On Aug. 17, Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge Paula Patrick ruled that the boarded-up Christopher Columbus statue in Marconi Square can remain there, and that the city had no legal basis to try to remove it during the social upheaval in the summer of 2020. City workers at that time boarded up the statue, concealing the explorer’s name. Mayor Jim Kenney responded that he was disappointed by Judge Patrick’s ruling and the city would consider an appeal, according to news reports. A civil settlement between America 500 and the Delaware River Waterfront Corp. was announced in mid-September, clearing the way for the boards to be removed.
To the editor,
I am delighted to inform you and your readers of our (The 1492 Society of Philadelphia, and the Conference of Presidents of Major Italian-American Organizations) success in saving the Christopher Columbus Statute located in Philadelphia. After a year-and-a-half of litigation, a very courageous Judge (Hon. Paula Patrick) confirmed that the mayor’s attempt to rip down the statue in response to an angry mob of misinformed protesters was completely illegal, and had “no foundation whatsoever in law.” The statue shall remain by order of the court.
This is not just a victory for Italian Americans – it is a victory for all ethnic groups against mob rule and spineless politicians who refuse to exercise leadership in the face of adversity. Today, Columbus and Italian American culture are being attacked all over the country, but tomorrow it may be some other ethnic culture or group depending on the whims on a misinformed mob or some tyrannical politician. This ruling stands as a bulwark against such attacks.
I am hearing from Italian Americans all over the country, applauding the American Constitutional due process that we rely upon to live our lives with freedom and dignity, and I could not be more happy for us all.
George Bochetto, Esq., Philadelphia