New Orleans removes 2nd of 4 Confederate statues before dawn

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The staff at the Morris Jeff Community School, located near the Jefferson Davis monument, sent out a recorded message late Wednesday to parents, saying that the New Orleans Police Department had confirmed that the statue would be removed overnight.

The Davis monument is the second of four confederate statue to be removed by the city.

A statue of Confederate president Jefferson Davis was dismantled in New Orleans early on Thursday, the second of four monuments slated to be taken down by the city where critics say the displays glorify the era of slavery in the USA south.

Officials had refused to give advance public notice of Thursday morning's removal, citing threats of violence against contractors and workers involved in the effort. This was the second of four Confederate monuments slated for removal in a contentious process that has sparked protests on both sides. It honored the Crescent City White League, which battled the racially integrated local government after the Civil War.

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The Jefferson Davis Monument is one of four monuments that critics have been pushing to have dismantled in New Orleans. The monument commemorating the Battle of Liberty Place was removed April 24, 2017.

A statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee is also supposed to be taken down.

The 6-foot-tall bronze statue stands atop a roughly 12-foot tall column in a street also named after Davis. Unveiled in 1884, the monument is on a mound at a traffic circle - Lee Circle - that splits historic St. Charles line and the rail line on which 1920s-era streetcars rumble by. Monument supporters say each of the statues weighs tons and they feared moving the aging icons could result in significant damage.

Critics of the monuments say they foster racism by celebrating leaders of the pro-slavery South during the US Civil War.

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As the statue was lifted shortly after 5:00 am, those who wanted it removed cheered and sang the chorus from "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye". Demonstrators both for and against the removal of Confederate era statues had gathered at the site. The statues are coming down after a judge rejected a last-minute injunction to halt the removal of the monuments.

"I think what New Orleans is experiencing right now certainly is not unique", said Tulane Associate Professor of African and English studies Nghana Lewis.

In fact, a legal challenge was heard Wednesday morning on the status of the P.G.T. Beauregard monument, which sits at the entrance to City Park. The monument's supporters at that point watched mostly in silence, some holding up Confederate banners.

The group said they have new documents that show City Park, not the city of New Orleans, owns the statue.

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