WATERBURY, Conn. (CNN Newsource) – Tensions have been flaring in Connecticut after a statue of Christopher Columbus was decapitated.
“No justice, no peace!” protesters yelled on the streets and on the steps of City Hall.
The statue was discovered vandalized and beheaded over the July 4 weekend, startling some.
“In no way, shape or form would I ever condone defacing or doing this to a monument,” one person said.
“I’m of the firm belief that we need to learn from our past and not destroy it,” said another.
Others, are not so shocked.
“Honestly, I’m happy,” a woman said. “I just feel like it shouldn’t be here. I think it’s disrespectful to the Black community.”
There is currently no clear indication that anyone involved with weekend protests had anything to do with the vandalism of the statue.
“Some people are frustrated,” protest organizer Fahd Syed said. “They feel enough’s enough. They want to have this city as theirs too.”
Tensions were high throughout the weekend. Protesters explained to local news outlets why the Christopher Columbus statues in many cities stoke such fire.
“Because we know that he did not discover America,” protester Athena Wagner said. “We also know that he’s responsible for things like genocide, sex trafficking, slave trade, and actual murder.”
The Waterbury mayor says he is deeply disappointed and disturbed at the vandalism. He said he is “deeply committed to taking action to address the impact and inequities caused by systemic racism. However, this type of behavior is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.”