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Who We Are
Based in Denver, Colorado, the Transform Columbus Day Alliance
[TCDA] is an international coalition of over eighty social justice
organizations who are committed to challenging
ethnocentric views of Columbus as pioneer
and sole discoverer of the Americas, and that he, as well as
colonial powers, should be celebrated for 512 years of invasion,
cruelty, oppression, and
has been protesting the Columbus Day parade in Denver since 1989,
and calls for the unequivocal abolition of the Columbus Day
holiday on a local, state and national level. The celebration of
Columbus is the veneration of colonialism, conquest, and genocide.
As people of conscience, we must move our society closer to
the democratic values of equality for all, through historical
accuracy, justice in the judicial and political processes of the
country, and respect for diverse peoples and cultures.
end, TCDA actively works towards the repeal of the Columbus Day
holiday throughout the United States, and the accurate historical
Christopher Columbus and his
colonial relationship with native peoples.
The Transform Columbus Day Alliance is based upon mutual respect, sharing the
perspective that Columbus Day is an
inherently racist statement of cultural domination. Celebrations
honoring Columbus reinforce a historical process of racism, theft,
lies, murder, slavery and the destruction of the
environment. Individually and collectively, we reject Columbus as a
heroic personality, and we reject holidays, celebrations or other
expressions of adulation for Columbus.
This Alliance opposes Columbus Day, Columbus celebrations
and the Columbus legacy. Noting that the Columbus Day holiday
began in Colorado in 1905 when governor of Colorado Alva Adams
formally requested Colorado observe the holiday, this Alliance
acknowledges its unique responsibility to challenge the Columbus holiday and Columbus
celebrations, in Denver, and in Colorado.
This Alliance is dedicated to the transformation of the
Columbus holiday from a hateful, racist holiday that celebrates
conquest and domination to a respectful celebration that calls for
a future for the Americas without racism, exploitation, or
We agree that the process of genocide begun by Columbus
continues to the present against the indigenous peoples of the
Americas. The Columbus legacy proceeds today in, among other ways,
neoliberalism and globalization. We pledge
ourselves to active, open opposition to the Columbus legacy in all
of its forms.
We also agree that Columbus began the transatlantic
slave trade in both Indian and
, the consequences of which remain inadequately addressed by the
societies that benefited from these genocidal practices. For
commencing the slave trade in the Americas, Columbus deserves no
national, state or local celebration.
Columbus celebrations promote theories and practices of
racial supremacy and superiority, namely that Columbus should be
celebrated for the commencement of the justifiable invasion and
conquest of the Americas. Consequently, the destruction of the
indigenous peoples of the Americas and Africa is considered to be
an acceptable cost for the construction of the current settler
societies of the Western Hemisphere. We denounce these theories
We repudiate the concept of "discovery," which is not merely a
rhetorical description of Columbus' endeavor, but has been
extended into specific legal and political doctrines that have
been, and continue to be, used for the destruction of indigenous
peoples. Columbus is the source of the discovery
doctrine, and must be rejected.
Our opposition to Columbus and Columbus Day is not
anti-Italian. We celebrate the beautiful, positive contributions
of Italians around the globe. We acknowledge the history of
discrimination and exclusion that has been experienced by Italians
in the U.S., and we condemn those practices. In the same vein, we
reject the position that Italian culture can or should be a
celebration of colonization and slavery. We encourage all Italians
and Italian-Americans of good will to celebrate their culture by
repudiating Columbus and by joining those
Americans in this Alliance.
Members of the Transform Columbus Day Alliance collaborate under the principles
of autonomous, decentralized, mutually-respectful decision making.
Individuals, groups or organizations that endorse these principles
are welcome to join this alliance.
The Alliance acknowledges a diversity of tactics in
combating the Columbus legacy, ranging from
education to direct action.
We condemn all efforts by state and corporate powers to limit
popular political organizing and action.
In this vein, we encourage all members of the alliance to
oppose, resist and frustrate state/corporate attempts to
infiltrate, subvert or destroy our common will.
©2001-2008 Transform Columbus Day Alliance