- By Levi Rickert
PLYMOUTH, Mass. — The townspeople of Plymouth, Mass. woke up on Presidents Day to discover vandals had sprayed graffiti with red paint on the Plymouth Rock and other landmarks in the coastal town.
The town is set to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the Mayflower and landing of the Pilgrims this April.
Plymouth’s Police Chief Michael Botieri said Plymouth Rock, the Pilgrim Maiden statue and a memorial granite bench across the street from Plymouth Rock and at least four other statues located along the waterfront were damaged by spray paint.
The inscribed “1620” on Plymouth Rock commemorating the Pilgrims’ landing was covered with red spray paint. The graffiti includes some obscene messages. Most of the graffiti was smeared and indecipherable, according to Botieri. On Monday, detectives were reviewing surveillance cameras to see if they could identify those responsible for the vandalism.
For decades, Plymouth Rock has been the site of protests by American Indians on Thanksgiving Day.
“I have no idea of who was involved, just that it was defaced. What I can tell you is that etched in the stone is the date 1620. From an indigenous perspective that is defacement of a perfectly innocent hunk of granite. It marks a very convenient year for the casual consumers of feel-good history, the year of the arrival of founders of this nation. But it fails to recognize that they were actually takers,” Paula Peters, a journalist and tribal citizen of the Wampanoag Tribe, explained to Native News Online in an email Monday evening.
“It fails to recognize the sacrifices of the Wampanoag who were kidnapped, who died of plagues introduced by old world interlopers, who were duped by disingenuous settlers. The “rock” symbolizes lies Americans have been told for four centuries.”
The red paint was removed from the images by late Monday morning.
More Stories Like ThisChilocco Part 3: Life, Legacy, and Heritage
Native News Weekly (8/01/21): D.C. Briefs
Chilocco Part 2: Medals of Honor, the '55 Tornado, and "Misguided" Beginnings
Native News Weekly: Our Top Stories
Chilocco Part 1: Alumni Fondly Recall School Days
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.