Friday, April 12, 2013

Glenn Morris Saturday at 1 o'clock on monuments, memory and the Manifest Destiny of Denver

When I put up posts on the State Capitol monument to "the Sand Creek battle" here, Glenn Morris wrote to me about and I went around at looked at all the monuments between the Capitol and the City and County Building which celebrate ethnic cleansing or as he rightly names it, Manifest Destiny. See here.


There is the unlabeled statue of a native american killing a buffalo behind the State Capitol which was called "End of an Era" at the Columbian World's Fair in Chicago of 1892, a statue to Columbus himself, one of Kit Carson (14th and Broadway) and the like. The only decent memorials behind the State Capitol are plaques to Ralph Carr, the Republican governor who heroically stood up for the Bill of the Rights and against FDR's imprisoning Japanese-Americans during World War 2 and to the victims of the Amache concentration camp, and the new Ralph L. Carr Judicial Center (see here).


This area has always struck me, aside from Occupy and some demonstrations at the State Capitol or at Civic Center Park, though superficially a public space, as a dead zone. It became clear to me and my wife in walking around that this area is a dead zone to genocide.


Occupy had camped in front of the State Capitol as an exercise of political freedom of speech (one protected by the First Amendment). Its members worked with homeless people who were included in its assemblies.

Governor Hickenlooper and Mayor Hancock had them removed by the police at 5 am though thousands of people demonstrated in support into the early morning.


The city then acted for restaurant owners to remove the homeless.


Occupy has since organized protests against Snooze which has now rescinded its objection to the homeless being outside.(h\t Roya)


Glenn is giving a talk on these monuments and memory, including the origins in Denver of Columbus Day, tomorrow at the Western Social Science Association at the Hyatt at 1 o'clock in the Summit Peak Room:

"Hi, Alan,

Wanted to let you know that I'll be delivering a paper (see abstract below) at the Western Social Science Assn., meeting here in Denver on Saturday. It will be part of a panel entitled "Constructing Identity Through the Politics of Memory" with other colleagues of mine from the department at CU-Denver. It will be Saturday from 1:00-2:30, in the Summit Peak room, of the Denver Grand Hyatt.

“Manifest Destiny, Indigenous Peoples, and the Politics of Memory in the Production of History in Denver, Colorado”
Glenn T. Morris, Department of Political Science, University of Colorado at Denver

The late Haitian political sociologist, Michel Rolph-Trouillot reminds us that historical silences “enter the process of historical production at four crucial moments: the moment of fact creation...;the moment of fact assembly…; the moment of fact retrieval…; and the moment of retrospective significance.” This paper will reflect on the ways in which indigenous peoples have been, and continue to be, marginalized and/or invisibilized in Denver’s past and current politics of memory. From Zebulon Pike and Kit Carson, to the Sand Creek Massacre, to the fabrication of the Columbus Day holiday’s birthplace in Denver, this paper will examine the role of law, politics, media, and the construction of “whiteness” in the erasure of indigenous peoples from the public narrative of the history of Denver. Particular attention will be paid to the manner in which public space, public monuments, and public celebrations have been manipulated in the production of Denver’s history. Recent efforts, especially by indigenous peoples, to address the 'fields of power' that have historically established the political history of Denver, will also be discussed."

In Struggle,


Occupy Denver Protesters Gather Outside Snooze Restaurant
May 6, 2012 6:47 PM

DENVER (CBS4) – Occupy Denver protesters gathered outside Snooze restaurant downtown Sunday morning. They were protesting the business owner’s support of a proposed camping ban to stop homeless people from sleeping on sidewalks.

“Snooze chooses to put their business in a pawn shop district a block away from the homeless. Why don’t they hire the homeless to wash their dishes,” protester Kelsey Ann Haviland said.

“It is extremely unfortunate that a business like Snooze is being protested,” a patron said. “They were the first to hire homeless individuals and to train them for employment.”

For a video of the protest, see here and for an apt commentary here.

The ordinance goes before Denver City Council members for a second reading next Monday. If passed it could go into effect June 1.

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