Demonstrations expected as Columbus Day Parade marches up Fifth Avenue


As part of the commemoration of Columbus Day, a wreath laying ceremony was held at Columbus Circle Sunday to recognize Italian-American immigrants.

In late August, police arrested a 27-year-old man for beheading a Christopher Columbus statue in a park and splattering it with red paint and phrases that read, "Hate will not be tolerated".

And then there's the issue of leaving out entire groups of native people.

Austin City Council in Texas and Salt Lake City, Utah, chose to opt for the new holiday as late as last week and Santa Barbara, California; Silver City, New Mexico; and Miami County in Kansas have all expressed interest in following suit in future.

For years debate has raged over Columbus' historical legacy, with some arguing that a man who opened the Americas to European domination should not be celebrated.

As a result, there has been a growing chorus across the country to switch out Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples' Day.

Hunter Sagaskie, a Native American Programs peer adviser, also thinks the national holiday is inappropriate.

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"We have all lived together for over 400 years and have had great respect for each others' culture and heritage". A majority of the members who didn't vote declined to comment about their decision, according to the paper.

"I have nothing against honoring Native Americans, of course", he said.

Columbus Day parades are also caught up in the winds of change.

Landing of Columbus, (1847) by American painter John Vanderlyn, shows the explorer arriving in the West Indies on October 12, 1492. It is marked across the Americas, and became a USA holiday in 1937. Viking explorers were the first Europeans to reach North America, and how do you discover a place where people are already living? As the holiday approached, NY police kept 24-hour guard over the imposing Christopher Columbus statue in Midtown Manhattan.

A wreath-laying ceremony at a NY statue of Christopher Columbus the day before the Columbus Day holiday was been interrupted briefly by demonstrators speaking out against honoring the Italian explorer. Particularly notable are 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus and 1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created, both by Charles C. Mann.

"Columbus came here in 1492, and they want to judge his actions with the standards of 2017", he previously told WCBS 880's Peter Haskell.

Roman Catholic Italian-Americans during the late 19th and early 20th centuries successfully campaigned to establish Columbus Day to make a place in US history for Catholic Italians like Christopher Columbus. Salt Lake City officials declared Tuesday that they would keep Columbus Day but observe Indigenous Peoples Day on the same day.