Saturday, March 31, 2007

Desert Rock: Navajo grandmother asks 'Do you remember?'

Photo: Navajos protest at Navajo President Joe Shirley's inauguration in January/Photo Dooda Desert Rock

Navajo grandmother thanks resisters opposing power plant and asks the Navajo President: 'Do you remember?'
From: Bessie Taylor
Navajo in Crystal, NM

"I appreciate you resisters who are trying to stop this big corporation. A lot of us agree with what you are doing. Some of us don't have a way to get there. It was very cold here in the winter. I appreciate Sarah White for doing this. I appreciate the people who marched on inauguration day and also the people who are on the land. I see that you have a heart for the people who don't know much about what is going on with this Desert Rock.
As for those people who are smart and know a lot about this Desert Rock, all they can see is money. What they don't know about is the health. Once the smoke goes up it is going to bring down the acid rain and it will go into our drinking water and into our plants and onto our animals. It will also darken the sky and it won't be a clear blue sky anymore. Some of us know that it is going to increase global warming.
Joe Shirley calls himself, "Dr. Joe Shirley." He should know about these dangerous things. Dineh Power should be on our side, not on the side of killing the earth. Joe Shirley said this has been talked about for years, but I have never heard about this at the chapter.
Joe Shirley always puts the culture up front when he is speaking, so I was really for him. I thought he really knew how to be our leader. But now he turns around and is on the bilagaana side.
Joe Shirley do you remember way back our ancestors used to say "if you try to do something that is only good for you, in the long run it will fall back on you and not be good for you." Anything you do to become a great person, to make yourself rich or make things turn around for you, it will fall back on you. That's why this Desert Rock is such a big thing to me and it scares me.
I hope for you folks who live in that area, I hope someone will explain to you what the dangers are. Those people who say you will get rich are trying to brainwash you with money. A lot of us are sad about this. I appreciate all the people that are standing with us."

Bessie Taylor
Crystal, New Mexico

Friday, March 30, 2007

Anne Frank at Bosque Redondo: So the world will remember



A new exhibit opens at Bosque Redondo on April 4, 2007, bringing the history of the Nazi holocaust in Europe to the site of the United States holocaust for Navajos and Apaches in northern New Mexico.



PHOTOS: (L) Navajo and Apache children imprisoned at Bosque Redondo in the 1860s. (R) Anne Frank. Photos NM State Monuments

The spirit of these children lives

Anne Frank Exhibit Opens at Bosque Redondo

FORT SUMNER, NM -- A compelling exhibition depicting anti-Semitism, racism, ethnic cleansing, and genocide told through the story of Anne Frank, will be on display at Bosque Redondo State Monument at Fort Sumner from April 4 through May 11, 2007. The opening reception will be held from 5:00-7:00 pm on April 3rd.

The exhibition, "Anne Frank: A History for Today," is part of a series of educational programming, including a Long Walk Symposium for educators in June 2007, planned to enhance awareness of the Long Walk and incarceration of Navajo and Mescalero Apache people at Fort Sumner during the 1860s. “The Anne Frank exhibit will help connect the tragic events at Fort Sumner to the larger context of human rights abuses that have taken place across the globe,” says Mary Ann Cortese, President of Friends of Bosque Redondo. The Friends group is sponsoring the exhibit. The Long Walk Symposium is being made possible by a special legislative appropriation.

The incarceration of native people at Fort Sumner is one of the most tragic periods in U.S. history. During the expansionist fervor of the pre-Civil War period, war and a scorched earth policy conducted by the U.S. Army reduced the Navajo population residing in the New Mexico Territory to 10,000. The remaining Navajo were relocated to Bosque Redondo Reservation, along with 400 Mescalero Apache, on the one million-acre Bosque Redondo Indian Reservation and its overseer, Fort Sumner, were located. Thousands of Navajo people became ill and died during the long journey and incarceration. However, unlike the story of Anne Frank, the events at Bosque Redondo are not well known.

The widely read story of Anne Frank, the young Jewish teenager who went into hiding in Amsterdam with her family when the Germans invaded Poland then Holland, and began the persecution of Jews, has become a classic. Anne’s diary is timeless and continues to resonate today.

The 20th century was one of repeated genocides from the slaughter of Armenians during World War I to the Holocaust during World War II to the post-1945 era in Cambodia and Rwanda, Kosovo and Darfur.

The exhibition provides a powerful experience that will encourage ongoing individual and community dialogue and education. “It is our hope that the classroom and community discussions that will take place as a result of this exhibit and its connection with Bosque Redondo will aid the healing process,” said Angie Manning, Monument Manager. “This Monument takes seriously its charge to inform and educate—even when the subject matter is sensitive,” she adds.

The history of Anne Frank is the leading thread throughout the exhibition. The family’s story reflects world events during and after the Nazi dictatorship. The exhibition juxtaposes photographs of the Frank family with those of historical events of the time, and shows how persecuted people such as the Franks were affected by political decisions and by the actions of individuals.

Anne Frank: A History for Today covers five periods in the Frank family life. The exhibition commences with her early childhood in Frankfurt am Main (1929-1933). The exhibition moves on to the period between 1933-1939 with the Nazi’s taking political control of Germany and the family fleeing to Holland. The third period, between 1939-1942 has the Germans first invading Poland then Holland. It is in July 1942, with persecution of the Jews taking place throughout the conquered lands, that the Frank family goes into hiding in Amsterdam. During this period the young Anne Frank writes her diary. The fifth period, between 1945 and today illustrates the defeat of the Axis powers and the end of Nazi tyranny. Otto Frank, Anne’s father, discovers that neither his daughter nor his wife survived the war. However, he is given Anne’s diary by one of the persons who gave shelter to the family during the occupation. Otto Frank publishes the diary in 1947, and it is eventually translated into more than 59 languages. This final section discusses what happens after 1945 to survivors, what types of human rights laws have been passed, and the continuing struggle against racism and discrimination of people today.

The Anne Frank exhibit was developed by the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam and is sponsored in North America by the New York based Anne Frank Center USA, Inc.

When the “Anne Frank: A History for Today” opens at Bosque Redondo Memorial at Fort Sumner State Monument on April 4th, visitors will be among the first to experience the new Tour Mates Audio Tour of the site. The Friends of Bosque Redondo who sponsored the exhibit also gifted the audio tour and equipment to be enjoyed by visitors.

The audio tour was produced by Eliza Wells Smith, author of the Monuments book Bridges to the Past. Actor Wes Studie is the narrator for the tour. Wes Studie is joined by the voice and song of Navajo storyteller and author Blackhorse Mitchell, as well as Judge Steven Pfeffer, and television broadcaster and author, Yolanda Nava, who serves as marketing Director for NM State Monuments.

The sensitively written and narrated audio tour is an important addition to the Bosque Redondo experience. 8,500 Navajo and more than 450 Mescalero Apache were incarcerated during the 1860s at the one million acre Bosque Redondo Indian Reservation, during one of the most tragic periods of U.S. military history. It was a time when the government policy was to eradicate and contain native people who threatened the westward expansion of settlers from the Eastern part of the United States. Told in both Navajo and English, the tour moves the visitor from the main exhibit area to the scenic landscape out-of-doors--past Treaty Rock, the Observation Deck that overlooks the Pecos River that separated the Navajo and Mescalero Apache who were captives there, the Old Visitors Center, and the Maxwell House where Billy the Kid was killed, then back to the Bosque Redondo Memorial.

The Anne Frank exhibit is part of a series of exhibits and programming designed to initiate a dialogue about the larger issue of human rights. School children around the world read the German-Jewish teenagers story about her experiences during the Nazi regime during World War II.

“We are most grateful to the Friends of Bosque Redondo for sponsoring the exhibit and audio tour. Their generosity will help expand our visitor’s understanding of the tragic events that occurred here, and hopefully will forward our ability to engage students, teachers and the public in a larger dialogue about human rights, in the hopes of preventing such abuses in the future”, said monument manager Angie Manning.

Bosque Redondo Memorial at Fort Sumner is located 3 miles east of Fort Sumner, Highway 60/84, south 3/5 miles on Billy the Kid Road. For more information call 505. 355-2573, or visit http://www.nmmonuments.org/
Admission to the Anne Frank exhibit is free. General admission to the Monument is $5.00 for adults. Children under 16 are free.

Louise Benally Censored: Iraq compared to Bosque Redondo

The following comments by Louise Benally of Big Mountain, comparing the Long Walk and imprisonment in Bosque Redondo to the war in Iraq, were censored by Indian Country Today.
Pressed to publish a correction to the published article by this reporter, the newspaper refused.

Navajos at Big Mountain resisting forced relocation view the 19th Century prison camp of Bosque Redondo and the war in Iraq as a continuum of U.S. government sponsored terror.

Louise Benally of Big Mountain remembered her great-grandfather and other Navajos driven from their beloved homeland by the U.S. Army on foot for hundreds of miles while witnessing the murder, rape andstarvation of their family and friends.

“I think these poor children had gone through so much, but, yet they had the will to go on and live their lives. If it weren’t for that, wewouldn’t be here today.

“It makes me feel very sad and I apply this to the situation in Iraq. I wonder how the Native Americans in the combat zone feel about killing innocent lives.”

Looking at the faces of the Navajo and Apache children in the Bosque Redondo photo, Benally said, “I think the children in the picture look concerned and maybe confused. It makes me think of what the children in Iraq must be going through right now.

“The U.S. military first murders your people and destroys your way oflife while stealing your culture, then forces you to learn their evilways of lying and cheating,” Benally said.

The newspaper refused to publish a correction. Louise's comments were censored from this article by the editors:
http://www.indiancountry.com/content.cfm?id=1096410763

Brenda Norrell (former staff reporter)

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America's Holocaust, American Indian Genocide Museum


"Houston mayor insults American Indians"
http://bsnorrell.blogspot.com/2007/03/racist-houston-mayor-insults-american.html

Journalists know that the genocide of American Indians is one of the most censored issues in America. The racism and censorship is institutionalized in text books and classrooms in America.

Make a difference, voice support for the American Indian Genocide Museum in Houston:

Steve Melendez, Pyramid Lake Paiute, president
Mailing Address:
American Indian Genocide Museum
11013 Fuqua PMB # 178
Houston , Texas 77089

Physical Address :
3004 Bagby ( By appointment only )

E-mail: (Steve Melendez) indmuseum@yahoo.com>
Website : http://www.aigenom.com/

Phone : 281-841-3028
UPDATE April 14, 2007
"Cheyenne/Arapaho accounts of genocide to air in Houston"
CENTENNIAL, CO -- "The Sand Creek Massacre", a documentary film by award-winning writer/filmmaker Donald L. Vasicek, is going to air on HCCTV/Time Warner, TV Max, Channel 95, Phonoscope, and Channel 77 on Sundays April 15 & 22 at 5 a.m., Mondays April 16 & 23 at 11 p.m. and Saturdays April 21 & 28 at 4:30 p.m. The film, driven by Cheyenne/Arapaho oral histories, focuses on genocidal intent and how the Cheyenne/Arapaho people continue to overcome it, nearly 143 years after the Sand Creek Massacre."The film is a powerful educational tool for all," says Vasicek. "A sage people who transcend hate via non-violence shows how ignorance can be changed to wisdom, and subsequent solutions to problems each of us, particularly our children and grandchildren, face in our world today.Vasicek's web site, http://www.donvasicek.com, provides detailed information about the Sand Creek Massacre including various still images particularly on the Sand Creek Massacre home page and on the proposal page.Olympus Films+, LLC is dedicated to writing and producing quality products that serve to educate others about the human condition.###Donald L. VasicekOlympus Films+, LLC7078 South Fairfax StreetCentennial, CO 80122http://us.imdb.com/Name?Vasicek,+Donhttp://www.donvasicek.comdvasicek@earthlink.net303-903-2103


"Native film challenges Bush again for authorizing war under the disguise of self-interest"March 30, 2007 --

CENTENNIAL, CO -- A film based on an award-winning documentary short film, "The Sand Creek Massacre", was screened at Innovation Hall, George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, on March 28, 2007. Award-winning writer/filmmaker, Donald L. Vasicek, the director and producer of the film, answered questions and discussed filmmaking with Asian, African American, Native American, Indian, and Caucasian students who are studying filmmaking and native themes.One student remarked, "The beautiful images of where the Sand Creek Massacre occurred stunned me by the reality of what happened there. I can't believe Americans are capable of ordering this kind of violence."Vasicek said, "We've used a passive approach to the telling of the brutality at Sand Creek for the purpose of showing the ignorance of utilizing killing as a means to solve problems. Violence always leaves an impact, but the graphicness of the murders, the rapes, the mutilations, even after people were dead, leaves a remarkable imprint on students, parents, and educators. They see an historic reality that motivates them to do more to circumvent violence in the present as a means to solve problems. And that includes fourth graders who viewed the film in an elementary school in Centennial, Colorado who shared their thoughts with me after the screening."A clip can be viewed and the film can be ordered for $24.95 plus $4.95 for shipping and handling at http://www.fullduck.com/node/53. Accompanying lesson plans/curriculum are also available.Vasicek's web site, http://www.donvasicek.com/, provides detailed information about the Sand Creek Massacre including various still images particularly on the Sand Creek Massacre home page and on the proposal page.Olympus Films+, LLC is dedicated to writing and producing quality products that serve to educate others about the human condition.Contact:Donald L. VasicekOlympus Films+, LLC7078 South Fairfax StreetCentennial, CO 80122http://us.imdb.com/Name?Vasicek,+Donhttp://www.donvasicek.com/dvasicek@earthlink.net303-903-2103

O'odham Gather in Quitovac to Protect Sacred Place

(Photo: O'odham were joined by other residents of Sonora to protest the dump, after whistleblowers exposed the plan in 2006. One of the protests closed traffic through the border near Sonoyta in 2006. Photo Ofelia Rivas.)

Event: Saturday, March 31, 2007
Quitovac, Sonora, Mexico

In secret, Mexico issued a federal permit for a hazrdous waste dump in the area of Quitovac n 2005. Quitovac is the site of annual O'odham ceremonies. The project is now temporarily halted by the refusal of Sonoyta, Sonora, to issue a municipal permit, but the company, CEGIR, is still pressing for the dump.

From Ofelia Rivas:
This day event is an education and information sharing day. The event will be held at the Quitovac school grounds.
We will have speakers on, Impact on the O'odham culture ( sacred site, spiritual well-being of O'odham, traditional foods harvest and medicinal plants) and the environment impact of the proposed chemical waste dump including ground water, surface water and air contamination.
We hope this day will bring support and solidarity in our effort ot stop this chemical waste project.
Due to Quitovac, a O'odham sacred ceremony grounds, no camping will be allowed.
There will be a meal provided. Bathroom facilites are available on the school grounds.
The Major of Sonoyta has volunteered the Red Cross to provide assistance in case of any medical emergency.
The Majors' office will notify Port of Entry and the Check Point officials of our event. We hope to have some volunteers near the Port of Entry to answer your questions.

For more information, please contact: Ofelia Rivas: uyarivas@hotmail.com

See related articles"
"EPA Blows Whistle on Tohono O'odham Officials Over Dump"
"EPA Complicit in Hazardous Dump"

http://bsnorrell.blogspot.com/2007/03/epa-blows-whistle-on-tohono-oodham.html
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Other news from Mexico:
Supermodels for Oaxaca Claim First Victory: Halt Miss USA pageant events in Oaxaca:
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US Oil Drain...
Ex-Auditor Says He Was Told to Be Lax on Oil Fees
By EDMUND L. ANDREWS
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/29/business/29royalty.html

WASHINGTON, March 28 — A former top auditor at the Interior Department accused senior officials on Wednesday of prohibiting him and other investigators from recovering hundreds of millions of dollars in underpayments from oil and gas companies that drill on federal land and in federal waters.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

UPDATED: Peltier, 'My Life is My Sundance' Theater

Photo: Lakota actor Doug Foote in theater production, Leonard Peltier: "My Life Is My Sundance" in Boulder. (Photos by Keith and Dayna)
Slide show: http://www.slide.com/r/uNLGRS0wuT83pyBGFKdkH9KQ19zDR6F2?referrer=emcd
LPDC WEBSITE:
http://www.leonardpeltier.net/
Contact for play: Producers Cathie and Paul Soderman: warriorartists@aol.com http://www.warriorartists.com/
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UPDATE: Message from Harvey Arden
"Everyone's delighted this old whiteman will take Leonard's bullets. What a way to go!"
Responding to questions about the theater production, Harvey said:
"No, the play wasn't cancelled. It had 12 wonderful performances. It HAS been attacked by at least one FBI surrogate and remains unmentioned (as yet) in the national press, though was well-reviewed by press in Boulder & Denver when it played. We're hoping to take it on the road. It WAS mentioned in NDN journalist Brenda Norrell's new website CENSORED -- which features NDN subjects the corporate media conveniently ignore, as they've ignored Leonard for decades, except for an occasional hatchet job. There was, however, no cancelling or censoring of the production of MY LIFE IS MY SUN DANCE. Every performance brought audiences to tears, outrage & inspiration; I myself have never seen a theater audience more profoundly moved or shaken; sustained standing applause for Lakota actor Doug Foote's incandescent performance were powerful experiences in themselves. I doubt there's anything on Broadway today even remotely as moving as this play. Are there other theaters withthe grit and integrity to stage Cathie Quigley-Soderman's wondrous production? There's already an offer for a potential London production. We'll see. I'd rather see a major production here in the States touring every regional theater in the land. Leonard has a rare parole hearin in December \'08 (the last was in 1993, next--if needed--in 2017.). Pulitzer-Prize-winning (ha!) production of this amazing piece of theater could help win Leonard's freedom, just as Hurricane Carter's movie did for him. Leonard's 63rd birthday will be September 12; two weeks later I myself will turn 72. I have a dream: walking at Leonard's side as he walks out of prison a free man. If he's assassinated at that moment -- as some in e-mails to me have hopefully suggested will happen -- I would be honored to take the bullets for him. So would many tens of millions of other decent people around this indecent planet we've created. May Creator watch over the two of us -- and over the many many millions of us. Let decency reign. Free Leonard Peltier!"
--Harvey Arden
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About Lakota actor Doug Foote
Doug Foote who is Lakota from the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in South Dakota, plays the lead in the Theatre 13 production. It's his first speaking role and he feels honored to fill the shoes of the activist.
"What has he done, and what he has fought for, I too have been through that," Foote told The Denver Rocky Mountain News. "I am very honored and humbled to play that part of Leonard Peltier."
Foote served a tour of duty in Iraq. He suffered a knee injury when an improvised explosive device went off. He's a fancy dancer and a drummer who hopes to return to his tribe to work as a youth counselor.
Foote is part of an all-Native cast for "My Life Is My Sun Dance." The play is set inside Peltier's prison cell, where he is serving two life terms for the June 1975 murders of two FBI agents on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota.
Get the Story:Actor feels honor taking Peltier role (The Denver Rocky Mountain News 3/15)Username: indianz@indianz.com, Password: indianz
Seven Days (The Colorado Springs Independent 3/15)
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Special thanks to Steph for permisssion to publish this review:

Transcendent Magic:
The world premiere of "My Life Is My Sun Dance",
A play written by Leonard Peltier with Harvey Arden


© by Stephanie M. Schwartz, Freelance Writer email: SilvrDrach@Gmail.com
Member, Native American Journalists Association (NAJA)
Photos © Keith Rabin, Evergreen Colorado March 2007

Boulder, Colorado March 16, 2007

Live theater can be magic. The goal of actors and directors is to perfect illusion onstage so as to transport the audience into their world; to become one with them, to care about them. Those moments are sometimes rare but always beautiful. The illusion of theater, perfected as an art, becomes true magic.

Last night, in a small blackbox theater on an upper floor of the Boulder [Colorado] Museum of Contemporary Art, an audience of ab My Life Is My Sun Dance, was a book published in 1999 by the Native American political prisoner, Leonard Peltier, with Harvey Arden as his editor. It is a collection of Peltier’s essays, poems, and reflections on his life and his work from within prison walls, his love for his People and cultural traditions, and his understanding that through forgiveness, through “forgiving the unforgivable”, comes healing; that forgiveness and fair treatment is the real power within each person.

Peltier’s words were originally adapted to solo readings by his editor, devoted friend and supporter, Harvey Arden. Now, in 2007 and ever-more timely, the words have been adapted to stage by Harvey Arden, Cathie Quigley-Soderman, and Doug Foote, directed by Quigley-Soderman, and produced by Warrior Artists Productions along with the Museum’s internal Theater 13. The production stars Lakota actor, Doug Foote, as Leonard Peltier, and features Doug Foote’s Good Feather Drum/Singers (Robert Ironshield, Nick Foote, and Mark Silentbear). Intermission speakers and singers vary by performance.

Those are the facts. But what the facts don’t depict was last night’s opening night performance. Transcendent magic. A performance so profound, so powerful, that it brought the audience to tear-flowing, stunned silence followed by a standing ovation. That 71 year old Harvey Arden stood during intermission, with a talking feather in his hand and tears in his eyes as he spoke authentically of the real power and tragedy of Leonard Peltier, was enough to touch the hearts of everyone there. Southern Cherokee singer JD Nash stopped in for one night, one intense song, giving his own searing message of choice and hope as a gift to the audience. Cast singer Mark Silentbear offered up his own composition, Peltier, as a haunting, evocative memory while the Good Feather Drum, singing and playing from time to time, brought the reality and the beauty of the Lakota Traditional Ways alive. Moreover, the “technicals” were superb with the so-brief historical film clips, back-lit shadow work, and the unique lighting techniques which brought attention and emphasis to the riveting words.

But it was Doug Foote, Wiyaka Waste, from the Standing Rock Lakota Reservation of South and North Dakota who created the greatest miracle. A champion Fancy Dancer and Ceremonial Singer, fluent in his Lakota language, not long back from being injured during two Tours of Duty in Iraq, Foote is new to lead-acting but obviously not new to pain, individual or collective or cultural. Doug Foote walked onto that stage but, as was witnessed by everyone there, a gripping, indisputable metamorphosis took place. As spirit flowed through him, the face, the body language, the soul became Leonard Peltier. Rarely does an actor obtain this level of transcendence. But Doug Foote not only managed it but merged the audience right along with him, into the prison cell, the life, into the heart, the song, and into the forgiveness of Leonard Peltier.

It all started during the time of the horrific 1970’s Reign of Terror on the Oglala Lakota Sioux Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, an infamous time of great violence and mutual corruption between tribal officials and U.S. government employees. Two FBI agents were killed during a gun battle on Reservation land on which numerous Lakota men, women, and children were camped. A Lakota man was also killed but his death has never been investigated. Leonard Peltier was convicted of murdering the two FBI agents after everyone else was acquitted as having acted in self-defense. His was the sole conviction, a conviction based on untruth and hate, a vendetta.

The United States Courts have since admitted that Peltier’s conviction of murder was based on incomplete, misleading, withheld, and out-right fraudulent evidence. The U.S. Prosecutor has even conceded they do not know who actually shot the two FBI agents.

It was the Freedom of Information Act which allowed Peltier’s attorneys to discover the lies, manipulation, and deceit perpetrated in his original trial. Yet, a new trial was denied with the accusation that Peltier, by virtue of his presence at the time of the gun battle, had “aided and abetted” even though that was never defined as to how he might have aided and abetted anything. Clearly, the government’s “own” had been killed and someone must pay. Peltier didn’t shoot those FBI agents but he has sacrificed for it with his life’s years.

For 31 years, exactly one-half of his lifetime now, Peltier has been behind prison bars. Over and over, misconduct and malfeasance on the part of the legal system seems to have permeated every facet of Leonard Peltier's life in prison and his court case. Yet he remains a model prisoner, establishing numerous humanitarian projects within the prison system as well as back on the Pine Ridge Reservation.

The late Pope John Paul II, the Dalai Lama, Amnesty International, International Indian Treaty Council, the UN Commission on Human Rights, the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights, Sister Helen Prejean, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Coretta Scott King, Mikhail Gorbachev, Gloria Steinem, Wilma Mankiller, Rigoberta Menchu Tum, Robert Redford, Barbra Streisand, The Rev. Jesse Jackson, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, National Congress of American Indians, the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Center for Human Rights, the Human Rights Commission of Spain, the Belgian Parliament, the European Parliament, and a host of other notables all have worked, petitioned, and pleaded for his release.

Yet, still, the United States government bows to the pressure of vengeful FBI protests and demonstrations and allows this man, now 62 years old and in ill health, to continue to be unfairly imprisoned.

If the FBI had hoped to send a “message” to indigenous people with his imprisonment, they were successful. But it isn’t the message of fear they intended. In truth, for the American Indian Nations as well as the world at large, the continued imprisonment of Leonard Peltier has shown that the best of humanity is found right in himself, in the nobility of a spirit so confronted with the treachery and ugliness of life that it has transcended and become a beacon and message of hope, courage, and integrity for his People and for all people. Leonard Peltier has become the Nelson Mandela of America.

For more information on Leonard Peltier, visit the website of the Leonard Peltier Defense Committee, www.leonardpeltier.net
For more information on Harvey Arden, visit his website, www.haveyouthought.com
For more information on Warrior Artists Productions, visit their website at www.warriorartists.com Additional photos may be seen at www.SilvrDrach.homestead.com/Schwartz_2007_Mar_17.html
Stephanie M. Schwartz may be reached at SilvrDrach@Gmail.com
The written words of Stephanie M. Schwartz may be viewed at www.SilvrDrach.homestead.com

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Canada's Military Plots War Crimes Against Indigenous People


CANADA’S MILITARY PLOTS “WAR CRIMES” AGAINST INDIGENOUS PEOPLE

Mohawk Nation News
March 27 2007

It looks like the psychotics from the U.S. have hijacked Canadian policy taking Canada back to medieval blood lust. A 250-page field manual on counterinsurgency is being put out by Canada's Department of National Defense DND for its soldiers and officers. Jon Elmer of Global Research wrote on March 25, 2007, about these new methods of fighting insurgents like the “Taliban”, the “Chechnyans” and the “Mohawk Warrior Society”. Wait a minute, that’s us!

Let’s not kid ourselves. The main purpose of an army is to shoot and kill. Does Canada ’s Parliament or the Canadian people know about this genocidal action that is being done in their name? Since when is it legal to make plans to attack us?

If the DND see us as foreign insurgents, they obviously recognize our independent nationality. So when did they attempt to negotiate with us on a nation-to-nation basis? Under international accords that Canada has signed all countries must resolve differences by diplomatic means. War and the use of weapons to dominate are illegal.

Why are weapons being pointed at us? We are defenseless. Why are we being compared with the Taliban who have rockets, artillery and modern weapons to blow up U.S. , Canadian and British tanks that are inches thick?

These infiltrators and hijackers of Canadian institutions are attempting to break the old treaties of peace between us. Our historic alliances are well documented.

Certain individuals acting on behalf of the multinational corporations and banks want to send in the military to kill us and complete the theft of our land. These are worth billions in real estate development and extraction of resources. People and resources are not the property of multinational corporations and banks. Slavery was declared illegal 150 years ago. They think every person who is different is an enemy that they can spy on, create problems for and eliminate.

Public Security Minister Stockwell Day and Prime Minister Stephen Harper have to be brought before the International Criminal Court in The Hague to be prosecuted for proposing war crimes against us. We want to take our complaints to the Mohawk Nation, to the Confederacy, to the Canadian people, to the United Nations and to the world.

We are being called “terrorists”. We see a lot of people being killed in Afganistan , Iraq and elsewhere. Are they planning to bring this kind of violence here?

We are always ready to talk with the colonial governments even when they put a gun to our heads. For 500 years we have extended our hand of friendship to them. We believe that people should live in peace and friendship and to look at people as equals. The majority of Canadians want to learn about peace from us and to understand democracy better. Canadian Governor General Michaelle Jean, where are you? You are evading your duties to us.

How did these misguided sickos manage to infiltrate the DND? They are not following the legal agenda set by the Canadian people. They want peace.

We are trying to stop the subversion of law and order, to get Canada to obey its own laws, agreements, promises, treaties, laws of nations and the Charter of the United Nations. We have a legitimate government. We are not a line of ducks to be shot at in the amusement park.

The manual says, “Insurgent wars are characterized by their tendency to be local and often popular movements, rather than the traditional military conflicts between states. This type of irregular warfare has confounded U.S. and NATO forces in Iraq and Afghanistan respectively” and “successes are few and far between”. The U.S. and Canadian armies need practice so they are bringing the same blood bath here. They want more chances to reach for their guns and riot gear to confront us. Does nothing embarrass them?

We can tell this use of us as targets has already started. A few months ago Tyendinaga was suddenly swarmed by a long line of army trucks filled with troops. They claimed to be lost! Yeh!

In 1939 Europe saw the result of excessive militarism. It caused a war in which over 60 million were killed. Now these kinds of men want to “goose step” into our communities. They’re mesmerized by the movies glamorizing mercenary killings and the “History Channel’s” portrayal of Hitler, the Nazis and the Fascists in Europe and the U. S.

Gen. David Petraeus is the original author of the manual being used to divert the Canadian military from its original protective role. He took command of U.S. forces in Iraq in early 2007. Did his methods work? No way! Violence breeds violence. Yeh! Now they’re trying to get out because they’re getting their asses kicked. The average U.S. citizen has had enough. They don’t want anybody killed on any side. This Svengali has seduced the gullible minds at DND who can apply his failed schemes in Canada and elsewhere.
Maj. D.J. Lambert, the lead author of the DND version, points out that “Canadian Forces are actively engaged in various levels of confrontation with at least three ongoing insurgencies -- in Afghanistan , in Haiti and with domestic indigenous organizations in Canada , such as the Mohawk Warrior Society”. Government policy has pushed our people into poverty, starvation and death in the streets of Winnipeg and other Canadian cities. Why are they going after the weak?
Canada calls us their “citizens” but treat us like foreign insurgents. They are working against the Supreme Court of Canada which has told them time and time again they must treat Indigenous People with respect. DND covert actions are undermining this relationship by treating us as enemies.
The manual states, “Indigenous resistance in Canada are insurgencies because they are animated by the goal of altering political relationships with both the Canadian government and at the local level -- within indigenous reservations themselves -- "through the threat of, or use of, violence". We want to maintain the true relationship between us and the colonist as one of friendship. This definition of insurgency is so broad that any democratic action qualifies. We have made no threat of violence against the Canadian state. ”Canadian Forces have been used by the federal government in high-profile land confrontations with indigenous communities and protestors in standoffs with the Mohawks of Kanehsatake in 1990 and with the Ojibway at Ipperwash in 1995”. According to the DND, the military were at Ipperwash. This means the sniper who killed Dudley George might have been a soldier and not an Ontario Provincial Policeman. Is this why Corporal Deane and two other OPP key witnesses died in mysterious car crashes when they were just about to appear as witnesses at the Ipperwash Inquiry?

In our peaceful demonstrations at Kanehsatake, Gustafsen, Ipperwash, Six Nations, Grassy Narrows , and other places our legal rights were violated. Some lost their lives. The inquiries prove that. We know they want to provoke a confrontation to justify killing us. We won’t give them that.

In the January 12th 2004 covert operation at Kanehsatake, the government sent in heavily armed mercenaries to knock out the citizens’ police commission. The disinformation campaign made the weapons look like a Mohawk arsenal when in fact they were all supplied by the federal government.

”Canadian generals such as Leslie, Chief of Staff Rick Hillier and retired Maj. Gen. Louis MacKenzie have been outspoken critics of the Canadian military as merely a neutral middle-power and "blue-helmeted" peacekeepers”. This is what the Canadian public wants! The Canadian army is preparing to become the aggressors delivering death sentences to defenseless civilians, including infants and children, without so much as a charge or trial. These overgrown school yard bullies are still trying to play “paint ball” except they want to kill real people. Why should Canadian taxpayers pay for these “recreatech parties”?

Canadian Forces will leave Afghanistan in February 2009. "Let's not kid ourselves," Gen. Leslie said. “The enormous resources invested by the government in the transformation of Canada 's armed forces are clearly not for Afghanistan alone. It is logical to expect that we will go somewhere fairly similar to Afghanistan and do much the same sort of activity." With the whole world trying to find peace, where does he expect to go?

Stockwell Day, the Minister of Public Security, is a Pentecostal minister. He is known as a “Pharisee”, one who poses as a minister. His proposal to kill off Indians is contrary to the beliefs he espouses. He studies the Bible just like George Bush and Condoleeza Rice, who are psychopaths, liars and killers. They have no human feelings. As soon as their prayers are over, they have no qualms about ordering their military machines to go on bloody rampages.

If they kill us, we want the whole world to know they carried out premeditated murder of innocent people. The war games have to stop. We have to look out for soldiers in our backyards or their overhead choppers. They’ve been caught sniffing around our communities. We are asking all peace loving people worldwide to send your protests about this war mongering and targeting of Indigenous people to the Canadian government [harper.s@parl.ca], the Governor General [gg@gc.ca], the Queen [press@royalcollection.org.uk] and the Canadian military [http://www.forces.gc.ca/].

Kahentinetha Horn
MNN Mohawk Nation News
http://us.f520.mail.yahoo.com/ym/Compose?To=Kahentinetha2@yahoo.com http://us.f520.mail.yahoo.com/ym/Compose?To=katenies20@yahoo.com
For updates, workshops, speakers, to sign up, go to
http://www.mohawknationnews.com/
Sign the Women Title Holders Petition.


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From the web:
http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=viewArticle&code=ELM20070325&articleId=5175

Canada: Counterinsurgency Manual Shows Military's New Face
by Jon Elmer

Global Research, March 25, 2007

IPS - 2007-03-22
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TORONTO, Mar 22 (IPS) - Following closely behind their counterparts in the United States and Britain, Canada's Department of National Defence is preparing a comprehensive counter-insurgency field manual for its soldiers and officers. The manual will guide Canadian Forces doctrine and training well into the future, according to a draft edition obtained by IPS. A 250-page publication, the field manual outlines the principles and practices of fighting the kind of insurgencies that have come to define warfare for the Western powers in the 21st century, in places like Chechnya, Afghanistan and Iraq. The manual has been two years in development and is scheduled for release later this year. In it, insurgent wars are characterised by their tendency to be local and often popular movements, rather than the traditional military conflicts between states. This type of irregular warfare has confounded U.S. and NATO forces in Iraq and Afghanistan respectively, where growing insurgencies have taken a bloody toll on local populations as well as Western troops, and signs of success are few and far between. The increased prominence of the doctrine was recently on display when Gen. David Petraeus, author of the United States Army and Marine Corps counter-insurgency field manual, took command of U.S. forces in Iraq in early 2007. While perhaps as relevant as ever, counter-insurgency is not new a phenomenon, as the Canadian manual notes up front. Indigenous forces battled the Roman Empire in present-day Germany, Scotland and the Middle East two millennia ago. The British Empire fought insurgencies in 19th-century Afghanistan, as did the French in Algeria after World War Two. The U.S. withdrew from Vietnam in 1975 after a vicious decade-long counter-insurgency war against Vietnamese guerrillas. Maj. D.J. Lambert, the Canadian director of army doctrine and lead author of the manual, has cited several examples of historic Canadian counter-insurgencies, including battles with George Washington's U.S. forces or the Northwest Rebellion led by Louis Riel and the Metis in 1885. Presently, while Canada's Afghanistan mission dominates the attention and resources of the military, according to the manual, Canadian Forces are actively engaged in various levels of confrontation with at least three ongoing insurgencies -- in Afghanistan, in Haiti, as well as with domestic indigenous organisations in Canada, such as the Mohawk Warrior Society. Despite its "specific and limited aims", the First Nations rebellions in Canada are nevertheless insurgencies because they are animated by the goal of altering political relationships with both the Canadian government and at the local level -- within indigenous reservations themselves -- "through the threat of, or use of, violence", the manual states. In recent years, Canadian Forces have been used by the federal government in high-profile land confrontations with indigenous communities and protestors, including lethal standoffs with the Mohawk community of Kanehsatake in the 1990 Oka Crisis and with the Ojibway community at Ipperwash in 1995. Canadian Forces have been present in the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince, since before the ouster of popularly-elected President Jean Bertrand Aristide in a military coup in February 2004. According to the draft manual, Canadian Forces have been "conducting COIN [counter-insurgency] operations against the criminally-based insurgency in Haiti since early 2004." Since the attacks on New York and Washington in September 2001, Canadian Forces have played a key combat role in Afghanistan, both in the U.S.-led Operation Enduring Freedom and the recent NATO mission to quell the growing uprising against the Western-backed government of Hamid Karzai. Today in Afghanistan, Canadian Forces from the Royal Canadian Regiment in Gagetown, New Brunswick are engaged in NATO's first major offensive of the season against what are broadly labeled Taliban insurgents. Code named Operation Achilles, the mission is characterised by NATO and Canadian officials as a pre-emptive attack on Taliban forces in Helmand Province who are reportedly preparing to launch a "spring offensive" against the presence of foreign troops. Maj. Gen. Ton van Loon, NATO's commander in Southern Afghanistan, said in a statement this week that Operation Achilles is the largest combined NATO-Afghan mission to date, involving 4,500 NATO troops and upwards of 1,000 Afghan National Army forces at its peak. Meanwhile, an Afghanistan-focused policy group, the Senlis Council, released the "alarming" results of a survey this week which polled 17,000 people in southern and eastern Afghanistan. The survey showed that one-half of respondents believe the Western-led war will fail to defeat the Taliban, and 87 percent of respondents believed that the tactics used by the Western forces in dealing with the insurgency were "not right". "The results from the survey are extremely alarming because they indicate that the international community is in serious trouble in Afghanistan," Senlis Council president Norine MacDonald said in a statement Monday. "A return of the Taliban into power would have grave consequences for both the people of Afghanistan and for global security." The counter-insurgency manual is one part of a significant modernising and restructuring of the Canadian Forces that the DND is billing as an effort to create a more effective force in fighting for Canada's "national interests" in the post-Cold War global order. But the changes are not only doctrinal; the intensity of the combat in Afghanistan is something Canadians haven't seen since at least the 1950s, when Canadian Forces fought in Korea. "It is a fascinating time to be a Canadian soldier," Lt. Gen. Andrew Leslie, head of the army, told journalists at a recent policy briefing at the Fraser Institute, a conservative research institute in Vancouver. "We are no longer a blunt instrument relegated solely to watching from the sidelines or inter-positioning ourselves between two formerly warring factions," Leslie said. Canadian generals such as Leslie, Chief of Staff Rick Hillier and retired Maj. Gen. Louis MacKenzie have been outspoken critics of the accuracy and utility of the long-fostered national self-image of the Canadian military as a neutral middle-power and "blue-helmeted" peacekeeper. While the Canadian Forces commitment in Afghanistan is currently slated to end in February 2009, "Let's not kid ourselves," Gen. Leslie said. The enormous resources invested by the government in the transformation of Canada's armed forces are clearly not for Afghanistan alone, he said, adding: "It is logical to expect that we will go somewhere fairly similar to Afghanistan and do much the same sort of activity." This story is part one of a two-part series on the transformation of Canada's military and humanitarian missions. With additional reporting by Anthony Fenton in Vancouver.
Global Research Articles by Jon Elmer

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BLACKWATER NORTH OPENS NEAR CHICAGO

Read more about the rise of Blackwater mercenaries from author Jeremy Scahill:

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&rlz=1T4ADBR_enUS214US214&q=Jeremy+Scahill+Blackwater+mercenaries


Blackwater opens training facility near Chicago
http://www.blackwaterusa.com/training/bwnorth.asp


Press release: Training Schedule Now Available for Blackwater North

Blackwater North is now offering training courses in Mount Carroll, IL.
Mount Carroll, IL (PRWEB) March 20, 2007 -- Blackwater USA's newest facility, Blackwater North, is announcing its 2007 training schedule and enrollment instructions through its website. Students are now able to access the website and review a full training schedule and enrollment forms.
The website is available through http://www.blackwaterusa.com/ under "training."
Blackwater North is a full service training center providing safe and realistic training environments on eighty acres consisting of seven flat ranges, a known distance range, an unknown distance range, a combat town range, a climbing/rappelling/shooting tower, a dismounted course, and a confidence course. Staffed by fully vetted and screened instructors with military and/or law enforcement expertise, Blackwater allows for the most comprehensive training for government, military, law enforcement, peace support operations, and qualified civilian customers.
Blackwater USA stands in support of security, peace, freedom, and democracy everywhere.
For more information, please visit http://www.blackwaterusa.com/ or call (815) 244-2900.

Western Shoshone welcomed at Indigenous Summit in Guatemala

Photo: Western Shoshone Larson Bill, documenting
gold mining in Western Shoshone territory, is among
Shoshone in the delegation to the Guatemala Summit.
Photo Brenda Norrell


Continental Indigenous Summit Abya Yala

Western Shoshone Nation Attends Historic Indigenous Gathering

Iximche , Guatemala - Arriving this morning in Guatemala City to attend the III Continental Indigenous Summit in Iximche, Western Shoshone National Council member Joe Kennedy established diplomatic precedent for the hemisphere by entering the Maya Territories on his Western Shoshone passport. The continental summit of Nations and Pueblos of the Indigenous Peoples of the continent Abya Yala (the Americas ) is now taking place at the sacred ceremonial precinct of Iximche, some 80 kilometers from Guatemala City . The event is being attended by indigenous delegations from Alaska to Argentina with over 2000 participants.Arriving in Iximche, Mr. Kennedy stated, "I feel good, and I feel honored that the Guatemalan authorities welcomed me into the country recognizing me as a Western Shoshone national. The Indigenous Peoples here are facing the same kind of issues we are facing in the north, and face the same threat by the multi-national corporations such as mining and environmental contamination. These affect the traditional foundation of our nations which is the land, the air, the water and spirituality."The III Continental Summit of Indigenous Nations and Pueblos of Abya Yala marks a new phase in the relationship between the nations of Indigenous Peoples and the government states of the Americas. One of the most telling examples of this fact is the presence of the minister of foreign relations for the Bolivian government, Mr. David Choquehuanca who on Monday addressed the inaugural session of the Summit Abya Yala in representation of President Evo Morales of Bolivia . President Morales himself is scheduled to arrive at the Summit Abya Yala on Friday to attend the official closure of the five day gathering. One of the specific proposals being brought forward to the summit is the delivery to Mr. Morales of an Archive of Treaties between the government states of the continent and the nations of Indigenous Peoples of Abya Yala."These treaties must be honored. They are supposed to be the supreme law of the land." said Mr. Kennedy, referring in particular to the Ruby Valley Treaty of 1863 which is the foundation of several legal victories by the Western Shoshone Nation in the international arena.The Western Shoshone won a victory on March 10, 2006 in a decision by the United Nations Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) wherein the US government was urged to "freeze, desist, and stop actions being taken or threatened to be taken against the Western Shoshone peoples of the Western Shoshone Nation. The Western Shoshone delegation at the III Continental Indigenous Summit Abya Yala, which includes Western Shoshone members Sandy Dann and Larson Bill is to present before the summit on the implications of the CERD decision in terms of other Nations of Indigenous Peoples of the continent Abya Yala (the Americas )."The history of racial discrimination in terms of the relationship between our Indigenous Peoples and the government states has roots in the Doctrine of Discovery and the Papal Bull Inter Caetera of 1493," stated Mr. Kennedy. "It is time that the present governments step up to these historical injustices, and take action to stomp out all forms of racial discrimination."The Doctrine of Discovery is one of the items on the agenda of the continental issues to be addressed in Iximche, at the III Continental Indigenous Summit Abya Yala.###http://www.wsdp.org/
http://www.tonatierra.org
/http://www.iiicumbreabyayala.org/

Links to photos:
http://www.iiicumbreabyayala.org/galeria
http://www.servindi.org/archivo/2007/1869
http://picasaweb.google.com/marcbecker2/CumbreIndGena
http://www.tonatierra.org/

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Rumsfeld torture case thrown out

Rumsfeld won't be prosecuted for torture: Prisoners were burned, shocked, locked in boxes:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070327/ap_on_go_ot/detainee_abuse_rumsfeld

FOUND: Navajo boy missing in Arizona

ALEX JOE WAS FOUND IN CENTRAL PHOENIX:
Fourteen-year-old had been camping in a Phoenix park:
http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/0329wv-boyfound29-ON.html



MISSING NAVAJO: 14-year old Alexander Darwin Joe, goes by Alex, missing since Monday, March 19, 2007, last seen in Surprise, Ariz., on Tasha drive. He is 6 feet, 1 inch tall, and weighs about 190. He has a dark complexion, with short hair brown hair, and has a small, visible scar on his right eyebrow. Alex was last seen wearing a school uniform: a navy blue polo t-shirt, khaki color pants, carrying a black backpack, he was headed to school, but had never made it in that morning. Contact family: (623) 734-6234 or (602)403-1899 or you can contact Eva Atencio (Alex's mother) @ 623-734-6234.





Racism: Houston Mayor Pro Tem Insults American Indians

For today's headlines, go to:
http://www.bsnorrell.blogspot.com

UPDATE: April 14, 2007
Racist radio talk and Apocalypto
A new petition demands Mel Gibson apologize to the Mayan community for telling a Mayan scholar, a woman, to "F--k off" during a talk to young filmmakers in California. (Scroll down for more information.)
Radio talk host Don Imus is out after his racist remarks, following widespread coverage by the national media. However, Houston Councilman Michael Berry, who serves as mayor pro tem, insulted American Indians and blacks and is still on the air.

UPDATE: NEWS FLASH, Thurs., April 5, 2007:

Houston Councilman Michael Berry says his racist radio talk was wrong:

http://bsnorrell.blogspot.com/2007/04/racism-houston-councilman-admits-he-was.html

Original post with reader responses:

Houston Councilman Michael Berry, who also serves as Mayor Pro Tem, insulted American Indian listeners during his talk show on slavery and Indians on KPRC Radio 950. The American Indian Genocide Museum in Houston urges others to respond:

Berry on talk radio:

" We need to stop wasting all this time and energy apologizing to the American Indian, which we continue to do ... We give them casinos, we give them special licenses, we give them special scholarships and why I don't understand ..."

" We conquered them, that's history - Hello "'

" You got to be against giving welfare to the American Indians because of the fact , that 200 years ago they were whipped in a war. Lets just call it what it is, they lost a war."


Listen to segments:

http://950kprc.com/pages/berry.html

http://950kprc.com/cc-common/podcast.html
(Click link for March 27th - 8:AM Show. He brings up Slavery and Indians towards the middle half of the show. )

http://950kprc.com/cc-common/podcast/single_podcast.html?podcast=michaelberry.xml (Another segment. Click on the 6:AM time slot - March 27th , 2007)


Indianz.com: "Houston Official: 'Stop Apologizing to American Indians'" http://www.indianz.com/News/2007/002096.asp

New link with transcript of Berry's comments:http://watchingthewatchers.org/news/1194/houston-councilman-stop-apologizing
Comment:
"Wow, sounds like someone needs to give him a small pox infested blanket."
Posted by visitor at 2007-04-02 02:39 PM

Berry on talk radio:
"If you're against apologizing for slavery then you gotta be against giving welfare to the American Indians because of the fact that 200 years ago they were whipped in a war. And let's just call it what it is: They lost a war. Why don't we go hand the Germans a few million dollars and the Italians and the Japanese -- OK, so we did rebuild their country -- we don't continue to give them aid because they sit around whining about a war from 200 years ago. Are you kidding me? Seriously? And what's interesting is, it's one thing when we do stupid things as a government and we oppose it. Whats interesting is how many people out there believe thats a good idea -- "Oh, you gotta help the American Indians, what we did was so wrong." What'd we do? We conquered them. That's history. Hello!"
.
READER COMMENTS:


21 Comments

Anonymous said...
All my life I have been raised to "Love one another". What's this guys problem? In the fIrst place Texas never belonged to ANYONE!In the second place, I lived in Texas for many years and just had to leave, to be FREE! I have met many colors of TEXANS. If it weren't for the People of Color working for lousy pay,lousy treatment and lousy attitudes TEXAS would not be "A Whole 'NutherCountry" as they so brag.As tribal members we ALL work hard, we all don't work in casinos, believe me, if you could have one, YOU WOULD! That's the gist of it. I am not a google/blogger or other or anonymous! leave place for a name!
March 28, 2007 3:21 PM
http://www.blogger.com/profile/08213046000765279503 said...
Hi,Thanks so much for your comment. Plase feel free to leave your name and other info, if you like, on the comment post. There's the option of anonymous for those who choose.Best, Brenda
March 28, 2007 3:42 PM
Anonymous said...
That Houston mayor better be careful. If he was truly "Indian", then he'd know that us natives have powerful medicine. Tsk...tsk.
March 29, 2007 1:58 PM
Anonymous said...
You, Mr. Mike Berry, are ignorant to the point of stupid. How did you get in that seat you're in now!? Study the treaties between the U.S. government and us Indians before you make such a dumb statement. We did not lose a war. The U.S. government signed a treaty with us in 1868 that they have yet to honor. Read that before you make any more ignorant statements.
March 29, 2007 10:05 PM
Anonymous said...
So many thins can be said even further back than that . If it weren't for the Indian way of democracy within the tribes Americans woul've never set up the US goverment as it is. It would probably still be under the ruling of a King or Queen or some dictator and this guy would still be a lousy peasant. As for the point at hand I why isn't this made more public about what he has said?? If it were aimed at a black or other minority this would have made headlines. OUTRAGEOUS!!
March 30, 2007 9:41 AM
Anonymous said...
My name is Carey Waubanascum; I am Menominee Indian, living on the Menominee Indian Reservation. I have joined the United States Marine Corps and after words joined the United States Navy. The Montgomery G.I. Bill is helping me pay for my education. No Native Grant.I am not a conquered people. I am a Marine, a Sailor, a full time employee, apartime student, and most of all I am a mother. Funny, I would like to know where this free Native College is.During my 11 years of active duty service, I have made many friends of many races (I miss them, a lot.). My best friend is white, and we still talk to this day. Her name is Leah and she is from TexasJ I have never felt that I need an apology from her or any other person on this earth for our history. Nor did I think that have a Casino was a good idea, I see no money from our Casino. I have always worked hard for what I have and always will. Most of the Native Casinos were not given to us as a gift. But each state that has a Casino is receiving monies from these Casinos. Even for whites to have better school, highways, or whatever that state see fit. When money is involved people of all races get greedy.I greatly appreciate your time for reading me e-mail.Thank you,Carey WaubanascumUSMC/USNFull time work and mother, part-time college
March 30, 2007 2:10 PM
Anonymous said...
To Mr. Berry,I served and retired from the Navy after 22 years of service. I am a service connected disabled Veteran. I served proudly and honorably. What I have is because of what I earned it's not a handout. The same goes for Native Americans. We are proud and honorable people we just want respect and acknowledgement that our ancestors were not conquered but tricked, lied and killed for their land.There are only 3 recognized tribes in Texas. Most of us are Urban Native Americans and we work, study and live just like any other American citizen. We expect nothing from the government. Why? Because if we do, our way of life will be taken away in one form or another. The Genocide of our culture is still ongoing as we speak. Most Natives in Texas are not recognized as Native Americans but classified as Mexican Americans. Texas Natives were made to give up their Native American status and say they were Mexican after the Mexican American War so that Texas would be allowed into the Union. The US at the time didn't want another Indian welfare State.These Texas Natives that are not recognized can't legally follow their ancestral culture and have to live in fear. They can't wear their regalia in powwows or partake in sacred ceremonies without fear the govenment will come down on them for not being a bonafide US Indian. Why don't they target the cowboys that wear feathers in their hats at the country western bars or rodeos? Or target hunters that have their birds stuffed as trophies?We just want to be allowed to be who we are and left alone to pray and partake in our ancestral ceremonies without fear of pursecution by the US government.Thank you for your time and know that we do vote and can campaign for someone that is not a racist.
March 30, 2007 5:47 PM
Anonymous said...
Hi - this guy IS an idiot but he's not the Mayor of Houston. He's the Pro Tem - which means he's a city council member. Mainly, he has a talk show that thrives on controversial subjects (Rush Limbaugh type of guy). I live in Houston so I had to let everyone know - like every city in America we have idiot city council members - but he is not our Mayor.
March 31, 2007 8:38 AM
Anonymous said...
mr berry, maybe you should come up to REDLAKE, MINNESOTA and talk crazy, we'll send you home with a WALLEYE stuffed up your political ass. TEXAS mayor doesn't know what he's talking about. I hope in the next little election he doesn't make IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
April 1, 2007 7:22 AM
Laura B. said...
What an awful thing to say. I hope you apologize to everybody you offended. I teach on an Indian reservation, and my students are wonderful. --- The U.S. government screwed up and completely ruined life for Indians, the people who were here way before Europeans were, and I really hope that in my lifetime they will admit that. You can do a good thing here and at least admit that YOU were wrong.
April 1, 2007 7:53 PM
Anonymous said...
" We conquered them, that's history - Hello "'You call stealing,killing of innocent women and children and old people conquering..when your type of people stole the land..then turned to killing of children and women and elders and you call that a whipping..I hope the people of Houston see's the type person you are...and when re-election comes you take the whipping you deserve..I feel sorry for the people of Houston who has a racist idiot as a Pro Tem Mayor..
April 1, 2007 8:13 PM
Anonymous said...
I am very offended by this CITY COUNCIL MANS comments. If you stop and think back Native Americans were the first true Americans. I can't really even be mad at this GUY who says things like this, I have to feel Sorry for people like him. When racist comments like these are made it makes me sick. Yes I am native american and yes I do get help from the government, but we live on a piece of land that is 6 miles by 12 miles long that we were forced on to by bigots like this man. We have have 28,000 enrolled members with a 70 percent unemployement rate because of this small space. He is more than welcome to come up to our reservation and see what our way of life is. I Sincerly hope that he THINKS before he speaks out again.
April 3, 2007 11:33 AM
Anonymous said...
The Treaty of 1868 was written because both parties desired peace, so you didn't conquer anyone.
April 3, 2007 1:44 PM
GILA RIVER - said...
Ha ha it’s funny how he talks about winning a war..... I mean if you think about it in a sense we gave them life!!! We could have killed them all ... but we didn’t and what did we get....- Land stolen- People killed- Women raped (sorry white girls it aint your fault- Native American women are just that damn pretty)- Kids taken away- moved to concentration camps... (Reservations)- And in some cases our traditions were taken away.... I aint asking for a apology - but I’ am here demanding whats mine... you know the sad thing is that once again we are helping you in a way ... because of your illness and your sick and twisted ideas an the ripping of my peoples culture ... there are natives out there suffering and its takes strong warriors to realize the need for a change.... no thanks required ... unlike your society are culture teaches us to help those in need of help ...so keep your apology, your sicko cereal killers, and your dirty ignorant thoughts to your self - cause you know what they say its never nice for a guest to wear out their welcome .!!!!!
April 3, 2007 2:55 PM
Anonymous said...
I think its important to bring up a few points regarding your comments about Native Americans. First you say that "we" are constantly apologizing to Native people and using considerable resources to do so. Where are these apologies? Why haven't we heard them? How much money has been spent? Please show me evidence of this. Second, when you say that land has been given to the Indians you are mistaken. Land that is in the possession of tribes is because of land cessions brought by treaty agreements. You have not given us this land is was ours in the first place, we just have smaller amounts of it now. As for the special laws where Native people can have casinos, it is written into our constitution. American Indian nations are just that, nations which have their own laws and can negotiate with the United States via government to government. Look at Article VI in the Constitution and you will find that that treaties are "the supreme law of the land." As independent nations, we have the ability to operate casinos without needing your approval or the United States government approval. As far as the issues that happened 150 years ago they are tragic and horrendous. It did not end there. For instance, look at the thousands of children forced into boarding schools. These children were beaten, raped and murdered by the hundreds. Boarding schools were commonplace until the 1950's. How about the removal of Native children to White homes by the thousands by the government? They believed that if the parents were poor they should not be allowed to have children. This happened until the 1970s. Native people were not allowed to practice their own religion until 1978 legally. How long have you been able to practice yours? I would suggest you go to church more often after making comments like you did. So I suggest next time you open your ignorant mouth, you should first acquire the knowledge of such issues and offer an apology to all Native people that you have insulted. I am an Anishinaabe from Red Lake, MN.
April 3, 2007 7:30 PM
kayo said...
... the comments made by mr berry, houston's mayor pro tem- emphasis on the pro tem- were and are a a disgrace- the energy behind thewords is what is so disturbing to me... mr berry has , in my opinion disgraced his city, his state, his family, but most of all himself... i hope the constiuents of houston, in the future, vote for someone with character as their councilmanand that next time a pro tem is needed, better care and consideration would be used in making that choice- i think one need merely really look at this person's picture, and can see to the heart of this matter....whoever raised this boy , again, in my opinion, should hang their head in shame along with him.......my prayer is, in time, with experience and understanding, this one finds his way- that it is not a way of hate- and that he finds his grace
April 4, 2007 9:35 AM
Anonymous said...
Dear Mr. Berry,My name is Sarah and I represent the American Indians/Alaskan Natives that are federally employed with the Department of Defense at Fort Drum, New York. Although I am a registered member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, I have the pleasure of serving all tribes and all matters concerning us. I received an email from a family member in Oklahoma, and upon reading it was discussed at your knowledge, or lack there of, of Native American/American Indian culture and opportunities. I started to wonder if you had ever met and “Indian” and truly listened to who they were or where they come from. I would like to introduce myself to you so that way you can have someone in mind the next time you go on a rant about something you know nothing about.I grew up in a small community called Honobia, Oklahoma. The latest survey made said the population was 128. With in the last couple of years the state has been paving the roads. Many are still dirt. I am only 27 years old and can still remember using party lines as our phone system. Most of the residents are poor, and still work a more than 40 hour a week job. The average income is less than $20,000. Many of us come from broken homes. Like in my situation, my grandmother raised my two sisters and me. We lived in an “Indian Home” which means that the Choctaw Nation (Not the US Government) build her a home on land she already owned. We received commodities, or free food, from the Choctaw Nation (Not the US Government). After I graduated from High School, in a class of 15 students, I joined the US Army. I served our country for 8 years so that people like you can have the very freedoms you come to expect. Let it be said that with out “Indians Soldiers” like me you wouldn’t have the freedom of speech you are so glad to have today. I have been a DoD federal employee for 5 years. I am now continuing my education in college. I receive my GI Bill from the Veterans Administration. The money I get to go to school from the government is the money I earned not because I am an Indian, but because I am a Veteran. As for the free college the US is tired of paying for---get real—the US Government doesn’t pay for that. The Choctaw Nation does. It is called a higher education grant. One of the main reasons that the program exist is to combat the stigma of what the white men, like you, think of the Native American people. I hope that one day you will out grow your ignorance and truly be a man of the people. It is statements like the ones you made that set this country back to a time of racism. I hope your children never get offend because of their race. I hope they can appreciate the hard work your wife did to get to a position of respect. There are a lot of hurtful things that can be said about your wife’s background, but I hope she never has to hear them. Word can truly hurt.Thank you,Sarah Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma
April 5, 2007 10:54 AM
Anonymous said...
Dear Michael Berry,I am absolutely nauseated by your ignorant comments made regarding Native Americans. My great-grandmother was Cherokee Indian, and I am proud of that part of my heritage and saddened by the treatment of her people by expats settling in this country.You demonstrated as much sensitivity as that other ignorant Texan, President Bush when he continued his visit on his ranch while thousands of dead Katrina victims floated in the streets of New Orleans.What duplicity...you support the Houston Holocaust Museum for Jews, yet denigrate financial support for Native Americans saying they don't deserve support because they lost the war 200 years ago and they should quit whining.Shame on you! If it were not for the Navajo Code talkers, we might not have won WW II when we did and hundreds of thousands more American soldiers could have lost theirlives as a result. You stupidly said in your comments...oh yea...we did rebuild Germany and Japan...yes we did. We owe our Native Americans a debt that has never been properly repaid while spending billions and billions of dollars to support Israel since WWII ended, not to mention the funds expended on Germany, Japan, and the other countries we helped rebuild after that horrible war.The Native Americans in this country have been screwed in every way imaginable and possible. What this country has done to them is outrageous and shameful. I put theholocaust of our Native Americans above what happened to the Jews in Nazi Germany, because percentage wise, Native Americans have all but been wiped out by comparison.Are you aware Mr. Berry, that the average life span of a Navajo Indians is 31 years of age now due to depleted uranium contamination on their tribal lands from miningcompanies who irresponsibly mined uranium for nuclear weapons (which we used in the nuclear bombing of Japan that ended the war) and that they have not cleaned up after themselves? Native American lands and water are contaminated, thus radiation seeps into their homes and poisons their animals and food. Are you aware this has and continues to occur on various tribal lands throughout the entire west and southwest and that now, Indian children as young as 10 are regularly being diagnosed with incurable cancers? Sadly, the "Superfund" from long ago that was to be used to clean up Indian land hasn't occurred in the manner it should have nor have the companies responsible cleaned up as ordered to do so.I'll bet you proudly call yourself a Christian and attend church every Sunday, don't you? God forgive you for your ignorant, hard heart. You don't deserve to serve any American public in any way shape or form, especially the true Americans, our Natives AmericanIndians, whom people whose ancestors like you raped, murdered and stole from so they could have a better life from under the tyranny and oppression of the King of England.The article I read says you apologized, but in my mind this is meaningless...your words of apology ring hollow. You should never have made the comment in the first place. At my age I know that words spoken by humans come from the gut and heart first and I know bullshit when I see it. You have a dark gut and heart Mr. Berry, and an apologyfrom you is meaningless.As a good Christian, which I am sure you claim yourself to be, I suggest you volunteer on some Navajo or other Indian reservations and expose yourself to the depleteduranium they live with on a daily basis...take your family along so you can experience first hand true Native American life, then speak about what they do or do not deserve for having lost the war 200 years ago. Oh...don't want to take a chance and expose yourself and your family members to potential uranium poisoning? Perhaps after a stint volunteering you'll support a Native American Holocaust Museum and give all Native Americans their proper due.You should resign your position and withdraw from government. God help us, this country cannot tolerate any more ignorant leaders like you in Government.Peace be with you and Happy Easter.
April 6, 2007 8:36 AM
Anonymous said...
this so called mayor of houston must be some kind of idiot. he wasn't around when our people fought the whites and the federal government. they are the one's who made the treaties with us and we are owed much more than just an apology. by the way, i see so many non indians riding around in cars with tribal plates and i see many blondes and red heads at the IHS LOL
April 7, 2007 12:45 AM
Anonymous said...
What a jerk! For those that say we can't handle the truth! You don't even know the truth! Your own history did't tell you the truth. All native people's work and struggle on a daily basis. Living 2 worlds, mine and your's, I rather be living in mine, like we used too! people like him should get their heads out of their asses. From a mother on a reservation in Texas
April 13, 2007 8:51 PM
Anonymous said...
Another Imas or worse!?? This man should be fired before his next election to roll around! I'd like for him to visit a reservation, take a look around the areas, talk with the elderly and young and ask if life is all peaches and cream for them, then see if he still thinks all is given to them on silver platters. I grew up off the reservation, lived on the reservation, and then had to move off to make a living. If everything was given to me, I'd have a better life on the reservation, but because of the laws and taxes, it is difficult for businesses to begin on the reservations, therefore the lack of employment exists. Still, do you see everyone in a luxury home with all the everyday amenities: running water and electricity? This man is not only insulting the Native Americans, but seems to have a problem with any race that was forced into slavery to say "If you're against apologizing for slavery then you gotta be against giving welfare to …." Then to go on to say “Why don't we go hand the Germans a few million dollars and the Italians and the Japanese -- OK, so we did rebuild their country -- we don't continue to give them aid because they sit around whining about a war from 200 years ago.” If he were to honestly believe the Native Americans were well off and taken care of from the miss treatment, then most wouldn’t be at the poverty levels they are at today. Native Americans wouldn’t have to continuously ask for water pipe lines or electricity to be provided in their area to a small home or decent roads to travel. Not much has been done to improve the lifestyle for the people who want to continue there traditional beliefs and stay on land that is “provided” for them to live on because it holds history for them. Most on reservations are not land and property owners. The piece of land they do live on can still be issued to someone else who contests to do so because it is still government land. Look at the Native Americans near Niagara Falls who had to give up their home for electricity to New York and New Jersey. Look at the Native Americans in Arizona at the Grand Canyon who lost their way of living when the dam was built to provide electricity for Las Vegas and other parts of Nevada, California, Utah, and Arizona. Those people had no choice when the water was rising, but to move and find their own new home and way of life. One elderly woman was telling her story of this situation, and commented on her house “under the water” and how she hoped to see it again before she passed on… if the government would let some of the water drain, and then she could take her goats and sheep there again. She’d like to get her glasses off the table, too. Of course it’d never happen. And she still didn’t get a new pair of glasses at the time she was telling her story. This man, Houston Councilman Michael Berry, is completely clueless, should be removed from office, forced to live in poverty stricken areas, and asked to drive miles and miles to his job (especially now with the rate of gasoline) with little help from the government to maybe get a grip on what the government does and doesn’t provide for the average American. He may think twice and see the Native Americans do not have everything the average American has. Not every tribe has a casino and not every tribal member gets funds from a casino in their area. I say fire him just as the general public asked for Imas and more. He may have apologized, but actions are louder. He should volunteer his community services to help the average American and Native Americans.Thank you for your time, A. Strong
April 14, 2007 9:53 AM


APOCA-WHATO? Mel Gibson Tells Mayan Scholar to 'F--k Off'


Mount Mel erupts again
Outburst follows filibuster at CSUN film discussion

BY RACHEL URANGA and DANA BARTHOLOMEW, Staff Writers

Article Last Updated: 03/24/2007 12:53:13 AM PDT

Mel Gibson speaks at CSUN on Thursday, March 22, 2007, in... (Khristian Garay/Daily Sundial)
NORTHRIDGE - Actor-director Mel Gibson found himself at the center of controversy again Friday, the day after he cursed a Cal State Northridge professor who accused him of racially stereotyping Mayans in his latest film, "Apocalypto."
The expletive came after a late-night CSUN screening of the movie when assistant professor Alicia Estrada questioned Gibson's sources for the graphically violent film and translated a lengthy declaration denouncing it.
Several of those in attendance said Gibson's outburst came as Estrada was being escorted from the room after a five-minute exchange in front of the audience of 130 mostly film students.
"He told her to `F--- off, lady,"' said CSUN student Josue Guajan, 22, of Van Nuys, a native Guatamalan who is half Mayan.
"I was shocked about his response. I thought he would be more civilized and it would be educational."
Estrada, a scholar of Mayan literature, said Friday that she will seek an apology.
"I am demanding an apology not just for myself but also the Central American Studies Program, to the university, and to, most importantly, the Mayan community and members of the Mayan community," Estrada said.
Gibson's publicist, however, said the actor doesn't need to apologize because he was more than gracious in answering Estrada's questions before finally becoming frustrated.
"This was just a reaction to someone being disruptive and rude," said Alan Nierob, Gibson's publicist. "He went on and completed the session and said it was successful. It's unfortunate it was tarnished with a momentary confrontation."
The incident is not the first time Gibson's temper has landed him in hot water. Last summer, Gibson screamed sexist and anti-Semitic insults at police after he was arrested for drunk driving in Malibu.
That confrontation came after the blockbuster success of Gibson's controversial film "The Passion of the Christ."
Last year, when Walt Disney distributed "Apocalypto," handlers were careful to craft a Gibson image of tolerance. ABC's "Prime Time" broadcast an hourlong special detailing Gibson's new-found sobriety as well as his use of Mayan actors and extensive research for the film.
But Thursday's incident again put Gibson on the defensive. Officials from California State University, Northridge, say it came about 20 minutes into a question-and-answer session designed to focus on moviemaking.
Gibson had calmly answered several students' questions about the film when Estrada, an assistant professor of Central American Studies, took the microphone.
Estrada said she challenged Gibson's depictions of bloodthirsty Mayans engaging in sacrificial ceremonies.
"I stated a very valid academic question," Estrada said. "He argues he studies Mayan culture and the representations he provides are authentic. I asked him who his sources were."
Estrada said Gibson used profanity in his response, although CSUN spokesman John Chandler disagreed.
"He didn't respond with a profanity," Chandler said. "He responded by answering the question."
Estrada said she then handed the microphone to a man described by Guajan as a Mayan community leader, who began reading a lengthy statement in Spanish.
After grousing from some in the audience, officials cut off the microphone.
"People in the audience began to get restless," Chandler said. "At one point, a member of the staff said ... `Ask a question, or leave."'
But Gibson told university officials to turn the microphone back on and Estrada then began to translate.
The statement denounced the film as a distortion of Mayan history. Officials said that when it became clear Estrada would not be asking questions related to filmmaking or the film, they called security to escort her out.
Guajan said about half the audience applauded when the pair was escorted out by an armed security guard.
It was then that Gibson, his face red, uttered the expletive. And then he fired a parting shot: "Make your own movie!"
"He was feeling frustrated; there was no other intellectual discussion," said John Schultheiss, chairman of the department of Cinema and Television Art, which organized the session.
"That was his way of summing up: `Gosh, if you aren't happy with the way an idea is presented to you, then you should present it yourself."'
(818) 713-3741

Comment from Navajo filmmaker Arlene Bowman, living in Vancouver BC:

"I am a Dine' indigenous filmmaker and I viewed the Apocolypto. I attended UCLA and received my MFA from there in 86. The film was a very racist and violent depiction of the Mayan culture and people: a turn off. Very few dramas, comedies, animations get WRITTEN/PRODUCED/DIRECTED BY INDIGENOUS FILMMAKERS ANYHOW in these CONTEMPORARY TIMES IN HOLLYWOOD. Oh yeah, there are indigenous filmmakers out there in the Americas. When a person like Estrada and the Mayan community express an opposite/true point of view than what mainstream non-indigenous people want to believe about indigenous people, the systematic stereotypes and sexism that continues, it gets trashed and censored especially from a female like the one at that student filmmaker's screening at California State at Northridge in LA from people like Gibson and his publicists. At that student film screening with filmmaker present with question and answer, that is the last place where film students will ever again get to hear various critiques about a produced film. After that the conservative, mainstream movie thinking dictates what can be heard just like what happened at the question/answer with the film students and Gibson. Actually it's kind of sad that the mainstream public, his publicists and Gibson are uneducated and uninformed about what really happens and goes about Mayan people and the other indigenous peoples in the Americas. Yes, positive things happen, but still there's a lot of oppression against the Mayans and many indigenous peoples to resolve and make change for: a low intensity war that goes on in Chiapas, radioactive materials scattered and left there to clean up from private companies that mined uranium in various areas of the Navajo Reservation and other conflicts to fix throughout the whole of the Americas. Estrada has a lot of courage to express her displeasure in how the mainstream cinema treats topics like Apocolypto in this day and age. That's why as indigenous people and other people who understand indigenous values, culture and language, we rightfully have the right to write/direct/produce dramas/comedies/music videos/animation other types of works to express our own stories and to make these comments whether it is liked or not. That's what it's about. Why do you think Spike Lee, an Afro-American filmmaker and an Iranian female filmmaker Samira Makhmalbat directed and wrote their own feature films. The mainstream public, most of the people who wrote these anti Estrada comments and Gibson do not get it about the issues that concern people of color, especially in the United States, Canada and Mexico where hardly anyone knows much about the First Nations who live there and else where such as the Mayans. I know so.


UPDATE: PETITION DEMANDING GIBSON APOLOGIZE TO MAYAN COMMUNITYhttp://www.petitiononline.com/MAYAN/

To: Mel Gibson and University Administration
Mel Gibson Apologize to CSUN students and the Mayan Community! We demand that Mel Gibson, writer and director of the film “Apocalypto” apologize to the faculty, students and members of the Mayan community present at the California State University Northridge talk where he used an abusive obscenity in response to legitimate questions about his film. Mel Gibson’s obscene and hostile remarks tarnished the safe learning environment that the university strives to foster for all students, faculty and guests. His refusal to address the questions raised by the Mayan community members and his obscene response saying “F¬ ck off lady” demonstrates a fundamental lack of respect and understanding of the issues raised by the indigenous communities he claims to depict in his film. While we cannot hold a Hollywood movie like “Apocalypto” to the standards of accuracy in its depiction of history, we must hold it and its creator accountable for its public value, impact and influence. “Apocalypto” is a movie that perpetuates a racist and violent understanding of Indigenous peoples; these representations propagate, at best, misconception, and at worst, hate toward the Indigenous communities. We also hope that as a public figure, Mel Gibson, truly understands that his work, views and productions are and should be open to public scrutiny as well as public viewing and support. This is the power of film after all. Please let the following people at the University of California Northridge know that you support the Mayan Community and that Mel Gibson should do the right thing and apologize, by signing this petition and sending it to the following people:
Jolene Koester, President Telephone: (818) 677-2121 jolene.koester@csun.edu
Harry Hellenbrand Office of the Provost & Vice President for Academic Affairs Phone: (818) 677-2957 Fax: (818) 677-5530, Harry.Hellenbrand@csun.edu
Elizabeth Say, Dean of College of Humanities http://us.f520.mail.yahoo.com/ym/Compose?To=elizabeth.say@csun.edu