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American Indian Movement of Colorado

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Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Columbus curriculum article

We assume most Colorado AIM members have now seen yesterday's Karen Rouse article,Columbus' story getting native voices in curriculum,that was featured on the front page of the Denver Post. If not, here is the link to the article. link to article Bill, Steffi, Darius, Lance, Glenn and others did a lot of work on this curriculum and they should be congratulated for their efforts.

There are two words that don't appear in this article. Those words are "allege" and "claim." The word "allege" means to assert without proof. Every year, the Rocky Mountain News and Denver Post coverage characterizes Colorado AIM's historically documented facts as "allegations." The conclusion their readers draw is that there is no proof that Columbus engaged in slavery, genocide, thievery etc. Every year, Colorado AIM submits the historically documented records to both papers, and every year both papers continue to ignore the material and imply that no proof exists for our fact based assertions. That neither of those words appear in this article may be a sign that the Denver Post has finally conceded that our arguments are based on documented facts. Whether the Rocky Mountain News can bring itself to recognize historical reality remains to be seen.

There is also an accurate timeline of TCD actions in relation to the columbus day weekend. It appears at the end of the article. What could have been added to the 2000 entry was that the reason over 100 TCD members were arrested was for attempting to enforce an agreement between TCD and Parade organizers. That was the year that the city of Denver and Community Relation Service (CRS) mediated an agreement between TCD and parade organizers, in which parade organizers agreed to drop Columbus while TCD agreed not to protest the parade. The city of denver stipulated that, if the parade organizers didn't uphold their end, their permit would be revoked. The parade organizers did renege and city officials, as well as CRS, claimed they couldn't enforce the agreement. 150 TCD members were arrested for attempting to enforce the agreement.

The article also quotes parade organizer, George Vendegnia, claiming his first amendment rights are being "assaulted" by protestors. This is the typical line used by parade supporters. It demostrates their ignorance of what the first amendment states.

The first amendment states"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. "

TCD members ARE NOT members of Congress nor do they represent any government institution. If they would read the first amendment, they would see that TCD, as citiznes, also have a right to peaceably assemble. Keep that in mind whenever parade organizers continue to repeat their misinformed, 1st amendment mantra.

In a related matter, members of the Denver City Council are having their second reading of a proposal that would "tighten the permitting process"

City reining in parades
Columbus Day woes spur plan to tighten permitting process

By Kim Nguyen, Rocky Mountain News
June 24, 2004

City officials are trying to change the application process for parade permits before next Columbus Day to prevent clashes between Italian and American Indian groups.

Members of the Denver City Council Safety Committee approved a plan Wednesday that will make it harder for protest groups to get permits, while reducing the

"We want to accommodate the people who are legitimately interested in holding a parade," Assistant City Attorney Mary Toorman said.

In the past, the department has been flooded with applications from Columbus Day protesters. The new plan is designed to reduce the number of parade or special-events applications.

Specifically, the plan shortens the application period from 90 days to 70 days.

Also, applicants would have to pay a $50, nonrefundable fee for each request. Currently, applicants have to pay the fee only after they are granted a permit.

Anyone interested in this should attend the reading today. The City Council session begins at 5:30 pm, on the 4th floor of the City and County building.

Also, please pay a visit to the website of "Facing History and Ourselves" website


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