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Alamo Cenotaph Monument Hit With Graffiti Denouncing White Supremacy And The Alamo

Centotaph-Vandalism-Courtesey_0.JPG
Courtsey: Brandon Burkhart
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This is Texas Freedom Force
The Alamo Cenotaph monument was tagged with graffiti sometime late Thursday or early Friday

A string of overnight graffiti in San Antonio incidents included the Alamo’s historic cenotaph monument.

The red graffiti on the Cenotaph denounces white supremacy, profits over people and the Alamo itself. It was tagged sometime Thursday night or Friday morning. A suspected has been arrested in connection with a separate graffiti incident on Travis Street but San Antonio police believe he may be responsible for other tagging.

The Cenotaph is a monument built in 1937 that depicts the likenesses and names of the Alamo defenders. Controversy surrounds the monument because a proposed Alamo redesign project from several city and state entities suggests moving it.

The Cenotaph was covered up Friday afternoon to hide red graffiti.
Credit Kathleen Creedon | Texas Public Radio
The Cenotaph was covered up Friday afternoon to hide red graffiti.

“The desecration of the Cenotaph in Alamo Plaza this morning is a criminal act, but more importantly a very sad and disappointing statement that runs completely counter to what we are trying to achieve with the Alamo Project,” said San Antonio’s District 1 City Councilman Roberto Treviño in a statement.

Treviño appeared at the Alamo Friday afternoon. In response to the messaging depicted, he said there are extreme points of view and this monument is about telling Texas history.

“To say ‘down with the Alamo’ I think is unfortunate. The history and the layers of cultures that have been here deserve better…,” Trevino said. “As far as the other messages and the frustration that’s out there there’s no doubt that those kinds of things exist in the world and that’s unfortunate, but that’s why (we) focus on the things that do unify us, focus on the things that are about being inclusive.”

Plans to relocate the Cenotaph about 500 feet away from where it currently stands is the most fought against portion of the $450 million Alamo redevelopment plan. Protests by conservative leaning groups have called for it to be left in its current location.

Brandon Burkhart is president of ‘This is Texas Freedom Force,’ a group that has organized multiple protests outside the Alamo. He’s calling for the person accused of tagging to face higher charges.  

“There better be more charges than just vandalism because this is a historic site,” he said.

San Antonio Police arrested 25-year-old Noah Benjamin Escamilla for graffiti for an incident on Travis Street, but SAPD suspects that he may have been involved in other incidents.

A worker power washes graffiti near a Losoya Street monument.
Credit Kathleen Creedon | Texas Public Radio
A worker power washes graffiti near a Losoya Street monument.

In a statement, officials with the Alamo condemned the vandalism saying the organization was outraged “That anyone would desecrate as historic a monument as the cenotaph in such an offensive manner.”

“This vandalism should not become a vehicle to advance one side or the other’s position on the proposal to repair and relocate the cenotaph. Today should be about unifying our resolve in support of The Alamo, the cenotaph and our respect for the history of Texas,” the statement said.

As for cleanup, that process will begin Monday, according to the Alamo’s CEO Douglas McDonald.

“It will be a slow process, it will be careful and it will fully honor and respect the Alamo,” he said.

Joey Palacios can be reached at Joey@TPR.org and on Twitter at @Joeycules.