Over the weekend, hundreds of people showed up in New Orleans to protest a statue of Andrew Jackson and other Confederate monuments.
Last year the city council voted to remove four of the monuments after heated public meetings but the effort has been stalled in the courts. A major hearing on their removal is slated for Wednesday.
The Take Em Down Nola group called for this latest demonstration in the historic French Quarter on Saturday. The group wants the statue of Andrew Jackson in Jackson Square taken down as well as wanting to protest the slow progress of taking down the Confederate monuments.
The group is justifying and advocating for the removal of various monuments saying they are linked to the city’s white supremacist history.
Michael Quess Moore who is one of the group’s organizers, said that Jackson was also a slave-owner who as president signed the controversial Indian Removal Act.
‘We are acting against white supremacist monuments,’ said Moore. ‘The majority of the city is not reflected by these monuments.’
The Advocate newspaper estimated about 200 people took part in the march to Jackson Square where they were met by dozens of police officers who had set up barricades around the monument.
Shortly before the protesters arrived, former KKK leader and U.S. Senate candidate David Duke and a small group of supporters called for the statue to be protected.
‘I am here to defend our American heritage. Our Louisiana heritage and our New Orleans heritage,’ he said.
Although the protests were mostly peaceful, a few fights broke out between demonstrators and resulted in seven people being arrested.