25 September 2018 - Racist Statue Removed in San Francisco
San Francisco Removes Statue Of Native Man At Feet Of Colonizers
Camila Domonoske (NPR, 14/09/2018)
In the pre-dawn darkness on Friday morning, work crews removed a controversial statue from San Francisco's Civic Center Plaza, after the city's arts commission unanimously voted to take down the "racist and disrespectful sculpture."
The statue depicts "the degradation and genocide of Native American peoples" using stereotypes that "are now universally viewed as disrespectful, misleading, and racist," the arts commission said in February.
Dozens of people watched and celebrated the removal of the statue, which showed a Native American man on the ground, gazing up toward conquering European figures.
A 124-year-old statue reviled by Native Americans – and how it came down
Jose Fermoso (The Guardian, 24/09/2018)
In the middle of the night and with dozens of Native Americans watching, San Francisco city workers tied safety ropes around a 124-year-old bronze statue and pulled. Carefully, they dislodged the piece from a granite platform and laid it on top of a flatbed truck. It was a moment stoked with meaning. After decades of effort, the Early Days statue, a symbol of colonization and oppression to many, was gone.
Those who gathered at the removal last week didn’t celebrate with fire torches. They only prayed, sang hymns, and looked on morosely at the empty platform. That’s what happens when civic institutions, in this case the city arts commissions, finally see a people as worthy of protection.
“I feel like it is a win. I feel good about it. [But] there is still a lot of work to be done,” Desirae Harp, a Mishewal Ona*tsáTis (Wappo) and Diné (Navajo) tribe member told me.
San Francisco statue criticized as racist to Indigenous people removed
Associated Press (CBC News, 14/09/2018)
A 19th century statue near San Francisco's City Hall that some said is racist and demeaning to Indigenous people was removed Friday and put into storage.
A group of Native Americans chanted, beat drums and burned sage as the workers used a crane to take down the statue depicting a Native American at the feet of a Spanish cowboy and a Catholic missionary. It was part of a group of statues depicting the founding of California.
Native American activists tried to have the statue removed for decades. They renewed efforts last year after clashes broke out across the U.S. over Confederate monuments.
SF’s controversial ‘Early Days’ statue taken down before sunrise
Dominic Fracassa (San Francisco Chronicle, 14/09/2018)
More than 50 onlookers gathered on a dark, chilly Friday morning between San Francisco’s Asian Art Museum and Main Library to witness the long-awaited removal of the deeply controversial “Early Days” sculpture.
The battle to get the bronze sculpture moved has been roiling for decades, particularly among those of American Indian heritage who were aggrieved by what they saw as an offensive celebration of the subjugation of their people.
The 2,000-pound statue offered little resistance as a crane hoisted it from its pedestal and gingerly placed it on a flatbed truck around 5:30 a.m. Those who gathered to watch, mostly American Indians, softly sang traditional songs and burned bundles of sage.