Saturday, January 31, 2009
By Ben Carnes
To my friends, families and allies:
The following is a recently released statement from Leonard Peltier that I hope you will circulate widely. Also please subscribe to the listserve to get immediate updates and encourage your friends.
I also want to ask you if you would consider helping me with doing research on the Internet in regards to Peltier. There is a lot of information that we need to collect: Leonard's past statements, media and celebrity contacts, county/state/federal officials who have expressed support for Peltier and how to contact them.
If you are willing to help me with this, please reply and I’ll place you in a group so that everyone can get more done quickly and I’ll wade through the information.
We are approaching a critical point in Leonard's campaign, and we will need massive support from around the world. So any volunteer help is going to appreciated. We have a website under construction, and we would want everyone to know when we change over. Also, there is an important event (Feb. 6th) in Boulder,CO for Peltier on the 33rd year of his capture in Canada. Chief Leonard Crow Dog and LP DOC members, Betty Ann Peltier-Solano, Kari Ann Cowan (Leonards sister & niece, respectively), David Hill and myself. The Leonard Peltier Branch Support in Boulder, along with other student organizations is hosting this event.
There is also a noon rally at the courthouse, followed by a meeting for committee members to finalize the presentation of their strategy to free Leonard. This is it and we will need EVERYONE to help us. I believe that once you see the pattern and focus of our strategy, you will see the importance in joining a “Final Offensive” in this 33 year long campaign. Hope to hear from many of you. In the Spirit of freedom, Ben Carnes
STATEMENT FROM PELTIER: A Hero’s welcome (1/31/2009)
By Leonard Peltier
I want to thank each and everyone of you for your efforts in my urgent time of need, you cannot imagine how much my spirit has been lifted from the cards and letters, the phone calls and how everyone kept up the pressure. My gratitude is really more than I can express.
My return to Lewisburg was met like a hero’s welcome, and many people came to assure me of my safety there. It is so ironic that the prisoners in a federal maximum-security prison can guarantee my safety, but the Bureau of Prisons will not. I did not say, “cannot”, but “will not” do so. You have to remember the BOP is a little brother to the FBI and they came from an illegitimate mother called the JUST-US (Justice) Department.
Do I sound a little angry? Well, I am angry that many of my friends have died in assuring my survival while I’ve been in prison. All the men who were involved in my escape at Lompoc, all died mysteriously soon after: Dallas Thundershield at Lompoc, Bobby Garcia at Terre Haute, and Rocky Duenas, whose body was never recovered. And Standing Deer, he gave away his life when he revealed the assassination plot against me. He lived under the shadow of death for years, waiting to be killed for defying the government, until he was eventually paroled to Texas. He was murdered soon after the same person who contracted him to have me assassinated warned him about his involvement with my campaign. Surviving this attack brought back memories of those losses, and it is with tears of more gratitude in my eyes and in my heart that no one died this time. I don’t ever want to lose another brother in protecting me; a human life is precious and important.
I know in other countries, prisoners who have been held by their government have been placed in house arrest after they have attained international support as I have. If the BOP cannot guarantee my safety to the extent the prisoners here can, then I demand to be returned to my nation, Turtle Mountain, where I can be assured of my safety!
Turtle Mountain has issued a resolution to transfer me into their custody, and they have asked to meet with Obama on a nation-to-nation basis. This has to happen and it will when a lot of energy is placed behind it. In the past 18 days your efforts brought me out of the hole and to where there is a measure of safety.
The FBI has said that I will never leave prison alive, and we should not accept that as an idle threat. There have been a few times that my life was targeted by the FBI in the 33 years since my capture, and each of those who have helped me to survive are now dead. The transfer and attack at Canaan is just a warning to me of what is to come. The warden’s know of the psychological make-up of their inmate population in their prison, and they clearly knew that placing someone who is well known, as I am, with connections to many famous people and at my age, I would be subject to predatory attacks. This was deliberate by the BOP, and as far as the motivation for the attack, it could have been ordered by any prison official at the request of the FBI, or someone trying to curry favor from the feds. It could have also been a tactic to beat me into submission for purposes of extortion or something as stupid as trying to make a reputation.
We know they are afraid and Trimbach’s smear letter support that. They see pressure, in the form of your letters and calls, growing and they know that my committee has been tirelessly developing plans to set up a wave of activity. The FBI is now afraid that they will fail to keep me falsely imprisoned. We are becoming stronger and we must keep building our network to succeed.
I am proud of the brother’s & sisters, the Elder’s and my family who make up the committee; they have all personally sacrificed more than many people may ever know. It is humbling when I hear about the difficulties they have had due to being associated with me, but they do not quit. They are putting in many hours of their lives that they could be spending with their own families, but I hear they are on the phones talking to people, writing letters, and networking through the computers. They have been criticized by a few people and have attempted to create divisions within the committee through spreading accusations about them. So let me say this, I know the people I have invited to serve on my committee, and I’ve known most of them for years. A couple of them are my Sun Dance brothers and I have entrusted my life in their abilities and their commitment to bring about my freedom. The decision I have made to place them in their positions of responsibility is mine, not the critics. I ask all my supporters to ignore those who would have you waste your time listening to or reading petty gossip based upon jealousy or personal dislike. These are activities that the FBI uses to destroy a movement, and they are not the Indian way of doing things. So we need to be aware that those who are bad-mouthing my committee, and talking behind their backs to smear them, may be infiltrators sent by the feds to tear down the committee. Watch out for those people and make some distance from them.
I am also asking all of my supporters and allies to follow the directions of the committee when the plans and strategies are presented at the Feb. 6th event in Boulder, CO. It had begun as an educational event and now it will be a very important event because of everything that has happened recently. We had wanted to release it when Obama was sworn in, but my transfer placed it on hold. I am a believer that nothing happens by accident or coincidence. It all happens for a reason, and it feels as if things are coming together the way they should. It is significant that an intense campaign will be begin after 33 years in captivity and with a newly elected President who could be receptive to my clemency appeal in office.
We will be making our message stronger in what we do and in how we will do it. I cannot stress how important it will be to increase our numbers after this event because the committee members, spokespersons, and their families will be making more personal sacrifices to help increase awareness. They’ll need your support in organizing other events and networking in your area.
Again, I want to thank everyone who wrote, called and emailed. My hand in appreciation is extended to those who have held rallies and protests on my behalf to call attention to the attack on me. I also extend my gratitude to Cynthia McKinney, former congresswoman for her recent letter to President Obama urging him to free other political prisoners and myself.
In all these years, there have been so many people who have prayed for my safety and freedom from all faiths. There is power in those prayers and that is what I know will bring about my freedom. I can feel something different this time, and many others have expressed the same thought to me. So when you pray, don’t pray only for me, but the warriors of AIM who have died for our people, the victims of the “Reign of Terror” on Pine Ridge, and other victims who has suffered as we have. Pray for their families as well. They must not be forgotten and they must have justice!
In the Spirit of Crazy Horse, Dallas Thundershield, Bobby Garcia, Rocky Duenas, Standing Deer, and in The Spirit of Total Resistance,
Tohono O'odham living in the most desperate poverty ask: 'Where are the casino millions going?'
Tohono O'odham youths, pushed to the breaking point by the US military and Tohono O'odham police, too often have to choose between jail, hunger and leaving their homeland
By Brenda Norrell
Every week, Tohono O'odham friends call and say they have no money, no money for food, no money to heat their homes at night and no money for their elderly parents.
Every week, Tohono O'odham friends ask where are the millions going from the Tohono O'odham casinos. The crowds overflow at the Tohono O'odham's Desert Diamond Casino on the edge of Tucson, while the Tohono O'odham people continue to live in the most desperate poverty. It only takes a drive across Tohono O'odham land to see what is happening and what is not happening, in regards to poverty.
Now, a new $550 million casino is in the plans:
Where are the millions going? The Tohono O'odham Legislative Council has long been able to oppress its people with the heavy arm of Homeland Security, the National Guard and Tohono O'odham police.
Now, the militarization is worse. Tohono O'odham are stopped constantly without provocation and threatened and intimidated by US military, Border Patrol, federal agents and Tohono O'odham police.
Tohono O'odham youths, pushed to the breaking point by the US militarization and police, too often have to choose between jail, hunger and leaving their homeland.
The Tohono O'odham Council does not allow outside reporters into its chambers for council sessions. In northern Arizona, the Navajo Nation Council welcomes press and even provides copies of resolutions. That does not happen in the Tohono O'odham Council chambers. Outside reporters are told to leave. The best that reporters can hope for when asking questions is to have their lives threatened for asking questions.
With no accountability, the Tohono O'odham people say this crime against humanity continues.
MOHAWK NATION NEWS
Jan. 28, 2009. The repossession of Haudenosaunee land is an on-going process. In the 1920s we repossessed “Tiokwaroton”, a six mile square area in the Laurentian Mountains north of Montreal. In 1957 we settled in the Mohawk Valley near Fonda New York where “Kahnawake” had existed long ago. We left when NYS started objecting to our presence because we knew our land issue did not belong in the colonial court system.
In 1974 the Mohawks of Kahnawake near Montreal were being squeezed on our land by the influx of many non-Ongwehonwe. They were coming in to illegally live in cheap housing which some of our people were renting to them. The people became alarmed at the high numbers that were arriving. They were beginning to crowd us out and trying to control us.
The traditional Longhouse people were asked to help evict these people. Eviction notices were handed out to the illegal tenants. The colonial “band council” supported by the Canadian government and the illegal tenants objected to the move. Canada and the band council sent in Quebec Police to instigate violence and divisions. Resistance ensued. The non-Ongwehonwe left. They knew they did not belong here.
Canada respected the Longhouse people who knew that Kahnawake is on Iroquois Confederacy territory under Kaianerehkowa, the constitution of the Iroquois Confederacy. It was never surrendered and never a “reserve”. After the evictions the Minister of Indian Affairs Jean Chretien secretly proclaimed Kahnawake as a “reserve” without consultation, referendum or consent of the people. This violated international law. No state is allowed to absorb another without the free and informed consent of its people. The band council went along with it. In 1979 the people overwhelmingly voted to live according to the traditional form of governance.
The traditional people decided not to fight our own people. Some moved to another part of our Territory at Moss Lake in upper New York State. On May 13 1974 they resettled in a community called “Ganiengeh”. It was a Warrior’s Project which was sanctioned by all of the Confederacy.
Shortly thereafter the Grand Council of the Rotino’shonni:onwe, Iroquois Confederacy, set up the “Land Rights Committee”. They passed a resolution for our people to find ways to get our lands back by “all means”. According to the Kaianerehkowa, the Great Law of Peace, everybody and every nation has a duty to protect our lands. The Confederacy wanted strong advocates in the movement. Some of the appointees to the committee were writer, artist and historian, Louis Karonhiaktajeh Hall, Mad Bear Anderson, Beeman Logan and others. The movement gained support from other nations across Turtle Island and international support from Germany, Australia, England, France, Netherlands, African nations and the World Council of Churches.
One of our communities, Akwesasne, was usurped, piece-by-piece, until only a tiny portion remained as lands “reserved” for the Mohawks.
In 1763 the King of England issued a “Royal Proclamation” to forbid English colonies and British subjects from taking over any “Indian Lands” without a treaty with the King. The Confederacy knew this Proclamation was only for the colonists and their monarch. We could make agreements with anybody we wanted. They could not.
These proclamations and agreements between the European entities were used to steal and disperse Ongwehonwe wealth. The Revolutionary War created the “imaginary line” known as the U.S./Canada border that split Akwesasne. The northern portion was supposedly protected by the King. The southern portion was supposedly protected by the U. S. Constitution. The Jay Treaty of 1794 was a trade agreement between the colonies. We were not part of it.
The Europeans asked the Kanionkehaka of Akwesasne to let them use some of our lands for temporary settlement. At the time, Akwesasne extended eastward to Lake Champlain in Vermont, and toward Watertown to the west. It ran from the St. Lawrence River well into the Adirondack Mountains to the south. In the center of Akwesasne is a one mile square piece which was leased by New York State. It contains the town of Hogansburg. This is where the Raquette River and the St. Regis River flow into the St. Lawrence River. Today the principal east-west highway 37 runs through the middle, intersecting with the principal road to St. Regis Village.
In 1817 Michael Hogan, a wealthy former Irish ship captain, a member of the NYS Assembly, later a judge and Member of Congress in 1830, leased our land and water at Hogansburg. NYS named the town after him. It wasn’t made with the people of Akwesasne, the Mohawk Nation or the Confederacy. The two “indentures of lease” of October 20 and 23 were sanctioned and confirmed by the NYS Legislature, who had no authority to do this. Hogan was to pay an annual rent of $305 to the Mohawk. It could be renewed upon the same terms.
In 1824 NYS stated that the Mohawks had sold Hogansburg to them for $1, with an annual payment of $305 “in perpetuity”. William Hogan then magically acquired the deed from NYS. When the lease was finished, the Mohawks refused to renew it. Instead of returning the land to the owners, New York State started to illegally sell it off to non-Ongwehonwe. A few buyers tried to cash in by reselling it to outside developers for millions of dollars.
The Mohawk people decided to repossess our land. This was done. No one opposed this. It is now being resettled by the Mohawk People, who are determined to ensure their children, grandchildren and future generations have sufficient land to raise their families.
Illegal leases issued by colonial governments is an ongoing problem that requires constant vigilance. The land was validly repossessed because there was no agreement allowing the state to squat on our land. The lands belong to the nation, not to individuals. The situation here is the same on all parts of Turtle Island. That’s why the settler society refuses to study documented history.
MNN Mohawk Nation News http://www.mohawknationnews.com/ email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org Kanionkehaka Kaianerehkowa Kanonhsesne, Jan. 21, 2009. 514-269-1400.
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Friday, January 30, 2009
By Tia Oros Peters
Photo of Jim Main, Sr, at home by Brenda Norrell
Dear Seventh Generation Fund Relatives and Friends,
With a heavy heart I share with you the news of Jim Main Sr., (Gros Ventre) passing to the Spirit World. As many of you may remember Jim Main, he was a steadfast and unrelenting warrior for Indigenous Peoples and especially for our homelands and sacred sites. In fact, his words and guidance helped inform our Sacred Sites Protection Campaign – including our memorable person Sacred Earth Summit in 2001 in Seattle, WA, and again, in 2002 in San Diego, CA.
A member of the White Clay Society, Jim was a treasured leader to Seventh Generation Fund for many years. He will be sorely missed by our organization. We trusted Jim. We were honored when he attended our convenings and shared his great wisdom, wit, and generous spirit. He taught us through his conduct and his dedication. We looked to him often to help us. And, he was always generous.
Jim was a true and consistent warrior, to be sure. And, as such, he was also a gracious, kind, thoughtful and honorable leader that set for us a clear pathway of how to continue work on behalf of our respective peoples.
Jim would be so pleased to know of recent sacred sites victories in places like Panhe in California, and just a couple of days ago in Zuni, New Mexico. It would have been great to march with him in Redding, in the struggle to protect Hatchet Mountain (Pit River Country) from (so-called green) windmills that will damage a sacred area, and severely impact golden and bald eagle habitat. He knows, where he is now in the other world, that we will continue the good fight for our peoples. Today, in mourning, and reflecting on how much we have learned from Jim Main Sr., we carry forward – heavy hearted but as determined as ever to strive, to fight, to honor our ancestors, as he did.
It is always so hard when we lose one of our elders. The world seems that much emptier, bigger, more difficult to travel through. Jim’s presence meant a great deal to so many of our community and projects. SGF sincerely hopes that our work continues to carry forth the great legacy and integrity of Jim Main Sr., a warrior of character, determination, and outstanding leadership. On behalf of our organization, board, staff and the Indigenous communities we serve throughout the Indigenous World, I extend a heartfelt condolence to Jim’s family, community and Nation.
May he be in peace.
All Our Relations,
Tia --Tia Oros Peters, Executive Director, Seventh Generation Fund for Indigenous Development, Office Ph: 707-825-7640 x111 http://www.7genfund.org/
Supporting Social, Environmental and Cultural Justice for 32 Years (1977 – 2009)
In memory of Jim Main, Sr., the following interview is posted, written while I visited with him and his family at home, on Gros Ventre land two years ago. Sincere condolences to his family. Jim was a true warrior, arising with courage in his lifelong fight for the people, Brenda Norrell
In Montana, Indians are guilty until proven innocent
By Brenda Norrell
HAYS, Montana – James Main, Sr., Gros-Ventre and longtime advocate of Indian rights, said some conditions have improved for American Indians in Montana, particularly the treatment of Indians by government officials. Ranchers in north-central Montana often get along well with
However, the treatment of Indians by the Montana Justice System has not improved its treatment of Indian people.
"We've got a long way to go with the Justice system. I'd like to see a handful of radical attorneys come over here and shake this place up, attack the system," Main said.
Main, known internationally as a voice for Indigenous Peoples, now in poor health following open-heart surgery, has a personal view of the state system.
James Sr. laughs remembering how Bill Means said Jim Jr. should be a comedian because of his impersonations of John Wayne and others. Jim Jr. was the caregiver of his mother, Vernie White Cow Main, who lives on the homesite where she was born on Big Warm Creek on the Fort Belknap Nation.
James Sr. said, "Jim took care of her. He almost had to be a nurse for six months. He trained himself to take care of her."
James Sr. spent his life traveling for Indigenous rights, helping those who needed him. "I decided to do some good," he said of his decision to live a life in service to humankind.
"I learned a lot about different people and different cultures. I never knew there were other Indians in California. I thought John Wayne got them all," James Sr. joked.
"It's good to travel, travel around."
Seated at home in the community of his childhood at Hays, James Sr. is surrounded by memories and the passing of time.
"I don't know how long I'm going to last. I have got a lot of people praying for me. These Mayan Indians went up on a pyramid in Guatemala.
It must have been a very powerful ceremony. I knew; it was in my mind."
On his living room wall, there is a huge poster of a Gros Ventre man. It reads, "Sits on High, EK-GIB-TSA-ATSKE, of the White Clay People A'AH'NI NIN."
James Sr. looks at the poster and says, "He did what they wanted him to do, settle down. Then, they took his land."
Speaking about those who took the land here, rich in gold, water and forests, he says, "They make a fortune and they die."
These days, James Sr. teaches his grandsons the philosophy that he has lived by. It is the philosophy of pride, self-esteem and honoring the culture.
"Go back to your old ways, traditions and culture. That is what I teach my grandsons. Try to get the language back," he adds. There are only a handful of speakers left.
James Sr. remembers the harsh years at St. Paul's Mission School.
During second grade, when the children went to pray during Christmas mass, the nuns told them Santa Claus would come if they had been good.
If not, there would be willow switches waiting. When they returned, they expected presents and instead found a stack of willow switches. There was also writing on the blackboard.
"I recognized the writing. It was a priest's, telling us how bad we were."
The little children were often beaten. James Sr. remembers, "They would slap us around for nothing."
Remembering his father Tom Main, James Sr. said, "He was a humanitarian, a real leader. He did things for nothing. He could have amassed a fortune, but he didn't."
James Sr. said Tom Main served as an interpreter at a time when few White Clay People spoke English. Tom served on the executive committee of the National Congress of American Indians.
"I learned a lot from him, he was honest to a fault," Jim Sr. said of his father.
"We had a pretty rough upbringing, we were poor and we had to haul water a long way. We burned wood, so we had to saw wood. My mother used to wash on Saturdays, all we did all day long was haul water."
James Sr. grew up with three brothers and four sisters. Today, all of his brothers are living and the oldest is 86. He served in the Air Force in Japan and was there when the Korean War began in 1950.
James Sr. also worked in the copper mines for 15 years. "That's where there was never racism, a melting pot."
The happiest days of his life were spent during his high school years. "We rode horseback, we rode bucking horses; there were lots of wild horses. We had powwows during the holidays, I really enjoyed those. We had bone games, hand games, we would sing songs and have a guessing game. We tried to guess whose hand the bone was in."
The men and women played each other. Kumeyaay have similar games, he said. During their travels, both Jim Sr. and Jim Jr. earned the respect of Indian people.
Read entire article:
From Indigenous Environmental Network: Jim Main Sr., elder and warrior was an intregal part in the founding and creation of IEN, and was a long term National Council member for IEN. He was also a member of the International Indigenous Treaty Council and the Grand Governing Council of the American Indian Movement. His teachings of wisdom and the memory of his humor and traditional songs will stay with us.Ga-a-woo-wuss (Coyote Bear), a.k.a. James Main, Sr., of the White Clay Nation died peacefully in his sleep at approximately 4:30 a.m. on January 29, 2009. His hard-fought battle with End-Stage Congestive Heart Failure over the past several years finally took its toll about two weeks ago. Like a true warrior, he did not go down easily, but went with honor and dignity. To the end, he maintained his humor, making those around him laugh…and cry as he used his dwindling strength to sing, talk Indian, pray, and tell of old times. Always at the center of his heart and spirit was the survival of the Red Nations. It is an overwhelmingly sad day for his loved ones here on earth, but truly a victorious day for a warrior who is so deserving of the peace, love, and acceptance he will meet as all our relatives take him to his rightful place in the spirit world, known as the “Big Sands” to the White Clay people.Wake services will be held Saturday, January 31 beginning at 5:00 p.m. at his residence in Hays, Montana.
Traditional services will be held Sunday, February 1 at 1:00 p.m. followed by burial at the family cemetary in Big Warm, Montana.
If you would like to make a contribution to the family at this time -
Please Contact: Rose Main: 406.390.5350 (mobile), 406.673.3013 (home)
James Main, Sr.'s residence: 406.673.3813
William "Snuffy" Main: 406.945.7349
Harold "Jiggs" Main: 406.262.3041
Thursday, January 29, 2009
MOHAWK NATION NEWS
Jan. 29, 2009. Montreal police want the city to give the cops the right to crack down on “insult-hurling” citizens “with a blow to their pocketbooks” or cooling our heels in a jail cell. They don’t’ want to be called "pigs" and "doughnut-eaters" anymore! They want us to salute them and lick their boots. We’re worried that some insulters could get jail time in the “Swearor’s Prison” in Old Montreal. British Police are already enforcing this law even though it’s not on the books. Photos of police harassing the public is going to be a crime there.
Mayor Tremblay and Chief-Insp. Paul Chablo of the Montreal Police force are seriously thinking about it. It’s probably a go since you can’t fight city hall. They haven’t mentioned what hapless people can do about the insults and disrespect we have to endure at the hands of their bureaucrats and agents. What about the names, assaults, tasering, obstruction and “accidental” killings we have to suffer in the name of law and order? They want to be able to commit all the atrocities with impunity and no complaint department.
We wonder whether they are going to be allowed to shoot us like that kid in the park? Wasn’t he playing chess? What’s this about? Are the police fishing for bigger payoffs to buy our peace? The city is always trying to find ways to make some quick cash.
Thank goodness they can’t punish us yet for giving them dirty looks, sticking out our tongue and our risky thoughts about them! With all the new surveillance technology, is that coming next?
Their excuse is they want to keep police interventions involving violent citizens from getting out of hand. We’ve seen them gleefully go after people, beat them to get a reaction and then arrest and brutalize them.
The Great Law of our people says the “Royaner” must have a thick skin to deal with issues. It is well known that people who are frustrated often express their feelings in words and are less likely to resort to weapons. There’s a good reason for the advice from elders that, “sticks and stones can break my bones but names will never hurt me”. It would make a lot more sense to train police to be desensitized to name calling and behave and respond in an upright manner. Why don’t they set up a soap box so we can call them names and tell them why we do it? This would be therapeutic for both sides. Or are these laws meant to condition us to get used to being controlled and enslaved?
In what language can the cops be insulted before it is a crime? Most of the cops in Montreal are French speaking. It is a good reason for learning Mohawk where we have colorful and accurate descriptions of the colonizers that are explanatory, not expletive.
The cops don’t need another discretionary weapon. They already engage in provocative and abusive behavior like stopping people for no reason, pushing them around and threatening them with fines and penalties.
It all depends on one’s budget. Are they going to put out a list of swear words and the amounts of the fines attached? Calling them pigs could be a small fine. But calling them “f---ing pieces of foreign dog s—t” could be more! If we call them “f--king cop”, this might mean he knows how to make his girlfriend happy. But if we call him a “mother f--king cop”, then, if there’s supporting evidence, whose going to lay the charge?
Under the common law there is a principle “nule criminen sin legge”. Nothing is a crime unless there is a law against it.
It's questionable policy. Ronald Sklar, a McGill University law professor, said "There are … a lot of words that are border line. Insults are highly subjective." The police shouldn’t be any different than anybody else as far as insults go because it doesn't affect their ability to do their duty. If the cops shoot and kill one of our sons, will we be charged for screaming in agony and insulting them as an expression of fear and anger? Sklar said words can be punishable, but they must threaten bodily harm or incite disorder.
Montreal also wants to pass a motion to prohibit protesters from covering their faces during demonstrations [of what?] Is this law a way to get rid of peaceful demonstrators? Claude Dauphin of the Montreal executive, said there would be exceptions to the rule. “Demonstrators would have the right to don headgear” that look like a certain politician who is the target of a rally, or wear a ski mask when the temperature goes below -25 C, but not above. What about people wearing a mask to protect themselves or others from Asian flu?
Chablo said, "Whenever there's a protest where people cover their faces with masks or any type of cloth, usually it results in violence or there's an intention to commit violence." How can they prove an intention? Are these laws to protect the cops’ dainty egos? Couldn’t they also be evidence of violent intentions? Many of us are targeted by the cops. Is a natural mask like a dark face more easily punishable? Is this a back door way to justify the racism that people “of color” already suffer at the hands of the cops?
We have a right to cover our face if we don't want to be seen or don’t feel secure enough to be seen. Some of us could have scars or marks we want to hide. The fact that people have to resort to public demonstrations is proof that citizens are given no real respect or voice in the colonial society. Two MNN staffers were targeted and subjected to attempted murder by Canadian agents last June 14th 2008 at the Cornwall border crossing. Canadian officials refuse to investigate this crime, let alone accept responsibility. For those who have never been targeted, fear comes to those of us who know that we may be beaten up or targeted for murder if we express our opinions.
The way the law looks, we can’t wear makeup, sun glasses, mustaches, beards or hats, dye our hair or lose or gain weight for fear of being charged with illegally changing our appearance! The police can drag us into court and cause us all kinds of expense, fines and conditions. When police beat up people in public, we cannot film them. They say they feel intimidated. Police are equipped with video cameras mounted on vans to tape everyone at a protest. But when the videos provide evidence of police misdeeds, the footage suddenly disappears. This law suggests we are going to be forced to salute the cops or else. It looks like they’re stepping up to something more vicious! Aw! shit! Oh, oh! That's a $10 sear word!
MNN Mohawk Nation News
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FLAGSTAFF: An all ages benefit show for Food Not Bombs & Flagstaff Copwatch!
Blackfire, Mokshya, members of Summit Dub Squad, The Spoken Word of Brother Levy, Matt Miller, Jacobo, Stephanie & Marcus, Crucial Taint & More!
Friday, January 30th, 6:30PM, $3-6 admission (sliding scale) At the Murdock Center
S. Agassiz and Butler, Flagstaff, AZ
About Food Not Bombs
Food Not Bombs is a loose-knit group of independent collectives, serving free vegan and vegetarian food to others. Food Not Bombs' ideology is that myriad corporate and government priorities are skewed to allow hunger to persist in the midst of abundance.
FNB Flagstaff serves every Sunday from 12 pm -- 2 pm at the Murdock Center.
Copwatch is formed to combat abuse by the police in our community. We use a variety of means to fight police abuse, including community patrols, videotaping of police activity, and education. Copwatch is completely independent from the police, all other law enforcement agencies, the government, and all political parties.
We meet every Tuesday at 8PM at the Taala Hooghan Infoshop.
http://www.indigenousaction.org/- Independent Indigenous Media
Catherine Tactaquin, (510) 465-1984 ext. 302
Laura Rivas, (510) 465-1984 ext. 304
Immigrant Rights Supporters Urge Obama To End Raids, Restore Rights
By National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights
Thousands sign letter to President Obama calling for changes in immigration enforcement in the first 100 days of new Administration
(OAKLAND, CA) Immigrant rights supporters are calling on President Barack Obama and his Administration to protect the rights of immigrant workers, families and communities. An "Open Letter" to President Obama, signed by over 3,500 individuals and organizations from nearly all 50 states in the union, urges Obama and his Administration to end immigration raids and suspend all detentions and deportations in the first 100 days of his Administration.
The letter, which is also being shared with key policy-makers, also calls on President Obama to restore immigrants' due process rights and hold field hearings with immigrant communities to learn from them about the impacts they suffer from immigration law enforcement.
"President Obama must stop the cycle of punishment and implement humanitarian policies and practices to uphold the rights of immigrant communities," declared Catherine Tactaquin, Executive Director of the National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (NNIRR), announcing the delivery of the "Open Letter to President Barack Obama" during a a telephonic media conference on Tuesday. [Click here to read the Open Letter to President Obama.]
NNIRR members and partners drafted the open letter as part of a campaign to expose the massive immigration detention and deportation system that the U.S. government has built over the last decade. NNIRR is calling for accountability and other changes to end the abuses.
Ms Tactaquin said, "We are calling on President Obama to take decisive action to end the criminalization of immigrants, de-linking immigration policy from the politics of national security. President Obama moved swiftly to close the notorious Guantanamo prison; we will urge him to also act quickly to end the abuse and trauma that hundreds of thousands of immigrant workers are experiencing in detention centers throughout the United States."
Ending Raids Will Not Be Enough to End Abuses
In fiscal year 2008, the Department of Homeland Security deported 349,041 persons; almost 6,000, or less than two per cent, were detained and deported through immigration work place and other types of raids. However, ICE detains and deports the overwhelming majority of immigrants through different strategies, including collaboration with local police and other public agencies and employers.
"The result of raids and other types of immigration enforcement is the same. ICE enforcement devastates families, undermines our rights and traumatizes communities, disrupting the economy. Ending ICE raids will not be enough; detentions and deportations must be put on hold while the Obama Administration takes action to uphold our rights," Ms. Tactaquin concluded.
NNIRR presented several more speakers who shared their stories exposing the grave injustices caused by immigration enforcement in the interior and the border.
Criminalization of Immigrants,
Militarization of Immigration and Border Control
During the media briefing on the open letter to President Obama, NNIRR had several speakers share stories of the devastating effects detention and deportation have on immigrant families.
Susan Gillis spoke about the case of Mr. Rebhy Abdel Malak, an Egyptian man who was brutally beaten by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents in an Atlanta detention center to force him to sign away his rights and deport him. Ms. Gillis is advocate working on behalf of Mr. Abdel Malak's family.
Rebhy Abdel Malak came legally to the U.S. ten years ago with his family. He has three children, two who are U.S. citizens, and petitioned for asylum after he and his wife fled religious persecution in Egypt.
Ms. Gillis emphasized, "Mr. Abdel Malak's case points to the humanitarian crisis deepened by a lack of accountability in federal detention centers across the country." Ms. Gillis told how Rebhy Abdel Malak, after errors made by unscrupulous lawyers in his petition, was taken into custody over a year ago and transferred to a remote jail in Alabama, separated from his family in North Carolina. Mr. Abdel Malak is the family's sole breadwinner; his wife and children have been traumatized by his incarceration.
Ms. Gillis urged the immediate release of Mr. Abdel Malak and all immigrants detained for status violations as part of the letter's call to President Obama on immigrant's rights.
Betsy Dewitt with Families for Freedom, an organization in New York advocating with families
directly affected by the detention and deportation regime, noted that "At least 15 percent of American families are 'mixed status,' meaning that at least one or more family member is an immigrant." Ms. DeWitt, whose husband was deported over a year ago, echoed the urgency of ending raids and the cruel separation of families caused by detention and deportation.
Ms. DeWitt said that the ongoing criminalization of immigrants - deepened by the 1996 laws such as Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act and the Anti-terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act - gives no respite to families whose loved ones are being subject to deportation.
President Obama: End Raids, Restore the Rights of Immigrants
"In this era of change, it is vital that we work with the Obama Administration to educate the public and return to American values of family unity and the rule of law. If we can close Guantanamo, we can also close Hutto," Ms. Dewitt emphasized. "T. Don Hutto" is a federal detention facility in Taylor, Texas, used to jail immigrant families, including over 200 children.
Isabel García from the Coalición de Derechos Humanos in Tucson denounced the criminalization of immigrants and spoke out against "Operation Streamline," a strategy implemented at the U.S.-Mexico border to automatically jail migrants. Ms. García said that Streamline has resulted in "criminal convictions of up to 70 persons per day, essentially normalizing violations of the U.S. Constitution en masse." In addition, she urged President Obama and the new administration to "address immigration as a social, humanitarian and economic issue and examine why last year 183 people died a horrific and unnecessary death attempting to cross the U.S.-Mexico border to reunite with families."
Ms. García closed by saying, "Enforcement measures at the U.S.-Mexico border and in the interior affect us all, immigrants or not. Current immigration policies and laws continue to normalize the deprivation of rights for immigrants."
Immigrant rights groups also announced plans for follow-up work with the "Open Letter" to President Barack Obama and members of Congress when they travel to Washington, D.C. in March. Signators and immigrant rights groups will continue pressing elected officials to take action to end the raids, suspend detentions and deportations, and restore due process before the end of Administration's first 100 days.
TAKE ACTION FOR JUSTICE & HUMAN RIGHTS:
Click here to read and share the Open Letter to President Barack Obama with your Congressional delegation, local, county and state public officials and community groups.
Support the National Network!
Founded in 1986, the National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights is dedicated to promoting and defending the rights of all immigrants, regardless of their immigration or citizenship status. By joining and supporting NNIRR, you become part of a Network that works and organizes for justice and human rights for all!
You can join the Network, subscribe to Network News and/or make a generous contribution to support NNIRR's work for justice and human rights!
Click here to join the National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights!
Click here, to support NNIRR today!
Order a subscription to Network News, NNIRR's exciting movement newsletter!
For more information and NNIRR action alerts and news, click here:
Cynthia Ann McKinney (born March 17, 1955) is a former United States Representative and the 2008 Green Party nominee for President of the United States. McKinney served as a Democrat in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1993–2003 and 2005–2007, first representing Georgia's 11th Congressional District and then Georgia's 4th Congressional District. She is the first African-American woman to have represented Georgia in the House. In the 1992 election, McKinney was elected in the newly re-created 11th District, and was re-elected in 1994. When her district was redrawn and renumbered due to the Supreme Court of the United States ruling in Miller v. Johnson, McKinney was easily elected from the new 4th District in the 1996 election, and was re-elected twice without substantive opposition. McKinney was defeated by Denise Majette in the 2002 Democratic primary, in part due to Republican crossover voting in Georgia's open primary election, which permits anyone from any party to vote in any party primary, and in part due to her "controversial profile, which included a suggestion that George W. Bush knew in advance of the September 11 attacks. (from wikipedia) McKinney recently risked her life on the Free Gaza ship rammed by Israel as she joined doctors to deliver medical aid to Palestine.
President Obama, Let Peltier Live!
by Cynthia McKinney
January 28, 2009
Today, I sent this message to the President:"Mr. President, Justice delayed is justice denied. Leonard Peltier's family report that he has been brutally beaten while in custody. Peltier should be released. He has become a global symbol of injustice and prison abuse. Imprisoned in the late 1970s, Peltier has never been given a fair trial. Yet he has been a model prisoner.
In April he wrote: "Given the choice of lying down to die or standing up to live, we chose to live." Let Peltier live. Please free Leonard Peltier now."It's easy to send a message to President Obama to help him deliver on the hope and change he promised.
Now is the time for us to act.
Unfortunately, the President has already signed an order allowing the continued bombing of Pakistan and his promised Afghanistan surge is underway. What that means for all of us is more war. If we are to have true and lasting peace, it should be clear by now that we won't get it by confining our electoral choices to only the ones presented to us in sophisticated, highly managed public relations campaigns.
True and lasting peace will come only with justice. Freeing our political prisoners, including Peltier, Mumia, Sundiata, Mutulu, Imam El-Amin, our Puerto Rican political prisoners, and so many more is but a down payment on the path of justice and reconciliation that our country so sorely needs.
IPF WEBSITE: http://users.skynet.be/kola/index.htm and www.myspace.com/leonardpeltierisinnocent
Also, please visit the website of the
Leonard Peltier Defense Offense Committee (LPDOC): http://www.whoisleonardpeltier.info/
LPDOC e-mail: http://firstname.lastname@example.org
FEBRUARY 6, 2009 EVENT FOR LEONARD PELTIER AT C.U BOULDER
Leonard Peltier : 33 Years Behind Bars, 33 Years Searching for American Justice
"America,when will you live up to your own principles?" (Leonard Peltier)
Boulder, Colorado -- The Leonard Peltier Defense Offense Committee (Colorado Support Groups),
Indigenous Support Network and 180-11 will be presenting an educational event on the University of Colorado campus on February 6th, 2009 to commemorate the 33rd anniversary of the arrest and imprisonment of Native American political prisoner, Leonard Peltier.
The event will feature talks by Chief Leonard Crow Dog(world recognized spiritual leader), as well as David Hill and Ben Carnes, of the LPDOC. There will also be performances from local Lakota drum group, the Plenty Wolf Singers and Aztec dancers, Grupo Tlaloc, from Denver. The event will begin at 7:00pm in room 100 of the Mathematics building.
(The LPDOC will also be staging a rally followed by a march outside the Boulder City Courthouse on Pearl Street starting at noon on Feb.6th 2009 - same day)
Leonard Peltier is an internationally recognized political prisoner who has been imprisoned for 33 years (recognized by Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, the Dalai Lama, Amnesty International, Robert Redford, Willie Nelson etc.)
This case needs to be brought back into public awareness at this pivotal time in American history. With the inauguration of our first minority president, we need to look soberly at our history in order to bring about a future of justice, equity and healing for the nation. Especially in regards to the treatment of the first nations peoples of the western hemisphere.
To quote Leonard Peltier, "To heal will require real effort, and a change of heart, from all of us. To heal means that we will begin to look upon one another with respect and tolerance instead of prejudice, distrust and hatred. We will have to teach our children-as well as ourselves-to love the diversity of humanity....We can do it. Yes, you and I and all of us together. Now is the time. Now is the only possible time. Let the Great Healing begin."
(Peltier-from Prison Writings-My Life is my Sun Dance).
The ideals of a nation and a man's life are hanging in the balance.
Wakan Tanka, Unshimala yo (Great Mystery have pity on us) Mitakuye Oyasin (All My Relations). For More info contact Mark "Silent Bear" LPBSG-Boulder email@example.com
and or Nat Kramer- ISN Nathaniel.Kramer@colorado.edu
and for inquiries directed toward the LPDOC: Ben Carnes firstname.lastname@example.org
Our Website: www.myspace.com/lpbsgboulder
LPDOC website http://www.whoisleonardpeltier.info/
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
MOHAWK NATION NEWS
Jan. 28, 2009. The colony of New York can only tax its subjects. The Seneca Nation and other Ongwehonwe are not part of this colony. The courts agree that the governor’s decree is illegal and non-enforceable. The Senecas say any attempt to interfere with our trade is an affront to our sovereignty.
On January 25, 2009, the Seneca, our brothers, sisters, friends, allies and supporters gathered at Cattaraugus to affirm that NYS must obey valid laws and agreements. At this time NYS Governor David A. Paterson began back pedaling because of the resistance and in anticipation of this New York State court ruling made on January 27th 2009.
The court confirmed that NYS has no right to interfere in Ongwehonwe sovereignty. Their face saving excuse is that NYS “hasn't created a system to exempt Indians from taxation”!!! In other words, they remembered a bit of history. Or maybe they haven’t finished making the harnesses they were trying to put around our necks to make us rescue their failed economy. We stopped them from putting fake taxation remedies on us.
Just before the event Paterson sent a fax to the Seneca pledging his commitment to a “mutually productive relationship” with the “leadership”. He was referring to Barry Snyder of the tribal council which was set up as a colonial entity. This is not his call to make. We have a right under international law to chose our representative to negotiate with full knowledge and consent with foreign states like New York, the U.S. and Canada.
A deal between Paterson and Snyder to determine our fate is unacceptable. We must speak and our words must be heard. NYS has a history of making shady deals with co-opted “leaders”. The people will not let Paterson canoodle in isolation with so called leadership to make a tax pact that isn’t supported by the people.
We will not be threatened by colonial politicians in Albany who try to interfere with our trade and commerce and illegally force colonial jurisdiction on us. We will continue to make plans to collect tolls on the cars passing on the Interstate Thruway #90 that runs across our land. NYS did not honor the 1954 agreement to pay us $1 for every car that passes on the Thruway over our territory. We have every right to assert authority over our land. We have every right to travel freely on our territory. We have never relinquished any of this.
NYS is violating the Two Row Wampum Agreement, the Canadaigua Treaty 1794 and the U.S. Constitution. The Two Row created the U.S. colony. The Canadaigua Treaty states that, “the U.S. acknowledges that our property is our land and that the U.S. will never claim the same, nor disturb us in the use of our land”. It sets out the separate relationship between our nations. Article 7 states that only the U.S. President can select his designate to petition our leadership on nation to nation conflicts. The U.S. Constitution, Article 2, Section 2, also designates that only the President or his designate can speak with us on national matters, which is what trade and navigation is.
NYS illegally occupies our land. NYS cannot mount blockades on the delivery of trade goods to us. It is purporting it will come up with a scheme to trick, fool us and use force to make us comply with their pronouncement. They know the Seneca people must agree to everything. Otherwise we will resist as we always have. International law supports the protection of our birthright.
NYS constantly uses fraudulent means to make claims to our rights and possessions. It has never respected its agreement to not harass us, the owners of the land. It looks like NYS backed down when they got resistance. Their court system is set up to maintain their for-profit colonial corporation. But it did support us this time. However, it was the courts dedication to legal principles that forced it to recognize some of our rights.
This sounds more like a script for a B-Rate Hollywood movie. NYS is forming another impotent showpiece, the “Office of Indian Affairs”. We hope it is meant to educate themselves on the true history of the Ongwehonwe and their obligations to us.
Snyder is only familiar with NYS and Federal Indian Law which have nothing to do with our national sovereignty. We know any agreement will be used as a precedent to apply their one-sided edicts to other Ongwehonwe. Snyder is not authorized to negotiate on behalf of the “Keepers of the Western Door”. Only the people can do that through long established protocols. We will continue to live by the Kaianerehkowa, the Great Law of Peace.
http://www.newsday.com/news/local/wire/ ... 5407.story http://www.buffalonews.com/258/story/561569.html Posted by: MNN Mohawk Nation News www.mohawknationnews.com Comments can be posted on www.letstalknativepride.blogspot.com email@example.com Katenies20@yahoo.com firstname.lastname@example.org Note: Your financial help is needed and appreciated. Please send your donations to PayPal at www.mohawknationnews.com, or by check or money order to “MNN Mohawk Nation News”, Box 991, Kahnawake [Quebec, Canada] J0L 1B0. Nia:wen thank you very much. Go to MNN “New York State” category for more stories; New MNN Books Available now! Purchase t-shirts, mugs and more at our CafePress Store http://www.cafepress.com/mohawknews; Subscribe to MNN for breaking news updates http://.mohawknationnews.com/news/subscription
.php; Sign Women Title Holders petition! http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/Iroquois
Contact: NYS Gov. David A. Paterson 518-474-8390 www.state.ny.us/governor/contact/index.html; New York State Legislative Session Information page at http://public.leginfo.state.ny.us
email@example.com ; US Dept. Justice firstname.lastname@example.org; European Union email@example.com ; Mohawk Nat Council Chiefs firstname.lastname@example.org; OAS email@example.com ; UN Comm Human Rights firstname.lastname@example.org; IMFmschrader@imf.org; email@example.com ; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com ; firstname.lastname@example.org; “Kathryn Grant Madigan, President, NYS Bar Association, 1 Elk St., Albany, N.Y. 12207 318-463-3200 %Andrew R. Bush, Director, email@example.com
Photos by Cornelia Vandenberg: Phil Crazy Bull, Bill Soza, Vernon Bellecourt and Lenny Foster in Albuquerque; Lenny Foster, Navajo; Anti sludge dumping demonstration at Torrez Martinez Indian Nation in California against sludge dumping by San Diego in the late 90's; Bob Robideau with a young brother from Costa Rica; Chili Yazzie with XIT during an Indigenous Sovereignty Conference in Albuquerque. Thanks to Cornelia Vandenberg for sharing these photos with Censored News.
Advocacy Groups Warn Against Plans for New Detention Center
English – Jeff Winder (434) 906-0421 firstname.lastname@example.org
Spanish – Sue Frankel-Streit (540) 717-1051
FARMVILLE, Virginia – As reported in today's New York Times,
immigrant detainees in Farmville's Piedmont Regional Jail have come
forward to expose conditions of medical neglect that contributed to
death of Guido Newborough in November of last year. Eyewitnesses
report that Newborough was in intense pain for two weeks, frequently
asking for medical attention. They maintain that he never received
that attention, but was instead knocked to the floor by guards and
dragged on his back to the isolation unit where he remained until he
suffered the massive heart attack and stroke that led to his death.
Jeff Winder of regional advocacy group The People United was contacted
by several detainees for help in getting the truth out. "They were
outraged when they saw the statement from ICE in the local newspaper,"
Winder said. "They are afraid of repercussions by ICE or by the jail
guards because they are speaking out, but were so moved by Guido
Newborough's death that they felt compelled to take the risk and
expose the conditions that exist in Piedmont."
The People United and other groups have been working in opposition to
plans by Farmville and the private company Immigration Centers of
America (ICA) to construct a new 1,000 bed, for-profit immigrant
detention center in Farmville. Despite the fact that ICA has no
experience in managing detention centers, Farmville town Manager
Gerald Spates has assured The People United that all is well because
"They plan to bring in key staff from the Piedmont Regional Jail."
Advocacy groups are not reassured by this assertion. "The medical
neglect in Piedmont Regional Jail is unconscionable," said Sue
Frankel-Streit, another organizer with the People United. "This is the
second time in two years that a detainee has died here amidst
allegations of medical neglect," she continued referring to another
New York Times article which reported that in 2006, detainee Abdouli
Sall died in the jail while huddled against a clothes dryer for warmth
after being denied his prescription medication.
News of the planned detention center has fueled the fear growing among
Virginia's immigrant families in the wake of increased ICE jobsite
raids over the past year. "Immigrants are here looking for work in
order to feed their children," Said Margarita Gonzales, a native of
Mexico, as she addressed the Farmville Town Council last month. "It's
not necessary to put us in jail. . . We hope that you will leave us
to live in peace. We're only trying to create secure lives for
ourselves, just as you are."
ICA has promised a windfall to Farmville's economy, but advocates warn
this may not pan out. "Last month, ICE cancelled its contract with a
detention center in Wyatt, RI after a scandal surrounding a death
similar to Guido Newborough's erupted there," said Winder. "Farmville
could find itself in the same situation - with a brand-new jail that
sits empty and the reputation of a prison town where suspicious deaths
Interviews are available with Piedmont detainees as well as immigrants
and citizens working against the proposed detention center from their
own communities of Tidewater, Richmond, Northern VA, Fredericksburg,
Charlottesville, Louisa, Harrisonburg and Lynchburg.
For more information visit http://www.thepeopleunited.org
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Leonard Peltier Defense Offense Committee
PO Box 7488
Fargo, ND 58106
January 27th, 2009, Fargo ND
Native Americans and supporters outraged at FBI and George W. Bush
By Kari Ann Cowan
FARGO, N.D. -- The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) recently influenced the federal prison system to transfer elder Native American, Leonard Peltier, to a facility for young gang members where upon his arrival he was immediately attacked and severely beaten. He was thrown into solitary confinement and denied proper medical care and food. The FBI has put out a letter encouraging others to indulge in whatever activities they can to block a possible pardon by President Obama for Leonard Peltier.
The latest ploy of that faction of government has been to enlist the help of George W. Bush by getting him to sign a clemency denial that could possibly stave off Peltier’s release. This action is an extreme outrage to all the people who believe in freedom and justice for ALL. It is an outrage to all the people who are aware of the true facts of Leonard Peltier’s innocence. The George W. Bush Administration and its followers obviously are trying to set a stage for anything that could possibly expand into some kind of incident that would mar President Obama, President Obama’s Administration and the Democratic Party.
This incident, attacking a 64 year old Native American is unjustified and immoral. People consider Leonard Peltier an extension of themselves and his plight if allowed to continue jeopardizes the freedom of all men. If his case is allowed to stand as it has for 33 years, then no one is guaranteed a fair trial. Some might have a dream – we have a reality. We sincerely ask President Obama to intercede in hopes that this nightmare for American Indian people will end.
For more information contact David Hill, National Coordinator of the Leonard Peltier Defense Offense Committee, (218) 790-6035.
BUSH DENIED CLEMENCY FOR LEONARD PELTIER!
From International Peltier Forum
President George W. Bush, on January 19th - his last full day in office - formally struck down the petitions for clemency of some high-profile politicians and businessmen, including convicted lawmakers Randall "Duke'' Cunningham, Edwin Edwards and Mario Biaggi and "junk bond" financier Michael Milken, the Justice Department said today.
Bush also denied one of the longest-standing petitions for clemency: for Leonard Peltier. Leonard's application had been under consideration since 1993.
Last year, we asked Sir Bob Geldof (musician, organizer of LifeAid and Life 8, and one of the signatories of the IPF "VIP" petition) if he would be willing to speak with President Bush about Leonard's case. Bob Geldof traveled to the G8 Summit in Tokyo (July 2008) and was able to briefly speak with Bush and handed a letter to the president's Counsel. In the letter Sir Geldof pleaded to grant Leonard executive clemency.
On December 12th, 2008, Michael Kuzma, attorney for Leonard Peltier, received a letter from Fred F. Fielding, another Counsel to the President, in which he wrote:
"I am writing to thank you for your recent letter requesting an update on Mr. Leonard Peltier's petition for a commutation of his sentence. His petition is under review, and please be assured that Mr. Bob Geldof's views on this matter will be seriously considered." [emphasis added by IPF]
"Serious consideration" ?! Yeah, right... (I'm trying to remain polite.)
Not that I personally ever believed that Bush would consider granting clemency. But instead of rejecting / denying the petition, Bush could have done the same thing Clinton did: nothing. Because such a denial is a serious setback for those intent on clemency. After a denial a petitioner must wait two years to re-apply for a pardon and one year for a commutation of a prison sentence. (the latter in Leonard's case)
Petitioners can also circumvent the Justice Department and appeal directly to the White House whenever they want. See more below...
The Justice Department declined to comment on any details of the cases. The White House had no comment, before the inauguration on who might be granted clemency, or why.
The pardon power was created to allow the President to redress injustices that the judicial system is unable to remedy or for other reasons, such as Jimmy Carter's pardon of Vietnam-era draft resisters in an effort to restore domestic tranquility.
The Justice Department's Office of the Pardon Attorney traditionally issues a formal recommendation based on a thorough investigation of the applicant and the case. But over the past two decades, more and more applicants have gone directly to the White House, citing a huge backlog of cases at the Justice Department.
In the end, the President alone has the ultimate power to grant or deny pardons or keep them alive.
Some of those denied by Bush had been considered likely candidates for some kind of clemency, in part due to the length of the prison terms, their contributions to society and their extensive lobbying campaigns. We, supporters of Leonard Peltier have waged a decades-long campaign to free him. He is a political prisoner; he never received a fair trial; there is sufficient evidence of his innocence.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
The President and only the President has the power to grant clemency. It is a power given to the President by the U.S. Constitution with no conditions attached.
Call President Obama to express your outrage and concern, and ask him to pardon Leonard now at 202-456-1111 (White House comment line: don't push any buttons, and a real person will answer your call)
E-mail President Obama to express your outrage and concern, and ask him to pardon Leonard now at www.whitehouse.gov/contact/ or email email@example.com or use or online petition form at http://users.skynet.be/kola/lppet.htm (this petition form is sent directly to the White House!)
Write to President Obama to express your outrage and concern, and ask him to grant executive clemency to / a commutation of sentence for Leonard Peltier now.
President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington D.C. 20500
Don't do it once. Do it every single day !!!
coordinator KOLA / IPF
articles about Bush's pardon / clemency denials:
43 Alaskan Native Americans File Suit Against Jesuits for Rape, Sexual Assault; Alaska Was Catholic Church's Dumping Grounds for Rapist Priests
Jan 26th, 2009
Warning to victims: Graphic information follows
By Women's Space
Photo: Rena Abouchuk said a priest abused her, her brother and six of her cousins, all of whom later committed suicide. Photo Courtney Blethen/Seattle Times
Forty-three Alaskan Native Americans have filed suit against the 'Society of Jesus' (the Jesuits) for turning areas where Native Americans lived in Alaska into a virtual dumping ground for child-raping priests over decades and decades, beginning in the 1950s. The suit alleges that the Roman Catholic Church knew the priests it was sending to Alaska were child rapists and child molesters and didn't care. According to the complaint, as many as 15 rapist priests were working amongst the Athabascan and Yu'pik Natives; so far 300 of their victims have stepped forward to tell their stories.
Little girls were fondled, assaulted and raped in the churches, in rectories, in priests homes; little boys were raped as well. The areas in which the victims lived were isolated and often accessible only by sled. There were no police nearby to call, and even if there had been, which of them might have believed the reports of children and poor indigenous persons against this horrific number of priests? There were few or no health care providers or facilities in these areas so there were no health care professionals who would have recognized signs of sexual abuse.
According to the 78-page complaint,
* Anton Smario taught religion classes to the young girls After catechism Smario would let the young girls stay in the classroom at the rectory and play or color in coloring books, offering them food, juice and sweets as an inducement to remain after class. He would ask the girls to touch his penis, and would rub his erect penis on their backs, necks and arms. Sometimes he would wipe or rub his semen on the girls after he ejaculated.
* Father William J. Loyens, S.J., a member of the Society of Jesus since 1947 testified in his 2004 deposition that the 'Native population was fairly loose on sexual matters' and that heinous abuse of Native children by a priest would be 'less impressive' than sexual abuse of a white child and that heinous sexual abuse of Native children by a priest wouldn't have much of an impact.
* On unknown dates when she was approximately 8 years of age Plaintiff Jean Doe 3 was sexually molested by Father Endal on numerous occasions. The molestations included Father Endal forcing plaintiff to lie on his bed.. and penetrating plaintiff¹s vagina.
* On unknown dates when she was approximately 7 or 8 years of age, Plaintiff Jean Doe 4 was sexually molested by Father Endal. The molestation included Father Endal forcing plaintiff to touch his penis and Father Endal penetrating plaintiff's vagina. Father Endal then gave plaintiff money to keep quiet about the sexual abuse and told her she would burn in hell if she ever told anyone
According to the complaint, officials high in the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church knew priests sent to Alaska were serial pedophiles and did nothing to protect children from them. Only two rapist priests are named in the suit, Father Henry Hargreaves and Jesuit volunteer Anton Smario; most of the other rapist priests have died.
The photo above (see link below for photo) is of a defendant in the lawsuit, Henry Hargreaves, S.J., who is apparently still a priest in good standing with the Society of Jesus. According to the complaint (in which Hargreaves was described as a known serial pedophile):
When he was approximately 5 through 6 years of age, Plaintiff James Doe 94 was sexually molested by Father Hargreaves The molestation included. Father Hargreaves forcibly bending plaintiff over Father Hargreaves bed and Father Hargreaves penetrating Plaintiff with his erect penis. Father Hargreaves held Plaintiff's arms tightly so that he could not escape. Father Hargreaves sodomized Plaintiff for approximately five minutes. For several days after being raped by Father Hargreaves, Plaintiff bled from his rectum, was in severe pain
Compare the above with this excerpt of what the Society of Jesus has up on the internet about Hargreaves, who is described as the 'last of the great missionaries.'
Henry Hargreaves left his imprint on the native peoples of western Alaska as probably the last of the great missionaries. Henry loves to tell the story of his arrival in Chevak, Alaska in 1949 as a newly minted priest. He walked from the Widgen aircraft to the parish residence where Fr. Paul O'Connor, S.J. greeted him by saying that he had housing meetings in Dillingham, Alaska, and here are the keys. Undaunted, Henry accepted the keys and took the challenge to begin the life of a missionary in the most undeveloped area of Alaska.
Some of the victims of the priests attended a news conference at Seattle University last Wednesday. The President of SU is named in the suit as having known priests sent to Alaska were pedophiles and doing nothing about it but instead maintaining what were referred to as 'hell files' relating to the priests.
According to news reports one victim, Florence Kenney, above, now 74, said she kept silent for almost 60 years. She told of the harsh discipline she suffered at the hands of the Jesuits, of the loss of her culture as a child and young woman, and of going to 'Father Supreme' at the mission for help at the age of 13, only to be sexually assaulted by him repeatedly. She is speaking out for the first time in 60 years because, she says, 'I want to speak for all the ones who couldn't speak. I'm speaking now because there's always a time, an end to silence and an end to secrets.'
Rena Abouchuk said a priest abused her, her brother and six of her cousins, all of whom later committed suicide. She read aloud a letter she wrote to the priest:
You did so many evil things to young children. You walked into my young life and so many others when we were small, innocent children, just six-, seven-, eight-year-old children, and took it all away from us, touching us in ways that I will never forget, you made us touch you, you did so many evil things in St. Michael's Church, Stebbins Church, and lived your life like you did nothing wrong. Someday you will have to answer to God.
Lawsuit alleges president of Seattle U knew of sex abuse
Says Sundborg had access to 'Hell Files'
By AMY ROLPH P-I REPORTER
Seattle University President Stephen Sundborg is named in a lawsuit alleging that Jesuit leaders covered up the crimes of priests who sexually abused at least 43 Native Alaskan children during the span of four decades.
The lawsuit, filed in Alaskan Superior Court in the city of Bethel, states that Sundborg had access to "Hell Files" -- private church documents detailing things priests had done that were "not good" -- when he was head of a Northwest order of Jesuits from 1990 to 1996. Read article:http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/396042_lawsuit15.html?source=mypi
Monday, January 26, 2009
Article and photo by Lisa J. Wolf, Correspondent
January 26, 2009
RENO, Nev. -- Monday, January 26, 2009 at 3:00 p.m., Judge Larry Hicks “denied the Plaintiffs’ motion for a Preliminary Injunction in its entirety on the grounds that the Plaintiffs had not demonstrated likely success on the merits to warrant the extraordinary remedy of a Preliminary Injunction, according to Chris Worthington, Planning & Environmental Coordinator for the Bureau of Land Management’s Battle Mountain Mt. Lewis Field Office.
Said Worthington, “That means basically they [Barrick Cortez] can go ahead and start up.” Worthington expects Hick’s written rule on Tuesday, January 27, 2008.
Worthington said, “On the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA Claim), the Court found that, based on the Navajo Nation Case, a substantial burden was not demonstrated in this case; and then he considered it significant that Plaintiffs would continue to have access to areas they claim for religious and spiritual purposes,” including the top of Mt. Tenabo, the White Cliffs, and Horse Canyon. “He concluded that their spiritual experience may be diminished by the project, but that does not amount to a substantial burden.”
Worthington, who received the legal synopsis from Donna Fitzerald, Justice Department Attorney who represented the BLM in the case, related that “On the NEPA claims, the Court described the EIS [Environmental Impact Study] as very thorough and obviously the product of thousands of hours of analysis and expertise by either the BLM or the contractor. He further concluded that BLM gave all of the relevant issues raised by this type of project the requisite ‘hard look.’”
“On the FLPMA [Federal Land Policy Management Act] claim,” Worthington related that “the Court reviewed the requirement that BLM take any action necessary to prevent unnecessary or undue degradation to the public lands and determined that based on what had been presented in the Government’s brief and arguments, the Agency had satisfied the standards.”
Judge refuses to halt huge Nevada gold mine
By SCOTT SONNER, Associated Press Writer
Monday, January 26, 2009/San Francisco Chronicle
A federal judge ruled Monday a massive gold mine project could proceed in northeast Nevada despite a bid by a Western tribe and conservationists to block it on religious and environmental grounds.
U.S. District Judge Larry Hicks ruled there's not enough evidence to force Barrick Gold Corp. to postpone digging a 2,000-foot deep open pit at the Cortez Hills mine on Mount Tenabo 250 miles east of Reno until a trial is held on the merits of the project.
The Great Basin Resource Watch and the Western Shoshone claimed the U.S. Bureau of Land Management's review of the Toronto-based company's proposed mine ignores some of the environmental effects and disregards tribal leaders' concerns it will destroy a sacred landmark.
Hicks, who took more than a half hour to explain his ruling from the bench, said a preliminary injunction like the one the plaintiffs wanted is an "extraordinary remedy" taken only when there is a likelihood they will prevail at trial.
He said that while he might change his mind, so far mine opponents had failed to prove construction of the mine would violate the tribe's religious freedoms or that the BLM violated any federal environmental laws in approving the mine under the Mining Act of 1872.
"The effect of the proposed mining project is on the plaintiffs' subjective, emotional experience. It is offensive to their sensibilities and in the mind of some will desecrate a sacred mountain," Hicks said.
"Nevertheless, the diminishment of that spirituality — as serious as it may be — under the Supreme Court's holdings it is not a substantial burden on religious freedom," he said.
Hicks said he also disagreed with the opponents' claims that the BLM violated the National Environmental Policy Act and Federal Land Management Policy Act by failing to adequately consider effects on groundwater and scenic values of the area.
He said an environmental study was very thorough.
"It is very clear it represents thousands and thousands of work hours by BLM," Hicks said.
"The court is satisfied they met the laws that require the BLM to take a hard look at all of the issues that pertain to a project such as this one," he said.
Louis Schack, manager of communications and community affairs for Barrick Gold of North America, said the company was glad Hicks agreed the project was "thoroughly reviewed and responsibly approved" by the BLM.
"This is the most studied and scrutiinized mining project in Nevada. It is also very important to the economic stability of rural Nevada," Schack said.
Roger Flynn, a lawyer with the Western Mining Action Project representing the tribe and the Great Basin Resource Watch, said before the ruling was issued that the plaintiffs would consider appealing to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. He did not immediately return a telephone call or e-mail seeking comment after the ruling.
Lawyers for Barrick — the largest gold mining company in the world — said any delay in digging the mine would have caused an undue financial hardship on the company and its workers during tough economic times.
The company is prepared to spend $640,000 a day for the next 15 months, said Francis Wikstrom, a lawyer for Barrick. He said a lot of that money would remain in Nevada, a state that produces more gold than any other — trailing only South Africa, Australia and China internationally.
Thirty workers already have been laid off and 250 to 300 more would be out of work and unlikely to find other jobs if the project had been halted, he said.
"This is basically the only game in town in northern Nevada," Wikstrom said. "People need to feed their families."
Hicks said the case has "tremendous significance" to the tribe, the mining company and its workers.
"And it certainly has huge implications to the public at a time of severe economic difficulties throughout the nation, not just in Nevada," he said.
Hick said that while there was no question Mount Tenabo was a very important mountain to the Western Shoshone, mining has been prevalent on the mountain since the 1860s — even before Nevada was a state.
Protest Barrick Net
On the morning of January 21, the paramilitary police units that were brought by the hundreds after last month's uprising by the local communities met a group of youth in an area where villagers' homes come right into the mine fence. Apparently, the paramilitaries started to chase the youth and in the process opened fire, killing Muhono Marwa Gibare and wounding Nyakebayi Chacha Nyakebayi and Maswi Bokobora. Muhono Marwa was shot in the back while running away from the police. He died instantly. This latest killing brings to two villagers who have died violently in that mine since last month and eight since Barrick apparently adopted their shoot-to-kill strategy in July of 2005.