March 04, 2010

Liberation Day, not Presidents Day

American Indians gather to preserve culture

AIM West celebrates Liberation Day instead of President’s Day

By Greg Zeman
American Indian Movement West, one of the leading Native American activist organizations in the United States, did not celebrate President’s Day on Feb. 15. Instead, they gathered with members and supporters around a fire at Ocean Beach to celebrate Liberation Day with ceremony and song.

The purpose of the celebration was to “cast aside myths and instead raise historical awareness and provide access to networking and building alliances with and between indigenous communities, supporters and youth: connecting issues with people being directly affected by colonialism, racism and poverty,” according to an AIM West press release.

AIM West members and supporters spoke about issues ranging from environmental justice and indigenous land rights to climate change, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the incarceration of Leonard Peltier.

Mark Anquoe, an AIM West activist of the Kiowa Nation, emphasized what he views as the unified nature of all the struggles being celebrated.

“It’s one struggle. This one universal struggle will effect every single one of us; it already is,” Anquoe said. “Native people here have always said—even before the modern struggles—everything is interconnected and it has never been more apparent than now.”
Comment:  For more on the subject, see Celebrating Presidents Day and Fun 4th of July Facts.

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