One was beheaded, the other vandalized and the third jetty into the lake. Statues of Christopher Columbus were targeted in Boston (Massachusetts), Miami (Florida) and Virginia, in the wake of the anti-racist movement revived in the United States by the death of George Floyd.
The Italian navigator, long presented as the “discoverer of America”, is considered by many anti-racist activists as one of the figures of the genocide of the Amerindians and the natives in general. And denounced in the same way as the slavers or the Confederate generals during the Civil War.
In Boston, Massachusetts, an investigation is underway but no arrests have been made at this stage, a local police spokesperson said on Wednesday (June 10). The statue of the Genoese explorer is perched on a stele in the park that bears his name, in the heart of this New England town. It had been vandalized before. The mayor, Martin Walsh, announced that she would be removed as soon as Wednesday, pending a final decision on her fate, according to local media.
In Miami, Florida, a statue of Christopher Columbus located in a park was vandalized with red paint and inscriptions like “Black Lives Matter” or “George Floyd”, before police made several arrests, according to the report. local daily Miami Herald (in English).
Another statue of the explorer was shot down Tuesday evening by protesters using ropes in Richmond, Va., And dragged to a nearby lake where she was thrown. The governor of Virginia – the region where the first English settlers settled before it became the heart of slave America – indicated last week that he wanted to dismantle another statue of the city as quickly as possible, that of the commander-in-chief of the Southern Army, General Robert E. Lee.
This movement, which attacks the symbols of a slavery and racist past, touches other countries, notably Great Britain and Belgium, where statues of colonial figures have been debunked in recent days.