Sunday, October 12, 2008

Columbus Day protest small, ineffectual, not without conflict

The Rocky has a cursory account:
Denver's annual Columbus Day parade was once again met with protests Saturday, but police said no one was arrested compared with a year ago when 83 protesters were jailed for blocking the parade route.

"It was very peaceful," said Denver police spokeswoman Sharon Hahn. "Both sides got to express their views in a peaceful manner."
An affinity group of malignant narcissists got in the way for a few minutes:

The parade was then stopped briefly when a group of 13 indigenous women tried to present parade organizers with a "Treaty of Transformation," but the offer was declined.

"We have tried many times to hand them a proclamation only to have backs turned on us," said Mano Cockrum, a member of the American Indian Movement of Colorado's leadership council [tho not listed as such on the AIM website].

"We're not against anyone's heritage, only those who worship a slave-trading Indian killer," Cockrum added.

Words of reconciliation, answered in kind:
Parade participants blasted car horns and revved motorcycle engines to drown out a small group of protesters who had gathered along the route.
At the Censored News website, Cockrum has posted a more detailed account of the attempted "treaty" presentation:

Today, 13 indigenous women walked into the parade and read a Treaty of Transformation to the parade organizers. Upon our approach, [parade organizer] George Vendegnia was yelling "Columbus discovered America!" and "It's a free country!" [Fascist!--ed.] . . .

When presented with the Treaty in a last final gesture, he and other men marching in the parade jumped back.

George recoiled in disgust and exclaimed to the other men, "Don't even touch it!

We had another choice after leaving the streets-- should we take back the treaty from where it lay on the street, or leave it? We left it and the parade continued, driving and walking over the large posterboard with the declaration on it.

They ran over the treaty. That's symbolic on so many levels (not to mention funny). Here's a quote or two from the poor, tread-marked thing:

We thirteen women represent a large community of healing indigenous elders, two spirit people, women, men, and children. Our delegation is comprised of many different indigenous ancestries, not just from this territory-but from all reaches of the continent. We stand before you today in the interests of mutual respect and peace for your community, as well as that of our
own. . . .

The historical legacy of Columbus, for us, represents one of greed, which has led to the exploitation of Mother Earth and the genocide and enslavement of indigenous peoples worldwide. Our efforts to create an educational dialogue between both the community of indigenous peoples, and those who celebrate the legacy of Columbus have not yet been realized-- and today, we hope to remedy that fact.

As women, we are keepers of the seeds -- or rather, protectors of the children and the plants. This includes your children. We hope to reach a diplomatic relationship with the next generation of your community, and to abandon all hatred and meet in good faith to reach peace for the sake of the future, as well as all of our ancestors.

And so on. This is interesting:
The delegation is comprised of thirteen women, in memory and in honor of the thousands of groups of thirteen indigenous people throughout the Caribbean who were hanged and burned to death by Columbus and his subordinates. Countless Native people were murdered, in lots of thirteen, in honor of Jesus and his twelve disciples.
Ever heard that one before? Me neither. More hypocrisy, self-regard and moral superiority follow, of course, but you get the idea.

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