Dakota people and allies, as part of the Take Down the Fort campaign, will conduct protests Saturday, May 29, against the celebration and proposed renovation of Fort Snelling and against Arizona’s new immigration law. Dakota and native people will gather at 11:30 a.m. at St. Peter’s Church, 1405 Sibley Memorial Highway in Mendota. Immigrants and allies will gather at noon at the Bishop Henry Whipple Federal Building, 1 Federal Drive, Fort Snelling. The two groups will meet for a rally.
“May 29th is the opening day celebration of Historic Fort Snelling, a former concentration camp that was used to imprison Dakota people following the Dakota Uprising of 1862,” an announcement from the Take Down the Fort campaign said. “Primarily women and children were held there over the winter of 1862-1863, before being force-marched into exile and the institution of Governor Ramsey’s genocidal extermination law. The opening day’s events include a host of family-friendly historical re-enactments that glorify the history of land theft and military occupation of Dakota land.”
May 29 is the National Day of Action Against SB1070 in response to Arizona’s newly adopted anti-immigration legislation that promotes racial profiling and collective punishment by mandating law enforcement officers to check the citizenship of anyone who looks “suspicious.” A bill nearly identical to SB1070 was recently introduced in Minnesota by a Republican Representative and co-signed by five members of the House.