NEW ORLEANS, LA (CBS) — The city of New Orleans, Louisiana, says it has begun taking down a monument to General P.G.T Beauregard Tuesday night.
This is the third of four Confederate-era monuments to be removed from the city in recent weeks.
The announcement comes after the city had already taken down a statue of the Confederacy’s only president and a memorial to a white rebellion against a biracial Reconstruction-era government in the city.
Mayor Mitch Landrieu first proposed removing the monuments in 2015, and the City Council approved the move that year. But the process was stuck in legal limbo for over a year as supporters fought to keep them up.
Supporters say removing the monuments is akin to erasing history. Those calling for their removal say they glorify a shameful part of the city and country’s history.
Police began moving pro-monument supporters away from the bronze equestrian statue of Confederate Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard at the entrance to City Park shortly after 7 p.m. Tuesday in preparation for its removal.
“Today we take another step in defining our City not by our past but by our bright future,” said Mayor Mitch Landrieu in a statement issued Tuesday around 8:30 p.m. “While we must honor our history, we will not allow the Confederacy to be put on a pedestal in the heart of New Orleans.”
Landrieu also said that the removal would cause some traffic issues with the following street closures: Moss Street between Desaix Boulevard and Esplanade Avenue and North Carrolton Avenue between Esplanade Avenue, and City Park Avenue will be closed to vehicular and pedestrian traffic.