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Indigenous Groups at Occupy Wall Street Mark Columbus Day as Day of Mourning

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As the nation marked Columbus Day on Monday, indigenous groups led a rally at Occupy Wall Street exposing the history behind Christopher Columbus and the impact his “discovery” had on the Americas. “We’re here to say that Columbus is not a day,” said Roberto “Múcaro” Borrero of the United Confederation of Taíno People. “We’re here to join with other people’s voices in saying there needs to be an end to the cycle of colonialism and greed.” [includes rush transcript]

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This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: We’re standing here at Liberty Plaza right next to an indigenous gathering, where they’re using the people’s mic. People are speaking, and then they’re repeating it to amplify what is being said.

Why don’t you introduce yourself?

ROBERTO “MÚCARO” BORRERO: Hi, Amy. My name is Roberto “Múcaro” Borrero. I’m a representative of the United Confederation of Taino People. I’m a Taíno indigenous person.

AMY GOODMAN: And explain who are the Taíno and why you’re here today on Columbus Day.

ROBERTO “MÚCARO” BORRERO: Well, for us, it’s actually Indigenous Peoples Day. And for the Taíno people, who were the first indigenous peoples in the Western Hemisphere to be contacted by Columbus, to be impacted by the colonial machine that took—that was set in motion after that initial contact, we’re here to say that Columbus is not a day. We’re here to join with other people’s voices in saying there needs to be an end to the cycle of colonialism and greed. So I’m happy to be here with everybody.

AMY GOODMAN: Thank you very much.

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