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Appeal Filed to Prevent Removal of Racist Pioneer Statue in San Francisco
by Take Down the "Pioneer" Statue
Sunday Mar 25th, 2018 12:20 PM
An Appeal was filed to prevent statue removal even though SF Arts and Historic Preservation Commission voted unanimously to take down the racist Pioneer statue!
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SAN FRANCISCO, CA, March 22, 2018 – On March 19th, an Appeal was filed by a private citizen from Petaluma with the SF Board of Appeals. The SF Arts Commission was close to wrapping up details to remove the Pioneer statue intact. Members of the Native American Community and SF Residents will spoke on the removal of the Pioneer Statue, located in between the SF Main Library and the Asian Art Museum and everyone was in agreement to take down this statue. “Take Down the Pioneer Statue” has demanded for it to be removed and that while waiting for removal it should be covered up with a tarp. There was a unanimous vote to take down the pioneer statue by the Arts Commission. It would have been removed this spring before this appeal was filed by a Petaluma resident, Frear Stephen Schimd. When the statue will be taken down now is unknown.

In the 1990s, the American Indian Movement along with other local Native Organizations called for the bringing down of the Pioneer Statue to the Arts Commission. In the end, the Arts Commission decided to put up a plaque underneath the Pioneer Statue. This plaque has been covered up by plants for many years, and does not offer an explanation of the historical context of these racist images, and does not extend any apology for the theft of land, colonization, subjugation, and near-annihilation of Native American people. In 2007, an Ohlone and Native American led task force wrote a report called “Discrimination by Omission” calling for the Pioneer Statue to be removed. It was voted and adopted by the San Francisco Human Rights Commission.

Last September 2017, the South was taking down and covering up racist confederate statues, these actions reminded Native Americans and allies here in the bay area about the racist pioneer statue we fought decades to take down. The “Take Down the Pioneer Statue” movement reemerged this time with the power of social media in demanding the pioneer statue be taken down and covered up while we are waiting to take down this racist statue. On October 2, 2017 the SF Arts Commission voted unanimously to start a process of looking at the certificate of appropriateness of the early days section of the Pioneer Monument. They then published a 150-page report on the statue. Since the Statue is in the historic civic center, the vote to take down the Pioneer statue was forwarded to the Historic Preservation Commission. This commission unanimously voted to take down the Pioneer State on February 21, 2018. Today was the last vote in finalizing the vote to approve the removal of the statue.

L Frank Manriquez, Tongva/Ajachmem/Rarámuri, California Native Elder states "It’s difficult to be considered extinct in your own ancestral homeland, and it’s difficult to pass a (pioneer) statue that reminds you of that. That you deserve to be lying on the ground lorded over. It’s difficult to explain to your children why they (the Native American) are laying on the ground, and there’s no explaining to your children why they are on the ground. As a California Native, the statue doesn’t even show a California Native, It shows a Native from the plains. Which shows the racist ignorance on the part of all involved in the making of the statue and reinforces racist stereotypes to the public in general. This statue reminds me of the gate at Auschwitz (Nazi concentration camp), and that we (Native Americans) are at the mercy of the men standing over us."

Many public officials have come out and stated their support for the removal of the Pioneer Statue. Past Mayor Ed Lee, Supervisor Jane Kim and BOE Commissioner Matt Haney and Mayor Farrell have come out and support the removal of the racist statue. In fact, the majority of San Franciscans are allied with the Native American Community in removing this racist Pioneer Statue.

Over 1,000 people have signed the petition to take down the Pioneer Statue listed on change.org, countless SF residents and historic preservationists, support the removal of the statue, and many local Native Americans support the statue being taken down. All over our country we have been reexamining our white supremacist confederate statues, and here in the bay area we have been reexamining our racist statues. The Pioneer Statue is no different; San Francisco Residents and local Native Americans have called on the removal for over decades.

The demands are simple.

1. Take down the Pioneer Statue
2. Cover Up immediately the Pioneer Statue while we are waiting for the Statue to come down
3. Have the Arts Commission have a Native American lead community process to figure out what happens to the statue and what will be in replace of the statute, if anything.

The racist “Pioneer Statue” promotes a white supremacist ideology that is connected to the mass genocide of indigenous people. In reaction to seeing the call for removing racist statues nationwide, Individuals mass communicated the removal of the statue to their network of Natives and allies by creating a facebook invitation. Community members showed up in person for public comment to an Arts Commission Committee Meeting and spoke on why they believed the statue should be taken down. It was announced at that meeting that the issue of the pioneer statue would be held for full vote at the Full Arts Commission meeting on October 2, 2017. Shortly after, a Change.org petition was created and has collected over 1,000 signatures, demanding that the Pioneer Statue be taken down.

For general information about the Pioneer Statue, please visit: https://www.facebook.com/takedownthepioneerstatue.

To view the Discrimination by Omission Report, visit:
http://sf-hrc.org/sites/default/files/Documents/HRC_Publications/Articles/Discrimination_by_Omission_Issues_of_Concern_for_Native_Americans_in_San_Francisco.pdf

View the petition link at:
https://www.change.org/p/san-francisco-arts-commission-tear-down-the-pioneer-statue-in-downtown-sf-now


[Photo Credit: Beyond My Ken (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Beyond_My_Ken). Licence: http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html]


https://www.facebook.com/takedownthepioneerstatue/posts/439591743164493
§Discrimination by Omission Issues of Concern for Native Americans in San Francisco
by Take Down the "Pioneer" Statue Sunday Mar 25th, 2018 12:20 PM
discrimination_by_omission_issues_of_concern_for_native_americans_in_san_francisco.pdf_600_.jpg

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