Help stop the Chasco Fiasco


Florida AIM needs YOUR participation to make the 2002 protests of the Chasco Fiesta happen. This racist festival makes grotesque stereotypes and depictions of Native peoples and has occured for nearly a century in New Port Richey, FL. In 1995 Florida AIM attempted to negotiate in the dialouge of cooperation with the Chasco organizers. We were repeatedly rebuffed. Last year 31 AIM members and supporters protested at the pagent and 34 AIM members protested the Chasco Parade. We were ignored. We need to mount a massive response and we need YOUR HELP.

If you’ve supported Florida AIM in the past we need you out on the street with us to bring this hideaous pagent and festival to an end. If you’ve never supported Florida AIM this is the time and event to start. It is time as we progress in the 21st century to bring an end to these vestiges of 19th century racism!!!!!

IF you would like to read the pagent script and novella this festival is based on please visit it our website at

The dates are
March 7th, 2002 at 6:30 PM Chasco Pagent Protest
March 9th 2002 at 12 Noon Chasco Parade protest

IF you are out of state and need gas money please contact Florida AIM at and we may be able to assist you.

If you need directions or a place to stay please contact Florida AIM at

If you are planning to attend, so you can get meeting times prior to the protest, directions and staging information please contact Florida AIM at

Florida AIM, after six (6) fruitless years of dialogue with the Chasco Fiesta organizers has begun to take direct efforts to force change at the 79-year old festival. This has included filing complaints with the Florida Attorney General’s Office of Civil Rights, scheduling disruptive and confrontational protests of Chasco events and now targeting events Chasco Krewe members may attempt to attend to promote the racist and stereotypical festival.

The festival is based on a racist novella / play written by Pasco postmaster Gerben DeVries in 1922. In this play traditional Indigenous peoples and culture is depicted as “barbaric”, “heathens”, and “savage” and falsely alleged to be based upon human sacrifice. The play involves the spiritual leader of the mythical band of Calusa’s renouncing his “barbaric ways” to adopt the more “enlightened” ways of the Spanish invaders. This story has the Calusa adopt the two children of the invading soldiors to become their “king and queen”, because of their ” superior” ways.

During the festival large numbers of non-Indians dress as “Indians” and act in a stereotypical manner based on their misperceptions of how “Indians” live and what “Indian” cultures are. Such behavior is inherently intolerable and unacceptable. In no way would the West Pasco Chamber of Commerce conduct a festival in which non-African Americans dressed and acted in a manner similar to the “Coon” stereotype of America’s past. Nor would they sponsor a festival depicting the infamous Holocaust of Europe circa 1930’s and 40’s, in which the Jewish peoples welcome the NAZI’s, a Jewish Rabbi renounced his faith in favor of National Socialism, and further all the Jewish people joyuslly make young NAZI’s their king and queen..

Florida AIM will now target any event in which the Chasco Fiesta attempts to promote itself and is investigating additional avenues to challenge, expose and confront the Chasco Fiesta.

For the last 79 years the “Casco event” has started off with this Childrens Pageant where in the adults of the community have their kids act out these “values”. For the last 79 years the school children have been indoctrinated with the seeds of racism and intolerance.

Beginning in 1995 Florida AIM State Executive Director Sheridan Murphy, State Information Director Mark Madrid, and State Field Director Jennifer Smith began attempting dialogue with the West Pasco Chamber of Commerce in an effort to address the “Chasco” events racisist and stereotypical portrayal of Indigenous peoples. The Chambers sole response has been to try to increase real Native participation in the pow-wow portion of their festival event. Our response is, shouldn’t there be Indian people involved in a pow-wow anyway?

In 1999 the Chamber met with Sheridan Murphy, North Florida Director David Narcomey and Pasco Director Ruby Beaulieu in a last ditch effort at dialogue. The result has been no substantive change from the Chasco Fiesta. Further Chasco organizers have stated they are unable to see what’s offensive about their celebration. They claim they have the endorsment by an, as yet, undisclosed group of 30 “Indian tribes” as well as the usuall gaggle of trumpeting wannabe / reenactors from the nearby Dade Battle Field that dress up for the weekend and have tried postering as an “Indian tribe”.

We challenge any American Indian tribe / nation to honestly look at what is being engrained into the minds and attitudes of the children of Pasco county for the last 70 years. To weigh the effects it has and will have on the possibilities of our children and grand children living and working together for a better future. We challenge the community of Pasco county to do the same.

Florida AIM can, and will no longer tolerate this disgraceful, and offensive celebration of genocide and assimilation. Florida AIM will now use any means necessary to bring a halt to this festival’s pageant and parade. We ask all our supporters to continue to urge an international tourist boycott of Pasco County (New Port Richey), to continue to contact the sponsors of this festival and urge them to withdraw sponsorship.

As we know you would not tolerate a “Sambo Festival” or a “Holocaust Festival” we know you will join us in putting a stop to this disgraceful and shameless display of racism in the 21st century


Sheridan Murphy

2002-03-01 19:42:00

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