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Protesters pulled down a statue of Christopher Columbus in Maryland on Independence Day and threw it in Baltimore Harbor.

USA TODAY

BALTIMORE – Baltimore protesters pulled down a statue of Christopher Columbus and threw it into the city’s Inner Harbor on Saturday night.

Protesters used ropes to throw the monument near the Little Italy neighborhood, news outlets reported.

Protesters mobilized by George Floyd’s death in police hands have requested the removal of statues of Columbus, Confederate figures and others. They say that the Italian explorer is responsible for the genocide and exploitation of Native people in America.

According to The Baltimore Sun, the statue was owned by the city and was added in 1984 by former Mayor William Donald Schaefer and President Ronald Reagan.

A spokesman for Baltimore Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young told The Sun that the statue’s fall is part of a national and global monument review “that can represent different things to different people.”

“We understand that the dynamics that play out in Baltimore are part of a national story,” Lester Davis said.

Statues of Columbus have also been thrown or vandalized in cities like Miami; Richmond, Virginia; St. Paul, Minnesota; and Boston, where one was beheaded.

On July 4, protesters held rallies, marches and sit-ins in Chicago, Washington, DC, Los Angeles and more than a dozen other US cities and towns.

“We refuse to celebrate”: On July 4, protesters say not all Americans are free

On Friday, protesters blocked a highway leading up to Mount Rushmore, where President Donald Trump was planning. Police used pepper spray and arrested the protesters, who claim that the land on which the monument is located – the Black Hills – was seized from Lakota Sioux by the US government in the 19th century, and that the Trump administration is opposed to Native American and other minority interests.

On Saturday in the nation’s capital, where Trump planned to host hundreds of people at the White House for music and fireworks, organizers led several demonstrations across the city in the mid-90s heat. Dozens of veterans marched in support of black lives near the National Mall. Some organizers camped out in tents along Black Lives Matter Plaza.

Starring: Grace Hauck, USA TODAY

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