Transform Columbus Day in Denver

DENVER, Colo. - A crowd numbering around 2,000 rallied at the State Capitol building Oct. 6 in an event organized by the Transform Columbus Day Alliance.

They had just marched in four groups, one each from the north, south, east and west of the city, as participants in the Four Directions All Nations March. Each of the four marches had a designated color, either red, white, yellow or black representing the spiritual powers of each direction.

The gathering was both a celebration of diversity and a protest against imperialism. Those present ranged from Native Americans in ceremonial dress to labor groups including organizers from Service Employees International Union Local 105.

Deborah Peoples, of the Red Lakes Chippewa and representative of the Leonard Peltier Defense Committee, relayed a message from Peltier in which he said that 'all peoples of color will be victims of the taking away of our civil liberties' in response to the attacks of Sept. 11.

Ramona Afrika, representing MOVE and Mumia Abu-Jamal, said that 'what all indigenous peoples have wanted is the truth ... Lies are dangerous. Mumia is on death row for telling the truth.'

Glenn Morris of the American Indian Movement said, 'Although [we want] to put an end to Columbus Day, we're not going to put an end to the alternative, which brings all the colors of the universe together.'