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Hundreds March Through Astoria Wednesday, Demand Christopher Columbus Statue Be Removed

March southward along Shore Boulevard (Michael Dorgan, Queens Post)

June 18, 2020 By Michael Dorgan

More than 400 protesters marched through Astoria Wednesday evening demanding that the Christopher Columbus statue on Astoria Boulevard be removed.

The protest, led by local group Justice for George Queens, said that the statue is offensive.

The organizers said that Columbus exploited the indigenous populations of the Americas and that public space should not be used to glorify him.

The group, which have organized other protests around Queens for George Floyd and Black Lives Matter, met at the Astoria Park World War 1 Memorial on Shore Boulevard at around 5:30 p.m.

Demonstrators spoke to the crowd mainly about the struggles of black women and black trans women. One demonstrator, Mario Scott, read out the names of black trans women who have been killed over the last five years while a man played the violin in the background.

Another demonstrator sang the civil rights song, “Change is Gonna Come,” while the crowd kneeled.

State Sen. Mike Gianaris was in attendance at the memorial although he did not join protesters for the ensuing march.

At around 6:40 p.m. protesters turned their attention to the Columbus statue and began marching southward along Shore Boulevard.

The group was directed by cyclists and chief organizer Trasonia Abbott. Abbott was on foot with a bull horn and led several chants including “indigenous lives matter” and “these racist statues got to go.”

Other chants were focused at the police like “how do you spell racist? N-Y-P-D,” and “how do you spell murderer? N-Y-P-D.”

Protesters carried two large banners that read “black and indigenous solidarity,” and “stop the war on black America.”

Smaller signs read “Columbus = killer,” “black lives matter,” and “enough is enough.”

Other protesters made plenty of noise with drums and tambourines.

The protesters turned left onto Astoria Park South and were cheered on by onlookers while police officers blocked traffic to ensure the safety of the marchers.

The crowd made their way up as far as 31st Street and stopped in front of the Christopher Columbus statue on Astoria Boulevard.

The monument is located at Columbus Triangle, right off the Astoria Boulevard station and bordered by Astoria Boulevard South, Hoyt Avenue South, and 33rd Street. The statue was erected in 1941 but is currently ring-fenced due to on-going road works.

Columbus statues and other monuments across the nation have been in the spotlight recently following the death of George Floyd and the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement. Critics believe they celebrate racial inequality and have called for the removal of statues.

Abbott told the crowd that Columbus was responsible for the genocide of almost 3 million people in Haiti.

“What are we celebrating?” she asked? “Are we celebrating death?”

The crowd then began calling for the statue to be removed.

Several other speakers took to the microphone and voiced their disgust for colonizers like Columbus.

One protester, who claimed to be of Taino descent – indigenous people of the Caribbean – was well-received by the crowd after he rapped:

“We call for the statue to fall,”

“So raise your fists, because we have a right to an existence,”

“Black Lives Matter.”

Some speakers called for the police and ICE to be abolished while another said she was against the capitalist system.

Musicians were then called upon to sing songs and the event wrapped up at around 8:30 p.m.

Protester sign at WW1 Memorial, Astoria Park, June 17, 2020 (Michael Dorgan, Queens Post

Senator Mike Gianaris was in attendance (Michael Dorgan, Queens Post)

A protester holds a sign Columbus = Killer” (Michael Dorgan, Queens Post

Christopher Columbus statue on Astoria Boulevard (Michael Dorgan, Queens Post)

Christopher Columbus statue is ring-fenced due to road works, June 17, 2020 (Michael Dorgan, Queens Post (2)

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25 Comments

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AstorianForLife

Who are these outside people to decide what was important to the Astoria community that built this area from farmland thru their sweat and hard work. Italian immigrants also were discriminated against 70 yrs ago and only seen as laborers in this area. I know I lived up the block from the statue. You are taking away a symbol of Italian pride that they were able to be accepted in the community and made their mark. Your hate and yelling cannot silence what was accomplished by the Italians in the Astoria community which built all around you to enjoy. Please re-think individually so the mob will not destroy each community that is Sooo part of this nation.

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Sara Ross

You can’t erase history by taking down statues but people have changed history to make it better. Political correctness is and always has been stupid. Every country has had good things that have happened in the past and good things that have happened. It’s like being married twice. The first one was horrible but the 2nd one lasted longer because it was right.

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COCED

I understand – people are bored from staying home for such a long time, they’re frustrated, they need some activity and left agitators give them a purpose – go fight a statue of a guy who’s more than 600 years dead! Well, he found America but who gives a damn, right? We would be better off if it were never found ))) Blacks would be staying in Africa where life is so good for them, Whites would be fighting in Europe as they always do, Asians would be… who knows what they would be doing. And mustangs and indigenous people would still be enjoying the vastness of the prairies

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Anonymous

Once we are done taking down Columbus, let’s change the name of the George Washington bridge. He was a slave owner. And let’s tear down the Jefferson memorial in DC. He was a slave owner too. And don’t get me started on those pesky pilgrims!

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anon

Instead of rewriting our history…why not re-educate your people who since this “movement” started, have since just INCREASED their efforts to harm others for their OWN GREED!
“a Black man threatens to CUT a WOMAN for her purse”
“Two men SHOT at Astoria Houses NYCHA complex Sunday”
“Man wanted for FATAL STABBING on Northern Blvd”
“Big jump in BURGLARIES in Northern Blvd, up 46%”” TWO people STABBED outside Astoria Houses-NYCHA”
those are JUST the headlines from this month on AstoriaPost, what about “The Black Man who KNOCKED down a 92 YR OLD woman with her shopping cart into a hydrant…He watched while His actions caused her HEAD to HIT the FIRE HYDRANT… Video shows HE WAS SMILING!!!( abc news)
“A BLACK MAN stole a backpack off a 80yr OLD man…CAUSING the man to fall and the black man was DRAGGING the old man on the sidewalk cause he wanted the old guy’s backpack…when he got it he left the old man injured on the sidewalk in the bronx” (abc news)
“Rapper Hurrican Chris arrested for MURDER”(abc news)
“Brazen attemped ARMED ROBBERY in Brooklyn caught on CAMERA”(abc news)
“2 teen black girls arrested for defacing St Patrick’s Catherdal”(abc news)
“Woman PUNCHED in HEAD on subway station”(abc news)…
Yeah…NO JUSTICE…no peace…
Defund the Cops…make it EASIER to HUNT people who were born a COLOR different to yourself by GOD!
Yeah…Your “movement” sound like a cover for your actions…. You have a RIGHT to HUNT us for Fun and to get your aggression out…BUT we have NO RIGHT to defend outselves cause that’s RACIST…

My grandfather fought ww2 with black gentlemen who in the same regimine…a letter I found address to him paints a picture where they were all waiting to get home and everyone was doing fine…everyone was expressed like family and describe by skin color cause their was no “political correctness”then, but ww2 was fought by black & whites, (some spanish and asians) they fought TOGETHER to defend the country you seek to destroy with your hate!
America has NEVER been perfect…But hate will continue to devides us.
If we destroy hate we destroy the the divison a race war is causing.
“Love one another as I have LOVED YOU” (God-the Bible)

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Karl

We should tear down the white house and every historic building built before the civil war because slaves actually built those structures. Lets bulldoze history and never learn from it.

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anon

Distrucktion of Public Property…You should be arrested than given “METS” tickets and GIFT CARD…WASH, RINSE…REPEAT(complements of KATS).
And we should take down your Pryamids cause the Bible vouches that WHITE jews were forced to build that for your QUEEN!

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Not a robot

In my opinion it’s wasted energy merely going after symbols. The movement needs to focus on big picture that will actually enact change. Removing a statue will have the same effect that the existence of the statue had.. nothing.

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George

So, what’s next ?? Take Columbus Day off the list of holidays, change the name of Columbus, Ohio to BLM City, consider the U.S. Constitution null & void because 41 of 56 that signed it were slave owner, get rid of the $2 bill because Jefferson is on it, oh….. Washington had slaves also…… so get rid of the dollar bill also & change the name of our nation’s capital ???? Does the cereal “Fruit Loops” insult the gay population ? Why is an Oreo cookie two chocolate sides crushing a white center ??? That seems threatening !!

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Disgusted Citizen

Since we are determined to erase our history I propose we remove every statue and monument in NYC last someone be offended. That way we can restart our history and make all the same mistakes again.

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anon

More “food” for thought.
wish i could just give the link but you’ll have to manuel do the above since no sites allow links.🇺🇸🗽 the above “link” is a historic account of whites first being owned by blacks by various historians and professors. Yet we don’t rehash the hate. We move forward together with forgivness. Hate will NEVER END if we don’t learn to loved eachother’s differences. There is no love in HATE. Hate hold you back! United (ALL RACES-not just one- We are Global) WE STAND! Devided (one race only) we fall…

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Anon

Hey Editor! Stop acting Cuomo and Give me back my free speach! You deleted the link! Again! Stop being one sided! Freedom of speach is not only for the media or haters! Look up Paul Craig Roberts in google
Org is the ending extention. Date writen March 12, 2019. To find the article! If your a REAL JOURNALIST then you’ll allow this through. If not you just broke the law by dening someone’s Consitutional Right of Free Speach. I don’t edit you…You don’t edit me!🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🗽

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anon

PS. The first Slaves were the White Jews. While your Queen was whoaring herself to Ceasar and having some Marc Anthony on the side (love that italian taffy–YUM)
White jews were kidnapped to build your pryamids! What’s the difference if we went to AFRICA and started to DEMAND you take down your pryamids and false monuments that mostly white jews built….hmm?
Oh and don’t think your kin/ ancestors just ensalved white people to work they were torchered while working. Read the Bible!

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Bill

“White” Jews?

Umm, no Moses and his buddies may have been Jews, but they were certainly not “White!”

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Anon

Cut the MTA and raise the fares on getting in and out of Astoria! Then we will curb this HATE that is attempting to abolish our Historic Astoria that has been home to hundreds of thousands of immagrants turned citizens for a century! Without history we have no future! Colombus gave us a country to call home! How about defending it, before children (from other boro’s/ states) who slept through history distroy it! Ask a child to “google” the truth, and they answer THEY DONT WANT TO! The Socialist Party is feeding them these words and organizing this HATE to take our homes and way of life away! Our forefathers were ALL SLAVES to a CROWN👑! But because we are a rainbow of nations that are not all of African Decent. WE DONT MATTER! We are being held accountable for some stupid people in history’s mistakes! People who have NO relation to us and have been DEAD HUNDREDS of YEARS AGO! Now they want to invole the American Indian Tribes. History lesson America was SOLD to the poor English Settlers who were (slaves to the crown of England) for what they could afford! Ever heard of REAL ESTATE DEALS! Many of you socialist do it regually today!
The socialist can afford this hoax, cause that profited from COVID-19. And Commi Cuomo who allows this protesting is AGAINST TAXING THE RICH! Read the other articles here to enlighten yourself what our DICTORS Cuomo and DeBlasio are really doing for the expats while they tax you, cut programs that help us, He will continue to take from the poor to give to the rich and this is just away to tear down our community if we let them!
Why does our lives not matter if we born poor and not of african desent? We didn’t choose our skin GOD did! Oh and the first “slaves” were sold by AFRICA. Your Queen double crossed your kin for profit. Our’s mostly exscaped to America, you know like the DREAMERS of today! Same thing!

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Enrique

They want to bring Communism to this country! If you value your freedom fight them because right now they are getting confidence that there is no push back.

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Old Astorian

You clearly have no understanding of Communism (or Democracy, apparently)

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Konstantinos Booras

All of a sudden, Christopher Columbus bothers you. Why not take down Lyndon Baines Johnson statues? After all, it was the “Great Society” LBJ who famously said, “… I’ll keep these n***gers voting Democrat for 50 years…” Anyone who knows anything about history knows how racist LBJ was. Why the selective outrage???

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Anonymous

These nerds should track down the killer of Jam Master Jay. Phase 2 starts next week so they can go back to their dishwashing jobs.

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Jose

How about everyone go home and read a book? Learn something. Get ready to volunteer and put your energy to use for good once NY really opens.

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