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American Indian Movement of Colorado

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Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Post and RMN cover yesterday's TCD press conference

The Transform Columbus Day alliance held a press conference yesterday morning. What follows is the media coverage of the conference by the Denver Post and the Rocky Mountain News. The Denver Post also has an editorial.

The Denver Post article,
Columbus parade to march on

By Howard Pankratz
Denver Post Staff Writer

The 2005 Columbus Day parade will go ahead as planned in Denver, one of its key organizers said Tuesday, even as several groups called for the repeal of Columbus Day as a state and national holiday.

"It's ... celebrating our heritage. We will have our motorcycle guys, we will have our floats, the older people and the younger children," said George Vendegnia, founder of the Sons of Italy-New Generation and a parade organizer.

Hours earlier, organizations representing the more than 200 protesters arrested for blocking last year's parade called for the repeal of Columbus Day as a state and national holiday. They also asked the mayor and City Council to take "the moral position that celebrations to Columbus are no longer welcome in Denver ..."full article

The Denver Post editorial
Denver, there oughta be a law

You've heard the phrase, "There oughta be a law ... ." Well, it turns out there's not. That's why the city attorney bit his tongue the other day and decided to dismiss charges against 230 protesters who blocked last year's Columbus Day parade.

We think there oughta be a law that protects the right of lawful assembly. The state does have such a statute on the books and Denver should adopt a municipal ordinance to serve a similar purpose in Denver.

Last week, eight leaders of the Oct. 9 Columbus Day protest were acquitted by a jury on charges of failing to obey a lawful police order. Then, on Monday, County Judge Kathleen Bowers dismissed loitering charges against 75 of the protesters. County Judges Aleene Ortiz-White and Doris Burd earlier had dismissed the loitering charges in other cases.The protesters were charged with loitering in the first place because the city has no ordinance that forbids blocking a roadway or interfering with a lawful event. According to City Attorney Cole Finegan, officials are now looking into drafting laws to cover such contingencies.full editorial

The Rocky Mountain News article.
Columbus Day protesters seek to abolish the holiday

Parade organizers say event will go on again this year

By Charlie Brennan, Rocky Mountain News
January 26, 2005

First they won dismissal of criminal charges against them. Now, Columbus Day protesters are seeking elimination of the holiday itself.

At a news conference Tuesday, activists opposed to parades or any other recognition of Christopher Columbus outlined a multipoint agenda for replacing a day in his honor with a multicultural celebration.

But Mayor John Hickenlooper's office has issued a statement that it will not "endorse or oppose" a repeal of the state and national holiday, and Columbus Day parade organizers vow their event will be held again this year.

Columbus Day opponents spoke out against any continued observance honoring Columbus, one day after charges were dropped against 230 protesters who blocked the progress of Denver's Oct. 9 parade.full article

The article is misleading because no one asked that a multicultural fest be sponsored by the city. Channel 4 News also reported the same thing. Perhaps they confused a request to endorse(not sponsor) the 4 directions march which is held the day before the parade. The 4 directions march is open to anyone who wants to join but it's not a multicultural fest.


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