The group Take 'Em Down NOLA on Thursday renewed its call to eliminate more monuments celebrating slave owners and Confederate officials in New Orleans as other cities around the country have begun removing their own statues in response to the attack in Charlottesville, Virginia.
The group is seeking the removal of 13 statues in the city, including the equestrian monument to Andrew Jackson in Jackson Square. That monument, which commemorates Jackson's victory at the Battle of New Orleans in the War of 1812, has been a particular target of the group because Jackson owned slaves and, as president, was responsible for violently forcing Native Americans off their land in what came to be known as the Trail of Tears.
The group also wants the city to rename dozens of streets, buildings and institutions. In all, there are more than 100 symbols it wants removed or renamed.
White supremacists, many waving Nazi flags and chanting racist slogans, turned out in record numbers in Charlottesville last week to protest plans to remove a statue of Robert E. Lee. The event turned deadly when one pro-monument protester rammed his car into a group of counter-demonstrators, killing a woman and injuring nearly 20 other people.
In the wake of the attack, other local governments around the country have quickly begun taking down Confederate statues. President Donald Trump, meanwhile, has said the monuments should remain and has equivocated over who was to blame for the violence.
Take 'Em Down organizer Malcolm Suber and members of his group said at a news conference Thursday that the city's recent removal of its statues of Lee, Jefferson Davis, P.G.T. Beauregard and a monument to the white supremacist White League militia should be only the beginning.
The organization is asking the City Council to pass an ordinance mandating the removal of any monuments to slave owners and the renaming of any streets, parks or schools that honor them.
The group's demands are not new. Take 'Em Down has been pushing for the removal of more statues and other iconography for years, even before Mayor Mitch Landrieu two years ago called for removing four monuments after a white supremacist killed several black congregants at a church in Charleston, South Carolina.
That push eventually resulted in the removal of the four statues this spring, after several legal challenges caused lengthy delays.
Asked about Trump's comments on Charlottesville, which have been widely criticized for suggesting that both sides were equally to blame for the violence, Suber said the president has shown his true colors.
"I think the president has declared himself the president of the Confederacy," Suber said.
Suber said his group is planning a "Charlottesville solidarity" march on Saturday afternoon from Congo Square to Jackson Square.