ICT Interview: Raul Ruiz discusses 1997 arrest at Native protest

"In 1997, Raul Ruiz, a 25-year-old Harvard medical student, participated in the annual Thanksgiving Day protest in Plymouth, Massachusetts, with the United American Indians of New England (UAINE), a group comprised mostly of non-Natives, according to Russell M. Peters, first Tribal Chairman of the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe. The protest, called “The National Day of Mourning,” is an event that marks the continued misrepresentation of Native Americans during colonial times.

Things got out of hand, and in a sudden turn of events, the police handcuffed Ruiz and dragged him off to jail with a handful of other protestors.

Fifteen years later, that incident is rearing its ugly head for Ruiz, now a 40-year-old emergency medicine physician at Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage, California, who is running against Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack for her 36th Congressional District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, a post she has held for 14 years.

Bono Mack has taken to the airwaves with a pointed attack against Ruiz for his arrest back in 1997, portraying him as “one of the most far-left candidates to ever seek a Congressional office.” In an interview with The Desert Sun, Bono Mack said, “He led protests against the celebration of Thanksgiving, no joke … because he opposes what Thanksgiving stands for and what it represents. He even called for the smashing of Plymouth Rock a symbol of American freedom.”"

Get the Story:
California Congressional Candidate Raul Ruiz Talks to ICTMN About Opponent Mary Bono Mack’s Attack Ads (Indian Country Today 10/22)

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Agua Caliente Band blasts Rep. Mary Bono Mack for comments (10/19)
Rep. Mary Bono Mack blasts opponent for 1997 Native protest (10/16)

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