Biking to Boston

Dear Friends and Supporters of Changing the Massachusetts Flag and Seal and Banning the Use of Native Mascots, far and near!

A great thunderstorm is rocking the Valley here at Great Falls, scene of the May 19th, 1676 massacre of hundreds of Pocumtuck elders, women and children, and Native refugees from the general warfare along the coasts and inland in that year. With sheets of rain pouring down, I think of the terrible history that lives in this place – and throughout the land.

Yet as soon as the rain quits, I am on my bike and headed for Boston to take part in the rally to Change the white supremacist flag and seal of Massachusetts: a white hand holding a Colonial sword over a Native person’s head.

The rally will take place on the State House steps at 10:30 on Thursday – July 16 – (masks will be worn and social distancing maintained). I hope everyone will either come, if they can, or help spread the word. Racist symbols, mascots, and statues are falling across the country. Massachusetts has some of the oldest, most deeply ingrained official symbols of white supremacy and the oppression of Native people in the land. Look no further than the flag flying above the State House on Beacon Hill.

I can’t find any of the basics I will need on my trip. I can’t find my patch kit, my tent stakes, tire irons, a working flashlight, or my bicycle lock. But still, it’s a good way to travel. Better to ride in than to take my fossil fueled powered car.

Finding food – the cyclist’s fuel – in the midst of a pandemic will pose new challenges, and I have been as weighed down by the recent catastrophes that are befalling our planet as any. I should have left at dawn.

But I hope to make it, and I hope to see you all there. If you can’t be in Boston at the State House on Thursday, please take the time to call and write your legislatures in support of the bills to Change the Mass Flag and Seal and Ban the Use of Native Mascots in Massachusetts public schools. We can change Massachusetts. Go to: MaIndigenousAgenda.org and take action in support of S.1887/H.2776 and S.247 / H.443, today!

-David Detmold, Great Falls, changethemassflag.com

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