CAMBRIDGE, MASS. (WHDH) - Not everyone in Massachusetts celebrated Columbus Day on Monday. In some cities, like Cambridge, a movement to abolish the holiday and replace it with Indigenous Peoples Day has gained momentum.
It’s customary for towns and cities to hold parades on the second Monday in October. Schools are closed, government offices shut down and many businesses give employees a long weekend to mark Columbus Day.
But in Cambridge, the city isn’t celebrating Columbus.
“This was someone who engaged in a slave trade, kicked off a slave trade and had a particularly nasty penance for torture,” said Cambridge City Councilor Nadeem Mazen. “You don’t celebrate genocidal torture addicts.”
Last year, Democratic councilor Mazen, who is now running for Congress, helped remove the Columbus holiday and replace it with Indigenous Peoples Day to remember those they say were hurt and displaced by the explorer.
Three other Massachusetts towns did the same thing and supporters rallied together Saturday in hopes of getting other towns on board.
At Revere’s Columbus Day parade, the Sons of Italy collected signatures to keep things as is.
“He led the wave of every other Italian American who came over here and built this country,” Phil Boncore said.
In Boston’s North End, home to Christopher Columbus Park and statue, Italian Americans are celebrated the day. They say taking the day away from them is a knock to their heritage and history.
“We have a song: 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue. We’re not changing the song. This is what we were taught, this is what we believe and it should keep living on,” Frank LonNao said.
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