Protesters Demonstrate to Abolish Columbus Day at Parade

A small, but vocal, group of protesters demonstrated against Columbus Day alongside the bi-annual North End Parade on Sunday. Appearing first at Christopher Columbus Park, the group made their way to Hanover Street holding signs “Abolish Columbus Day”, “Celebrate Indigenous People’s Day” and “Colonialism is Indigenous Genocide.” With a loudspeaker and chants, the group was sometimes challenged by parade onlookers and participant car horns who attempted to drown out the protest. Besides a few verbal altercations, police did not have to intervene and the demonstrators were generally peaceful staying on the sidewalks with their signs.

Photos by Matt Conti.

9 Replies to “Protesters Demonstrate to Abolish Columbus Day at Parade

  1. Many states have abolished celebrating Columbus Day … and have named it “Indigenous People’s Day”. Christopher discovered America about 400 years ago but the Indians had already been living here. Sharing the protesters sentiments, the second Monday in October should be named “Indigenous People’s Day”.

    1. So then what do Italian Americans get, nothing? We’re supposed to give up our holiday for Indians? Not likely.

    1. It was Leif – Columbus never set foot on NORTH America. Being Italian, he must have preferred the warmer climate!

  2. I find it interesting that America wasn’t named after Columbus. It was named after Amerigo Vespucci, an Italian.

  3. I understand the idea and sentiment of the protestors, but I believe their agenda is misguided and their protesting misplaced.

    First and foremost, this holiday has evolved into a celebration of Italian-American heritage and their contributions to America, and is in no way an approval of Columbus’ atrocities. In fact, President Ben Harrison even wrote that Americans should show, “appreciation to . . . centuries of American life.” Furthermore, he is not the first historical figure to have their overall contributions outweigh their abhorrent acts. Washington (see “Town Destroyer”) Jefferson, Madison, and others decimated Native American groups and owned slaves–should we abolish President’s Day? Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a known plagiarist, serial adulterer, and treated women poorly–do we celebrate those facts or his work with Civil Rights? I won’t even discuss St. Patrick’s Day (and its devolution from a day to celebrate the Irish Catholic faith into a day of binge drinking) since it’s not a federally recognized holiday, but I think I’ve made my point.

    The fact is, having a holiday specifically for indigenous groups of America is perfectly acceptable and I would be in favor of one, but to single out this holiday over another is hypocritical. The protestors should focus on creating another day for the holiday dedicated specifically to that group. Additionally, this was a parade for families and friends to enjoy in the city of Boston. There should be no reason a parent has to explain to their 8 year old why someone’s holding a ‘Columbus was a murderer’ sign. Perhaps they should’ve taken to the steps on Beacon Hill or City Hall Plaza on the actual day of the holiday–and not at the parade the day before the holiday–to get their point across more effectively.

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