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News > World

Trinidad Joins World Protests Against Columbus Day, Statue Defaced

  • Colombus

    Colombus "decimated first peoples of the Americas, destroyed their way of life then turned around and denied their humanity," the project further wrote. | Photo: Reuters

Published 10 October 2017
Opinion

The organization plans deliver a letter to the city mayor to remove the statue on Wednesday. 

Joining many cities in protest against the Oct. 9 Christopher Columbus Day, protestors in Port of Spain also took a stand and reached out to the mayor's office officially demanding the Columbus statue be removed from the capital city.

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Social Media Blasts Racist 'Columbus Day' in Favor of Indigenous Peoples' Day

The Italian's statue was splattered in blood-colored paint to reflect the "Genocidal Genovese Sailor" who "decimated the first peoples of the Americas destroyed their way of life then turned around and denied their humanity," a grassroots program, Cross Rhodes Freedom Project, CRFP, said on Facebook.  

Columbus "decimated first peoples of the Americas, destroyed their way of life then turned around and denied their humanity," the group wrote. 

Deputy mayor, Hillan Morean, said that he doesn't have a problem meeting with the group, but he does have a problem with someone defacing a public property. 

"Notwithstanding their thoughts and opinions, utilizing hate to cancel the same hate they're fighting is not the approach," Morean said. 

Director of The Cross Rhodes Freedom Project, Shabaka Kambon responded saying that he was deeply troubled by the country's association with the voyager's colonialist past and while not condoning the defacing of the statue, urged authorities to not take action against anyone. 

Many U.S. cities like New York, Chicago saw protests against the commemoration day of the Italian sailor, many statues across the U.S. were also defaced and vandalized.

Nearly 52 cities have already replaced Columbus day with the Indigenous Peoples' Day. The condemnation also comes at a time of widespread reactions against white supremacy and protests in the United States to remove statues that glorify Confederate officers who fought for maintaining slavery in the U.S. civil war.  

Many South American nations also celebrate the day commemorating the Indigenous peoples in their countries, like Bolivia, Ecuador, and Venezuela, which officially renamed the Columbus Day as the Day of Indigenous Resistance in 2002.

The CRFP also returned from a trip to the South American country of Venezuela after visiting the Monument to Indigenous Resistance in the capital city, Caracas. 

CRFP also urged the government to set up a commission that looks into the people who are commemorated and venerated in the country, adding that many regions in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas are now rescuing public spaces "from history’s most vile epochs to honor humanity’s highest values." 

The organization plans to lead an online campaign under the banner "RhodesMustFallCaribbean" and a delegation will deliver a letter to the city mayor to remove the statue on Wednesday. 

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