L.A. City Council replaces Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day on city calendar

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.”
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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.”

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