New Orleans removes third Confederate-era monument

New Orleans authorities remove third monument from Confederate era

A monument to General Pierre Gustave Toutant-Beauregard was removed early in the morning (Credit: Twitter @RELEVANT)

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Authorities in New Orleans have now removed a third monument from the Civil War era.

The monument to General Pierre Gustave Toutant-Beauregard (P. G. T.), the top Southern general at the start of the Civil War, was lifted off the base of its former location in the Louisiana city just after 3am on Wednesday, in accordance with the city council's vote to remove them.

Onlookers sat and watched the procession in deck chairs, while supporters of the monument waved Confederate flags.

The monument, like other statues of Southern Civil War leaders, has come under increasing fire in recent years from protesters. The Southern Confederacy was made up of slave-owning states which had broken away from the rest of the country because they refused to accept emancipation.

However, while some view the statues as shrines to slavery and racism, others believe they are a legitimate way to honour American history and have no bearing on the modern country.

The work to remove them has met with bitter opposition from supporters of the monuments. Contractors were originally forced to wait as monument campaigners appealed for help from the courts, and have been threatened. 

Workers on the first two removals were forced to wear bulletproof vests, and had their faces covered for their own safety. 

The second statue was removed under heavy police guard last week as protesters clashed.