Baltimore Protesters Tear Down Christopher Columbus Statue, Throw It Into The Harbor
Protesters in Baltimore tore down a statue of Christopher Columbus on Saturday night, the latest in a series of incidents in which statues of the Italian sailor have been forcibly torn down by protesters or removed by local governments, Slate reported.
As fireworks and Independence Day celebrations were taking place across the city, a group of protesters convened on the statue, which had stood since 1984 in the city’s Little Italy neighborhood. They then attached ropes to the monument and forcibly pulled it down, then rolled it into the water nearby.
According to The Baltimore Sun, a trail of scratches, carved into the pavement as the statue was being pulled away, marks the ground where the statue had once stood.
Lester Davis, a spokesman for Democratic Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young, said that they did not personally know if police had been specifically ordered to allow the statue to be torn down. However, he noted that protecting statues is not the Baltimore Police Department’s top priority right now, as the city is currently facing an epidemic of violent crime.
“Our officers in Baltimore City, who are some of the finest in country, they are principally concerned with the preservation of life. That is sacrosanct. Everything else falls secondary to that, including statues,” he said.
The Baltimore Christopher Columbus statue is the latest in a growing list of statues of the Genoan sailor to have met their end. For example, just days ago, as reported at the time by The Inquisitr, the city of Columbus, Ohio, made the decision to remove a statue of the man for whom the city was named.
Recent decades have seen the legacy of Columbus reviewed in a new light. For centuries, he’d been hailed as a conquering hero whose “discovery” of the Americas set into motion a series of events that eventually led to the settlement and creation of the U.S. However, his voyages also led to the enslavement and genocide of millions of natives and, as such, some say he doesn’t deserve to be honored with statues.
In Maryland, Gov. Larry Hogan is not at all pleased with how the statue met its end, according to WBAL-TV.
“While we welcome peaceful protests and constructive dialogue on whether and how to put certain monuments in context or move them to museums through a legal process, lawlessness, vandalism, and destruction of public property is completely unacceptable,” he said in a statement.