Federal Judge declares IAOVC has standing to sue in West Orange Lawsuit over Columbus Monument
In September of 2020, during the height of the COVID pandemic, a team of IAOVC members along with volunteer attorneys and supporters gathered remotely to formulate a legal strategy to save Columbus monuments across America. This was in response to dozens, if not hundreds of requests from Italian Americans across the country to stop the attacks on our cultural heritage. If you were on social media frequently, as many of us were, you came across a common postings that read "Where are all the Italian Americans?" This was what many of us felt as we were witnesses to the destruction of our monuments. We could no longer wait for others to act and decided it was up to a small number of dedicated IAOVC members and IAOVC Coalition Organization Members to take action. That is exactly what we did!
After years of watching Columbus monuments being vandalized and wrongfully removed, the IAOVC decided enough was enough and filed the first landmark Federal lawsuit against West Orange NJ for the wrongful removal of a Columbus monument which was revered in the West Orange NJ community.
Many in the community were fearful to bring lawsuits to reinstate Columbus monuments for fear of retaliation by local officials, a lack of funding or the amount of work required to take on such a task. We are proud to say that the IAOVC lead the way by filing the first landmark Federal lawsuit of its kind. As a result of this lawsuit, the community saw that it was possible to fight back legally to defend the civil rights of Italian Americans. Since we filed this lawsuit in September of 2020, other organizations followed our lead with great success.
We are extremely proud to report that the Federal court has just declared that IAOVC has standing to sue on behalf of its members. THIS IS A WATERSHED MOMENT IN ITALIAN AMERICAN HISTORY! We will keep everyone updated as more information becomes available.
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