October 12: Indigenous Peoples Day

[Throughout the country, cities and schools are replacing the “traditional” celebration of victorious settler colonialism — “Columbus Day” — with a day of remembrance, respect, and resurgence of native peoples, “Indigenous People’s Day”.  All who wish the unity of oppressed and exploited people, and the struggle for decolonization, for an end to colonialism, settler-colonialism, and imperialism, have an interest in joining this movement to end the celebration of genocide. — Frontlines ed.]

Chile: Indigenous groups mark Columbus Day with protests

October 13, 2013, Al Jazeera

Some of the protesters threw rocks and other objects at police after the main, peaceful march earlier Saturday.  Luis Hidalgo/AP

Some of the protesters threw rocks and other objects at police after the main, peaceful march earlier Saturday.  Luis Hidalgo/AP

Protesters clashed with police in Chile’s capital Saturday during an anti-Columbus Day march organized by Indigenous groups, with activists calling for the return of ancestral lands and the right to self-determination on the 521-year anniversary of the arrival of Christopher Columbus to the Americas.

Demonstrators in Santiago threw rocks and other objects at police who responded with water cannons. At least 10 protesters were detained by police, local media reported.

More than 15,000 people participated in the march, organized by the country’s largest indigenous group, the Mapuches, who have been in a long struggle with the government over ancestral land taken from them during colonization.

While Columbus Day celebrations took place across Latin America, the Mapuche affirmed, “we have nothing to celebrate”, according to the Santiago Times.

A press release by the group complained of mistreatment by the state, particularly against Mapuche political prisoners, and on-going land disputes in the south. Continue reading

Celebrating Hitler Day, Oh I mean Columbus Day

October 7, 2012

By Corine Fairbanks, AIM Southern California

Since the first “American history” book was written, there has been, still is, a systematic and effective cover up locked in to place that perpetuate the fallacies and myths of Christopher Columbus and the assumed “divinity” of the fated voyage.[1] “Christopher Columbus’ reputation has not survived the scrutiny of history, and today we know that he was no more the discoverer of America than Pocahontas was the discoverer of Great Britain.”

Some academics consider Columbus one of the first instigators of the trans-Atlantic slave trade and set in motion, one of the largest intentional efforts of ethnic cleansing known in history- and also the one of the least known. By some accounts, over 95 million, Indigenous peoples throughout the Western hemisphere were enslaved, mutilated and massacred.   Go down to your local public school and peruse the American History section and tell me if there has been any formal accountability for this American Holocaust.  Columbus, Cortez, Father Junipero Sierra, and hundreds of others are still celebrated as our countries brave nautical explorers and finest heroes, not as perpetrators of crimes against humanity.

Obviously, Columbus’s atrocities are rarely discussed in the public school system.  Recently, Roberta Weighill, Chumash, shared that her third grade son disagreed with his teacher about the Columbus discovery story and added that he knew Columbus to be responsible for the deaths of many Native people.  The public teacher corrected him: “No. Columbus was just a slave trader.” Hmmm, just a slave trader? Oh! Is that all?

On October 12, 1492, Columbus wrote in his journal:

“They should be good servants …. I, our Lord being pleased, will take hence, at the time of my departure, six natives for your Highnesses.” These captives were later paraded through the streets of Barcelona and Seville when Columbus returned to Spain.”[2] 

Soon, there was evidence showing that this was fast becoming a profitable business, yet, did these “Savages” deserve to go into bondage and slavery? According to Columbus:

“they are artless and generous with what they have, to such a degree as no one would believe but him who had seen it. Of anything they have, if it be asked for, they never say no, but do rather invite the person to accept it, and show as much lovingness as though they would give their hearts.” [3]

In a short time, Columbus seized 1,200 Taino Natives from the island of Hispaniola,[4] tearing families apart by abduction and killing the ones that resisted going.  On board Columbus’ slave ships, hundreds died; and as “Christian” as those sailors were, they callously tossed the Natives bodies into the Atlantic. Continue reading