EAST HANOVER, NJ - The Italian American One Voice Coalition has started a petition to save the Christopher Columbus monument in East Hanover. As of 8pm on June 21st there are 291 signatures. The petition states the following from its site on Change.org:
"We, the people of East Hanover, recognize the Columbus monument as a symbol of atonement for the brutal mistreatment of Italian Americans since their arrival as immigrants in our country. They have a fundamental right to celebrate their culture and heritage without undue interference from government officials or acts of aggression from private citizens. The Columbus monument is also a proud immigrant symbol which represents their monumental undertaking when immigrants from around the world left their home country to begin a new life in America. East Hanover deserves to keep this symbol to honor those that came before and help build this great city of ours.
We also call on the Mayor and City Council to protect the civil rights of Italian American residents of East Hanover and condemn the acts of exclusion being taken by other groups and individuals. Everyone has the right to celebrate their culture, but no resident or group has the right to try and eliminate another.
Italian Americans are Equal.
The Italian American One Voice Coalition strongly supports Columbus as a symbol of our ethnic pride and heritage, chosen by the millions of Italian Immigrants before us who suffered blatant bigotry, discrimination and sadly, the largest mass lynching in America history. With their strong work ethics and family values, Italian Americans became a tremendous success story. Citizens, please consider supporting our cause and sign this very important petition.
You can access the petition by clicking here.