Former mayor and congressman Lou Barletta, Republican candidate for governor of Pennsylvania, today issued the following statement regarding the court's ruling to overturn the City of Philadelphia's unlawful decision to remove the Christopher Columbus statue: “I applaud the court for upholding the rule of law and for recognizing Mayor Kenney's actions for what they are: a knee-jerk reaction to the woke cancel culture mob and an egregious disregard for proper legal procedure. "This ruling is a win for not only Italian-Americans, but for freedom and history as a whole. This cancel culture environment we live in has to stop. It's utterly outrageous and wrong. I encourage people to educate themselves on the issues before falling victim to the mainstream media and Big Tech's spin machine. "I encourage Mayor Kenney and the City of Philadelphia to accept the court's ruling and refrain from filing retaliatory appeals so the people of Philadelphia can begin the healing process and move forward from this divisive moment in history." Background: Following the unjust murder of George Floyd last summer - and the rioting and looting that followed - the City of Philadelphia made the decision to remove the Christopher Columbus statue after woke activists in the city deemed it as a symbol of hate and oppression. Rather than doing the right thing and having a constructive dialogue on how to fix the issue moving forward, Mayor Kenney and city leaders voided all legal procedures and unlawfully decided to remove the statue. In her decision to reverse the City of Philadelphia's unlawful removal of the statue, Judge Paula Patrick highlighted the City was inconsistent with code, never showed to the court ongoing civil unrest beyond last June and failed to allow for 90 days of public input: “It is baffling to this Court as to how the City of Philadelphia wants to remove the Statue without any legal basis. The City's entire argument and case is devoid of any legal foundation." You can read the full decision HERE.