ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - In what will amount to one of the Southwest region’s largest demonstrations for Indigenous rights in years, The Red Nation coalition is calling on all progressive people to march and rally against Columbus Day and for Indigenous Peoples’ Day of Resistance and Resilience on October 12, 2015 to demand the end to a racist holiday and advocate for other political demands. WHO: The Red Nation and supported and progressive community groups and individuals. Amanda Blackhorse and Duane “Chili” Yazzie will be speaking. A full list of endorsers and speakers will be coming soon. WHAT: March and Rally for Indigenous Peoples’ Day of Resistance and Resilience and to Abolish Columbus Day WHEN: Monday, October 12, 2015 at 5 p.m. WHERE: Intersection of First St. SW & Central Ave. NW, Albuquerque, N.M. at 5 p.m. with a march to Civic Center Plaza, intersection of Third St. NW and Marquette Ave. NW, for a rally with speakers and performances WHY: Demands to 1) Replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples’ Day of Resistance and Resilience in Albuquerque and New Mexico 2) Stop racist border town violence against Natives, 2) Evict corporate polluters from Native sacred sites, lands, and waters (such as Oak Flat), and 3) Uphold and defend treaty law for all Native people, on reservation and off. Diné (Navajo) activists Amanda Blackhorse and Duane “Chili” Yazzie will be speaking at the rally. Blackhorse and four other plaintiffs recently won a case against the Washington football team that stripped it of six of its seven trademarks. Yazzie is a longtime advocate for political, social, environmental, and economic justice for Navajo people living in bordertowns and in the Navajo Nation. The Red Nation is organizing the march and is supported by a growing number of local and national progressive organizations and individuals. The Red Nation was founded in November 2014 and is a coalition of Native and non-Native activists, scholars, educators and community organizers working to end capitalism and colonialism. The international movement to abolish Columbus Day has gained traction in the last four decades. In 1977, the United Nations, NGOs, the International Indian Treaty Council, and the Committee on Racism, Racial Discrimination, Apartheid, and Colonialism called for the end of the celebration of Columbus Day and declared instead the International Day of Solidarity and Mourning with Indigenous Peoples of the Americas. In 1992, the United Nations officially declared an International Day for World’s Indigenous Peoples. In 2002, President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela declared Columbus Day as the “Day of Indigenous Resistance.” Many U.S. states with high native populations do not celebrate Columbus Day. Hawaii, Alaska, Oregon and South Dakota do not recognize Columbus Day. U.S. cities including Berkeley, Sepastopol, Santa Cruz, Dane County, Minneapolis, and Seattle have made this change to celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day or a similar holiday. “We have a large Native population in this state,” The Red Nation organizer Sam Gardipe (Pawnee/Sac & Fox) said. “If we can change Columbus Day in South Dakota—and we all know how right-wing it is up there—we could do that here.” “We think it’s essential to link bordertown violence and Native land struggles,” said Nick Estes (Lakota), a co-founder of The Red Nation. “Bordertowns are man camps, where the extraction industry set up to exploit Native resources, lands, and labor. Today, the same dynamic exists, and now Native people are the most likely of any group to be killed or harassed by law enforcement in cities we call home. Cities such as Albuquerque and Gallup depend on Native land, water, and business, but both cities have large exploited poor and homeless Native populations.” “When four of every five Native people do not live on reservation lands,” Melanie Yazzie (Diné), a co-founder of The Red Nation said, “we have to change the image of Native organizing to more accurately reflect our experiences. We’re young, mostly urban, but we maintain strong connections to our home communities. We understand Native life in bordertowns is violent and deadly and also corporate polluters make what’s left of reservation life and land unlivable. There is a connection, and we demand it be addressed.” Resources: Event on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/events/1622859537952771/ Indigenous Peoples’ Day and protesting and abolishing Columbus Day: The Red Nation Demands City of Albuquerque to Abolish Columbus Day (March 2015 event with City Councilor Rey Garduño) http://nativenewsonline.net/currents/the-red-nation-demands-city-of-albuquerque-to-abolish-columbus-day/ Seattle poised to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples' Day: http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2014/09/23/seattle-poised-replace-columbus-day-indigenous-peoples-day-156997 The Nation: Celebrating Indigenous Peoples’ Day http://www.thenation.com/article/celebrating-indigenous-peoples-day/ About the Red Nation: https://www.facebook.com/therednation/ http://therednation.org/manifesto/ Red Power Media: Building an Indigenous Coalition for Radical Resistance to Colonialism https://redpowermedia.wordpress.com/tag/the-red-nation/ Coverage of previous Red Nation events and protests: Frontera Norte Sur: Cowboy, Rabbit and Border Town Violence http://fnsnews.nmsu.edu/cowboy-rabbit-and-border-town-violence/ Idle No More: Abolish Columbus Day, February 23, 2015 http://www.idlenomore.ca/abolish_columbus_day Cowboy & Rabbit: We Remember http://therednation.org/2015/07/20/cowboy-rabbit-we-remember-confronting-abqs-racist-violence-against-natives/ Video of previous Red Nation events and protests: Ray Garduno Albuquerque City Council President: Abolish Columbus Day, February 27, 2015https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=15IFRU7bOLM Red Nation actions on border town violence https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rXRs3M5H_dw Red Nation Gallup Border Town Justice march https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=39gfbqGN2pA
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