National holidays, Indigenous leadership and buried children

I’ve been writing about the event that was going to be held at the Iowa State Capitol “stop whitewashing genocide and slavery”. I urged people I know to attend. Support the BIPOC struggle in Iowa – LANDBACK Friends Organizers asked for a show of support. I was disappointed to see only a few people I know.

The same calls to remove monuments to white supremacy was held last year. Monuments to White Supremacy July 4, 2020 – LANDBACK Friends

Canada Day, July 1, and July 4 in the land called the United States, celebrate one view of the history of these two countries. Celebrations of white colonialism and the reign of capitalism. My Native friends refer to these as KKKCanada Day or Cancel Canada Day, and “The 4th of he lies”.

The remains of hundreds of children on the grounds of residential schools in Canada was a focus of the event here in Des Moines, and in Canada described below. The number will be in the thousands.

In Canada, monuments have been vandalized or destroyed and churches defaced. Four burned to the ground.

The search for remains in the United States has not yet begun. What does this mean for religious organizations involved with these schools here?

While There Had Been Anti-Canada Day Marches In The Past, This Year’s Especially Large Turnout Was Spurred In Part By The Discovery Of Over 1,100 Bodies At Former Residential Schools Over The Past Few Months.

On July 1, several thousand Indigenous people and settler and immigrant allies answered the call of organizations like Idle No More to protest the celebration of Canada Day and the ongoing genocide of Indigenous peoples. Cancel Canada Day actions took place across the land occupied by the Canadian state, from St. John’s, Newfoundland, in the east, to Victoria, B.C., including a march of thousands to parliament in Ottawa.

Uniting under the slogan “No Pride in Genocide,” these rallies put forward a panoply of demands. At the forefront was that Canada Day be replaced with a day to honor those whose lives have been lost to the Canadian state, whether Indigenous, Black, POC, women, or LGBTQ+. This was accompanied by demands for the end of settler encroachment and return of Indigenous land, Indigenous sovereignty, a real response to the disappearance and murder of Indigenous women, the end of police brutalization of Indigenous people, that the church take responsibility and offer compensation for the residential schools, and the end of celebration of the settler-colonial state.

At the same time, settler-colonial symbols have been vandalized and destroyed, including a statue of Captain James Cook in Victoria and statues of Queen Victoria and Elizabeth II in Manitoba. In addition, many churches have been defaced, and four in BC have been burned to the ground. All this reflects Indigenous consciousness—the awareness that we live under the boot of a settler-colonial state that demands our elimination, and that this fundamental reality needs to change.

However, changing this reality is impossible under capitalism. Indigenous oppression, expropriation, and elimination are carried out in order to remove us as an obstacle to capitalist expansion and exploitation of the land. While victories can be won in the short term, this oppression cannot end while capitalism remains in place. As a result, we must do all we can to unite the class struggle of the non-Indigenous working class with the decolonial struggles of Indigenous peoples, if we are to eliminate the capitalist system that oppresses and exploits both.


Following is a graphic I’ve been working on, indicating the central role of capitalism.

capitalism has violated the communities of marginalized folks. capitalism is about the value of people, property and the people who own property. those who have wealth and property control the decisions that are made. the government comes second to capitalism when it comes to power.

in the name of liberation, capitalism must be reversed and dismantled. meaning that capitalistic practices must be reprogrammed with mutual aid practices.

Des Moines Black Liberation

A caravan of Trump supporters tried to disrupt the ceremonies. Some of the flags were pulled off as they passed by. I was astonished at the quick reaction of some in our crowd. They have seen this thing before. There was an immediate increase in tension. After the caravan left, Iowa State Patrol cars closed off the street.

Trump supporters

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