A protest is planned demanding Oklahoma City’s Land Run Monument be removed. The protest is scheduled for a week from Saturday.
The SPIRIT Society to protect Indigenous rights, along with Black Lives Matter and several other groups are planning the protest asking the city to remove the monument from city land.
“With the current climate of taking down racist and harmful monuments we believe the time is right this time to make that statement that the land run memorial is a celebration of genocide,” said Brenda Golden with SPIRIT (Society to Protect Indigenous Rights),“We as a group plan to sit and lay under the hooves of the horses and wagons to symbolize how our ancestors were run over by the persons who were staking claim to the so-called free land.”
The event was shared on a Black Lives Matter protest site, with some demonstrators commenting:
“We can knock em down…deface them” and “Nothing’s too big to take down.”
“That is not an activity that’s endorsed by SPIRIT or Black Lives Matter or any of the other groups that are supporting this cause,” Golden said.
Still, Shannon Collins of Moore is organizing friends and militia members to protect the monument.
“Well, they’re part of the history of Oklahoma. And any historical monument is a part of history and if we get rid of our history then we’ll repeat the past,” said Collins.
Collins is encouraging his supporters to bring pistols and keep them concealed. He said, as we’ve seen in the past, these peaceful protests can turn violent quick.
“And they usually use five or six people to jump on you at once. So, if you have to protect yourself you have to protect yourself.” Collins said.
“Well it sounds to me like we’re going to have a showdown between cowboys and Indians,” Golden responded.
Collins stressed, he hopes the protest is peaceful and he supports people’s right to protest. But he doesn’t believe they have the right to vandalize historical monuments.