A GREAT VICTORY YESTERDAY

Dear friends,

-- VETERAN CIVIL RIGHTS LEADERS AT FRONT OF THE MARCH

-- VETERAN CIVIL RIGHTS LEADERS AT FRONT OF THE MARCH

Yesterday, more than 1200 strong, Take Em Down NOLA’s second line celebration echoed through the streets of the French Quarter and Lee Circle. Well organized, with impressive unity of purpose, 1200 folks, Black, white and Latinx renewed a pledge to rid New Orleans of all symbols to white supremacy. All along the march route people cheered us on and many joined in! 

The day before the Second Line we were called by the police chief asking us to cancel our event.  We immediately, with full confidence, said NO!

We want to share our love and respect for all those who stood up to the threats which were meant to intimidate folks from attending.  

 What did this reveal?  First, it showed the power of we the people to silence the fear mongers and racist terrorists when we collectively stand up to them. Most of their acts of violence are done when we are isolated or outnumbered. But when we rise together, oh what a mighty, unstoppable force we are! 

Secondly, our action took the mask off Mayor Landrieu’s excuses for not proceeding rapidly, in daylight, with a public celebration to take down the monuments because of threats.

Take Em Down NOLA has always said that this was nonsense. That in fact it was the opposition of the racist white capitalist establishment in New Orleans, seeking to preserve white supremacy now who opposed this.  They are afraid of a mass outpouring of the people in a new civil rights struggle.

The full-page ads taken out by Frank Stewart, largest funeral home owner in the US, in both The Advocate and Times Picayune was further proof of this as he chastised Landrieu. Landrieu immediately apologized to his conservative pal.  

Take Em Down NOLA has always said our effort is a necessary part of the struggle for economic and social justice.  That racist symbols are more about racism today, mass incarceration, poverty, unemployment, gentrification and low wages than past “lost causes.” We can only achieve our goal of collective liberation if we all support the efforts. 

Take Em Down NOLA asks you to please donate generously so that we can continue and grow.

Stay tuned to the next steps

PRESS ALERT/RELEASE: #J20NOLA ANTI-TRUMP INAUGURATION RALLY & MARCH

Contacts: Malcom Suber: (504) 931-7614
New Orleans Workers Group: (504) 657-3171

New Orleans—Take ‘Em Down NOLA and the New Orleans Workers Group are holding a #J20NOLA Anti-Trump Inauguration Rally & March, January 20, 2017, at 3 PM at beginning on the steps of City Hall, 1300 Perdido Street, to Duncan Plaza, across from City Hall, and into the streets of downtown New Orleans.

The purpose of the Rally & March is to “Inaugurate Unity & Resistance” and say “No to Fascism,” “No to White Supremacy,” “No to the Rule of Billionaires.”

On January 20, Trump becomes President and starts to unleash a campaign of impoverishment, war, extreme racism, sexism, and homophobia. The plan to exploit and neglect the environment, imprison, deport and discriminate against immigrants and Muslims is dangerous and real. Pretending to be for “the people” his billionaire cabinet is filling with white supremacists, environment destroyers, war crazy generals, and opponents of any social benefit we have won. We will see an increased curtailment of constitutional rights, more prisons, and less education. His cabinet is also a who’s who of Wall St. banks, hedge funds, fast food moguls, and opponents of higher wages.

A broader #J20NOLA Coalition has formed and is inviting everyone opposed to the Trump Agenda, to join in and represent their own self-interests, e.g. higher wages, affordable housing & medical care, anti-police brutality, union preservation, joblessness, etc.

For more information call (504) 931-7614 or 504-657- 3171 or email info@takeemdownnola.org.

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Take ‘Em Down NOLA Take Em Down Action Public Statement

Today’s Take Em Down Action has come as a result of a long struggle to remove symbols to white supremacy from the landscape of New Orleans. We don’t want to erase history. We want to promote accurate history. We believe that symbols that honor, celebrate, and promote those who oppress others during the course of history have no place in public space. 

Take Em Down NOLA is committed to the removal of ALL symbols to white supremacy in New Orleans as a necessary part of the struggle toward racial and economic justice. We believe that systems of oppression must be dismantled, while systems that promote the over-all well being of humanity must be built. It is not one or the other, it is BOTH.

Having symbols of genocidal murderers, rapists, and colonizers all over New Orleans is dangerous. It promotes murder, rape and colonization/displacement. The racist monuments of New Orleans promote exactly what white supremacists want, so they can have an excuse to keep investing in reactive measures that fill the pockets of current day oppressors. 

If the mayor and city council of New Orleans will not publically denounces symbols that honor white supremacy AND REMOVE them, to include those in the French Quarter (a major tourist destination), then we will continue to publically denounce and protest white supremacy in New Orleans. We are fully prepared to start an all out boycott of the French Quarter in New Orleans, if need be.

New Orleans acquires at least $7 billion in revenue from tourism. This is possible because of the nearly 70,000 mostly low wage workers that keep the city operating. However, in New Orleans, there are also at least 52% of unemployed Black males, nearly 50% of children living in poverty, and the city profiles poor Black lives to fill jails and prisons, making Louisiana the state with the highest incarceration rate in the entire world. Louisiana has more people in jail and prison than entire countries. Police and white people are not held to the same standard of accountability for committing crimes, even violence crimes.

In New Orleans, we are experiencing a state of emergency!!! Today’s action proves that the system protects monuments, but has no regard for proactively, consistently protecting Black lives … in a predominately Black city. Under these circumstances, it is a slap in the face of all people who believe in equity and justice that Andrew Jackson exists elevated and celebrated in the heart of the French Quarter. Until removed, Andrew Jackson in Jackson square will be the focus of ongoing public protests. 

Protesting injustice in New Orleans in 2016 becomes even more critical because current day white supremacists are allowed to continue making threats to peaceful protestors. It is the white supremacists who hold New Orleans hostage from growth and progress. Take Em Down NOLA focused on equity, toward racial and economic justice in spite of the mayor’s hesitation and city council’s compliance with the desires of wealthy racists who refuse to allow progress to occur. Take Em Down NOLA has two simple demands:

1)      We demand that the city of New Orleans do what it said it was going to do, and remove the monuments to Robert E. Lee, Beauregard, Jefferson Davis, and The so-called Liberty Monument to White Supremacy (along with ALL other monuments to white supremacy in the French Quarter, including Andrew Jackson).

2)      We demand that the city of New Orleans reallocate (or use their influence to raise) $5 million dollars per year to Take Em Down NOLA’s Build Em Up NOLA initiative which consists of two components:

a)      An educational mentorship youth program to create jobs for local Black youth, local Black historians, and local Black artists to research their own history, write their own narratives, and create their own artistic images that reflect freedom, equity, and resistance to oppression. These efforts will support and compliment part (b) below.

b)      The funds will also support the “markers project”, which will erect historical markers that accurately inform the public of New Orleans history, whether pertaining to the economic slave trade, acts of resistance to oppression, or great achievement by people of African ancestry.

The reason that Take Em Down NOLA demands these resources, is because most monuments to white supremacy in New Orleans were erected by white supremacist who had/have generational wealth built on the backs of people of African people who were forced to provided free labor. We need this effort to help combat and reverse the consequences of internalize racism that has been and still is pervasive in New Orleans, as a result of systemic racism and oppression. 

We are calling on the city of New Orleans to divest the needed funds from the city budget, and or the community development fund to proactively support community based programs and services that can build up the Black community. 

Community Forum - September 15, 2016

FOX8 News covered our recent Community Forum held at Christian Unity Baptist Church. The Take 'Em Down NOLA Leadership and Legal team gave updates on the pending court case on monument removal. The hearing will take place on September 26th at the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. The court will decide whether or not to remove the injunction currently preventing the city from taking down four white supremacist monuments.

If the injunction is removed, the city can resume taking bids to bring down the monuments. If the injunction is approved, the monuments will have to remain in place until the case for removal can be heard at the district level.

Open letter to our Essence visitors from the Take 'Em Down NOLA Coalition. (TEDN)

New Orleans is riddled with over 100 statues, street names and public schools named to honor slaveholders and confederate officers. These white supremacist monuments were erected in the Jim Crow era to remind Black New Orleanians that the rich whites, the descendants of the slave holders and slave traders, were still in charge. Take 'Em Down NOLA has been leading the struggle to remove them.

Greetings Sisters and Brothers!

The TEDN Coalition welcomes you to New Orleans. We hope that you have a fabulous and memorable weekend enjoying our food, music and culture, We urgently need to also inform you of a significant struggle against white supremacy that TEDN and other anti-racist forces are waging in New Orleans.

Last July, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, in reaction to the Charleston massacre, proposed removing 4 white supremacist monuments. For six months TEDN mobilized hundreds of people to council meetings and rallies to pass an ordinance to remove them. In December, 2015 the New Orleans city council passed the ordinance in accordance with the will of New Orleans residents to put these racist monuments in the past of our city.

In May, 2016 the rich white defenders of all things confederate filed lawsuits. After being denied an injunction from three courts they finally got an injunction against removal by reaching out to 3 pro-confederate white Judges on the U.S. 5 th Circuit Court of Appeals. In an unprecedented action the court granted the injunction in secret without public oral argument.

TEDN views this stay as a victory for white supremacy. This same obstruction was used over and again during the civil rights movement.

We demand that the Mayor and City Council go forth immediately with preparations to remove these monuments as this is just an application of the democratic right of New Orleans to home rule with the rights to decide what monuments and names should occupy our public spaces.

We ask you, our guests, to lend a hand and join us in demanding removal of all white supremacist monuments from public spaces in New Orleans. Let the Mayor and City council know that you support removal and would prefer that Essence not continue coming to a city that venerates white supremacy. New Orleans is a global tourist destination. Is this what we want the world to see?

You can:

Remove all monuments to white supremacy in New Orleans!

Our Petition is going strong and needs YOUR signature!

SIGN THE PETITION HERE

Thank you to our first 944 supporters! We know that with your help and commitment we can make this movement bring real change into being. Share far and wide — we're going strong!

We demand the removal of ALL symbols of White Supremacy in New Orleans, and the struggle is far from over. Thanks to national media attention, the general public heard news of a "victory" on December 17, 2015, when New Orleans' city council voted to remove FOUR monuments to the Confederacy/White Supremacy (Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee, P.G.T. Beauregard, and The Liberty Monument).

This is NOT the end of the struggle. Several non-profit groups, private organizations and individuals retaliated in the courts. The monuments have not been moved. Louisiana federal courts recently granted the opposition an injunction that allows them to appeal the city's decision to remove the four monuments indefinitely and places a hold on the city's actions until the matter is resolved in court.

We must fight back relentlessly and passionately. History is on our side. We must hold our elected officials accountable for enacting the will of the people, as they promised when they took their oaths of office, and as they promised on December 17, 2015.

Share this petition with your networks and on social media. And most importantly, call Mayor Mitch Landrieu at 658-4900 and City Council at 658-1000 today and join us in demanding the immediate removal of these abominable symbols.

Love & Solidarity,
Take Em Down NOLA

Take 'Em Down NOLA Buttons for Sale!

Fresh off the press! 2.5" wide, $2 each.

Take 'Em Down NOLA will be tabling on FRIDAY, JULY 1 from 9am-6pm with Amnesty International at the New Orleans Convention Center. Buttons will be available.

You can also find TEDN coalition members around the city & at Essence Festival selling these buttons!

Post your photos on social media with the hashtag #TakeEmDownNOLA

Stay tuned to purchase/donate online. Want to help us sell and distribute? Email info@takeemdownnola.org

Take ‘Em Down NOLA Public Statement on Mass Murder at Pulse Orlando

Take Em Down NOLA stands in solidarity with the LGBTQ and Latinx community, and the loved ones of those murdered, injured and traumatized at Pulse Orlando. This hate crime happens only a few days after the murder of Goddess Diamond, our 5 th trans woman of color to be killed this year, right here in New Orleans. We still carry heavy in our hearts the victims of a hate crime that took 32 lives in the Upstairs Lounge in New Orleans in 1973.

As our work is centered on the vanquishing of ALL symbols of White Supremacy, we are also clear that state sanctioned symbols REPRESENT state sanctioned SYSTEMS that perpetuate racism, violence against oppressed people, and terror against those who do not comply with the status quo.

We will not be fooled to sit in silence nor perpetuate media that focuses on headlines and stories intended to pit various communities of oppressed people against each other. We condemn homophobia and islamophobia. We recognize that the mass shooting at Pulse Orlando is being used as an exploitation tool to heighten Islamophobia in our country, and intensify racist stereotyping and profiling of our comrades in the Muslim community. We want an end to ALL oppression, which calls into question the rule of the racist billionaire ruling class. Pulse Orlando should have been a safe space. However, ALL areas of society should be safe, and will become safe when we UNITE and have a successful social revolution. The rulers shed crocodile tears for the Orlando victims while killing as many civilians in the middle east on a daily basis. This act is a clarion call for the unity of the oppressed to end the rule of capital and its divide and conquer tactics. The “rulers” will use this massacre to call for even more surveillance, pretending that it is for our safety, taking away our privacy rights.

Let us not be fooled. Let us not sit in silence. Let us not perpetuate stories of fear, division and hate. Let us UNITE, and WORK for liberation, against a ruling class SYSTEM of white cis-gendered male elitist capitalism. It is this system that has used religion, gender, race, class and sexual orientation to divide and devalue us based on any deviation from the Christian white male cis-gendered heterosexual norm. This is why right winged Christian leaning legislatures like the ones in North Carolina and Alabama have ruled against bathroom access for transgender people. In these former states of the Confederacy, members of marginalized communities are still at the mercy of ideologies that foster policy and laws that create a hostile environment for us.

We understand that the same system that devalues and exploits Black lives does so to Queer lives, inclusive of Black and Latinx folk. This SAME system exploits the resources of the Muslim world while vilifying Muslim people, inclusive of Black and Latinx folk. Instead of participating in the divide and conquer game, we are identifying the true culprit as the SYSTEM that created room for all of this hate to be operative in the first place.

Yet, we will not succumb to this madness. We will transform our frustration into work for progress. We choose not to perpetuate this system. We unite, and we organize for liberation.

In the spirit of resistance and liberation embodied by the very lives of the 49 slain in Orlando, along with all of the others killed and traumatized by a White Supremacist hetero-normative SYSTEM, we will continue our work to eradicate all vestiges of these symbols and systems from all spaces.

MEDIA ALERT: PRESS CONFERENCE AND PROTEST MARCH AGAINST DONALD J. TRUMP

Contact: Michael "Quess?" Moore
716-934- 8336

New Orleans-- The Take Em Down NOLA Coalition is hosting a Press Conference and Protest March against Donald J. Trump because of his alignment with white supremacist values and failure to strongly denounce

WHO: TAKE EM DOWN NOLA COALITION

WHAT: PROTEST MARCH AGAINST DONALD J. TRUMP

WHEN: 6 PM – FRIDAY, March 4, 2016

WHERE: New Orleans LAKEFRONT AIRPORT – 6001 STARS & STRIPES BOULEVARD, NEW ORLEANS, LA

WHY: Trump has reinvigorated the voting base of David Duke. The same demographic of people that support the maintenance of White Supremacist symbols in New Orleans and were recently responsible for committing terrorist acts (life threats and destruction of private property) to intimidate contractors and the city at large into keeping these symbols. Trump’s presence invites more violence and terrorism.

REASONS FOR THE PROTEST OF DONALD J. TRUMP

  • We are an organization committed to the removal of ALL symbols of White Supremacy in New Orleans. Donald's campaign is the personification of these symbols and has no place in the city we call home
  • Trump's alignment with white supremacist values fosters the very environment that TEDN is committed to undoing
  • Trump's racist history (i.e., Daddy Fred Trump marched w/ KKK in 1927;
  • Trump advocated for the execution of the Central Park 5 (even once they were found not guilty)
  • The hostility that Trump's rallies have exemplified towards black people throughout the country is NOT WELCOME in New Orleans, a city built on the backs of blacks' free labor, and heavily formed by black cultural contributions 
  • Trump has reinvigorated the voting base of David Duke. The same demographic of people that support the maintenance of White Supremacist symbols in New Orleans and were recently responsible for committing terrorist acts (life threats and destruction of private property) to intimidate contractors and the city at large to keeping these symbols. Trump's presence invites more violence and terrorism.

PRESS CONFERENCE ALERT: FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 5 — TEDN, MONUMENT REMOVAL HEARING

Contact: Michael “Quess” Moore
716-934-8336
Malcolm Suber
504-931-7614 

PRESS CONFERENCE ALERT

New Orleans — TEDN will announce its upcoming plans for ensuring that the white supremacists’ monuments come down. TEDN’s volunteer legal team has filed an amicus brief in the case. Take Em Down NOLA will speak to the press briefly before and after attending the state court hearing on the preliminary injunction lawsuit filed by opponents of removing the monuments.

WHO: Take Em Down NOLA

WHAT: Press Conference

WHEN: FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 5, 9:00 AM 

WHERE: Steps of Civil District Court, 421 Loyola Avenue, New Orleans, LA

WHY: Statement on current status of the monuments, TEDN Demands, Racism at Mardi Gras.

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1/12/16 PRESS RELEASE: TAKE EM DOWN NOLA LEGAL TEAM FILES BRIEF IN SUPPORT OF TAKING DOWN CONFEDERATE MONUMENTS IN NEW ORLEANS

CONTACT: Michael “Quess” Moore
CONTACT: Malcolm Suber

TAKE EM DOWN NOLA LEGAL TEAM FILES BRIEF IN SUPPORT OF TAKING DOWN CONFEDERATE MONUMENTS IN NEW ORLEANS

NEW ORLEANS – A volunteer legal team comprised of several civil rights organizations and  ‘movement lawyers,’ today filed an amicus brief on behalf of Take Em Down NOLA in a lawsuit filed by opponents of taking down four federal monuments in New Orleans.

“Take Em Down NOLA is in support of the City of New Orleans' December 17, 2015, historic decision to remove four monuments to White Supremacy and will continue to organize and spread awareness about the present injunction until all four of the monuments are permanently removed from the public square. This is but the first necessary step in clearing the public space of all symbols of White Supremacy in New Orleans,” said Michael “Quess” Moore, TEDN founder.

 The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) assisted with the amicus brief and supports TEDN in its effort to remove the confederate monuments in New Orleans.  

“Those who are trying to block the city from taking down the monuments are relying on a distorted view of American history,” said Rhonda Brownstein, SPLC legal director.  “The fact is that these monuments were built during the Jim Crow era to announce the return of white supremacist rule and racial subordination in the South. It is past time to put this racist history behind us, and taking monuments down is a good step.”

 Monumental Task Committee, Inc., et. al., is suing to stop the City of New Orleans from removing statues deemed public nuisances, among them are Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis, and P.G.T. Beauregard officers of the so-called Confederate States of America that tried to overthrow the U.S. government. Also, the Battle of Liberty Place obelisk which honors members of a white militia, who killed municipal police in a plot to overthrow Louisiana’s reconstructed government.

Take Em Down NOLA is a multiracial, multigenerational association dedicated to removing symbols of white supremacy from New Orleans, while working on an agenda for political, social and economic justice.

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For more information: Call 716-934-8336 | info@takeemdownnola.org, 
www.takeemdownnola.org.,#takeemdownnola

Add Your Voice: Take Em Down NOLA Hosting 3 Community Forums in September

The Take Em Down NOLA Coalition will be holding a series of community forums this September that will discuss the Confederate Monuments in New Orleans and why they matter to black people and those who work against racism. We aim to make sure that City Council follows through and finally takes the monuments down once and for all!

Join us:

West Bank

Ready to see the city's Confederate monuments come down? Come join our community forum on the West Bank!

Posted by Take 'Em Down NOLA on Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Uptown

Have an idea for what could replace the Confederate statues that dot the city? Join our community forum uptown!

Posted by Take 'Em Down NOLA on Tuesday, September 1, 2015

West Bank

Have thoughts on what should happen with New Orleans' Confederate monuments? Share them at our community forum in Mid City!

Posted by Take 'Em Down NOLA on Tuesday, September 1, 2015


Leaving Them Up Is Not an Option

Tonight, The MTC or the Monumental Task Committee will be meeting to discuss why they believe that the White Supremacist monuments around the city should not be removed but instead preserved because they represent New Orleans history. They claim that the monuments represent heritage and not racism and hatred. We the members of the Take 'Em Down NOLA Coalition say that the truth flies in the face of this hypocrisy.

First of all, of the 4 monuments that Mayor Landrieu has recommended for removal, 2 of them represent men (Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis, the general and president of the Confederacy respectively) who were neither native New Orleanians nor primary residents of our city, much less significant contributors to our culture. Another is to PGT Beauragard, an official in the Confederate Army that fought to defend the Southern order of white supremacy and black enslavement. This is no legacy that any resident of New Orleans, or the South or America for that matter, should be proud of. Finally, the monument that most accurately represents New Orleans history, the Liberty Monument, represents an act so despicable (the murder of 11 police officers--both black and white--by the Crescent White League in 1874) that the city ought to be ashamed of its very existence.

The Take 'Em Down NOLA Coalition argues that monuments constructed by white supremacists in commemoration of white supremacy cannot possibly represent anything other than the most blatant and obvious form of hatred.  There is no way to advocate for the oppression and enslavement of a people and not simultaneously create and spread hatred within oneself and directly towards the people one deems inferior. Until the philosophy that holds one race superior over another is done away with there will always be war. These monuments represent a perpetual act of psychological warfare on Black people in America as symbols of the direct and physical warfare on black people throughout this country’s history of slavery and genocide. 

Worse yet, we see how symbols that pay homage to the Confederacy plague the minds of those that they “serve” as well as it is these very toxic notions of racial superiority that cause the Dylan Storm Roofs, Darren Wilsons and George Zimmermans of the world to maintain belief in black inferiority and thus contribute directly to the legacy of devaluation of black life by slaughtering us in the streets or even in our own churches. The Take 'Em Down NOLA Coalition asks you to stand with us tonight and push back on this false narrative of heritage over hate. When your heritage is hate, it simply does not to be honored publicly. 

Don't forget, our Monumental Solutions forum is tomorrow evening at Generations Hall. Doors at 5:30 pm, Program 6-8 pm. #ohwhatamonumentaltask

Posted by Monumental Task Committee, Inc. on Monday, August 24, 2015