With Prostrate Native American, San Francisco's Pioneer Monument Ignites Controversy, Push For Removal

A San Francisco statue that depicts a Native American fallen in defeat and is accused of being racist has prompted the formation of a Facebook group, demanding its removal.

The Pioneer Monument stands between the Main Branch of the San Francisco Library and the Asian Art Museum, according to SFist. In part of the 800-ton sculpture, which is known as "Early Days," a Spanish cowboy and a missionary are standing over a prostrate Native American.

The depiction has sparked an Oct. 2 event called "Bring down the "Pioneer" Statue in Downtown SF! NOW!" 

Organizers posed a series of questions on the event's Facebook page: "Who is done with these white supremacist colonization states? Who is tired of seeing Natives depicted as savage, less than, not here anymore or unworthy of being human? Who wants to get rid of this white supremist statue right here in SF?"

They have urged people to gather at San Francisco City Hall from 2 to 4:30 p.m. Oct. 2 because the issue of tearing down Pioneer Monument is on an Arts Commission's meeting agenda. 

As of Tuesday, nearly 125 people have said they will attend, while 857 more have expressed interest.

Leading up to the meeting, supporters have been asked to call and email members of the Arts Commission, urging them to cover the statue with a tarp and take it down, organizers wrote. People are also encouraged to attend next month's meeting and speak their minds about the need to remove Pioneer Monument.

A Change.org petition that declares "It's Time to Take Down San Francisco's Monument to White Supremacy!" has garnered 707 signatures of its goal of 1,000.

San Francisco Supervisor Jane Kim, whose district includes Pioneer Monument, has said she supports the push to have the statue taken down.

"I support the removal and will be supporting the community process already underway," Kim wrote in a statement, SFist reported.

Iesha Killip, an American Indian who resides in Haight-Ashbury, told the San Francisco Chronicle: "Why is the Indian on the ground? We're warriors. We stand. It shows pure hatred to my people."

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