Indigenous group to protest charges against Native men who put fake blood on Tampa's Columbus Statue

The event will be held at a downtown courthouse on Jan. 30

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click to enlarge Indigenous group to protest charges against Native men who put fake blood on Tampa's Columbus Statue
Photos by Dave Decker
After Tampa Police Department charged Native American protestors with misdemeanors, a local Indigenous group will protest to demand that the charges be dropped.

In November, TPD charged an Indigenous man with criminal mischief with less than $200 in damage after he attended a protest against Tampa’s Christopher Columbus statue on Oct. 15.  At that protest, fake blood made of water and food coloring was thrown on the Columbus statue by several protestors.

Shortly after CL reported about the charges against one of the men, another was charged with the same crime.

The protest in October occurred because Columbus represents pedophilia, slavery, rape and genocide for Indigenous people. For 33 years, several Indigenous groups have demanded that Tampa's statue be removed, to no avail. Now, the group will continue their push  for its removal, while also demanding that the state attorney drop the charges against the men.

On Jan. 30 at 8:30 a.m. the Florida Indigenous Alliance and supporters will gather at the Courthouse Annex located at 401 N Jefferson St. in downtown Tampa.

"While the City of Tampa has not only ignored our calls to remove the genocidal glorification statue, the city has now doubled down on its support of genocide," FIA wrote on an event page. While there has been no incident in 33 years of demonstrations, more than a month after the Columbus Day demonstration the Hillsborough State Attorney filed direct charges of criminal mischief against two FIA members."

The group also noted that on Thanksgiving, which is known to Indigenous people as
"The Day of Mourning" TPD had about a dozen officers in tactical gear while barricading off and fencing the entirety of Columbus Statue Park to prevent FIA, Florida AIM and allies from entering the park in order to pray.

"This egregious and hostile support of celebrating the genocide of Indigenous peoples is unacceptable," FIA wrote.

About The Author

Justin Garcia

Justin Garcia has written for The Nation, Investigative Reporters & Editors Journal, the USA Today Network and various other news outlets. When he's not writing, Justin likes to make music, read, play basketball and spend time with loved ones. 

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