BREAKING: New Haven Taking Down Columbus Statue in Wooster Square Despite Protests

NBC New York reports the city of New Haven is taking down the Christopher Columbus statue in Wooster Square in New Haven on Wednesday.

A crowd of people who oppose the removal of the statue gathered early on Wednesday morning to guard the statue and the protest was calm and peaceful until later in the morning when groups clashed over the removal, leading to a physical altercation.

The statue is being removed amid protests nationwide for racial justice and the city parks commission will later decide what to do with it.

New Haven police said 40 to 50 people had gathered in Wooster Square Park as of 6 a.m. and they were monitoring the situation.

An organizer of the protest said he has filed an injunction and the city does not have the right to remove the statue down.

This statue has stood in Wooster Square Park for more than 125 years and for many Italian Americans, it is a symbol of success and achievement.

For others, the statue is a symbol of bigotry and colonialism and they feel should be removed.

People in favor of removing the statues chanted, “hey, hey, hey, good bye” and “tear it down,” as the city prepared to bring down the statue.

Over the weekend, someone tossed red paint onto it during a protest, according to police.

The New Haven School Board has also voted to take major steps when it comes to Christopher Columbus.

It decided to rename the Christopher Columbus Family Academy in the Fair Haven neighborhood and replace Columbus Day on the school calendar with Indigenous Peoples Day.