Source: Native News Network
SAN FRANCISCO – American Indians and other Indigenous Peoples from the San Francisco Bay Area marched from Washington Square one-quarter mile to near Coit Tower where a statue of Christopher Columbus stands in San Francisco. This after being denied access to Alcatraz Island for the first time in decades.
Owned and operated by the National Park Service, Alcatraz Island is the victim of federal government shutdown, along with other national parks throughout the United States.
On the day others celebrate Christopher Columbus, the San Francisco Bay Area Native community has held Indigenous Peoples Day celebration on Alcatraz Island as an alternative means to draw attention to Indigenous causes.
Yesterday, the protesters marched to the statue to demand that a process begins to have the statute permanently removed.
”Honoring Columbus with a statute is equal to erecting a statue of Hitler in Europe where he left so many victims,”
according to a statement released by AIM-West, one of the organizations that held yesterday’s event.
”Let the healing begin …and celebrate 521 years of Indigenous People’s resistance to colonization throughout the Americas! October 12, also known as Dia De La Raza for millions of Spanish speaking Indigenous people’s of Central and South America, sacred Turtle Island, Abya Yala, declare this day together by shouting, ‘We are still here!’”
reads another portion of AIM-West’s statement.
“It was determined that a process will be initiated to bring to the attention of San Francisco Board of Supervisors to find a resolution that will effectively remove sculptures and symbols that represent and glorify individuals at the expense of indigenous lives and culture,” said Tony Gonzales, director of AIM-West.