Indigenous Environmental Network
San Antonio City Councilman Roberto Trevino submitted a City Council Consideration Request (CCR) to remove the Christopher Columbus statue. The statue was given to the city as a gift from the Christopher Columbus Italian Society in 1957 and has stood in the city park since then. For the last week armed KKK militia members have been guarding the statue, threatening to use force to protect it. On Wednesday night, an armed militia man with the New Mexico Civil Guard fired four rounds into a crowd protesting the Onate statue outside of Albuquerque.
“I have seen armed members of the Texas Freedom Force at the Columbus statue in San Antonio.” said Indigenous Environmental staffer and local San Antonio organizer Jennifer K. Falcon. “It’s time we stop softening what the Texas Freedom Force is by using words like 'militia.' These are armed white supremacists threatening to shoot people over inanimate objects. It has been over 500 years and Indigenous peoples are still oppressed by white supremacy. This is a small step towards healing the generational trauma in our communities. Columbus didn't discover land that was already being cared for by my ancestors. To Indigenous peoples the history of Columbus is one of genocide. A history of violence to Indigenous land and our people.”
For years Indigenous activists have tried to have the statue removed without justice. The City Council Consideration Request will still need to go to the full council for a vote. But Indigenous peoples and their allies intend to make sure the statue is removed.
“This is a good beginning for healing when you deal with decolonizing oppression and one sided history. This gives us a chance so people of all colors can stand in solidarity and share the real story without being criminalized,” said Carrizo Comecrudo tribal chairman Juan Mancias “We have seen them legislate racism with HB3557, it’s time they start to legislate justice.”
About the Indigenous Environmental Network
Established in 1990, The Indigenous Environmental Network is an international environmental justice nonprofit that works with tribal grassroots organizations to build the capacity of Indigenous communities. Indigenous Environmental Network’s activities include empowering Indigenous communities and tribal governments to develop mechanisms to protect our sacred sites, land, water, air, natural resources, the health of both our people and all living things, and to build economically sustainable communities.
Learn more here: ienearth.org.