Following a rally of hundreds of activists near New Orleans‘ infamous Andrew Jackson statue to protest the city’s failure to remove four Confederate monuments, a Black activist who was on site received death threats.
Activist and poet Quess Moore published screenshots of the threats—and a post about them—early today (September 26).
Moore, who did not respond to Colorlines’ request for comment by press time, works with the Take ‘Em Down NOLA coalition, which organizes for the removal of White supremacist statues and monuments throughout the city. The group’s action Saturday (September 24), which particularly targeted an Andrew Jackson statue in the French Quarter’s Jackson Square, addressed New Orleans officials’ failure to remove four Confederate monuments nearly nine months after the city council voted to do so. The action prompted confrontations with counterprotesters and former Ku Klux Klan leader, David Duke.
Threats to Moore’s life appeared in comments for a post by "Battle of New Orleans: The Bicentennial Documentary," a film on the Battle of New Orleans (fought and won in 1815, during the War of 1812, by Andrew Jackson-commanded American forces against the British) whose page features numerous posts celebrating the controversial monuments and disparaging Black Lives Matter and anti-monument protesters. The post, which has since been removed, called Moore "the leader of the Nola BLM thuggers," compared him to infamous serial killer Charles Manson and advocated for his arrest.
Moore wrote in his post that the page is run by Jeffrey Pipes Guice, a marketing consultant who also executive produced "Battle of New Orleans." Moore said Guice supports Stacey Head, the lone councilperson who voted against the removal of Confederate monuments, and that the page "has been spreading violent messages about #TakeEmDownNOLA for some time now."
Moore’s supporters shared his screenshots widely and populated his post’s comments with links to the social media pages of those who made explicit death threats. The "Battle of New Orleans" page reacted with a post dismissing Moore’s accusations, defending "freedom of speech for all tax paying Americans" while also saying that any racist or threatening posts will be deleted.
Moore later shared the screenshot above from 2:20 a.m. today, showing that Facebook didn’t actually think the "Battle of New Orleans" page’s post violated community standards. While it’s unclear whether or not Moore or his supporters reported the incident again, the film’s original controversial post was eventually removed. The film page also added the following post, with a picture of a Black man holding a Confederate flag near one of the statues slated for removal. It further criticizes the opposition, mentions the original post’s removal and says racist posts will be deleted as fast as they can: