McKinley Draped in 'Justice for Josiah' Banner in Dual Act of Protest

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The McKinley statue was shrouded in a "Justice for Josiah" banner for today's kick off of the Kinetic Grand Championship race. - THADEUS GREENSON
  • Thadeus Greenson
  • The McKinley statue was shrouded in a "Justice for Josiah" banner for today's kick off of the Kinetic Grand Championship race.
The thousands of people who descended on the Arcata Plaza this morning to watch the Kinetic Grand Championship race begin were greeted by an unusual sight.

The McKinley statue in the plaza’s center — the source of months of public debate — was shrouded in a white sheet painted with the words “Justice for Josiah” in red paint. It’s unclear who shrouded the statue in protest but no efforts were being made to remove it as the race kicked off.

The kind of dual protest comes on the heels of Thursday night’s dialogue on race in Arcata, where much of the conversation focused on the April 15, 2017, stabbing death of David Josiah Lawson, a 19-year-old Humboldt State University sophomore whose killing remains unsolved more than a year later. And the shrouding of the McKinley statue can be seen as its own protest, as well, as since the Arcata City Council voted Feb. 21 to remove the statute amid a public outcry a group of citizens has been circulating a petition seeking to rescind the council’s decision and put the matter before city voters in November.

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