October 12, 2007

Más de mil integrantes de diferentes etnias asisten al Encuentro de Pueblos Indgenas de América, en Vcam, Sonora

(Thousands of indigenous Leaders Celebrating Burying Columbus Day)

In case you don’t live in one of those cities where elderly Italians and Spaniards march alongside cops and ROTC-garbed 10 year-old Latino and black kids, you may do well to take a moment to reflect on the meaning of this “Columbus Day.” Consider the meaning of these statements by Colon (Columbus), who was among the first to bring free market capitalism to the Americas:

“Of anything they have, if you ask them for it, they never say no; rather they invite the person to share it, and show as much love as if they were giving their hearts; and whether the thing be of value or of small price, at once they are content with whatever little thing of whatever kind may be given to them.”

Or these by Columbus, bringer of ships and men shaped by the blessings of modern warfare

“They have no iron or steel or weapons, nor are they capable of using them, although they are well-built people of handsome stature, because they are wondrous timid…. [T]hey are so artless and free with all they possess, that no one would believe it without having seen it.

Or these choice words from Columbus, the cross-carrying standard bearer of the western banner of progress and efficiency:

“I could conquer the whole of them with fifty men, and govern them as I pleased.”

Or, if you prefer, you might practice solidarity meditation by sending some loving kindness to the indigenous people celebrating the Summit of Indigenous People’s of the Americas taking place in Vícam Estación, Sonora, Mexico (see La Jornada) right now. Subcomandante Marcos joined indigenous leaders like purepecha leader Juan Chavez. Chavez opened the meeting by declaring that the Encuentro would “send a message of rebellion from our people who are defending mother earth against ecocidal, ethnocidal and genocidal capitalism” (Are you listening, Al Gore?).

Such was the message thundering throughout the Américas, including the United States Of América.

Though it would’ve been enlightened for anti-capitalist Bolivian President and Aymara leader, Evo Morales, to get the Nobel Peace Prize instead of unflinching capitalist Al Gore, Evo was at work this week doing the work on behalf of indigenous and all people as noted in this article about a recent meeting Bolivia. Morales and other leaders are meeting to make practical the recent UN Declaration recognizing the right of the world’s 370 million indigenous people to autonomy, self-determination and control of their territory and resources.

And This article in today’s UK Guardian talks about how the left turn in America Latina is laying waste to the bloody legacy of Columbus and his political, economic and cultural descendants.

So, yes, there is much to celebrate in these United (and integrating) Nation States Of América

Enjoy yer weekend! Embrace the inner indigena!

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