Albuquerque Journal

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.

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