Updated: October 14, 2020 06:53 PM
Created: October 14, 2020 06:46 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Protesters spent Monday afternoon tearing down an obelisk monument on the Santa Fe Plaza that they deemed to be racist toward Native Americans.
Santa Fe Mayor Alan Webber pledged to address the obelisk in the past, but not before activists decided to take matters into their own hands.
“A lot around our country is coming to a head right now, we're wrestling with those histories and that narrative currently,” said New Mexico Rep. Andrea Romero (D-District 46).
Rep. Romero and New Mexico Rep. Derrick Lente helped create Indigenous Peoples’ Day in 2019—a day meant to represent the unity of diverse cultures.
“When the narrative is written or talked about publicly that there's a divisive Spanish versus Native type of dueling in New Mexico, that is completely false in my assessment in both Representative Romero and I talked about is we represent very much minority New Mexico, which is exactly Hispanic and Native communities living side-by-side,” said Rep. Lente (D-District 65).
That unity was not present on the plaza Monday. Not only was the statue knocked, but Santa Fe Police said protesters were intentionally pushing and shoving responding officers.
KOB 4 has repeatedly requested an interview with Mayor Webber, but instead he released his response during a recorded Tuesday briefing.
“There have been questions on why we haven't answered press inquiries. The answer very simply is we've been doing our best to be as well-informed as possible, so that the answers we give you are complete and transparent,” Webber said.
Meanwhile, state lawmakers are calling for immediate action.
“We want to see there be a convening whether it be a commission or a group of people to deal with truth and reconciliation in how we move forward, in particular, in Santa Fe,” said Rep. Romero.
City officials said they’re moving with urgency and the issue of a task force will be discussed by the city council, but it’s still unclear how fast the process will go.
“I don't think anyone anticipated any violent acts. I think those are really challenging to have seen in our own communities and something we deeply, deeply do not condone and do not want to continue to see happen,” Rep. Romero added.
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