Hundreds gathered in Boston Common on Saturday to celebrate the indigenous heritage and protest the prolonged memorialization of Christopher Columbus.
A demonstration began near Park Street Station with a prayer and an acknowledgment of the indigenous peoples who occupied by the land now known as Massachusetts. Led by the United American Indians of New England, protesters then marched through downtown, stopping at the Old State House, Faneuil Hall and Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park. The group was joined by members of BDS Boston, a movement in solidarity with Palestine, and Black Lives Matter, who condemned the slave-trading history of Boston’s Faneuil Hall.
“Why are they taking the black, indigenous history out of our history books?” asked Chali’Inaru Smilez Dones, before explaining the history of Haiti’s Taino tribe to the crowd. She spoke from the pedestal of Boston’s former Christopher Columbus statue, which was beheaded by protesters in June and has been removed by the city.