California’s Historical Spanish Mission Bells ‘represent Genocide,’ Students Claim

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In California, there are a number of historical Spanish religious missions dotting the state. To recognize the historical importance of these missions, where some missions eventually became the foundations of several modern-day cities, the state had placed bells to mark the road between the twenty-one Spanish missions. The road is known as El Camino Real and the bells have been markers since 1906.

Now, some students at the University of California-Santa Cruz have called them symbols that “represent genocide.” Part of the old El Camino Real runs through the university campus, as the city had an old Spanish mission of its own.

In conjunction with the local Amah Mutsun tribe, some students have officially petitioned the university to remove the mission bell markers because these bells are a “painful and oppressive symbol for the Amah Mutsun and other indigenous peoples of California” and do “not represent the values embraced by the campus community.”