UPDATE 21 JUNE 2020 4:00PM: UPDATE: Eyewitnesses LCRW spoke to identified Scott Williams as the man who dove down onto an New Mexico Civil Guard’s long gun during a scuffle.
UPDATE 20 JUNE 2020 AT 11:30AM:
CORRECTION: LCRW embedded an event poster from The Red Nation for a different event. We removed the embedded tweet. The Red Nation organized a separate event in Alcalde, NM at a different statue of Oñate. The Tiguex Park event covered in this story was organized by a separate group called Genizaro Nation.
UPDATE: Attorneys for Scott Williams, Baca’s victim, announced they’d file suit against city and county agencies and demanded evidence be preserved. A summary will appear in the section titled ‘THE CHARGES.’
Kate Kane tells me that “on the surface it sounded like they were just going to have a prayer meeting and hopefully put pressure on the city to take down the statue of Oñate.”
Juan de Oñate y Salazar was a conquistador and governed New Mexico for the Spanish Empire.
“He raped and pillaged native people here. It’s disrespectful and fucked up to have that statue here,” Kane told me. Selina Kyle described it as an “ornament glorifying enslavement.”
“There were rumors that the New Mexico Civil Guard was gonna be there, so I was personally interested in seeing who these people were,” John Tudor recounted.
Kane, Kyle and Tudor all used aliases for this story because of credible threats to their safety from the far-right. They are activists in Albuquerque, New Mexico who attended a demonstration against the Oñate statue on the Ides of June. By the end of the event, a former Albuquerque City Council candidate named Steven Baca shot and seriously injured a protester named Scott Williams. As of this writing, Williams is expected to recover.
“It turned out to be completely not a prayer meeting,” Kane said. She laughed nervously before briefly going quiet.