Protesters Call for Removal of Robert Moses Statue in Long Island

Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Nearly 100 protesters called for the removal of a statue of New York public works and parks czar Robert Moses in Long Island on Saturday.

The protesters marched down Main Street in Babylon and chanted, “Hey, Hey, Ho, Ho, Robert Moses has to go,” while others held signs saying “Robert Moses Was a Racist,” the Long Island Press reported.

News 12 Long Island reported that many people want the statue removed because they say Moses supported housing segregation on the island.

Protesters say they have collected more than 14,000 signatures on a Change.org petition to remove the Robert Moses statue that sits on West Main Street.

Wayne Horsley, a former regional director for Long Island state parks, said Moses made Long Island for all of New York and that statue was erected back in 2003. Moses died in 1981.

There was an earlier look at Moses’s history last year when Assemblyman Daniel O’Donnell (D-Manhattan) introduced legislation to change the name of Robert Moses Park on western Fire Island because of his history of racial bias.

O’Donnell’s measure, which had not advanced in the New York State legislature, said, “Robert Moses repeatedly abused his power to entrench racial and economic segregation.”

Examples cited were how he built overpasses too low for buses on parkways coming into Long Island so that poor people could not access the beach, built playgrounds and public parks far away from minority neighborhoods, and displaced families to build Lincoln Center.

But Horsley claims that the overpasses being designed to keep buses from bringing people to Long Island from New York City have not been proven.

The protests against the Moses statue come as protesters and rioters across the country are calling for statues of historical figures to be removed.

In North Carolina, two Confederate monuments in Raleigh were removed by crews after protesters wrecked two bronze soldiers, which stood atop the 75-foot Confederate monument at the state capitol Friday night.

In Portland, Oregon, a statue of George Washington was torn down and draped in a U.S. flag on Thursday, and in San Francisco, California, a statue of Union general Ulysses Grant was torn down on Friday.

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