While disregarded internationally, the reality and legacy of colonialism
and enslavement in Hispaniola are issues locals contend with daily. For nearly 20 years, Dominican activists
have gathered on October 12 — known by Dominican ultranationalists in the country as El Dia de La Raza, a day to celebrate Christopher Columbus
for his (forceful) mixing of the races — for a peaceful protest that denounces the invasion of Columbus and, instead, honors the legacy of Anacaona
, a warrior chief among the Indigenous Taíno of modern-day Haiti-DR. Regarded as one of the most prolific Taíno caciques to have lived, the celebration of Anacaona aims to exalt Dominican Afro-Indigeneity and the aboriginal population of before. But this year, as groups like Acción Afro-Dominicana, Guabancex Viento y Agua, El Grito de los Excluidos, and many other collectives
gathered at Parque Colón in the Zona Colonial district of Santo Domingo, the event that often includes reading poetry and playing music turned violent when the far-right paramilitary organization Old Dominican Order beat demonstrators with metal sticks and batons. According to the mostly women protesters, the attack was the latest violation of their human rights.