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In New Orleans, Confederate monuments are gone _ Lee last

In New Orleans, Confederate monuments are gone _ Lee last

Workers prepare to take down the statue of Robert E. Lee in New Orleans on Friday, the last of four Confederate-related monuments slated for removal. It's the last of four monuments to Confederate-era figures the city is removing.

Mayor Mitch Landrieu marked the historic moment with a rousing speech that sought to end almost two years of heated debate in the city over what the monuments said about its past.

Landrieu, who has supported the removal of four New Orleans statues amid a national effort to banish symbols such as the Confederate battle flag from public property, blasted so-called protectors of southern heritage who vehemently opposed the move.

Last month, a monument was taken down that commemorated an 1874 attack on the racially integrated city police and state militia by a white supremacist group called the "Crescent City White League". P.G.T. Beauregard early Wednesday.

A towering statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee no longer stands over the city of New Orleans. I tell you, with the other ones (the first 3 removed statues), I cried. Many Southern areas have done the same since nine black parishioners were fatally shot in 2015 by an avowed racist at a church in Charleston, South Carolina.

Mayor Landrieu gave a "special address" concerning the monuments' removal at Gallier Hall on Friday afternoon.

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"I think that would be a win-win for both the city of New Orleans being the donor of those statues here to us and certainly a win for us", he expressed concern.

Activists with Take 'Em Down NOLA say they now plan to push the City Council to pass an ordinance stating the city should have no buildings, statues or street or school names that reflect negative values of racism and white supremacy.

"After the Civil War, these statues were a part of that terrorism, as much as burning a cross on someone's lawn".

New Orleans has already removed statues of Confederate President Jefferson Davis and Confederate Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard. "These monuments celebrate a fictional, sanitized Confederacy; ignoring the death, ignoring the enslavement, ignoring the terror that it actually stood for", he said Friday.

The statues would be put in storage while the city looks for a suitable place to display them, the mayor has said.

"This cult had one goal and one goal only: through monuments and other means to rewrite history, to hide the truth, which is that the Confederacy was on the wrong side of humanity", Landrieu said.

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Mueller, in a statement tweeted by CBS News said: "I accept this responsibility and will discharge it to the best of my ability". Even as he erupted anew, fellow Republicans expressed hopes the move would restore some calm to a capital plunged into chaos.

Instead, perhaps these statues come to life and roam the streets, Godzilla-style, at night.

Rumors of the removal boiled over Thursday night with protesters flocking to Lee Circle before the city of New Orleans announced the removal of the final statue would take place at 9 a.m. Friday.

The Lee statue has stood atop Lee Circle - previously known as Tivoli Circle before also being renamed for General Lee - since 1884.

Attention now shifts to where the monuments will go and what will take their place.

The city wants to finish the work during its tricentennial year. Landrieu said the change was made to ensure the safety of the workers because of its proximity to electrical wires and New Orleans' famous streetcar lines.

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