…“Three weeks ago, we began the process of removing statues erected to honor the ‘Lost Cause of the Confederacy,’ ” said Mayor Mitch Landrieu (D). “This morning, we continue our march to reconciliation by removing the Jefferson Davis Confederate statue from its pedestal of reverence.”
…[Some supporters of the statues’ removal] marched in a second-line parade to the traffic circle where Lee’s statue stands …to protest the monument’s place in the circle. …They were met by Confederate-flag wavers keeping vigil there, some wearing riot gear.
…At Lee Circle, there was some yelling between the pro-monument and anti-monument crowds and some icy stares. Much of the fury and the verbal challenges came from the monument defenders, who appeared to be outnumbered by the second-line participants by at least two to one.
…Davis was captured in the waning days of the war by Union soldiers after he fled the Confederate capital in Richmond.
“His cause went down in disastrous defeat and left the South impoverished for generations,” Smithsonian Magazine noted, adding: “Many Americans in Davis’s own time and in later generations considered him an incompetent leader, if not a traitor.”
…As the Davis statue came down, a group of proponents for removal who had been largely absent from the area around the Davis memorial since a series of verbal clashes and minor skirmishes with monument defenders, chanted “Na-na, na, Naa-na, goodbye,” according to people at the scene.
The group stood behind police metal barricades, near the corner of Canal St. and Jefferson Davis Parkway, on an expansive grassy median known in New Orleans as “the neutral ground,” a reference to the way that the space once served as a conflict-free zone where the Spanish and French settlers who once battled for political, economic and social for control of this city engaged in trade.
Across the intersection, monument defenders watched in a state of sad disbelief.
…Hours after the statue was removed by crane, the Times-Picayune reported that crews were still at the site, “attempting to [re]move the pedestal on the statue sat. … It appears [getting rid of] the pedestal is turning out to be a difficult task.” [emphasis: mine]