May 022017

Some pro-monument supporters stand alongside counter protesters after NOPD cleared the neutral ground around Jefferson Davis (Claire Byun/cbyun@nolamessenger.com).

By Claire Byun

Mid City’s Jefferson Davis Monument was the epicenter of protests and counter protests Monday evening, leading police to barricade the neutral ground around the statue.

A small group of monument supporters clashed with hundreds of counter protestors Monday evening for more than an hour. The pro-monument group – who have camped out at the statue since Friday – mostly stood up against the statue of the first and only Confederate president while counter protestors stared, screamed, and sang. During the tense standoff, police created a pathway for Confederate supporters through the crowd. The small pro-monument group was shepherded away in a pick-up truck.

Two flatbed trucks filled with metal barricades arrived shortly before midnight.

Police detained several people at the scene before clearing the neutral ground around the monument, sending counter protestors to either side of Jefferson Davis Parkway or across Canal Street. Officers stood guard in front of the monument until two large trucks full of metal barricades arrived shortly before midnight. Police set up a wide perimeter of barricades, and much of the crowd cleared out.

NOPD Chief Paul Noel told reporters the monument was staying put, at least for the night.

“I swear to God. Y’all do what you got to do,” Noel said.

Counter protestors and some observers gather in front of The Holy Ground bar after police cleared the neutral ground in front of the statue.

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