St. Pete protesters protest slaughter of native children by Roman Catholic Church


Nearly two dozen protesters gathered in St. Petersburg on Saturday to hold the Roman Catholic Church responsible for the massacre of indigenous children. Over the past two weeks, more than 1000 anonymous children’s graves were unearthed from residential schools, causing widespread suffering throughout the Indigenous community.

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Protesters gathered in Williams Park to listen to members of Florida Indigenous Peoples Rights and Environmental Equality (FIREE) express the abuse their people endured and then marched to St. Mary Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church to hold a vigil. There, they solemnly placed children’s toys, clothing, flowers, tobacco and candles in front of the church, and posted a list of demands on the door.

The four main demands are:

• A full apology from the Pope directly to indigenous peoples
• The prosecution of all employees of the living school for crimes against humanity, regardless of their age
Immediate review of all currently incarcerated residential school survivors
Multi-billion dollar donation from church to establish all-Indigenous language and culture revitalization initiative

Those who spoke cried out against the abuses of the Church and the evils of colonization, and sang prayers in honor of their ancestors. They called on the non-indigenous community to mourn with them and join their fight against Christian repression.

Only three of the 139 “boarding schools” – which the natives say is only a colloquial term for “concentration camps” – were searched in Canada, and the native tribes had to pay the cost of the penetrating radar. ground to find the remains. For generations, Indigenous children in Canada and the United States have been forcibly sent to schools, forced into assimilation, tortured and killed. After the discovery of the graves and the inaction of the Catholics, nine churches in Canada were reduced to ashes.

There are 365 residential schools in the United States, only two of which have been searched for remains, where dozens of bodies have been found. Some residential schools in the United States are still active.—Justin Garcia

03/07/2021 | Photos by Dave Decker

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