Workers prepare to take down the statue of Robert E. Lee in New Orleans on Friday, the last of four Confederate-related monuments slated for removal. Gerald Herbert/AP hide caption
toggle caption Gerald Herbert/AP
Crowds gathered behind barricades in New Orleans on Friday to watch as workers began the hours-long process of removing a towering statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee.
It is the last of four Confederate-era monuments that New Orleans pledged to remove amid a swirl of controversy. Lee’s is the most prominent of the four — a 20-foot bronze statue atop a roughly 60-foot-tall column in Lee Circle.
NOLA.com is broadcasting live video of the removal.
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Mayor Mitch Landrieu began pushing for the monuments’ removal in 2015 after Dylann Roof massacred nine black Charleston church-goers. The New Orleans City Council approved the move later that year.
On April 24, a monument to a deadly 1874 white-supremacist uprising was the first to come down. A couple of weeks later, a statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis was toppled. And on Wednesday, a statue of Confederate Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard was removed.
But clearing out the