Protesters in Richmond, Virginia, continue to tear down statues in the state capital, adding Christopher Columbus to their list.
The Christopher Columbus statue in Byrd Park (not pictured above) was torn down around 9 p.m. Tuesday, NBC12 reported, “following a peaceful demonstration outside of the statue in honor of indigenous people.” The statue was then torn from its foundation, spray painted, set on fire, and finally dropped in the nearby lake.
Though the outlet described the earlier protest as “peaceful,” it did note at the end of the article that “agitators attacked an NBC 12 photographer, demanding he leaves the scene.”
“A small crowd of people waved boards in the photographer’s face, grabbed him and attacked his camera,” the outlet reported. “He was able to return to work after the incident.”
Over the weekend, protesters in Richmond tore down a statue of Confederate Gen. Williams Carter Wickham, which had stood in Monroe Park since 1891, The Daily Wire previously reported. That statue was torn down and one protester reportedly urinated on it before running away. Another statue in Monroe Park is still standing.
Last week, Gov. Ralph Northam (D-VA) announced that he had directed Virginia’s Department of Government Services to remove an iconic statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee positioned in the middle of Richmond on land owned by the state.
“Today, we’re here to be honest about our past and talk about our future,” Northam tweeted Thursday. “I strongly believe that we have to confront where we’ve been in order to shape where we’re going.”
“Today, Virginia is home to more Confederate commemorations than any other state. That’s true because generations ago, Virginia made the decision not to celebrate unity, but to honor the cause of division,” Northam tweeted. “The statue of Robert E. Lee is the most prominent. Lee himself didn’t want a monument, but Virginia built one any way. Instead of choosing to heal the wounds of the American civil war, they chose to keep them on display.”
“But voting matters, elections matter, and laws can be changed,” Northam tweeted. “And this year, we changed them. This year, I proposed legislation to let cities and counties decide what to do with monuments in their communities—take them down, move them somewhere else, or add additional context.”
On Monday, Richmond Circuit Court Judge Bradley B. Cavedo issued a 10-day injunction that would keep the statue in place. Cavedo cited a 130-year-old deed filed in Henrico County that ensured the statue would remain in place and that the commonwealth “faithfully guard it and affectionately protect it.”
Northam’s office vowed it would remove the statue anyway.
“Governor Northam remains committed to removing this divisive symbol from Virginia’s capital city, and we’re confident in his authority to do so,” Northam press secretary Alena Yarmosky said in a statement Monday night.
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