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American Indian Movement of Colorado

Spirituality • Self-determination • Solidarity • Sobriety
Colorado AIM home page

Friday, September 30, 2005

Denver Post article

Today's Denver Post has an article about the response by CO AIM and TCD to Mayor Hickenloopers September 28 letter.

Two groups that oppose the controversial Columbus Day parade responded to Mayor John Hickenlooper's letter chastising those embroiled in the conflict by asking the mayor to take a moral stand against the event.

"We're asking you as the mayor of Denver, to take a moral stand against parades that celebrate an Indian killer and slave trader," said one letter from the leadership and elders' councils of the American Indian Movement of Colorado.
full article

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Convoy organizer admits it's not about Italian Pride

The Rocky Mountain News and Denver Post both ran articles about Mayor John Hickenlooper's letter to Glenn Morris and George Vendegnia. Here are the links to both articles.

Rocky Mountain News
Denver Post

We will comment on this a little later but first wanted to point out something that we've said all along. CO AIM has always maintained the parade is not about Italian Pride because the organizers have told us as much. We've tried to make the point that we are opposed to the celebration of Columbus (not Italian Pride) and that of the parade is held specifically for that purpose. In the coming days Columbus Day apologists will use their platforms in the print, radio and television mediums to declare that the parade is about Italian Pride and has nothing to do with Columbus. In fact, Vince Carroll was on Peter Boyles radio program making that claim this morning(it was a real whinefest by Vendegnia, Boyles and Carroll.) Apparently, Vince Carroll doesn't read his own newspaper which is understandable.

This is Convoy organizer, George Vendegnia, in today's edition of the Rocky Mountain News.

George Vendegnia, who obtained the Oct. 8 parade permit on behalf of the Columbus Day Parade Committee, was not pleased with Hickenlooper's message, which he termed "b---s---" and "a joke."

Vendegnia insisted the parade is not intended as an Italian heritage celebration; it's meant to honor the man who, as he was taught in school, discovered this country.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Indigenous Peoples and Mining - October 12

The Indigenous Peoples and Extractive Industries Tour
Wednesday, October 12 (Indigenous Peoples Day)
2:00 to 4:00 p.m.

Colorado School of Mines
Ben H. Parker Student Center
1600 Maple St.
Ballroom B
Golden, Colorado
(719) 510-3993

A panel presentation and discussion featuring indigenous leaders and NGO representatives Mario Tema of Academia de Lenguas Mayas de Guatemala and Daniel Vogt of Asociación Estoreña Para el Desarrollo Integral (AEPDI) [Guatemala]; Carlos Cuasace of Organización Indígena Chiquitana (OICH) and Jorge Cortés of Colectivo de Estudios Aplicados al Desarrollo Social (CEADES) [Bolivia], and Carrie Dann and Julie Fishel of the Western Shoshone Defense Project [Nevada, USA].

The panelists will offer their unique perspectives on indigenous peoples’ struggles to exercise their right to participate in decision making regarding extractive industries projects.

A brief question and answer session will follow the panel.

The October 12 event will be the second of four such panels also to be held at the George Washington University in Washington, DC (Monday, October 10), the University of Utah in Salt Lake City (Thursday, October 13), and the University of Nevada at Reno (Friday, October 14).

Monday, September 26, 2005

Rocky Mountain News begins annual defense of Columbus

The Rocky Mountain News (RMN) began it’s annual defense of the Convoy of Conquest, on September 24, with an article that led all other stories in it’s print edition. The coverage started on page 4a(the page on which all RMN articles begin) with an above the fold article entitled“Columbus Parade could see less strife”
“Columbus Parade could see less strife” and was penned by Charlie Brennan. As is the case with the RMN in general, and Charlie Brennan in particular, the article contained omissions and distortions that expose their bias.

The slant that Brennan’s article takes is one in which our efforts to transform columbus day have been derailed due to the right wing attacks against CO AIM member Ward Churchill (led by Brennan and the RMN) and “many people” tiring of the arrests. Brennan also declares that “some American Indians and their sympathizers are determined this year to follow a less confrontational path..”

As proof of this, Brennan offers the opinion of only one American Indian, Darius Smith. Brennan describes Smith as the President of the Colorado Indian Education Association. What Brennan doesn’t reveal is that Darius Smith is also employed by the City of Denver as the director of the Denver Ant-Discrimination Office (DADO). In essence, Smith is a political appointee of the Mayor of Denver, John Hickenlooper. CO AIM has repeatedly asked Mayor Hickenlooper to demonstrate moral courage by denouncing the celebration of an indian killer; a stand which he refuses to take.

This omission is important because it gives the impression that Smith has no personal, economic, or political interest in attempting to minimize the work of CO AIM, around the columbus day issue, that typically has revealed the progressive pronouncements of the city administration to be little more than lip service. Though Smith publicly denounces Ward Churchill and peceived chest thumping by CO AIM members, he remains conspicously silent about the celebration of an Indian Killer and the City Administrations fence straddling over the issue.

Another source in Brennan’s article is Darius’s boss, Lucia Guzman. Lucia Guzman is the Executive Director of the Human Rights and Community Relations department of the City of Denver. Like Smith, she is a mayoral political appointee. Also, like Smith, Guzman has nothing to say about the nature of the parade or the lack of a mayoral response but instead suggests that CO AIM and TCD members are exhausted. She doesn’t name a single person or organization as proof which is understandable since she hasn’t attending any TCD or CO AIM meetings. In fact, neither Smith nor Guzman have attended a CO AIM meeting within the past year and have no idea what strategies are being pursued, despite what they may be telling their supervisors.

A question that arises is this. Are these two city employees abusing their positions of power and attempting to marginalize a grassroots effort to transform Columbus Day or could they simply have exercised poor judgement in being duped by Charlie Brennan and the RMN?

The Brennan article is typical of the coverage the RMN gives to Columbus Day. Long time critics of TCD and CO AIM will be trotted out and presented as objective commentators. More follows here

Thursday, September 22, 2005

A schedule of some events

This is a PDF flyer that lists some of the events sponsored by AIM Colorado and the Transform Columbus Day Alliance.

We will be updating the blog and adding event flyers as they become available.