Special News Series: Rising Up For Justice! – Chicago removes Columbus statue

Introduction To This Series:

This post is one installment in an ongoing news series: a “living history” of the current national and international uprising for justice.

Today’s movement descends directly from the many earlier civil rights struggles against repeated injustices and race-based violence, including the killing of unarmed Black people. The posts in this series serve as a timeline of the uprising that began on May 26, 2020, the day after a Minneapolis police officer killed an unarmed Black man, George Floyd, by kneeling on his neck. The viral video of Floyd’s torturous suffocation brought unprecedented national awareness to the ongoing demand to truly make Black Lives Matter in this country.

The posts in this series focus on stories of the particular killings that have spurred the current uprising and on the protests taking place around the USA and across the globe. Sadly, thousands of people have lost their lives to systemic racial, gender, sexuality, judicial, and economic injustice. The few whose names are listed here represent the countless others lost before and since. Likewise, we can report but a few of the countless demonstrations for justice now taking place in our major cities, small towns, and suburbs.

To view the entire series of Rising Up for Justice! posts, insert “rising up” in the search bar above.

Chicago removes Columbus statue in Grant Park overnight after protesters tried to topple it

The city temporarily removed Columbus statues from both Grant Park and Little Italy “in response to demonstrations that became unsafe for both protesters and police,” a statement said.

By Elisha Fieldstadt, nbcnews.com

July 24, 2020

Chicago removed a Christopher Columbus statue from the city’s lakefront Grant Park before dawn Friday, a week after protesters tried to topple it.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s office said the city temporarily removed Columbus statues from both Grant Park and the Little Italy neighborhood a few miles away “until further notice.” It was not immediately clear where the statues were taken.

The removals come “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 dangerous manner,” the statement said. “This step is about an effort to protect public safety and to preserve a safe space for an inclusive and democratic public dialogue about our city’s symbols.”

On July 17, a clash between protesters and police at the Grant Park statue resulted in injuries of both demonstrators and officers.

Lightfoot, a Democrat, originally said she didn’t think the Grant Park statue should come down. “Look, I know that the issue of Columbus, Columbus Day is an issue of great discussion but I think that the way in which we educate our young people in particular about the history is to educate them about the full history,” Lightfoot said in June, according to NBC Chicago.

But on Monday, the mayor said she would announce a plan to take inventory of monuments and other symbols in the city.

Read the full article here.

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