- DENVER, Colorado (AP) -- American Indians and descendants marched
in an anti-Columbus Day parade Saturday, and hours later Italian-Americans
celebrated the explorer's arrival in the New World. Hundreds of people
waved Italian flags, played music and carried red, white and green balloons
at an afternoon parade to honor Christopher Columbus. Protesters ripped
down barricades and chanted "shame on you," saying the European settlement
of America decimated native people.
- Columbus Day parade organizer George Vendegnia, founder of the Sons
of Italy in America, called it a success and said he planned future
- "We're here to celebrate our heritage and our rights," he said.
- Seven people were arrested, but no violence was reported. A confrontation
two years ago led to 150 arrests, and a 1992 parade was canceled because
of concerns about violence.
- At the morning parade, Aztec dancers in brilliant blue and gold feathered
headdresses performed while sage was burned to purify and protect the
marchers while summoning the spirits of their ancestors.
- "They want to celebrate Columbus," said Lisa Simms, who helped organize
the morning march. "We are here to commemorate the lives of our ancestors,
the indigenous people who were already here."