South Philly residents surround Columbus statue as demonstrations unfold across the city

Jun 14, 2020 2758

BY: Chris Palmer

Joe Laino, 71, stood near the Christopher Columbus statue in South Philadelphia’s Marconi Plaza on Saturday while leaning on a baseball bat. A woman nearby held up a sign saying “Stand Up, South Philly Won’t Stand Down." And another man, who declined to give his name, stood close to the statue while holding a rifle — one of at least two men in the plaza carrying guns.

Thomas Easterday, 50, was among the crowd of about 100 people milling around the marble Columbus figure. He said the goal of the gathering was simple. “Protecting the statue from these rioters who want to take it down,” he said. 

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