From the American Indian Genocide Museum in Houston:
Protest in Jamestown:
Black and American Indian protesters at Jamestown:
American Indians: Dems Failed Them On Columbus Day
by Steven K. Paulson, AP Writer
File Photo Brenda Norrell/Denver Columbus Day protest
(AP) DENVER Protesters who say Columbus introduced genocide to the Americas accused Democratic state lawmakers Tuesday of letting them down when they refused to repeal Columbus Day in Colorado.Glenn Morris, a member of the American Indian Movement leadership council, said AIM's leaders were rebuffed when they asked legislative leaders to pass a bill revoking the commemoration, now in its 100th year in Colorado.He said AIM felt the recent turnover that put Democrats in charge of the House, the Senate and the governor's office for the first time in 42 years was a good opportunity after Republicans rejected previous attempts.Morris said Indian leaders were stunned when they were told by Democratic leaders and Gov. Bill Ritter that the time wasn't right because it would be too divisive."It's not divisive to have a racist holiday?" Morris asked on the steps of the Capitol.Morris said AIM members told Ritter they expected greater moral leadership from him.Ritter's spokesman, Evan Dreyer, said the administration is working on issues important to American Indians."We're focusing on improving health care and education as well as protecting civil rights, improving public safety and fighting racial discrimination," he said. "The governor and lieutenant governor feel very strongly about doing all we can in these areas, and we are," Dreyer said.House Speaker Andrew Romanoff, D-Denver, said no one talked to him about the issue, He said he's willing to meet with both sides to see if there is common ground."I know it's an issue where people have very strong feelings," Romanoff said.Tom Satriano, a member of Progressive Italians to Transform Columbus Holiday, said he was ashamed at the annual holiday, which is marked by a parade in Denver in early October. He said Columbus is not even honored in Italy, his native country."I'm embarrassed to be an Italian today," he said.Morris said if Denver goes ahead with the parade, AIM members will turn out in protest.Denver's parade has a troubled history of arrests and confrontations between Columbus supporters and detractors.Protesters have called him a slave trader who touched off centuries of genocide and oppression against native people. Parade supporters say he was a brave explorer who opened a new world.Colorado is credited with being the first to make Columbus Day a state holiday.