News Release

Columbus Day — Then and Now

VERNON BELLECOURT,
Director for International Affairs of the American Indian Movement, Bellecourt said: “You can trace the history of American militarism. It started with waging war, including smallpox on the Eastern Seaboard. Beginning then on one side you have talk about God-fearing, Jesus-loving people; on the other side committing genocide and war. Look at the history of degrading and demonizing people: ‘Injuns,’ ‘Redskins,’ ‘Niggers,’ ‘Kikes,’ ‘Japs,’ ‘Krauts,’ ‘Terrorists,’ ‘Towelheads.’ You now have comedians on late night shows telling jokes about Arabs and Muslims. You demean and trivialize a people — whoever it is at the time you portray as being your enemy. That justifies your greed for land and natural resources and makes them hated or expendable. They used the black ‘buffalo soldiers,’ of which Colin Powell is the modern-day contemporary — people who are willing to do the killing for the U.S. military-industrial complex.”
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BRENDAN O’NEILL and JUSTIN FRANCESE
Organizers for Action for Community and Ecology in the Regions of Central America, O’Neill and Francese are helping to coordinate protests for indigenous rights in the Americas during Columbus Day, focusing on “militarization that accompanies corporate globalization.”
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AMBROSE LANE
Author of the books Return of the Buffalo and For Whites Only? How and Why America Became a Racist Nation, Lane said today: “We’re becoming the colonial power in the world, you can call it Empire or whatever — it’s colonialism. We are determined in our arrogance that we will tell the whole world what they ought to do and what they ought not to do. All Columbus was doing was trying to find some wealth for his patrons, and all Bush is trying to do is control the wealth of that region [the Middle East] for his and his father’s patrons.”

J. WINTER NIGHTWOLF
member of the Buffalo Ridge Cherokee people, Nightwolf said today: “We have a president who has undermined democracy, who was not elected by the people, and is using war around much of the world. It’s now Iraq. There are clear parallels with Columbus. He came, he saw, he took, he murdered peace-loving people with little defense.”

MARQUETTA PELTIER
Currently co-coordinator of the Leonard Peltier Defense Committee, Marquetta Peltier is daughter of Leonard Peltier, who has been in prison for 26 years and is regarded by Amnesty International as a political prisoner.
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167