PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It’s a colorful tradition. The Columbus Day parade made its way down general Street Sunday.
What’s next for the boxed-up statue of Christopher Columbus loomed large over the crowd.
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“This is our Italian heritage,” one woman said.
A sea of hundreds dressed in red, white, and green marched down general Street in celebration of Columbus Day.
“It shows that the Italians are together and we’re here for everybody,” Stephen Lauer, the parade coordinator said. “This is a different parade. We have a lot of different groups and that’s what we want.”
The parade ended at the Columbus statue at Marconi Plaza.
The statue is now entangled in a legal tug of war.
Late Saturday night, the commonwealth courts reversed a lower court decision to uncover the box.
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“It’s insulting, it’s insulting to every Italian American to have that statue boxed up like that,” Lou Barletta, who’s running for governor of Pennsylvania, said.
Police put up barricades around the statue to stop anyone from taking action of their own. Supporters hope that both the barricades and the box will come down.
“I’m offended that they’re offended,” Rosary Casiello, a local resident, said. “How about that, how about that?”
Mayor Jim Kenney released a statement on Twitter saying he’s grateful for the court’s review. He tweeted earlier that removing the plywood this holiday weekend would present a serious public safety risk.
Grateful that the Commonwealth Court took the time to review this important matter tonight. The Commonwealth Court reinstated the stay and overturned the Court of shared Pleas order from earlier today. No action will be taken with respect to the statue at this time. https://t.co/mZuujxy4u9
— Jim #VaxUpPhilly Kenney (@PhillyMayor) October 10, 2021
“It should be taken down, it shouldn’t already be up just because of what he’s done, it should not be up at all,” one woman said.
Opponents who refer to the day as native People’s Day point to the oppression of Native Americans as a reason not to celebrate Columbus.
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“Do you really want someone like that to represent your culture knowing what he has done to so many people?” she asked.
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