“In fourteen hundred ninety-two
Columbus sailed the ocean blue…”
-traditional rhyme of schoolchildren
On the five hundred twenty-first anniversary(October 12, 2013) of his landing on a speck of dust island in the eastern Caribbean, Christopher Columbus will have the celebration of his feat protested starting on the west steps of the State Capital Building here in Sacramento with the march leading to the local federal offices of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, I.C.E. and the Justice Department. The groups sponsoring the event want to “denounce the United States glorification of the atrocities committed against Native ancestors of the Americas during the Indigenous Holocaust let by Christopher Columbus and replace it to a National Holiday to honor and remember the ‘Indigenous Peoples’.”
“We also address the current attacks on our indigenous communities, urging (President Barack) Obama and his administration to withdraw I.C.E. from separating families,” it continues.
The group’s list of demands include: ‘decolonization’ of Education and History; preserve/protect: cultural and sacred sites; honor all Treaties and sovereign land; stop corporate privatization of food and water(they will be marching with the March against Monsanto folks); stop the Keystone XL pipeline; stop deportations/separations of families; humane immigration reform now; stop militarization on the borders; and end racial profiling and police brutality.
In other words, the shopping list of every ultra-liberal group in the United States and a few outside its borders. It is interesting to note the names of the groups leading the march and the names of those absent. The groups leading the march include the Brown Berets of SacraAztlan(Autonomous Chapter), the Peace and Freedom Party(California) and Occupy Sacramento; while I can locate individual Native Americans who have signed up on Facebook to participate, I cannot find any tribal groups or governments which are part of the leadership for the event.
To me, the event seems to be more about marching and moaning of liberal groups who want certain political and economic concessions from the whole of society using the cover of protesting the plight of Native Americans. The closest of the groups involved in organizing the event with any claim to Native Americans is the Brown Berets of SacraAztlan which is a Chicano group(mixed Spanish and Indian ancestry) who claim to speak for all Native American tribes and want to establish their ‘country‘ of Aztlan composed of Texas and the American Southwest including California as well as the entire country of Mexico.
Attempts to contact the Brown Berets of SacraAztlan prior to publication were unsuccessful, but this may be because, based on the group photo on their Facebook page, there appear to be only five(5) members of the group.