By Sasha Gonzales and Kevin Deutsch
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An effort to remove the last Christoper Columbus statue in the Bronx is gaining steam after a local man started a petition declaring the monument offensive and racist.
Felix Cepeda, whose petition has gained national interest, said the statue in the borough’s Belmont neighborhood should be hauled away by the city amid a national reckoning with anti-Black racism.
“For many Indigenous and Black people Columbus only represents oppression,” wrote Cepeda, referring to the lethal violence and slavery Columbus and his men routinely used to colonize indigenous lands.
As of Saturday the petition had nearly 100 signatures. Similar statues have been removed in cities and towns across the country, many of them by residents who brought the monuments down by force.