis’ statue should go to his former estate on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, The New Orleans Advocate reported.
Cantrell asked that the group make no suggestion about the future of the Liberty Place monument, a request it honored.
Among those on the committee is Charles Marsala, a frequent Landrieu critic who led opposition to the removal of the four monuments.
He said Cantrell is doing her best to try to work with all sides on an issue which has sharply divided many.
“I think LaToya's trying to find a compromise here,” Marsala said. “There's people on both extremes, there's people in the middle trying to work for a solution, and she reached out and said, ‘Give us your recommendations.’ ”
A spokeswoman for Cantrell said the mayor “believes that the future of the monuments belongs in the hands of those who care about them.”
“She asked those individuals to compile their suggestions. They did. Those recommendations are currently under review,” LaTonya Norton, Cantrell’s press secretary, said in a prepared statement. “Malcolm Suber’s stance on the monuments is well-established, and the goals of his group relative the monuments -- which have been taken down -- have been achieved.”