You can't be anti-participation trophies and pro Confederate statues. They are the world's biggest participation trophies.
— Larry Beyince (@DragonflyJonez) April 24, 2017
I first saw the story in the Washington Post, but here’s how one of the local papers covered it. From the New Orleans Advocate:
The removal of New Orleans’ monument to the Battle of Liberty Place under the cover of darkness early Monday morning marks a turning point in the nearly two-year-old debate over the fate of four Jim Crow-era statues.
Three other monuments targeted by Mayor Mitch Landrieu — memorializing Confederate generals Robert E. Lee and P.G.T. Beauregard and Confederate President Jefferson Davis — also are scheduled to come down, though the timing and other details of the removal are closely guarded secrets.
The dismantling of the Liberty Place obelisk came hours before a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit by groups seeking to keep the four monuments in place. The case had held up the removal for more than a year before judges on the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled recently that the city could proceed with its plans.
Of the four, the Liberty Place monument was widely seen as the most objectionable, and Landrieu explicitly described it that way. The 1891 monument commemorated a violent 1874 uprising by a local militia known as the White League, which fought with members of New Orleans’ biracial police force as it ousted the state’s “carpetbagger” Reconstruction-era government for several days before President Ulysses S. Grant sent in federal troops…
City officials said they were keeping details about the removals under wraps in light of threats and harassment reported by contractors who had previously been hired or expressed interest in the job. The Police Department’s SWAT team watched over the removal, with sharpshooters posted in a nearby parking garage and K-9 units checking the scene…
At one point, Joey Cargol, an opponent of taking down the statues who had been loudly criticizing the police and demanding to see a permit for the work, walked up to Suber. Acknowledging that they were on opposing sides, Cargol said he hoped they could agree the removal itself should have been handled more transparently.
“I know we’ve disagreed on a lot of things, but this is not the ways things should be handled,” Cargol said.
“They could have done this, announced it and let people show their opinion,” Suber said. “This is the coward’s way.”
“It’s hard to handle a defeat like this and hard to celebrate a victory like this,” Cargol replied.
With all due respect for those more immediately impacted, given the temper of the times, I can see why the Mayor chose this path. We’ve got quite enough would-be “heroes” wandering around armed and dangerously stupid, and too many martyrs already.
Apart from ongoing civic improvements, what’s on the agenda for the day?