Remove a statue of Christopher Columbus in San Francisco

A controversial statue of Italian explorer Christopher Columbus was removed in the US city of San Francisco after protesters expressed fears that it symbolized repression.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported that the city council had dismantled the two-ton statue, which was erected in 1957, after it had been vandalized in protests in recent years.

City official Catherine Stephanie described the removal process as a "necessary step" and said the monument represented "painful foundations" for the country's history.

"We must all condemn slavery, oppression and occupation ... The statue represents a fictional version of our history celebrating the man while ignoring the harm his actions have caused," Stephanie said.

Last week, a Columbus statue was beheaded in Boston. Another was set ablaze and thrown into a lake in Virginia.

The "Important Blacks Life" protests erupted in many cities across the United States in the wake of the death of George Floyd, an unarmed African American man who died while being restrained by a police officer in Minneapolis on May 25.

The demonstrators are targeting statues they say represent the persecution of African Americans and other minorities.

Columbus was one of the first Europeans in the New World and is often referred to as the Discoverer of America. However, historians and civil rights activists criticize Columbus for enslaving Native Americans.

"Removing the statue is not an erasure of history," Stephanie said, adding that "it is a matter of showing love to our friends and neighbors who are harmed at the present time, and to societies that have been affected for centuries."


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