The rhetoric and tenor of the language from those who declare they will disrupt the Denver Columbus Day Parade is discouraging.
Notwithstanding Glenn Morris's claim that his group will use non-violent means to accomplish its purpose, the rest of the statements reported in our two metro newspapers indicate another inclination.
I have always found this particular faction's arguments against Columbus Day to be intellectually disingenuous -- their public utterances have tended towards belligerence and bigotry towards people who happen to disagree with them.
The common struggles and joys we all face in today's world should lead us to discourse and action for greater understanding and tranquility. What the parade 'disrupters' are saying, as reported in the two newspaper links below, is divisive and small-minded.
I encourage progressives to find a more peaceful and respectful way to express their concerns about the status of Native Americans in our nation today.
... Glenn Spagnuolo, representing PITCH - Progressive Italians Transforming the Columbus Holiday, said Italians from Italy would be flying in to join the protest. "The parade you are going to see has nothing to do with Italian culture," he said.
When asked if he and others had obtained permits for their demonstration, Spagnuolo said, "We don't need a permit, because we are on native land."
On the 100th anniversary of the Columbus Day Parade through downtown Denver this Saturday, American Indian protesters are planning to stop the parade in its tracks.
"The leaders in last year's parade were people dressed up as members of the Third Cavalry. That was the unit who fought in the Sand Creek Massacre. It has nothing to do with Italian heritage," said Glenn Spagnuolo, one of the protest organizers who spoke at a rally this morning at Denver's City and County Building. He referred to the bloody 1864 Sand Creek raid by Colorado militiamen, in which 160 Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians — mostly women and children — were slaughtered.
"The symbolism of those marchers was very clear — racism and hate. It was the same message as the three nooses in Jena, Louisiana," he said.
Spagnuolo, who is of Italian heritage, and Glenn Morris, an organizer and an American Indian, said they have invited a large number of sympathizers to help disrupt Saturday's parade.
"There will be a large action Saturday morning to confront this parade," Spagnuolo said. "This holiday is going to die here. The time for talk is over."
Morris clarified that his group Saturday "will use every nonviolent, constitutionally protected" means of opposing the marchers.