NEW ORLEANS - Massive cranes and work trucks were being put into position early Thursday morning as the city prepared to remove the monument to former Confederate President Jefferson Davis.
Masked crews were again being used to protect the identity of those involved. A crew could be seen atop a crane, wrapping the statue in bubble wrap.
"This morning we continue our march to reconciliation by removing the Jefferson Davis Confederate statue from its pedestal of reverence," Tweeted Mayor Mitch Landrieu.
Dozens of vocal opponents and proponents of Confederate-era monuments gathered amid a large police presence as the second of the four Confederate-era monuments was being prepared to be removed from its location.
The Jefferson Davis Memorial, located at Jefferson Davis Parkway and Canal Street is being removed about two and a half weeks after the monument to the Battle of Liberty Place was removed.
Like that monument, the Davis memorial was being taken down in the wee hours. Unlike the previous removal, this one had a larger group of people to protest its removal.
The city began the process to remove the monuments late in 2015, but court challenges tied up the move - approved by the city council in a 6-1 vote - until recently.
In fact, a legal challenge was heard Wednesday morning on the status of the P.G.T. Beauregard monument, which sits at the entrance to City Park. Also slated for removal is the statue of Robert E. Lee at the city's iconic Lee Circle. That location was the site of a large demonstration by groups dedicated to removing the monuments. A few hundred monument supporters, many waving Confederate flags, stood to voice opposition.