They don’t just hate Wall Street; the waning Occupy movement has issues with American history, too. In protests around the United States, Occupy Wall Street activists are taking a stand against Columbus Day.
Occupy Oakland, the most radical of the Occupy groups, held an anti-Columbus protest Oct. 6 in San Francisco under the call to “F*** Columbus” – West Coast Anti-Colonial, Anti-Capitalist Convergence.” (The Occupiers used the four-letter word liberally in their Sept. 28 posting and during the protest.)
Occupy California claimed a dozen people were arrested and “that some demonstrators threw paint filled balloons at the police.” The group posted two videos it said were from the event, one on Oct. 6 and another video, filmed by Jacob Crawford, posted Oct. 7. The two videos showed a melee between police and protesters with both landing on the ground in the battle.
Plans for the Occupy Oakland “anti-capitalist” march were to protest Columbus Day, the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan and Fleet Week. The group complained that “Columbus Day 2012 marks the 520 year anniversary of the genocidal and ecocidal project of Empire building and colonial expansion.”
That wasn’t the only anti-Columbus Day protest planned.
Occupy Denver released an Oct. 4 statement against the holiday. “Columbus day must be stopped,” the group wrote. It detailed a long list of complaints against honoring the explorer, including criticizing the “legacy and celebration of a man responsible for torture and enslavement of people on the island of Hispaniola and for initiating the murders of millions of indigenous people.” That group plans an Oct. 8 protest starting in Pueblo, CO.
Columbus Day became a federal holiday in 1937, under Democratic President Franklin Roosevelt. In 1940, FDR’s holiday statement emphasized “the courage and the faith and the vision of the Genoese navigator.” “The promise which Columbus's discovery gave to the world, of a new beginning in the march of human progress, has been in process of fulfillment for four centuries,” he said.