Abraham Lincoln statue vandalized by anonymous group of ‘colonial violence resisters’ – NBC Chicago

A statue of Abraham Lincoln Monday afternoon in Lincoln Park was vandalized with red paint and tagged with the phrases “Avenge the Colonizers,” “Land Back!” and “Avenge Dakota 38,” police say.

Officials said the vandalism happened around 12:30 p.m. Monday to the “Standing Lincoln” statue in the 1600 block of N. LaSalle St. No one was in custody, police said.

In a statement, an anonymous group of ‘colonial violence resisters’ claimed vandalism, saying they wanted to commemorate Indigenous Peoples Day and draw attention to the public execution of 38 Dakota men during the American War -dakota of 1862.

Pieces of paper bearing the names of the 38 executed men were taped to the statue.

According to Block Club Chicago, legislation to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day as a Chicago holiday was introduced in 2019 but has since stalled in the city council. Similarly, a bill that would recognize statewide vacations has been stalled at the Statehouse since 2017.

A Chicago Tribune report says the statue, along with hundreds of other city landmarks, were identified in 2021 on Mayor Lightfoot’s list of controversial public landmarks slated for public debate to determine which were offensive, problematic or did not present a fair. view of history.

The Chicago Landmarks Committee ultimately did not recommend the Lincoln statue’s removal in its final report. Instead, he suggested that his companion plaque be revised to add broader historical context. The current plaque describes the architectural significance of the monument.

“This monument to the sixteenth American president influenced a generation of sculptors,” it read.

The statue is one of Chicago’s oldest public sculptures. Lincoln stands in front of a huge chair in “a thoughtful stance as if about to deliver a speech,” according to the Chicago Park District website. There are replicas in London and Mexico City.

A “brain trust” of community leaders, artists, architects, scholars, curators, and city officials formed the landmarks committee that reviewed the Lincoln statue. The group also examined statues of three other former US presidents: George Washington, Ulysses S. Grant and William McKinley.

In its final report, the committee recommended the sites of the George Washington and William McKinley monuments for permanent and/or ongoing “priority artistic interventions”. The group acknowledged that the works were important but did not address the “difficult legacy of their subjects”.

The city created the monuments project in 2020 after the removal of three statues of Christopher Columbus, which were torn from their places after violent clashes between police and protesters who tried to topple the monuments. A statue of McKinley was also vandalized that year.

This year, the commission recommended the city permanently remove the Columbus statues, saying “the image of Columbus has become a bitter reminder of centuries of exploitation, conquest and genocide.”

Cities across the country have been strewn with historical symbols and monuments in recent years in response to protests against racism and institutional oppression.

Last year, the San Francisco School Board decided to rename 44 of its public schools, including Abraham Lincoln High School.

Washington, DC, Mayor Muriel Bowser created a committee in 2020 to remove the names of schools, parks and public buildings honoring those who enslaved black people. Chicago Public Schools also pledged to rename 30 schools named for slavers that year.

The Chicago Sun-Times wire contributed to this report.

NBC Chicago

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