Protest blockades Columbus Day parade

Protest blockades Columbus Day parade

DENVER, Colorado (AP) -- More than 200 sign-waving and chanting protesters were arrested Saturday after blocking a Columbus Day parade for more than an hour, police said.

Police said they began making arrests after ordering the group of about 600 protesters to leave when the parade was about a block away. The 230 protesters who were arrested were charged with loitering and disobedience to a lawful order.

There were no reports of violence or injuries.

Police said the protesters, many of whom were American Indians, gathered at the state Capitol, then marched to the parade route in downtown Denver.

Most carried signs, including one that read "Not Genocide, Celebrate Pride" and another showing a crossed out picture of Columbus with the word "savage" over it.

Adam K. Becenti, a University of Colorado-Boulder student of Navajo descent, said the protest was meant to educate people about the inaccuracies in history books.

"We're grown up to believe he was the first person here" which denies the American Indians' place in history and ignores their genocide, he said.

But Carter Barnard, a member of the Sons of Italy in America, said the protesters had no right to delay the event.

"We have a permit for the parade," he said. "We don't try to stop them from their celebrations."

About 150 people were arrested during an anti-Columbus Day rally in Denver in 2000.

No comments: