Indigenous groups, Black Lives Matters join forces in downtown L.A. to decry historical ‘sins’ on July 4th

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Demonstrators gather on July 4, 2020, near Olvera Street in Los Angeles.(Andrew J. Campa / Los Angeles Times)

Demonstrators gather on July 4, 2020, near Olvera Street in Los Angeles.(Andrew J. Campa / Los Angeles Times)

Members of indigenous groups joined forces with Black Lives Matters organizers and other demonstrators Saturday afternoon near Olvera Street in a peaceful, masked protest and march that called for several actions, such as unity among minorities and an acknowledgment of the nation’s many sins on its birthday.

Some burned incense, tobacco and sage, others spoke of the “Farce of July,” and many marched to Grand Park and beyond with signs calling for the abolishment of ICE, the “defunding of the police” and justice for Andrés Guardado, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and others slain by law enforcement.

Indigenous leader Shannon Rivers of the Akimel O’otham people called on about 400 gatherers to “decolonize” their minds. He said the current coronavirus spread, which has caused more than 125,000 deaths, wasn’t the first plague to visit this continent.

The Europeans “brought many pandemics” to the peoples of the Americas, Rivers said, drawing the applause of a largely socially distanced crowd. Instead of celebrating with fireworks, he said, it would be best to understand “the many lies” taught to American youth that prop up white supremacy at the cost of all native peoples and minorities.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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