On July 4, the statue of Christopher Columbus near Little Italy in Baltimore City was pulled down and thrown into the harbor amidst an anti-racial protest. Mayor Bernard C. Young spoke out in support of the events.
In Baltimore City, while fireworks for the Independence Day celebrations were flashing last Saturday, a statue of Christopher Columbus near Little Italy was knocked down and thrown into the city’s inner harbor. This act of vandalism occurred amid a demonstration in line with the multiple protests that followed the assassination of George Floyd in Minnesota.
According to a flyer, the protest demanded “reallocation of funds from the police department to social services, a reassessment of the public education system, reparations for Black people, housing for the homeless, and the removal of all statues “honoring white supremacists, owners of enslaved people, perpetrators of genocide, and colonizers.”
The masked protesters used a chain to drag the carved marble statue that had been dedicated on Oct. 8, 1984, by former Mayor William Donald Schaefer and President Ronald Reagan.
Democratic Mayor Bernard C. Young lent his support to these vandalism acts, arguing that there is a “re-examination taking place nationally and globally around some of these monuments and statues that may represent different things to different people.” We understand the frustrations. What the city wants to do is serve as a national model, particularly with how we’ve done with protesting. We’ve seen people who have taken to the streets, we have supported them. We are going to continue to support it. That’s a full stop.” he said through spokesman Lester Davis, as reported by the Baltimore Sun.
Protesters just took down the Christopher Columbus statue in Baltimore’s Little Italy. pic.twitter.com/ViPk5eKOtz
— Louis Krauss (@louiskraussnews) July 5, 2020
Police stayed away from the protest. “Our officers in Baltimore City, who are some of the finest in the country, are principally concerned with the preservation of life … That is sacrosanct. Everything else falls secondary to that, including statues,” Davis added.
Last month, statues of Christopher Columbus were toppled in the cities of Richmond, Virginia, and Boston, Massachusetts.
At a press conference last month, Republican state delegates and Italian-American activists had asked Gov. Larry Hogan and Young to preserve and protect the memorials.
For his part, President Trump recently signed a decree to protect monuments and statues throughout the country from acts of vandalism committed by “anarchists and left-wing extremists”.
In announcing the measure, President Trump assured via Twitter that the law combats recent criminal violence.