« 99% Invisible

404- Return of Oñate's Foot

2020-06-30 | 🔗

All across the country, protestors have been tearing down old monuments. These monuments have been falling in the middle of historic protests against police brutality. Sparked by the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, these demonstrations have spread to communities, big and small, across the country and around the world. And as they've grown, the protests have become about much more than police violence. This national uprising has inspired a massive reckoning with our country's past. Suddenly, decades of inertia and foot-dragging have given way to decisive action. In 2018, we did a story about a couple of controversial monuments in New Mexico. They honored a Spanish conquistador named Juan de Oñate, who was an early settler in the region. We're revisiting that story with extensive updates about the current protests and a shooting that occurred at an Oñate demonstration in June.

Return of Oñate's Foot

This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
This is ninety nine percent, invisible, I'm roman Mars. from Birmingham Alabama to Washington, DC all across the country, old, confederate monuments, now many monuments to confederate soldiers and slave holders are being taken down either by protestors or by local officials in Raleigh North Carolina June thirteenth demonstrators tore down to statues from a monument outside the capital building enrichment, Virginia protesters toppled statues of confederate leaders, William Carter, Wickham in Jefferson, Davis, inverted,
new governor Ralph North ordered the removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E Lee. Yes, that statue has been there for a long time, but it was wrong then, and it is wrong now and it isn't just monument to the confederacy over twenty statues of Christopher. Members have come down across the country to in cities like Province for Ireland, Minneapolis Minnesota and even Columbus, Ohio Christopher Columbus. That here it is down. The latest bore a protest against racial injustice- people across country, these monuments have been falling in the middle of historic protests against police brutality sparked by the murder of George avoiding in Minneapolis. These demonstrations have spread to communities big and small across the country and around the world and as they ve grown, the protests have become about much more than police violence
This national uprising has inspired a massive reckoning with our country's past. Suddenly decades but nurture and foot dragging have given way to decisive action a few years, back, we did a story about a couple of controversial monuments in New Mexico. They honoured ace. In this case the door named one. They on your day, who wasn't Billy subtler in the region and yes, those statues have been back in the news recently to so. We want Checking withstand l, corn, the reporter, who did that original story for us paste in Heroin XO I was about the protests that happened a couple weeks ago in Albuquerque yeah, so on Monday June fifteenth I was sitting at my desk following this. All just through videos on twitter and lives dreams, and it was seen very much like the ones we ve seen play out across the country, with confederate generals and with Christopher Columbus of activists
actively trying to pull down the statue of on ya take really just with a rope around it with a pickaxe and at the same time, people trying to prevent them from doing at peace. Who were heavily armed people who looked like members of a militia and camouflage. I saw it really Seeing that I was seeing and pretty quickly the thing that you might be afraid What happened in that kind of scene occurred, there were gunshots and it was, that somebody had been shot and suddenly became a very different kind of story What was like for you watching us all informed. You know it was. It was a strange experience. These are set issues that I have known my entire life. Basically I mean I grew up in Albuquerque. I was fond
as this statue was put up and now MIKE seeing people try to pull them down, and not only that as an investigative report, reveal one of the things They cover often is right. Wing extremism and I was actually finishing up a story about right wing, extremists and It was as if, with these militia members with the kind of things that they believe with the threatened use of violence. It was like people From my reveal, extremism story had suddenly walked into my childhood public art story. So what it was this really strange kind of collision of worlds. A lot of our history is all colliding at this very moment were reconciling with which stories or past and present It's really something to to witness. The word you can go back to the that protest in the shooting everything that happened in the last couple weeks. But first we wanted to replace, stands regional story look at the history of on YA,
his arrival in Mexico and the enormous battle over these monuments, which started back in the ninety. Nine is taken up, on January, seventh, nineteen, ninety, eight and envy landed on the desk of Larry Callaway. He was a communist with Albuquerque Journal a combination of it. Press release or ransom note and a photo The photo was Polaroid of cut off. Writing a book with a huge spanish spur. All in bronze Can I read the note, the hinted that the bronze foot came from a statue of a man may one day on yachting seated on a horse. It was part of a monument on the side of a rule. Highway near were on your day, founded the first spanish colony in New Mexico. Back in eighteen. Ninety eight Larry figure
This was probably a hoax. Stand out for a rapporteur with the investigative podcast reveal. There are clear writers on the story today. So he handed it after the newsroom and a reporter called up the visitors centre at the unreality, monument and ash. Your stature, meshing right foot and the guys I laughed. And he went out, checked came back and he was your own in shock. She shares gone. Only today is one of the world's lesser known can keep two doors, but his name all over New Mexico. There Miata streets on yachting schools. For decades there was an annual fiesta where one lucky guy would get to be only auto a complete with a cape and helmet
there is even a song and dance, and I'm a new imports of New Mexico is treated as a kind of founding father history is not all song and dance and wearing capes. He was contested or, after all, the envelope, Larry got also. Included an excerpt from a history book on on tree. And of New Mexico native people. It described an instant. Ended with own yacht sentencing, a group of men from Accomac Pueblo to each have one foot chopped off if the symbolism of removing the statues foot was unclear, the note made explicit shed. We took the liberty, of removing only artesian right foot on behalf of our brothers and sisters that come up weblogs. We it will be melting. This foot down and cast think small medallions to be so
or to those sure historically ignorant the study sculpture cast a new right foot and re attached it. The medallions never turned up, but the story stuck seventh, greater and Albuquerque. At the time, and what I remember is greater and Albuquerque at the time and I remember, is how the subject I found most boring. History was suddenly exciting mystery remains unsolved to this day who stole only at foot? And then there was the timing nineteen. Ninety eight was the four hundredth anniversary of only otters arrival. There were court doesnt, an area celebrations planned all of the state. There would be theatre parades a commemorative stamp in a second note to the paper. These so called friends of Acta wrote we see glory and celebrating on your days. Fourth centennial We do not want our faces rubbed in it. In other words, the point of cutting off the statues foot was too small,
the party and the centrepiece of that Party got a mention in all the foot. Cutting stories was a quarter scenario Memorial being planned for Albuquerque Historic Centre. The proposal another bronze statue of one day on ya. This one in the middle of New Mexico's biggest city, but with all new attention on only after the second statue. Wasn't going to get built without a fight. I still don't see. The storm was common, it is still an answer see country too loose era was one of the organizers of the four hundredth anniversary celebrations in Albuquerque and why, the most passionate advocates for a new on your day, statue, a passion, that goes back to her childhood growing up in nineteen, fifty New Mexico, knowing almost nothing about only Otto or the state two centuries as a spanish colony. When I
a child at ten years of age. I asked my grandmother who was a schoolteacher. I was reading the american history books. He said that our people do anything. You know, that's how I felt she didn't know new MAX history, all concrete anew was that her spanish ancestors had come to the state centuries before the anglo classmates who called people like her dirty Mexicans or the anglo teachers who kept her out of a leadership club and she do that. Racism and ignorance of history were somehow connected. If we make you feel like the underdog and then we take away your history and take away your knowledge. Your son, freedom from scratch. Conversations you don't know how to even participate. You just let the other guy put you down. Could you do thought if she,
just search out her own european routes. It would help her fight back. None of this is uncommon in New Mexico, where people have been reaching back. To their colonial routes and identifying is spanish, since eighteen, hundreds after country to retire She found a lot of like minds in local geological and historical societies should learn. How to use bird open death and baptism records to trace her family tree there was, the occasional native american ancestor this most excited to fine branches like the one that extended back to a spanish captain who brought his wife and It's true that your desert on on ya take fifteen ninety eight expedition. She saw as having transformed the region by bringing livestock and Catholicism and the spanish language. It start finding your family members in your going. Well, I never knew they get all
did it change how you saw yourself. Yes, I never argued that one person wasn't as good as the other, but sometimes you were made to feel inferior and at that point then inferior they left, and so it was that can was on the court. The scenario committee when they met with the Albuquerque Arts Board to discuss their request for prominent new statue of one day on your the man, they called the Father of the Hispanic culture and our state and who? The friends of Alabama, accused of destroying native peoples way of life was what happened at act brought up now and was it on your mind no This is something that you knew about. I wasn't as versed in it as I have become for people who don't know Acta. What is what is that
This is a leader or tweedie swallow. An actual woman would become an outspoken opponent of no now take statue and Albuquerque action. The old continuously inhabited community and the United States and its on two may saw three hundred and seventy five feet above the valley below generously gears, coast of a to show people when she travels it's a village built, on top of a Mesa which, if you're not from the desert, is like a huge rock pedestal and that may they're just powers over the flat empty playing below all of it, a hundred shades of brown from light TAN to depressed it's incredible, the tough thing, what radios internet sure to help people visualizing It's like no other place are now it's it's, not it's beautiful! It's desert in raw, soon sandstone in it. That's where I come from, you know
and, unlike the dozens of Pueblo, that disappeared after the arrival of the Spanish Acta, is still here. Each year. Tens of thousands of tourists drive and our west of Albuquerque and then take a tour bus up a steep rode to the top of the mace I'll watch yourself go get your close to the edge if you happen to fall over the edge. This is the end of your tour, and nor report will begin You ve got a minor on top. You can see buildings made of mud and sandstone, the Turk I'd say date back to the eleven hundreds, if you think about it. This house's happen passed down through the same family for almost a thousand years now so now we're gonna be walking past some of the older. How this right, all along the tour, their tables, where am artist, sell their wares, mostly pottery, but it's not just a tourist attraction there
our fifteen families that live up top you around and hundreds more like. Treaties who go there for a special occasions, funerals gas, religious vs. Does we were always there? What did you know about the history of your people in that place that we came from the underworld on the back grandmother, spider? We wander the earth and when we got to wear a comma was we were told. This is what we are supposed to be. That's what I knew you know. We ve been there forever treaty also knew that when the Spanish arrived, they did terrible things to our ancestors she didn't know the details.
Historians know many of those details today because they are written down by the spanish and letters and legal documents. These documents to quote on your days best known, biographer, skin surface of events in some time is present on your tat quote, as he is to be seen not as things actually were, which makes them description of what happened at Acta, all the more shocking after thirty, enough. Only outpace men came looking for food and were killed on the outside declared a war of blood and fire in the most brutal account of the battle that followed on ya taste, soldiers killed, hundreds of men, women and children staff. Prisoners and threw them off the Mesa and set fires that the case of women and children who had taken shelter and sacred rooms, known as kilos they then rounded up five hundred prisoners and put them on trial or not taste. Those over twelve years old to twenty years of slavery, those under twelve. He supper
from their families, giving the girls to the church and the boys to the captain. Who just destroyed their village and then there is the most infamous detail in a document signed by only Otto himself. It says them, else who are over twenty five years of age. I sentenced to have one foot cut off. His cruelty to the innocent of Emma was one of the twelve crimes for which on ya, tell himself would later be tried and convicted by the spanish crown as punishment you would be banished permanently from the territories of New Mexico. This is the history that treaty and I and any other new Mexicans were learning for the first time as news of the sea one foot ricocheted around the state. That was the beginning of it. That was everybody's first awareness and At the same time, we were also learning that the city of Albuquerque was planning to build this new, much more prominent,
statue of only after he had been cast out of New Mexico for ever and now you want to bring back a poorly mollusk actual, it still mind, boggling, How are they went from a banished? Can keep the door to a father of Mexico that people wanted to put on a statue is a story for another podcast but the simple answer is: he was first the first to build. European colony in the region, even if that colony was soon abandoned, he was among them first to bring wheat and sheep and Catholicism and because every people needs a founding figure spanish Mexico made one the only I take its George Washington, even if he had been cast out forever, but it did not take long for the Albuquerque Arts Board to realise that one day on your day was not everyone's idea of a founding father legacy.
That another triumphant statue of him on a horse would be a bad look for the city. So, by the time the foot was cut off, of the old statue on the side of the highway. They made a few changes to the plan. The memorial would need to depict not just on yachting, but also that peaceful settlers who came with him and then, native Americans who preceded and survived him and the eggs, act form the memorial would take would be up to a team of artists. They had a team of two but right for the newspapers got wind of the missing foot. They decided to add a third when Nora Neuron Home more Scott, the call she was in the I swear. She's most comfortable her studio, and he who had money here right in the studio with a fireplace in the rain on the phone was the director of public art for the city of Albuquerque asking if she wanted to be part of a try culture collaboration. It would be the hispanic artist who had built this Do that had its foot stolen?
an anglo artist and her Taylor, indian artist from the Santa Clara Pueblo. The call was so out of the blue. This is a public art project. I've never done public art really. This was with other people. I had been working solo, so I didn't they know I was listening, and did you say yes right then? Or do you remember how to find clear? Yes, I said yes right away because I opened my mouth and I said yes and then afterwards I thought. Oh, I wonder what this is These, like she'd, find out when she showed up for that first meeting in India fictional room, a fluorescent lighting and a chalkboard. The other artists the old and a model of a statue they'd already put together. It was another, a triumphant statue
of one day on your day on a horse and that's when they began to talk about the granite pedestal and how I could use it that the pedestal beneath and yet his horses feet right, I felt insulted, I felt hurt I felt marginalized. I didn't think I could do that, although in myself I was thinking that there is a solution that art could tell a story that was true for Neuro, quite literally, refuse to put on your day on a pedestal and the artist went back to the drawing board, now Nora was in the public eye. Soon she started getting calls from other pueblo people
Who wanted her to leave the project entirely in protest? I didn't do that. I'm gonna refused. I got some people were disappointed, but I realized that arm by me. Staying in the game, I would at least be able to fight for that voice that I think the sole important, not just my artistic voice, but the voice of these people. They had gone through this incredible experience that change their culture completely, and I kept going back to those the year of the four hundredth anniversary, nineteen ninety eight came and went in. There was oh, no plan for the memorial, but the city would not give up all the
Tension and made the memorial a very public test of whether the state was the land of try cultural harmony, that it claims to be so Every time the process hit an impasse. The city through more time and money added, hiring mediators and forming committees one point: one of those committees came up with a plan that would have restarted the whole artistic process. A plane can t decide, couldn't tolerate. It. For a memorial without Andreotti focus on coexistence of Spanish Well, then, we said it wasn't or celebration. You know it's your celebration! Now, it's not ours! You know you don't get invited to a wedding. You don't start tone the bride in the groom. You should ahead it this way or that way or another
what what it was. It was our celebration, but it was your celebration with public money in a public space. That's in us in a city that has people of all different backgrounds. The grant was for our celebration, not for the echo myself, patient or for anybody else's is far. Can cheetahs group was concerned, the presence of only ADI was non negotiable. Which made it hard to negotiate in the end, simply was no single design that everyone could agree on. If I eventually The artist stop talking to each other. Instead, they proposed a memorial made up of two separate artworks: a series of bronze statue of spanish saddlers, including on yacht ay, and full armor and Nora's response an abstract, and art installation made out of the desert itself on from a small bronze statue to a memorial that would take up most of the city block and costume
for half a million dollars requiring the city to issue special bonds. Now the question was, with the city: approve it computer the prone yachting forces lobbied the city council, while on yachting opponents, like Tweedy, took their case to the people you know finding out, while both for us and who isn't in, and how do we target the people in that area for them to call their council men and that's the first time ever done that you know really becoming an activist for the four yeah. I was I'd, never I've, I've never done that. The statue and also a highway. The city was trying to build through a national monument of Ancient Petra. Cliffs was making first time activist out of a lot of pueblo people. The first time that we really rallied around something active artists, citizens and city councillors were headed for a fight. I'll showdown
This is GEO, be fourteen and now from government centre in downtown Albuquerque, the Albuquerque City Council. In a series of meetings. The city council Torreon was divided like pep rally or Congress on one side, It was the pro on your day crowd. Mostly hispanic B all around considers age on others It was the anti on ya, take group made to be younger and more diverse native Americans, but also Anglos and African Americans and allow People who identified as chicano or Mestizo, explicitly Embracing their indigenous as well as european ancestry, the city and saw tried to give the two sides equal time to speak, An hour after hour of public comment, they went back and forth banal
for the design of the memorial really you're fighting over something. Much bigger and much more personal. Their place in a mirror history. Our colony was the first in what is today, the United States of Amerika. You can't pretend that we didn't come here four hundred years ago, this is really a matter of denigrating the hispanic people of Mexico. Do I have to start when no have some torrejon listen. First of all sorts of Gunnar and, unlike Some hispanic setter here in the audience. I didn't just get off the plane from Spain Yet this does not represent the best. My culture you Representing me, I just want to say that I am sorry that you, and a small group of Hispanics in this room feel like they have to slam another people's culture in order to feel pride
there were dozens of speakers, but the leaders were women from Acta. Like Tweedy, I didn't know that the offer things that happened to my people happened to my people. I tell this: statue became an issue. I'm really tired of being used Torres our! Where is the only things that matter in this new baby? I bet you don't do this to my people. I beg you to do is to keep to this way. It's not right! Thank you very much fast speaker I'll centres, Davis, It seemed like most people were on tweedy side, but at the city,
against the memorial just be saying no to this statue. Ammonia today and the settlers and two Nora's lands. Gay part. You would be admitting that this Oh very public process that has dragged on for more than two years had been a failure. The committee is that design iterations the debate, all for nothing so finally came time to vote all those in favour please if I, by saying I those opposed they voted, seventy two to build the memorial- motion after them can't you d, lose Sarah told a reporter. I think our kids will finally earn about their ancestors too, he Swaziland other Antonia activists formed a prayer.
Circle in the city, council, chambers and wept. We worked so hard and act as it is. Is it didn't matter it didn't matter what we said it didn't matter? What we do it didn't matter that we educated it just didn't If it all happened again today, do think it would happen the same way or what would be different. I think Indians, I think, published a little bit more politically now? Tweedy thinks what they learned was that the right arguments aren't enough. You need the right decision makers. She's one of several Antonio di activists who went on to get involved in electoral politics she's now the chair, the native American Democratic Carcass of New Mexico and this law.
Cycle? She helped raise money and get out the vote for Deb HOLLAND, one of the two who'd native american women, who just became the first ever to be elected to Congress. The day. If you go visit the finnish memorial, what you'll see isn't the other day on a horse? It's a compromise it, really to memorials crammed into one the first you can grasp without even getting out of your car. It's more two dozen life sized bronze figures, men and women oxen and sheep trudging up a hill. One day on your day is in front on foot no black with his name under the watchful eye of a security camera that may or may not be pointed at his feet. Second memorial right next to it, looks from above like a huge dirt spiral, but from
level. You really just have to experience it. It's a striking contrast to the kind of art that that's really in your face and didactic and says this is what I mean. I think that we Lex Pueblo thinking it's much. More subtle it doesn't articulate in the way we ve become used to as civilised people colonized. When I met nor a neuron humorist, get a tour. She just been picking up trash, left inside her part of the memorial she was holding it. No, not wrapper as we walks down a dirt path, it viral slowly down hill into the ground. The street disappear There is behind the Burma of Jimmy, says and Juniperus on our right and left. Then the buildings, then oh yeah, to himself until fine at the centre of the spiral, you can see is the land and water trickling across Iraq.
And I like that very much because I think that's what it was like a long time. That's how I interpret the past If you sit loaded the ground, you can almost get a glimpse of a world before on yachting arrived, it's an escape, It's also intended as a confrontation between two totally different. World views. Because, as you walk back out of the spiral, this is what youth the telephone lines, the sculpture of or not they coming here. Looking nor the stop light it's all there, and so you see that in some ways when they came, they brought us great opportunity, but at such a high cost,
the brutal colonization was forever affecting to us, and I think we should never forget that. She hopes her piece of the memorial will remind people of that, but, honestly not that many people come here. The memorial doesn't attract nearly as much attention as the conflict over the memorial did. I think that's why it's important stewardship not only to pick up the trash, but also to keep that story alive. Cause they're gonna be a lot more generations of people coming wondering what what is this. And that's where our story was going to end until last year, when an all, mystery reemerged. Remember that, first at you, Who told you about the one that got its foot stolen well, for almost two decades, the fur the thieves had remained in the shadows. Their agenda
is unknown and then one day Chris AIR, the dry, drove smoke, signals and skins possibly be best, no need american filmmaker was outlet chose a discreet but on the mexican restaurant Santa FE, I was sitting there eating a talk. Go with my fears. Partner and someone came, to me and said, a story to tell you I'm anymore. No, I said- oh shit, another story, and you know I heard a few key words, but I wasn't listen that intently and all the sudden it dawned on me. I said: wait a minute and I too As I said, are you talking about? I think you talk about. It was the guy who cut the foot of the bed, Sonia, a statue, or at least he claimed to be spokesmen for the group who did the deed and the truth is that I could never verify it.
Then I believe that in the end Chris believed the guy in part because he was presented with a very solid piece of evidence when Chris met him for second time in a forest of pinion trees. He unwrapped a piece of black velvet too. Feel something. No one had seen for twenty years loan. Behold there appeared Proba twenty inch long. Bronze patina. Did boot of a spanish guarantees the door? and I said, to myself, wow then I looked round- and I said to myself, where the hell am I in what the hell am I doing here, a few chunks of the foot had been shaved off where they made a half did attempt to follow through on those medallions. For the historically ignorant. But otherwise it was still intact and still had the power to grab people's attention.
If Chris knows the identity of the foot thieves, he is not revealing it, but he did talk about their motivations the party involved is not speaking from an activist position and doesn't feel I can add to this. This person feels like a historian He wasn't trying to start a movement or affect policy just her. What on yachting did to ask him a man? Fifteen? Ninety nine into the history the colonization of New Mexico. That's too! still doesn't have a statue, and maybe it never will but in the meantime, the friends of Acta or holding on to your taste, but coming about the brain
We talk, withstand corn about everything. That's happened with the only they statues over the past couple of weeks, and it's it's been a lot so stay with us. Ok, so we're back with reporter stand awkward to talk more about, what's been happening in Mexico, just in the basket, but weeks so stand and like in the beginning of the show here that it was with a strange feeling that we spend so much time exploring the history, these monuments and then see them come up in the news again. So when did you start hearing that there might be some new conflict around this so the weekend before the protest that we talked about initially, is when my foot started ringing. Isn't I'm too This was who had been one of the people. Locally opposing the statue and Albuquerque called me up and told me. I need to look at the front page of the Albuquerque Journal, because there is
not a on the front page. There is a new effort, basically to have it removed, and there are people who are saying they were going up, those it in the courts. So she was emailing all the same people who opposed it back in the nineties kind of getting geared up fur yet another kind of like long bureaucratic fight too now finally remove on the outer right. We go to City Council meetings in you, you talk and talk to historians and you bring a list of it, but that's not what happened? What would happen next year? So instead of this really long slog everything started to happen really quickly so to back up, and there are two statues right. There's the original older andreotti on a horse on the side of the road, with the forgot exactly that, had a foot cut off and then there's the Albuquerque compromise where on yacht is walking with all the settlers and both of these
statues. There's gonna be significant protests. On Monday, by its I started hearing from activists earlier in the day that the county up in northern New Mexico might be Chile, removing the equestrian on. How did it had its foot cut off before you? People even got there to stop them from turn it down. There were gonna, take it down. First, that the idea that does seem to be the idea. There also was already this presence of this right wing militia, the New Mexico Civil guard that has been showing up at black lives matter protests. Mexico heavily armed, and so I think there is fear both of the activists attempting to pull the statue down, but also of some kind of violent confrontation right. They were trying to make it a safer situation by not having this controversial figure at this moment. That makes a lot of sense So did you actually see the northern in Mexico are not egg, it all away like what was it like yeah first, it was just like rumours. Maybe many workers who are doing something there are trucks there, and then I got text at all
I have stream. A facebook live stream by an activist. And I went to it and the video some historic. But now there is a bold those are driving around and eventually theirs, moment whether all those her. Whatever this heavy equipment is called, gets its big shovel underneath and just lifted up. And drive it away down in chains? It didn't seem like this was a joyous event like ours the tone of the people that were there yesterday tone was. It was pretty joyful, I would say from there people who are watching on the side of the road, but there were that many of them. You really got a better sense of the way people felt about this at the plan. Protest because it till occurred now. It was no longer really a protest, though, because there was no statue as an all party yeah. It was like a celebration and kind of like ritual where it was large
the organised by these activists, the red nation, and there were speeches and then protesters pushed through the gate, and actually climbed up on the pedestal where the statue had been before, and there is no dance in drumming and singing stooping there hands and red paint and putting those handprint all over the pedestal that had held that percent on yadda until this morning, so that brings us to the other on day monument in Albuquerque, so that the same day that nowadays adjured came down in our gaudy, there was
this protest at the statue Albuquerque, and we heard a little bit about the protest at the beginning, the show, but when you're more about what actually unfolded there, so it sounds like a lot of people. We heard from the original stray like tweets. Lazo were actually add that protests of Tom About that yeah it was a lot of the same people who opposed it in the nineties had planned this peaceful prayer vigil to happen in the park across the street. And the statues men. So that's the way the protests starts out. It's the early evening, People are sitting on the grass people making speeches. Tweedy makes a long speech where she is inform people telling them about the history of this statue, the history of on your tea and its there's, a few hecklers one point, but it's a primarily it's like a speeches, quiet, peaceful affair, but at the same time and really picking up after the perpetual ends. There is a kind of second protest, mostly younger people activists who want it
Can we take more of a direct action? That's happening over at the statue itself, and so did you get a sense from Tweety how she felt about this transition in the in the protest style and what this felt like for her lately even just have what it felt like this to be there back again. After all this time really yeah. I I mean it think there is a certain amount of Ike okay. We we have to inform you. So again by men, but still a kind of like stubborn faith and hope that if people just understand then they'll be able to call, their city councillors, thou I will use the levers of democracy, the way it's supposed to work, and we can. We can do something about this, but as the perpetual ends and she's driving away, she sees that people are now coming up on the statue. She sees that there are these Members of the New Mexico Civil Guard, these mostly white deeds in care with machine guns and
she's, really worried. I'm sitting there thinking this doesn't look good and I'm like. Well, I'm glad I'm leaving, because I don't wanna be here. It was just no that's not what we wanted. That's not every what we wanted. In some ways she recognised as they have the same goal. She want to see that statue taken down, but not the way that they were doing it. So this row, transition happens and then a kind of chaos unfolds explain a little bit about what happened in terms of the escalation that led to the shooting. So basically it starts out with people who were climbing on the statue there's chanting, there's some defacing there's tying assign around it, but things seem to escalate when somebody takes a pickaxe and starts chipping at the. I guess. It's concrete around on ya taste.
With the idea, TAT actually start removing this statue with physical force and its a chaotic scene, and I'm reconstructing this from a lot of videos from different angles, but it turns out what happened: is Theirs I who was pushing protesters down, he gets kind of pushed out of the crowd. He allegedly maces some people here, these way and in these fragments of video. What you see at the very end is he's being chased away from protest essentially and in the chaos pulls out a gun, any fight. Several shots, shooting protester with what we know the shooter and the person I got shot after all the smoke cleared and a few days later, what was the story said? A man has been charged with the shooting is actually a former city council candidate names. Even Barker and much.
He was carrying a handgun. That day he's been a very outspoken proponent of open. Carry. I actually found a post on Facebook, where he was showing up at a city council meeting to talk about a plastic bag, ordinance with his hand, gun in the city, council, chambers and The man who shot was an artist and a protest. Her in Scott Williams has got. Williams is a white guy, early native American. I spoke with a close friend of his autumn chicken, and there are part of the same community of activists and artists. The two of them had gone to standing rock together. We do. We always The item is part of our background or levels of privilege or access to certain institutions. But fundamentally we know what you re wrong and we become very close. And so he someone who absolutely in her words you as a person who was very intentionally recognising that, like as a white person, he could put his body
on the line in a way that other people may be couldn't and in her view, that's what he did that day, so there's is often incident. It just be clear: Scott Williams, who was shot he sings, be ok, he's recovery, but meanwhile what is happening with the statue yeah? So they did not have a lot of success. That pickaxe and rope the statue was still there at the end of the night, but the next morning kind of the more to what happened in all call day, the government decided that order to avoid further conflict. They would just it could down themselves. So now you ve got all the settlers and a couple, Spain, our soldiers and then just a little did it in the Congo. We're on ya TAT used to be So in the middle of this, when things I start to get tweeted about, was the foot shows up yeah? So if you recall from the story, the original nowadays
are you from up north, had its foot cut off and there are some activists that had it been keeping it hidden and it shows up so Who is that, like yeah? This is a moment that you know I did not see in the life streams and the videos that night. I only realise this later. I think when I saw before the graph taken by Simone Romero New York Times reporter there was this kind of amazing image where in front of tea grace Park, you saw this black and holding the stolen foot above his head. Is you just gotta by getting credible gesture, which I would come to realize that that guy was Brian, hard group, member of public enemy, Brian or Groove New Yorker musician people. Call me an activist most people, Only from my time with public enemy. It's amazing and what is his connection yeah it well. So it turns out that Brian Hargrove
move to Santa FE and wife and daughter are directly connected to, There are problems in New Mexico, his wife's fathers from there to suit Pueblo by He kind of just got brought into this, fairly. Recently he was approached by some activists. He didn't wanna, give out of specifics is probably won't be a surprise, but the people who are sort of caretakers of the fleet ask him if he be willing to be part of this protest, a jump right on it and all of us to do is come down to the park and an old town to support that rally and to me it was a perfect opportunity, to show a unity between blackened arrogance and ever markets that we can afford to not see that we have to see that unity and in a black people in America having gained a focus since this murder George Floyd, but there are other grew steadily, need the black
I met a movement to succeed because their not being heard from and they need our movements succeed to give them a better shot two, so he a bunch of other access for making. This explicit connection between the protests have been crossed. The country, the black lives matter, protests and then also what's happening locally in New Mexico, as really remarkable to see that that union Yet- and I would say everyone I talk to seize this- they saw these protests as an extension of the black lives matter. Protests Brian. Definitely Saddam is deeply connected as focusing on the same, basic underlying issues. The same issue of or an oppressed people being forced to accept a continued oppression Brian he talked about how he showed up at the protest can have quietly keeping things out when it was still just the prayer, visual and then its,
point at the right moment. Some one gets, the foot out of the car and sort of the constraints this moment for him, where he can. He take it up and just hold it over his head in front of the whole crowd, but at least a few signify onlookers and someone who could snap a photo and at Brian described just what it was like to hold that foot above his head. In that moment what I felt I was I was doing these protests at twenty use. All now, my daughter is doing it at nineteen, and this is absurd. That's what I felt that she has to do this now. And I realize what my parents felt when I had to do it so that crossed my mind, I was holding it slight. When's is gonna end. That's the question right for all of these protests
whence it gonna end and as it is this same fight, gonna keeping him down from one generation to the next and This country has never done things easy way. It's always done things difficult way and so now I gotta deal with more. The boy issues at once when it could have dealt with each one of them when the time was right, although they all distant at the same time, because countries built some blood of the people letter that are now protesting, but we ve had a couple of centuries to deal with, and we ve never dealt with effectively only to the degree of the nation's comfort. Now the country's forced to reckon and in Turkey, in New Mexico. I mean that reckoning is really just beginning. Now me as far as statues, though, that to the already brought down
De Vargas Statue in Santa FE. There is talk of other monuments to my come down, but further activists that particularly that kind of younger group, activists. They see this has so much bigger than statues lies talking to item to con at you. I asked if taking down the statue was a success, and that's that's not She's after she wants to like force the institutions, the album, Can you museum, em, the city of Albuquerque, Albuquerque Police Department to really deeply question and root out there on systemic racism. So we would like all the big institution with anything about Turkey. I mean throughout the nation throughout the world. For a start,
within the city to look at how they have structural fly back directly caused economic health disparities within people of color, but their institutional line that make it hard for people of color to get a job. There are to be treated as equal to be paid a fairly. I mean this is complex and were were seeking. Actual accountability rather than tat did solutions, so only item may be gone, but from the perspective of these activists like they have not won the battle. This is just the tiniest first step. Speaking first steps does Brien's, though the foot so Brian he does not have the foot intact. He says he it does not even know where it is. I have no idea is, at my possession I dont even know the person ass. I had no idea ass, the best
to give you an idea Maybe they call me to show up Will it somewhere else? if that happens, I'll call you Ninety nine percent- invisible was blues this week by stand. L, corn and edited by Delaney Hall, mixing direct production by Bryson Barnes Entry to use if music, by shown rail, Katy mingles, are Signor producer, critical studies. The digital director throws a team, is Vivian, Lay and Fitzgerald Joe some bird crisper, Ruby, Sophia, clatter and me roman Mars. Investigative podcast stand works with real is out with an ambitious new project, is an eight part series called American Rehab Series, This is the history of a widely used form of drug. We have that claims to cure people by putting them to work from no pay, including at big corporations like Exxon and Walmart revealed since the roots of this model to a dangerous cult called cinema in the midst of the country's opium crisis,
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Transcript generated on 2020-07-01.