FREE SPEECH, the police, and the McKinleyville statue

FREE SPEECH, the police, and the McKinleyville statue at Food Not Bombs on the plaza
McKinley Quick Facts:
Under McKinley’s presidency, the United States invaded Cuba, Guam, the Philippines, Puerto Rico and Hawaii.
McKinley claimed that the invasions were humanitarian in nature, but instead inflicted suffering on the people and seized control of their LAND.

On three separate occasions, Arcata police overseers have shown up on the plaza when a man climbed the statue of McKinley (supposed to be in McKinleyville) and spoke in opposition to the current U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq. All three times, police overseers have tried to intimidate the free-speech performer, but were halted by on-lookers who did not approve of the police mis-conduct.
Arcata police overseers Ron Sligh and Kevin Stoneberger attempted to intimidate those who spoke out publicly against the genocidal war that the United States and corporate co-conspirators are waging in Iraq. Their efforts went unheeded.
Arcata police overseers leave the plaza.
Why were they there in the first place?
Who called them? Why?
Why were the police trying to get the identification numbers of people who speak out against the illegal genocidal U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq?

Food Not Bombs! has chosen to take a stand against violence. We are committed to nonviolent social change by giving out free vegetarian food thus celebrating and nurturing life. Poverty is violence. One expression of the violence of poverty is hunger. Millions of Americans, almost half children, go hungry every day. By spending money on bombs instead of food, our government perpetuates and exacerbates the violence of poverty by failing to provide food for everyone in need


3 Responses to “FREE SPEECH, the police, and the McKinleyville statue”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    No, it’s in the right place, it’s the bums on plaza that are in the wrong place.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    The actual history of the McKinley statue is something like this: someone in San Francisco commissioned the statue from a foundry somewhere on the east coast (I think Philadelphia, but I’m not sure). The statue was in transit to SF when the 1906 earthquake struck. The people who commisioned it either had no place to put it or no money to pay for it. In any case, the makers of the statue did not want to pay for shipping all the back east. So the statue was sold to the highest bidder. The plaza was already in existence and so the townsfolk at the time decided to jump at the chance to buy a very fine piece of craftsmanship (despite what you think of McKinley, it is a very well made statue) depicted a well known and popular figure of the time for bargain basement prices. Yes McKinleyville is named after McKinley, but that “town” never had anything to do with the statue.

  3. Anonymous Says:

    A second comment (from the above amatuer historian): did you know that the statue is covering an entrance to a city beneath the city? When a semi-famous literary figure, who called Arcata home in the late-mid part of last century, stumbled out of a plaza bar one night he fell into this world and encountered its many denizens there. Some have thought ther is some truth to this story, because legend has it that there are dug out tunnels beneath the plaza, that used to connect the Jacoby Storehouse to several other buildings. Apparently, some people from the HSU geogly department used sophisticated equipment to prove this false. Another interpretation is that the author was actually describing the local street culture of the time, and the statue was used as a metaphor to for “bringing them to light.” In any case, these posts are meant more to say that the statue of McKinley has a unique and varied history of its own that is completely separate from its representation of an American President.

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