This statement is by the Black Orchid Collective. G.L.I.T.U.R. and Decolonize/ Occupy Seattle have also released statements.
Columbus Day weekend, people gathered at Canadian, US, and Mexican consulates and government buildings to oppose the occupation and destruction of Native/indigenous lands by multinational mining corporations. They also marched in downtown San Francisco demonstrating against capitalism and colonialism.
This was a march in solidarity with indigenous communities who are struggling against land theft and ecologically destructive resource extraction across the continent. It was also a march to oppose the ongoing colonial legacy of the US, Canada, and Mexico – three states forged through the genocide of indigenous people begun 520 years ago by Christopher Columbus and his crew. Instead of celebrating Columbus’ colonial racism, march participants celebrated 520 years of ongoing indigenous resistance and solidarity across borders.
In response to this march, the police arrested 22 people, including some who were fleeing from police violence. The state is alleging that some marchers engaged in property destruction and are using this as an excuse to criminalize all participants. The mainstream media published the names and photos of those arrested, leaving them open to attacks by racist vigilantes who support colonialism. The police labeled them a “street gang”.
According to our comrades in G.L.I.T.U.R :
“A spokesperson for SFPD, Gordon Shyy, included unfounded allegations connecting the marchers to other “crimes” committed with no evidence and no basis in fact. Another newspaper released sensitive medical information as well as full names of those arrested, who have not yet been tried nor found “guilty.””
Regardless of whether we agree or disagree with the specific tactics involved in the march, we are united in our opposition to the police repression of people fighting against ongoing colonization of indigenous lands. We oppose all forms of repression and incarceration, not just against activists, but also against everyone else.
The police are a colonial institution. They were created to force slaves to stay on the plantations and immigrant workers to stay in the factories so their labor could be exploited and the profits invested in further colonization of native lands to make even more profits.
It is no surprise that police are attempting to criminalize aggressive opposition to mining companies and other corporate interests who continue this process today. A government built on the ongoing occupation of indigenous land and ongoing exploitation of workers’ labor should have no grounds to determine who is a criminal or whose political activity is illegal. The same corporations that oppress indigenous people exploit working class people from here to the maquiladora factories on the border to the South African mines. The police and courts work for them, not for us.
Drop all charges against the arrested marchers!
Down with colonialism and US Empire!
Freedom for all political prisoners!
Please call the San Francisco District Attorney and demand that all charges be dropped, and that the arrestees be released immediately. The number to call is (415) 553-1751
EXAMPLE OF WHAT YOU COULD SAY:
Hi my name is _______________________ and I am calling in support of the people arrested during the protest march on Saturday October 6th. I demand you drop these politically motivated charges and immediately release them all from jail.
Also, please donate for bail and court support at this wepay account and also this one.