The only way I look at this day we call Thanksgiving can be explained here:
It has been nearly 10 years since I set foot on Plymouth Rock, in Plymouth, Mass, in protest with my Native brothers and sisters.
Please take a look at their website and go and support our brothers and sisters at Plymouth Rock this year.
Here are a few excerpts of some of the great speeches I had the privilege to hear in 1998. These speeches are written by a few of my heroes who have been labeled for a long time now as the government’s enemies and or prisoners.
Message #1: From Leonard Peltier to National Day of Mourning, 11/26/98, Plymouth, Mass.
THANKSGIVING DAY STATEMENT
Greetings, Friends and Supporters.
Well, here we go with another holiday that America loves to celebrate, Thanksgiving Day. I know this has been said numerous times by many Native people of this country, but it is just not a day for many of us to celebrate. Although some things have improved on some reservations, there are an overwhelming number of us that have nothing to celebrate. These are the people who still have my concern, my hope and my love that things will get better. I’m talking about the people of Big Mountain, some of whom have already received their eviction notices. It’s about the Western Shoshone, about the people all over this continent who are fighting for their treaty rights and sovereignty. It’s about the people in Chiapas, the people in Central and South America who are being tortured and slaughtered every day. It is about the people whose stories we do not hear. The people who are resisting by simply surviving the “third world” conditions that they live under in the wealthiest nation on Earth.
As you gather today at this historic spot, remember those who struggled and gave their lives before you. Remember those who are in prison and those who are being tortured and denigrated today. Remember those who gave you the teachings that were handed down generation to generation. Remember as you continue the struggle for justice and equality in this land that is ours to caretake.
We need to reach out to the youth and embrace and encourage them to follow in our footsteps in order to continue the struggle. We are losing part of a generation of our young people to drugs and alcohol and consumerism. My time on this Earth is rapidly passing by and the young people must step in mine and the shoes of others who have fought this long hard struggle. I encourage and challenge you to educate yourself and your children in social concerns and the politics of the world. We have to remember that only true unity of all people will allow us to be successful and victorious in effecting change.
I also want to thank all of you who continue to sacrifice and work for my freedom. It is through your love and support that I make it through the hard times. And there have been many and I’m sure more to come.
Before I end, I ask you to remember our teachings. Thanksgiving is every day. Wake up and thank the Creator for a new day every day.
In the Spirit of Crazy Horse.
Message #2 from Mumia Abu-Jamal to National Day of Mourning ’98
When one considers the historic holocaust waged against the original people of this continent, one wonders, not about a “Day of Mourning,” but about ‘500 years of Mourning; for it has been over 5 centuries since this continent was invaded by mercenaries seeking the land of ‘El Dorada’, the land of gold, riches, and natural abundance. For Native peoples, the holocaust continues, every day, as they remain a people largely colonized in the land of their ancestors.
That said, “Thanksgiving,” for the United American Indians of New England and millions of Native folks across the continent (as well as millions of friends and supporters of them) is hardly a day of celebration; for how do you celebrate a holocaust? If it were a real “Thanksgiving”, it would mark not white dominance of Indians, but Native Independence and true freedom in the land of their ancestors!
On the Move!