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More than 24,000 sign petition to replace New Jersey city's Columbus statue with one of Marsha P. Johnson

More than 24,000 people have signed an online petition to replace a statue of Christopher Columbus in Elizabeth, N.J., with one of Marsha P. Johnson, an LGBTQ activist who was born there.

“We should commemorate Marsha P. Johnson for the incredible things she did in her lifetime and for the inspiration she is to members of the LGBT+ community worldwide, especially black trans women,” wrote Celine De Silva, the organizer of the petition, which had nearly reached its goal of 25,000 signatures as of Monday afternoon.

Johnson, a black trans woman, was a central figure in the 1969 Stonewall uprisings in New York. She also helped found the Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries (STAR), a group that housed homeless and transgender youth, with fellow activist Sylvia Rivera.

De Silva wrote that Columbus, whose history of slavery and genocide has come under renewed focus amid ongoing protests against racial inequality, “is not a figure to be celebrated."

The Hill has reached out to Elizabeth, N.J., Mayor Christian Bollwage (D) about the petition.

Earlier this year, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said the East River State Park, located in Brooklyn, would be renamed after Johnson. It is the first New York state park to be named after an LGBTQ person.

Statues of Columbus have been targeted by activists in multiple cities across the country, as have those of Confederate leaders and others associated with slavery or white supremacy.

Cuomo has declined to call for the removal of a statue of Columbus in New York City, calling it a representation of the “Italian American legacy.”

Two other statues of Columbus have recently been removed from New Jersey cities, specifically West Orange and Camden, according to

by TheHill.comreply 2106/30/2020

So why can't they add a lovely statue honoring Ms Johnson? Why does a statue honoring a history I identify with have to be removed? This makes no sense. Because we're all bored by the covid self isolation, people are not using their heads for anything except as a hatrack anymore. The internet allows every idea be it good or bad to be given far more consideration than it deserves.

by TheHill.comreply 106/29/2020


by TheHill.comreply 206/29/2020

Except Marsha:

1. Was a self-identified GAY MAN

2. Did NOT lead the Stonewall riots as one can hear in an AUDIO INTERVIEW in Marsha's OWN VOICE at the link below!!!

Offsite Link
by TheHill.comreply 306/29/2020

[quote]Johnson, a black trans woman, was a central figure in the 1969 Stonewall uprisings in New York.

Except SHE WASN'T!!!!!

She wasn't even TRANS!!!!! She was a bipolar, sex hustling homeless street person, man in drag!

Jesus Fucking Christ, why are there journalism schools when one can create entire social movement histories by retyping what you read on Facebook?

by TheHill.comreply 406/29/2020

Even the Marsha Johnson documentary on NETFLIX explians all this R4. I don't think any of these morons have even seen it!

by TheHill.comreply 506/29/2020

Stop the Insanity. Are we all being punished for some collective misdeed in our previous lives?

by TheHill.comreply 606/29/2020

At the base of the statue will be a bronze plaque with a list of her johns.

by TheHill.comreply 706/29/2020

Google Doodle today

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by TheHill.comreply 806/29/2020

All I hear all day long on the Niña is how great Marsha is at this and how wonderful Marsha did at that. Marsha, Marsha, MARSHA!

by TheHill.comreply 906/29/2020

How about erecting a statue in honour of those who participated in the first public gay rights demonstration?

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by TheHill.comreply 1006/30/2020

Is that high school in Virginia, Robert E Lee High changing its name to Martin Luther King, Jr High School?

by TheHill.comreply 1106/30/2020


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by TheHill.comreply 1206/30/2020

She was a junkie whore with serious mental problems.

Now she's being revised as some sort of Disneyesque character. It's insane.

by TheHill.comreply 1306/30/2020

Supposedly there is also petition to rename some place on Fire Island after Marsha P. Johnson.

by TheHill.comreply 1406/30/2020

Absolutely ridiculous.

by TheHill.comreply 1506/30/2020


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by TheHill.comreply 1606/30/2020

First time in my life where I've ever heard of a statue been made of a mentally ill, drugged addicted prostitute. I've got an idea - make a statue of her passed out on a park bench.

by TheHill.comreply 1706/30/2020

[quote]Now she's being revised as some sort of Disneyesque character. It's insane.

It's nothing more than the timeworn, patriarchal Hollywood "Magical Negro" trope found everywhere lazy, hackneyed white people exist.

It grows more powerful, insulting and phoney by the hour.

by TheHill.comreply 1806/30/2020

R17 Person posing for Marsha statue.

Offsite Link
by TheHill.comreply 1906/30/2020

This is sad. But I don't want to put Marsha in the same category as Rivera.

There are some brave souls speaking the truth on Twitter - but you know what that leads to - vitriolic hatred and and suspended accounts.

Like Fred Sargeant.

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by TheHill.comreply 2006/30/2020

R18 is right. I feel like I’m taking crazy pills. Is this what it’s like, getting old? Maybe the way I feel is just fatigue and being jaded. Does all this seem normal and good to young people?

And, as r1 said, can’t they just make a new statue?

by TheHill.comreply 2106/30/2020
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