Christopher Columbus statue removed in Chicago following protests

Christopher Columbus statue removed in Chicago following protests

"Maybe we all forgot why we celebrate Christopher Columbus, and to take somebody who's a symbol of hope from us, we're not OK with that", said Giangrande.

The removal operation started at Chicago's Grant Park in the middle of the night on Friday.

The statue was being removed partly to de-escalate tensions between protesters and police as unrest continues in the nation's third-largest city, the Chicago Tribune reported.

The move "comes in response to demonstrations that became unsafe for both protesters and police, as well as efforts by individuals to independently pull the Grant Park statue down in an extremely risky manner", it said. On July 17, protesters had clashed with police, who used batons to beat people and made arrests after they say protesters targeted them with fireworks, rocks and other items.

The statue of the Italian explorer, erected in the 1930s with funding and blessing from Chicago's Italian-American community, was then brought down in front of onlookers watching and cheering from across the street.

Statues of Columbus have been removed in other cities such as Baltimore, Boston and San Francisco. The protesters, mostly led by Black Lives Matter activists, continued their case to end police brutality against people of color and propelled the call to remove the statues of controversial historic figures such as Columbus.

Chicago said it would soon announce a formal process to address all its monuments, memorials and murals, part of a review under way in many cities to diversify monuments that have overwhelmingly honored white men. "This is not how the Democratic process is supposed to work", he added.

"Under no circumstances will I allow Donald Trump's troops to come to Chicago and terrorize our residents", Lightfoot wrote to the possibility that federal agents come to protect the city.

State officials in OR had sued for similar requests following the arrival of federal law enforcement due to almost two months of protests in Portland since the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

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