Kaepernick celebrates 'Unthanksgiving Day' on Alcatraz Island to protest treatment of Native Americans: 'Make America Indigenous Again'
The event, hosted by the International Indian Treaty Council, marked the anniversary of November 20, 1969, when Native American activists occupied Alcatraz Island.
Former National Football League (NFL) player Colin Kapernick slammed the United States government while marking "Unthanksgiving Day" for having "stolen" over a "billion acres" of land from indigenous people. The activist made the statement during an annual ceremony held in San Francisco, California on Thursday.
The quarterback took to Twitter on Thursday afternoon, writing: "Spent the morning at the Indigenous People’s Sunrise Ceremony on the 50 year anniversary of the Occupation of Alcatraz. The US government has stolen over 1.5 billion acres of land from Indigenous people. Thank you to my Indigenous family, I’m with you today and always."
Kaepernick, during his remarks at the event in California, said: "It’s been 50 years since the occupation. And that struggle has continued for that 50 years. Before that 50 years, it will continue from this point. It’s our responsibility to honor our ancestors and honor our elders by carrying on that struggle. Don’t let their sacrifices be in vain. That’s why it’s important for all of us to be here today, to show that we’re together, that we’re unified, that we have that solidarity. And I hope to spend many more of these with you."
The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback has not played a single game in the NFL ever since he left the 49ers at the end of the 2016 session, the same year he began his controversial protest of kneeling during the national anthem. Kaepernick stirred a national controversy in an effort to protest against reported police brutality against black people in the country. Other players soon took his cue and joined the protest in the 2016 season, while many others have continued the protest till now. Kaepernick's movement drew heavy criticism from President Donald Trump, who even called for the owners of the NFL teams to fire the players who were participating in it.
The event, which was hosted by the International Indian Treaty Council, marked the anniversary of November 20, 1969, when Native American activists occupied Alcatraz Island for 19 months. The occupation pushed President Richard Nixon to end the brutal "termination era."
Reports state that thousands of participants disembarked from ferries on the island on Thursday and gathered around a bonfire while holding flags and hats that read "Make America Indigenous Again," Mother Jones reported.