Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Protesters topple Columbus statue on Minnesota Capitol grounds

The State Patrol was warned in advance. Protesters say it was a step toward healing for Native American communities. Charges could follow.


Leila Navidi – Star Tribune

Activists put ropes around the neck of the Christopher Columbus statue on the grounds of the Minnesota State Capitol in St. Paul, preparing to pull the statue down.

Protesters lassoed a statue of Christopher Columbus outside the State Capitol Wednesday afternoon and pulled it to the ground, saying their action was a step toward healing for Indian communities.

Dozens of people gathered by the statue on the grounds outside the Capitol before pulling it down. American Indian Movement activist Mike Forcia talked to a State Patrol captain sent to the scene to encourage protesters to follow a legal process for removing the statue, which has stood on the Capitol grounds since 1931. Forcia said they had tried that route many times and it had not worked.

The protesters then looped a rope around the statue and quickly pulled it off the stone pedestal and to the ground. The patrol officer watched from a distance as protesters sang and took photos with the statue for about half an hour.


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