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Christopher Columbus Statue Finally Removed From Coit Tower

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The Christopher Columbus statue at the foot of Coit Tower was removed from Telegraph Hill last night by the authority of the SF Arts Commission. This isn’t really a surprise, considering the statue has been continuously vandalized over the years. In fact there are at least two recent petitions to have it taken down (here and here).

Columbus on Coit in 2019.

Last fall for example, red paint covered the Columbus statue’s face, while the base of the statue had graffiti that read, “Destroy all monuments of genocide and kill all colonizers.” And Columbus was definitely a conquistador, colonizer in Italian clothes, he sold Indians (men women & children) into slavery by the hundreds, and his men, along with the thousands of European troops that followed, butchered the first peoples by the thousands, all in the name of profit, conquest and Catholicism (and mostly in that order). As if it was possible to make this statue any worse, it was sculpted by Count Vittorio di Colbertaldo of Verona, who was an actual, literal fascist. Count di Colbertaldo was one of Benito Mussolini’s hand picked ceremonial bodyguards known as the “Black Musketeers.”

The decision by legislative leaders to remove the statue has long been sought by groups ( included) who say it’s wrong to honor a man who ushered in an era of genocide to North America’s indigenous peoples. In the wake of Black Lives Matter protests across the country and the world, and the removal of confederate statues across North America, finally the removal of Columbus was authorized.

Native American advocates have also long pressed states to change ‘Columbus Day’ to ‘Indigenous Peoples Day’.  Let’s also work locally on getting Columbus Avenue in North Beach, changed to ‘Ferlinghetti Avenue’, after City Lights founder and former San Francisco Poet Laureate, Lawrence Ferlinghetti.

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Alex Mak - Managing Editor

Alex Mak - Managing Editor

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