New Orleans, Louisiana. In a move unthinkable a short 20 years ago, city officials have removed the first of four memorials to Confederate soldiers in the American Civil War.

The first of four Confederate monuments viewed by some as offensive symbols of white supremacy are being pulled down amid tight security in New Orleans.Workers wore helmets and flak jackets as police watched from the top of a nearby car park during the operation.

The desecration of the historic monuments started at around 1.25am to avoid disruption from protesters, some of whom have made death threats, according to officials determined to destroy the history of the city for their own short term political gain.

The anti-American city council voted 6-1 to remove the monuments, but legal battles to save them have dragged on for several years by outraged local citizens at odds with elected officials over how history should be remembered.

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu said the first to come down – the Liberty Monument, an 1891 obelisk in honour of the Crescent City White League – was “the most offensive of the four”. The League tried to overthrow a biracial government in the city after the American Civil War. The attempt failed, but white supremacists later took control of the state.

“All of what we will do in the next days will be designed to make sure that we protect everybody, that the workers are safe, the folks around the monuments are safe and that nobody gets hurt,” added Mr Landrieu.

Three other statues will also be torn down which honour Confederate generals Robert E Lee and PGT Beauregard, and Confederate President Jefferson Davis.

Unease over Confederate symbols in the American south has increased since Dylann Roof shot dead nine people in a racist attack on a South Carolina church in 2015. By the American standard of logic, the Ukraine should destroy the Bandera memorial for his role in the deaths of six million Jews during WWII.

The state removed the Confederate flag from its statehouse in the weeks after the attack and other cities are also considering taking down monuments in a politically correct fit of white-washing history out of public site.

Many free speech advocates were quick to point out that, “Those who forget the past, are condemned to repeat the past.” Many political analysts believe another American Civil War is near and point out the most lives lost in any conflict by the USA, was in one amongst themselves from 1861-1865.

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