Rally For Indigenous People's Day Held By State House

Photo: Mike Macklin

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio)— Protestors rallied by the State House Saturday to call for the end of Columbus Day and to replace it with Indigenous People's Day.

The rally and march, held by five different indigenous rights groups, took place after Acting Boston Mayor Kim Janey announced Wednesday that the city of Boston will recognize Monday, Oct. 11, and every second Monday of October going forward as Indigenous People's Day. The rally called on State and Federal lawmakers to do the same.

"It's time that the commonwealth recognizes indigenous people and gets rid of Columbus," Faires Gray said at the rally. "We're here to celebrate Indigenous People's day but we're also here to say we are not accepting Columbus Day anymore."

While President Biden issued a proclamation Friday making the second Monday of October Indigenous People's Day, the day will be celebrated alongside Columbus Day instead of replacing it. The protests called for the holiday to be eliminated altogether.

"This [move] was [Biden] talking out of both sides of his mouth as many politicians do," one speaker at the rally said. "We're not going for that."

The protestors also called on lawmakers to stop Columbus Day celebrations and rename the North End's, Christopher Columbus Park. Following the rally, the groups marched from the Common through Downtown Crossing to City Hall.

WBZ's Mike Macklin reports.

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