The Soldiers Monument, a 150-year-old anchor of the Santa Fe Plaza, is mostly gone. On Oct. 12, Indigenous Peoples Day, dozens of people pulled on a tow strap and a chain tied around the monument and pulled it down in two pieces. All that’s left is the base, which is now boarded up and awaiting whatever comes next.
The monument, known more commonly here in Santa Fe, New Mexico, as “the obelisk,” has ignited fights over what it truly means for decades, and multiple mayors in recent years have promised to consider removing the statue from the plaza. Basically, it’s dedicated to Union soldiers who fought in the southwest—defending it from Confederate armies. But it is also dedicated to these same Union soldiers who slaughtered the regional Indigenous peoples in the so called “indian wars”. So, yeah, it’s complicated.
Finally, what maybe was a long time coming, came. Protesters pulled the obelisk down and so much has happened between Oct. 12 and now, Nov. 18, . The city seems divided into factions—some people believe pulling it down was the right thing to do. Others really don’t. This week’s Santa Fe Reporter cover story looks in-depth at what’s happening now to move on; the police response then, versus now; what another city did with a similar problem and more.
This is Episode 1 of Season 4 of Reported, the Santa Fe Reporter’s podcast. We’re glad to be back after a lengthy break, bringing you all sorts of news you can use and compelling New Mexico stories for your ears.
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Music: Lone Piñon
All of our coverage about the toppling of the obelisk: https://www.sfreporter.com/tag/plaza/