Junipero Serra statue toppled in downtown L.A.

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Activists topple and deface with red paint the statue of Father Junipero Serra at Father Serra Park in El Pueblo de Los Ángeles in downtown Los Angeles on June 20, 2020. (Gary Coronado/Los Angeles Times)

Activists topple and deface with red paint the statue of Father Junipero Serra at Father Serra Park in El Pueblo de Los Ángeles in downtown Los Angeles on June 20, 2020. (Gary Coronado/Los Angeles Times)

Activists toppled a statue of Junipero Serra from its post at Placita Olvera in downtown Los Angeles on Saturday. It was the latest carved or sculpted figure of the 18th century Roman Catholic priest to be knocked down or moved across California in recent days.

Video footage tweeted by L.A. Taco showed a group of people tugging on a rope tied to the statue, bringing it to the ground. The tweet identified the group as acting in solidarity with a Black Lives Matter protest that was taking place. Other photos showed the head and hands of the fallen statue splattered with what red paint.

The tear-down came a day after San Francisco protesters reportedly overturned statues of Serra, along with Francis Scott Key and President Ulysses S. Grant, in Golden Gate Park. Earlier this week, Ventura officials announced they were removing a statue of Serra from in front of Ventura City Hall and would have it “moved to a more appropriate non-public location.”

Serra, born on the Spanish island of Mallorca in 1713, is a controversial figure in California, particularly among indigenous tribes.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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