Residents Protest Columbus Statue in Syracuse
By Teagan Brown
SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Syracuse residents debated over a controversial statue in downtown Syracuse today. The Christopher Columbus statue located downtown has been the center of debate for years, but last October Mayor Ben Walsh said he plans to remove the statue and relocate it.
While Walsh didn’t state a time this would occur, it caused an upset for some in the community and even prompted a lawsuit in May 2021 by the Columbus Monument Corporation.
The corporation has been adamant in disagreeing with the mayor, even creating billboards criticising his view.
This morning around 11:00 A.M. a group of Syracuse residents, many being Italian Americans, gathered at the statue to support keeping the statue.
Catherine Grace, a woman living in Camillus, admires Columbus and reflected on his importance in her Italian culture and heritage.
“Columbus was an amazingly courageous explorer, he opened these lands to christianity and ultimately western civilization which had already been flowering in Europe.”
Although this gathering was for those who support keeping the statue, a United Nations Ambassador for the United Tribal Nations was there to share her point of view.
Michelle George, who is from the Onondaga Nation, says she believes this statue represents something different.
“The next seven generations don’t have to grow up with this, with a lot of other statues left in the world, it has a lot of ignorance behind it.”
Although this day was originally named Columbus Day in honor of the Italian explorer, it has also received the name Indigineous Peoples’ Day which more people and places are starting to use.