Activists will gather for a “National Day of Mourning” at Plymouth Rock this Thanksgiving to protest against the “racism and oppression” faced by indigenous people throughout history.
Every year, indigenous communities gather in Plymouth, Massachusetts, during the Thanksgiving holiday as “a reminder of the genocide of millions of Native people, the theft of Native lands and the erasure of Native cultures,” the event website states.
The United American Indians of New England (UAINE) has been hosting the event for more than 50 years. The group boasted on its website that past demonstrations have included burying Plymouth Rock “a number of times,” boarding the Mayflower replica and placing Ku Klux Klan sheets on the statue of Mayflower passenger and Plymouth governor William Bradford.
People march during the National Day of Mourning demonstration on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 25, 2021, in Plymouth, Massachusetts. (Bryan R. Smith/AFP via Getty Images)
“Join us as we continue to create a true awareness of Native peoples and history,” the event description states. “Help shatter the untrue image of the Pilgrims and the unjust system based on racism, settler colonialism, sexism, homophobia and the profit-driven destruction of the Earth that they and other European settlers introduced to these shores.”
Micah Stasis, wearing a mask with the words “Make America Native Again,” looks on during the National Day of Mourning demonstration on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 25, 2021, in Plymouth, Massachusetts. (Bryan R. Smith/AFP via Getty Images)
A man holds a sign as people march during the National Day of Mourning demonstration on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 25, 2021, in Plymouth, Massachusetts. (Bryan R. Smith/AFP via Getty Images)
The group is requiring masks at the outdoor march through Plymouth’s historic district, promoting the hashtags #MasksUpMayflowersDown and #NoThanksNoGiving.
“Although we very much welcome our non-Native supporters to stand with us, it is a day when only Indigenous people speak about our history and the struggles that are taking place throughout the Americas,” the description adds.
UAINE says on its website that its volunteers “speak to classes in schools and universities about current issues in the Native struggle.” The group is backing Massachusetts legislation that would create new public school curriculum standards that teach Native American history, culture and current issues, including “genocide” and “socioeconomic experiences.”
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