Effort to remove statues of Spanish conquistadors is priorityremove two other monuments. De Vargas is revered by some as a leader among the Spanish settlers in New Mexico but reviled by Native Americans who accuse him of brutal treatment after he led a re-conquest of Santa Fe after the Pueblo Revolt of 1680. The emergency proclamation, which Mayor Webber signed on June 18, allows him to legally prohibit or require certain actions “to protect life and property and preserve public peace and safety” according to the document. Recently, a demonstration in Albuquerque at the site of a statue of conquistador Juan de Onate ended in the shooting of a protestor and the removal of the statue ordered to a safe location by the mayor of Albuquerque.
“Recent events in Albuquerque and in other cities around the country have demonstrated how protests aimed at statues, monuments and other historical figures can escalate into violence and cause serious harm to people and property,” Webber says in the declaration of emergency. The declaration was signed as demonstrations were planned at the statue and monuments around Santa Fe. “There is currently civil unrest across the country and in the City of Santa Fe due to historic trauma and institutional racism,” the mayor continues in the declaration. “Santa Fe has a long and complex history that includes trauma, tragedy and sorrow” which was recognized by the City, and organizations including the All Pueblo Council of Governors and the Archdiocese of Santa Fe. Certain monuments displayed in Santa Fe “depict historic figures and events that involve or depict events causing historic trauma and have led to present day civil unrest,” he says. These include the statue of De Vargas in Cathedral Park in the center of Santa Fe, an obelisk dedicated to Kit Carson in front of the US Courthouse and the Soldiers Monument obelisk in the Santa Fe Plaza. The Soldiers Monument obelisk also called the American Indian War Memorial has been vandalized in the past and was vandalized again recently. Photos show the words “racist” and “Tewa Land” spray painted on the obelisk and there is a hole hammered into the base. The obelisk is said to be dedicated “to Union soldiers who fought in the Civil War Battles in New Mexico.” On one side was originally inscribed “to the heroes who have fallen in various battles with savage Indians in the Territory of New Mexico.” The word savage was chiseled off in 1974. Mayor Webber orders the statue of de Vargas removed and placed in a safe location and he asks the city manager and city attorney to begin the legal process to remove the two obelisks.
Today was healing, today was medicine, today was herstory, we just getting started ✊🏽❤️ edit: reminder that the obelisk...Posted by Three Sisters Collective on Thursday, June 18, 2020
Posted by Mayor Alan Webber on Wednesday, June 17, 2020
Contact Kate Saltzstein can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org Copyright permission Native Sun News Today
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