New Orleans’ Robert E. Lee Statue to Come Down Friday

Authorities in New Orleans plan to dismantle the fourth of the city’s Confederate-era statues Friday, with the mayor to give a speech to mark the removal of a monument to Gen. Robert E. Lee. In a news release, city authorities said the monument was one of several “erected decades after the Civil War to celebrate the ‘Cult of the Lost Cause,’ a movement recognized across the South as celebrating and promoting white supremacy.” While the city has already taken down three other Confederate-era statues in late-night removals, Lee’s statue will be taken down during the day on Friday so that Mayor Mitch Landrieu can give a speech to mark the event. The city said it will have additional security, with the surrounding area to be blocked off. “We understand there are strong emotions surrounding this subject, and we ask that the public remain peaceful and respectful while demonstrating,” authorities said. Landrieu had first proposed the removal of the monuments in 2015, but opponents who say the move is an affront to the South’s heritage put up a legal battle.