For Immediate Release
Contact: Transform Columbus Day Alliance 303-964-8993 or 303-871-0463
Saturday, 11 October 2003
TRANSFORM COLUMBUS DAY ALLIANCE CALLS FOR ABOLITION OF
OUTLINES YEAR-LONG STRATEGY FOR EFFORTS
The Transform Columbus Day (TCD) Alliance, a coalition of over eighty social
justice organizations, which has been protesting the Columbus Day parade in
Denver since 1989, calls now for the unequivocal abolition of the Columbus Day
holiday as a local, state, and national holiday. 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.
During the upcoming year the TCD Alliance will embark on the following
- An International call has gone out to encourage tens of thousands of
people from around the world to come to Denver in 2004, either to celebrate
the elimination of Columbus Day, or to march against the ongoing celebration
of the holiday.
- Nobel Peace Prize laureate Rigoberta Menchu Tum, has already committed to
come to Denver to march with TCD for the elimination of Columbus Day, and
for the construction of mutual respect among people through the All Nations
/ Four Directions March. She has also committed to enlisting the support of
other Nobel Laureates, such as Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, and His
Holiness, the Dalai Lama.
- A legislative campaign is already underway to repeal Columbus Day in
Colorado, the birthplace of the holiday. Colorado was the first state to
designated it a holiday in 1907.
- In 2004, during the second week in October, a series of events will take
place, including concerts with internationally-renowned musicians, a
cultural festival, and marches calling for the replacement of Columbus Day
with more just and more respectful celebrations.
- Students have called for weeklong teach-in on Colorado high school and
college campus, to learn a more accurate history of the Americas. The
teach-ins will focus not only on the genocide brought by Columbus and his
contemporaries, but also on the enduring effects of the Columbus legacy to
indigenous peoples, the environment, and in such recent developments as
globalization, patriarchy, and global militarization.