Rev Barber: An Inspiring 50 Minute Talk; Action Sought on Behalf of Entrada Arrestees

Another Sunday talk from Rev Barber — here he goes into detail about the history of racism and how it is used to divide those who have common interests. He is talking in a church in an Appalachian community that is 97% white and 77% GOP.

Pour a cup of coffee, forgo the Sunday newspaper and listen to 53 minutes of the Rev. You’ve seen clips the last two weeks. It is worth the time to hear his full message. It is truly remarkable how this man can tell a tale of injustice and project a hopeful vision for how to achieve justice.  See video at bottom of post.

Vote Tuesday, Sept 19 on the County GRT Tax Increase.  Not many folks vote in special elections so your vote can really count. Retake is not in favor of regressive taxes like the GRT, but in the absence of options on the table to tax using more progressive tax structures, we encourage approval of this increase. If voters approve the one-sixteenth-of-a-cent measure in September, which also would go into effect Jan. 1, adding about 6 cents to a $100 purchase, the expected $2.3 million in annual revenue would provide for more than 20 new positions in public safety and community services, including nine firefighters and three sheriff’s deputies. About $1 million would go to the planned crisis center. Six cents per $100 purchase is not too much to ask of us to pay for such critically needed services.

Entrada Arrest Action Sought.  Before you get to the video, we have one action we’d like to encourage that emerged from Saturday’s Town Hall. There was considerable anger in the room over the City’s handling of the Entrada protest and a sense that the City Council and Mayor have to show leadership in relation to the arrests of Entrada protesters. And that isn’t going to happen without you reaching out to them. So we have a plan.

First it is important to correct how the media has mischaracterized the Entrada ceremony conflict as being between Hispanic and Native American communities. First, there are many Hispanics who would like to see the event changed to become more of a legitimate reconciliation and accurate projection of history.  Second, to understand why many Hispanics hold fiercely to this event, one must recognize that the Native Americans are not the only victims of colonization, that the Hispanics were also colonized by Anglos, an overt expression of white supremacy. While our Anglo community was not part of colonization that occurred 2-300 years ago, we have a moral responsibility to seek reconciliation ourselves and to help find solutions that can lead to Santa Fe developing a way to honor our heritage without whitewashing it. While the City should show leadership in changing the Entrada ceremony, there are immediate steps the City Council and Mayor should take to hold the police accountable for the arrests last Friday including passing a resolution asking that the charges be dropped for those who were arrested. 

Let’s be fair — the police took strong precautionary measures at least in part due to legitimate fears that violence could erupt as it has in other communities. But with that strong police presence in place, we have concerns that should be expressed to our Council representatives and the Mayor:

  • Who authorized the initiation of the arrest process? At the point that arrests began, all the protesters save about 10 had entered the ‘free speech zone’ and those who had not were about 5 feet from the zone. All the protesters had peacefully moved 100 feet. Given this, why were arrests made? Who was being threatened by protesters still being 5 feet from the zone?
  • Who approved of the concept of a free speech zone in the first place?  How was it that the Fiesta Council’s permit for the Plaza led to the city limiting free speech and allowing the police to arrest a tourist merely for wearing a bandanna?
  • Why have the Mayor and City Council been largely silent about the police misconduct? Where is the leadership calling for an investigation of the entire process?
  • Will the City Council entertain initiating a resolution condemning the police department for its actions?

Regardless of how you feel about the Entrada, the police behavior was uncalled for and a public investigation should be conducted. We would like Retake supporters to email and call their City Councilors and the Mayor and ask that they launch an investigation and pass a resolution apologizing for the wrongful arrests of eight individuals who were rightfully exercising their freedom of speech. Click here for contact information for all City Councilors and the Mayor. Look to a future post about organizing an action at the next City Council meeting on Sept 27. But before that, on Tuesday, Sept 19 at 4pm, there is a Public Safety Committee hearing at the City Council Chambers at 200 Lincoln, chaired by Councilor Rivera, and on the agenda is a report from Police Chief Gallagher. There is also an agenda item, Comments from the Floor. I will be there. I hope you will, too. 

Sunday September 17, 1:30-3:30pm.  Railyard Plaza. Parade & Entrada Protest.  Wise Fool is doing a giant puppet procession and performance at the AHA Festival this Sunday Sept 17 and we need YOU and your friends and family to make it fabulous!! Come carry a puppet or banner, make music, play a character, stiltwalk – you name it – together we will bring the puppet magic to life!!

What we’re doing:  A procession everyone can participate in and then a “short but mighty” performance about taking down the obelisk in the Santa Fe Plaza and igniting visions for replacing it with something that respects and dignifies this land and its peoples. The show has lots of great imagery including flocks of kid-painted bluebirds that swarm the cardboard obelisk and a dignity puppet that rises from the rubble – as well as fun characters, voices of the people, hand painted banners etc etc. Click here for more details on how you can participate in this event. There is information about where to gather and how to participate in some of the puppet assembly. Should be fun.

Events and Opportunities

1lobbylocalActivist Research Team. Thursday, September 21, 6pm-8pm. Center for Progress & Justice, 1420 Cerrillos. We continue our research into alternative strategies for use of the Santa Fe University of Art and Design and have recruited experts in local community development to help inform that process. We also continue our review of Chainbreaker’s 10-point People’s Platform.  For background info, click here to review Chainbreaker’s report “Equitable Development without Risk of Displacement.” Click here to review the People’s Platform. Click here to RSVP on Facebook or simply write to We encourage you to bring friends, and if you want to select a plank from the 10-point People’s Platform and do a bit of digging, we want to identify effective programs, policies, and initiatives that have been implemented in other communities that relate to the platform.

1weatherundergroundSFAI PRESENTS THE WEATHER UNDERGROUND: A NIGHT OF RADICAL IMAGINATION: Sunday, Sept. 24, 6-8pm, James Little Theatre. Join SFAI for a night of Radical Imagination featuring two of “America’s Most Notorious Revolutionaries” (founding members of the Weather Underground), and contemporary artists actively working to create Equal Justice. Many of us are hungering for alternatives to our current politics and divisive rhetoric. We seek a society in which Black Lives Matter, our responsibility to the planet and Water Protectors is paramount, women and the LGBTQ community are safe, and immigrants and Dreamers are welcome. Bernardine Dohrn and Bill Ayers have worked their entire lives to Demand the Impossible, and this will promise to be a powerful intergenerational dialogue between two veteran activists and several changemakers-in-residence at the Santa Fe Art Institute. SFAI is proud to present Bernardine Dohrn, Bill Ayers, Alicia Inez Guzmán, Eileen Shaughnessy, Eliza Myrie, Israel Haros Lopez, Jacqueline Barnes, and Veena Vasista, in Unleashing Radical Imagination.  Click here for more information and to purchase sliding scale tickets.

cropped-roundhouse-photo2.jpgRoundhouse Activism Team, Thursday, Sept 28, 3pm-5pm (begins at 3 pm this time only so participants can attend event below at 5:30pm), 1420 Cerrillos, the Center for Progress and Justice. We will hear a report on the 2016 primaries and general election results on our list of targeted GOP and Democrat legislators. From conversations with progressive lobbyists and others, these legislators have been identified as persistently blocking progressive legislation. The team will now weigh which of these legislators could be vulnerable to a challenge in the primary (Dem) or general election (GOP). We will also continue to work on our list of priority bills that will soon be finalized and posted on a statewide online poll. Click here to review our strategy, although at this meeting we may adjust it with input from you!!.  Click here to RSVP on Facebook or email us at Subsequent meetings held the 2nd and 4th Th. of every month.

1nee9.28THE URGENCY OF NOW: A PATH TO JUSTICE, THURSDAY, SEPT. 28,  5:307:30PM, Santa Fe Community College’s
Jemez Room,  
6401 Richards Ave.,
Santa Fe

Join us for a presentation and interactive discussion with three transformative thinkers and doers dedicated to healing the climate:  RABBI ARTHUR WASKOW, founder of The Shalom Center, climate activist DR. TODD RINGLER, a climate modeling expert working in the Theoretical Division at LANL, and LYLA JUNE  JOHNSTON, a descendent of Diné (Navajo) and Tsétsêhéstâhese (Cheyenne) lineages, a musician, performance poet, and a fellow at the Center for Earth Ethics.

They will offer science- and faith-based perspectives on the goal of 100% renewable energy, take part in a dialogue about the moral, scientific, spiritual, and political challenges of attaining that goal, and invite audience members to envision their own roles in healing the planet and our societies. All three inspiring speakers are recipients of many honors for their work. Attendees will also enjoy a special performance by Albuquerque Poet Laureate Manuel González.  RSVP HERE.

And now, Reverend Barber:


Categories: Actions, racial justice

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1 reply

  1. Paul and Roxanne,

    Thank you for these blog posts (and all you do in organizing and informing). I receive so much from them (and your radio show, by the way) and appreciate how clearly you synthesize and summarize alot of often times complicated information.

    While I completely respect the need to address the Entrada and the SF police response to the recent protest, it seems there are also other issues related to it, such as economic justice (e.g. $15 minimum wage), environmental justice (e.g. the toxic dumping from LANL in the San Ildefonso Pueblo), education (e.g. early childhood), and poverty (e.g. 1 in 4 children in NM going to bed hungry) that are further issues of racial inequality.

    Because of those concerns, I especially resonate with Rev. Barber’s Poor People’s Campaign, which is strategic and long term, and wanted to ask if there is such a thing happening in Santa Fe or greater New Mexico. I’d recalled that Retake our Democracy was going to be involved with the campaign. Is that happening?


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