Christopher Columbus statue pulled down, draped in burning flag

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Protesters in Richmond, Virginia tore down a statue of Christopher Columbus on Tuesday (June 9) and dragged it along the ground before dumping it in a lake.

Video showed a group of demonstrators in Byrd Park pulling the felled statue along the ground, draped in a burning American flag and covered in red paint.

Columbus, an Italian explorer, arrived in the Americas in 1492 and paved the way for Europeans to colonize the land. “Columbus Day” in the United States, the day commemorating his landing, has long been protested over the social and economic injustice experienced by Native Americans since his arrival.

Statues glorifying slave traders and colonialists have come into sharp focus in recent days, as part of a broader movement inspired by the Black Lives Matter protests that started in the United States following the death of George Floyd.

A statue of Confederate officer John B. Castleman was taken away from its site in Louisville, Kentucky on Monday (June 8) after being vandalized during recent protests.

On Sunday (June 7), protesters in the English port city of Bristol tore down the statue of a slave trader and threw it in the harbor, while in Oxford on Tuesday more than 1,000 demonstrators demanded the removal of a statue of colonialist Cecil Rhodes.

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