Mayor Mitch Landrieu reacted to the ruling by saying that it is time to move from the debate in the courtroom and to removing the monuments.
A New Orleans school, located near a monument that honors Confederate President Jefferson Davis, warned parents on Wednesday that the statue would be removed Thursday, according to an audio recording heard by ABC News. City officials had refused to give advance public notice of the work because of threats of violence against contractors and workers involved in the effort. Supporters and protesters were on scene to watch the workers bring down the controversial display.
The first to go was the Battle of Liberty Place monument, which commemorated not a Civil War clash but a white supremacist-led insurrection during Reconstruction.
Commissioned by the Jefferson Davis Memorial Association, the Jefferson Davis statue was erected in 1911.
Multiple protesters were arrested and charged with disturbing the peace on Sunday after a fight broke out at an event held to celebrate the removal of the Liberty Place monument.
Also slated for removal are statues of Confederate generals Robert E. Lee and P.G.T Beauregard. I believe more strongly today than ever that in New Orleans, we should truly remember all of our history, not some of it. The monument, an estimated 18 feet tall, had a bronze likeness of Davis standing astride a tall stone pedestal. Monument supporters say each of the statues weighs tons and they feared moving the aging icons could result in significant damage. The statue, nearly 17-feet tall and standing on a 68-foot pedestal, weighs more than 3 tons.
Critics of the monuments say they foster racism by celebrating leaders of the pro-slavery South during the US Civil War.
As the statue was lifted shortly after 5 a.m. (6 a.m. ET), those who wanted it removed cheered, and sang the chorus from "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye".
Demonstrators in New Orleans this week echoed those sentiments: "Take 'em down!"
People in favor of the removal of confederate era statues demonstrate across the street from the Jefferson Davis statue, in anticipation of its imminent removal in New Orleans, Thursday, May 11, 2017.
Dozens of vocal opponents and proponents of Confederate-era monuments gathered shortly after midnight as the second of the four Confederate-era monuments was being prepared to be removed from its location. The statues are coming down after a judge rejected a last-minute injunction to halt the removal of the monuments. The lawsuit, filed by Richard Marksbury in Orleans Parish Civil District Court, says the city can not legally take down the statue of because it does not own the memorial or the land it's on.