State Watch

City official says she supports vandalism of local Christopher Columbus statue that was doused with red paint


A Providence, R.I., city council member said she supports the recent vandalism done to the local Christopher Columbus statue.

The statue in downtown Providence was doused with red paint and a sign reading “stop celebrating genocide” laid at its base on Sunday night or early Monday morning as the holiday named for the explorer approached.

{mosads}Providence City Councilor Katherine Kerwin told local radio station WPRO News that she supports the vandalism, saying she believes “that healthy civil disobedience is really good for society.”

“I don’t know who did it, but they created a really healthy dialogue in Providence,” Kerwin said.

Kerwin is a member of the council’s committee on city property and the committee on public works, the news outlet noted.

The same statue was vandalized in 2017. The paint was cleaned off the statue in both incidents.

The Christopher Columbus statue in Providence was one of at least two that were vandalized in the U.S. as the country celebrated the federal holiday Monday.

A similar incident in San Francisco took place over the weekend in protest of the federal holiday. The vandalism included graffiti that read, “Destroy all monuments of genocide and kill all colonizers.”

The vandalism and support from Kerwin comes amid a push in various cities across the country for Columbus Day to be renamed Indigenous Peoples’ Day, in recognition of the Native Americans killed or displaced by European settlers.

Tags indigenous peoples day Katherine Kerwin Providence, Rhode Island,
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