Here’s How LA Celebrated the Removal of Columbus Statue in Grand Park

Lead Photo: This image is in the public domain.
This image is in the public domain.
Read more

Christopher Columbus never set foot in the United States and he didn’t discover the Americas. In 1492, Columbus landed in Hispaniola – an area that people with their own culture, language, and traditions already inhabited. This led to the decimation of a large group of peoples, and made way for the colonization of the Americas. In recent years, we have seen how many cities across the United States have stopped celebrating Columbus Day, because it incorrectly celebrates the colonizers, instead of the Indigenous people who existed before 1492 and who resisted. October 8, 2018 marked the first time Los Angeles celebrated Indigenous Peoples Day, and on Saturday, the city also removed a 45-year-old Columbus statue from Grand Park.

On Saturday, about 100 people gathered to watch the statue be taken down. People broke out in applause and sang songs as the statue, which paid tribute to a dark time in history, was removed.

“The statue of Christopher Columbus rewrites a stained chapter of history that romanticizes expansions of European empires and exploitation of natural resources and of human beings,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis, who wrote a motion to replace Columbus Day.

While there’s a growing movement to right this wrong, there is still a lot of opposition to this shift. To the Italian-American community, Columbus remains an important part of their history. The first Columbus Day dates back to the 1890s, a time when Italians were targets of anti-immigrant sentiments. However, this glosses over the fact that Columbus was a violent instigator of genocide.

Below, check out how LA celebrated once Columbus’ statue was removed from Grand Park.





View this post on Instagram

💥💃🏽🕺🏽 #reparations

A post shared by ziagrace (@ziagrace) on




View this post on Instagram

#christophercolumbus (deliberately placed name in lower case) statue was ceremonial removed today. The statue was in downtown's #GrandPark for 45 years and is now permanently removed. For now the columbus statue will be temporarily stored at a facility belonging to Carnival & Lohr Inc., organizers said. . . City Councilman Mitch O’Farrell a member of the Wyandotte Nation said during the ceremony, “Last month, we celebrated the first ever Indigenous Peoples Day in the city’s history,” he said. “It is a natural progression that on this day, this statue, this symbol of atrocity, oppression, and subjugation also falls.” . . Chrissie Castro, vice chair of the #LosAngeles City and County #NativeAmerican Indian Commission, “The biggest brunt of the myth of #Columbus discovering America falls on the shoulders of our children,” said during the healing ceremony on the grass at Grand Park. “There is research that shows that these kinds of aggressions, these symbols, these mascots, these holidays impact their self-image. We are really fighting against the dehumanization of our people here.” . . Rudy Ortega Jr., chair of #NativeAmericanIndian Commission suggested many more changes going forward, including changing names of L.A. streets, markers and historical plaques and parks. For example, Ortega suggested changing Grand Park to Yangna Park. He said they began discussions two years ago.

A post shared by Irene (@11.11irene11.11) on