- By Native News Online Staff
RICHMOND, Va. — Protesters in Richmond tore down a statue of Christopher Columbus and threw it into a lake on Tuesday night to protest the controversial historical figure as a symbol of racial oppression.
The statue stood in a park in the state’s capital city for nearly a century.
WWBT reports the statue was located in Byrd Park on the west side of the city. The protesters threw the statue into nearby Fountain Lake.
The incident happened last night at about 9 p.m. after about 200 Blacks Lives Matters movement protesters assembled near the statue to show support of indigenous rights. Throughout the evening, protesters marched through the city streets and ended up at the Columbus statue. Protesters emphasized solidarity between the plight of Black Americans and the colonization of the Indigenous community, according to Virginia Public Media (VPM).
VPM reported that once the statue was torn down, protesters sprayed painted it, placed an American flag on the top of it and then set it on fire.
Christopher Columbus stood for nearly a century in Byrd Park in Richmond, Virginia. From Flicker
Richmond has had protests for the past week and half in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd who died as the result of excessive force by Minneapolis police officers.
Tuesday’s destruction of the Columbus statue adds to calls across Virginia and other states to take down statues of Confederate soldiers. In Richmond, a statue of a Confederate general in a local park was torn down last weekend.
Separate from the recent Black Lives Matter protests, for several years American Indian groups have worked hard to change Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples Day on the second Monday of October. After the city of Los Angeles did so, the city then decided to remove a statue of Columbus in November 2018.
More Stories Like ThisKamala Harris, Deb Haaland Call On Congress to Pass Indigenous Voting Rights Legislation
Crow Tribe Files Lawsuit Against BIA Officer for Use of Excessive Force
PHOTOS: Red Road to DC Totem Pole Makes Stop at Michigan's Straits of Mackinac
Red Lake Police Officer Killed While on Duty
Lawsuit Over Oakland Community Sweat Lodge Leads to Pushback From Native Elders Group
Native Perspective. Native Voices. Native News.
We launched Native News Online because the mainstream media often overlooks news that is important is Native people. We believe that everyone in Indian Country deserves equal access to news and commentary pertaining to them, their relatives and their communities. That's why the story you’ve just finished was free — and we want to keep it that way, for all readers. We hope you'll consider making a donation to support our efforts so that we can continue publishing more stories that make a difference to Native people, whether they live on or off the reservation. Your donation will help us keep producing quality journalism and elevating Indigenous voices. Any contribution of any amount — big or small — gives us a better, stronger future and allows us to remain a force for change. Donate to Native News Online today and support independent Indigenous journalism. Thank you.