Olvera Street

Demonstrators Pull Down Statue of Junipero Serra Downtown

Statue of Junipero Serra holding a cross and the shoulder of an indigenous boy
Roberto Machado Noa / LightRocket via Getty Images

Demonstrators Saturday toppled a statue of Father Junipero Serra from its perch at the Placita Olvera downtown.

A video of the event was posted to social media, saying: "Natives just tore down the statue of Junipero Serra at Placita Olvera in solidarity with #BLMprotest #antiracism #antislavery.''

The hands and head of the statue were covered with what appeared to be red paint, in photos published in the Los Angeles Times, which noted the vandalism came one day after a statue of Serra, Francis Scott Key and former President Ulysses S. Grant were overturned in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park.

Serra was an 18th Century Franciscan priest responsible for founding nine of the 21 Catholic missions in California with the aim of bringing native peoples into the fold.

Tribes were destroyed by assimilation and by exposure to foreign diseases, the paper reported.

Pope Francis canonized Serra September 23, 2015.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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