This Is How Nations Fall

Workers dismantle the Liberty Place monument, which commemorates a white paramilitary group that tried to topple a biracial post-Civil War government.

As Kevin Alfred Strom once said: “Nations are like leaves. They change color before they fall.”

ON THE SAME DAY that some southern states were honoring their rebel heritage, masked workers in New Orleans dismantled a monument to that past — chunk by chunk, under darkness and the protection of police snipers.

“We will no longer allow the Confederacy to literally be put on a pedestal,” Mayor Mitch Landrieu (D) said after a 19th-century obelisk honoring what the mayor called “white supremacists” was taken down early Monday.

The Battle of Liberty Place monument, which honors members of the Crescent City White League who died trying to overthrow the New Orleans government after the Civil War, was the first of four statues linked to the Confederacy that are set to be torn down in New Orleans.

Landrieu said that “intimidation and threats by people who don’t want the statues down” prompted him to order the monument removed before sunrise — without prior announcement, by masked workers, on the same day that some other states celebrate Confederate Memorial Day.

After a small group of protesters dispersed about 1:30 a.m., police officers barricaded surrounding streets, and snipers took position on a rooftop above the statue, according to the Times-Picayune. By 3 a.m., workers were drilling into the obelisk’s pale stonework.

Contractors wore face masks, helmets and what one reporter described at a news conference the next morning as “military-like bulletproof vests.” Landrieu said the workers were disguised for their protection.

People screamed at each other during the dismantling, as seen in video from WWL-TV.

“They didn’t hold a damn vote!” a man yelled.

“It’s beautiful watching it coming down,” a woman replied.

“It’ll be your statue next!” said the man.

Before dawn, the Liberty Place monument was trucked away in pieces.

The next morning, a New Orleans group called the Monumental Task Committee condemned the operation.

“This secretive removal under the cloak of darkness, outside of the public bid, masked contractors, and using unidentified money wreaks of atrocious government,” the group’s president said in a statement. “People across Louisiana should be concerned over what will disappear next.”

The mayor called the Liberty Place monument the most offensive of the city’s tributes to “the lost cause of the Confederacy.”

It and three other memorials to rebel leaders — Confederate President Jefferson Davis and Gens. Robert E. Lee and P.G.T. Beauregard — were ordered removed in 2015, after city meetings that the Times-Picayune described as rowdy and sometimes racially divided. Landrieu did not announce when the three other condemned statues will be removed. …

Charlottesville, was sued in March by a group trying to stop a similar purge of Confederate imagery there.

So even before Landrieu ordered masked workers to a square in New Orleans on Monday, there was angst across the South about how and if to mark this week’s anniversary of a rebel general’s surrender in 1865.

“In the immortal words of President Jefferson Davis, please just leave us alone,” a chaplain for a Confederate heritage group in Alabama wrote for last week, defending Monday’s state holiday to honor fallen rebel soldiers. “Let us honor the valor and bravery of our Southern heroes without intimidation and insult,” Barry Cook wrote. Like other defenders of Confederate heritage, Cook portrayed the Civil War as a battle for states’ rights, separate from slavery.

It’s also Confederate Memorial Day in Mississippi, where Gov. Phil Bryant (R) has repeatedly proclaimed April as Confederate Heritage Month.

Several other Southern states also recognize the holiday, including Louisiana, which will do so in June. Cities, however, don’t have to follow suit.

The monument New Orleans took down Monday marks a battle that occurred several years after the Civil War’s end in which White paramilitaries battled a mixed-race police force, causing deaths on both sides. A plaque removed from the monument in 1989 once hailed “white supremacy in the South,” according to the Times-Picayune.

At a news conference Monday morning, Landrieu read out the names of police who died in the Battle of Liberty Place. He derided their opponents as a “cult” in a statement.

The monument was trucked off to storage, Landrieu said, and will be relocated later, perhaps to a museum. He promised to stick to plans to remove the other three Confederate statues.

“I very strongly believe that we’re on the right side of history,” the mayor said.

But a reporter predicted that anger over the removals would become more intense as news spread of the sneak attack on the Liberty Place monument.

Just before the dismantling began, around midnight, competing protesters had gathered around the condemned Jefferson Davis memorial.

“The United States was built by immigrants, by slaves,” a Black woman said.

A White woman replied: “Your tribal leaders in Africa: go take it up with them, because they’re the ones that enslaved you.”

Workers dismantle the Liberty Place monument Monday.

* * *

Source: Washington Post

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25 April, 2017 1:19 am

I’ve said it before. First they get us to remove monuments to our heroes; then remove virtually any mention of them or their accomplishments from our history books…then they remove anyone who has any knowledge of these heroes or events from existence. After a generation or two, it will be as if all those things and we never existed. If the only place where monuments to history exist is in the minds of the people, then it’s easy to exterminate those people and permanently rewrite history any way you want it to be. This is a progression that’s not going to stop once all the marble and granite is gone. Disgusting communists.

Michael R
Michael R
26 April, 2017 1:42 am

Why do we let them do it? When will the Day of the Rope come?

26 April, 2017 6:09 am

Texas state holiday: January 19 – Confederate Heroes Day (partial staffing holiday)
House Bill 126, 42nd Legislature Regular Session. Chapter 8. Approved and Effective January 30, 1931 as Robert E. Lee’s Birthday.

Arvin N. Prebost
Arvin N. Prebost
26 April, 2017 10:01 am

The falsehood in the black woman’s statement, “America was built by slaves” is one of the reasons this happened. It paved the way.

I understand that only 5% of people had slaves, so at best, can we not say that the slaves built 5% of the plantations? Or that manual laborers (I am not talking about craftsmen) should be exalted, because they labored over a lot of stuff that they were directed to do?

But the slaves just did as they were told, as did the mules and the donkeys.

My ancestors did their own work, as I do today. We want it done right.

Just Gent
Just Gent
Reply to  Arvin N. Prebost
26 April, 2017 8:38 pm

Arvin, though I am totally sympathetic with the underlying message in your comment, I need to call out your flawed logic; if those 5% who had slaves owned 100% of the plantations, slaves would have built 100% of the plantations, not 5%. I hope you see what I mean.