by Pilar Arias and Elizabeth Ruiz
The Monument to the Confederate War Dead and the canons are gone from Travis Park.
They were removed in the darkness of night, just hours after the go- ahead from the San Antonio City Council.
Councilman Manny Pelaez and a few spectators were at the park as the process began. He told reporters the quick removal of the statue was a matter of public safety.
“There are elements out there that would have loved to capitalize on the opportunity to disrupt, to cause damage and to incite violence,” said the district 8 councilman.
The process was peaceful and quiet for the most part, except when a few cheers and chants erupted as the statue of the Confederate soldier was hoisted by a crane.
“There’s no violence. There’s no swastikas flying. There are no torches. Nobody’s beating up anybody,” said Pelaez.
He said San Antonio just isn’t that kind of city.
“This is not a town where hate and epithets and insults are something that we yearn to trade with each other,” Pelaez said.
The monument and canons will be kept in storage until a decision is made on a final resting place, which Mayor Ron Nirenberg hopes will be a museum.
Former teacher Rick Trevino watched the removal of the monument.
“How am I supposed to teach kids about civil rights and how we’ve come so far as a nation when we still have monuments that really celebrate and rewrite history and make these people seem like the victors?”
Spectator Hector Lopez says it’s about time the Confederate statue was removed.
“We’re not a part of that time anymore where it’s socially acceptable for racism to exist,” he told KTSA’s Pilar Arias.