Denver, CO -- Oct. 7 - 10, 2005


Peace Prize Winner Rigoberta Menchu and Richard Castaldo Ask for End to “Celebration” of Racism and Violence

DENVER, October 3, 2003—The Transform Columbus Day (TCD) Alliance will hold a press conference Monday, October 6, 10 am, Four Winds Survival Project, 215 W. 5th Ave. Denver, to announce plans for this year’s events to Transform Columbus Day—a “celebration” of racism, genocide and violence—into a mutually respectful interaction between peoples of all nations.

Joining the call for an end to the Columbus Day “celebration” are Nobel Peace Prize laureate Rigoberta Menchu—who is also coordinating a statement from other Peace Prize winners—and Columbine survivor Richard Castaldo. The Nobel laureates will ask for an end to Columbus Day celebrations in the name of peace. Mr. Castaldo, who is himself Italian American, was wounded at Columbine and, as a result, is confined to a wheelchair. Mr. Castaldo considers the tragic events at Columbine to be one instance of the continuing legacy of violence begun by Columbus. As part of the effort by TCD to end that legacy and bring peace to our community, he is calling upon the parade organizers to remove the name Columbus from their event and join in a celebration of a different future of peace and mutual respect.

TCD will announce two events. On Friday, October 10, the Four Directions, All Nations March will bring together thousands of people from all of Denver’s communities to celebrate our diverse cultures. At 6 pm, marchers will step off from four points around the city: from the West, at Viking Park at Speer and Federal, from the North, at Globeville Landing Park, 38th St. & Arkins Ct (near Coliseum).; from the East, at the State Capitol, and from the South, at Gates-Crescent Park, near the Children’s Museum. The marchers will converge at Cuernavaca Park, at 20th Street and Platte Street, for a multi-cultural celebration.

On Saturday, October 11, a student-led rally and march to “Take Back History” will begin at the flagpole on the Auraria campus at 10 am. Participants will march from there to the State Capitol. This event will reclaim the truth about the legacy of Columbus—a legacy not of heroic exploration but of the destruction of the lives and cultures of indigenous peoples, a legacy that continues to the present day.