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American Indian Movement of Colorado

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Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Columbus parade protests to return.

This article appears in today's edition of the Rocky Mountain News. Here is an excerpt.

Columbus parade protests to return

Plan for obstruction makes arrests likely

By April M. Washington, Rocky Mountain News
October 6, 2004

Columbus Day opponents vowed Tuesday to engage in acts of civil disobedience to block Saturday's parade, making arrests of protesters likely.

"We're going to make a statement that this is not a holiday that the state, the city and the nation needs to celebrate," said the Rev. Reginald Holmes, head of the Greater Metro Ministerial Alliance. "Sometimes you have to make people uncomfortable to take a tough stance."

The Ministerial Alliance, American Indian Movement and Color of Justice have agreed to form an alliance to protest the parade by any means necessary.

Tink Tinker of the American Indian Movement said more than 200 protesters plan to gather on the steps of the state Capitol on Saturday morning to oppose the parade, and then later stage a protest aimed at blocking the parade. full article

George Vendegnia took a departure from his stale talking points to say something new this year.

"We're having a parade, and we're not meeting with anybody," Vendegnia said. "We're not going to comment or create a platform for the other side. It's just getting old."

George's standard spiel usually goes like this."They are trying to take away our first amendment rights. We are Americans and they are trying to take away our American rights. We are Americans. Did I mention that we are Americans? What Columbus did was in the past and we can't change that and I don't know why they are protesting something that happened 500 years ago. And one last thing, I am an American."

There are a couple of paragraphs in the article that contain mischaracterizations. The first has to do with the Four Directions-All Nations March. This is how the article describes it.

On Friday, the fourth annual Four Directions All Nations march will take place at Cuernavaca Park along the South Platte River, where hundreds are expected to gather to oppose the holiday.

The Four Directions March is not a protest. It is an inclusive, diverse, spiritual march that was intended to provide a model on how to conduct a procession that respects all peoples. Though many attending the Four Directions March will oppose the convoy of conquest, on saturday, their participation in the Four Directions March does not make it a protest.

The second mischaracterizations comes in this graf.
"The answer to this conflict won't come in the streets," said Lucia Guzman, director of Human Rights and Community Relations."The answer will come at the table . . . where both sides will begin to embrace the pain on both sides of the issue."

The implication, by Lucia Guzman, is that the American Indian Movement of Colorado has not been willing to engage the convoy of conquest organizers in a dialogue. This is untrue.

Our organization has initiated every attempt to reach an understanding with the various organizers over the years. By suggesting that Colorado AIM possesses the same stubborn attitude that afflicts the convoy of convoy of conquest organizers is to appear uninformed about the overtures CO AIM have consistently made over the years.


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