In Los Angeles, statue of Junipero Serra toppled in Indigenous protest

In Los Angeles, statue of Junipero Serra toppled in Indigenous protest

A file photo of a statue Father Junipero Serra in the Los Angeles Plaza Historic District. (Credit: Visitor7/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0).)

A statue of a Spanish missionary in downtown Los Angeles has been toppled by Indigenous demonstrators.

LOS ANGELES — A statue of a Spanish missionary saint in downtown Los Angeles has been toppled by Indigenous demonstrators.

The Los Angeles Times reports the statue of Father Junipero Serra in Father Serra Park was brought down Saturday by Indigenous activists who shouted and drummed as it flew off its pedestal. No police were present at the time.

The 18th century Catholic priest founded nine of California’s 21 Spanish missions and forced Native Americans to stay at those missions after they were converted or face brutal punishment. He was canonized by Pope Francis in 2015.

Statues of Serra have been defaced in California for several years by people who said he destroyed tribes and their culture.

RELATED: San Francisco archbishop, Spanish embassy criticize toppling of Junipero Serra statue

Demonstrators in San Francisco pulled down a statue to Serra with ropes on Friday, while statues on the East Coast honoring Confederates who tried to break away from the United States were toppled. The incidents occurred amid demonstrations against racism following the Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd in May.

Crux staff contributed to this report.

Latest Stories