Jackson statue remains despite protest to remove monument
NEW ORLEANS – Police and protesters confronted each other Saturday in the French Quarter during a planned protest to pull down the Andrew Jackson statue in Jackson Square by force.
Malcolm Suber, the leader of “Take ‘Em Down NOLA” told WGNO that his group planned to use ropes and manpower to remove the statue during Saturday’s protest at 1 p.m. Suber said that the protest was called after New Orleans has taken no action in the past nine months to remove other confederate statues.
"The Andrew Jackson is the iconic image of the city of New Orleans," Suber said. "There are more people that visit that statue than any other in this city, and so especially given that he was a slave owner and the architect of the Trail of Tears that murdered more than 5,000 native people, we think he is not deserving of any place of respect."
Seven people were arrested during a protest in Jackson Square Saturday.
According to NOPD, seven protesters were arrested by NOPD officers during the protest on Sept. 24. No injuries were reported and the protests ended peacefully.
Of the seven arrests, six were for disturbing the peace and the seventh was for aggravated assault. The unidentified man arrested for aggravated assault was allegedly carrying a box cutter.
The Andrew Jackson monument is not on the list of four monuments that New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu and the City council approved to remove last year. In December the City Council voted 6-1 to allow statues of Confederate President Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee, P.G.T Beauregard and the White League monument to be removed.
Landrieu said that vandalism of public property would not be tolerated.
Republican U.S. Senate Candidate and former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke attended counter protests to the event. Duke released a robo call late Friday night asking people to join him to support keeping the monument.
David Duke speaks to a crowd around the Jackson statue. A few dozen folks, many shouting at him. pic.twitter.com/TDXoelFm6y— Danny Monteverde (@DCMonteverde) September 24, 2016
Duke spoke briefly to a group of supporters before leaving to reportedly eat at a nearby hotel.
"Our officers showed great restraint and I’m extremely proud of them," NOPD Chief Michael Harrison said. "All in all we allowed our citizens to exercise their first amendment right and I don’t think you’ll see that done any where in the world as well as you’ll see it done here."
Despite threats to tear down the statue of Andrew Jackson in the French Quarter, no one attempted to cross police barricades and damage the monument.
Police and protestors confront each other at barricades blocking the Jackson statue. One man already in custody. pic.twitter.com/4Caknf4gzw— Danny Monteverde (@DCMonteverde) September 24, 2016
The gates to Jackson Square were closed after the protesters left, but the park will reopen Sunday during it's normal hours.
"There is a clean up process underway," Harrison said. "To my knowledge it will be open for regular business tomorrow. The barricades will not remain up."