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Various statues of controversial figures torn down, vandalized

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The movement unleashed after the death of George Floyd in police custody has caused a racial reckoning across the country and around the world.

‘Black Lives Matter’ protesters have set their sights on statues of Confederate soldiers and slavers and have demolished some of them as a way to denounce and combat racism throughout of history. In Richmond, Virginia, protesters tore General Williams Carter Wickham’s statue. On June 8, people concentrated in Monroe Park and demolished the statue at night.

The protesters are seeking to eliminate all the symbols of the past that evoke processes of colonization, slavery and oppression. In a way, it is an attempt to “liberate” the countries from the monuments associated with the repression of African-Americans and other vulnerable groups.

statues, christopher columbus
A Christopher Columbus statue vandalized in Rhode Island. Getty

Now, the statues of Christopher Columbus, another controversial figure in the history of North America, are also being vandalized. They’ve shot down, decapitated or painted Columbus’s statues in red ‘blood’. Columbus has long been a controversial figure in history for his treatment of the indigenous communities he encountered and for his role in violent colonization at his expense.

In Boston, the Columbus statue was decapitated on Wednesday night. It is not the first time that this monument, erected in the heart of the city, has been vandalized. In Miami, both the statue of Columbus and the statue of Juan Ponce de León were tagged with graffiti, including one with the name of George Floyd. At the Minnesota Capitol, activists led by members of the American Indian Movement tied and knocked down a statue of Columbus before singing and dancing around it to celebrate the fall of what they consider to be a symbol of indigenous genocide and the legacy of slavery in the United States.

On Friday, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced that a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee will be removed from the state capital. The governor said the controversial statue should be put in storage as soon as possible.

As the protests have become somewhat global, vandalism has been seen in other cities around the world as well. Last Sunday (June 7) in the city of Bristol, England, Black Lives Matter demonstrators threw down a statue of slave trader Edward Colston into a harbour during a protest.

Rosario Boulay
Rosario Boulayhttps://theballout.com
Host, Journalist and World reporter for The Ball Out.

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