NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Thursday's Confederate monuments public hearing in New Orleans council chambers was overshadowed by several shouting matches and one man flipping off the crowd while at the podium.
"I'm coming back with 5,000 people. I swear to God," one man shouted as he was being escorted out.
"Future historians will discuss the 21st century age of political correctness and all the whiny crybabies that were offended by anything - even monuments," New Orleans resident Michael Rochelle said.
Both sides of the argument for and against the removal the P.G.T. Beauregard, Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis and Liberty Place monuments spoke for more than three hours to try to sway council members.
"Some of the people against the monuments do a great injustice when they are a little bit ignorant of history, and they simplify it and chose to give those monuments a hateful meaning," monument supporter Sandra Gerhold said.
"I do not question that Lee was a great general. I do question his cause. [Erwin] Rommel was a great general for Germany's Third Reich during WWII, yet you'll find no statues of him in the streets of Berlin or Munich. Why? Because the Germans are ashamed. That's why. Which begs the question - why aren't we?" removal supporter Richard Wesmorland said.
Council members will decide on the fate of the monuments Dec. 17.
In a statement released Wednesday, Councilwoman Latoya Cantrell said she'd like to see the city focus on other, more pressing matters instead of the removal of the monuments.
Many in the crowd took the time at the podium not to discuss the monuments, but to attack the councilwoman, calling her "Ms. Can't-tell". Before the hearing ended, Cantrell left her seat and chambers.
Many have said they will fight legally if the council does decide to remove the monuments.
Mayor Mitch Landrieu is in favor of the monuments' removal and has said in the past that a private donor agreed to pay to take down the monuments if the ordinance is passed.