The Alamo has surfaced as a flashpoint during the recent Black Lives Matter protests. The Cenotaph was defaced with anti-white supremacy slogans on May 29, four days after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. The Texas Land Commissioner has delivered a message to those looking to destroy the historical landmark – “Don’t mess with the Alamo.”
After the incident on May 29, members and supporters of This Is Texas Freedom Force, gathered to defend and protect the Alamo and the Cenotaph. The Cenotaph is a 1930s sculpture honoring the 189 who died defending the former mission during the Battle of the Alamo in 1836. The area is looked upon as sacred ground.
Barricades and fencing have been put up in front of the Alamo to protect it. Protests at Alamo Plaza are not unusual – it is a spot in San Antonio where grievances are aired. Some of the protests are turning violent, as they are in other cities around the country. Earlier this month, a temporary chain link fence was installed around the Alamo.
The four-foot tall chain link link fence will be mounted on top of water filled plastic barriers. It will be placed on the sidewalk on the western edge of the plaza from the intersection of Alamo and Crockett Streets to the intersection of Alamo and Houston streets. A second section will run along the northern edge of the plaza from Alamo and Houston streets to the Long Barrack. Fifteen-foot wide access points will be available for pedestrians on both Alamo and Houston streets.
A curfew remains in place at Alamo Plaza from 8:30 pm to 6 a.m.
The Alamo closed to the public on March 16 in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Some state parks have since re-opened but the Alamo remains closed. “The wellbeing of both our visitors and staff are of utmost importance to us and we will reopen to the public once we are able to implement recommended COVID-19 precautions,” the Alamo wrote in its tweet. If you have visited the Alamo, you know that it is a small building, despite its larger than life story. The first time I saw it in person, I was surprised to see its actual size. Once visitors go inside for a tour, you quickly realize what close quarters you are standing in.
The Daily Wire has an article pointing out a tweet that went viral Saturday and a response from Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush.
One social media post that went viral online came from lawyer Robert Barnes, who wrote: “Protesters in San Antonio now demanding tearing down The Alamo.” The tweet had nearly 9,000 retweets several hours after it was posted.
Protesters in San Antonio now demanding tearing down The Alamo.
— Robert Barnes (@barnes_law) June 13, 2020
George P. wasn’t going to let that go. He tweeted a response late Saturday night.
“The Alamo is the Shrine of Texas Liberty. And it will be defended. My office is closely watching the social media posts and rumors from protestors who are threatening to come to The Alamo.”
“Rest assured we have already deployed, for several weeks and will continue to do so, the Alamo Rangers in partnership with SAPD, The Department of Public Safety and The National Guard to protect this sacred site,” Bush continued. “My message to the protestors is simple: Don’t mess with The Alamo.”
— George P. Bush (@georgepbush) June 13, 2020
It should be noted that George P. is under fire for his office’s plans to move the Cenotaph – a plan called the Alamo Master Plan – to be moved 500 feet south of where it is now. The plan includes restoring the Church and Long Barracks, showing the historic footprint of the site, and creating a visitor’s center. Opponents of the plan say it interferes with the Alamo’s history.
Here is a little lagniappe as I end this – this Alamo feline curator is a super star.
— The Alamo (@OfficialAlamo) June 12, 2020