Thanksgiving is being celebrated all across the country, with many people coming together through Zoom calls due to the rising number of coronavirus cases. However, protestors in multiple states toppled and defaced several historical statues that honor some debatable historical figures, as well as some colonial heroes.
In Minneapolis, several colonial statues were torn down and vandalized, which also included a monument of George Washington. Meanwhile, in the state of Washington it was reported that a statue of President Abraham Lincoln was defaced with red graffiti.
The protestors’ graffiti included slogans attacking the colonizers and demanding no more genocide.
The Pan-Indigenous People’s Liberation (PIPL) network claimed they were behind the vandalization and the purpose was to celebrate their ‘national decolonial day of action’.
The statue of Christopher Columbus was also toppled over by the American Indian Movement in Minnesota, earlier this year in June.
In Portland, protestors also defaced the monuments in honor of the veterans who served in the Civil War, Spanish, Indian and Mexican wars. Three of them were arrested by the police department.
In Chicago, the protestors tried to take down the statue of President William McKinley but were not successful.
They used the words ‘land back’ to vandalize the statues and monuments in various cities, which is a reference to the LANDBACK movement.
The campaign aims to demand that public lands be returned to the Indigenous people. It also includes indigenous rights and preserving their languages and traditions, as well as countering White supremacy.
In their mission statement, the movement explains that the struggle for decolonization must continue which includes our minds, communities as well as nations. They continue to add that they can only thrive if the lasting effects colonization are eliminated.
They aim to build up their identity again by the revival of their culture, ways of life, and ceremonies. They go on to say that the oppression in America is preventing them from healing and achieving growth – and a connection to spirit that is essential for their people.
Previously in the summer of 2020, multiple protests took place after George Floyd was murdered by the police. As a result, the state and local governments were pressurized to take down confederate statues and monuments. It is likely that this LandBack movement are hoping to capture a similar ire that resulted in the arrest of Floyd’s murderers.
The Democratic House of Representatives passed a bill to remove these statues as they were in honor of the people who were responsible for the slavery of African Americans, as well as the forced mass migration of the Native Americans.