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American Indian Movement of Colorado

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Friday, September 10, 2004

AP article-Colorado AIM/Columbus Day

Protests Planned For Columbus Day Parade

Sep 10, 2004 11:29 am US/Mountain
DENVER (AP) The American Indian Movement will again protest the city's Columbus Day parade, which is being sponsored by an Italian civic group.

AIM has protested the city's annual parade off and on since 1990, saying that explorer Christopher Columbus should not be celebrated because he nearly destroyed American Indians. Leaders said they had hoped that the parade's sponsor would rename the Oct. 9 event the "Italian Heritage Day" parade, a change they have asked for before.

"Our hope was that they would try to take their parade to a different moral plane so we wouldn't get into a competition again," Glenn Morris of AIM said Thursday. "We're calling for a nonviolent, direct action against racism in the streets of Denver on the day of Columbus hate speech."

Parade organizer George Vendegnia said he would not meet with the activists or Mayor John Hicklenlooper to work out their differences.

"We, as Americans, have the right to hold the parade under any name we like," he said. "It's a national holiday on the calendar in every state. As long as it remains one, we'll celebrate it."
Columbus Day has been a state holiday in Colorado since 1905.

The parade was halted in 1992, when participants were met by thousands of angry protesters. original article


Each year, the media chooses to use the words "violent" "angry" "thuggish" etc, to describe the demonstration. Colorado AIM is not the organization that has the Hells Angels and riot clad cops on our side of the barricades. A convoy consisting almost exclusively of humvees, semi-trailers and motorcycle gangs would seem to be a strange representation of pride in one's culture. That is until you understand who Columbus was, what he did to the Indigenous Peoples and what he stands for.

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