UPDATE: In a statement on the event’s Facebook page, the organizers say that the demonstration will be held outside the Diocese of Covington instead of the school:
We understand the concerns about showing up outside the school itself and have decided to switch locations to the Diocese of Covington. We have advocated non-violence and accountability for administration, teachers and chaperones this entire time. Not once have we, as an organization, threatened anyone.
ORIGINAL STORY: A group of Native American activists are planning a “peace vigil” outside of Covington Catholic High School in Kentucky Tuesday.
This vigil follows a racially-charged controversy that broke out over the weekend after Covington Catholic students’ were accused of mocking Nathan Phillips, a Native American elder during the March for Life in Washington, DC, Friday.
On the Facebook page for the event, titled, “Peace vigil to call for an end to racism,” the group, American Indian Movement Chapter of Indiana and Kentucky, writes in part:
We have seen the entire hour and forty six minute video and stand by Nathan Phillips. While this longer video gives better context to the situation, it still does not absolve those boys of their behavior. Nathan Phillips is a respected elder. He stepped in to what he saw was a tense situation between the Black Hebrew Israelites, who were yelling harmful things at Natives and the school group, and the school group who were becoming increasingly worked up. He stepped in because he wanted to diffuse the situation with a song, with a blessing. The video clearly shows him stepping in between the two groups, but he does not force his way into the school group nor does he put himself in anyone’s face, as people have claimed. In the video you can see the boys approaching and surrounding him after he stops moving and that one boy steps up to face him, not the other way around. Their behavior at this point is still a problem, even if they did not create the initial situation. They are seen mocking, laughing at, and disrespecting Nathan Phillips. There are other videos from DC that same day showing these boys yelling “MAGA” and “build the wall” at random passer-bys near the Lincoln Memorial. There is a video of a student telling Native people that “land gets stolen, it’s how the world works.” These behaviors are still unacceptable.
At the march, the high school students, many of whom were wearing “Make America Great Again” hats, were approached by Phillips who was chanting and beating a drum in their faces.
One student, Nick Sandmann, stood quietly in front of him and at one point smiled at him.