Hundreds of folks are gathering in Washington D.C. this Friday, January 18 for the 2019 Indigenous Peoples March. The demonstration will be a visual representation of indigenous folks across the world standing together to bring awareness to injustices affecting indigenous men, women, children & two spirits.
The action is being led by The Indigenous Peoples Movement, a grassroots collective that aims to mobilize their communities against political and environmental assaults on their autonomy. This is the first time since the 1970s that an event of this size will take place—bringing in groups from Puerto Rico to South America and Central America.
“Indigenous people from North, Central and South America, Oceania, Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean are a target of genocide,” the website reads. “Currently many indigenous people are victims of voter suppression, divided families by walls and borders, an environmental holocaust, sex, and human trafficking, and police/military brutality with little or no resources and awareness of this injustice.”
The event will include a collective gathering and prayer in the morning followed by the march, rally and a fundraiser concert. On Sunday there will also be an Indigenous Peoples Movement Leadership Meeting.
“I think it’s a collective cry for help because we’re in a time of crisis that we have not seen in a very long time,” Ecuadorian Indigenous woman and event organizer Nathalie Farfan told Remezcla. “When I say crisis, I mean collective crisis. A lot of Indigenous people from around the world are suffering from the same colonization.”
Another organizer, Cliff Matias who is a Native American Taíno/Kichwa performing artist, educator, and photographer, said the march conveys the message that people are actively trying to find solutions to issues that the president’s administration is ignoring.
“A march of this magnitude in DC is going to really keep the momentum going (of events such as Standing Rock) even more so than just the fact that it’s large, but in the amount of attention we’ve gotten so far,” Matias said.
You can check out the Indigenous People’s Movement’s website for more information.