Protesters in New Mexico pulled down a Civil War-era obelisk in a demonstration where witnesses claim police left before the structure collapsed. The obelisk was known as Soldiers Monument and had been built to honor Civil War-era soldiers.
The demonstration took place in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Videos from the event show approximately 40-50 protesters cheering as others pulled on ropes and straps. Working together, they pulled down an obelisk erected in 1866 in the plaza square. The video does not appear to show any interference from law enforcement as the group toppled the statue.
The Santa Fe New Mexican reported that protesters had been demonstrating at the plaza since Saturday with tensions escalating on Monday. According to the publication, police officers arrested two protesters at the plaza earlier in the day but then retreated prior to the group moving to topple the statue. The local newspaper quotes some protesters who claimed they were glad that police had retreated during the event.
“I respected that the cops retreated because the situation was spiraling,” a Native American protester named Jim Trujillo who had been beating drums at the event told the local newspaper.
The local TV station KRQE called the obelisk that was erected in 1866 “controversial” since it was built to honor Civil War-era soldiers who had died in battle. The Santa Fe New Mexican claimed the obelisk honored Union soldiers. City Mayor Alan Webber ordered that the obelisk be removed earlier this year, but city crews had not been able to due to the structure’s weight. The obelisk had been previously vandalized.
Ildefonso Ortiz is an award-winning journalist with Breitbart Texas. He co-founded Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles project with Brandon Darby and senior Breitbart management. You can follow him on Twitter and on Facebook. He can be contacted at Iortiz@breitbart.com.