The City of New Orleans removed a statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis early Thursday morning, the second Confederate statue the city has taken down in recent weeks.

Protesters both for and against the statue rallied during the demolition, with supporters of the monument's removal chanting "take 'em down!" while opponents yelled "Mitch for prison," referring to Mayor Mitch Landrieu (D), according to NBC.

Landrieu supported the monument's removal in an early morning tweet, saying the action was another step on the "march to reconciliation."

Construction crews began work before 5 a.m. to remove the monument. Crews arrived with no warning dressed in masks, protective helmets and flak jackets with the names on their trucks blacked out by paint.

The city says workers have been the targets of death threats in recent weeks.


In late April, the city removed the Liberty Place Monument, which has been erected in 1891 to honor the Crescent City White League, a group that ousted a biracial government after the Civil War.

New Orleans officials are aiming to take down two more statues, including one honoring Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

City officials say the monuments don't "appropriately reflect the values of diversity and inclusion that make New Orleans strong today."

Fights in state and federal court have delayed the monuments' removal for months.