Confederate monument removal bid process stalled amid threats, unresolved court case, city of New Orleans says _lowres

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--A diverse group of streetcar riders pass by Lee Circle in New Orleans, La. Thursday, July 9, 2015 where an 1884 monument to Confederate General Robert E. Lee was placed in what once was Tivoli Circle or Place du Tivoli. New Orleans only spent 15 months in the Confederacy and spent the majority of the Civil War under Union control when the city was captured in 1862 with zero casualties. The monuments that current Mayor Mitch Landrieu has asked to be removed from the public view in the city, which is 58% African American, were all placed many years after the Civil War as monuments to white supremacy. The Lee statue was commissioned and erected by the Lee Monument Association made up of ex-Confederates, their children, and white Southerners.

As the removal of Confederate monuments continues to swirl in controversy around New Orleans, getting resolutions will have to continue to wait.

The start of the monument relocation bid process — scheduled for Monday — has been cancelled, according to WWLTV, as the matter continues to be stayed by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.

This is the third time the deadline for contract bids have been pushed back.

The physical removal of the monuments has been made difficult after potential contractors continue to drop out, stemming from local intimidation and violent threats.

"Throughout this process, the safety of potential bidders has been paramount," said Hayne Rainey, a press secretary for Mayor Mitch Landrieu. "Due to the previous violence and threats during the bid process, we will wait to re-advertise the project until we feel confident a resolution in the Court is near and a contractor may be publicly procured so that monuments may be relocated without further delay."

The New Orleans city council voted to remove the Robert E. Lee statue at Lee Circle late last year. The P.G.T. Beauregard statue near City Park, the Jefferson Davis Memorial on Jefferson Davis Parkway and the monument to the Battle of Liberty Place tucked away off of Canal Street were also voted to be removed.