Occupy Wall Street Welcomes Indigenous Peoples
Tuesday, 11 October 2011

A Day of Solidarity with Indigenous Peoples at Occupy Wall Street. From left to right: Jen Yazzie (Navajo), Roberto Mukaro Borrero (Taino), Kent Lebsock (Lakota), and Tiokasin Ghosthorse (Lakota). Photo Credit: Alyssa Macy

New York, NY (UCTP Taino News) –
As the United States officially celebrated Columbus Day on Monday, indigenous peoples joined thousands of activists to commemorate “Indigenous Peoples Day” at Occupy Wall Street in Lower Manhattan. Representatives of several local, national, and international indigenous organizations and community groups led a “teach-in and then an historic march down to the National Museum of the American Indian. The indigenous representatives also presented an ‘indigenous platform’, which noted that “without addressing justice for indigenous peoples, there can never be a genuine movement for justice and equality in the United States.”

At the “teach-in” speakers from the Owe Aku International Justice Project, First Voices Indigenous Radio, and the United Confederation of Taíno People reminded those gathered that “Columbus was not a Day” as they linked “colonialism and corporate greed” to the struggles of Indigenous Peoples around the world.

Taino and other indigenous peoples lead the march to the National Museum of the American Indian. From left Roman Guaraguarix Perez (Taino), Vivien Guara'naru DuMont (Taino), R. Mukaro Borrero (Taino) and Esperanza Martell (Taino). Photo Credit: Alyssa Macy

Following the teach-in, indigenous community members where honored to lead the evening march of several thousand activists from Liberty Plaza/Zucotti Park to the National Museum of the American Indian and back to “Wall Street”. The indigenous peoples leading the march with drums, guamo (conch shell horn), and songs, were followed directly by a banner calling for the freedom of American Indian political prisoner, Leonard Peliter.

Some of the Mexica and Taino community members at Occupy Wall Street on Oct. 10th. From left to right: Elvira and Hortencia Colorado (Chichimec Otomi), Roman Guaraguarix Perez (Taino), Vanessa Inarunikia Pastrana (Taino), and Raphael Landron (Taino). Photo Credit: Nona Aquan
The march was followed by presentations from members of the local Taíno and Mexica community including ‘Mexica Danza’ back at Zucotti Park.

With the ancient rhythms of the Mexica drums resounding through the New York night, Kent Lebsock (Lakota) of Owe Aku International Justice Project and Roberto Múkaro Borrero (Borikén Taíno) of the United Confederation of Taíno People presented the opening remarks to Occupy Wall Street’s evening General Assembly. During the presentation, an indigenous platform was offered for the education and endorsement of the groups and individuals in attendance and beyond.

Indigenous Peoples address the General Assembly. From left R. Mukaro Borrero, Kent Lebsock, and Jen Yazzie. Photo credit: V. Pastrana

The indigenous platform calls for recognition of Indigenous Peoples right to self-determination, the repeal of the papal bull Inter Caetera (1493), and the repeal of the Columbus Day holiday among other items.

Organizers committed to distributing the statement widely and to posting it at the Occupy Wall Street Website.

UCTPTN 10.11.2011
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