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Chronology of Events Concerning
[Transform] Columbus Day
American Indian Movement of Colorado announces a four-year
educational campaign to explain why Columbus Day and Columbus
celebrations are harmful to American Indians.
||Federation of Italian American Organizations (FIAO) announces
the resurrection of the Columbus Day Parade after over a thirty-year
absence. Colorado AIM asks the FIAO not to name the parade after
Columbus; FIAO refuses AIM's request. Immediately prior to the
parade, Colorado AIM initiates dialogue with FIAO representative,
Frank Macri. FIAO invites Colorado AIM to lead the parade with all
of its counter-Columbus signs and banners. AIM agrees to lead the
parade, provided FIAO agrees to meet to discuss the possibility of
changing the parade's orientation. FIAO agrees to the meeting, but
in mid-October cancels, saying that it will re-schedule at a later
time. No dialogue is initiated by FIAO, nor is an alternative
meeting date suggested.
||FIAO sponsors another parade. Colorado AIM again requests that
the parade name be changed. FIAO fails to respond until the days
immediately preceding the parade. FIAO offers for AIM to lead the
parade again. AIM declines, citing the agreement the previous year,
and reminding the parade organizers that they agreed to reschedule
the dialogue. FIAO proceeds with its parade, and Colorado AIM blocks
the parade route. Four AIM members (Russell Means, Ward Churchill,
Glenn Morris and Margaret Martinez) are arrested. At trial in June,
1992, all defendants are acquitted on all charges.
||500th anniversary of Columbus' voyage. Colorado AIM again requests the parade organizers to change the
name of the parade, the FIAO again refuses. Seven mediation sessions
are established, being facilitated by Mayor Webb, the Community
Relations Service of the U.S. Department of Justice, and Senator Ben
Nighthorse Campbell. No resolution is achieved. In the final CRS
session, one of the FIAO reps interrupts AIM rep, Glenn Morris, and
says: "Listen, this is not your country anymore. This is our country
now, and you'd better get with the program." The talks fail, and
over 3500 AIM members and supporters gather to confront the parade.
At the last moment on the day of the parade, the FIAO cancelled its
parade, but held a small rally on the capitol steps. At AIM's
victory celebration at the Greek Amphitheater in Civic Center Park,
FIAO rep A.J. DiAngelo makes a statement that "the Federation of
Italian American Organizations wants to initiate a dialogue, so that
we don't have to meet in the streets of Denver next year." No
dialogue is ever organized by FIAO.
No Columbus Parade takes place
in Denver between 1992 and 2000.
||C.M. Mangiaracina and George Vendegnia decide to resume the
Columbus Parade. Colorado AIM contacts the Justice Department CRS to
facilitate a dialogue regarding the parade. Several sessions are
held, and an agreement is reached that the Columbus Day Parade will
be changed to the March for Italian Pride. AIM agrees that such a
change will prevent it from protesting the parade. All sides seem
satisfied, and an agreement to that effect is signed on September
19, 2000, by the parade organizers, AIM, Escuela Tlatelolco, Barrio
Warriors, the City of Denver, the Colorado Civil Rights Division,
and the Community Relations Service. Eventually all parties expect
AIM/Escuela/ Barrio Warriors breach the agreement. The parade is
blockaded by AIM and its allies, and 150 people are arrested. The
charges are later dropped by the City.
||Parade organizers plan another Columbus parade. AIM requests a
name change from the parade organizers. AIM's request is refused.
Because of the World Trade Center bombing, only a small parade of
twenty school children reciting the rosary is held. On the other
hand, AIM and the Transform Columbus Day Alliance hold the first All
Nations/Four Directions March. Over 2000 people participate in an
event that proves that respectful cultural celebrations can take
place in Denver, with members of every race, every religion, every
||Colorado AIM again requests the Sons of Italy - New Generation
to change the name of the Columbus Day Parade.
||Peace Prize Winner Rigoberta Menchu and Richard Castaldo Ask for
End to “Celebration” of Racism and Violence
||The Blockade of Convoy of
Conquest -- over 200 arrested
©2004 Transform Columbus Day Alliance