What began Saturday as a three-day “occupation” of the Santa Fe Plaza by Native activists and their supporters culminated on Indigenous Peoples Day with protesters toppling a controversial war monument.

About 50 people used a rope and chains to bring the obelisk down.

Santa Fe police officers monitoring the scene Monday made at least two arrests following earlier incidents but left before the obelisk’s collapse as protesters swarmed around it.

Late Monday, the city announced Dylan Wrobel, 27, had been arrested on suspicion of battery on a peace officer and resisting an officer. Also arrested was Sean Sunderland, 24, on suspicion of resisting an officer and criminal trespass.

“I think they did the right thing by leaving,” said Jim Trujillo, 59, a Native American who brought a hand drum to the rally. “I respected that the cops retreated because the situation was spiraling.”

Santa Fe Mayor Alan Webber didn’t address the lack of police presence during a statement Monday evening broadcast live on Facebook, in which he condemned the destruction. In the late Monday news release, the city said two officers were attacked — six were on the Plaza at the time — and police made the decision to exit, then move forward to redeploy in the Plaza area.

But one city councilor criticized the decision to have officers leave the Plaza during the chaotic event.

“That was a failure on the city’s part,” Councilor Renee Villarreal said.

Capt. Matthew Champlin declined to comment on the decision.

Deputy Chief Ben Valdez and Chief Andrew Padilla did not return phone calls seeking comment. Padilla also declined to be interviewed Sunday night about the three-day demonstration.

Erected in 1866, the Plaza centerpiece, sometimes called the Soldiers Monument and constructed to honor to Civil War Union soldiers, has spurred several demonstrations in Santa Fe this year amid a nationwide call for racial justice.

Native activists and other protesters have long objected to a plaque on one side that said the obelisk was dedicated, in part, to “heroes” who died in battle with “savage Indians.”

The plaque has sustained damage. Decades ago, a man chiseled away the word “savage,” and in late June, part of the plaque was broken off during an act of vandalism.

Webber said just before a planned protest earlier in June that the monument’s removal from the public park was “long overdue.” Following a failed attempt by a state-contracted crew to take down the structure overnight on the eve of the protest, however, Webber had not moved forward to remove it.

Four months later, just before the holiday known as Indigenous Peoples Day in Santa Fe, across New Mexico and in a growing number of U.S. cities and states, Webber released a statement continuing to call for a community conversation about the obelisk’s future.

He said he did not believe he had the unilateral authority to remove it.

After two days of peaceful protests, activists took the matter into their own hands.

The three-day Plaza occupation began Saturday afternoon. Activists, who said the event was loosely organized by several groups, set up signs around the obelisk. Some said they would stay until Webber removed the obelisk. Two protesters used bike locks to chain themselves to its base.

Webber and about 20 police officers and firefighters negotiated a deal with protesters allowing them to camp at the base of the obelisk. On Sunday, police persuaded them to leave for the night.

As another rally got underway around noon Monday on the Plaza Community Stage, a crew contracted by the city started constructing an extended barrier around the obelisk. Drumbeats in celebration of the holiday were drowned out by the sounds of drills and hammers.

The bottom of the structure already was encased in plywood after vandals struck earlier this year. The new barrier was intended to keep people from sitting on top of the monument’s base. Some protesters began to lie down on building materials to disrupt construction, prompting Santa Fe police to try to forcefully remove people. This drew more demonstrators to obstruct the construction crew and tear down a metal barrier around the obelisk.

In the chaos, officers handcuffed one protester. A swarm of others surrounded them and shouted, “Let him go,” which the officers did.

A few yards away, an officer tackled a woman.

Another officer yelled, “Don’t touch my gun,” in the middle of the crowd.

Police then left the area, clearing the way for protesters to tear down the monument. Pulling in unison on a rope, they brought down the top two sections.

The small crowd on the Plaza erupted in cheers.

“It was a really emotional moment for me. For all that it represents, this type of monument shouldn’t exist,” Cipriana Jurado, 53, an Indigenous woman from Chihuahua, Mexico, said in Spanish.

“There is so much to celebrate here and in Latin America that existed before European culture,” she added.

But not everyone was in favor of removing the obelisk. Webber drew pushback this summer when he ordered the removal of a statue of Don Diego de Vargas from Cathedral Park and vowed he also would remove the Plaza obelisk and a second downtown obelisk built in honor of frontiersman Christopher “Kit” Carson, who led military campaigns against Native people.

Webber also said he would create a Truth and Reconciliation Commission, composed of a broad cross section of people from Santa Fe and Northern New Mexico, to study the issue and make decisions on what to do about controversial public art and monuments.

No such commission has been formed. Last month, the mayor said in a statement there have been “numerous discussions and conversations.” But he declined to participate in an interview on the issue.

There have been questions about who owns the monument and whether the city had the authority to take it down. During an emergency City Council meeting Monday evening, Assistant City Attorney Marcos Martinez said, “It’s most likely that the city owns the obelisk.”

“The mayor shouldn’t have stalled,” said Trujillo, the rally-goer. “It’s tough to be a leader, but you have to act.

“At any other time, maybe that would have worked and this would have fizzled,” he added, “but we’re all stuck at home and on the freaking edge and sort of just tired of stuff like this.”

(148) comments

cranio desire

"Avoid personal attacks: Lively, vigorous conversation is welcomed and encouraged, insults, name-calling and other personal attacks are not."

Is anybody reading these guidelines? anyone?

Miranda Viscoli

When is an obelisk not just an obelisk?

Posted on October 13, 2020

Author: Elena Ortiz

When I was a child, my dad and I would sometimes walk down to Santa Fe Plaza, especially on cool autumn afternoons. We would get Cokes from Woolworth’s. My father would visit with friends and family, selling under the portal of the Palace of the Governor’s, and we would sit in the center of the Plaza, on the stone banco around the obelisk. My dad would point out the word savage which was etched into the marble plaque, and he would laugh.

“Those are your ancestors,” he would say, with no little bit of irony.

As I got older, the irony grew bolder. Under the shadow of that obelisk, on Tewa homelands, in a place we call O’gha Po’geh, we still exist. The word savage was chiseled away long ago, but it still echoes. The shadow of that obelisk was long and dark. Until yesterday. Yesterday we saw it fall. And now the shadow is gone too.

Our relatives who sell under the portal will no longer have to do so in the shadow of a monument to their genocide. Our children’s children will not see the echo of the word savage every time they cross the Plaza. All of those white people who sell native arts and crafts will still be making their living commodifying native culture, but they may be looking over their shoulder more frequently. They might just wonder what else could fall.

My father is now laughing for a different reason. We did something he had only dreamed of. We laid that monster to rest, on the ground, on Tewa homelands.

The obelisk was, ostensibly, a monument to Union ‘heroes’ who fought and died in the Civil War, the “war to end slavery.” That is what they say North of the Mason-Dixon Line. They also say it East of the Mississippi. Here in the West, we know a different story. Union soldiers here massacred Native people and removed us from our homelands.

One of the largest regiments of the Union army in New Mexico, the 1st NM Volunteers, was commanded by Kit Carson. The commander of the Union forces was John Chivington. Following the defeat of the Confederate Army in New Mexico and the end of the Civil War, these two men would remain in the military, but with a different enemy.

Chivington was redeployed with the 3rd Colorado Calvary which was specifically tasked with “defending” white communities against attacks by Natives. In November 1864, they launched an unprovoked attack on a Cheyenne/Arapaho encampment which was flying the US and the white flag, signifying that they were both under the protection of the US government and peaceful. Up to 500 people were killed, 2/3 of them women and children.

Chivington’s men scalped many of the dead; men, women, children and infants. He and his men decorated their weapons, hats, and clothes with scalps and other body parts, including human fetuses, and male and female genitalia. They cut off the breasts of the women and played catch with them. They also publicly displayed these battle trophies in Denver’s Apollo Theater and area saloons. This became known as the Sand Creek Massacre.

What was left of the 1st NM Volunteers was broken off into mobile units and redeployed against the Diné and Ndee. Kit Carson led the campaign to “pacify” the Natives. First, he launched a brutal assault on the Mescalero and then turned his attention to the Diné homelands. Carson became the architect and perpetrator of what came to be known as the “scorched earth” policy. He and his troops rode across Diné homelands in 1863, burning crops, orchards, homes, and killing sheep. This campaign ultimately led to the Long Walk, a time in Diné history so painful, that many will still not speak of it.

These are the men commemorated on that obelisk—these “Union” soldiers who sought to create a “unified” West, a White nation built on stolen land, the wet dream of Manifest Destiny—the epitome of white supremacy. The glory of settler-colonialism was etched into stone and erected on Tewa homelands, on O’gha Po’geh.

When the obelisk was erected in 1867, the territorial government placed certain items in a time capsule beneath it. Among these items were copies of the US Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, which, somewhat ironically, represented Natives as “merciless savages”. Also included was a copy of the “Act Relative to Involuntary Servitude,” which prohibited and abolished slavery in the Territory of New Mexico.

At this time, 1867-1868, there were 36 men in the 17th Territorial Legislative Assembly of New Mexico. Half of these men had enslaved Native people in their homes. The rest had family members who did. These enslaved Natives were Diné, Ndee, Ute, Comanche and Pueblo.

Statues and monuments rarely represent the people or ideals that they are meant to. Rather, they represent the interests of the people who build them. And when they fall, there is almost no sound. There is an exhale. A sigh. And we move on to the next task.

Victory over the monument.

You see, it is incumbent upon us, as Native people, to represent and manifest the ideals of our relatives, both human and other-than-human, and our ancestors who cry out for justice. And just as the tears of Native women nourished the earth where the statue of Oñate once stood on Ohkay Owingeh homelands, so did they water the ground at O’gha Po’geh yesterday. We hear you, our relatives. And we will not stop until the land and people are liberated from servitude to the settler-colonial state. We will not stop until the people are free. We will not stop until the land can breathe again.

We are here.

We have always been here.

We are strong.

We are steadfast.

We are unconquerable.

Carlos Vasquez

FINALLY, THE TRUTH - THE REALITY ...Do you remember the trees along Cerrillos Rd. where the Indian School is? Do you know why the Native people chose to cut down all those trees and remove all the old buildings? Because they finally had accrued enough political and economic sovereignty to do it their way - which was to try to erase the memories of brutal colonialism and forced assimilation that had taken place in the past. A past they now had the power to begin reconciling for themselves. The new generation of these Native people are very much like new generations of educated Black people who are now able to make a reasoned and informed choice based on the fact that history is happening.

THANK YOU

Miranda Viscoli

PLEASE STOP THE RACIST COMMENTS!

Daniel Werwath

just here for the snowflake tears from the usual five grumpy trumpers that live in the New Mex comment section, and was NOT DISAPPOINTED

Mindy Paul

Remove Webber from office. http://chng.it/5McKQ2ZmGH

Andrew Lucero

[thumbup] I happily signed that petition!

Kelly McReynolds

I think the comments section of this story is a PRIME example of why SF New Mexican should not have an online comments section. Mostly nothing but vitriol, conspiracy theories, and antagonistic rantings- no citing of sources, mostly hearsay, and all of it counter productive. Does anyone actually think they are changing minds or promoting positive discourse by commenting on this website? Save it for Facebook, I say- Or take the time to write an actual letter to the editor.

Khal Spencer

People need a place to vent and I appreciate Robin Martin providing one. Unlike destroying the Obelisk, no historical monuments were harmed in the production of this comment page.

Rick Martinez

The next attack by our mayor and city councilors is that they are ready to sell our last 235 acres Spanish Land Grant in the North West Quadrant that was given to the people of Santa Fe for all to enjoy. Now it looks like a developer will enjoy making money off this sale of our land. If you think the developer will building homes for our local people I have a broken obelisk to sell you.

Claudia Chavez

Yes, they began talks about this since last year. Now they’re crying Covid crisis to get it moving quickly and will do it without input from the community as usual.

Thomas Carlson

Wow, street theater at its most ridiculous. All staged, by whom? Who knows? Right before the November elections, you're guess is as good as mine. Beware, the "October surprise" and may Heaven help us all.

Donato Velasco

so what ever happened to the virus guidelines that the state and city mandated or does that not apply.. this was a super spreader event......

Stefanie Beninato

I think most of these people wore masks--great way not to be identified

Valerie Pemberton

Well, the good news is that there are many excellent artists in Santa Fe! How about a monument to the Pueblo Revolt? That would be fitting for Santa Fe and New Mexico.

Khal Spencer

And if some group is offended, they can destroy it?

Miranda Viscoli

SHAME ON YOU!

Mike Johnson

I would organize my friends to tear that one down.

John Cook

That would probably have to be a very small monument....

Mark Stahl

Wouldn’t that make you and your friends “scum”? Or in your world do two wrongs make a right?

Lamp Amigo

It’s really unfortunate to know I live in the same state with so many Trump trolls as exemplified in this thread. It’s seems that the primary lesson of history, that times and people grow and change, has been lost upon you. Whether you all recognize it or not your language, threats, and insults make you American facists. Your ignorance is belied by fact that you describe this situation as anarchy and the people who were protesting this monument as thugs. You are traitors to this country and New Mexico, and I hope none of you call yourselves Christians. We pray for you, and for our state that we may continually learn how to come to terms with our painful past and come closer together as citizens. You need to salute the flag, of the state of New Mexico, the Zia symbol of perfect friendship among united cultures.

Khal Spencer

[sleeping]

Anita McGinnis

Yeah, you are really promoting perfect friendship.

Lee DiFiore

So if you don't support a handful of leftist nutcakes tearing down public monuments you're a "Trump troll"? Interesting.

Kiki Martinez

This is an organized act of straight up vandalism and violence and any native American or anyone else who condones this type of behavior needs to check their own sense of morals. The two who were arrested need to be prosecuted to the full extent of the law and the others who got away should come forward instead of cowering now after they've caused influence for more hate and destruction. The police should definitely be ashamed and embarrassed that they ran instead of bringing a violent event under control. Three days of these people "protesting" and chaining themselves to the monument should have been a clue that the situation would most likely escalate. The mayor needs to do some real soul searching and admit that he is no good for Santa Fe - he has greatly contributed to the destruction of our city by allowing overcrowding/building, violence that is masked as protesting to occur, ridiculous expectations for auto traffic to "share" the roads with bicyclists who are rude and do not follow the rules of the road, but instead run around displaying an attitude of entitlement, a police department that is not run well, and the list goes on as to why this man has no business being in the office he holds. And to Mr. John Martinez - perhaps you could put together an organization for local Hispanics and represent the group to be able to organize and protect our culture and teach our youngsters to continue our history and traditions. There is much to be said about why our culture has been put on the back burner, not simply a matter of "surrender" as you say in your post and much of that is through no fault of our own. On a last note I can't help but wonder if local Hispanics were to go out and "protest" in a manner similar to what happened on the plaza, how many arrests might have been made then??

Carlos Vasquez

Do you remember the trees along Cerrillos Rd. where the Indian School is? Do you know why the Native people chose to cut down all those trees and remove all the old buildings? Because they finally had accrued enough political and economic sovereignty to do it their way - which was to try to erase the memories of brutal colonialism and forced assimilation that had taken place in the past. A past they now had the power to begin reconciling for themselves. The new generation of these Native people are very much like new generations of educated Black people who are now able to make a reasoned and informed choice based on the fact that history is happening.

Ezekiel America

The police have been emasculated by their progressive overlords.

Mark Blackburn

Yes but this will be a victory for President Trump and Mark Ronchetti. Law and order must exist in society but this is what happens in a blue sanctuary city!

Donato Velasco

time for the federal government to cut all assistance programs to the tribes and local government to stop giving them special preference on anything..

Miranda Viscoli

SHAME ON YOU!

KT Rivera

Leave it as it is to show what indigenous people do and now condone when they celebrate their holiday.

Miranda Viscoli

SHAME ON YOU!

Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz writes, "The miseducation about history contributes to the maintenance of systems of racial injustice."

I have copied a link to an informative article about the actual history of the Union Army in the Southwest. This army for decades was "honored" on the Santa Fe Plaza Obelisk. It was dismantled by protestors on Monday. In reality, the Union army in the Southwest annihilated, killed and tried to remove Native Americans from their land. https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/07/how-union-promoted-white-supremacy-west/613918/

David Cartwright

definition of Santa Fe activist/protester--someone who engages in the desecration of monuments to veterans with the expectation of being honored by the SF New Mexican. Definition of Santa Fe Police--someone who runs for cover whenever a crime is being committed because their might be a danger of violence.

Khal Spencer

When a bunch of right wing, ultra-conservative "activists and supporters" take a sledge hammer to an abortion clinic, I want to see how the New Mexican covers it.

"In what began as a three-day “occupation” of the Planned Parenthood Clinic, activists and their supporters culminated on Roe v Wade Day with protesters taking sledge hammers to the walls of the controversial clinic in the wee hours of the night, bringing the building down in a dust filled heap."

Somehow I don't think the rhetoric would be quite the same. But the political world is round. Those who think we should use violence and that the ends justify the means should realize that what goes around the world comes back on the other side.

Gerald Joyce

One of the only voices of reason in Santa Fell. Thank you Lmao.

Miranda Viscoli

Please stop talking. Your views are beyond offensive. They have been for a long time..

Jeff Varela

We confronted the Mayor on the Plaza earlier in the summer during his crusader appearance during the protest. We made a comment to him to the extent of " do you realize what you have promoted?" If the Council doesn't take some action now...the people will. And please...no more "feel good" committees/commissions etc.!

Mr. John Martinez

I find it interesting that the "Local" Santa Feans are so upset when they know they surrendered the Plaza and Downtown a long time ago. The history is only as good as those who consume it and protect it. I could bet that if one year ago I asked 100 Santa Feans what that Obelisk represented maybe 95 would actually know; today everyone knows thanks to this article or Google. People here mention Fiestas being taken away when the truth is they can barely find people to run for Don Diego or Fiesta Queen anymore. This has nothing to do with Republicans or Democrats, this is about a society and community that has been non-participatory in protecting the culture.

Tom Ribe

So what shall we destroy next? Shall we vandalize other public or private property because of self righteous views? I think there should be multiple charges levied for destruction of public property against these folks. At the same time, I think there should be a public process and a legal process for removing public property that some people find offensive. We can accomplish that through consensus, not through criminal conduct.

Khal Spencer

[thumbup]

Khal Spencer

Tom, if my roof is leaking, I put off buying the new TV.

There was supposed to be a process. But in his defense, I don't fault the Mayor for it being slowed down. Its not every year that we have to deal with a global pandemic and how it slammed the city. No public meetings. Trying to govern by Zoom. Homeless people, the economy in a shambles. Having to house hundreds of homeless men, women, and children in a way that doesn't create superspreader events.

My wife works at the Food Depot as a volunteer. She said they have had to, at times, move the pickup center because the lines of people needing food snaked for miles from the pickup point. I recall one day headed towards Zafarano and seeing lines of cars snaking from Siler and around the corner on Aqua Fria all the way to the Home Depot turnoff.

So do you deal with flesh and blood people needing assistance or do you squander time about a statue that is not, in all seriousness, hurting anyone? If folks were too impatient to let the system slowly turn its wheels during a national crisis, its not necessarily the city's fault. I don't blame anyone but the hoodlums for the destruction. Shame on them.

Carlos Vasquez

NAAHHH this one was special though...

Philip Nash

It was about time this was removed from the Plaza. It appears we have a do nothing mayor who just says whatever he thinks will appease people. Interesting that the Santa Fe police beat a hasty retreat. Some of the commentors here indulge in racial profiling claiming it was only white people, but the SFNM report indicates otherwise.

Carlos Vasquez

[thumbup]

Dan Klein

Bill Burr on SNL had it right when he complained about white women taking over all of these social movements. The video from the plaza shows there weren't many natives present, but there sure were a lot of white men and women "acting on their behalf". I think the native Americans can speak on their own behalf, they don't need these anarchist hippies help.

David Martinez

Time for the cleanup, starting with the rubble, and next, the carpetbagger so called mayor. Start rebuilding the monument, we can't let the vandals win this one.

Laurie Buffer

These people are not protesters as the SFNM calls them ~ this is vandalism and they should have been arrested!

Emily Hartigan

Unbelievable.

They DISMANTLED the existing protective boards, with Indigenous slogans, ON Indigenous Peoples Day.

It was an open provocation, and got the predictable results. I was there earlier, and the cops' replies to my astonished inquiries were polite but nonsense: take the signs and the existing protection down, in order "to protect" the obelisk. Burn the village to save it.

The mayor was the author of this.

Orlie Romero

Growing up in Santa Fe the last 50 years has been an experience, I miss the old New Mexico, it’s nothing but Weak Democrats and outsiders that stand for nothing but liberal lifestyles.

If you want your life back change your vote people, it’s the only way, otherwise don’t expect corrective action. Next, will be Zozobra, Fiesta and Indian Market gone...

Paul Davis

Do you know how many places there around the world that are filled with people saying the same thing? South Wales ... "I miss the old Wales, it's nothing but Tory pricks and Londoners that stand for nothing but boogy lifestyles". Eastern Germany, south Philadelphia, northern California, the list goes on and on. So many places filled with people lamenting what they think they remember of what "used to be". If you really think voting will have anything to do with it, by all means vote. On the other hand, it might be worth considering why the same kinds of "liberal lifestyles" seem to be doing so well in so many different places around the world, and why "the old XXXXX" is having a hard time in so many different versions of XXXXX.

And of course, both London and northern California illustrate the ultimate irony that you now have people who 50 years ago were the ones bringing "the new", and are now lamenting that they miss "the old".

In short, this is not a Santa Fe story. It's how history unfolds.

Orlie Romero

This, and not a native American in sight? All white weirdos thinking they are some type of hero, yet really looked at as freaks.

Tom Hyland

Remember everyone... when tearing down monuments and civilization in general... ALWAYS wear your masks. "BE SAFE". OBEY. OBEY. OBEY.

Tim Herrera

Santa Fe has been infected with the California, Seattle and Portland Flu. This demonstrated it yesterday. The City as we grew up knowing it is slowly dying and these outsiders are bringing the disease with them.

Stefanie Beninato

Those who identified as coming from elsewhere hailed from Oklahoma and Chihuahua. Same old tired rant, Tim

Nancy Lockland

So I'm really confused as I look at these pictures. These are a bunch of white people. Can someone explain? Is this a case of destruction for hire?

Did the Indians hire the white hippies to destroy the obelisk? What is this really about?

Khal Spencer

This is a new class at your local university. Woke Whitey, 101.

Carlos Vasquez

Look at the video of the four people sitting on the monument,,,native:Do you remember the trees along Cerrillos Rd. where the Indian School is? Do you know why the Native people chose to cut down all those trees and remove all the old buildings? Because they finally had accrued enough political and economic sovereignty to do it their way - which was to try to erase the memories of brutal colonialism and forced assimilation that had taken place in the past. A past they now had the power to begin reconciling for themselves. The new generation of these Native people are very much like new generations of educated Black people who are now able to make a reasoned and informed choice based on the fact that history is happening.

Lupe Molina

Yes, very sad.

Now only if we could get boomers this animated about properly funding our schools and social programs.

Khal Spencer

There are bond issues relating to education on the ballot and from my recollection. People can vote on this. We do spend less per pupil than most states.

https://www.governing.com/gov-data/education-data/state-education-spending-per-pupil-data.html

That said, I will bet you a box of donuts that the mob at the Plaza yesterday had no shortage of formal education.

Steve Spraitz

Those people, he cops snd the rest , including the mayor, cops, and everyone else, have their heads up their spincters , with sand in the Vaseline

Beware who you bite for

Jenn MM

Good riddance. It was a blight on the plaza.

Orlie Romero

Jenn, do not say plaza, that is a Spanish word. Since you hate Spanish culture say square!

John Haynes

In the East and the South people tear down monuments to the Confederacy. Here in “City Different,”a mob of activists torn down a monument to the defeat of the Confederacy. The obelisk has four sides. One side reads: “To The Heroes Of The Federal Army Who Fell At The Battle Of Valverde Fought With The Rebels February 21, 1862.” A second reads: "To The Heroes Of The Federal Army Who Fell At The Battles Of Canon Del Apache And Pigeons Rancho (La Glorieta) Fought With The Rebels March 28, 1862 And To Those Who Fell At The Battle Fought With The Rebels At Perilta April 15, 1862.” A third reads: “Erected By The People Of New Mexico Through Their Legislatures Of 1866 - 7 - 8. MAY THE UNION BE PERPETUAL.” These three sides were all commemorations of the defeat of the Confederate invasion of New Mexico aimed at making New Mexico, Arizona, and southern Colorado into Confederate slave territories. The fourth side, the back side facing away from the Santa Fe Governor’s Palace reads: "To The Heroes Who Have Fallen In Various Battles With Savage Indians In The Territory Of New Mexico. “Savage” was later chiseled out.

The obelisk on three sides is an American Civil War monument commemorating the victory of the Union and the defeat of the Confederacy. No doubt tearing down a monument to the defeat of the Confederate attempt to make New Mexico a Confederate slave territory will warm the hearts of Neo-Confederates nostalgic for the “Lost Cause.”

Anita McGinnis

Thank you Mr. Haynes.

Khal Spencer

Nothing new here.

https://www.opb.org/article/2020/10/12/portland-protesters-tear-down-roosevelt-lincoln-statues-during-day-of-rage/

Tom Ribe

History is complicated and most of us are grateful for the defeat of the white supremacists in the Civil War. I worry that these protesters have very little understanding of history. They are left wing reactionaries, not that different from Trump reactionaries.

Stefanie Beninato

The word "February" is misspelled on the obelisk--just goes to show how long we have had a poor education system.

Khal Spencer

Hopefully, President Trump will send in the Feds.

https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/1369

18 U.S. Code § 1369. Destruction of veterans’ memorials

Jenifer Gomez

25 years ago, as a teenager, the police would not tolerate us high-school kids hanging out on the Plaza. We spent money at Haagen Dasz and Woolworth's, we didn’t loiter. Our only offense was, allegedly, disrupting tourism.

Today, there are panhandlers and vandals.

Things have not changed for the better.

Kate Sessions

So much tone policing and white fragility going on here! I love this news, made my week that Indigenous People's Day was celebrated in this way. Remarkable.

Anita McGinnis

These "social justice warriors" are having a lot of fun on the plaza aren't they?

Since you say that you love the news, Kate, it's a waste of time to try to reason with you or your like-minded friends. Those who should be confronted and held accountable are the people who are elected to keep the city and it's citizens protected and safe from this kind of aggressive lawlessness. And we need to support the police when they are trying to do their job, unless we want continual chaos.

Benjamin Martinez

Please let's leave this as it is today so that we can commemorate the progressive leaders we have in New Mexico today. Let it stay as a reminder of the actions tolerated, no, endorsed by those we have elected. Every vote that was cast for the current leadership in NM is an endorsement for this new normal. Every vote for the status quo cast this election season is empowering this 'activism'. Let's get them to come together for a group photo with their latest achievement. Please dear leaders, accept your kudos and embrace your ideals openly. Don't you dare say that you do not approve of this, yet do nothing to prevent this 'expression' of feelings.

Katherine Martinez

Talk about savages.

Nicoletta Munroe

The obelisk is a symbol, yet it is not the issue. It is the text that offended, not the obelisk. Yet people focused on the object, and chained it in a brutal fashion, subjecting a 153-year sign of civilization to hysterical mob rule. Do the people find the Cross of the Martyrs offensive? Shall we tear down the Cathedral? We closed the College of Santa Fe, a real campus. If we were focused on school, would the obelisk be such an issue? The obelisk was a sign of a township, people unified, a lasting commitment. Today, we are left with systemic racism, economic injustice, and education disparity. Yet it is not the obelisk that holds the responsibility, nor will its removal bring a result. Instead we have blocked a discussion, silenced our university, hid from one another, and we have missed an opportunity to join together as a community to consider the value of historic preservation. There is a law suit about our obelisk, and I welcome one of our fine citizens to report upon it.

Khal Spencer

My wife asked me why I was so angry. Its not so much about the obelisk but about the lack of process. Letting mob rule overtake democratic conventions. Anyone for 1920's Weimar Republic?

Meanwhile, as my wife said, she is disgusted with these turkeys. Tearing down the obelisk will not solve any real problems. At 65 and with a bad back, she packs food at the Food Depot for 4,000 meals a week. People are out of work, out of resources, and socially isolated. Meanwhile, this self-appointed gang of thugs think they have solved a social issue by tearing down a monument. I suspect this monument never went hungry and never was out of a job.

The stupidity is what makes me shake my head. Yep, as I mentioned in my blog post, historical symbols are loaded up with controversy. So is the act of tearing them down as a gang of ignorant hoodums.

Angel Ortiz

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Khal Spencer

You can replace the Truth and Reconciliation Committee with a Disgust and Anger Committee. The SFPD should have been empowered to disperse this crowd of thugs and vandals.

Angel Ortiz

Well said. Thank you!

Richard Reinders

The police have the power they swore an oath to serve and protect

Lee DiFiore

Don't you wish webber and grishy were on the ballot 3 weeks from now? They'd be toast. But there are lots of dems just like them who are. Let's start putting an end to the socialism experiment going on throughout the country.

Ian Fuego

👍🏼

Richard Reinders

You can start a petition to remove the Mayor

Paul Davis

"Socialism experiment". So funny. If there's a socialist experiment going on, why is it that the actual socialists are so unhappy and want there to be an *actual* socialist "experiment" ? In what ways has the US (let alone NM) become more like any socialist country?

Socialism in the US exists in a few forms, but the two biggest ones are (1) the US military (think about it: all your needs taken care of, housing, health, education, highly organized and structured society, top down heirarchical control, clear career paths, no local allegiance, etc. etc.) and (2) corporate welfare, in which large private corporations get all the benefits of the way we run the economy according to their wishes, but thepublic has to pay to clean up the mess when it goes wrong.

But socialism the way that socialists would like? Or even just democratic socialism, which is not even particularly related to socialism? The closest you'll get to that in the US are volunteer fire departments and libraries, two institutions I assume you don't despise?

Ian Fuego

Sad, weak socialist individuals attempting to erase history, communisim at it best. Sadhguru said it best "Socialism is wimpy communism. When you don't have the courage to become a communist, you become a socialist".

bob chilton

Portland mayor, Portland anarchy!

Kim Swininoga

I repost because something went wrong with the transmission....

“Our feckless mayor, council, and police chief have effectively legitimized the illegitimate actions of a small group of small minded people.

They willingly allowed a small group of misguided activists to destroy a city asset.....period! THAT is a criminal act and the refusal to stop it, or actively prosecute it, is a loud sign of the feckless cowardice of our city leaders.

Yes, they have ran away, tail between their legs, as they measure the polls! What’s next? Perhaps they will demand that there be no restaurants on the plaza, or perhaps no commerce at all? Given the attitudes of these groups, perhaps certain people will not be allowed on the plaza!

As a visitor I can say with a clear mind that your Santa Fe tourism is NOT sacrosanct...as a native Chicagoan I would suggest you google the streets of Chicago today....they are desolate as Chicago has become the Gotham City of Batman lore!

Capital is extremely liquid, and people (read tourists) will find better uses of their,time and money if Santa Fe leaders continue to hide in their basements! “

—— Bob

Mike Johnson

[thumbup][thumbup] Advising all out of area friends and relatives to stop coming to Santa Fe, the city is in a state of anarchy and chaos, you are not safe here!

Richard Reinders

We stopped spending money or spending any time in the City 6 Months ago, we will return when De Vargas does.

cranio desire

excellent advice, because all those tourists are bringing COVID with them too. yes, please, stay away.

Kim Swininoga

Our feckless mayor, council, and police chief have effectively legitimized the illegitimate actions of a small group of small minded people. They willingly allowed a small group of misguided activists to destroy a city asset.....period! THAT is a criminal act and the refusal to stop it, or actively prosecute it, is a loud sign of the feckless cowardice of our city leaders.

Yes, they have ran away, tail between their legs, as they measure the polls!

What’s next?

Perhaps they will demand that there be no restaurants on the plaza, or perhaps no commerce at all?

As a visitor I can say with a clear mind that your Santa Fe tourism is NOT sacrosanct...as a native Chicagoan I would suggest you google the streets of Chicago today....they are desolate as Chicago has become the Gotham City of Batman lore!

Capital is extremely liquid, and people (read tourists) will find better uses of their,time and money if Santa Fe leaders continue to hide in their basements!

—— Bob

Given the attitudes of these groups, perhaps certain people will not be allowed on the plaza!

The shear idea that

Diego Mondragon

My grandparents and great grandparents are probably rolling over in their graves because of these ******* tree hugging *********** hippies that have lived in our city for ten years, yet say it's theirs. Never felt more ashamed that I fought a war and fought for my country for these worthless, no job, pieces of ****. Make Santa Fe great again. Go back to the East Coast or wherever you morons came from. This is. OUR city.

Pete Seitz

Who let this happen they need to go

Richard Reinders

They took DeVargas with very little resistance from the local Hispanics, as they say give them an inch they will take a mile. It will end when hard working tax payers show up at the Mayors office requesting his removal, where’s Zoro when you need him.

Joshua Gallegos

I would have to agree being a native from Santa Fe New Mexico if they do not like our history they should have never moved here in the first place. We as Native New Mexicans need to stand up for out lands and history.

Khal Spencer

I might as well have written this blog post for Santa Fe.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

War and Other Historical Memorials Aren't Created Equal

https://northmesamutts.blogspot.com/2017/08/war-memorials-arent-created-equal.html

David Martinez

If they wanted to disperse the crowd, tear gas does the trick.

Maxwell Vertical

Mayor Webber? crickets

Governor? crickets

Angel Ortiz

Vandals and criminals. Really sad that we can allow this type of activity to occur in our community. I hope that those who were arrested are prosecuted.

Katherine Martinez

This will improve race relations quite a bit.

David Brown

Let us hear it for the brave officers and men of the SFPD who serve to protect their pensions.

Khal Spencer

Don't blame the officers for what must have been an order from higher up to stand down.

Khal Spencer

Dillon Mullan needs to be fired. If an anti-abortion "activist" blew up an abortion clinic, would he call that person an "activist"?

cranio desire

a piece of concrete is not the same as a medical clinic serving women.

Vicente Roybal

The plaque no longer said savages. To be offended by history and to begin a whitewashing history is mindless, it is meant to be learned from. Some people want to associate genocide with local Spanish people, but that is short sighted as the Spanish Military and the settlers were two separate groups. The settlers cooperated and lived peacefully side by side with the Pueblo people. The Spanish presence was a grounding force and a means of protection for the local tribes. Genocide was occurring a thousand years before the Spanish ever arrived here. Perpetuating hatred on one group or another serves what?

Emily Hartigan

I was there this morning, and could not believe that they would choose today to take down the protections for the monument. They laid bare the offensive tablets. What did they expect?

Khal Spencer

I thought the same thing. If there was going to be vandalism, today would be the day. What was the Governing Body thinking?

Richard Reinders

Time to remove the Mayor!

David Brown

👍

Leesa Vigil

Agree. Webber is pretty worthless... in this matter and many others. This is inexcusable!

Jeff Varela

...and we've got a feeble City Council that cannot lead a camel to water.

Maxwell Vertical

We’re about to see what Webber and the DA are made of. If they’re serious they bring serious charges against those already arrested and set high bail. If those arrested want to help themselves, start cooperating with SFPD to identify those who destroyed government or other property. There’s plenty of video to build cases.

Richard Reinders

Webber got what he wanted, nothing will happen because Webber won’t let Padilla do anything it’s Portland all over again. The public should have beaten the snot out of someone destroying their tax paid property if the police won’t protect your property you have to.

Angel Ortiz

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Benjamin Martinez

... and then have them bailed out by the groups that are doing that for "peaceful protestors" in other cities? The fallacy is that the mayor, DA .... all the way to the governor would do any form of prosecution. Do you really believe they will? The left in this country has lost control of these groups and lack the spine to control them. These 'protestors' were useful tools for the summer, the left has let them believe they have power. The problem with that is once a group truly believes they have power, they usually do. The genie is out of the bottle, kids.

Melanie Faithful

This is the result of frustration and pain. If all you see is thugs, you would have also hated the Boston Tea Party.

Khal Spencer

Hey, the Boston Tea Party presaged a shooting war. If that is what you want, just say so. Who needs democratic institutions when thugs rule by force?

And don't give me that cr*p about pain. Its all imaginary pain in a bunch of spoiled brats.

Richard Reinders

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Anita McGinnis

Sane and reasonable people see thugs. To see these thugs as equal to patriots at the Boston Tea Party is immature, egotistical and delusional.

Emily Hartigan

TODAY was the day to take down the boards with Indigenous people's comments?? Allegedly to erect a 20' barrier [what the cop told us]?

Seriously??

Mike Johnson

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Anita McGinnis

Sane and reasonable people see thugs. To compare these thugs to the patriots at the Boston Tea Party is immature, egotistic and delusional.

Mike Johnson

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Leesa Vigil

That is a ridiculous position.

Robert Bartlett

Thugs rule in democrat controlled cities. No arrests and prosecutions will happen. Expect more chaos.

Orlie Romero

Vote Trump or suffer the consequences.

Laurie Buffer

[thumbup]

Mark Stahl

This IS trump’s America. How is re-electing him going to make things any better?

Bill Nibchuck

So the Mayor decided to let vandals do the dirty work he couldn't complete. Called off the cops and let liberal terrorism take control.

Bernadette Gonzales

That’s exactly what happened. The bullies won.

Emily Hartigan

Not terrorists.

Angel Ortiz

How about vandals, thugs, criminals? Destroying public property. I've seen several videos of this insane act. Honestly didn't see any American Indians.

Anita McGinnis

[thumbup]

Khal Spencer

This is out of control. I am, sad to say, embarrassed to say I live here or pay taxes to support this city.

Stefanie Beninato

These are not protestors--they are vandals who have willfully destroyed an obelisk that has defined the plaza for over 150 years. Why did the police not leave someone there? What is Webber's part in all of this? Did these protesters have a permit? I hope the city will prosecute for damages.

Maxwell Vertical

All of the little darlings look white. Isn't this what the woke refer to as cultural appropriation.

Benjamin Martinez

The are peaceful protesters, exactly like in Seattle, Portland, Chicago, etc..

As long as there is no punishment, this will continue. Anybody can be offended by anyone and let the mob rule. Single political part towns are the easiest fruit to pick, because they are seen as spineless and cowing. Funny how it is all acceptable until it hits your own backyard. You reap what you sow.

As far as the police leaving the plaza, good for them and their safety. Take a risk at enforcing the law and you risk your career? For a community that has spit on the whole concept of policing? No thanks

Khal Spencer

[thumbup]

Nancy Lockland

Webber has repeatedly told the police department to stand down. I only know this because a dear friend is a police officer and we have discussed the lack of police presence downtown. Webber does not want police in the area.

Of course they won't be prosecuted, because then it will turn into a race thing.

Jeff Varela

Didn't know that the phantom Mayor is now the phantom Police Chief.

Ezekiel America

Congratulations, you are now a third world 💩hole.

Mike Johnson

Lawless criminals, and the police did nothing, welcome to anarchy and mob rule Santa Fe.

Cynthia Sandoval

Apparently “To Protect and Serve” only applies until you’re out numbered. What a farce!

Mike Johnson

Scum, and the police did nothing, welcome to anarchy and mob rule Santa Fe.

Ezekiel America

Agree. Time for a peaceful tax protest.

Khal Spencer

I imagine the police were given orders of some sort, Michael.

Katherine Martinez

You mean the weak as water supposed mayor? He couldn't hit water if he fell out of a boat.

Mike Johnson

I think you are right Khal. But as any sane person knows, if you are "afraid" or reluctant to risk injury of the police or anarchists, you are endorsing mob rule, and they will do what they want to anyone and anything. It makes things worse, and perpetuates the criminal acts. Police sometimes have to hurt people to keep order, it has to start someplace, sometime, why not now?

Khal Spencer

[thumbup]

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