Against the national backdrop of Fourth of July fireworks, a group of left-wing activists in Baltimore tore down a statue of Christopher Columbus as a small crowd of protesters cheered them on.
According to The Baltimore Sun, the Columbus statue, which was dedicated on Columbus Day in 1984 and located near Little Italy, was dragged away and dumped into “the edge of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor.” The news agency reports that the statue was originally dedicated by then-President Ronald Reagan.
Louis Krauss, a reporter for The Baltimore Brew, posted a video of activists yanking the statue down with what appears to be rope, and a crowd subsequently cheering as it crumbles into several pieces on the ground.
Protesters just took down the Christopher Columbus statue in Baltimore’s Little Italy. pic.twitter.com/ViPk5eKOtz
— Louis Krauss (@louiskraussnews) July 5, 2020
J.M. Giordano, a photojournalist based in Baltimore, posted a video of a group of activists purportedly tossing a piece of the statue into the harbor. WBAL-TV reporter Tre Ward posted several pictures of the incident, saying that one of them showed that the rope used to bring down the statue was still attached, floating toward the surface.
Baltimore’s Columbus statue gets dumped in the harbor pic.twitter.com/ZwuNcqAH6d
— J. M. Giordano photo (@jmgpix) July 5, 2020
BREAKING: Christopher Columbus Statue in Columbus Park near Little Italy is gone. A witness said a group pulled the statue down, during protests, and pulled it in the harbor. You can see the rope in the water that’s still attached to the statues @wbaltv11 pic.twitter.com/DYCWNlTQPn
— Tre Ward (@TreWardWBAL) July 5, 2020
As left-wing activists seek to tear down statues across the country, including statues of past presidents and other historical figures, Christopher Columbus is one of the people who has received increased scrutiny. After his statue in Baltimore was toppled, City Council President Brandon Scott appeared to distance himself from the 15th century explorer, according to a statement obtained by WBAL-TV.
“I suggested that the last administration remove this statue when they removed the Confederate monuments. I support Baltimore’s Italian-American community and Baltimore’s indigenous community. I cannot, however, support Columbus,” said Scott, who the news agency reports is also the Democratic nominee for mayor.
According to The New York Times, President Benjamin Harrison commemorated the first national Columbus Day celebration in 1892. The Times argued in 2019 that the commemoration was made “in the wake of a bloody New Orleans lynching that took the lives of 11 Italian immigrants” the year before, and “was part of a broader attempt to quiet outrage among Italian-Americans, and a diplomatic blowup over the murders that brought Italy and the United States to the brink of war.”
Columbus Day was made an official federal holiday in the 1930s, and the Italian explorer is one of the individuals explicitly mentioned when President Trump recently announced a Statue Garden, which will honor great figures throughout American history.
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