The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick took part Thursday in the annual “Unthanksgiving Day” on Alcatraz Island.
The San Francisco Chronicle reporting Kaepernick made a surprise appearance at the event, which commemorates the 19-month occupation of the prison by Native American activists from 1969-1971. Kaepernick told the crowd, in a message he posted on Twitter:
“Our fight is the same fight. We’re all fighting for our justice, for our freedom. And realizing that we are all in this fight together makes us all the more powerful.”
The 89 activists who occupied the prison almost 5 decades ago demanded it be turned into an American Indian cultural center and school.
During the commemorative event called the “Indigenous People’s Sunrise Gathering,” the crowd gathers on the island to watch the sunrise on San Francisco Bay. Michael Horse, a Native American actor, told Newsweek:
“It’s about reflecting, remembering and celebrating that we are still here and our culture still survives.”
Recently named GQ’s ‘Citizen of the Year,’ Kaepernick started the trend of kneeling instead of standing during the national anthem last season to protest racial inequality and police brutality. The demonstration sparked a tidal wave of NFL protests by players during the anthem that repeatedly have been denounced by President Trump. Kaepernick parted ways with the 49ers in March and hasn’t been signed by another team… I wonder why?!
Today, I was on Alcatraz Island at the Indigenous People’s Sunrise Gathering, in solidarity with those celebrating their culture and paying respects to those that participated in the 19 month occupation of Alcatraz in an effort to force 🇺🇸 to honor the Treaty of Fort Laramie. pic.twitter.com/KdNtY3dp72
— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) November 24, 2017