A statue of explorer Christopher Columbus was fenced off in downtown Los Angeles on Monday, as the city observed its first-ever “Indigenous Peoples Day” to replace the traditional Columbus Day holiday.
The statue was surrounded with chain-link fencing. It was also covered with a white cloth, which was later removed. It was not clear whether the city had arranged for the statue to be fenced off and covered. CBS Los Angeles reported that the city had given no indication that it would do so. However, other statues of Columbus in other cities have been defaced.
As Breitbart News noted in August, the city voted over the summer to replace Columbus Day with “Indigenous Peoples Day,” noting the presence of Native American civilizations in the Americas before Columbus’s famous voyage to the New World in 1492.
The vote had been nearly unanimous on the Democratic Party-dominated city council, with the only real dissent coming from an Italian-American member of the council.
The movement to ban or replace Columbus Day has been growing on university campuses in recent decades. Last year, Pepperdine University in Malibu removed a statue of Columbus that had been erected in 1992 to mark 500 years since his voyage of discovery.
Columbus Day had been attacked as a symbol of imperialism and colonialism, and indifference to the fate of the many indigenous people who lost their land and their lives as European settlers arrived and advanced across the continent.
Columbus’s defenders argue that his navigational feat remains of profound scientific and historical importance, both for the New World and the Old.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named one of the “most influential” people in news media in 2016. He is the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.