NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) - NOPD Superintendent Michael Harrison assured the public Friday that protesters will not be taking down the Andrew Jackson statue in Jackson Square Saturday. The NOPD kept their word Saturday after hundreds of protesters tried to break police barriers surrounding the Andrew Jackson statue in Jackson Square.
A heavy police presence was in and around the square Saturday afternoon after community activist Malcolm Suber threatened to take down the statue with a group of protesters using ropes, chains and a lot of manpower. Suber is a coordinator of the group Take Em Down NOLA, which planned the march from Congo Square to Jackson Square on Saturday.
Before the crowd left Congo Square, Politician David Duke gave a speech in front of a crowd at Jackson Square. Duke said, "I tell you one thing. It was built by the forefathers of the European Americans who created this country and who gave us our constitution. Who gave us our freedoms and they should not lose their rights and liberty in their own country. They should not have their statues taken down."
While at Congo Square Suber also led a crowd and said to us, "The Andrew Jackson is the iconic image of the city of New Orleans," Suber says. "There are more people that visit that statue than any other in this city, and so especially given that he was a slave owner and the architect of the Trail of Tears that murdered more than 5,000 native people, we think he is not deserving of any place of respect."
New Orleans Mayor, Mitch Landrieu who did not attend the event Saturday said earlier this week that vandalism of public property will not be tolerated, and Saturday that's what the NOPD made sure didn't happen. The Andrew Jackson Statue still stands another night.