The American Indian Movement (AIM) toppled a statue of Christopher Columbus that once stood outside the Minnesota State Capitol.
The vandalism was perpetrated Wednesday afternoon by a small group of AIM members and was well attended by local media. Governor Tim Walz even acknowledged AIM’s intent to destroy the monument hours before the statue was felled during a press conference. However, despite that fact that AIM’s actions were anticipated, no police presence is visible in videos of the event and most of the vandals brazenly showed their faces to onlooking cameras.
— ABC News (@ABC) June 10, 2020
After Columbus was left lying face down on the pavement, demonstrators sung the AIM song over the site of their destruction.
Members of AIM sing the AIM song over the fallen Columbus statue in St Paul pic.twitter.com/0wrvvw0ey6
— Max Nesterak (@maxnesterak) June 10, 2020
A reporter who was on the ground during the moments that followed the statue’s destruction says that the organizer of the vandalism suggested that AIM had cut some sort of deal with the police to allow the destruction to occur.
“I made a deal with them [the police] and I want to keep the deal,” said the organizer, urging those in attendance not to clash with law enforcement agents who arrived on scene only after the statue was destroyed.
Patrol is about to remove Columbus statue now. Forcia, the protester who seems to be coordinating the event, asks people to peacefully move back and allow the officers to do so. “I made a deal with them and I want to keep the deal,” Forcia said. pic.twitter.com/PC2ZbeADpg
— Jessie Van Berkel (@jessvanb) June 10, 2020
Since former Governor Mark Dayton ordered it so in 2016, Minnesota has opted to celebrate “Indigenous People’s Day” on October 12 rather than Columbus day, per MPR.
Similar portrayals of Columbus have suffered related attacks across America in recent weeks amidst waves of riots and vandalism following the death of George Floyd who perished while in the custody of the Minneapolis Police Department late last month.
Vandals in Virginia ruined their Columbus statue in a far more dramatic fashion early Wednesday morning by draping it with a burning American flag and dragging it into a lake.
WARNING: CONTAINS PROFANITY – Protesters in Richmond, Virginia, tore down a statue of Christopher Columbus and dragged it along the ground before dumping it in a lake https://t.co/bMuobBmIRR pic.twitter.com/UIyso1Hkvx
— Reuters (@Reuters) June 10, 2020
Vandalism of Columbus statues by anti-American protestors is not new. On Columbus Day in 2019, many images of the explorer were defaced including one in San Francisco which was adorned with a sign that read “destroy all monuments of genocide and kill all colonizers.” The term “colonizers” is used by leftists to describe Americans.
Alpha News also had a reporter on the ground broadcasting a Facebook live stream moments after the statue fell. That broadcast captured statements from the individual who appears to have lead Wednesday’s vandalism.