San Antonio Removes Confederate Statue From Travis Park

Although there have been discussions about the statue’s removal for years, it became a high-priority issue this summer when Roberto Treviño and William “Cruz” Shaw filed a council-consideration request, the process used by council members to put proposals before their colleagues.

We Say: San Antonio’s Summer of Appeasement continued this week. A monument entreating the viewer to remember the Confederate dead, a part of San Antonio for over 100 years is gone. 

There was no vote of the citizens, no referendum. Only a small but very vocal few that convinced our City Council they had a right not to be offended by something they happened to look at. The opposing view thinks we should remember those who fought for the Confederate Army, who died in the bloodiest war the US has ever fought, even as we vow “never again.” Obviously, they were not as persuasive to our Council whose minds were already made up.


Republished from MySanAntonio.com, by Kelsey Bradshaw and Sarah Ravani, September 1, 2017. Image credits: Tom Reel, San Antonio Express-News. Contributor: Donald Krebs.


Media: San Antonio Express-News – CLICK TO VIEW THE VIDEO

 
The Confederate statue that has overlooked Travis Park for more than 100 years is gone.
 

Shortly before 2 a.m., workers were overheard saying: “We are floating. Go ahead and take it up easy.”

“10-4 coming up easy,” someone responded. “Alright we’re clear?”

“You’re good to go sir,” said someone else.

RELATED: City sued as debate over Confederate statue unfolds

And within seconds, the statue was slowly lifted into the air by a crane. Prior to lifting the statue into the air, a man in a cherry picker sawed off parts of the statue, sending a plume of smoke into the air.

The Confederate statue that overlooked a downtown San Antonio park for more than 100 years was removed Aug. 30, 2017.

A group of about eight bystanders behind a police barricade started cheering loudly and yelled, “Hey hey, ho ho, the racist statue’s got to go.”

Hours after the City Council voted 10-1 Thursday to approve its removal, the statue was resting on the bed of a truck.

RELATED: Judge denies motion to block city from removing Confederate statue

The decision came amid rising tension surrounding Confederate monuments across the U.S. and in the same week the North East Independent School District’s board of trustees voted unanimously to rename Robert E. Lee High School.

San Antonio Police Department Chief William McManus said removal of the statue would take several hours.

“We’re going to seal the perimeter off to protect the workers so they can do what they need to do,” he said.

Once the statue is removed, police will escort the statue to its destination, he said.

“We don’t anticipate but we plan for the worst-case scenario,” McManus said.

RELATED: S.A. group to protest Confederate rally in Austin

He added that no threats have been made against police or workers.

In the park, bicycle officers and portable surveillance cameras were positioned behind fencing that completely enclosed the grounds.

In the surrounding streets, marked and unmarked police vehicles as well as motorcycle cops drove around the park.

Shortly after midnight, both cannons were removed.

RELATED: NEISD board votes to drop name of Lee High School

Anna Deluna, 47, arrived to watch the statue’s removal at about midnight with her boyfriend. The two live nearby.

“We just wanted to see it come down,” she said. “It just represents racism and inequality and oppression and we are glad now that it’s coming down. It just seems like nowadays things are really, really difficult with Trump being in power, race relations. Maybe the silver lining is statues like these and attention being brought to them.”

Her boyfriend, Doyle Avant, 53, agreed. He said they just wanted to witness the removal of a piece of history that should not be celebrated.

“It’s a good step in the right direction. It’s important to remove it,” he said. “And a lot of people don’t want to admit there’s racism in this country. Obviously it’s the total opposite and we should talk about it. Don’t be afraid to do something.”

RELATED: Someone called in a bomb threat during rallies over a Confederate statue in Travis Park

Avant said the removal was necessary.

“I think it’s disingenuous to say it’s just history and it’s heritage. The heritage argument is really nonsense,” Avant said.

Although there have been discussions about the statue’s removal for years, it became a high-priority issue this summer when Roberto Treviño and William “Cruz” Shaw filed a council-consideration request, the process used by council members to put proposals before their colleagues.

After weeks of heated debate and protests, Mayor Ron Nirenberg announced his intention to fast-track the vote, a prerogative of the mayor’s office. Thursday afternoon, council members voted to remove and relocate the statue to a museum or another area where it can be viewed within the proper historical context.

RELATED: Vintage photos show Robert E. Lee High School through the years

Councilman Manny Pelaez and others referenced the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, as reason to move swiftly here.

That violence and threats aimed at contractors tasked with removing similar monuments in other cities have spurred several cities including Baltimore to pull their monuments down under the cover of darkness with little advanced warning.

In San Antonio, a fence was put up around the park early Thursday morning, and police were stationed at the site all day as a precautionary measure.

kbradshaw@express-news.net

jbeltran@express-news.net

Staff Writers Josh Baugh and Jacob Beltran contributed to this report.


Republished from MySanAntonio.com. CLICK HERE to read the original.


 

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3 Responses to "San Antonio Removes Confederate Statue From Travis Park"

  1. Blobetsky  September 6, 2017 at 9:23 pm

    Book burnings next. Then labor camps for anyone who criticizes this insanity.

  2. Linda  September 6, 2017 at 8:19 pm

    This is just one more frightening step in the wrong direction. People are lied to, misled, misinformed, uneducated and half have no idea why they are doing this. This goes back to the lack of Civics being taught in every school in the nation. I wish they would bring back the movie, “America, Imagine the World Without Her” and have everybody watch it. It clearly and factually debunks all these concepts that are being slung around today. All of the same words come out of the mouths of so many who are truly missing the the mark of how very great America is. They would hardly survive their antics in most any other country. No one really had a chance to stop this horrible travesty. It was clearly decided that this was what was going to be done days before. Everything was already in place.But then again, I’m just preaching to the choir here. Sad days ahead.

  3. Don Stephens  September 6, 2017 at 1:48 pm

    There are traitors galore in our city government –not just with removing Confederate monuments–but in practically everything they do. I will continue flying my Confederate flag at my house.My grandfather ( yes–I said grandfather ) fought for the Confederacy in the Civil War.He was born in 1848–went to fight in 1865—right at the end of the war–and he died in 1920.I never met him–but I honor him and remember him .I fly the Confederate Flag –not as any instrument of hate–but to remember my heritage and history.The monument that was removed had on it ” Lest we forget ” —and I do not intend to forget.

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