Italian American organization files lawsuit against NJ city over Christopher Columbus statue removal

The Italian American One Voice Coalition is saying to towns across New Jersey … we'll see you in court … after the removal of Christopher Columbus statues and monuments.

News 12 Staff

Sep 18, 2020, 8:51 AM

Updated 1,305 days ago

Share:

The Italian American One Voice Coalition is saying to towns across New Jersey - 'We'll see you in court' - after the removal of Christopher Columbus statues and monuments.
Andre DiMino is the head of the Italian American One Voice Coalition. He says leaders in cities such as Camden and Trenton, as well as town's like West Orange, caved to mob rule, using incorrect information about Columbus when they removed statues or monuments, like the one that was taken this past summer from the intersection of Valley and Kingsley streets in West Orange.
"West Orange is the first lawsuit that we're filing,” says DiMino.
The monument has stood since 1992. In June, there was a decision to remove the monument. Around 1,500 residents signed a petition in favor of its removal, coming just days after Camden got rid of its Columbus statue, and Trenton was talking about the removal of its statue.
“What we're talking about here is a violation of the 14th amendment because Italian Americans are a cognizable racial group under the 14th amendment and you can't discriminate for one ethnicity over another,” says DiMino.
"We really would hope that people would check the reputable facts and reputable sources about Columbus,” says DiMino. “All these atrocities that they are pinning on him are just not true. We would tell the mayor that he should reverse his decision with that statue back and honor the Italian Americans that find that statue to be so important."
DiMino specifically mentions the Howard Zinn book, A People's History of the United States, as a source of negative and misleading information concerning Columbus.
West Orange officials say Mayor Robert Parisi is reserving comment on matters of pending litigation and will not be granting interviews regarding the monument removal at this time. 
The suit is filed in Federal U.S. District Court against the township. 


More from News 12
Prosecutor: Atlantic City mayor, wife accused of physically abusing teen daughter

Prosecutor: Atlantic City mayor, wife accused of physically abusing teen daughter

1:52
Mostly sunny in New Jersey with highs near 80; thunderstorms tonight in Ocean County

Mostly sunny in New Jersey with highs near 80; thunderstorms tonight in Ocean County

0:27
NJ Transit: Body found on train tracks in Fair Lawn

NJ Transit: Body found on train tracks in Fair Lawn

1:55
Middlesex County rabbi: No loss of life during Iran airstrikes on Israel was ‘miraculous’

Middlesex County rabbi: No loss of life during Iran airstrikes on Israel was ‘miraculous’

0:27
Prosecutors: Man found dead in Paterson house fire

Prosecutors: Man found dead in Paterson house fire

0:20
Downed wires cause car fires in Elmwood Park; no injuries

Downed wires cause car fires in Elmwood Park; no injuries

0:48
Tax Day 2024 deals at Krispy Kreme, Grubhub, Dave & Busters

Tax Day 2024 deals at Krispy Kreme, Grubhub, Dave & Busters

0:18
2 best friends from New Jersey split $1 million Powerball winnings

2 best friends from New Jersey split $1 million Powerball winnings

9:54
be Well: Melissa Gorga on balancing life on reality television and her business

be Well: Melissa Gorga on balancing life on reality television and her business

0:27
Officials: Warren County man arrested for punching 2 Newark police officers

Officials: Warren County man arrested for punching 2 Newark police officers

2:33
Made In New Jersey: Unionwear in Newark makes clothes for union members nationwide

Made In New Jersey: Unionwear in Newark makes clothes for union members nationwide

0:38
Ridgewood's Scottie Scheffler unstoppable and wins another Masters green jacket

Ridgewood's Scottie Scheffler unstoppable and wins another Masters green jacket

0:28
New Jersey Turnpike Authority warns users of text message scam

New Jersey Turnpike Authority warns users of text message scam

0:28
NJ man sentenced to serve 15 years in prison for 2023 sexual assault, kidnapping at Farleigh Dickinson University

NJ man sentenced to serve 15 years in prison for 2023 sexual assault, kidnapping at Farleigh Dickinson University

0:19
Riverton police arrest man accused of burglarizing multiple sheds, garages

Riverton police arrest man accused of burglarizing multiple sheds, garages

0:29
Travel advisory: Lane closures planned this week at many bridge, tunnel crossings in and out of New Jersey

Travel advisory: Lane closures planned this week at many bridge, tunnel crossings in and out of New Jersey

1:47
Food labels can sometimes be misleading. Kane In Your Corner explains what to look out for.

Food labels can sometimes be misleading. Kane In Your Corner explains what to look out for.

0:22
Passaic Valley Water Commission to begin annual hydrant flushing today

Passaic Valley Water Commission to begin annual hydrant flushing today

4:39
Guide: Ways to help you identify and deal with work burnout

Guide: Ways to help you identify and deal with work burnout

1:21
NJ residents who have family in Israel worried over their safety amid Iran's attack on Middle Eastern country

NJ residents who have family in Israel worried over their safety amid Iran's attack on Middle Eastern country