Activists want to rename iconic San Diego park

Posted at 6:10 PM, Nov 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-14 21:11:27-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- It’s one of San Diego’s most iconic parks, but there’s a push to change its name and possibly everything it stands for.

In September, two very different sides clashed at Chicano Park. The clash required police to break it up.

The park is the heart of Barrio Logan and its murals are a colorful reminder of its history.

Jorge Gonzales says it’s symbolic of the civil rights movement of the 70s. “These murals tell the story of the Civil Rights era. Right? That went far and beyond Barrio Logan and Chicano Park,” said Gonzales.

Five people questioned that history in September at what was called the Patriotic Picnic.

Police had to protect them from dozens of people who surrounded them in protest. “The murals are revolutionary. They're anti-American,” said activist Roger Ogden.

Ogden was at the picnic and says political radicals and militants run Chicano Park. “It shouldn't be called Chicano Park. They could call it Hispanic Park, Latino Park and celebrate all the Hispanics and not just the militants. If you go down there and wave the US Flag, if I go down there I'm probably going to get beat up.”

Ogden and several others shared the video from the picnic and their thoughts with the San Diego City Council on Tuesday.

“You can celebrate the Hispanic culture but it should be broader and more inclusive. A lot of Hispanics wouldn't want to be called Chicano because it has a militant aspect to it,” said Ogden.

Gonzales says the patriotic picnickers need to have a conversation with someone who understands the murals and who can translate the stories behind the paint.

“I think there's a lot of miseducation. People have eyes and love for this park,” said Gonzales.

That conversation could become another colorful reminder of the park’s history.