BERKLEY, California—An event marking Indigenous People’s Day ended in tragedy after twenty-three people were infected with smallpox, killing at least five.

Police say that the deadly virus was placed on blankets provided for the event by Left Water Running, 47, one of the event organizers. Left Water Running cited a desire for realism at the event, and claimed that he also brought Hopi pottery and traditional food to share with event guests.

Indigenous People’s Day, held annually on the same day as the better known Columbus Day or Thanksgiving, was first celebrated in Berkley, California over thirty years ago. The holiday brings together Native Americans that believe Columbus Day to be a celebration of the systematic annihilation of their communities and culture, the kinds of people that live in Berkley, and college students looking to score peyote.

Silent Hill, a fellow event organizer, expressed shock at the turn of events. “This was an incredibly reckless action on his part. I don’t mind if a couple of hippies or stoners get sick, but for goodness sake there were Native Americans there too.”

This article by Irregular Object is (cc) BY-NC-SA

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