On Thursday, NYPD officers were sent to Columbus Circle to protect the controversial statue of Christopher Columbus, as Columbus statues have recently been under attack across the country.
Recently, a petition to rename Columbus Circle was launched by Gabe Friedman, who is featured in the video above. At the time of writing, it has received over 6,000 signatures.
“We hereby petition New York City Council and Mayor DeBlasio to direct that: (1) Columbus Circle in Midtown Manhattan be renamed and (2) the Columbus statue located there and Columbus statues in any other public areas of the City of New York City be removed from public view.
“In the era of the Black Lives Matter movement, we are rejecting the old ways of life and the antiquated systems put in place by the generations that came before us. We reject police brutality, we reject racism, we reject revisionism, we reject the colonization and slavery of America’s past,” the petition states.
However, Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio both support keeping the Columbus Circle statue intact – and keeping the name of the neighborhood.
Cuomo states that “The Christopher Columbus statue represents in some ways the Italian American legacy in the country, and the Italian American contribution in this country. I understand the feelings about Christopher Columbus and some of his acts which nobody would support, but the statue has come to represent and signify appreciation for the Italian American contribution to New York so for that reason I support it.”