MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A group of protesters pulled down a statue of Christopher Columbus Wednesday outside the Minnesota State Capitol in St. Paul.
The statue came down just after 5 p.m. to cheers. The protesters say Columbus was responsible for Native American genocide, and it was time for the statue to go.READ MORE: COVID-19 In MN: 41 Newly Reported Deaths As Positivity Rate Continues Downward Trend
John Harrington, commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, says officials were aware of the plan to remove the statue. Minnesota State Patrol troopers were also on hand before the toppling to inform protesters of the proper way to request the removal of statues.READ MORE: Aaron Teague Charged With Shooting At Car With Kids Inside
The move occurred while Gov. Tim Walz was announcing his plan to convene a special legislative session this Friday, focusing on police reform and economic recovery.
This is part of a wave of actions against historic monuments across the country and parts of Europe that are connected to racism and slavery — spurred by protests following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis on Memorial Day.MORE NEWS: Crews Extinguish House Fire In North Minneapolis
“I can’t say I’m sad the statue of Christopher Columbus is gone. I’m not,” Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan said.
All Minnesotans should feel welcome at the Minnesota State Capitol, and our state is long overdue for a hard look at the symbols, statues, and icons that were created without the input of many of our communities. pic.twitter.com/O7SP2jSAkm
— Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan (@LtGovFlanagan) June 11, 2020