The peaceful, pro-Columbus rally scheduled for June 14 in Boston’s North End has been canceled.
The protest, organized by the Italian American Alliance, was planned after a Christopher Columbus statue was beheaded in the neighborhood’s waterfront park early Wednesday morning.
A Christopher Columbus statue was tossed into a city lake in Richmond, Virginia, this week and another effigy of the explorer in Boston had its head removed as protesters angered by the death of George Floyd directed their frustration at public monuments. https://t.co/m3lyXxAzbH
— The New York Times (@nytimes) June 10, 2020
Crews hired by the city took the rest of the statue away on Thursday, leaving just the pedestal.
“We don’t condone vandalism, and it needs to stop,” Boston’s Mayor Marty Walsh told The Boston Globe this week. However, he added, “given the conversations that we’re having right now in our city and throughout the country, we’re also going to take time to assess the historic meaning of the statue.”
Walsh will meet with leaders from various Italian American organizations in the coming days to establish a dialogue surrounding the 6-foot marble statue.
“Leaders of the Italian American Alliance expect a positive outcome concerning the statue’s future following an honest dialogue,” a spokesman said.
Meanwhile across the U.S., Columbus monuments have been burned, toppled and vandalized as some protesters flout the system and take the law into their own hands.
Plus, a petition–opposed by Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo–is calling for the demolition of the 76-foot monument in NYC’s Columbus Circle.
The protests surrounding Columbus have hit a fever pitch, and the lawlessness must end in order for the issue to be debated on its merits.
Columbus’s journey launched 500 years of immigration to America, attracting peoples from throughout the world seeking a better life for their families — this is the spirit we champion and are fighting to preserve, and this is what the Columbus statues stand for.
Italian Sons and Daughters of America President, Basil M. Russo, posted the organization’s stance on the issue this week: