By Brenda Norrell
Photo: US Social Forum March Detroit by Brita Brookes
Today, we celebrate truth telling, from the villages of Afghanistan to the streets of Detroit.
With the arrest of a soldier and the US hunt for the Wikileaks founder, a new reality surfaced in the United States: Obama's new problem is honesty in the military. For all of us, the new problem is the crackdown on US whistleblowers. After Wikileaks exposed the US military's murder of Iraqi civilians and journalists, more recently, the top commander in Afghanistan embarrassed Obama with his honesty.
So this is the challenge. Rather than US soldiers committing suicide, let's embrace a new era of truth telling. Rather than ignoring the US military's recruitment of people of color, to water the economy and the agenda of politicians with their blood, let's expose all the facts.
Let the US military whistleblowers come forward and tell of the rape of US women soldiers by US soldiers, the rape of Afghan children and the real story of the US involvement in drug running. Let US soldiers tell about the US torture that continues in Afghanistan prisons and Blackwater's new contract for Afghan Border Patrol.
In Detroit, another war is being exposed at the US Social Forum. It is the war on the poor, the disenfranchised and people of color. It is the war on Indigenous Peoples, with the elected governments working in collusion with corporations to rip out and exploit the natural resources of Mother Earth.
US federal courts are far more interested in protecting the rights of US corporations than the right to life of Navajos opposing uranium mining. By drilling in checkerboard land areas, alongside Indian land, corporations can poison the water supply of Navajos in New Mexico.
Barrick Gold, among the mining and killing corporations based in Canada, ignores federal and international law and continues to violate the rights of the Western Shoshone and their struggle to protect sacred Mount Tenabo.
Around the world, Indigenous Peoples are being assassinated by mining companies, and imprisoned by their governments, for refusing to allow mining, dams, coal mining, power plants, oil and gas wells, toxic dumping and uranium mining on their lands.
In Bolivia, Indigenous Peoples produced the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, among the declarations of 17 working groups which ultimately produced the Peoples Agreement at the World People's Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth.
The world tried to ignore the admonitions of Indigenous Peoples in Bolivia to protect Mother Earth and uphold the harmony and balance of the world. As the world turned away, the Gulf erupted in a dark oil plume of greed, proof that ignoring these warnings would result in total destruction.
Arizona erupted with a dark stain of racism, exposing a festering pool of darkness in the underbelly of the Arizona's Capitol, where the governor and legislators came together with private prison profiteers, corporate interests and hate groups, all targeting people of color on the US/Mexico border. It was another signal that the world can not ignore the right to justice and the right to life of all humanity.
So today, celebrate truth telling, from the villages of Afghanistan to the streets of Detroit, from the red rocks of Church Rock, N.M., to the clear view from the top of Mount Tenabo.
Because truth is inevitable.