NCPA Opposes Measure M
For Immediate Release
The North Coast People’s Alliance is urging a “NO” vote on Measure M, the Arcata ballot initiative that would force the city to keep the McKinley statue in place.
“Too many people find this statue a painful reminder of brutal episodes in American history,” said Mike Hetticher, NCPA’s Treasurer. “The most compassionate choice now is to affirm the Arcata City Council’s decision to remove the statue, and to vote ‘No’ on Measure M.”
Arcata’s City Council voted 4-1 to remove the statue of President William McKinley, after hearing heartfelt pleas of many community members. One council member and others who disagreed with the decision gathered enough signatures to place Measure M on the ballot.
If it prevails, it would tie the hands of all future councils, no matter how much circumstances might change, unless the city went to time and expense of a citywide election.
“The McKinley statue does not belong on the Arcata Plaza, the same place where local Indigenous Peoples were sold into slavery,” said Nathaniel McGuigan, an Arcata City resident and member of the Historic Justice Alliance, a group which is organizing the “No on Measure M” Campaign. “McKinley brought the U.S. into the era of imperialism by colonizing over 7,000 islands in the Pacific and the Caribbean during the Spanish American War, including Puerto Rico, and he implemented policies leading to the genocide and economic exploitation of Indigenous Peoples domestically and abroad.”
The Wiyot Tribe, many Native community members from throughout the region and large numbers of people from diverse backgrounds have publicly expressed support for the relocation of the statue.
“In reality not one of us is free until everyone is free from oppression,” McGuigan stated. “Together we can create a better future.”
More information on the No on M campaign is available on two Facebook pages, the Historic Justice Alliance (https://www.facebook.com/HistoricJusticeAlliance/) and NO on Measure M - Remove Mckinley (https://www.facebook.com/groups/441936372981516/). The No on M campaign can be emailed at [email protected].
The North Coast People’s Alliance organizes for social justice, economic justice and environmental justice, and works to help everyday people become more involved in their civic institutions. It will be conducting phone banks in support of numerous NCPA-endorsed candidates and issues on the second and fourth Monday of each month, beginning Aug. 13, from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at the Labor Temple, 840 E St., Eureka. Participants should bring their phones.
Learn more about NCPA on its website at www.northcoastpeoplesalliance.org.