SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — Statues of controversial figures tied to slavery are being toppled across the Bay Area and beyond, KRON reported.
People were seen taking down the Francis Scott Key statue in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. Key is the author of the U.S. National Anthem.
Video shows a group of people at Golden Gate Park throwing ropes towards the Francis Scott Key statue and eventually bringing it down. Celebratory cheers could be heard as the statue lay on the ground.
Francis Scott Key, a 35-year-old Washington lawyer and writer, was detained on a British ship within sight of Fort McHenry during a battle in Baltimore. He reportedly believed slavery was sinful, according to the Smithsonian. However, despite coining the phrase, “land of the free,” he himself owned slaves. He believed it was best to return African-Americans to Africa, though most in the U.S. at that time had been born there.
Demonstrators also took down the Junípero Serra statue along with the statue of union general Ulysses S. Grant.
Video shows people knock down the statue of Junípero Serra, a Catholic priest responsible for missions across California. His controversy stems from using a lot of Native American Indian labor to build his missions.
Aside from being torn down, the statues were also vandalized with graffiti messages like “Slave Owner.”
Cleanup efforts are now underway Saturday morning.
“I woke up, the first thing I did is get my pants on, walk myself down here and try and help clean up,” a resident said. “Currently, it’s a crime scene investigation, so I just gotta go home. I am personally against just removing statutes unless the people in that town want to remove that statue by a vote, by all means. But this happening in our home and happening across the country it has to stop.”
On Thursday, the Christopher Columbus statue at San Francisco’s Coit Tower was removed by the city after protesters threatened to take it down and throw it into the Bay.
Friday night, President Donald Trump encouraged police in Washington, D.C. to “immediately” make arrests after the state of Albert Pike, a Confederate officer, was taken down by a crowd of people in Judiciary Square.
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