The following statement comes from Resist 450, and was originally posted here:
We are planning to demonstrate our opposition to the City of St Augustine’s commemoration, which is honoring and re-enacting the landing of Pedro Menendez on September 8th. This re-enactment of Spanish conquistadors landing on present-day Florida is comparable to celebrating Adolf Hitler’s return for Jewish people. This ill-conceived landing will be at the Mission Nombre de Dios, 27 Ocean Ave, St Augustine, FL 32084 at 9:00am.
We are welcoming everyone to join us at sunrise that morning as a group of conscious canoeists and kayaktivists paddle out to meet the re-enactment as we show our support for the rights of Indigenous Peoples and to uphold our responsibility to bring awareness that Mother Earth is the source of life not a resource for exploitation. Others will gather at the shore with signs and banners during the re-enactment.
The Pedro Menendez impersonator represents the European colonial mentality of domination and privilege. This misguided and illegal belief is empowered by the Catholic Church’s papal bulls, which directed Christians to “capture, vanquish, and subdue the saracens, pagans, and other enemies of Christ,” to “put them into perpetual slavery,” and “to take all their possessions and property.” As Pope Francis is traveling the world apologizing to Indigenous Peoples for the Church’s actions, the City of St Augustine is still celebrating these acts of terror and theft. We, the Resist 450 Coalition, intend to show that we do not share the same values as those that are attempting to glorify the colonial mentality.
The City of St Augustine essentially became a prison town for Indigenous Peoples who were held at the Castillo de San Marcos. The origin of the City of St Augustine became the foundation for the abrogation of the rights of Indigenous Peoples and the blueprint for ecocide throughout the world.
This moment in history marks the beginning of what has become the United States Empire, built on genocide, ecocide, theft, slavery, war and exploitation of the Earth for profit. The “Doctrine of Discovery” is the root of the system that has brought the entire planet to the point of irreversible climate change, unprecedented period of mass extinction and the moral deterioration of society.
This and other activities will take place as part of a week long camp from Sept 5 – 9, where Indigenous Peoples, activists and individuals wanting to be on the right side of history are invited to come together to promote peaceful solutions to assure the survival of the future generations of all life by addressing environmental, cultural and social justice issues.
If you cannot attend the event in St. Augustine, the Resist 450 Coalition asks that you participate in planning solidarity demonstration in your own community. The list of cities with Spanish Consulates offers an appropriate opportunity to deliver the message to “Renounce the 450th celebration of Spain’s genocidal war criminals and the doctrines that promote the destruction of Nature for profit.”
The Resist 450 Coalition also invites donations to assist in the planning of the camp and demonstrations. Donations can be made by clicking here.