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Vandals Cover Columbus in Red

San Francisco's statue is among those left with messages decrying genocide
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 14, 2019 4:30 PM CDT
Passers-by stop Monday to see the damage done to a statue of Christopher Columbus in Providence, Rhode Island.   (AP Photo/Michelle R. Smith)

(Newser) – Crews were cleaning statues of Christopher Columbus in several cities Monday after vandals splashed red paint on the monuments and added messages including "Stop celebrating genocide." Statues in Providence, Rhode Island; San Francisco; and Chula Vista, California, were vandalized, per the AP. The San Francisco statue, which is near Coit Tower, was vandalized Saturday night or Sunday morning. In addition to the red paint, the base was left with anarchy symbols and messages including "Kill all colonizers" on it. A sign was chained to the base of the statue in Providence, and "Genocide" was painted on the monument, per CNN. The damage to the statue, which also was vandalized in February, was found Monday. The Chula Vista statue, in Discovery Park, also was doused in red paint.

A movement has been underway for years to end Columbus Day, a federal holiday, or change it to Indigenous Peoples' Day, to recognize the people killed or driven out by European explorers. San Francisco is among the cities that marks Indigenous Peoples' Day. About 10 states have taken similar steps to stop honoring Columbus. "We all know he’s got blood on his hands," Gina Williams, who said her grandparents were part Apache, told KRON in San Francisco. But she said the message could be sent in other ways that don't require tax money for repairs and cleanup. "You made the mess—do you realize it’s still coming out of your pocket? People don’t think." (In Indiana, Notre Dame decided to cover Columbus murals.)

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