Posted on July 24, 2020

Christopher Columbus Statue Removed in Chicago Following Protests

The Guardian, July 24, 2020

A statue of Christopher Columbus in downtown Chicago’s Grant Park was taken down early on Friday, a week after protesters trying to topple the monument to the Italian explorer clashed with police.

The controversial statue was taken down at the direction of the city’s mayor, Lori Lightfoot, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Crews used a large crane to remove the statue from its pedestal as a small crowd gathered to watch. The crowd cheered and passing cars honked as the statue came down about 3am. Several work trucks were seen in the area, but it was unclear where the statue would be taken.

The removal came after hours of vocal confrontations between protesters and supporters of the statue on Thursday night. And a week ago, protesters clashed with police, who used batons to beat people and made arrests after they say protesters targeted them with fireworks, rocks and other items. At least 20 complaints of police brutality were filed against Chicago police officers, the Tribune reported.

“This statue coming down is because of the effort of Black and Indigenous activists who know the true history of Columbus and what he represents,” Stefan Cuevas-Caizaguano, a resident watching the removal, told the Chicago Sun-Times.