The New Orleans City Council has voted to remove Confederate monuments along its most trafficked streets to distance itself from the past.
The city will remove four monuments, including a 131-year-old landmark statue of Robert E. Lee, after a 6-1 vote Thursday. The issue has been debated for months and the opposition is likely to file lawsuits to keep the monuments up.
Mayor Mitch Landrieu first proposed taking down the monuments after Dylan Roof killed nine people at a Church in Charleston, S.C., in June. He said it was time to “reckon with our past” and that the monuments reinforce the Confederate ideology of slavery, which limits progress of the city.
“The time surely comes when (justice) must and will be heard,” Mayor Mitch Landrieu told the council before the vote, according to reports. “Members of the council, that day is today. The Confederacy, you see, was on the wrong side of history and humanity.”
Councilwoman Stacy Head, the only member to vote against the removal, said she was hoping for a compromise instead.
“I asked for a compromise multiple times,” she said. “But that compromise was not given any chance.”
The other monuments set to be removed are a bronze figure of the Confederate president, a statue of local hero Pierre Gustave Touting Beauregard and an obelisk of honoring the Crescent City White League.
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