Indigenous Peoples’ Committee joins Occupy L.A.
As Occupy Los Angeles rounds out its third week, other groups that have set up camp on City Hall grounds have added to the movement’s various voices.
On the south side of City Hall, flags representing Colombia, Venezuela and Mexico, among others, plot off an area where members of the Indigenous Peoples’ Committee have pitched their tents.
Regina Quetzal Quiñones, a 40-year-old human rights and criminal justice student from East Los Angeles, said the area represents the boundaries of a sovereign nation.
The hope is to gain recognition by the United Nations to address the rights of indigenous people all over the world.
“We’d like the U.N. to address broken treaties and an indigenous peoples' bill of rights,” she said. The space at City Hall, she added, “holds space for millions of people.”
Quetzal Quiñones, who is of indigenous descent, said that several hundred people have camped in support of their cause -- one she says is in solidarity with the wider Occupy movement.
“We support each other,” she said.
Quetzal Quiñones said that Occupy L.A. is against corporate greed and the monopolization of money, and that these problems affect indigenous populations when corporations “desecrate sacred lands” in their quest for profit.
-- Ricardo Lopez
Photo: Regina Quetzal Quiñones stands outside one of the Indigenous Peoples’ Committee tents in downtown Los Angeles. Credit: Ricardo Lopez / Los Angeles Times