Protesters’ misdemeanor charges dropped
SANTA FE — Misdemeanor charges were dismissed in the cases of three protesters involved in the toppling of a 152-year-old obelisk in Santa Fe, according to Tuesday filings in Santa Fe Magistrate Court.
Assistant District Attorney Richard Wilson agreed to drop the misdemeanor charges because the protesters waived their preliminary hearing on the felony charges they face.
The protesters, Dawn Furlong, Ryan Witt and Lily Schweitzer, still face felony charges of conspiracy to commit criminal damage to property and criminal damage to property. Witt faces an additional felony charge of unauthorized graffiti.
Witt and Schweitzer both had misdemeanor charges of unlawful assembly, criminal trespass and resisting, evading or obstructing an officer dismissed from their case. Furlong had misdemeanor charges of unlawful assembly, criminal trespass and unauthorized graffiti dismissed from her case.
All three cases are headed to 1st Judicial District Court.
In all, eight people were charged with crimes stemming from a demonstration on Indigenous Peoples Day on Oct. 12. The obelisk honoring soldiers who fought Confederates and Native Americans had long been viewed as a symbol of oppression of Indigenous people.