Activists in New Mexico, Arizona mark Indigenous Peoples Day

www.washingtontimes.com
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fairly difficult
Protesters used a rope and chain to topple a monument in New Mexico's capital city as activists faced off with authorities along the U.S.-Mexico border in neighboring Arizona as part of demonstrations meant to mark Indigenous Peoples Day.
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) -

Officers with the Arizona Department of Public Safety responded Monday morning after protesters blocked traffic near an immigration checkpoint to voice concerns about border wall construction and activity on O'odham ancestral land in southern Arizona. Authorities reported that a dozen people were taken into custody after a brief confrontation.

"Everyday is Indigenous People's Day, and we are here to remind the world that this is, was, and always will be Indigenous O'odham land, and we will do what is necessary to protect it," read a statement from the O'odham Anti Border Collective and Defend O'odham Jewed, which means "homelands" in the O'odham language.

In Santa Fe, the crowd cheered as the top stone of the historic marker came crashing down. A point of contention for years, Native American activists had been calling for the removal of the obelisk due to its reference to the "heroes" who died in battle with "savage Indians."

Handmade signs read "It matters who we elevate and celebrate" and "It's time to stop celebrating conquest."

Other events across the country Monday focused on the history and contributions of Native Americans, including virtual runs, comedy and music showcases, panel discussions on tribal sovereignty, and the effects of a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision that determined that a large swath of eastern Oklahoma is a part of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation.

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