Group calls for Faneuil Hall to be renamed

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FILE – In this April 19, 2013 file photo, the streets and sidewalks around Faneuil Hall Marketplace in Boston are almost deserted at dinnertime as a call for “shelter-in-place” for Boston and some area communities remains in force. Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick says the decision to lock down much of greater Boston during the search […]

BOSTON (WPRI) — Inspired by the recent removal of Confederate statues across the country, religious leaders are pushing to change the name of a historic Boston landmark.

At a press conference Wednesday, founder of the New Democracy Coalition Kevin Peterson said Peter Faneuil shouldn’t be memorialized because he was a trader and slave owner.

This comes at a time in our country where there are calls to remove Confederate reminders.

Peter Faneuil was a wealthy merchant in Boston in the 1700’s, who paid for the construction of Faneuil Hall to create a central marketplace in the city.

He worked in the business of sugar, molasses, wines, fish and timber, and according to the Faneuil Hall website, Peter’s trade also included African slaves.

Peterson says it’s an embarrassment for the city to use Faneuil Hall with a name like that attached to it.

“I call on the Mayor and I call on the people of goodwill in Boston to rename this building so that Black people and people of goodwill of all colors can come to this place and feel a sense of civil pride,” Peterson said.

The only Confederate monument in Massachusetts is on Georges Island in Boston Harbor.

It’s now covered up by wooden planks, but the state can’t take it down because it is a historic landmark.

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker says he would like to see it removed from public property, but they need to be respectful of the process.

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