During the civil unrest[1] that followed the murder of George Floyd in May 2020, a number of monuments and memorials associated with racial injustice were vandalized, destroyed or removed, or commitments to remove them were announced. This occurred mainly in the United States, but also in several other countries. Some of the monuments in question had been the subject of lengthy, years-long efforts to remove them, sometimes involving legislation and/or court proceedings. In some cases the removal was legal and official; in others, most notably in Alabama and North Carolina,[2] laws prohibiting the removal of monuments were deliberately broken.

Initially, protesters targeted monuments to the Confederate States of America, its leaders and its military. As the scope of the protests broadened to include other forms of systemic racism, many statues of Christopher Columbus in the United States were removed, as he participated in abuses against Native American

s[3] and his arrival in the Americas was the beginning of the genocide of Native American people

.[4] Statues of Junípero Serra, Juan de Oñate and Kit Carson, also involved in mistreatment of Native Americans, were also torn down or removed. Monuments to many other local figures connected with racism were also removed. Several statues of American slave owners were also vandalized or removed, including Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Ulysses S. Grant, and Francis Scott Key] By October 2020, over a hundred Confederate symbols had been “removed, relocated or renamed,” as the Huffington Post put it, based on data from the Southern Poverty Law Center.[8]