Protesters in the US city of Baltimore, in the state of Maryland, have toppled a statue of (in)famous 15th-century explorer and colonist Christopher Columbus.
The statue was toppled, broken into pieces and dragged to the coast, upon the fragments were tossed into the sea.
“After it toppled over, the statue broke into several pieces, which were then dragged across the plaza and dumped into the Inner Harbor,” bystander Louis Krauss told CNN.
The statue itself had only been placed in the 1980s, and was located near Little Italy, the Italian-American neighbourhood of the city.
Brandon Scott, President of the Baltimore City Council, had earlier voiced his opinion on the need to remove the statue from the public sphere.
“I support Baltimore’s Italian-American community and Baltimore’s indigenous community (…) I cannot, however, support Columbus,” Scott had said in a public statement prior to the recent protest.
Protests against racism and discrimination in the United States have spread like wildfire since the murder of George Floyd by a police officer in Minneapolis. Many protesters have decried the public reverence of racist historical figures such as Confederate officers and politicians, as well as leading proponents of slavery and the trans-Atlantic slave trade.
Christopher Columbus was an Italian explorer and colonist who, in service to Spain, made landfall in the Caribbean in 1492. Not only did he participate in the subsequent colonisation and subjugation of the area to European colonial rule, but Columbus also played an active role in the mass murder and enslavement of the Native American population and the institution of chattel slavery on the American continent.
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