Large crowds took to New Orleans streets Saturday afternoon for a march to show solidarity after recent violence in Charlottesville, Va.
The group Take 'Em Down NOLA is led the march — from Congo Square to Jackson Square — in conjunction with hundreds of other marches across the country meant to show opposition to the white-supremacist protests and attacks.
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For the last few years, the group Take ‘Em Down Nola has led the city’s efforts to remove four prominent Confederate statues. After legal delays, protests and much controversy, those statues were taken down this summer
New Orleans police said they were "prepared to take necessary precautions" to ensure safety during the march, according to a report from WWL-TV.
In one of the largest protests the city has seen in years, several hundred people poured int…
Some expressed wariness about hosting local protests, fearing violence in the wake of what happened in Charlotttesville, where white supremacists waving Nazi flags and chanting racist slogans turned out in record numbers a 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, Heather Heyer, and injuring nearly 20 other people.
Others see it as a key moment to show solidarity. “Hope and a shared vision are driving us into the street to raise our voices against the rising tide of violent white nationalism that threatens us all, wrote longtime national organizer Malkia Cyril, head of the Center for Media Justice, in a Friday Facebook post.
In the wake of the melee in Charlottesville, Baltimore and other local governments began to take down Confederate statues, noting that most of them were erected during mandated, “Jim Crow” segregation and were intended to reinforce the white domination of the time. But the issue has become a national flash point. The nation's most prominent critic, President Donald Trump has maintained that Confederate monuments should remain, calling them “beautiful.”
Follow below for live updates from the march as it takes place. Can't see updates? Click here. (Story continues below updates).
On Thursday, leaders of Take ‘Em Down Nola noted that their work will not be complete until no statues, street names and schools bear the names of white supremacists. In a draft city ordinance released on Thursday, the group proposed 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.
As it will make clear during the march today, Take ‘Em Down Nola also wants the city to rename more than 100 streets, parks, buildings and institutions that were named for white-supremacist slave owners.
"We've been here before ourselves in New Orleans, and even with the removal of four symbols to white supremacy, our work here is not done," read the event's description.
The group Take 'Em Down NOLA on Thursday renewed its call to eliminate more monuments celebr…