Frustrated, Armed with Ropes, Activist Group Plans to Pull Down Andrew Jackson Monument

Jeff Adelson, New Orleans Advocate, September 15, 2016

A New Orleans activist group is threatening to pull down the iconic statue of Andrew Jackson in Jackson Square in response to what its members said are unreasonable delays in removing four monuments elsewhere in the city honoring Confederate leaders and a 19th century white supremacist militia.

Take ‘Em Down NOLA, which has led calls to remove the four statues and other honors to people it considers were white supremacists, will make an effort to tear down what may be the city’s most recognizable statue during a protest later this month in Jackson Square, organizers said.

Legal delays have kept statues of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, Confederate President Jefferson Davis, Confederate Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard and a monument to a militia known as the White League standing nine months after the City Council authorized their removal from their public locations.

“We’re going to go to Jackson Square. We’re going to put ropes around Andrew Jackson and we’re going to take him down off his pedestal,” Take ‘Em Down organizer and longtime civil rights activist Malcolm Suber said during a public forum the group held Thursday night.

The demonstration, scheduled for Sept. 24, will come a few days before judges of the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals are scheduled to hear arguments over whether to lift an order that halted the removal of the other four statues.

“The key is we’re not going to wait,” Take ‘Em Down organizer Angela Kinlaw told the forum. “The city has taken plenty of time to make a decision. But the people are ready to move.”

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Asked whether protesters would actually attempt to pull down the monument, Kinlaw said it was largely a symbolic effort, but that “anything can happen during a demonstration.”

Suber said after the meeting that the effort would succeed “if we’ve got enough people and we’ve got enough rope.”

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