image: state troopers with weapons stand between community members and the statue of Christopher Columbus which was toppled from its pedestal on the grounds of the Minnesota State Capitol on June 10, 2020. The statue is face-down on the ground. Straps are wrapped around the statue – it is about to be hoisted into the air and then placed on a flat-bed truck for removal.

Christopher Columbus Statue Toppled in Saint Paul

Saint Paul, MN – Joining a new nationwide cleanse of racist monuments, the Christoper Columbus statue at Minnesota’s Capitol building is one of the latest to be torn down.

On Wednesday evening over a hundred people came to take part in toppling a statue of one of the most widely-revered purveyors of colonialism and genocide. After a rope was tied around the statue’s neck, people pulled together on both sides of the rope to rip the statue from its pedestal.

As the statue was being toppled, three dozen more state troopers were deployed to the scene.

A state policeman had spoken with organizers about continuing to follow the process of asking the state to take down the statue. Indigenous community members have been petitioning the state of Minnesota for years to agree to stop displaying the monument.

Wednesday’s event was organized by Indigenous elders and members of the American Indian Movement (AIM), and amplified by local Native Lives Matter allies.

Remains of the statue were hoisted up by city workers and placed on a flat-bed truck. Bits of crumbled concrete were also swept up and put into a blue plastic bag.

Mike Forcia of the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Anishinaabe was told he would be arrested for the incident, though law enforcement told him they would not be arresting him that day.

After the troopers had departed from the area to go back inside the State Capitol Building, celebration commenced on the ragged empty base of the statue.

News of a beheaded Columbus statue in Boston the previous evening had spread rapidly through social media. Another Columbus statue had been tossed into a lake that same Tuesday night in Richmond, Virginia, the city which had served as capital to the Confederate States of America for most of the Civil War.

Elsewhere in the U.S. in recent days statues commemorating Confederate leaders and figures linked to slavery have been damaged, toppled, or removed by crowds.

Multiple protests have taken place in Minnesota over the past years to get the statue removed, in addition to the formal petition process, to no action on behalf of the state. Numerous people on the scene commented how quickly and easily it appeared the statue had come down when people actually tried to remove it.

Unicorn Riot's Coverage of Columbus Statue Protests:

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