Two statues of Christopher Columbus located in Chicago were removed in the early morning. After Chicago’s Grant Park was the scene of protests last week, when a group of protesters attempted to tear down the statue, and about 12 people were arrested, authorities have removed the statue to prevent vandalism in the city.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot has ordered the removal of the Columbus statue from Chicago’s Grant Park, due to protests that left at least 18 officers injured last Friday. The crowd would have used rocks, fireworks, and frozen bottles to attack the agents. Lightfoot clarified that the statues were temporarily removed, adding «in response to protests that became unsafe for both protesters and police, as well as attempts by individuals to independently tear down the statue in Grant Park in an extreme manner. dangerous».
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The statues of Christopher Columbus have become the target of protesters against racism since a policeman assassinated the African American George Floyd, protests in the United States have not stopped, some of these manifestations demand the removal of the monuments alleging that they commemorate the genocide and the exploitation of the native peoples in America.
Columbus is a controversial figure in history, due to his role in colonization and his treatment of indigenous people. So far, three statues have suffered the wrath of a population tired of racism, one was set on fire and thrown into Lake Richmond, another was beheaded and the last was knocked to the ground.
Likewise, Columbus Day has been replaced in several cities by the Day of Indigenous Peoples, in recognition of the terror and pain caused by the European conquerors, although on the contrary, Columbus is a symbol of pride for the Italian-American communities of the country.
On the other hand, monuments to other characters involved in the Civil War between 1861 and 1865 in favor of maintaining slavery, have also been attacked amid protests.