Father Serra Presides Over Ventura City Hall Culture Clash

Saturday July 4, 2020

(Pictures by Spencer Noren)

     "Black Lives Matter", "Police Lives Matter", "Take Down Father Serra", "Leave Father Serra where he is".

   The Father Serra statue in front of Ventura City Hall became the focal point Saturday afternoon for this country's favorite pastime, disagreeing with each other over just about everything.

    Protesters from the Black Lives Matter movement marched from midtown to downtown clashing along the way with small groups of people who do not like their demands for defunding law enforcement in the wake of the high profile deaths of several African Americans at the hands of law enforcement.

    Then, groups on opposite ends of the battle over the Father Serra statue at the top of California Street in front of city hall stared down each other.

    Those who want to leave the statue where it is stood sentry along the eight-foot high fence that now surrounds the statue to prevent any unofficial removal by those who want it taken down.

     Ventura police were on tactical alert during the afternoon, keeping a wary eye on the proceedings to make sure things did not get out of hand.

     And aside from those few sporadic reports of disturbances between those with contrary points of view, there were no reports of any major incidents.

     It was probably unintended by those involved, but this was probably the most appropriate way to celebrate of the Fourth of July.

     After all, the "founding fathers" had trouble getting along and we celebrate this holiday as much for the fireworks it took to approve the Declaration of Independence as we do for the fireworks used to celebrate its approval.