Vandals doused statues of Christopher Columbus in San Francisco, California, and Providence, Rhode Island, with red paint in protest of Columbus Day. In San Francisco, the vandals spray-painted the words "destroy all monuments of genocide and kill all colonizers" on the statue while in Providence, they hung a sign that read "stop celebrating genocide" around its base.
The acts of vandalism come as a growing number of people believe that Columbus Day should be replaced by Indigenous Peoples' Day to honor the Native Americans who would be driven from their homes and killed by European colonizers in the centuries that followed Columbus coming to North America.
People who live near the statues were not happy with the acts of vandalism.
"To the people that did do that, you put the blood back on his hands," Priscilla Jackson, a Native American, told Rhode Island television station WJAR. "When I saw it, it was disheartening," said a man looking at the damage. "I have my opinion, you have your opinion, but to desecrate a statue, it doesn't prove anything. It doesn't gain anything positive out of that."
In San Francisco, one woman whose grandparents were part Apache told KRON that while she understands the motives behind the vandalism, she is upset it will cost the taxpayers money to clean the statues.
"This was unnecessary," Gina Williams told the news station. "These are our tax dollars that have to clean this. You made the mess -- do you realize it's still coming out of your pocket? People don't think. They just don't think."