COMPROMISE? How The New Orleans City Council Could Save Lee Circle From Mitch Landrieu

For New Orleans’ four historical monuments, which Mayor Mitch Landrieu has targeted for removal, the idea was always clear that the plan seemed to be all or nothing.

No monuments or all monuments. Removal or no removal.

However, a compromise is beginning to become increasingly mainstream with Councilwoman Latoya Cantrell mentioning the idea after she announced that she was not in favor of removing Lee Circle, PGT Beauregard’s City Park statue, the Jefferson Davis monument and the Liberty Place monument.

Cantrell said, though, that the most opposition seems to be with the Liberty Place monument, which was erected by ex-Confederates Democrats to commemorate members of the White League who had died in a bloody battle in 1874.

Liberty Place monument has since been redesigned with an interpretive plaque to commemorate those in the Metropolitan Police Force who died fighting in the battle for the Republican-led Reconstruction of the city.

Of course, in WWL’s latest report on the Liberty Place monument, it goes into great length to explain the historical reference of the monument, but entirely fails to leave out the interpretive plaque. Here’s what WWL reported:

The Liberty Monument is a 35-foot-tall obelisk, which was erected to commemorate a violent insurrection led by ex-Confederates in 1874.

The 5,000 White League members, predominately ex-Confederate Democrats who opposed Republican-led Reconstruction, including civil rights for blacks following the Civil War, led an armed uprising against the 3,500 member bi-racial Metropolitan Police force. The attempted coup left dozens dead, and briefly disposed the sitting governor, but helped to ultimately end Reconstruction. The White League uprising represents one of the largest killings of municipal police in American history.

A monument was erected in 1891, and listed the names of those White Leaguers killed in the uprising.

No mention of the revised design of Liberty Place.

Nonetheless, with Cantrell behind a compromise, she could potentially lead a group of New Orleans City Council members who want to see a bipartisan approach.

Councilwoman at Large Stacy Head and District A Councilwoman Susan Guidry could both become a part of Cantrell’s compromise deal, as they have both been quiet on the issue.

Only until recently did Head blast the Landrieu administration for essentially ramming the issue through the City Council, all while seeking out contractors and storage space for when the monuments are potentially removed.

District C Councilwoman Nadine Ramsey remains the issue’s ‘swing vote,’ meaning she could join Cantrell, Head and Guidry on a compromise deal or side with the three male City Council members.

Either way, it’s obvious that Councilman at Large Jason Williams, District D Councilman Jared Brossett and District E Councilman James Gray all seem to be set on removing all four monuments, rather than focusing on a compromise.

Ramsey only has just a few days left to decide on the issue, as the City Council is expected to vote on the matter on Dec. 17.

Stay with the Hayride for exclusive updates and stories on this developing issue.



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