NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A public hearing was held in Manhattan to give New Yorkers a chance to weigh-in on the statue removal debate.

Some speakers called for more statues honoring women, some said increase tour guides and educational programs, but Conor Tomas Reed — a writing instructor at CUNY — said the Columbus statue, the Teddy Roosevelt statue, and the J Marion Sims statue have to go.

“These three monuments serve as daily reminders of colonialism, indigenous genocide, and white supremacist eugenics,” he said.

Italian American groups supporting Columbus had their turn. Joe Guillardo is the president of the Italian Columbia Association.

“He took the same voyage that Italian Americans needed to take, that Italians needed to take to get away from oppression,” he said.

He said to remove statues is to divide ethnic groups.

Hearings have also been held in Brooklyn and Queens.

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