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Shouting protesters were removed from the Utah Senate gallery Monday.
The demonstrators voiced their frustrations over the death of SB170, which would have changed observation of Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples Day. The Senate last week voted 15-10 to kill the proposal amid comments that it was an attempt to rewrite history.
In the gallery, one man yelled "[Sen.] Todd Weiler, we want to talk to you! You are racist. You are on stolen land."
Senate President Wayne Niederhauser, R-Sandy, immediately ordered the protesters out of the chamber: "You need to leave right now."
Sen. Jim Dabakis, D-Salt Lake City, sponsored the bill to honor an "incredible, amazing civilization."
Weiler, a Woods Cross Republican, said last week that it is "inconceivable" that Columbus could have killed millions and said most died because of diseases such as smallpox.
"The native population gave the early explorers syphilis, which they brought back to Europe. Blaming Columbus for the extermination of the native population is as fair as blaming the native population for people who die using tobacco and cocaine, which the natives introduced to the Europeans," Weiler said.
Sen. Allen Christensen, R-North Ogden, called the bill proposing the name change of Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples Day a "slap in the face" to Italian-Americans. And he called Columbus "a great American hero."
Outside the Senate chambers on Monday, the protesters spoke to the media. One said: "All we indigenous people ask is for a day, so we can we can be who we are, so we can talk about us, so people know that we are here."