christopher columbus

Christopher Columbus Statue in New London Taken Down

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The Christopher Columbus statue in New London was taken down over the weekend and the city council is scheduled to meet Tuesday about its future.

New London Mayor Michael Passero decided to remove the statue to protect it from more potential vandalism and it was taken down on Sunday.

This came amid thousands of people signing petitions to remove the statue, which has already been vandalized with spray paint.

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A petition calls to get rid of the statue and replace it with one honoring leaders of the La Amistad revolt.

Tessa Rock, of New London, created the petition and said she thought this would be a good replacement because, “the story of La Amistad is historically illuminating to our city and it’s inclusive of all communities.”

Rock said she later learned a local youth group had already garnered thousands of signatures demanding the removal of the statue too and other changes within the community.

New London’s statue was once a gift to the city.

While some seek to honor Columbus' historical contribution, others say he is a symbol of conquest and subjugation of indigenous people.

This is a debate playing out in cities and towns across the country of whether to take down figures honoring Columbus as well as other controversial figures in the wake of the death of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man who died after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.

In Middletown, the mayor had the Columbus statue in Harbor Park taken down over the weekend and said there is interest in having the statue relocated to a privately-owned site with heritage significant to the Italian-American community.

In some cities and towns across the country, statues have been vandalized.

In Boston, a Christopher Columbus statue was beheaded and has been removed; in Richmond, Virginia, one was thrown in a lake.

Passero previously said he made an executive decision to remove the New London statue and wanted to hear from the public and put a final decision to the city council.

A special city council meeting is scheduled for Tuesday and the agenda includes an ordinance to remove the Columbus statue located in Columbus Square.

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