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NorCal Town Poised to Become First U.S. City to Remove Statue of President Over His Misdeeds

A statue of President William McKinley that has stood in the central plaza in Arcata since 1906 is scheduled to come down. (Credit: Jaweed Kaleem / Los Angeles Times)

A statue of President William McKinley that has stood in the central plaza in Arcata since 1906 is scheduled to come down. (Credit: Jaweed Kaleem / Los Angeles Times)

Over the decades, this quiet coastal hamlet has earned a reputation as one of the most liberal places in the nation. Arcata was the first U.S. city to ban the sale of genetically modified foods, the first to elect a majority Green Party city council and one of the first to tacitly allow marijuana farming before pot was legal.

Now it’s on the verge of another first.

No other city has taken down a monument to a president for his misdeeds. But Arcata is poised to do just that. The target is an 8½-foot bronze likeness of William McKinley, who was president at the turn of the last century and stands accused of directing the slaughter of Native peoples in the U.S. and abroad.

“Put a rope around its neck and pull it down,” Chris Peters shouted at a recent rally held at the statue, which has adorned the central square for more than a century.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.