11 October 2004

AIM Abushes "Convoy of Conquest"


October 9, 2004
Denver Colorado


Contact: American Indian Movement of Colorado
(303) 871-0463

COLORADO AIM AND ALLIES BLOCKADE COLUMBUS "CONVOY OF CONQUEST" - Over 200 Arrested Today, in the streets of downtown Denver, scores of American Indian Movement members, and our TCD allies were arrested in a principled act of civil resistance to the "Convoy of Conquest" (aka: Columbus Day Parade). Despite any denials by its organizers, the Convoy is a celebration of genocide against the indigenous peoples of the Americas, and it elevates the theft of our homelands, and the murder of our people, to national holiday status. To Colorado AIM this is intolerable and unjustifiable.

Our arrests are designed to expose a corrupt educational, legal and
political system that refuses to describe the destruction of millions
of indigenous people at the hands of Columbus for what it is:
genocide. In a legal and political system that rationalizes and
justifies the murder, theft, and ongoing betrayal of our peoples and
nations, we, as the victims of such a system are under an obligation
to expose such moral and legal bankruptcy, and we actively refuse to
cooperate with legalized murder and theft. Our arrests today lay bare
the facts (they are not allegations) that Columbus was personally
responsible for:

· Trading in African slaves prior to his voyage to the Americas in 1492.

· Columbus was personally responsible for overseeing a colonial
administration that directly led to the death of millions of
indigenous people. (Father Bartolome de Las Casas, an eyewitness
and a contemporary of Columbus, estimated that 15 million indigenous
people died in the Caribbean prior to 15.

· Columbus advanced and expanded the arrogant European "Doctrine of Discovery," claiming that superior, civilized, Christian Europeans and
the right to seize and appropriate indigenous peoples territories and
resources. This doctrine has been embedded into racist Federal Indian
Law, and is applied today in the case of the Western Shoshone in
Nevada and the Lakota in the Black Hills of South Dakota.

· More importantly, the legacy of Columbus allows the U.S. government
to "lose" between $40 and 100 billion in money that the U.S. was to
administer for the benefit of individual American Indians. The
government has admitted that it deliberately destroyed evidence in the case, and it appears that the U.s. has no intention of finding or
accounting for the money that it has stolen. See: http://www.indiantrust.com/

· The Columbus legacy is reflected in the psychology of the War in
Iraq as the U.S. military continues to refer to any territory not
under immediate U.S. control as "Indian Country." Anyone who expresses a view other than the accepted, official version is considered to be "off the reservation." Anyone who actually tries to understand the Iraqi people, as opposed to murdering them, is suspected of being a "race traitor" for having "gone native." These small\ examples reveal a much larger and dangerous psychology of the ongoing war by the U.S.

against indigenous peoples, and other "infidels and heathens."
As was asked of Dr. Martin Luther King, some may well= ask us today:
"Why direct action? Why sit-ins, marches, and arrests? Isn't
negotiation a better path?" King replied, "You are quite right in
calling for negotiation. Indeed, this is the very purpose of direct
action. Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and
foster such a tension that a community, which has constantly refused
to negotiate, is forced to confront the issue. The purpose of our
direct-action program is to create a situation so crisis-packed that
it will inevitably open the door to negotiation ."

Colorado AIM, like Martin Luther King, believes that tension in the
streets can move a community beyond its racist practices. With our
arrest and our prosecution by the City of Denver, we intend to go on
the offensive, to put Columbus on trial, to put his legacy on trial,
to put the City of Denver, the state of Colorado, and the
U.S. itself on trial. We will defend ourselves with an unapologetic
political defense in court, and, just as we did in 1992, and in 2001,
we will prevail.

Colorado AIM and our allies do not risk our liberty as a political
ploy, or merely as a tactic, we believe that the time is overdue to
challenge the most pervasive, and the most deeply seated source of
racism in the world: the oppression of indigenous peoples. Columbus
Day continues to operate as a justification of racial superiority, and
it, in fact, creates demonstrable and verifiable harm to our children,
and to their children.

For further comments on these actions, or on the philosophy behind
these statements, please contact Colorado AIM at 303-871-0463 or

©2004 Transform Columbus Day Alliance


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