October 02, 2007

Denver parade = Jena nooses

Protesters to ramp up rally at Columbus Day ParadeDenver’s Columbus Day Parade will mark its 100th anniversary this weekend, and like previous parades, this one is expected to be contentious, with hundreds of American Indians and supporters turning out to condemn Columbus as a genocidal oppressor.

Organizers of a protest march called the All Nations/Four Directions March stepped up their rhetoric by likening last year’s use of re-enactors of a 19th-century U.S. Army Cavalry unit to carry the flag before the start of the parade to nooses used to intimidate black students in the central Louisiana town of Jena.

“Being led by a cavalry unit in a uniform from the Indian Wars exemplifies perfectly what this is about: It is about conquest, genocide and hatred,” said Glenn Morris, a member of the American Indian Movement leadership council and an organizer of the protest.
Protesters vow to stop Columbus Day ParadeOn the 100th anniversary of the Columbus Day Parade through downtown Denver this Saturday, American Indian protesters are planning to stop the parade in its tracks.

"The leaders in last year's parade were people dressed up as members of the Third Cavalry. That was the unit who fought in the Sand Creek Massacre. It has nothing to do with Italian heritage," said Glenn Spagnuolo, one of the protest organizers who spoke at a rally this morning at Denver's City and County Building. He referred to the bloody 1864 Sand Creek raid by Colorado militiamen, in which 160 Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians—mostly women and children—were slaughtered.

"The symbolism of those marchers was very clear—racism and hate. It was the same message as the three nooses in Jena, Louisiana," he said.

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