First posted: Thursday, August 31, 2017 12:56 PM EDT | Updated: Thursday, August 31, 2017 01:13 PM EDT
America’s second-largest city has voted to order Christopher Columbus to set sail back to Europe.
As reported by the Los Angeles Times, the U.S. national holiday of Columbus Day will no longer be marked on the Los Angeles city calendar and is to be replaced by Indigenous Peoples Day.
Los Angeles City Council voted 14-1 on Wednesday in favour of ditching the holiday as the nation struggles with how to deal with historical monuments and references that some perceive as insensitive following the fatal incident in Charlottesville surrounding Confederate statutes.
Columbus Day is celebrated on the second Monday in October and will remain a paid holiday under its new name which is set to come into effect by 2019.
Italian Americans and other community members spoke out against the change. “We want to celebrate with you,” Ann Potenza president of Federated Italo-Americans of Southern California told a crowd of Native Americans. “We just don’t want it to be at the expense of Columbus Day.”
But activists refused to accept a celebration of Christopher Columbus as an option. “We are here today to dismantle the state-sponsored celebration of genocide of Indigenous Peoples,” proclaimed Chrissie Castro with the Los Angeles City-County Native American Indian Commission. “To make us celebrate on any other day would be a further injustice.”
Los Angeles’ decision is the highest profile removal of Christopher Columbus by local governance but it is an issue being grappled with by several other jurisdictions.
Last week, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said he wouldn’t rule out how his city would deal with New York’s iconic Columbus Circle which features a massive statue of the explorer following the announcement of a 90-day review of “symbols of hate” in the Big Apple.
L.A. City Council replaces Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day on city calendar - LA Times
Los Angeles City Council votes 14-1 to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peop