Philadelphia mayor criticizes group ‘protecting’ Columbus statue

Jun 15, 2020 937

A group of people gathered around a statue of Christopher Columbus in south Philadelphia over the weekend, saying they intended to protect it from vandals amid the recent protests — despite criticism from the mayor. The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that about 100 people clustered around the statue of the explorer at Marconi Plaza on Saturday, at least two with guns and others with baseball bats.

Thomas Easterday, 50, said the goal of the gathering was simple. “Protecting the statue from these rioters who want to take it down,” he said. A woman nearby held up a sign saying “Stand Up, South Philly Won’t Stand Down.” On Sunday, Mayor Jim Kenney said in a Twitter post that officials were aware of “groups of armed individuals ‘protecting’” the statue.

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