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On October 6th, 2007 Denver Colorado celebrated(?) it's 100th anniversary of the Columbus Day parade. For about 20 years, since the parade was revived by local Italian Americans, American Indians have protested the event. They contend that Christopher Columbus was a slave trader and the catalyst to the genocide of their people.


Italian Americans view this as a day to celebrate their heritage. I saw only a few references to Columbus. Mostly folks in nice cars or on cool motorcycles waving U.S. and Italian flags.

The American Indians want the name changed.

Some states have changed the name of the day to Indigenous Peoples Day but I'm not sure that would work here because the Italian Americans have been having this parade for years.


So this is how it all went down. The protesters showed up at the Denver capital building several hours before the parade. Protesting and drumming, some in traditional American Indian clothing. Amazing workmanship and detail.


In the past, protesters and police had spoken beforehand about "how things would go", trying to keep things peaceful.

Going as far as planning arrests. Not this year.

Interestingly enough the leader of the anti Columbus Day group "Transform Columbus Day Alliance" is Glenn Spagnuolo, that's right Spagnuolo.

When confronted with the permits needed, Glenn stated

"We don't need a permit, because we are on native land."



"Asking an illegal colonizer for permission to be on land that doesn't belong to them doesn't work for us,"




Another group well represented was the American Indian Movement of Colorado. Ex and current Colorado University professors Ward Churchill and Glenn Morris are leaders of this group. Well known Russel Means is also a member, having left the main chapter of AIM.





The American Indian Movement of Colorado is not affiliated with the American Indian Movement. View their stance here




So they followed their own route, from the capital through downtown Denver, on their way to come head to head with the Italians and their parade. They have always been peaceful and they vowed that today would be the same.

However, they had grown tired of years of words and seeing no actions.


When the protest met the parade, emotions ran deep and blood spilled through the streets. Not real blood however, but fake blood spilled by the protesters along with dismembered dolls. Many protesters sat in the street, stopping the parade from starting. Russell Means and Glenn Morris included. All were arrested. Nobody fought, but they did resist their arrests.


After this initial push by the protesters, the parade went on....a little off schedule. At this point it was lots of yelling and verbal abuse. Protesters yelling at cops and Italians. Italians, including 80 year old ladies and teenage kids, cursing and flipping the bird at protesters. Police officers, staring through mirrored sunglasses with rubber bullet guns, flashing dirty looks at everyone.


After the parade had traveled a few blocks, a group of young American Indians wearing bandannas over their faces made their stand and sat in the middle of the road. About 20 cops jumped on top of them and promptly pulled them apart and arrested them. The protesters didn't fight, but they did use each other as weight, locking their arms together. One of them came up bloody.


After this, the parade continued and the protesters headed back to the capital to spread the word. 83 protesters taken away on police buses by the time the parade was over.




Personally, I have no vested interest here. I'm not American Indian or Italian American. I do believe that what happened to the native people of this land is horrible. If I was Native American, after years of persecution of my people, I would probably be tired of words and lies too. However I don't have anything against Italian Americans either and I doubt their ancestors had more to do with Indian genocide than any of the other European countries that settled in the United States.


I think the city of Denver needs to get off their butts and do something about it. How hard is it to change the name of the parade to Italian Heritage Day or whatever and out of respect to the American Indians, have another day for them. How hard is that? 20 years, really?


I also realize the city is planning for the Democratic National Convention but was the show of force necessary, for a group that has maintained their peaceful approach?

A little overkill if you ask me, but then again this is a post 9/11 world, and everyone could be a terrorist.





I think it's interesting that a woman and black man helped arrest this man. 3 groups who have seen their share of persecution in the United States.

hgyihg, pc_1534 and 20 more people faved this
  • Jay Hull 8y

    Hi, I'm an admin for a group called Women In Public Safety (police fire ems), and we'd love to have your photo added to the group.
  • Jeff S. 7y

    Of course no one wants to talk about how Indians waged war against each other for centuries during which they enslaved, tortured, starved and raped each other even more than the white man ever did. You think they were just a bunch of placid, wise hunters whose sustainable way of life involved following around a bunch of buffalos? Give me a break.
  • iyeluvpalominos89 7y

    I think there should be a day for American Indians. They desevere more than anything because of everything their ancestors were put through. It seems every heritage has their day except Amaerican Indians, Euro Americans (Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, Russians) Days are made all the tiime, why not add another six or seven? We claim to not be desegregated but there are so many racial issues and no one wants to give up the fact that any other American is an American. Seperate but equal, born with equal rights, everyone is born so everyone has equality in Amaerica!
    Any comments e-mail me at iyeluvpalominos89@yahoo.com or poetbabe@yahoo.com
  • coocoo for cocoa puffs 7y

    Golden striker...where are you from?...jesus...go down to the south (south east united states) many many whites down there have native american ancestors...they were the cherokee the creek ect...they were farmers...corn, beans, squash...and many other foods...they never lived in teepees they intermarried with the whites since the beginning of the 1600's or more ...especiallly the scottish who they loved.... by the beginning of the 1800's they owned mansions, plantations, african slaves (yeah not great but so did the non-indians)...had even their own writting system ...sports...cherokees had a national news paper....before the europeans got down there they were building pyramid city's like the ones in mexico ...they weren't perfect...they were human..but every time you bite into potatoes...tomatoes..strawberries....chocolate...vanilla...corn...peppers...ect...you are eating american foods...cultivated by them...they are the ancestors of many white and black people in the U.S...especially in the south...you must be a stupid yankee....if europe was so great...why the hell did your family come here?
  • Jeff S. 7y

    In case you didn't notice, it was only eastern Europe and Ireland that so many people emigrated from to America. In other words, the countries in Europe that sucked. That's why we don't have a whole hell of a lot of Spanish, French, Austrian, etc. When was the last time you heard someone say their ancestors came over on the boat from Finland and settled here?
  • Chicagos~Finest PRO 7y

    Hi, I'm an admin for a group called Lady Blue ~ Women in Law Enforcement, and we'd love to have this added to the group!
  • HeidiThib 6y

    Great shot. And the info you provided was great, too . . .
  • Police Fan 6y

    Hi, I'm an admin for a group called Women Police, and we'd love to have this added to the group!
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Taken on October 8, 2007
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