Jim Kenney, the far-left mayor of Philadelphia, is not happy that a city statue of Christopher Columbus — covered by a box since the height of 2020 rioting on the heels of George Floyd’s death — has been ordered uncovered by a court.
The Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania ruled Friday that the plywood box that’s been covering the statue at Marconi Plaza in south Philly since June 2020 must be removed, PhillyVoice said.
What’s the background?
City officials had the monument covered after an armed group protecting the statue threw down with another group demanding its removal, the outlet said.
Indeed, about 100 people guarded the statue from potential vandalism on June 13-14, 2020 — and wielded bats, golf clubs, sticks, and guns to convince those who might hold opposite opinions to stay away.
During the prior week, protesters across America beheaded, toppled, and vandalized statues and monuments in their fury over Floyd’s death. Meanwhile Philly leftists ignorantly vandalized the statue of Matthias Baldwin — an abolitionist — outside City Hall, spray-painting “murderer” and “colonizer” on its pedestal.
The Friends of Marconi Plaza sued to have the Columbus statue displayed again, PhillyVoice said. But Kenney had ordered the statue’s removal, WTXF-TV reported, calling it a matter of public safety. Kenney also said Columbus — revered for centuries as an explorer — had a “much more infamous” history and treated Indigenous people with brutality, the station said.
A judge last year reversed the city’s decision to remove the statue, saying officials failed to provide evidence that the move was necessary to protect the public, WTXF said.
“It is baffling to this court as to how the City of Philadelphia wants to remove the Statue without any legal basis,” Judge Paula Patrick wrote, according to the station. “The City’s entire argument and case is devoid of any legal foundation.”
In October, the city painted the box with the colors of the Italian flag ahead of Columbus Day, the station said.
After the court’s ruling to remove the box covering the statue, Kenney’s office released a statement, WTXF said.
“We are very disappointed in the Court’s ruling,” the statement read, according to the station. “We continue to believe that the Christopher Columbus statue, which has been a source of controversy in Philadelphia, should be removed from its current position at Marconi Plaza. We are continuing to review the Court’s latest ruling and are working to comply with the Court’s orders, including unboxing. While we will respect this decision, we will also continue to explore our options for a way forward that allows Philadelphians to celebrate their heritage and culture while respecting the histories and circumstances of everyone’s different backgrounds.”
No ‘tryants or dictators’
But George Bochetto — attorney for Friends of Marconi Plaza — had a different reaction to the court’s ruling: “Today’s ruling stands for the proposition that we do not elect as our mayor tyrants or dictators. We elect representatives who are supposed to obey the law and follow the law.”
Court rules box covering Columbus statue in South Philadelphia must be removedyoutu.be