Chicago | Two statues of the explorer Christopher Columbus was déboulonnées Friday before dawn to Chicago at the request of the mayor of the city, concerned about the confrontations around monuments to the glory of this character more and more challenged in the United States.
In the middle of the night, workers of municipal were removed with the aid of a crane, a statue wrapped in a white tarpaulin, located in the Grant park.
“It’s good to see the statue fall”, said to AFP Brenda Armenta, a resident of Chicago came to attend the scene. “People realize that we have been told lies to us oppress them”, she added.
Long touted as “the discoverer of America, Christopher Columbus is now associated by some of the exactions committed by the Europeans towards the Indians.
A second statue of the genoese navigator was déboulonnée in the Italian district of the third largest city in the United States. The authorities have not specified where were transported the statues.
These withdrawals have been ordered by the mayor, a democrat Lori Lightfoot “in response to protests that have become dangerous for the protesters and the police, but also because of the individual efforts” to bring down the statue, said its services in a press release.
Defenders and detractors of Christopher Columbus battled at the foot of the statue in Grant Park several times, and again on Thursday evening.
The death of George Floyd, an African-American, was asphyxiated by a white policeman on may 25 in Minneapolis, has opened a debate in the United States on the issue of racism and its historical underpinnings. This self-examination has led to the déboulonnage of several statues of characters related to slavery or to the oppression of minorities.
Statues of Christopher Columbus were removed to Baltimore, Boston or San Francisco, but the president and republican Donald Trump, who sees in these actions the work of “anarchists” and “agitators”, has flown to the rescue of the explorer.
“We will fight together for the american dream, and we will defend, will protect, and preserve the american way of life that began in 1492 when Christopher Columbus discovered America”, he declared during his speech to the national holiday, the 4th of July.
The decision of Lori Lightfoot could increase tensions with the White House, which has already decided to send, against the advice of the mayor, federal police reinforcements to Chicago, where crime has risen sharply in the past few weeks.