Seattle Mayor Calls for Removal of Statue of Lenin

ashley.rae | August 18, 2017
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The mayor of Seattle has called for the removal of the infamous controversial statue of Vladimir Lenin in the city, saying it doesn’t “represent the best of who we are.”

In a statement on Thursday, Mayor Ed Murray said residents of Seattle have been upset over the “symbols of hate, racism and violence that exist in our city.” As a result, Murray called for the removal of a Confederate memorial, as well as the statue of Lenin:

Not only do these kinds of symbols represent historic injustices, their existence causes pain among those who themselves or whose family members have been impacted by these atrocities. We should remove all these symbols, no matter what political affiliation may have been assigned to them in the decades since they were erected. This includes both Confederate memorials and statues idolizing the founder of the authoritarian Soviet regime. Both are on private property, but I believe the Confederate memorial at Lake View Cemetery and the Lenin statue in Fremont should be removed. We should never forget our history, but we also should not idolize figures who have committed violent atrocities and sought to divide us based on who we are or where we came from.

According to Murray, the decision to remove monuments should be made regardless of the “political affiliation” associated with the statues.

Speaking of the Confederate monument, Murray told Q13Fox, “It is on private property and we have asked them to remove it. We think it’s in the best interest of the city. We think it sends a wrong message about who we are as a city.” 

“And I also know that people have been very upset about the statue of Vladimir Lenin -- not John Lennon -- but Vladimir Lenin and you know, I have had a position on that for years, ‘cause Fremont sits in my own legislative district,” Murray continued. “You know, that monument represents to many people in this city, their families having been murdered, the destruction of tens of millions of people. If I were an Eastern European American or a Jewish American, I’m not sure how I’d feel about that monument. So I think it’s time for these things to go. They don’t represent the best of who we are.”

Murray’s definitive remark comes after he told KIRO 7 that some people look at the statue of Lenin as a joke, while others take it more seriously.

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