The Monumental Task Committee in New Orleans has planned to hold a public forum Tuesday evening to discuss the future of four controversial Confederate monuments in the city, WDSU reported. The committee said the forum will feature authors, architects and artists who will discuss the possible removal of the monuments.
The Monumental Task Committee is an all-volunteer, nonpolitical organization dedicated to preserving New Orleans monuments. Last month, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu called on the City Council to remove four Confederate monuments: the Robert E. Lee monument at Lee Circle, the Gen. PGT Beauregard statue at City Park, the Jefferson Davis monument in Mid-City and the Liberty Monument near Canal Street. The Monumental Task Committee said that it does not support the removal of any monuments.
"Our goal for the forum is to unite rather than divide the city of New Orleans by offering constructive and alternative solutions," said Monumental Task Committee President Pierre McGraw, WDSU reported.
The forum will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. local time at Generations Hall on Andrew Higgins Drive in New Orleans. Discussions regarding alternative solutions -- such as the installation of new monuments, informative plaques and suggestions for new names of the monuments are scheduled to take place at the forum, organizers of the event said, WDSU reported. The forum “will present constructive solutions to the monumental issue facing New Orleans without removing any of her historic monuments,” the Monumental Task Committee’s website stated.
Many people in New Orleans have shown support for the removal of the Confederate monuments after a white man inspired by supremacist ideologies gunned down nine people at a historically black church in Charleston, South Carolina, in June. The Historic District Landmarks Commission and the Human Relations Commission both voted to recommend the removal the monuments earlier this month at two public hearings, and City Councilman Jared C. Brossett told the International Business Times last month that the majority of his constituents want the monuments taken down.
— Greg Adaline (@gregadaline) August 20, 2015
“We are a city with a bright future, and by facing the issue of racial tension that continues to exist, I think we can move forward in a spirit of healing those tensions by removing the monuments,” said Brossett, the International Business Times previously reported. “I think it’s time to look to symbols of unity and advancement and not division and stagnation. We have people of diverse backgrounds, and we will continue to live together side by side.”
There has also been a significant amount of backlash to Landrieu’s proposal to remove the monuments. Along with the Monumental Task Committee, another group called “Save Our Circle” has collected 23,598 signatures for a petition opposing the removal of the Robert E. Lee monument on Change.org. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal also issued a statement to WWL-TV earlier this month that said he does not support the removal of the monuments.
— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) August 15, 2015