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.
"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.