Beacon Hill to hold Indigenous Peoples’ Day event Oct 11
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Decatur, GA – This Sunday, October 11 at 6 p.m., the Beacon Hill Black Alliance for Human Rights is holding an Indigenous Peoples’ Day event and protest in front of the old DeKalb County courthouse, according to a press release from the organization. The event has been organized primarily by Decatur High School students,
Community members will gather around a cannon placed in 1906 by the United Daughters of the Confederacy to commemorate the 1836 “Indian War” that was a critical event in the genocidal removal process of the Creek Nation from the state of Georgia. In 1821, Georgia forced the sale of half of what remained of Creek land, including the land where the city of Decatur now exists, which was taken by white settlers in a Land Lottery.
Indigenous Peoples’ Day is an official city and state holiday in various communities across the United States. It began in 1989 as an alternative to the U.S. federal holiday of Columbus Day, which honors the Italian explorer and colonizer who never set foot on any territory ever claimed by this country. “I volunteered to participate in the planning of Indigenous Peoples’ Day,” said Decatur High School senior Bethani Thomas, “because I believe that people of color, regardless of their culture, deserves to be uplifted and celebrated, especially Indigenous Americans. It’s time.”
This family-friendly event and protest will include song, spoken word, and storytelling as artistic forms of resistance historically seen in African and Indigenous cultures. The program will end with a call to action for removal of the cannon from our public space.
“We were disappointed that the cannon was not removed at the same time as the 30-foot obelisk that was taken down in June,” Beacon Hill Black Alliance for Human Rights co-chair Fonta High said. “We are proud of our young people for once again stepping up to demand that this symbol of white supremacy that has stood in Decatur for 114 years should be removed.” Combining education and action, the Beacon Hill Black Alliance for Human Rights sees this removal campaign as part of its continued efforts to “root out” white supremacy in our community.
Mask wearing and social distancing will be required at the event.
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