Greater Chaco Coalition Condemns Racist Attack on Indigenous Peoples and Shooting of Jacob Johns
On September 28th, 2023, our communities were traumatized by an act of racist violence in Española, New Mexico during a peaceful prayer to resist the glorification of a murderous Colonizer, Juan de Oñate (1550-1626). It is imperative that we as a community acknowledge that the young racist man wearing a MAGA hat, the elder MAGA supporters, and the Rio Arriba County Commissioners showcase the dangers of what internalized White supremacy looks like by targeting a peaceful prayer gathering. The public has witnessed the modern day racism that Pueblo Indigenous Peoples are facing today. Violence that stems from settler colonialism is not a thing of the past; it is a present danger and we must continue to stand against any and all forms of violence.
The Greater Chaco Coalition sends our prayers and support to land defender Jacob Johns and his family. Also to the community organizers, elders, and children who held the space of prayer in Tewa Territories.
As we move forward as a community we must remember to make space to honor the healing that will need to take place for those impacted from this traumatic act of violence. Please continue to support the northern relatives and organizations that live in the communities where this violence took place.
The Greater Chaco Coalition calls for action now in protecting communities across New Mexico and beyond that are actively working to create healthier communities in all sectors of justice. We uplift the demands of Jacob Johns and his family:
- To the Arriba County Prosecutor and First Judicial District Attorney: Add federal hate crime to the list of charges and seek the maximum sentence. This was a racially and culturally motivated hate crime and must be treated as such.
- To the public: Continue to support the family and their monetary needs:
- ○ Gofundme for medical expenses / https://bit.ly/JacobJohnsRecovery
- ○ Gofundme for immediate expenses /https://bit.ly/JacobJohnsFamilySupport
- To Rio Arriba County Officials and the State of New Mexico: Assure the Oñate statue is not reinstalled, and that all monuments and statues that glorify or celebrate genocide are taken down.
- To the media: Stop showing the pictures and videos of the shooter which can encourage similar violence and instead show the pictures and videos of the reality of the harm that was done to Jacob John’s and his family. (Link to photos provided by the family) https://bit.ly/JacobJohnsMedia
In addition, the Greater Chaco Coalition demands:
- The removal of all colonial statues in the region and beyond that perpetuate violence against Indigenous Peoples;
- Respect Indigenous Peoples’ sovereignty and right to self determination, including the right to Free Prior and Informed Consent and to exercise our ceremonial and spiritual practices.