Golden Gate Park

Statues Vandalized in Golden Gate Park

By Thomas K. Pendergast

On Friday night, June 19, more than a hundred black-clad people, some of them wearing anarchy symbols, cheered as the statues of Fr. Junipero Serra, the founder of the California Mission system was brought down in protest of his treatment of the First Nation people who inhabited what is now California. 

Next to come down was a statue of Francis Scott Key, the writer of a poem which would later be used as the words to the U.S. National Anthem. In the third stanza of the song, Key bragged about the death of slaves who had fought on the side of the British in the War of 1812. 

The statue of U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant was also toppled. The statue of Miguel de Cervantes, the Spanish writer who wrote the famous story Don Quixote, was also vandalized. 

The San Francisco Polic Department issued the following statement:

On Friday, June 19, 2020 at approximately 8:15 p/m., San Francisco Police officers from Richmond Station responded to the area of Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive and Martin Luther King Jr. Drive for a report of a large civic gathering. Officers arrived observed several hundred people vandalizing multiple statues. During the incident, members of the group threw objects at the officers. At approximately 9:30 p.m. the group began to disperse.  No arrests were made and no injuries were reported.  Officers were patrolling the area throughout the night. 

Photos by Thomas K. Pendergast

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