Posted on October 15, 2020

5 Arrested in Vandalism, Toppling of Junipero Serra Statue

KPIX, October 13, 2020

Five people have been arrested following a protest in San Rafael which resulted in the vandalism and toppling of a Junipero Serra statue at a San Rafael church.

The suspected vandals joined a group of 40 to 50 protesters Monday at Saint Raphael’s Catholic Church at 1104 Fifth Ave. They broke from the group’s planned protest to spray red paint on the statue before pulling off its pedestal.

{snip} Protesters had shared information on the protest on social media to coincide with Indigenous Peoples’ Day, recognized by those who object to Columbus Day commemorations.

Junipero Serra is recognized as a saint in the Catholic church, however Native American tribes accuse the 18th century missionary of presiding over a brutal colonization campaign… {snip}

Police said a decision was made not to get directly involved in or interact with the demonstration so as not to inflame or escalate behaviors during the protest. {snip}


The suspects were identified as Ines Shiam Gardilcic, a 40-year-old Oakland resident, Victoria Eva Montanopena, a 29-year-old Oakland resident, Melissa Aguilar, a 36-year-old Novato resident, Mayorgi Nadeska Delgadillo, a 36-year-old San Rafael resident, and Moira Cribben Van de Walker, a 25-year-old San Anselmo resident.

All five were arrested for felony vandalism, issued citations and released, police said. {snip}


Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone said in a statement Tuesday that while lingering scars from the oppression of indigenous peoples need to be healed, “vilifying a great man who sacrificed to protect the rights of the oppressed is not how we achieve this.”