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Angry Protesters Tear Down US President's Statue

Francis Scott Key's also comes down
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 20, 2020 3:00 PM CDT

(Newser) – Protesters tore down more statues across the US, expanding the razing in a San Francisco park to the writer of America's national anthem and the general who won the country's Civil War which ended widespread slavery, the AP reports. On the East Coast, more statues honoring Confederates who tried to break away from the United States more than 150 years ago were toppled. But several were removed at the order of North Carolina's Democratic governor, who said he was trying to avoid violent clashes from toppling the heavy monuments erected by white supremacists that he said do not belong in places like the state capitol grounds. The statues are falling amid continuing demonstrations following the May 25 police killing in Minneapolis of George Floyd. The details:

  • In San Francisco's Golden Gate Park along the Pacific Ocean, protesters sprayed red paint and wrote "slave owner" on pedestals before using ropes to bring down the statues and drag them down grassy slopes amid cheers and applause. The statues targeted included a bust of Ulysses Grant, who was the US president after he was the general who finally beat the Confederates and ended the Civil War.

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  • Also torn down in the San Francisco park was a statue of Francis Scott Key, who wrote the US national anthem "Star Spangled Banner." Key owned slaves.
  • Protesters also pulled down the statue of Spanish missionary Junipero Serra, an 18th century Roman Catholic priest who founded nine of California’s 21 Spanish missions and is credited with bringing Roman Catholicism to the Western US. Serra forced Native Americans to stay at those missions after they were converted or face brutal punishment.
  • Police officers responded to the park but didn’t intervene. The crowd threw objects at the officers, but no injuries or arrests were reported, San Francisco Police said.
  • In Washington, DC, and Raleigh, North Carolina, it was another night of tearing down Confederate statues. In the nation's capital, demonstrators toppled the 11-foot statue of Albert Pike, the only statue in the city of a Confederate general. Then they set a bonfire and stood around it in a circle as the statue burned, chanting, "No justice, no peace!" and "No racist police!"
  • Trump quickly tweeted about the toppling, calling out DC Mayor Muriel Bowser and writing: "The DC police are not doing their job as they watched a statue be ripped down and burn. These people should be immediately arrested. A disgrace to our Country!"
  • Saturday morning, official work crews came to the North Carolina capitol to remove two more Confederate statues. One statue was dedicated to the women of the Confederacy, and another was placed by the United Daughters of the Confederacy honoring Henry Wyatt, the first North Carolinian killed in battle in the Civil War, news outlets reported.
(Read more statues stories.)

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