Protesters in Baltimore toppled a statue of Christopher Columbus and threw it into the harbor

Remains of the Christopher Columbus statue near Little Italy after it was ripped from its pedestal and dragged into the Jones Falls by protesters in Baltimore on Saturday, July 4, 2020.Karl Merton Ferron/Baltimore Sun/Tribune News Service via Getty Images
  • Protesters in Baltimore pulled down a statue of Christopher Columbus on Saturday night and threw it into the Inner Harbor.
  • It's the latest in a series of similar instances in recent weeks where protesters have gone after statues of historical figures like Confederate generals, slave owners, and more.
  • Baltimore's protesters argued that the statue of the Italian explorer should come down because he committed genocide against Indigenous peoples.
  • Similar Columbus statues have been torn down in Miami, Richmond, St. Paul, and Boston.

Baltimore protesters pulled down a statue of Christopher Columbus and threw it into the city's Inner Harbor on Saturday night.

Demonstrators used ropes to topple the monument near the Little Italy neighborhood, news outlets reported.

Protesters mobilized by the death of George Floyd at the hands of police have called for the removal of statues of Columbus, Confederate figures and others. They say the Italian explorer is responsible for the genocide and exploitation of native peoples in the Americas.Advertisement

According to The Baltimore Sun, the statue was owned by the city and dedicated in 1984 by former Mayor William Donald Schaefer and President Ronald Reagan.

A spokesman for Baltimore Mayor Bernard C. "Jack" Young told The Sun the toppling of the statue is a part of a national and global reexamination over monuments "that may represent different things to different people."

"We understand the dynamics that are playing out in Baltimore are part of a national narrative," Lester Davis said.
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Photos and videos posted to social media showed a crowd of largely masked protesters ripping down the statue and cheering and applauding.

The statue has faced threats from activists for weeks, and a group in Little Italy even hired private security to protect the monument, according to the local Fox affiliate WBFF.Statues of Columbus have also been toppled or vandalized in cities such as Miami; Richmond, Virginia; St. Paul, Minnesota; and Boston, where one was decapitated.Advertisement

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