Wednesday, July 1, 2020

A reckoning over colonialist and civil war monuments in Denver

Posted By on Wed, Jul 1, 2020 at 10:38 AM

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Some Colorado protesters and politicians continue to seek the removal of statues of historical figures perceived to be racist as part of the ongoing movement against racial injustice in the United States.

A pair of statues in downtown Denver were toppled by protesters last week — a Civil War monument was torn down June 24, and a statue in Denver’s Civic Center honoring Christopher Columbus was removed the following day. And on Saturday night, June 27, a group of protesters broke apart from a larger, peaceful demonstration and attempted to set fire to the pedestal where the Civil War monument had been located.

Gov. Jared Polis announced Sunday that three suspects were arrested for attempted arson. 

According to The Denver Post, the destruction of monuments has spurred city officials to accelerate the removal of at least one other statue downtown, which honored Kit Carson.

The Post also reports that Denver city leaders have called for the city’s landmarks and public art to be reevaluated through a modern lens.

Also last week, Sen. Michael Bennet was among 36 Senate Democrats to sign on to a bill to rename all military facilities that refer to the Confederacy or individuals who served the Confederate States of America.

The Removing Confederate Names and Symbols from Our Military Act would require the Pentagon to remove references that honor or commemorate the Confederacy. Grave markers would be exempted. If passed, the Pentagon would be required to rename all such assets within one year.

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