Arguments Break Out Ahead of Columbus Statue Removal in New Haven

Arguments broke out in New Haven’s Wooster Square on Wednesday, June 24, as officials began the process of removing a statue of Christopher Columbus. Different groups of protesters had turned out in support of and in opposition to the removal.

Crews began working to remove the statue, which was erected in 1892, on Wednesday morning following a decision by New Haven’s Parks Commission at a June 18 meeting, according to local media.

This video shows discussions between groups of protesters. One person, speaking in favor of removing the statue, saying racism is “dividing the country,” to which an opposing protester responds by saying, “you’re dividing the country.”

Another person, speaking in favor of retaining the statue, says the statue has significance in New Haven’s Italian-American community: “If you guys wanna take it down, you’re going to upset a lot of people. So what we need to do is talk, you guys need to get the right facts and then maybe we can live nicely together.”

Mayor Justin Elicker Monday said the removal of the statue was “the right decision," according to the New Haven Independent. Credit: Jairo Herrera via Storyful