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Police cite two men after Columbus statue protests, begin preparations for more protests next Sunday

Protesters arrested
Protesters arrested 2

PUEBLO, Colo. (KRDO) -- As a result of Sunday's protest at the Christopher Columbus statue in downtown Pueblo, police confirm two men were arrested and subsequently cited.

The first protester arrested was a 28-year old man from San Antonio, Texas. Pueblo Police say the man was cited for interference and resisting arrest. The second individual taken into custody was a 66-year old Pueblo man who was supporting the statue. He was taken into custody for disorderly conduct.

For the past three Sundays, large crowds have gathered outside near the statue outside of Rawlings Library on Abriendo Avenue. The group "For the People - Pueblo" sponsors the protests against the statue's existence, stating that the statue is racist and is disrespectful to Pueblo's indigenous population.

Protesters vow to gather every Sunday until the statue is removed. Each week, the protesters have been met by counter-protesters who want to see the statue stay, arguing that the statue is a part of America's history.

Police say the two men taken into custody were both attempting to break through police lines set up to keep protesters and counter-protesters back from the statue and each other.

"[The man from San Antonio] was cutting the tape, and he did that several times, at least three times," said Sgt. Franklyn Ortega with the Pueblo Police Department. "Why was he cutting the tape. What he wanted to do was reduce that gap between the protesters and create more problems.”

Pueblo Police tell KRDO there was a disturbance near the statue before police even arrived on Sunday morning. Some of the individuals involved in that disturbance were armed with weapons, police said.

Ortega says the department is already preparing for another round of protests next week, and are working to make it safer for those involved. Pueblo Police say they believe, based on intel, that groups will be coming in from out of town next Sunday to use the protests as an opportunity to cause trouble.

On Sunday, Pueblo Police taped off all of the eastbound lanes on Abriendo to make room for the protests. Several officers were at the statue all day.

“Twenty-four police officers involved with that for 8 hours, and the street was closed," said Pueblo Mayor Nick Gradisar. "I don’t think much was accomplished by both sides being there.”

Gradisar says now is the time for open dialogue with all parties involved as well as Pueblo's City Council members. Last week the Mayor sat down with several protesters in favor of removing the statue.

“One of the things they presented me with was a resolution that they proposed be adopted by the city council to have the statue removed. That’s certainly a possibility," said Gradisar. "Another possibility is they initiate a citizens petition to have the statue removed and have the voters vote on that. That’s a possibility as well.”

“One of the things that he suggested was moving it down the street to where it wouldn’t be on public property but still in public view," said Tziavii Stevens, one of the protesters that sat down with Pueblo's Mayor last week. "We were not for this.”

Stevens tells KRDO she believes the statue shouldn't be forgotten, but the controversial historical figure shouldn't be honored either.

“What we negotiated with the Mayor was moving it to a museum to take away the tension," said Stevens. It’s in a setting where we can educate our children and tell them the man that he was.”

News / Pueblo

Dan Beedie

Dan is a bureau reporter based out of Pueblo. Learn more about Dan here.

Comments

11 Comments

  1. Why would a young man drive all the way from the Alamo, to protest a statue here in Pueblo…..?
    Also, wouldn’t it be more appropriate to topple the statue of liberty, since it Promoted European immigration to America, knowing the Italian never set foot upon new York City?
    Better one, since the ancient Greek were racist, shouldn’t you at least try to delete all of human history….?
    And since your protesting police brutality, shouldn’t you been ripping down all traffic signs, and red lights……?
    And since most of the 500 nation’s also owned slaves, shouldn’t you be burning every reservation down as the king types…..?

    1. Wait wait, did Italy really colonize the Americas, and the king missed that history lesson?

      1. Here is the funny thing King, is that not one protestor has asked to rename New York which was named after the Duke of York who was a slave trader…… I don’t think they care about history only about tearing things up…And I heard the other day our schools are teaching hate in class especially towards police…

  2. This is about Marxist American hating, white hating racists and angry war drum beating feather dancers trying to destroy America’s history, culture and country.
    …..
    The native Americans lost to the American government, as the victors we get to tear down their statues, if we choose, not them ours.

    1. I am native American and my children have two tribes in their blood lines. My children know I don’t celebrate Columbus day but I do it in a peaceful manner.

  3. My sister-in- law with her American Indian background said she could care less about a stup1d statue.

    1. Thank your sister in law. It is just a statue and we all can choose to acknowledge it or not

    2. Exactly, I have American Indian and I don’t care about a statue, lets all move forward and stop living in the past.

  4. In our churches, we should put statues of Satan in our sanctuaries and courtyards. In Poland and Germany, let’s put Hitler statues up as well. Let’s honor history and beliefs by creating monuments of figures just as important to our stories as Jesus and General Patton.

  5. I am so tired of all this. Let’s rip down statues that have been there for years, let’s change names on food brands cause it’s offensive. Let’s block I-25 because BLM. Get a damn grip. I am native American, Hispanic and Irish. I have a black brother in law that means the world to me. I won’t say minority aren’t subject to more but we have to draw a line somewhere. I know from history the Vikings discovered America and Columbus came after. I just let it go and that may be my old school mentality but choose the fight and choose for the right reasons. What is happening downtown and on I-25 is not valid. Protest should be strong and peaceful which is something MLK, and Evers preached. There is a difference between vandalism and protest and being a minority just sick of it.

  6. Sheeple so lame, you protest a statue of a pos man who lived over 500 years ago, instead of the problems that are modern day. You people are pathetic, ftp, instead of ripping down stone, maybe destroy things that would matter and wake tf up sleeple

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