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Pueblo hires mediator to help with Columbus statue protests

PUEBLO, Colo. (KRDO) -- Weeks of protests at Pueblo's controversial Christopher Columbus statue has led the city to hire a mediator to help those who want the statue removed and those who want it to stay, find common ground on how to move forward.

For six Sundays in a row, dozens of protestors and counter-protestors have gathered on Abriendo Avenue. Some of the protests turning violent with people on both sides being placed in handcuffs by Pueblo Police officers.

Pueblo City-County Library District across the street from the statue started closing its doors on Sundays due to safety concerns and reports of people carrying guns outside.

To stop these protests from getting worse, Mayor Nick Gradisar hired a mediator to meet with both groups.

"The mediator will try to bring these sides together and see whether or not there's any common ground," Gradisar said.

A solution can't come soon enough. Gradisar says since the protests started, it's cost the city a total of $65,000 for extra officers and equipment.

"Every Sunday, 20 to 25 police officers are there at the scene to make sure that things remain peaceful," Gradisar says.

While the mayor says both parties have agreed to meet, Rita Martinez with one of the groups asking for the statue's removal says her side won't be swayed.

"We don't really need to go into mediation," Martinez said. "We need the city to act on it."

However, Martinez does believe these meetings could be a good thing to prevent extreme protestors from taking down the statue themselves.

"We don't want one person or a small group of people to be charged with anything," she said. "We want to do it, I guess what you would consider the best way possible."

KRDO reached out to the counter-protestor group asking for the statue to stay. They have no comment at this time but we will hear from them once these meetings set to start in the middle of August get underway.

News / Pueblo

Chase Golightly

Chase is a reporter and an anchor for our weekend evening newscasts. Learn more about Chase here.

Comments

6 Comments

  1. Liberals love ignorance! Again, you have a problem you saltines can always move back to your ancestral country! Remember if you support BLM you’re a Racist loser and you don’t deserve to live in this country!

  2. So rather than understanding that this request to remove the statue is not a difficult move, why is Pueblo wasting so much time with removing it. Send out a work team to remove it. No mediator needed, take it down. Stop wasting city and county money for additional law enforcement to guard and don’t pay for a mediator…
    Why does the City / County need a mediator, isn’t your job to meet with your constituents and discuss their frustrations and resolve their grievances?
    Is the city / county seriously asking to have a outside mediator come in to do their job for them?

  3. And if this does occur, do you think that the mediator will side with what they believe is right? Do you believe they will side with the City / County that paid for them to mediate, or do you think they will go against the city / county that paid them and side with the demonstrators…
    This will only give the city / county plausible deniability that they offered a “fair” mediation, but the mediator mysteriously agreed implicitly with the city / county. This isn’t trying, this is passing the buck and keeping with status quo.

  4. No, whiners don’t get to decide for all of us. Originally, the people trying to incite a riot protesting the statue were from Texas that were arrested. If this statue is such a big deal to these people whining about it, they need to do the usual routine of getting enough signatures from the local folks to get it on the ballot. Then once it is on the ballot the community VOTES on it and decides. A few offended morons do NOT get to DICTATE for EVERYONE!!! If my community as a whole votes then fine, I get it…but a few crying, insane liberals don’t get to decide for the entire community if they don’t agree too!!

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