According to a recent story on WCCO-TV, the Minnesota Historical Society says “it will expand programming to include the internment of Indians.” Let’s just see how that works for them and “the Indians.” A good test will be this weekend, when various groups will converge on the Fort Snelling area for the events described below
WHEN: 12pm, May 29th, 2010 (Immigrants and Allies)
11:30am (Dakota and Native People)
WHERE: Bishop Henry Whipple Federal Building–1 Federal Drive Fort Snelling, MN (Immigrants & Allies)
Saint Peters Church, Mendota — 1405 Sibley Memorial Highway (Dakota and Native)
For Map – Click Here
WHY: May 29th is the opening day celebration of Historic Fort Snelling, a former concentration camp that was used to imprison Dakota people following the Dakota Uprising of 1862. Primarily women and children were held there over the winter of 1862-1863, before being force marched into exile and the institution of governor Ramsey’s genocidal extermination law. The opening day’s events include a host of family-friendly historical re-enactments that glorify the history of land theft and military occupation of Dakota land.
Dakota People and Allies relaunch the Take Down the Fort campaign in response to the racist celebration and re-inactment of genocidal actions, and the 2010 proposed multi-million dollar renovation plans on a replica of what used to be Fort Snelling. Modeled after its 1820s condition, Fort Snelling was rebuilt after it was declared a historical landmark. The replica is crumbling and the Minnesota Historical Society wants Minnesota tax-payers to foot the $6.7 million bill to rebuild the structure at a time when state social services and education system are on the chopping block.
$1.4 million was spent on attempting to repair the crumbling structures at Fort Snelling this year alone. When Nina Archabal announced her retirement in April of 2010 as the director of the Minnesota Historical Society, she proclaimed: “The new direct will have to ‘figure out how to knit Fort Snelling back together; it’s like Humpty Dumpty, it’s falling apart. That’s probably a 10-year undertaking [of construction].” If Fort Snelling is neither physically or politically viable, then why should we allow for our state government to fund its existence?
May 29th is the National Day of Action Against SB1070 in response to Arizona’s newly adopted anti-immigration legislation that promotes racial profiling and collective punishment by mandating law enforcement officers to check the citizenship of anyone who looks “suspicious”. A bill nearly identical to SB1070 was recently introduced in Minnesota by a Republican Representative and co-signed by five members of the House.
Immigrants and Allies to Kick Off Boycott Arizona – Minnesota! (BAM!)
An alliance of Minnesota immigrants and their allies are launching a campaign to Repeal SB1070 by encouraging individuals, organizations, and businesses to boycott Arizona, and to show the right wing extremists that we will not tolerate hateful Arizona style laws here in Minnesota.
We March Together!
Dakota, Latinos, and Allies! Immigrants and allies will meet up to rally against ongoing racism and exploitation in the form of SB1070 and the Minnesota version of the bill at the Bishop Henry Whipple (BHW) Federal Building, which houses ICE and the Department of Homeland Security. This rally will then march to join Dakota activists and rally at Fort Snelling against the ongoing racist occupation of Dakota homelands and sovereignty! We are marching together to build power and solidarity around brown unity, to highlight that colonization, land theft, and racist policies are the threads that tie together the experiences many Dakota, Latin@, and immigrant, and oppressed people find themselves in today.
• Repeal SB1070 and similar anti-immigrant laws in Arizona and here in Minnesota, including the Criminal Alien Program and 287G!
• No further funding should be approved for rehabilitation of Fort Snelling in the middle of global economic crisis! While schools are shut and social services cut, the yearly and rehabilitative funding of the fort stands as a symbol of the unethical and unsustainable priorities that we all suffer from! No more celebrations and reinactments of colonization– these are racist and offensive. The Historic Fort replica must be demolished and this land, located on the site of the Dakota genesis and genocide, must be returned to Dakota People’s control!