There could be more protesters than usual at this year's Columbus Day ceremony in Pueblo. News 5 spoke with a representative from a new socialist group who tells us they plan to join the Native American groups who regularly demonstrate at the event.
They call themselves Pueblo Socialists and member Domhnall O'Durnion believes Christopher Columbus is the wrong historical figure to celebrate.
"Christopher Columbus, in history, he is responsible for the genocide and enslavement of Native American peoples," O'Durnion said.
The group tweeted about their upcoming demonstration and that post was liked and retweeted by Colorado Springs Antifa and the Colorado Springs Democratic Socialists of America.
News 5 reached out to those groups, but it remains unclear whether either plans to attend on Monday.
O'Durnion said around 10 to 15 people have joined their weekly discussions on socialism. He knows of other individuals he described as socialists and anarchists who will also be joining the protest on Monday.
O'Durnion wants the statue removed from the public square and believes that a museum would be a more appropriate place for display.
"We don't have statues of Adolf Hitler, we don't have statues of any other genocidal enslaver of peoples."
The century old statue located is located in a plaza right in the middle of Abriendo Avenue in the Mesa Junction neighborhood. The bronze bust sits on a 15 foot limestone pedestal and was first erected in 1905. It's currently listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
For decades, Italian Americans in Pueblo have celebrated Columbus' voyages to the New World and the lasting role they played in the founding of the United States.
"His particular expedition that came to the new world is responsible for us even having an opportunity today to talk about this," Jerry Carleo, a member of the Sons of Italy Lodge told News 5 on Monday. "That's how we remember him, that's how we think about that."
This year's celebration will specifically honor four influential Italian Americans from Pueblo; Samuel Corsentino, Ray Kogovsek, Vincent Massari and Charles V. Musso.
Lodge member John Panepinto told us there will be security at the event and their members are confident that the Pueblo Police Department can keep things under control.
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