Thursday, July 31, 2008

Dooda Desert Rock: Fighting the good fight

July 31, 2008
Contact: Elouise Brown,
Dooda’ Desert Rock Committee President505-947-6159
thebrownmachine@hotmail.com

(Photo: Polar bears are the victims of the Navajo Nation and other US power plants which emit black carbons, resulting in the melting Arctic ice and destruction of homelands for polar bears, walrus and seals.)

THE FEDERAL PERMIT IS ONLY ONE PHASE OF THE DEBATE
Yesterday’s AP article and a recent Daily Times piece assume that today is the deadline for an EPA decision. That is not what the June 11, 2008 notice in the Federal Register says. The paragraph that starts at the bottom of the left column on the second page makes it clear that the Agency will not make a decision on whether or not to withdraw consent to the consent decree until notice is published, comments are received from the public, and the EPA or the Justice Department made a decision on whether the public comments show that “consent is inappropriate, improper, inadequate, or inconsistent with the requirements of the [Clean Air] Act.”
We hear that the EPA did issue the permit, so if that decision is “final” the debate will likely shift to federal judicial review under the Administrative Procedure Act, with one more issue on whether the decision to ignore public comment and our points was an “abuse of discretion.”
It is interesting that the Dine Power Authority justified its request for $1 million in a “supplemental” appropriation for ongoing operations near the end of the fiscal year because of threatened litigation by environmental groups. When Dooda made its opposition to the request public, the head of the Authority specifically mentioned its threatened litigation. Frank Maisano did the same (mentioning “environmentalists”) in the AP piece. What point are they trying to make? How much money are the developers throwing at the Maisano law firm for propaganda?
This is our observation: We met with Merv Tano of the International Institute for Indigenous Management in workshops at an Indian environmental conference in Billings, Montana at the end of June. We discussed our views of how EPA environmental justice policies apply to the debate. While Merv (who is a Native Hawaiian attorney) said he does not support or oppose the plant, he pointed out that quibbling about scientific issues — such as air quality — does not help indigenous peoples. The environmental justice discussion should be about their values, traditions and their decisions about how they are going to handle their own resources. The federal environmental justice policy makes it clear that the “they” is the people on the ground and not a central bureaucracy. That kind of discussion is something that the Desert Rock debate has avoided thus far. What do the people think about coal development and power plants? What do the people think about wind power? What do the chapters think about being excluded when Window Rock starts some new “economic development” project? Is “economic development” for the benefit of the bureaucracy or for the people? The only thing we’ve heard about “shoes for the kiddies” is that it’s about a trickle-down from Window Rock.
We should have the opportunity to talk about real environmental justice. The developers still have to go to the Navajo Nation Environmental Protection Agency for an air permit. We are studying the scope of authority of the Navajo Nation EPA at this stage, and other provisions of Navajo Nation environmental law to see what options we have and what kinds of permits the Nation’s EPA handles.
Navajo Nation statutes and regulations require public notice and a hearing for permits, and Navajo Nation law allows extensive public participation. The Navajo Nation EPA recognizes that The Fundamental Laws of the Dine apply to its operations and the Natural Law provisions apply here.
We are not talking about litigation — yet. We are talking about an opportunity for a genuine public debate. The environmental impact statement talks were dog-and-pony shows that were controlled by the developers. We want to see adequate notice to the Navajo Nation public, debates that are not controlled by developers or an industry-friendly federal agency, and meaningful discussion of Navajo values. A lot of them will be and should be in Navajo. We intend to talk about Navajo Natural Law and Navajo environmental justice.
We look for an opportunity for meaningful discussion — following the Navajo tradition of talking things out.
###

Mohawk Nation News: Canada under Mohawk Microscope

CANADA FIRST DEFENCE STRATEGY UNDER MOHAWK MICROSCOPE

by Iako’ha’kowa and MNN Staff
Mohawk Nation News
July 16, 2008. Canada’s military build-up is meant to try to attack “people of color” world wide, steal our resources and eliminate our population. There is a big recruitment campaign for Indigenous youth going on. They want 20% of the armed forces to be native. That way it will look like we approve their actions. No money to heal or educate or pay the debt to Indigenous people. But plenty of money to kill!The U.S. inspired "Canada First Defence Strategy" (CFDS) is basically a capitalist economic plan. No thought has been given to sustainable development. The "Strategy" is an aggressive profit-driven scheme designed to benefit career soldiers and industry.
It was posted online on June 19 2008 with color photos of “Generalissimo" Stephen Harper and Peter “Fancies-himself-to-be-Idi Amin” MacKay. US military sites like “DefenseIndustryDaily” expresses skepticism about Canada's stability and its ability to follow through.
"A Military in Partnership with Canadian Industry". Harper says the military will be "Supported by predictable, long-term funding...” [i.e. tax and resource exploitation] so there will be unprecedented opportunities for international industry. It will be a bigger ”cash cow” than World War II. They are trying to impress their foreign investors and the subsidized corporations who will build war hardware instead of what we really need, housing, schools, hospitals and environmental detoxification programs.Pete lists the 3 roles of the military, “.. at home... in the defence of North America, and to project leadership abroad", which means "attack anyone anywhere if they get in the way”.
Their six core missions are: 1."Conduct daily domestic and continental operations, especially the Arctic? [are we under attack from endangered species like the polar bears and beluga whales?]; 2.Support the 2010 Olympics; 3.Respond to a major terrorist attack; 4.Support civilian authorities in Canada; 5.Lead international operations; and 6.respond to crises".
The “whole-of-government approach” is to meet domestic and international security requirements. This could mean totalitarianism.
Resources will be extracted without interference from the Indigenous owners. Since commodity manufacturing is saturated and the capitalists have created scarcity, plenty of money will be made in war materials and reconstruction by the military and industrial sectors using cheap labor.
CANADA IS BUDGETING $490 BILLION ON DEFENSE FOR THE NEXT 20 YEARS. That’s a rise of 2 percent starting in 2011, from approximately $18 billion in 2008 to over $30 billion in 2027.
The Government plans to "Increase the number of military personnel to 70,000 Regular Forces and 30,000 Reserve Forces". Programs like “Bold Eagle” are targeting Native youth, especially in the North to exploit the Indigenous knowledge of the land and destroy Indigenous sovereignty at the same time.
Canada is concerned about controlling sovereignty in the Indigenous owned Arctic. “Changing weather patterns are destroying the environment making sea traffic through the Northwest Passage accessible to shipping, tourism and resource exploration”. They aren't too worried about the extinction of the polar bears or the displacement of the Indigenous people.
Their domestic security is based on “fear” of “foreign encroachments” on “Canada’s” [Indigenous] natural resources."The Forces must assist other government departments in addressing such security concerns as over-fishing, organized crime, drug- and people-smuggling and environmental degradation." This sounds like militarized policing that is targeting ordinary people and particularly Indigenous.The military will be at the 2010 Olympics where Indigenous are opposed to development which is raping and contaminating our land in British Columbia.Trenton near the Mohawk community of Tyendinaga is Canada’s largest air force base where a NATO Forward Operating Base FOB is planned. Globemasters will be able to fly soldiers and equipment to war zones anywhere in the world.
Canada wants credibility with the U.S. Pentagon by working under them. Canada will go to war alongside "like minded" allies with or without UN approval, just like the US went to war on Iraq. Canada and the US have worked together since 1958 when they formed NORAD, not long after the St. Lawrence Seaway blasted away our riverside for the benefit of industries that polluted the environment. Wild animals are now registered as toxic waste. Since then they work together on “Canada Command” and the “US Northern Command”."Contributing to International Peace and Security and “stability abroad" means free, unfettered access to other people's territory and resources.The compliant media tell us that Canadian soldiers are building schools and hospitals in Afghanistan. In fact they are guarding the hundreds of mining developments like Aynak Copper Mine just a few kilometres from Kabul. This mine was bought by the Chinese Metallurgical Corporation MCC for more than $3 billion U.S. Afghanistan has gold, iron, uranium, and copper, hydrocarbons like coal and the rare element, tantalum. Kahensatake has a huge deposit of niobium, often found with tantalum.
Where will the “increased, predictable” "New Long-Term Funding” come from? Presumably, it will be the loot from Afghanistan and elsewhere.”Failed and failing states, civil wars and global terrorism" are being created so the military planners can describe the world as “volatile and unpredictable”."Nuclear-capable adversarial states headed by unpredictable regimes are particularly worrisome" [especially the U.S.] "The pernicious influence of Islamist militants in key regions" is the scapegoat for their military buildup and to give Israelis an excuse to go into Iran."Full range of challenges" sounds like putting down possible Indigenous and grassroots resistance to their insanity. Taxpayers contribute 10% of their income tax to the military. The Canada Pension Plan CPP and Ontario Secondary School Teachers Pension are invested in the military industry through the Carlyle Group, which just bought Bell.
With this money the government is buying four C-17 Globemaster strategic lift aircraft,17 new C-130J Hercules tactical lift aircraft, 16 CH-47F Chinook helicopters, three replenishment ships, 2,300 trucks, up to 100 Leopard 2 tanks and 6–8 Arctic/offshore patrol ships." The US has dozens of the Globemasters to carry all their war people and equipment to the war zone. They can be stuffed with piles of bombs. 12% or $60 billion will buy other big toys like 65 new Fighter planes, search & rescue planes, UAV's, weapons, bombs, communications equipment, radar and satellites.'Advantage Canada', will establish an elite military society based in the northern part of Turtle Island. $250 billion will go to 100,000 personnel by 2028. They want highly skilled needy individuals like the laid off factory workers from the car plants and those coming in from induced famines. They want to fast track immigration too."National Defence is the largest property holder in the federal government which is all on unsurrendered Indigenous territory. 21,000 buildings over 50 years old and crumbling, 13,500 works including 5,500 kilometres of roads, jetties, training areas, etc. and 800 parcels of land covering 2.25 million hectares will be replaced or replenished over the next 10 to 20 years.
housing. $140 billion for "readiness" training. That's $7 billion per year! This does NOT include any costs for a new major war. That requires NEW spending.
The "Strategic Investment Plan" will coordinate all the military spending. Military industries like Boeing, Northrop Grumman and GM are lined up at DRDC for big research and development checks to spruce up Canada’s "global excellence". [See CADSI web site].
The Canadian war makers are bringing corporate giants into the War Department to help them impose their plans. They will get big tax breaks and corporate welfare. Universities can grab funding too to work on military projects. Might is not right! Land and resource ownership is Indigenous and will always be. Canada is turning into a war economy when there’s no war. Are they making one on Indigenous nations to continue stealing our possessions?
Iakoha'ko:waSharbot Lake, Haudenosaunee Territory<kittoh@storm.ca> Your donation to the legal defence fund for Kahentinetha and Katenies would be greatly appreciated. Donate through PayPal at www.mohawknationnews.com, or to: “MNN Mohawk Nation News”, Box 991, Kahnawake [Quebec, Canada] J0L 1B0. Nia:wen/thank you.
Notes and Sources
http://www.forces.gc.ca/site/focus/first/defstra_e.asphttp://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/Canada-Lays-Out-Future-Defense-Plans-04894/http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080619.wdefence0619/BNStory/National/homeDRDC (Defence Research and Development Canada) http://www.drdc-rddc.gc.ca/MERCHANTS OF DEATH AT CADSIhttps://www.defenceandsecurity.ca/public/index.asp?action=profilesRECRUITING NATIVE YOUTHhttp://www.army.gc.ca/lfwa/feature_boldEagle2006.htmhttp://www.army.gc.ca/boldeagle/contents.htmttp://www.forces.ca/v3/engraph/resources/subsidizededucation_en.aspx?bhcp=1#36http://www.airforce.forces.gc.ca/4wing/news/releases_e.asp?cat=92&id=6504NEW SEARCH TERMS Policy on Investment Planning, Advantage Canada, Strategic Investment Plan
See Category: “ CANADA “

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Inside the Checkpoints: Border Walls, Texas Shame

Inside the Checkpoints
July 30, 2008
Jay J. Johnson-Castro, Sr.
Photos at:

Border Walls…Texas Shame
A congressionally backed dictator has begun to violate Texas soil.
Shame on the dictator! Shame on the Congress! Shame on Texas! Shame on all of us!
How is it possible that a hurricane can come into the Rio Grande Valley…providing a “Wake Up Call” to the region, the State of Texas and the Federal Government…and all the above do nothing to wake the hell up?
After nearly two years of public protest and outcry, border wall construction on the levies in Granjeno, south of Mission, Texas, quietly got under way a couple of weeks ago. And, during hurricane season at that. An alarmingly quiet local media. There was no outrage on the part of any of our elected officials.
With the exception of the Texas Border Coalition, there are still no organized attempts on the part of elected officials, from county Commissioners to Congressmen, to halt the heinous invasive construction of the border wall during this hurricane season. As a result, Border Ambassadors announced on July 18 that a group of grassroots citizens would hold an all-faiths prayer vigil in Granjeno on July 27.
The thinking, conviction and discussion of this diversified group of American citizens was simple. It was spawned by Dinah Bear, a leading environmental attorney from the Washington Beltway, who has dedicated her time, energy and resources to stop the border wall construction. If there is no political force on the planet to stop the congressionally backed dictatorial powers of DHS and Chertoff from building the border wall, maybe “a miracle”, a “wake up call”, like an “Act of God”…like a hurricane coming up the Rio Grande Valley…would catch the attention of Commissioners to Congressmen to stop the insanity of building a border wall on levies during hurricane season.
Within the five days of the Prayer Vigil announcement, and four days before the planned prayer vigil itself, an unexpected tropical storm hit the news, came unexpectedly across the Yucatan and the rest is undeniable history. Hurricane Dolly slammed the Rio Grande Valley. “The Monitor” headlined the impact of Dolly as “A Wake Up Call”. Yeah, well…who the hell did it wake up? It didn’t even wake up the Monitor!
Despite the devastation, about 50 border residents from Brownsville to Del Rio met in Granjeno Sunday afternoon on July 27th. Driving into Granjeno, to the shock of all present, cranes and heavy equipment were building the border wall on the Granjeno levy! Did anyone in position of authority learn from the “wake up call”?
Evidently, a couple of days before Dolly’s landfall, IBWC Commissioner, Carlos Marin ordered a halt to the border wall construction of the levy in Granjeno. Yet, only two days after Dolly slammed into the Rio Grande Valley, construction on the border wall levy in Granjeno was again under way. Does that sound like the IBWC paid attention to the “wake up call”? How about the Army Corps of Engineers?
After the prayer vigil by a buffet of religious diversity, those present felt that something urgent needed to be done. “Faith without works is dead”. So a caravan of several dozen automobiles drove a quarter mile east to the border wall construction site. There, the citizens that participated in the prayer vigil, walked up to the levy, observed the beginnings of the border wall and then respectfully listened to a special prayer presented by Father Roy Snipes of Mission, TX.
It was a small peaceful protest, and it was the consensus that it was not the right time to commit any acts of civil disobedience. That trump card will be played at the right time…on another day.
(You can see pictures that were taken on Sunday, July 27, 2008 here: http://picasaweb.google.com/Border.Ambassadors/BorderWallTXFirstWallFirstProtest )
Imagine! While there was no federal funding to shore up the levies before hurricane season, there seems to be surplus money to build a border wall on the very same levies. While there was not enough help to drain areas flooded by Dolly, construction commenced on the levy in Granjeno.
It is shocking that even an “Act of God” is not enough of a “wake up call” to teach County Commissioners, Congressmen, IBWC, the Army Corps of Engineers, DHS, Chertoff, Governor Perry or even the President of the United States, that you should not be cutting into levies in the Rio Grande Valley during hurricane season.
America does not need a dictator. Yet Congress abnegated its power and ceded it to the Secretary of Homeland Security. Shame on Chertoff, an arrogant and callous liar, for accepting that dictatorial power and for his complicity of violating the Constitution.
Shame on Congress for abnegating and ceding its Constitutional powers to a dictator…and for not having the courage to take it back.
Shame on the Supreme Court for not hearing the Defenders of Wildlife and Sierra Club lawsuit challenging the unconstitutionality of the waiver power given to Chertoff. Certain dedicated Americans are going to continue to push forward to the Supreme Court over such a violation of the Constitution.
Shame on the Texas Legislature and the Governor for not defending and protecting our borders. They would rather protect their right to execute foreign prisoners than to defend millions of hardworking Texans who live on the border.
In the mean time…shame on our dishonest Senators…Cornyn and Bailey-Hutchison…who said they wouldn’t vote for the border wall…and then did.
Shame on our Texas Congressmen for not putting up a solid fight to protect our border community in Congress and for letting the racist supremacists hold serve.
Shame on us…too! We have not done even 1% of what “We the People of the United States” should be doing to stop the totalitarian tyranny and protect our beloved borderlands.
A grotesque border wall was built in California. A grotesque border wall was built in Arizona. A grotesque border wall has been built in New Mexico. Yet, those three states only represent 35% of the entire US-Mexico border. Texas constitutes 65% of the border. We are a community of solidaridad y amistad. We have had every chance to stop this border wall. Yet, a grotesque border wall is now being constructed in Granjeno. As folks went to the prayer vigil in Granjeno, Highway 83 Expressway, it was noticed that the shopping centers and restaurants were quite busy. Shame on us!
Shame on us, if we who are adults allow this border wall to be built on Texas soil. Shame on us if we leave our children and grandchildren with the $100,000,000,000 of borrowed money that it is taking to build this symbol of cruelty and inhumanity.
Shame on us if we leave a border wall “from Sea to Shining Sea”…from the Pacific coast to the Gulf coast…to have to be torn down by some future generation…perhaps that of our grandchildren. What will they think of us…knowing we could have stopped this travesty in the first place…if we but had the moral fiber…and the courage to stand up against oppressive tyranny? Will our children and grandchildren be like the German people of today as they look back at the cowardice shown in the face of a dictatorship and the culture of fear and cruelty towards fellow humans of the fascist era?
While this is an American shame…this is especially a Texas Shame. Texas could have stopped this from happening.
Ahhh! But we still can!!!

Genocide in South Texas: Homeland Security and George Bush perpetrators

Flooding in South Texas: Lipan Apache and poor of Rio Grande suffer while Homeland Security and George Bush do what they do best: Genocide

From: Margo Tamez

To: E-mail: DHSOIGHOTLINE@dhs.gov
Fax: (202) 254-4292
Department of Homeland Security
Washington, DC 20528
Attn: Office of Inspector General,
Hotline
Office of the Inspector General
False Damage Claims: 1 (800) 323-8603

July 30, 2008

Dear Inspector General:

At this time I am submitting a testimony from my community members, the lineal descendent Lebaiye' T'nde' (Lipan Apache) people who are the aboriginal land title holders to territories of South Texas, the Rio Grande River and into northern Mexico. Currently, my family members reside in numerous counties of South Texas which have been horribly and negatively impacted by the ongoing flooding and infrastructural calamities in Cameron, Hidalgo, Starr and other affected counties. Reports from my mother, Dr. Eloisa Garcia Tamez (Lipan Apache) and other community members, as well as reports from local news reports, compel me to file an official complaint regarding the human rights, civil rights, and indigenous rights abuses occuring at this very moment against colonias, rancherias, unincorporated and incorporated communities all along the Rio Grande. Many of the communities are undergoing great losses and tragedy, including loss of homes, livelihoods, livestock, crops, and who are currently still without the most fundamental needs to sustain life, i.e. potable water, food, medical supplies and medical attention. Elders, children, the working class poor people of the Rio Grande river front communities are the hardest hit in this ongoing devastation. My mother and others have reported eye witness accounts of seeing D.H.S. sitting by idly, merely offering electrical fans at the local gas station, as a remedy for folks who do not have electricity, nor food, water, and are wading in a filthy infested stew of both animal and human waste and decomposition. There are reports that helicopters of the Border Patrol and Army National Guard merely patrol over the border--but do not render aid to those who are in the most isolated and most hard-hit areas. Local news reports that there are countless colonias and rancherias of the poorest of the working classes who have still to be dealt with at all. Their physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual needs are being neglected in this horrendous human disaster. They have yet to see a speck of government, military, NGO, faith-based, or or communitarian aid to alleviate this calamity. My mother and others are strongly critiquing the LACK of FEMA's presence in rendering immediate and assertive aid to our poorest river front communities. Many of these communities are direct lineal descendents of the aboriginal people of this region--they are the land owners, who have legal title to live and to enjoy their freedoms on their own lands. They also have the civil rights and human rights of all other U.S. citizens in similarly declared disaster areas. Finally, this testimony is a complaint against the Department of Homeland Security, Michael Chertoff, President George W. Bush, and the infrastructure which supports their offices due to the fact that local land owners in Hidalgo County reported yesterday that INSPITE of this calamitous disaster which has brought South Texas counties, cities, and the International Water Boundary Commission and Mexico to its knees---that DHS has begun to build the unpopular border wall once again. This is a sign of a tyrannical, cold and vampire-like government which instead of utilizing public resources towards rendering aid to the local governments and people, it is exploiting the local systems, institutions and populations at their greatest moment of vulnerability and humanitarian need. I see DHS/Michael Chertoff and President George W. Bush as the primary perpetrators of heinous crimes against humanity, human rights abuse, indigenous rights abuses against my Lipan Apache people, my ancestors, our sacred sites, our ecological and biological resources, our mineral resources, and our water resources with their aggression against us up to the present moment, in regards to their focus on the increased militarization and imprisonment of our people and lands in the border wall project. Currently, at this dark hour, as my people, our lands, our sacred sites, and all the plant and animal relatives are suffering due to an aggressive, institutionally racist policy of laissez-faire towards Native Americans, Mexican-descent peoples, and border communities, I see DHS/Michael Chertoff and President George W. Bush as perpetrators who are currently committing crimes against humanity and genocide against the Lipan Apache people of South Texas, other indigenous communities in South Texas, and Mexican-descent persons and communities living along the Rio Grande on the U.S. and Mexico side of this calamity. It has not gone unnoticed by the local communities how intensely the nation-states moved to protect their corporate investments--hotels, resorts, oil platforms, airforce jets and planes, and other 'vital' assets of the United States and its companies. At the same time, we have noted how deficiently and minimally the nation-states have responded to the humanitarian needs of the majority of the aboriginal land owners and original title land owners (with Spanish Land Grant and Treaty land ownership claims) in the region. This is my testimony, from my heart and from the oral testimonies shared with me by my family members undergoing psychological terror due to the fact that they have to witness this further erosion of democracy and justice in the United States under the iron-fist of an unpopular government which clearly demonstrates they rule against citizens and take up hostile policies to further our demise. Let it be known among you that the Lipan Apache Women's Defense/Strength stands for the indigenous people and all oppressed groups on the Mexico-U.S. international border which violently dissects our natural traditional territories, a border which was aggressed against us without our free and prior informed consent--in the past and continued into the present moment. Margo Tamez

-- Our BLOG:lipanapachecommunitydefense.blogspot.com
Catch up: Margo Tamez & Lipan Apache Women Defense co-founder, Eloisa Garcia Tamezhttp://bsnorrell.blogspot.com/search?q=margo+tamez
Lipan Apache (El Calaboz) Women & Community Built a Global Movement...https://mysite.wsu.edu/personal/mtamez/calaboz/default.aspx
Supported by~~Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Lawhttp://www.centerforhumanrights.org/University of Texas School of Law & Rappaport Institute for Human Rightshttp://www.utexas.edu/law/news/2008/061608_working_group.html
NEWS RELEASES: Lipan Apache (El Calaboz) Communty Defense~~(Thanks to National Network for Immigrant & Refugee Rights, http://www.nnirr.org/)(RE: Dr. Eloisa Garcia Tamez vs. Michael Chertoff/U.S. DHS):http://www.nnirr.org/news/index.php?op=read&id=110&type=8http://www.nnirr.org/news/index.php?op=read&id=90&type=8
WE ARE~~Lebaiye T'nde' Shini', South Texas
Restoring T'nde' Isdzan shimaa shini' gokal

US Dept Justice asked to investigate Sheriff Arpaio for willful 'civil rights violations'


By Brenda Norrell

PHOENIX -- Recently, on an Amtrak ride across America, an elderly man bragged about purchasing a pair of panties signed by Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. First, I thought he was joking. Then I just wanted to throw up.
This same sheriff, glorified as a romantic hero and cowboy-style sheriff, is actually a criminal. This is the ultimate in what the U.S. fantasy-news media produces; making heroes of villains, bullies and racists.
Attorney Michael C. Manning, on behalf of his clients, asked the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate Sheriff Arpaio for abuse, cruelty, willful civil rights violations and other crimes.
Here is an excerpt:
" ...in 2001, MCSO guards in the same jail killed another young man in the same Restraint Chair. This time it was a 125lb retarded man who lived with his Mom and Dad. We took that case on and tried it before a jury. The jury unanimously awarded our clients $9,000,009.
Eight MCSO jailers were found liable for taking this man's life; none were ever disciplined and most were actually given MCSO promotions! "----
A Censored News blog reader writes:
Sheriff Joe is getting more attention, and perhaps he likes this kind also.
In late April, Phoenix-area attorney Michael Manning sent to U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey a 10-page letter requesting that the U.S. Dept of Justice investigate Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio for violations of law.
That is to say, this popularly elected champion of tough-guy law and order is himself accused of the most serious law-breaking.
Sheriff Arpaio is accused of repeated -- for more than 10 years (and by his own admission) -- practices which are constitutional violations and have resulted in more than $40 million in legal costs and settlements paid by the taxpayers, PLUS deaths and injuries to inmates, and unlawful demands on, and encouragement of illegal behavior by, guards and other Sheriffs Dept employees.
All without any indications that harsh and cruel treatment of persons held before trial - or above incarceration times imposed by the courts, - has reduced crime.
But Sheriff Joe says "NO ONE" will tell him how to run his jails.
Here are some highlights from the request for Federal intervention:
Sheriff Joe has participated in or encouraged:
Use of excessive force resulting in at least 7 deaths
Willful disregard for the advice of penal consultants (including his own) to correct violations of law and poor management of his jails
Destruction and alteration of evidence
And recently the Sheriff had the publisher and editor of a local newspaper arrested after publicizing the Sheriff's activities and editorializing against them. The County Attorney approved the arrests -- until public outrage at both local and national levels forced him to drop the charges and dismiss the special prosecutor (a very highly paid business associate).
Manning is representing the owners of the Phoenix New Times in another Federal court action claiming violations of civil rights. The lawsuit against Sheriff Arpaio is almost certain to result in another large settlement - they ask for $15 million - paid for by the taxpayers who fail to vote Arpaio out of office.
The majority of voter-taxpayers may think they are not really affected but, if so, they don't care about how their money is spent nor how the Constitution is protected. In violating a "few" persons' rights this representative of the government - a man with a big gun and bigger ego - jeopardizes the rights of all citizens. ------
Local law enforcement officials - and Cochise County, AZ is no different - often exceed the statutory and constitutional limitations on their powers. Rarely does any one challenge them, and, in our part of the world even more rarely do such excesses and challenges get reported in the very limited local media. DMM
How much have lawsuits and claims against the Cochise County Sheriffs Dept and the Sierra Vista Police Department (and other local PDs) cost taxpayers in cash so far?
It's not an insignificant amount (that is, it's in the millions), but it's hard to say exactly because local officials aren't keen on actively providing such public information, and ....
Did you read about it in the Sierra Vista Herald?
-----PS. I invite you again to consider the value of an "alternative press".
Also see: Arpaio's racist media targets Isabell Garcia, cochair of Derechos Humanos in Tucson
For a e-copy of the 10 page letter contact: brendanorrell@gmail.com
Photo: Arpaio protest in Tucson. Photo Brenda Norrell

Homeland Security's 'Vulturism' in Flooded South Texas

Homeland Security repeats New Orleans crimes against humanity in South Texas

Contact: Margo Tamez, (509) 595-4445
Dear friends,
I am writing on behalf of Margo Tamez, who called me from the road today and asked me to relay this important message to you. Her mother Eloisa Garcia Tamez told me on the phone today that FEMA is not providing aid to poor people in the flood who are without food and who are in need of medicine.
Eloisa Tamez emphasized the issue of disparity, as she witnessed escorts for the movement of big business materials, while people are suffering. And on this same day, DHS commenced construction of the border wall in Hidalgo County, where the same people who are dealing with the wall and militarization of their neighborhoods have had to leave their homes during the flood.
Margo Tamez says, “DHS is performing vulturism upon the communities in their most dire moment of catastrophe. Today in Hidalgo County DHS started on the wall. They must be more humanitarian! DHS must stop wall construction and provide disaster relief.”

Censored News, readers respond

Thanks to all of you for your comments. Since the article on censorship and hush words was published in the UN OBSERVER & International Report, CounterPunch and the Narcosphere, the comments are pouring in. The following comments are published with permission:

Support from Italy: Opposing Canadian border guards attack on Mohawk grandmothers and publishers

This letter expresses support from Italy, through the italian Blog "Nativi Americani.it", after the violent and unjustified attack of June 14, 2008 by the guards directed by Canada Border Security Agency against grandmothers Mohawk, Kahentinetha Horn and Katenies (alias Janet Davis).The colonial border crosses the center of the Mohawk territory, this people is not American or Canadian, but are "Kanion'ke", this Native People have always crossed freely this land, The treaties and international law confirm that right.The complaint to the United Nations sent to 'Office of High Commission for Human Rights and to Permanent Forum on Indigenous Peoples of United Nation warns that many lives of these peoples' lives are in danger. " In particular young people, women with children and the elderly, especially if these people are known because speak in favor of their rights, including genocide of PEOPLES OF FIRST NATIONS IN CANADA, including genocide in the mines of uranium, murder of innocent children in residential schools, the kidnapping and rape of indigenous peoples and the excavation of land (for housing, industrial development of NAFTA) where there are the tombs of ancestors.These women were violently attacked by causing one of them a heart attack, suffer intimidation by blocking access to the internet, telephone and electronic mail.The other woman, Katenies, was attacked and was kept in isolation in prison for three days. There is the probability that they are trying to kill them. This attempt seems by the public security of Canada, by police and security officers and all agencies of the Government of Canada.In 2003 Katenies was falsely accused of crossing the border. His question is:"What authorities and what jurisdiction you have on me and my land?" But the judge refuses to answer. This People have the right to ask that there is an answer to this question. In 2006 a complaint was filed with the Canadian Commission for Human Rights, without any reply.Canada Government has defined these people as "terrorists", "rebels" and as a "global risk". But this people have no army or weapons. In fact, are a peaceful people who want to live with their families. The International Relations between Canada and these people are seriously in crisis.. There is an urgent and desperate need to initiate an investigation by an independent and neutral court. The courts of Canada are not neutral. We ask your immediate intervention. These people are in danger of life. Please help these people so that nobody is killed or threatened.Respectfully,
Giuseppe Fappiano Cerretyo Sannita (Benevento) - Italy supporters of Italian Blog "Nativi Americani.it",
http://www.nativiamericani.it/

On Censorship, from a dog soldier
hello brenda from italy.
i am an enrolled southern cheyenne living in europe, a prof, who cannot work in my own homeland .. i want to applaud your efforts on behalf of our people ... as a dog soldier headman i couldn't agree more with your work ... thank you .... lance henson
Bio in Native Wiki:
http://www.nativewiki.org/Lance_Henson

Censorship of Leonard Peltier
Great article!!! I have been a Peltier supporter for many years and have found that far too often it's a bit like pounding my head against a wall. Far too many people just simply do not give a damn about him, his farce of a trial, and his 30+ years of illegal and immoral incarceration. It is blatantly obvious that many people have been paid off and/or threatened by the feds if they were to disclose the truth. For the government to withhold thousands of pages of information regarding Leonard under the guise of "national security" is absolutely insane!!! Too many souls have been sold ... too many asses have been covered. I have written my congressmen, senators, etc. many times asking them to look into the case of Leonard Peltier, but have yet to even garner a response from any of them. I enjoy your writing and check out your Censored sight frequently. Keep up the good work!!!
In the Spirit of Crazy Horse,
Dave Murray
North Mankato, MN

Cops in Canada: Mob attacks on Shawn Brant and the Mohawks

OPP Commissioner Julian Fantino uses “mob tactics” on Shawn Brant and the Mohawks

Mohawk Nation News
July 20, 2008. The death penalty has been abolished in Canada. Julian Fantino has been trying to do an end run around this. Last June 29th 2007 Fantino pronounced an extra judicial death sentence on Mohawk Shawn Brant of Tyendinaga. He has used the police forces to threaten Indigenous people. He is trying to provoke us to commit violent acts in self-defense to give him the excuse he wants to kill us.
According to the CBC News [7/19/08 7:00PM] the OPP Commissioner should be investigated for the comments he made under oath at the preliminary inquiry. Peter Rosenthal, who represents Mohawk demonstrator Shawn Brant, said on Saturday July 19th that he is calling for the government to investigate Commissioner Fantino’s comments to Brant on the phone during the aboriginal day of action.
Newly released court documents show the OPP were just minutes away from moving in to forcibly remove Indigenous demonstrators who did not block the road or close Highway 401 at protest sites in eastern Ontario. In wiretap transcripts Fantino threatened Brant, "Your whole world's going to come crashing down". Fantino also said he was going to “do everything I can within your community and everywhere to destroy your reputation".
The tap on Brant's cell phone was made without obtaining a court order. The Criminal Code allows for wiretaps without a court order in extreme situations. There was plenty of advance notice given about the day of action last year.Gangster-like Commissioner Fantino admitted that ... there were snipers ready at this time and he was close to moving in.
Fantino’s “Mafioso” tactics could lead to another Ipperwash given the high number of colonial violations against Indigenous rights. We will continue to protect our people, our land and our possessions. Fantino is dangerous. He will not let the law stop him from trying to incriminate us.
Fantino’s actions contradicts the OPP's guidelines for dealing with Indigenous people as recommended in the wake of the OPP killing of Dudley George at Ipperwash Provincial Park in 1995.
Fantino quickly headed out of town. Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty stands by his “mobster” commissioner.MNN calls for the immediate resignation of Fantino.

MNN Staff
Shawn Brant's lawyer, Peter Rosenthal, speaks to the media on Saturday.(CBC)http://news.aol.ca/article/lawyer-brant/286930/
PLEASE NOTE : As can be seen, it’s becoming critical for legal actions to be taken soon to protect our rights. We have no funds. Canada is hiring costly law firms to defend their illegal actions and suppress our rights. If you can donate anything to our cause, it will be greatly appreciated. Donate to: PayPal, www.mohawknationnews.com, or “MNN Mohawk Nation News”, Box 991, Kahnawake [Quebec, Canada] J0L 1B0. Nia:en/Thank you very much. Contact: katenies20@yahoo.com

Mohawk Nation News: 'Beware of Cops in Sheep's Clothing'

INDIGENOUS AND SUPPORTERS, BEWARE OF COPS IN SHEEP'S CLOTHING –

Mohawk Nation News
July 20, 2008. Ontario Provincial Police Commissioner Julian Fantino’s fascist actions against Indigenous people are not new. His illegal dirty tricks to trap Mohawks and Shawn Brant in particular may have been developed and practiced in cop training school. It’s an old pattern. Cops are basically well-paid thugs. Looking at the police training videos, we see police being trained to instigate violence.
Way back in the Winnipeg Workers Strike in 1917 the police were found to be responsible for the violence. In relations with the Ongwehonwe, it is once again armed state forces, police or military that have caused violence and deaths time and time again. Remember the Mohawk Oka Crisis in Kanehsatake in 1990, Gustafsen Lake in B.C. in 1995, the killing of Dudley George at Ipperwash, and all of the recent confrontations at Six Nations and Tyendinaga! The violence on all occasions was started by the cops and their instigators.
We’re not the only ones targeted for abuse. The 1970 Quebec nationalist movement that wanted to create an independent socialist state was almost completely taken over by the RCMP. A lot of the people in the movement were young idealistic students and professors. The police turned their movement into a violent crisis. British Trade Commissioner James Cross was kidnapped and Quebec Labor Minister Pierre Laporte was kidnapped and murdered.
Bombings were threatened. The FLQ was used to provide all the justification that war mongering individuals in the Canadian government needed to launch an All-out offensive. Pierre Trudeau, that sneaky “rat fink” who sold out integrity, instituted the War Measures Act authorizing extraordinary actions by the RCMP. Rule of law was suspended. The armed forces were deployed. Thousands of innocent youth and students were arrested and held without charges for weeks and months. The same kind of tactics are being used against Indigenous today.
Trudeau claimed this use of state force was necessary to protect Canada from the “scourge of terrorism”. There was no terrorism except the terrorism from within that was planned and orchestrated by the RCMP.
The MacDonald Commission of Inquiry into Certain Acts of the RCMP revealed that the FLQ was completely infiltrated by police agents from the very beginning. The 1981 report found police agents were responsible for planning and carrying out terrorist activities within the FLQ. The RCMP used paid agents and other Canadian and Quebec groups to spy on and discredit the youth and student movement. It is very likely that they are doing the same again.
The students who support the Ongwehonwe and human rights, freedom of speech, decency and fair play, are all extremely vulnerable. The so-called forces of law and order have a long history of infiltrating student and popular movements in order to create violence that will enhance the power of the police and military forces.
During the October Crisis the Commission described 11 different types of dubious or outright illegal operations that were carried out by the RCMP. These included:
RCMP agents made secret allegations against tens of thousands of Canadians and shared them with police in other countries including the U.S., India, Pakistan, Israel, Lebanon, Iran, Britain and Ireland. They’re still doing that. Remember Arar who was sent on an “extraordinary rendition” flight to be tortured.
RCMP stole membership lists from the Parti Quebecois and looked for people who could be recruited to be their agents.
RCMP burned barns in Quebec as part of training sessions for terrorist activities; they gave weapons, explosives and cash to members of the FLQ and trained them to use them. www.modern-communism.ca
Did the public learn anything? The cops have become more secretive. That’s when the Canadian Security Intelligence Service CSIS was formed. They have an “Indigenous sector” and they have classed Mohawks as terrorists and insurgents. This means that our rights have been taken away from us without trial or due process or even notice. Or maybe they have secretly declared war on us without the knowledge or consent of the Canadian people. We must always keep in mind how far these state funded “power freaks” will go to achieve their nefarious ends.
MNN Staff
.
PLEASE NOTE : As can be seen, it’s becoming critical for legal actions to be taken soon to protect our rights. We have no funds. Canada is hiring costly law firms to defend their illegal actions and suppress our rights. If you can donate anything to our cause, it will be greatly appreciated. Donate to: PayPal, www.mohawknationnews.com, or “MNN Mohawk Nation News”, Box 991, Kahnawake [Quebec, Canada] J0L 1B0. Nia:en/Thank you very much.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Russell Means: Lakotah Grand Juries investigate injustice in South Dakota

In South Dakota, Custer still lives,
He sends people to the county jail.
--Brenda Norrell

Russell Means: Lakotah grand jury to investigate corruption and injustice in South Dakota

Pechanga Net, Native News:
The Fives: Land of Lakotah not the first to look for a split from the U.S. (SOUTH DAKOTA) -- Talk of secession can be serious business, just ask Russell Means. The recent development with the proclaimed Republic of Lakotah seeking further separation from the Union seems like an unusual step to address some real problems.
in Native News > Government & Politics

From Google Breaking News ...

Russell Means: Lakotah grand jury will not indict Rapid City Journal, SD - Jul 28, 2008... in South Dakota will spend several months gathering evidence of alleged abuses against the Lakota people, according to organizer Russell Means. ...
Republic of Lakotah investigating tribal corruption Rapid City Journal
all 2 news articles »
Russell Means, Secessionist Lew Rockwell, CA - Jul 6, 2008According to the generally untrustworthy Washington Post: "Over four decades, Russell Means has led an insurrection, posed for Andy Warhol, aspired to be an ...
Washington Post Magazine Contributor Washington Post, United States - Jun 30, 2008Controversial American Indian activist Russell Means came to Washington to declare his people's independence from the United States. ...
Bruning doubtful of racial bias in area legal system Chadron Record, NE - Jul 24, 2008By GEORGE LEDBETTER, Record Editor Thursday, July 24, 2008 Charges leveled by American Indian activist Russell Means of racial bias in the legal system in ...
Indian activist finds racism in area legal system Chadron Record, NE - Jul 8, 2008... of opinion over the issue of racism in Dawes County is pitting Native American activist Russell Means against the local police and judicial system. ...
Activist says assault charge shows racism Chadron Record, NE - Jul 2, 2008... writer Wednesday, July 02, 2008 A case pending before Dawes County District Court has garnered the attention of Native American activist Russell Means. ...
Time stood still for Wounded Knee author Black Hills Pioneer, SD - Jul 17, 2008I saw the change in Vernon and Clyde Bellecourt, Dennis Banks, Russell Means and others within the movement. Vernon Bellecourt and Floyd Westerman became my ...
Censored in the USA: Hush words The NarcoSphere, NY - Jul 28, 2008For editors, those words include two names "Russell Means" and "Leonard Peltier." Also, in Indian country, reporters know it is unlikely that editors will ...

Honoring those who walked

In July, Long Walkers were honored in Washington D.C. Here, walkers on the Longest Walk Northern Route were honored at the Buffalo Nation Powwow in Penn. The three women in this photo were honored in Washington for making it all the way from Alcatraz to Washinton D.C. on the Longest Walk Northern Route: Lisa Peaks, Anishinabe/Pomo; Sage, Ponca from Oklahoma and Willow Dixon of Portland, Oregon. Photo copyright Brenda Norrell.

Dooda's Front Lines Music Fest August 2 and 3, 2008

Photo: Elouise Brown and Dennis Banks on the Longest Walk in Greenbelt, Maryland. Photo Brenda Norrell

Greetings Dooda Desert Rock Supporters,
Please join us for a special fund raiser happening August 2nd & 3rd, at the Dooda Desert Rock campsite at Chaco Rio, NM. On August 1st, we welcome you to join us at the DDR camp to help us prepare for the Front Lines Tour Music & Art Festival. We will be cooking and doing final set-up activities. This is a time to spend in prayer and celebration as we kick off the festivities.
On August 2nd, DDR will host the “FRONT LINES TOUR MUSIC & ART Festival 2008” to celebrate our theme: NO TO COAL BURNING POWER PLANTS, YES TO ALTERNATIVE ENERGY, and to entertain our guests, ReadNex Poetry Squad, as they visit our camp. DDR welcomes ReadNex Poetry Squad to New Mexico. We are honored to be a part of this tradition, as we support our brothers and sisters who have committed themselves to a cross-country tour for environmental protection and Native American rights. We will have an opportunity to share the story and mission of DDR while the ReadNex Poetry Squad share their poetry and music at our camp. We are especially excited to welcome all musicians and artists to this event.
This is going to be a powerful festival, one with plenty of performers and hours of dance and festivities, that will raise money to fuel the fight. Admission is $10 per person per day or $20 per person if you plan on camping with us. Food and drinks will be available for sale. Please bring your chair and whatever else you need to be comfortable.
On August 3rd, we will hike to tour the proposed desert rock energy project site. Certainly, there is much to be gained from reading and hearing about the story of Dooda Desert Rock, and how outside corporations, such as the Sithe Global, LLC and Desert Rock Energy Company, LLC have enlisted are local Dine Power Authority to promote this ridiculous idea of desecrating our Mother Earth, the environment, and the health of the people on and around the Navajo Nation. A true comprehension of the devastating nightmare threatening the beautiful Chaco Rio and Ram Springs, NM landscape, can only be experienced by visiting this vast, pristine land, breathing the sacred air, and grounding yourself in the spirituality of the Dine people. We hope you will all join us, not only to understand the logistics of this ill-conceived project, but to also experience the connection we feel with our homeland.
The ReadNex Poetry Squad will resume their journey on August 4th and DDR will resume their mission to stop the proposed Desert Rock Energy Project. We hope you will join us in this historic celebration.
Elouise Brown

Monday, July 28, 2008

Censorsed in the USA: Hush words


By Brenda Norrell
Censored News

ON THE ROAD -- I didn't see it coming. After 25 years of writing American Indian news, I didn't really expect to be blackballed and censored out of the business. But, then again, any journalist writing serious news in the United States should expect to be censored. There are some hot topics that get U.S. journalists fired, including investigating the war in Iraq. U.S. Presidents realize the power of words and song to move the masses. It was Buffe Sainte Marie's "Universal Soldier," during the Vietnam War that led to her being blackballed and censored out of the music business in the U.S.
In Indian country news, there are also hush words, words to be used sparingly, if at all. For editors, those words include two names "Russell Means" and "Leonard Peltier." Also, in Indian country, reporters know it is unlikely that editors will publish any serious criticism of the war in Iraq or the Bush administration. Reporters also know it is unlikely that their articles will be published if they point out how the elected American Indian tribal councils sell out their people and their land, air and water for energy royalties and energy leases. At the same time, those councilmen and tribal chairmen give voice to the need to protect sacred Mother Earth.
While on staff at Indian Country Today in 2004, the managing editor, a non-Indian, demanded that I halt writing about "grassroots people and the genocide of American Indians." When I continued, I was reprimanded again. Eventually I was fired without a reason given.
It taught me about history and the soul of America. In the United States, there is this hole in history, and this hole in the hearts of the people, which disallows for these facts: the genocide of American Indians, including the butchering of women and shooting of little children, and the kidnapping, enslavement, torture, rape and murder of blacks.
As always, those who forget history, repeat it. The United States now trains military around the globe how to torture. This torture, in violation of the Geneva Conventions, targets Indigenous Peoples in Central and South America and the people of Iraq and Afghanistan. This torture targets anyone whose lands and resources are desired by a multi-national corporation. The proof was in the U.S. School of the Americas torture manual made public in 1996. The latest ploy is to simply dupe people into the corporate resource scheme, by convincing people to pay for fictional "carbon credits," the non-factual fee to pollute.
On the US/Mexico border, where Homeland Security and the Border Patrol ignore the sovereign status of Indian Nations and all federal laws, there are death threats for journalists and Indians living on their lands.
At ICT, I was terminated in September of 2006 after one of my articles was rewritten, turning the exposure of Donald Rumsfeld profiteering from stocks from the sale of the bird flu's Tamiflu into a near advertisement for the product. Also before I was terminated, I was instructed to never write about, or even investigate, the fact that the Navajo commercial farm, Navajo Agricultural Products Industries, has a Raytheon Missile factory on the same land where it grows potatoes, corn and other commercial crops. The Navajo Nation owned NAPI also boasts that it uses genetically-modified seeds; seeds leading to widespread misery for the world's Indigenous Peoples.
I was also told I could not publish a news probe into whether Ben "Nighthorse" Campbell was actually Portuguese or Northern Cheyenne.
Well, most of the usual suspects received good jobs at the big museum in Washington D.C.
The important point is not to be fooled by the newspapers, do your own investigating. The editors, publishers and owners have their own agendas. These days, very little of it has to do with truth. If you want to learn about the destruction of sacred places and all the corporations rushing to poison the land, air and water where you live, you'll need to search out the information, don't expect to read about it in your newspaper.
The non-Indian newspapers have no qualms about censorship these days. In the spring, I wrote an article about the Longest Walk for a news publication. A watered-down version of it was published. Here is one of the paragraphs that was censored:
"It was in Greensburg, Kansas, that another dimension of the west opened up, the force of a tornado to rip out a town. The debris was still piled high nearly one year after the tornado of May 4, 2007. I could only think of the billions of dollars going to rebuild Iraq, after the US bombed it; the billions going to the corporate friends of the Bush family. Still, there was hope and abundant love in this town as the people were rebuilding green, focused on solar and wind power and sustainable gardening."
Hope, that's what keeps us going, and readers like you.
Thanks for reading. Brenda
More on Rumsfeld profiteering from stocks from the sale of the bird flu medication Tamiflu:
http://bsnorrell.tripod.com/id73.html
(Photo 1: Sand Creek Massacre Site in southwestern Colorado, where Cheyenne Arapaho women were butchered and toddlers shot in cold blood by the US Calvary. Photo Brenda Norrell. Photo 2: Veterans for Peace, Arlington West, Santa Monica beach 2007. Tribute to dead Americans whose families never were allowed to mourn in public and Iraqis. Photo Brenda Norrell. Photo 3: Imprisoned Navajo and Apache children in Fort Sumner, Bosque Redondo, NM. Photo courtesy New Mexico Museum.)

Longest Walk honors

By Brenda Norrell
Alcatraz to D.C. -- The Longest Walk Northern Route walkers were honored in D.C. who began the walk in Alcatraz and finished in D.C. Dennis Banks presented badges to Lisa Peake, Anishinabe/Pomo, who walked and served as security all the way across the United States; Sage from Oklahoma, who walked and launched a singing career; Luv the Mezenger, who walked, ran and served as security. Luv, a hip hop artist from Los Angeles, and Willie Lonewolf, Navajo Ute, crossed the Sierra Nevadas on snowshoes when the snow drifts of seven feet became too deep for walking. Unprovoked, Luv was also attacked by Columbus, Ohio, police. The police pointed a taser at walker coordinator Michael Lane, Menominee, before throwing Luv to the concrete. Also honored in D.C., but not shown in photo, were Harry Pruyne from Penn., Aislyn Cognan from Calif., Yukio from Japan and Willow Dixon from Oregon. Thanks to all of you who cooked, served as security, brought food, donated cash, said prayers, organized powwows, brought winter clothes and tents, organized meetings and did all those other million things for the Longest Walk Northern Route. Photo Brenda Norrell (Double click on photo to enlarge)
Photo of Harry Pruyne speaking during honoring ceremony:
http://bsnorrell.blogspot.com/2008/07/northern-route-walkers-honored-in-dc.html

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Protecting Mato Paha: Corporation linked to mercenaries


Protecting Mato Paha, Bear Butte: Strong arm corporation linked to mercenaries

By A. Gay Kingman
Executive Director
Great Plains Tribal Chairmans Association

The GPTCA passed this attached resolution to Protect Mato Paha (Bear Butte) on July 10, 2008. Help is needed to protect our Sacred Sites and Mato Paha! Mato Paha is a State Park not Federal and the development and encroachment to the Sacred Site is increasing. The Rosebud Sioux Tribe and Northern Cheyenne have land at the base of Mato Paha, but there is still land not owned by American Indian Tribes and the price of the land has increased tremendously so our Tribes cannot afford to purchase what should be our Land in the first place according to our Treaties.
The Sturgis Rally is starting up in Aug. for two weeks. While many Bikers are respectful, the bars create problems. Drunkenness, lewdness and other disrespectful actions will be happening in the bars which are developing closer and closer to Mato Paha. The County has granted alcohol license to the Bars in spite of the Protests of American Indian People and other supporters. Recently, a corporation has purchased majority ownership in the closest Bar to Mato Paha and they are going to have helicopter rides over the Butte. We are informed this Corporation is affiliated or are former Blackwater high clearance mercenaries and have already strong armed some American Indians who were on public land taking pictures.
The Contact person for supporters of Mato Paha is tamra@protectsacredsites.org or you may contact me regarding the Resolution and the Great Plains Tribal Chairman's Association.
In Spirit,
A. Gay Kingman, Executive Director
Great Plains Tribal Chairman's Association
1926 Stirling St.Rapid City, SD 57702
Cell: 605-484-3036 Fax: 605-343-3074
E-mail: KingmanWapato@Rushmore.com

Resolution No. 52-07-10-08
RESOLUTION OF THE
GREAT PLAINS TRIBAL CHAIRMAN’S ASSOCIATION (GPTCA)
This Resolution is set forth to ensure the ongoing protection of our Sacred Mato Paha (Bear Butte), from the deleterious impacts of commercial development and the increased presence of bars, concert venues and recent attempts to provide helicopter rides in and around Mato Paha and other Sacred Sites within the 1851 and 1868 Treaty Area.
WHEREAS, the Great Plains Tribal Chairman’s Association (hereafter “GPTCA”)
is composed of the elected Chairs and Presidents of the federally
recognized sovereign Indian Tribes and Nations within the Great Plains
Region of the Bureau of Indian Affairs;
WHEREAS, the GPTCA was established to promote the common interests of the sovereign Indian Tribes and Nations who are members of the GPTCA; and
WHEREAS, the United States has obligated itself both through Treaties entered into with the sovereign Tribes and Nations of the Great Plains Region and through its own federal statutes, the Snyder Act of 1921 as amended, the Indian Self-Determination Act of 1976 as amended, and the Indian Health Care Improvement Act of 1976 as amended; and
WHEREAS, the GPTCA seeks to protect all places of ancestral worship within the 1851 and 1868 Treaty areas, including Mato Paha. Fort Laramie 1851 Treaty, 11 Stat. 749. signed September 17, 1851; Fort Laramie 1868 Treaty, 15 Stat. 635, signed April 29, 1868, ratified Feb. 16, 1869, proclaimed, Feb. 24, 1869; and
WHEREAS, because the GPTCA recognizes its responsibility to act to preserve and protect sacred sites within the 1851 and 1868 Treaty Areas, the GPTCA seeks through this Resolution to protect Mato Paha and other sacred sites by condemning in the strongest possible terms the ongoing encroachment of bars and other commercial venues in and around Mato Paha and our other sacred sites; now,
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the GPTCA respectfully requests that the Meade County Commission, the South Dakota Game, Fish and Wildlife Department and South Dakota Governor Rounds work cooperatively with the GPTCA as it fulfills its responsibility to preserve and protect sacred sites within the 1851 and 1868 Treaty areas, especially Mato Paha; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, The GPTCA opposes the issuance of liquor and other commercial licenses near and/or adjacent to the said sacred sites; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, the GPTCA requests that the citizens of South Dakota and the citizens of other areas near and/or adjacent to the said sacred sites respect the indigenous spiritual use of those areas the way that members of the GPTCA respect churches and cemeteries used by the said citizens.
RESOLUTION: 52-07-10-08
RESOLUTION OF THE
GREAT PLAINS TRIBAL CHAIRMAN’S ASSOCIATION (GPTCA)
CERTIFICATION
This resolution was enacted at a duly called meeting of the Great Plains Tribal Chairman’s Association held at Rapid City, SD on July 10, 2008 at which a quorum was present, with 11 members voting in favor, 0 members opposed, 0 members not abstaining, and 5 members not present.
Dated this 10th day of July, 2008.
Ron His Horse Is Thunder, Chairman,
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe
Great Plains Tribal Chairman’s Association
.
Target Logistics Corporation and Blackwater's David Shoe
By Tamra
The second issue was the new liquor license application filed by David Shoe, General Manager for the new investors Target Logistics, Broken Spoke Campground LLC.
Target Logistics has paid off all of Jay Allen's outstanding debts for Broken Spoke Campground, LLC with the exception of one that is currently in litigation. They have dumped hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not more, into this place already. Jim Seward attorney for Target Logistics also stated that Jay Allen still owns 30% of the stock, which contradicts everything that they have testified to previously, which was that Jay Allen is no longer involved. These people change their story at every hearing.
Target Logistics Corporation showed up at the hearing with 12-15 suits, including the CEO, various attorneys and military personnel. They spent a hour of the hearing testifying about military issues, and praising David Shoe, since he was previously involved in Blackwater, had been in Afganstitan and Iraq and apparently has secret service clearance, even today. They actually brought previous military personnel here to testify on behalf of David Shoe's character, for a liquor license at a bar located at Bear Butte.
They used the war, they used the military service to gain sympathy and support from the Meade County Commissioners, to acquire the license.
Does anyone see the irony here? Can someone please explain what the military has to do with a bar, at a sacred site and what they are doing here?
The supporters for the Bear Butte issue were sitting listening to this testimony, wondering what any of this had to do, with Meade County and a bar at Bear Butte?
Several people stood up and questioned these statements and motives.
Jack Doyle, a local Meade County resident continually testifies against our side, and always includes disgusting and racist comments, stated "Indians do not own Bear Butte mountain, they are their as guests, if its not suitable for them they can go somewhere else."
In peace & solidarity,
Tamra
http://www.ndnnews.com/
http://www.protectsacredsites.org/
http://www.protectbearbutte.com/

Friday, July 25, 2008

Peace and Dignity Journeys Central Arizona routes

Peace & Dignity Journeys 2008 Central Arizona Route
Photo: Peace and Dignity runners, including grandmothers, in Pennsylvania with Long Walkers Northern Route at the Buffalo Nation Powwow. Photo Brenda Norrell
Here's the routes for Central Arizona. Another route ran from Wheatfields on the Navajo Nation south through Apache lands. A route in New Mexico was scheduled to arrive in Las Cruces today, Saturday, July 26, after running in from Albuquerque.
Main Route
Contact: Liza Hita
Date Start End Mileage
7/26 (Sat.) Ft. Mojave Nation (Needles,CA) Chimehuevi Nation (Lake Havasu, AZ) 67 miles
7/27 (Sun.) Chimehuevi Parker/C.R.I.T. 35
7/28 (M) Parker Salome 60
7/29 (T) Salome Akimel O’Odham Nation (Gila River – Piipash Village, D7) 90
7/30 (W) Piipash Village Sacaton (Gila River, D3) 47
7/31 (Th) Sacaton Tohono O’Odham Nation (Santa Rosa) 60
Altares de Izkalotlan Tributary Route
Contact: Tupac Enrique-Acosta
Date Start End Mileage
7/26 (Sat.) Salomen Wickenberg 55
7/27 (Sun.) Wickenberg Azteca Nation (Nahuacalli – Phx)* 71
7/28 (M) Nahuacalli
Moadahk (South Mountain)** 11
7/29 (T) South Mountain Yaqui Nation (Guadalupe) 5
7/30 (W) Guadalupe Sacaton 30
7/30 (W) Piipash Village Sacaton*** 45
* via Macehualtepec & Phx Indian School (Steele Park)
** via Barrio Garfield & Pueblo Grande
*** via Muku’yahui & end @ Casa Blanca Rd.
Jornadas de Paz y Dignidad 2 Continental Ceremonial Run
“HONORING OUR SACRED SITES”
ALASKA PANAMA ARGENTINA
For more info/para mas información:
Tonatierra – Nahuacalli
802 N. 7th St., Phoenix
(602) 254-5230
peaceanddignityjourneys.com
tonatierra.org
The Peace & Dignity run is dedicated to healing our tribal nations. The run strives to bring the sacred staffs to as many native nations as possible. The run started in Alaska and is heading to Panama. This years run is dedicated to protecting sacred sites.

THE GILA RIVER ROUTE
The Gila River route will start on July 30th in Piipash village (D7), will run through Komatke and Vahki (D5), and camp in Ge’e Kih (D3). The run will head out of Sacaton on July 31st and make its way to Santa Rosa Village in T.O.
We are in need of runners, support vehicles, food and water donations as it travels through our lands. Contact: sunriverhawk@aol.com

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Navajo Peacemaker: Walking in Beauty in Iran

Walking In Beauty As A Framework for International Peacemaking In Iran

Navajo Peacemaker Michelle Cook, 23, reflects on her journey to Iran

By Michelle Cook
cookmichelle7@gmail.com

International politics and decisions impact Navajo people and Indian country in very real ways. If the U.S attacks Iran it will have consequences for the numerous Navajo and other indigenous peoples who are currently serving in the armed forces. Leaders, advocates, and youth of Indian Nations have the responsibility to ask questions to protect indigenous service men and women from fighting wars or engaging in military conflict that can be prevented or is unnecessary.
Few Americans are aware that in 1953 the U.S through the C.I.A orchestrated an overthrow of the popularly elected Iranian government and installed in its place a puppet government. This was primarily a response to the Iranian decolonization efforts to manage and benefit from their oil, which had previously been under direct control by American and British companies. This effort of decolonization would strip the U.S and Britain of their profits. The U.S created a coup that overthrew Prime Minster Mosaddegh, leader of the decolonization efforts; putting in his place the U.S backed Shah Mohammed Reza.
The U.S backed Shah Mohammed Reza and this regime ruled over the Iran with an iron fist violating the dignity and human rights of anyone who questioned. In the 1970’s the Iranian youth and peoples engaged in the Islamic Cultural Revolution lead by Imam Khomeini and threw out the U.S backed regime creating the new theocratic nation of the Islamic Republic. Ever since the revolution Iranian people have been managing their oil. Few are also aware the United States supported Iraq in the Iraq-Iran war of the 1980’s.
Currently, actors within the United States government claim that Iran is threat to national security and as a result of this perceived threat the U.S government believes it has the right to wage a military attack on Iran. The United States claims that Iran is developing weapons of mass destruction however the United States has yet to provide conclusive evidence to substantiate this claim. Additionally, Iran as well as other “non-nuclear weapons” states through the signing of the 1968 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty have the legal right to develop nuclear technology for peaceful purposes, therefore, they would not be acting outside their legal limitations if processing uranium or developing nuclear technology.
If the United States were to attack Iran it will be with no moral or legal authority. In fact an attack on Iran will be illegal under international law and could be seen as an act of aggression. Considering the current Iraq occupation and the volatile situations of occupied Palestine, Lebanon, Pakistan, and Afghanistan a U.S military strike would send an already unstable Middle East further into chaos and farther from any realization of meaningful and effective self-determination, peace, and security. This is not to say Iran is a utopia, Iran like all states has its own set of social, economic, and political dilemmas and these problems will only be effectively solved by the Iranian peoples themselves not by Americans from thousands of miles away. Iranian people and peoples of the Middle East are not “terrorists” when they defend land and resources that rightfully belong to them. Unfortunately American people have been led to believe the stereotypes and often perceive Islam and peoples of Middle Eastern descent as nothing more than “terrorists” and violent people.
As opposed to dialogue the United States has made threats of violence and have created sanctions that have isolated Iran from the international community, elevating anti-American sentiments as opposed to resolving core contentions. Many Iranians and American alike believe that the core contention between the U.S and Iran lie not in issues of “terrorism” but rather Iranian control and management of its oil. The potential war with Iran would only benefit the oil companies who want to monopolize the market and dictate the price of oil. The lives of Navajo people and the welfare of American people are worth far more than green paper or barrels of lifeless Iranian oil for the profit of western trans-national corporations.
I went to Iran, because people have the right to hear both sides. Furthermore, the American people and Navajo people are entitled to know what we are being led into and deserve nothing less than full transparency when situations such as these arise. I went with a peacemaking tradition armed with Navajo prayer and the wisdom of the ancestors.
Iran is an ancient place, its population is 62 million, about half of whom are below the age of twenty. Iran is also home to several distinct tribes, such as the Ashayer, Gonbad, Qashqui, and Bakhtiyari. These tribes are nomadic, moving with the seasons, herding sheep across vast mountain ranges. Iranian tribes like the Navajo tribe are also weavers. It is the tribal peoples of Iran who are the renowned weavers of the many of the Persian Rugs. These tribes face some of the same challenges indigenous peoples in the Americas face, poverty, lack of health services, traditional mobility, and language revitalization to name but a few. In the United States rarely do we hear about these tribes or the beauty and diversity of Iranian peoples and cultures.
I met with Iranian youth who are in the process of defining and redefining themselves in relation to Islamic Republic of Iran. I found a people who are in the process of striking a balance between ancient Islam and modernity. I found strong women who are defining women’s rights in Iran on their on terms and at their own pace.
As I walked through those ancient sacred lands, I didn’t see terrorists. I saw the faces of real people; I saw families, mothers, fathers, and children, not racist stereotypes found in the media. Iran is home to many kinds of cultures and faiths.
I found some of the most kind and hospitable people I have ever encountered. I found the people who practiced Islam to be a kind and prayerful people, much like Navajo people. In Islam guests and strangers are treated as messengers of God and are given great respect, I was this given this degree of respect and was invited into their homes, where we ate and prayed for peace together. Saying both Navajo and Islamic prayers.
I wanted Iranian people to understand the diversity of America, the idea of sovereign Native Nations, of distinct peoples, as nations within a nation. I wanted them to understand some of the realities, strengths, and challenges of indigenous peoples in the United States, most importantly not to see Navajo as a vanishing people, but as active protagonists in a long and epic battle for complete harmony and self-determination. I wanted them to know the Navajo people not only as the people who walk in beauty but also as a fierce warrior people who have fought and are still fighting for the liberation, restoration, and healing of our peoples, the earth, her resources, our culture, and our language.
When I shared my story with Iranian people, I felt a real sense of solidarity, almost a familial connection. I found people who were compassionate about the struggles of indigenous peoples of North American. Although we are different, we have one thing in common. Iranian peoples like indigenous peoples want to determine their future, practice their culture, and religions without interference from outsiders, foreign rulers, and influences. I talked with veterans of the Iran and Iraq war of the 1980’s who defended their land and are advocates for peace because they never want to experience war or it’s destruction in their lands again in fact the Iranian people are still healing from the trauma caused by this war.
The Navajo people have much to teach the American people and the world in terms of non-violence and conflict resolution such as the Navajo Nation Peace Makers Court and Navajo Peacemakers. The aim of Navajo peace making is to resolve conflict and restore harmony to individuals in conflict non-violently based on Navajo custom and belief. Navajo peacemaking framework is built upon the Navajo philosophy of hozho, and uses a process that stresses dialogue and what Robert Yazzie explains as “talking things out”. The United States can learn much from Navajo in this regard, for the U.S has consistently failed to facilitate dialogue or talk things out with the Iranian people or the government. This failure not only threatens the safety of the American people but also the lives of Iranian peoples and young indigenous and Navajo soldiers. If the U.S government is unable or unwilling to facilitate this dialogue civil society and Indian Nations must advocate for and create these conversations.
As Navajo people we are taught to take care of the earth, and in return she will take care of us, this is an ancient practice of ecological sustainability. If we violate the rules of nature, as well as the teachings of the Holy People they can discipline us, therefore we are taught to do whatever we can to maintain hozho. This is what the elders have said. The holy people, also taught us how to live, and not to consume too much of any resource, this teaching extends to oil consumption. Wars should not be fought for oil. Oil is like the blood of the mother earth. Navajo people and American people need to look to ancient wisdom and reevaluate the consequences of the over consumption of earth resources; both bio-fuels like palm oil and ethanol as well as fossil fuels like oil and coal. One needs only to observe the changes in the weather, the hurricanes, and floods, imbalances in the atmosphere, to see the consequences of drifting away from our ecologically sustainable practices. Some call it climate change perhaps Navajo see it as discipline by the Holy People for living out of balance with the earth and not respecting her.
We are the Diyin Nohookáá Dine'é the Holy Earth Surface People. Navajo people are vested with the sacred responsibility of maintaining hozho. We were taught by the Holy People to value and respect all life as sacred. This includes the earth and human life. This also includes the lives of Middle Eastern peoples and the Iranian people, however different our cultures may be. I believe hozho or walking in beauty can be applied to create harmony on local and global scales. To create and advocate for a world and society where peace and harmony abounds personally, locally, nationally, and internationally. Walking in beauty or walking on the path of pollen, it is a hard path to walk, but it is a way the ancestors gave to personally and collectively find peace. Walking in hozho or peace is walking like a warrior, but not all warriors carry arms, some carry songs, some cedar, and some carry prayers for peace.

Longest Walk concludes in DC

Email lw2dcmedia@gmail.com
Aislyn Colgan (831) 295-2555
Morning Star Gali (510) 827-6719

Eight Thousand Mile Walk for Native American Rights, Environmental Protection, and to Stop Global Warming Culminates in Mass convergence and two day celebration

After 5 Months, 'The Longest Walk 2' Converges in Washington D.C., Manifesto For Change Demands "Immediate Responsible Action"

By Morning Star Gali
Photo by Brenda Norrell

WASHINGTON, DC – An 8,200 mile Native American prayer walk for Indigenous People's rights that began five months ago on Alcatraz Island, arrived in Washington D.C. on Friday July 11th. Over 800 walkers from across Indian country as well as international allies survived many challenges such as extreme weather conditions such as forceful winds, rain, snow, and even a tornado in their journey to raise awareness about sacred sites protection, cultural survival, youth empowerment and Native American rights. The successful journey traversed 24 states and 35 reservations. Each community shared with the walkers their stories of environmental destruction and threats to sacred sites. The walkers arrived in Washington D.C. with the message 'All Life is Sacred, Protect Mother Earth'. The 2008 Longest Walk marks the 30th anniversary of the original Longest Walk of 1978 that resulted in historic changes for Native America. In July of 1978, thousands of American Indians, in an affirmation of Tribal Sovereignty, walked from Alcatraz Island in the San Francisco Bay to Washington D.C. They converged on the Nations' capitol to oppose and successfully defeat 11 pieces of legislation in Congress that would have terminated many significant treaties between the federal government and tribes nation wide. The two paths that comprised the Longest Walk 2 of 2008 included a Northern and Southern route. The two routes joined together on the morning of July 11th at Lafayette Park as they marched towards the White House and continued the spiritual walk to the Capitol. "Today, we are one voice. We are one spirit. We are one body. The two walks brought together many different people from many different parts of this country -- from different reservations, from different communities, from different walks of life. But today, we have brought this pair together as one prayer. A prayer for the sacred mother earth, a prayer for future generations, a prayer for the earth." said Jimbo Simmons, Northern Route coordinator. House Judiciary Chair, US Representative John Conyers (D-MI) and Harry Belafonte met and welcomed the walkers who delivered to Conyers a 'Manifesto for Change'. Drafted in its majority by Indigenous Youth, the manifesto consolidated the findings of the five month journey into an 18 page Manifesto detailing specific action items proposing solutions to the specific regional, and national problems brought to the attention of the walkers by the communities they visited. The 'Manifesto for Change' is a living document addressing the conditions of Indigenous communities across Turtle Island. "The manifesto is the result of this five-month journey to gather support for a call to action to protect our sacred sites and to clean up mother earth and deliver the voice of the people to congress and demand congress to act." said Yaynicut Franco, a 20-year-old member of the Wukchumni Nation Youth Council. "Most of these issues are identical to those encountered by the original Walk in 1978. Both Manifestos attest to the affirmation of the sovereignty and ongoing resistance of Indigenous peoples. The lack of responsible action will no longer be tolerated. The Manifesto is a demand for immediate responsible action." Along with the 'Manifesto for Change' delivered to Conyers, The Longest Walk representatives delivered the 1978 Longest Walk Manifesto, "An Affirmation of Tribal Sovereignty". Presentation of the 1978 Manifesto was an uncompleted goal of the 1978 Longest Walk. The historic 1978 document included landmark declarations from Sovereign Indigenous nations that encompassed the issues of National Sovereignty, "The Principles of Native Women from Indigenous Nations" and the treatment of Indigenous political prisoners. .Upon receiving the Manifestos, Congressman Conyers stated "The Committee on the Judiciary will hold hearings on each one of these items that you have outlined here." Conyers also stated that he would hold a conference with Longest Walk 2 representatives before public hearings are held to ensure that congress fully understands the issues that The Longest Walk has presented. Conyers closed by stating, "I don't want anybody in the Congress or in the United States of America to ever forget that: This was your land. This still is your land!" Conyers extended his message of solidarity by stating "All of us come together to join hands for one simple obvious reason that we've learned, your cause is our cause!" Michael Lane, one of the many veteran 1978 walkers that participated in The Longest Walk 2 stated, "For those of us that survived the first walk, we never stopped walking. For me, it's taken me all over the world. [All over the world] they're struggling for the same things that we're struggling for here. As indigenous peoples, we face a common threat…extermination through corporatization. We no longer face individual nations and nation states. They work together through something called CANZUS - it stands for Canada, New Zealand, Australia and the US. They're the same four countries that did not sign the Declaration for the Rights of Indigenous People. We need to coordinate our struggles, and we need to maintain our tribal sovereignty. We need to redefine internationalism to maintain our own identity as indigenous peoples of this world." Dennis Banks, co-founder of the American Indian Movement and lead coordinator the Longest Walk 2 closed the day's events with a final message to the walkers that had traversed over 8,000 miles "So you have an awesome responsibility. Some people are saying, 'What kind of protest is this?' We're not protesting -- we're walking for Mother Earth. We're walking for things that should be right. That's what we're walking for! Native people, we will always take up the gauntlet. We will never lie down in the face of struggle. If we have to keep walking this continent, we'll walk it again!" The following day a Pow-Wow and concert were held on the lawn between 4th and Maryland Ave. from 10a.m. till 8p.m. to celebrate the colossal achievement with performances by Keith Secola, Bill Miller, Snowbird Singers, Bloodline, Ribbontail drummers and more. The entire Manifesto For Change, and the original 1978 declaration is available on its entirety on the website http://www.longestwalk.org/. ###

-- Morning Star Gali

Listen to Longest Walk Talk Radio, 500 audios from the northern route, Alcatraz to D.C.
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