The American Indian Movement of Minneapolis plans to hold a demonstration march and protest against the Thursday November 7, 2013 Redskins vs. Vikings NFL game to be played at the Minneapolis Metrodome.
Mike Forcia, Chairman of AIM in Minneapolis, tells ICTMN that “The name should have been changed 20 years ago. Yes we have more pressing issues but it doesn't mean we are going to back off of this issue. This is what the media jumps on.”
Forcia said that just as many supporters could be found at a moment’s notice to protest against such things as the Keystone XL Pipeline or the troubles facing the Indian Child Welfare Act, and that this mainstream notice could also be a catalyst for the awareness of other issues.
“This is a publicly funded stadium and there is a lot of racism going on. What about the Fourth Amendment, in which we are all entitled to life, liberty and happiness? If they have these statutes that say no racism, then the [NFL] commissioner has to say we cannot have the Redskins because it is offensive and it is against the law.”
Forcia said that for him, it isn’t just about the logo. It is the behavior at the games.
“I don't mind something like the North Dakota fighting Sioux logo. Yes, the Cleveland Indians logo is offensive, but it is more about the connotation and the actions of the fans. You hear things like, ‘we are going to scalp those Indians, we are going to send those Indians back to the reservation’ or you see the Tomahawk chop. It is the antics that are at the crux of this whole thing.”
“If you had the Saints and Angels playing and we were all dressed up like the Pope or a priest or a sister or a nun and we were all their swinging around our Rosaries, splashing holy water on people – they probably wouldn't like it very much. “
Forcia is looking forward to November 7th, and is asking for anyone with hand drums or big drums to show their support, and is also inviting any supporters of the Occupy or Idle No More movements to bring their own protest signs and lend support. He also says Native women will be called to take their place as leaders in the Native community.
“It will be starting at the Minneapolis American Indian Center. We are walking down Franklin Avenue, down Chicago Avenue, and right on down to the field. I think this is going to be ground zero. I think that after November 7, it won't be very long 'til they change the name.”