Indigenous community members and allies rallied Saturday evening for the removal of a statue of Christopher Columbus in downtown Syracuse.
The Resilient Indigenous Action Collective organized the rally in Columbus Circle and drew a crowd of at least 100 people. The collective is composed of Indigenous people who live on the land now known as Syracuse and New York state.
“We follow the calls of decades of Indigenous activism across the United States to remove a violent and false image of Columbus,” an organizer said. “The statue must be removed by the city of Syracuse.”
RIAC is calling for the city to take down the statue within two days. Mayor Ben Walsh, who attended the rally, announced Friday that he will create a Columbus Circle Action Group to plan the development of a learning site in the circle and to provide recommendations on the statue’s future.
The action group will involve Indigenous community members, according to a press release from the city. But RIAC organizers will only consider dialogue after the monument is removed, organizer Ionah Scully said.
“We do not dialogue with oppressors or colonizers,” said Scully, who is Cree Métis of the Michel First Nation. The Indigenous community must be centered in …read more
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