Los Angeles Times:
The Los Angeles City Council voted Wednesday to eliminate Columbus Day from the city calendar, siding with activists who view the explorer as a symbol of genocide for native peoples in North America and elsewhere.
Over the objections of Italian American civic groups, the council made the second Monday in October a day in L.A. to commemorate “indigenous, aboriginal and native people.” It replaces a holiday that served as a touchstone for Italian Americans, marking the arrival of Christopher Columbus in the Caribbean.
Italian Americans voiced anguish over the proposal, telling council members it would erase a portion of their heritage. Some said they supported the creation of Indigenous Peoples Day as long as it is held on a different date.
“On behalf of the Italian community, we want to celebrate with you,” said Ann Potenza, president of Federated Italo-Americans of Southern California, speaking in a room packed with Native American activists. “We just don’t want it to be at the expense of Columbus Day.”
That idea was unacceptable to Chrissie Castro, vice chairwoman of the Los Angeles City-County Native American Indian Commission. She argued that city lawmakers needed to “dismantle a state-sponsored celebration of genocide of indigenous peoples.”
“To make us celebrate on any other day would be a further injustice,” Castro said.
The day will remain a paid holiday for city employees, regardless of the nam...
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