As protests against racism spread throughout the world, demonstrators are tearing down statues of individuals with racist legacies.
In Richmond, Virginia, demonstrators tore down a statue of Christopher Columbus, spray painted it, set it on fire, and threw it in a lake.
Check out some of the pictures below:
— CBS News (@CBSNews) June 10, 2020
A statue of Christopher Columbus has been pulled down, set alight and thrown in a lake by protesters in Richmond, Virginia.
— Sky News (@SkyNews) June 10, 2020
The Columbus statue in Richmond was not the only one to suffer damage on Tuesday. In Boston, demonstrators took the head off a Columbus statue in that city.
— Mark Parkinson (@MParkBoston25) June 10, 2020
Columbus has become a controversial figure as his treatment of indigenous people during his explorations have tarred his legacy in recent years.
Since 1991, several U.S. cities have chosen to celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day instead of Columbus Day. There is also a campaign to remove Columbus from schools’ curriculums.
In the U.S. the issue of Confederate statues has also become a flashpoint. Last week, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) announced that the state would take down a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee, as IJR reported.
However, a Virginia judge issued an injunction to block the removal of the statue.
In some European countries, statues of controversial figures are coming down too. Demonstrators in Bristol, England tore down a statue of a slave trader and rolled it into a river.
The moment a statue of slave trader Edward Colston toppled into Bristol’s harbour. ‘It’s what he deserves. I’ve been waiting all my life for this moment’ someone told me in the moments after. pic.twitter.com/6juqVrsJ6V
— Sarah Turnnidge (@sarah_turnnidge) June 7, 2020
And in Belgium, demonstrators vandalized and burned a statue of King Leopold II who was responsible for the death of an estimated 10 million Congolese people more than 100 years ago. The statue of Leopold was removed and placed in a museum after it was defaced.
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