Protestors demand Syracuse’s Christopher Columbus statue be taken down

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SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — The debate over whether or not to remove some historic statues across the United States reached Syracuse on Saturday. 

A group called “The Resilient Indigenous Action Collective” held a protest in Columbus Circle around 5 p.m. Saturday. The group was demanding the statue of Christopher Columbus be taken down, as it symbolizes racist acts of violence. 

Smiley Summers, a member of the Oneida Nation, said, “They’re just clearing out the hatred, get it out of here. That’s what that [statue] represents, hatred against my people, and I don’t even know why they’re honoring him, he’s the immigrant.”

A petition to have the Christopher Columbus statue removed has been circulating throughout the city, and it already has more than 13,000 signatures. 

Earlier in June, Governor Andrew Cuomo, an Italian-American, said he supported the Christopher Columbus statue that currently stands in Manhattan.

During one of his daily briefings, Governor Cuomo said, “The Christopher Columbus statue represents, in some ways, the Italian-American legacy in this country, and the Italian-American contribution in this country. I understand the feelings about Christopher Columbus, and some of his acts, which nobody would support. But the statue, has come to represent and signify the appreciation for the Italian-American contribution to New York. So for that reason, I support it.”

Saturday’s protest was part of a larger, national movement, to get rid of monuments that people feel represent oppression or white supremacy.

The Resilient Indigenous Action Collective does not have any protests planned for Sunday.


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