LIVE at AIM West today!

Censored News and Earthcycles will be live at AIM West today in San Francisco.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Zapatistas: Letter from Marcos August 2011

By Subcomandante Marcos
Photo by Brenda Norrell
Censored News
http://www.bsnorrell.blogspot.com
August 2011

I. The Local Mirror.
The year 2011, Chiapas, Mexico, the World. And in this calendar and this geography, we continue attentive around here to what happens, what is said and, above all, to what is silenced. We continue in resistance in our lands. The attacks against us continue from across the political spectrum. We are an example that it is possible for all the political parties to have a common goal. Sponsored by federal, state and municipal governments, all political parties attack us. Prior to each attack or after it, there is a meeting between government officials and "social" or party leaders. Little is said, just enough to agree on a price and the method of payment. Those who criticize our Zapatista position that "all politicians are alike" should take a trip around Chiapas. Although it is certain that they will say this is something strictly local, that this does not happen at the national level. But the political class in Chiapas repeats, with local variations, the same ridiculous routines of pre-election times.
Read more ...http://censored-news.blogspot.com/2011/08/zapatistas-letter-from-marcos-august.html

Tar Sands White House: Portraits of Arrests Aug 31, 2011











Photos 1 -- 8 by Shadia Fayne Wood/Tar Sands Action. Last three photos, 9--12, by Josh Lopez/Tar Sands Action. On Wed., Aug. 31, 2011, there were 111 people arrested, including a delegation from Appalachia. The total arrests are now 706 people. Stop the dirty Alberta tar sands and the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline headed through the heart of America, and the Ogallala aquifer. See portraits of all today's heroes at the Tar Sands Photostream. Thanks to all the photographers who make this possible each day:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/tarsandsaction/

Canadian Embassy DC Protest: Stop lobbying for tar sands



Clayton Thomas Muller/Photo Credit: Milan Ilnyckyj
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Adam Thomas and Melina Laboucan Massimo, Canadian Embassy in Washington Photo credit: Milan Ilnyckyj www.flickr.com/photos/sindark/

Canadian groups to Ambassador Doer: Stop lobbying for Keystone XL pipeline

Press statement
Published at Censored News

Canadian Embassy DC: Stop lobbying for Tar Sands
August 31, 2011 (Washington, D.C.) – The Council of Canadians, the Indigenous Environmental Network and Greenpeace Canada presented a letter addressed to Ambassador Gary Doer at the Canadian embassy in Washington, D.C. today demanding an end to lobbying in favour of the Keystone XL pipeline.
“Ambassador Doer has publicly recognized he is actively lobbying for Keystone XL,” says Maude Barlow, National Chairperson of the Council of Canadians, who will be present to help deliver the letter. “To pitch the tar sands as the answer to American energy security ignores the destruction of the tar sands and turns away from the sustainable energy future Canada and the U.S. need.”

In May 2011, Alberta saw one of the largest pipeline bursts in the province’s history when 28,000 barrels of crude oil spilled into the local ecosystem near Peace River. In the past year, TransCanada’s first Keystone pipeline has spilled crude oil at least 12 times and contaminated water, air and soil in nearby communities. The spills resulted in catastrophic effects on wildlife and the quality of life of nearby farmers, landowners and Indigenous communities.

First Nations delegates with the Indigenous Environmental Network will also be present outside the Canadian Embassy. They have come to Washington to share their testimonies of the damaging social and health effects the tar sands are having on their communities.

“With the onslaught of tar sands exploitation, we are seeing more people developing serious respiratory illnesses. People of all ages are developing types of cancer that we have never seen in our area, as we have seen the tar sands industry expand,” said Gitz Crazyboy of Fort McMurray, in the heart of the Alberta tar sands. Crazyboy continues, “What we see is alarming – we are witnessing the complete destruction of the boreal forest as tar sands operations expand.”

The proposed Keystone XL pipeline would carry tar sands oil from Canada to the U.S. The controversial 2,736 kilometre project threatens to pollute freshwater supplies in America’s agricultural heartland and spike air pollution in the Gulf Coast. The pipeline would cross Indian-US treaty territories, water aquifers, rivers, grasslands, cultural sites and ecological sensitive areas. Tar sands operations and its associated infrastructure projects are consistently violating constitutionally recognized treaty rights in both Canada and the United States.

Melina Laboucan-Massimo, a climate and energy campaigner with Greenpeace Canada who is from Alberta said, “The Keystone pipeline is an act of aggression to the plants, wildlife and people who live in its path. We are proud to add our voice to the hundreds of brave activists who have peacefully opposed this destructive project over the past several days.”

Two weeks of protests in Washington, DC will end on September 3rd before transitioning to Ottawa for a one-day event endorsed by the Council of Canadians, Indigenous Environmental Network and Greenpeace Canada on September 26th. People across Canada have been invited to participate by signing on to the civil disobedience protest at ottawaaction.ca.

For more information, please contact:
Clayton Thomas-Muller, Tar Sands Campaigner, IEN, cell: 613.297.7515
Andrea Harden, Energy and Climate Justice Campaigner, Council of Canadians, cell: 613.218.5800
Melina Laboucan-Massimo Climate and Energy Campaigner, Greenpeace Canada, cell: 347.471.6424
Peter McHugh, Communications Officer, Greenpeace Canada, cell: 647.801.2567

CENSORED: Media abysmal in August 2011

Arrested today at the White House tar sands protest, 111 people, adding to 595 already arrested. Photo Josh Lopez.
Censored news articles on Indigenous Peoples and human rights, August 2011
By Brenda Norrell
Censored News
http://www.bsnorrell.blogspot.com
There's been an explosion of news during August, but if you're relying on the mainstream media, or a few online news sources, you're probably unaware of it.
At the White House, Indigenous Peoples are being arrested to halt the tar sands and its proposed pipeline, which would cut through Indian country and the enormous Ogalalla aquifer in the heartland. The Alberta tar sands are already destroying First Nations homelands. The news censored by some online media includes the arrest of Cree actress Tantoo Cardinal.
On Friday, the day before the conclusion of two weeks of arrests, Indigenous Peoples join the sit in at the Indigenous Day of Action at the White House.
CENSORED NEWS: Daily portraits of arrests at the White House:
http://www.bsnorrell.blogspot.com
Protests were held at US Forest Service offices in Albuquerque, Vallejo, Calif., and Golden, Colo., to halt the destruction of sacred San Francisco Peaks, by the Arizona Snowbowl ski resort, in northern Arizona. In Albuquerque, the frightened Forest Service shut its doors, taped off the corridor with police tape and posted police on the roof. Later during the daylong protest, Louise Benally, Navajo from Big Mountain, Ariz., delivered a letter to the Forest Service inside.
CENSORED NEWS: Albuquerque Forest Service Shuts Down, Frightened by Peaceful Peaks Protest
http://bsnorrell.blogspot.com/2011/08/albuquerque-forest-service-shuts-down.html
Whistleblowers, the hacked Arizona police files, and Wikileaks have exposed the ATF's Project Gunrunner and "Fast and Furious," which provided Mexico's drug cartels with thousands of assault weapons to carry out mass murder and the executions of two US federal agents.
The top ATF official and the US Attorney in Arizona announced they were leaving their posts yesterday, Tuesday.
NARCOSPHERE: Project Gunrunner explodes: Lies from Arizona
http://bsnorrell.blogspot.com/2011/08/project-gunrunner-explodes-lies-from.html
Wikileaks also exposes the cables of the US Embassy at the Vatican, exposing the rape of nuns by priests; the downplaying of the sexual abuse of minors by the Pope; the Vatican's support for the war in Iraq; and the labeling of Venezuela President Hugo Chavez as a "dangerous" leftist. The US diplomatic cables are accentuated by the fact that the Vatican did not want its agenda known.
NARCONEWS: Wikileaks: Pope and the heart of darkness:
http://narcosphere.narconews.com/notebook/brenda-norrell/2011/08/wikileaks-pope-and-heart-darkness
With the release of thousands of new Wikileaks cables, there's a new series on Native Americans, with a focus on the media, at Censored News. While the US was censoring the voices of Native Americans opposed to the war in Iraq, and censoring global criticisms of the United States human rights record, the facts were being documented and published around the world.
CENSORED NEWS: China scolded US for treatment of Native Americans
http://bsnorrell.blogspot.com/2011/08/new-wikileaks-un-china-scolded-us.html
CENSORED NEWS: New Wikileaks: Exiles of Native Americans and Palestinians
http://bsnorrell.blogspot.com/2011/08/new-wikileaks-forced-exiles-of-native.html
CENSORED NEWS: Wikileaks: Torture in Iraq invokes atrocities against Native Americans
http://bsnorrell.blogspot.com/2011/08/wikileaks-torture-in-iraq-invokes.html
MORE:
Listen to First Nations and Native American Interviews, on Tar Sands White House, on Native America Calling
http://www.nativeamericacalling.com
Breaking news:
Wikileaks cable reveals US summary execution of family of Iraq:
http://news.antiwar.com/2011/08/29/cables-reveal-2006-summary-execution-of-civilian-family-in-iraq/


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Project Gunrunner explodes: Lies from Arizona

Project Gunrunner explodes: Lies from Arizona

UPDATE WIKILEAKS CABLE: US says Project Gunrunner weapons of most interest are not in the hands of drug cartels -- but in the hands of Mexico's military and Attorney General's Office

August 30, 2011 at 8:28 pm Narcosphere
By Brenda Norrell

The head of ATF and the US Attorney for Arizona are suddenly leaving their jobs as Project Gunrunner continues to explode. Meanwhile, Arizona police files hacked by Lulzsec, along with the new releases of US diplomatic cables from Mexico by Wikileaks, are posing more disturbing questions about Project Gunrunner.

On the Arizona border, residents long knew that the only way that drug cartels in Mexico would have a steady supply of AK-47s and other assault weapons, was for the United States to supply those.

Project Gunrunner, and then “Fast and Furious,” were supposedly ATF sting operations to track weapons used by drug cartels in Mexico. Thousands of weapons were purchased by "straw" buyers in the US, then allowed to "walk" across the border into Mexico, walk into the hands of drug cartels.

Although it has been assumed that the drug cartels posed the greatest threat with the high-powered US weapons flowing into Mexico, a US diplomatic cable states otherwise.

In a disturbing revelation in a US diplomatic cable from the US Consulate in Monterrey, the US discusses Project Gunrunner with Coahuila officials in 2009. The US and Coahuila officials agree that the weapons of greatest interest are held by the Mexican military and the federal PGR. The PGR is Mexico's Attorney General Office, an institution belonging to the Federal executive branch that is responsible for the investigation and prosecution of federal crimes. ( US (

"Our Coahuila interlocutors raised several specific issues on which they sought USG cooperation and assistance. First, they requested greater action to stem the flow of arms from the U.S. into Coahuila. In response, ATF briefed on its ongoing programs and initiatives, including Project GunRunner and E-trace. The state offered to make available for inspection the seized weapons that it held in its inventory, although both sides recognized that the arms of most interest to ATF would be held by either the military or federal PGR," states the cable dated June 26, 2009.
Arizona police files, hacked by Lulzsec in June, expose facts about Project Gunrunner and raise new questions.
An e-mail from a Flagstaff police officer about Project Gunrunner is dated March 17, 2008 – three and one-half years ago -- long before Arizona officials admit knowledge of the operation.

The e-mail had a booklet attached, “ATF Southwest Border Strategy Project Gunrunner Weapons of Choice," with the date stated as revised in Feb. 2008. The e-mail and booklet were sent to a long list of army and navy personnel, as well as to the Department of Homeland Security. It is unknown at this time, the role played the US Army, Navy and Homeland Security in Project Gunrunner in Mexico in 2008, or when the operation really began in Arizona.

The booklet not only was being circulated here in Arizona in early 2008, but it is called the revised version, so it had already been around for a while.

Newly released US diplomatic cables by Wikileaks expose another disturbing fact. The diplomatic cables state that the United States’ e-trace program for seized weapons was extremely ineffective in Mexico because of the inability of the US to recover weapons involved in crimes in Mexico.

In fact, the e-trace program was too ineffective in recent years for any US agency to rely on it to trace weapons in Mexico, therefore rendering Project Gunrunner worthless for tracking crimes and criminals.

The Wikileaks cables refer to the fact that Mexico’s law enforcement and military are riddled with corruption, complicating the search and seizure of weapons. Further, the United States’ e-trace program was riddled with technical search problems for Mexico's numerous agencies that did not trust one another, according to the US diplomatic cables from the Ambassador in Mexico.

The Wikileaks cables refer only to a few weapons that the US was able to track. These records reveal that weapons from the US sales to militaries of Mexico and El Salvador were used to commit crimes in Mexico.

Although it is not widely known, Project Gunrunner began as a pilot project in Laredo, Texas, in 2005 and was expanded as a national initiative in 2006, as stated in Wikipedia. The Texas border, and the region south of Texas in Mexico, is where the largest number of violent deaths have occurred, with mass graves, and the repeated executions of local mayors.

Today, CBS News reported that Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Acting Director Kenneth Melson is being moved out of the top job at the bureau. The U.S. Attorney for Arizona Dennis Burke has submitted his resignation to President Obama, effective immediately. http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-31727_162-20099228-10391695.html

Project Gunrunner weapons, according to the Justice Dept., have been tied to at least 12 violent crimes in the United States, and an unknown number of violent crimes in Mexico. Two federal agents were killed with those weapons, Border Patrol agent Brian Terry near Nogales, Ariz., and ICE agent Jaime Zapata, in northern Mexico.
Excerpts from "Project Gunrunner: Weapons of Choice," a brochure circulated by Arizona police and military in 2008.
Arizona and Sonora, Mexico

Tar Sands White House: Portraits of Arrests with Daryl Hannah







.


NOW 595 arrests!
Photos one through six by Ben Powless, Mohawk. Photo 7 by Josh Lopez/Tar Sands Action.
Portraits of arrests at the White House today, Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2011. Actress Daryl Hannah was the first to be arrested today to halt the Keystone XL Pipeline. Tomorrow is the Canadian Day of Action, Friday is the Indigenous Day of Action.
View photos of all today's heroes, and all of the heroes!

New Wikileaks cables: The Pope and the heart of darkness

Wikileaks exposes Vatican's hidden agenda
By Brenda Norrell
Narcosphere

US diplomatic cables from the Vatican Embassy expose the rape of nuns by priests and the Pope's downplaying of the sexual abuse of minors by priests. Another cable released by Wikileaks exposes the Vatican's secret support for the war in Iraq.
Further, the Catholic Church's labeling of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez as a "dangerous" leftist is revealed in a cable from the Vatican Embassy.
The force of the Wikileaks cables are accentuated by the fact that the Catholic Church stressed the need for secrecy, fearing a backlash if the truth of its agenda became known.
The Wikileaks cables exposing the Pope's stance on the sexual abuse by priests was revealed in the Namibian news forum: http://namibian.me/forum/topics/wikileaks-looking-into-the-heart-the-vatican
On the use of force in Iraq, a diplomatic cable from the US Embassy at the Vatican states the Vatican's support of the use of force in Iraq is critical to gaining global support for the war in Iraq. The Ambassador also stresses the need to keep it a secret, revealing that the Vatican expects a backlash if the truth is known. The cable is dated Sept. 28, 2001:
http://wikileaks.org/cable/2001/09/01VATICAN5095.html#par3
"THE VATICAN IS FIRMLY CONVINCED THAT ANY REGIME WHICH REPLACES THE CURRENT ONE WILL NOT BE AS SUPPORTIVE OF THE LARGE IRAQI CATHOLIC POPULATION. IN ADDITION, EVEN IF POSSIBLE MILITARY ACTION IS DIRECTED ONLY AGAINST AFGHANISTAN, THE VATICAN IS GREATLY CONCERNED WITH A BACKLASH AGAINST CATHOLICS (AND OTHER CHRISTIANS) LIVING IN EGYPT, SYRIA, IRAQ, PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES, AND LEBANON."
A separate cable concerning President Chavez is from the US Embassy at the Vatican and is dated Dec. 23, 2005. This summary begins the cable:
http://wikileaks.org/cable/2005/12/05VATICAN562.html#par1
The Ambassador shared ref (a) points on Venezuela's nefarious influence in the region with Holy See internal affairs chief (Vatican number three) Archbishop Leonardo Sandri December ¶17. Some points were news to Sandri, but he was not surprised and said he shared U.S. concerns about Chavez and other leftist leaders in Latin America. An interlocutor from the Vatican MFA as well told the Ambassador that he and his superiors were wary of connections among these leaders. Neither prelate thought the Vatican would become more aggressive in speaking out against these figures, both because of recent history and the potential for a backlash against the Church.

TAR SANDS Actress Daryl Hannah first arrested at White House



Actress Daryl Hannah was the first to be arrested today, Tuesday, Aug. 30, at the White House to halt the tar sands and its dirty pipeline. Hannah was among 73 arrested. Photo 1: Indigenous Nations Network, William Underbaggage. Photo 2: Tar Sands Action at Censored News http://www.bsnorrell.blogspot.com
Listen live today, Native Americans and First Nations prepare for arrests:


LISTEN LIVE Native America Calling Tar Sands Protest


Tuesday, August 30, 2011– The Tar Sands Protest:Listen at 1 pm Eastern, noon Central, 11 am Mountain, 10 am Pacific:
http://www.nativeamericacalling.com

Protestors outside the White House are being arrested for their civil disobedience. They are protesting the Keystone XL Tar Sands Oil Pipeline. President Obama will decide later this year on the permit for the massive pipeline that could send 900,000 barrels a day of the world’s dirtiest oil from Canada to refineries in the U.S. The pipeline would pass through Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas. Protestors say the pipeline will threaten fresh drinking water. Will the President sign the permit? Guests include environmental activist Clayton Thomas-Muller (Cree).

Also: In Canada on Sept. 26: Plans underway for mass arrests at Parliament:
Environmental activists are planning to get arrested during a show of civil disobedience on Parliament Hill on Sept. 26 — but don’t know yet how they can remain peaceful and still get incarcerated.
 http://www.metronews.ca/ottawa/local/article/955661--activists-seek-key-to-get-cuffed
Here's a second map, the one that has been removed from the TransCanada website. (Recovered by using the cache version online and a screen shot by Censored News.)


(Above) Oklahoma Tar Sands Pipeline map from TransCanada
.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Tar Sands: Top scientists arrested at White House

Top scientists arrested/Photo by Josh Lopez/Tar Sands Action
By Tar Sands Action
http://www.tarsandsaction.org

WASHINGTON, DC – America’s top climate scientist and a large group of religious leaders were arrested at the White House this morning with 140 other Americans to push President Obama to deny the permit for a massive new oil pipeline. (1)
“If Obama chooses the dirty needle it will confirm that the President was just green-washing all along, like the other well-oiled coal-fired politicians, with no real intention of solving the addiction,” said NASA’s Dr. James Hansen, who was arrested at the White House this morning.
President Obama must decide whether or not to grant a “presidential permit” for a Canadian company, TransCanada, to begin construction of the Keystone XL, a 1,700 mile pipeline from the Canadian tar sands to refineries on the Gulf of Mexico.
Earlier this summer, Dr. Hansen and twenty other leading scientists sent a letter to the White House urging the President to prevent the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, writing: “If the pipeline is to be built, you as president have to declare that it is ‘in the national interest.’ As scientists, speaking for ourselves and not for any of our institutions, we can say categorically that it’s not only not in the national interest, it’s also not in the planet’s best interest.” (2)

Best-selling evangelical author Jim Wallis, who recently served on President Obama’s Advisory Council on Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships, sent a message of support to the protesters.
“American Christians are demanding a new direction in America’s energy future — one that marks our turn away from oil and fossil fuels and toward cleaner and renewable energy sources,” wrote Wallis. “Developing the tar sands in Canada and building the Keystone XL pipeline through six states in the American Midwest is the wrong direction for our country and derails progress of building a responsible energy infrastructure.”
“Climate change hurts the poor first,” said Rose Berger, a Roman Catholic and editor at Sojourners magazine who led a large delegation of religious leaders participating in the protest and was arrested this morning. “The tar sands development and the permitting the Keystone XL pipeline will worsen climate change and should be stopped.”
“We must turn up the heat in a sustained effort against the scourge of climate change, which harms not just our land and water but people here and now, our human future and all earthly creation,” said Rabbi Fred Scherlinder Dobb of Adat Shalom Reconstructionist congregation in Bethesda, MD.
The executive directors of Greenpeace and 350.org, as well as the President of CREDO Mobile, also took part in today’s sit-in. So far, the ongoing White House protest that began on Saturday, Aug 21st has led to the arrest of over 500 Americans. The protest will continue until September 3rd with large crowds expected each day.
Photos at tarsandsaction.org
###
CONTACT: Daniel Kessler, 510-501-1779, daniel@ran.org; Jamie Henn, 415-601-9337, jamie@tarsandsaction.org
Notes:
1. To date 521 people have been arrested protesting the White House.
2. http://www.tarsandsaction.org/scientists-keystone-xl-obama/

Photos: Day 10 Tar Sands White House


BREAKING NEWS: 143 ready to be arrested, biggest crowd by far yet!
Big crowd ready to be arrested at the White House. Halt the Tar Sands Pipeline. Already 381 people arrested. Hello President Obama! (Are you back from your 10 day vacation?) The Indigenous Environmental Network joins the sit in on Friday to halt the destruction of the Cree homelands in Alberta and the proposed pipeline that would endanger more Indian lands and water sources in Canada and the US. Photographers say crowd today to huge to get a photo of everyone! Photo credit: Tar Sands Action.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Indigenous Day of Action: Tar Sands White House: Sept 2, 2011

Photo copyright Stop the Tar Sands/Keepers of the Athabasca
Native American and Canadian First Nations To Take Part In Largest Act of Civil Disobedience to Stop Keystone XL Pipeline

By Indigenous Environmental Network
Censored News
http://www.bsnorrell.blogspot.com

Photo copyright Stop the Tar Sands/Harvey Scanie leads a group of walkers during the 13 km Healing Walk past Syncrude and the tailings ponds north Fort McMurray on Saturday, August 14 2010. Photo by Keepers of the Athabasca.

WASHINGTON DC -- The Indigenous Environmental Network is a national environmental justice and indigenous rights organization taking part in the largest act of civil disobedience in decades taking place at the White House in Washington DC from August 20 to September 3, 2011. Indigenous will join the protests on Wednesday at the Canadian Day of Action at the White House and Friday for the Indigenous Day of Action.

A group of walkers take part in the 13 km Healing Walk past Syncrude and the tailings ponds north of Fort McMurray on Saturday, August 14 2010. Photo copyright by Keepers of the Athabasca/Stop the Tar Sands
The purpose of these actions is to send a direct message to President Obama to deny approval of the 1,702 mile Keystone XL pipeline. The pipeline would be transporting pollution from the tar sands (also known as oilsands) of Canada to the United States by carrying 900,000 barrels per day of thick, corrosive, toxic, synthetic crude oil for refining in Texas and the Gulf States. If approved, the Keystone XL would lock the US into a dependency of energy intensive, hard-to-extract dirty oil and create a massive expansion of the world’s dirtiest and most environmentally destructive form of oil development currently taking place in northern Alberta Canada. These operations are already producing 1.5 million barrels per day and having horrendous environmental justice and human rights impacts on the way of life and health of the local Native communities of Cree, Dene and Métis.

The proposed pipeline threatens to pollute freshwater supplies in America’s agricultural heartland and grasslands with increased emissions in already-polluted communities of the Gulf Coast. The Keystone XL would cross Indian Country; States of Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas encompassing Indian-US treaty territories crossing water aquifers and rivers, grasslands, cultural sites and ecological sensitive areas. Leaks and spills are common occurrences from such pipelines that could result in disproportionate impact to Native Nations and thousands of tribal members. A spill from the Keystone XL poses an even greater threat, given that the pipeline would run directly through the Ogallala aquifer, which supplies one-third of our nation’s ground water used for irrigation, and drinking water to 2 million citizens.

The Indigenous Environmental Network is bringing tribal governmental and grassroots leaders from US and Canada, directly impacted by the proposed pipeline and the tar sands oil operations, to say “NO KEYSTONE XL PIPELINE” to President Obama. This Indigenous Day of Action on September 2, 2011, at the gates of the White House will express the solidarity of Native Nations, standing with concerned citizens, workers, farmers, ranchers, unions, youth and a coalition of environmental groups from across the continent, in peaceful protest to protect Mother Earth and demand Obama respect the treaty rights and survival of Native Nations of the US and Canada.

“Nature is speaking, but Obama is not listening. The Keystone XL pipeline is a 1,700 mile fuse of the world’s largest carbon bomb. The Canadian tar sands, the proposed Keystone XL and all the other current and proposed pipelines are weapons of mass destruction leading the path to triggering the final overheating of Mother Earth”, says Tom BK Goldtooth, Executive Director of the Indigenous Environmental Network. “President Obama made promises to Native Nations and here is an opportunity for him to honor those promises and be a man of conscious by standing up to corporate power and say NO to the Keystone XL pipeline.”

A barrel of tar sands oil emits up to three times as much climate-disrupting gas as conventional oil. Building Keystone XL would be the greenhouse gas equivalent of adding roughly 6.5 million passenger vehicles to the road, or constructing 12 new coal-fired power plants.

“IEN is putting out a national call for ACTION and Solidarity on September 2nd. Even if your homes won’t be crossed by this pipeline, we are raising the consciousness of America to reevaluate its relationship to Mother Earth that would be ruined by the intensity of environmental devastation and of greenhouse gases created by the enormous tar sands oil infrastructure crossing North America. It’s like a giant spider web crossing our Turtle Island”, added Goldtooth.

National Native organizations such as the National Congress of American Indians, the oldest and largest Native organization representing Native Nations are calling for a moratorium and better management practices on expanded tar sands development and opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline. NCAI requests the U.S. government to take aggressive measures to work towards sustainable energy solutions that include clean alternative energy and improving energy efficiency.

The IEN delegation will arrive in DC on August 30th and be participating in the August 31st Canadian Day of Action and staying until the Indigenous Day of Action on September 2nd.

For more information, please contact:
Marty Cobenais IEN Pipeline Campaigner cell: (218) 760 0284 email: martyc@ienearth.org
Clayton Thomas-Muller IEN Tar Sands Campaigner cell: (613) 297 7515 email: ienoil@igc.org
Tom Goldtooth IEN Executive Director cell: (218) 760 0442 email: ien@igc.org
Kandi  Mosset IEN Tribal Campus Climate Campaigner cell: (701) 214 1389 email: iencampusclimate@igc.org
Or visit www.ienearth.org/tarsands.html
 or www.tarsandsaction.org

TAR SANDS ACTION

Monday, Aug 29: People of Faith & Dr. James Hansen
On Monday, ministers and rabbis will join other faith leaders to speak out agains the Keystone XL pipeline and call on President Obama to act as a steward for the Earth. Spokespeople will include some of the leading faith voices on environmental protection. NASA scientist Dr. James Hansen, perhaps the world’s top climatologist, will also take part in the action.
Tuesday, Aug 30: Sit-in Continues
Wednesday, Aug 31: Appalachia Residents
Resource extraction has taken its toll on the people of Appalachia, where mountain-top removal coal mining has devastated over a million acres of land. Residents from Appalachia will come take part in the sit-in and connect the destruction of Appalachia with the destruction taking place in Alberta due to the tar sands.
Thursday, Sep 1: Landowner Tour Arrives in DC / “Fracktivists” / Canadian Spokespeople
Beginning on August 20, landowners from along the pipeline route will be leading a tour across America to raise awareness about the dangers of the Keystone XL pipeline. For more information on the tour click here. On Aug 30, the tour will arrive in DC and act as lead spokespeople for the sit-in.
The tour participants will be joined by a large delegation of anti-fracking activists led by Oscar-nominated director Josh Fox (GASLAND).
Friday, Sep 2: Indigenous Leaders
Indigenous peoples have born the brunt of resource extraction for generations and are on the front-lines of the tar sands expansion across Alberta. Indigenous elders from Canada and the US will act as the lead spokespeople for the sit-in on August 1st.
Saturday, Sep 3: Final Day
On the final day of the sit-in, over a thousand people are expected to join a rally at Lafayette Square Park to take part in a massive public art piece that will create an enduring image to commemorate the two-week sit-in and inspire future protests to stop the Keystone XL and other fossil-fuel projects.

New Wikileaks: UN: China scolded US treatment of Native Americans

US human rights abuses exposed by world leaders at the UN, previously censored, are revealed in new Wikileaks cable
Hunting migrants on Arizona border
By Brenda Norrell
Censored News
http://www.bsnorrell.blogspot.com

A new Wikileaks cable provides the scope of US human rights abuses in testimony by world leaders before the United Nations in 2007. Much of the information was censored by the US media at the time. World leaders described the human rights abuses of the United States, including secret torture centers, targeted assassinations, "people hunting" on the Mexican border and the use of biological weapons in Vietnam.

China described the racism and xenophobia on the rise in the United States and the US violations of the rights of Native Americans and ethnic groups.

"China said the United States had turned a blind eye to China's progress in human rights, but had failed to examine its own human rights record, citing the September 16 Blackwater security incident in Iraq. He stated that the United States has increased its monitoring and control of the Internet and suppressed anti-war expression and gatherings. He alleged that racism and xenophobia are on the rise in the United States, as are violations of the human rights of Native Americans and ethnic groups. He called on the United States to remember its own 'bad and sad' human rights record," according to the US diplomatic cable.

The cable released yesterday, Friday, is from Dr. Zalmay Khalilzad, Permanent Representative to the UN. The cable is dated Nov. 15, 2007, seven months after Dr. Khalilzad began his UN position.
Dr. Khalilzad was previously an Ambassador in both Iraq and Afghanistan, and served the Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld trio.

Dr. Khalilzad was the US Ambassador to Iraq from 2005 to 2007, after serving as the U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan, 2003 to 2005. Dr. Khalilzad headed the Bush-Cheney transition team for the Department of Defense and has been a Counselor to Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld, according to the US State Dept.

In a related cable released on Friday, Guatemala demands justice after migrants in southern Arizona were attacked and killed by masked gunmen. More recently, the hacked files of the Arizona police made public the fact that off-duty US Marines, and white supremacist groups, are stalking migrants with assault weapons on the Arizona border.

Here's the US atrocities, in the United States' own words from world leaders at the United Nations:

Diplomatic Cable:
http://wikileaks.org/cable/2007/11/07USUNNEWYORK1019.html

¶1. (U) Speaking Oct. 31 in the annual debate on promotion and protection of human rights in the UN General Assembly's Third Committee, Ambassador Khalilzad emphasized the value the United States places on human rights, described the important role these rights play in building societies, cited examples of progress in human rights (Indonesia, Sierra Leone, Guatemala, Morocco and Lebanon) and addressed situations of human rights violations (Zimbabwe, Cuba, North Korea, Burma, Belarus, Iran and Syria). He noted U.S. concern for the situation of human rights in Russia and China. (Full text of Ambassador Khalilzad's statement is available at www.usunnewyork.usmission.gov  press releases/20071031 278.html).

¶2. (U) Several delegations responded to the U.S. statement. Iran's representative regretted that the Third Committee is frequently misused to name and blame, which he said divides the group into two blocs, the claimants vs. the defendants. He noted that no country has a perfect record and pointed to Guantanamo, secret detention centers, mistreatment of migrants in the United States, Europe, and Canada, and the inhumane treatment of the Palestinian people, which, he alleged, is supported by Europe and the United States.

¶3. (U) The Cuban delegate boasted of Cuba's successes in the area of human rights and said the same countries that criticize Cuba commit numerous violations of human rights, singling out the United States for what she said was torture of prisoners by U.S. soldiers in Guantanamo and Iraq, sexual abuse of prisoners in Abu Ghraib, police violence, the death penalty for minors, election fraud, "people-hunting" on the Mexican border, and violations of civil and political rights of American citizens, including wiretapping and banning travel to Cuba.

¶4. (U) North Korea's delegate said the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan were the cause of "more than a million" deaths and an increase in sectarian violence. He called for "non-selectivity" in addressing human rights, stating that issues such as the unlawful acts of Israel in the Occupied Territories and the CIA's alleged overseas secret prisons are ignored, while developing countries are SIPDIS the target of accusations. "The United States is the number one invader and killer of other nations" said the North Korean, and "must clean its untidy house inside and out."

¶5. (U) Syria's delegate said the "American sermon" was an attempt to divide the Third Committee into good vs. bad. He argued that the vote against the U.S. trade embargo of Cuba in this year's General Assembly showed the isolation of the American position when it comes to human rights. He said U.S. human rights violations include the Guantanamo prison, secret extrajudicial executions, targeted killings, use of SIPDIS biological weapons in Vietnam, racial discrimination, and even movies that promote violence around the world.

¶6. (U) China said the United States had turned a blind eye to China's progress in human rights, but had failed to examine its own human rights record, citing the September 16 Blackwater security incident in Iraq. He stated that the United States has increased its monitoring and control of the Internet and suppressed anti-war expression and gatherings. He alleged that racism and xenophobia are on the rise in the United States, as are violations of the human rights of Native Americans and ethnic groups. He called on the United States to remember its own "bad and sad" human rights record.
Khalilzad

In a related cable just released, the Guatemalan Foreign Minister urges an investigation and prosecution after migrants, including Guatemalans, were attacked by masked gunmen and one Guatemalan was killed in 2007.

The New York Times reported the attack on migrants:
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/09/us/09immig.html
Also recently, the hacked files of the Arizona police revealed that off-duty US Marines, and white supremacist groups, continue to stalk migrants with assault weapons in southern Arizona.
Censored News: Hacked data reveals US Marines as contract assassins on Arizona border, hunting for migrants:
http://bsnorrell.blogspot.com/2011/06/hacked-data-reveals-us-marines-contract.html

Wikileaks US diplomatic cable: US Embassy of Guatemala: Feb 14, 2007

SUBJECT: GUATEMALAN FM ROSENTHAL WRITES THE AMBASSADOR ABOUT FATAL ATTACK ON IMMIGRANTS IN ARIZONA  
http://www.cablegatesearch.net/cable.php?id=07GUATEMALA305&q=tohono

¶1. Summary: Guatemalan Foreign Minister Rosenthal wrote the Ambassador urging the prompt investigation and prosecution of those responsible for the February 8 armed attack on a group of undocumented immigrants in a desert area near Tucson, Arizona. One Guatemalan was killed, while another Guatemalan was injured during the early morning attack. End summary.

¶2. Background: On February 8, a group of more than 20 undocumented aliens, including an undetermined number of Guatemalans, was attacked by masked armed gunmen in a desert area about 20 miles northwest of Tucson, Arizona. Three persons, including Guatemalan Rudi Raxaleu, were killed. Another Guatemalan, Sebastiana Quixtan, who was injured during the attack, is reportedly in stable condition and recuperating in a hospital in Tucson. Guatemalan media are portraying this incident as confirmation that there is open season on immigrants. Conservative, pro-business daily "Siglo XXI" ran a banner headline on page one screaming "They fear xenophobia."

¶3. Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Marta Altolaguirre told local press of her suspicion that the killers belong to a criminal group that extorts Guatemalans seeking to illegally immigrate to the U.S. and that organized crime is using new methods to profit from alien smuggling.
¶4. Embassy's informal translation of the letter:

BEGIN TEXT Mr. Ambassador: I present my compliments and have the honor to refer to the incident that occurred in the city of Tucson, Arizona in the early morning hours of February 8, which resulted in the death by firearm of Mr. Rudi Otoniel Raxaleu Castro, and injury to Ms. Sebastiana Quixtan Gomez, both Guatemalan citizens. We understand that the incident occurred when two pick-up trucks were traveling to Phoenix through the area of the Tohono O'dham Reservation. The first vehicle was intercepted by masked armed gunmen and forced off the road into the desert. U.S. authorities have located a minor, Olinda Arsenia Mateo Gomez, and Celvin Ernesto Boj, to whom U.S. immigration authorities have offered visas to remain in the U.S. The whereabouts of the other immigrants are unknown. The Guatemalan Government condemns this attack and requests your intervention so that the described facts can be investigated by the proper authorities and that those responsible for the armed aggression can be brought to justice in accordance with the law. I take this opportunity to renew the assurances of my highest consideration. Gert Rosenthal Koenigsberger Minister of Foreign Affairs cc: Ambassador Guillermo Castillo Embassy of Guatemala in the U.S.
  END TEXT Derham
.
Read more at Censored News:
http://www.bsnorrell.blogspot.com

New Wikileaks: Forced Exiles of Native Americans and Palestinians

While the US media censored the truth, the world was watching
By Brenda Norrell
Censored News
http://www.bsnorrell.blogspot.com

The release of thousands of Wikileaks cables includes the comparison of how the colonial United States government forcibly drove Native Americans from their homes, while Israel forcibly expels Palestinians from their homes.

The new Wikileaks cables reveal that while the US media was censoring the truth, the world was watching.

In a diplomatic cable from the US Embassy in Kuwait released Friday, dated June 21, 2004, the US Embassy in Kuwait provides this quote from the media:

¶3. "Journey Of Tears" Mohammed Musaed Al-Saleh wrote in independent Al-Qabas (6/19): "The way the United States was founded is identical to the way the Zionist entity was founded. In America,  Native Americans were forcibly driven away from their homes. Israel in 2004 is doing the same thing by forcibly expelling Palestinians from the West Bank, east of Jerusalem and Gaza. According to author Muneer Al-Akesh, America's idea of exchanging a nation and a culture with another, through forcible evacuation and unjustified explanations, is in fact Israel's historical raison d'etre. While Sharon is in Palestine, Bush is in Iraq. There is no difference." 
http://wikileaks.org/cable/2004/06/04KUWAIT1934.html

It is the second cable released in the past few days where US Embassies refer to media quotes about the atrocities committed by the US government and the exile of Native Americans.

A second Wikileaks cable revives an article censored by Indian Country Today. While the newspaper censored an article stating that the war in Iraq is a continuation of the atrocities inflicted on American Indians -- the truth was already known around the world in Turkey.

The US Embassy in Turkey quoted Omer Ozturkmen in 2004, in the Wikileaks cable: "The Iraqi people were expecting to watch Saddam's trial on TV while the president of the US focused on his re-election bid. Now, the torture photos from Iraq have recalled for the American people the long forgotten atrocities faced by American Indians."

It is an important fact that Turkey knew this truth at the beginning of the Iraq war, because in the United States, this fact was being censored.

Louise Benally of Big Mountain, Ariz., longtime Navajo resister of relocation, was among the most vocal from the beginning opposing the war in Iraq. When Benally compared the war in Iraq to the forced exile and imprisonment of Navajos on the Long Walk by the US Calvary, the newspaper Indian Country Today, where I served as a staff writer, censored Benally's comments in 2005.

Pressed to publish a correction, the newspaper refused.

Here are the censored comments:

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

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

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

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

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

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

We know now that not only were Benally's comments censored at the time, but Native Americans and other peace activists were being stalked and spied on by law enforcement throughout the United States. The spy files of the Denver Police Department, made public, revealed that activists at Big Mountain were among those on the police watch list.

Meanwhile, in Turkey, the truth was known that when American Indians viewed torture photos in Iraq, they recalled the atrocities inflicted on Native Americans.

A US diplomatic cable in Turkey, dated May 21, 2004, states:

"The US is in Trouble in Iraq"

Omer Ozturkmen observed in the conservative Turkiye (5/21): "The fact is, US diplomacy was mistaken in planning for the post-war scenario in Iraq. The US could never imagine the kinds of problems they were going to face there. The Iraqi people were expecting to watch Saddam's trial on TV while the president of the US focused on his re-election bid. Now, the torture photos from Iraq have recalled for the American people the long forgotten atrocities faced by American Indians. Let us see how the president will explain the loss of American lives in Iraq during his campaign. When put next to the torture the Iraqi people have suffered at the hands of the coalition, Saddam's Halapja massacre looks mild by comparison. Those obscene photos are already being circulated among international terrorist groups to recruit fighters against the United States. The Bush Administration, which at one time put sacks over the heads of allied troops, now buries its own head to hide its shame. The US is paying the price for excluding Turkey in its policies in Eurasia. It looks that that price will continue to be paid."
Reference id: 04ANKARA2881 Origin: Embassy Ankara Time: Fri, 21 May 2004 16:38 UTC
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED

Finally, here are more of Benally's comments from 2005:

Suffering and strength at Bosque Redondo
By Brenda Norrell
2005

BIG MOUNTAIN, Ariz. - Viewing a photo of Navajo children at Bosque Redondo for the first time, Louise Benally wondered which ones were her great-grandparents who endured the Long Walk to Fort Sumner, N.M. and suffered in the prison camp for four years.

''On my mother's side they went: and my great-grandfather was just 5 years old. He had seen a lot of hard times, where parents and other relatives were killed,'' Benally said.

''My grandma passed on three years ago - she was 116 years old. When she left, she would tell us that they did some healing ceremonies which were called 'Without Songs.' She would sometimes have me perform this one: 'The Blacken Way.''' She remembered her great-grandfather and other Navajos who were driven from their beloved homeland by the U.S. Army on foot for hundreds of miles while witnessing murders, rapes and starvation.

One-third of the 9,000 Navajo and Mescalero Apache who suffered at the prison camp from 1863 - '68 succumbed to pneumonia, dysentery, starvation and exposure.

She also said that some Navajos who eluded capture secretly helped others. ''On my father's side of the family, they didn't go on this march. But, as supporters from the outside, they brought food in the night and other health supplies.''

Benally is among the Navajos who are resisting forced relocation from her home on Big Mountain. The Navajo descendants of Long Walk survivors at Big Mountain gained strength and fortitude from their ancestors for their 30-year struggle to remain on the land as protectors, she noted.

Benally pointed out that the so-called ''Navajo and Hopi land dispute'' resulted from legal maneuvers, documented by Colorado professor Charles Wilkinson, to remove Navajos from the land to make way for the expansion of coal mining on Black Mesa.

PHOTO White House Tar Sands Gathering Before the Storm

Tar Sands White House: Gathering before the storm, Saturday, Aug. 27, 2011. As Hurricane Irene hits the east coast, rain begins to fall in DC. Tar Sands Action rallying at the White House today as Hurricane Irene approaches. Due to the state of emergency, there will be a rally, but no sit in with the risk of arrests today. Photo by Tar Sands Action mobile upload.

Wikileaks: Torture in Iraq invokes atrocities against American Indians

Wikileaks reveals that the truth, censored by Indian Country Today, was already known as a fact around the world in Turkey

Navajo and Apache children imprisoned at Fort Sumner, Bosque Redondo, N.M.
By Brenda Norrell
Censored News
http://www.bsnorrell.blogspot.com

BIG MOUNTAIN, Ariz. -- A newly released Wikileaks cable reveals that when Indian Country Today attempted to censor the fact that the war in Iraq was a continuation of the atrocities inflicted on American Indians, the truth was already known around the world in Turkey.

The US Embassy in Turkey quoted Omer Ozturkmen in 2004, in the Wikileaks cable: "The Iraqi people were expecting to watch Saddam's trial on TV while the president of the US focused on his re-election bid. Now, the torture photos from Iraq have recalled for the American people the long forgotten atrocities faced by American Indians."

It is an important fact that Turkey knew this truth at the beginning of the Iraq war, because in the United States, this fact was being censored.

Louise Benally of Big Mountain, Ariz., longtime Navajo resister of relocation, was among the most vocal from the beginning opposing the war in Iraq. When Benally compared the war in Iraq to the forced exile and imprisonment of Navajos on the Long Walk by the US Calvary, the newspaper Indian Country Today, where I served as a staff writer, censored Benally's comments in 2005.

Pressed to publish a correction, the newspaper  refused.

Here are the censored comments:

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

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

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

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

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

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

We know now that not only were Benally's comments censored at the time, but Native Americans and other peace activists were being stalked and spied on by law enforcement throughout the United States. The spy files of the Denver Police Department, made public, revealed that activists at Big Mountain were among those on the police watch list.

Meanwhile, in Turkey, the truth was known that when American Indians viewed torture photos in Iraq, they recalled the atrocities inflicted on Native Americans.

A US diplomatic cable in Turkey, dated May 21, 2004, states:

"The US is in Trouble in Iraq"
 
Omer Ozturkmen observed in the conservative Turkiye (5/21): "The fact is, US diplomacy was mistaken in planning for the post-war scenario in Iraq. The US could never imagine the kinds of problems they were going to face there. The Iraqi people were expecting to watch Saddam's trial on TV while the president of the US focused on his re-election bid. Now, the torture photos from Iraq have recalled for the American people the long forgotten atrocities faced by American Indians. Let us see how the president will explain the loss of American lives in Iraq during his campaign. When put next to the torture the Iraqi people have suffered at the hands of the coalition, Saddam's Halapja massacre looks mild by comparison. Those obscene photos are already being circulated among international terrorist groups to recruit fighters against the United States. The Bush Administration, which at one time put sacks over the heads of allied troops, now buries its own head to hide its shame. The US is paying the price for excluding Turkey in its policies in Eurasia. It looks that that price will continue to be paid."
Reference id: 04ANKARA2881 Origin: Embassy Ankara Time: Fri, 21 May 2004 16:38 UTC
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED

Finally, here are more of Benally's comments from 2005:
Suffering and strength at Bosque Redondo
By Brenda Norrell
2005

BIG MOUNTAIN, Ariz. - Viewing a photo of Navajo children at Bosque Redondo for the first time, Louise Benally wondered which ones were her great-grandparents who endured the Long Walk to Fort Sumner, N.M. and suffered in the prison camp for four years.

''On my mother's side they went: and my great-grandfather was just 5 years old. He had seen a lot of hard times, where parents and other relatives were killed,'' Benally said.

''My grandma passed on three years ago - she was 116 years old. When she left, she would tell us that they did some healing ceremonies which were called 'Without Songs.' She would sometimes have me perform this one: 'The Blacken Way.''' She remembered her great-grandfather and other Navajos who were driven from their beloved homeland by the U.S. Army on foot for hundreds of miles while witnessing murders, rapes and starvation.

One-third of the 9,000 Navajo and Mescalero Apache who suffered at the prison camp from 1863 - '68 succumbed to pneumonia, dysentery, starvation and exposure.

She also said that some Navajos who eluded capture secretly helped others. ''On my father's side of the family, they didn't go on this march. But, as supporters from the outside, they brought food in the night and other health supplies.''

Benally is among the Navajos who are resisting forced relocation from her home on Big Mountain. The Navajo descendants of Long Walk survivors at Big Mountain gained strength and fortitude from their ancestors for their 30-year struggle to remain on the land as protectors, she noted.

Benally pointed out that the so-called ''Navajo and Hopi land dispute'' resulted from legal maneuvers, documented by Colorado professor Charles Wilkinson, to remove Navajos from the land to make way for the expansion of coal mining on Black Mesa.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Day 7 Tar Sands White House Portraits of Arrests






Day 7: Tar Sands White House Arrests
Censored News
http://www.bsnorrell.blogspot.com

Photo Credit: Milan Ilnyckyj photos 1, 2 and 3. Photos 4 and 5 by Josh Lopez.

Weather Update for 8/27 and 8/28


News — admin August 26, 2011 at 12:16 pm
Here is an update on our plans for the coming weekend as a result of Hurricane Irene:
Saturday’s demonstration is planned to continue, but anyone concerned about travel arrangements or other issues related to the storm is encouraged to reschedule their plans to join us in the coming week, which we expect to be even bigger and stronger than the one past.We will discuss as a group our plans for tomorrow during this evening’s training session, which will continue as planned, based on the latest weather updates.
Sunday’s demonstration will be cancelled, in the interests of safety, and out of respect for everyone dealing with the immediate effects of this monster storm.
Sunday’s training for Monday’s action is still planned to happen at Mt. Vernon Church at 5pm, barring major power outages or other disruptions.
It does not escape our attention that storms of this size and character will be the new normal on a warmer planet. We are more committed than ever to continuing our campaign to stop Keystone XL and the tar sands development, and we will be back in action Monday.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

VIDEO: Russell Means thanks all his supporters


A thank you, and health update, from Russell Means, recorded Monday.

Albuquerque Forest Service Shuts Down, Frightened by Peaceful Peaks Protest

Norman Patrick Brown, Navajo, holds sign "President Obama supports destruction of sacred sites." Photo by Ethan Sing


Outta Your Backpack Media/Censored News

Outta Your Backpack Media/Censored News
By Brenda Norrell
Censored News
ALBUQUERQUE -- The Protect the Peaks protest in Albuquerque at the US Forest Service office frightened the Forest Service so much that it shut down, roped off its corridors with police tape and placed police on the roof top.
Louise Benally, Navajo from Big Mountain, Arizona, however, said she was able to enter the building and deliver a letter calling for a halt to the destruction of sacred San Francisco Peaks.
Already, there is clearcutting of the old growth forest for the pipeline of sewage water for snowmaking at the Snowbowl ski resort.
El Grito news covered the protest. "The strength of our heart and our spirit is our prayers, the strength and heart of our prayers is our mountains, and the strength and heart of those mountains is our great spirit," Navajo grassroots organizer Norman Brown told the gathering. "That's how we are tied in to this land. That's how and why we've never given up."
Louise Benally, a Navajo traditional practitioner and resident of the San Francisco Peaks foothills, delivered a letter to the Forest Service, addressed to Corbin Newman, Regional Forester, stating that the federal government is passing judgment on the tribe's religious belief, and failing in its duty as "trustee" to protect "native religions, traditions, and culture that it is otherwise charged to protect."
Read more at El Grito:
Protests were held at Forest Service offices around the west today, including protests in Golden, Colorado, and Vallejo, California, calling for a halt to the destruction of San Francisco Peaks, sacred to 13 Native American Nations. Medicine men gather healing plants on the mountain and hold ceremonies there, where the Snowbowl plans to make snow from wastewater piped in.


.

USDA Forest Service, Region 3                                                                       August 25, 2011

Appeal Deciding Officer: Harv Forsgren

333 Broadway SE

Albuquerque, NM 87102

To: Corbin Newman, Regional Forester



RE: Record of Decision:  Arizona Snowbowl Facilities Improvements and Forest Plan

       Amendment #21 by Nora Rasure, Forest Supervisor, February 18, 2005

This letter is presented to you in order to call on you to enact an immediate halt to the destruction and desecration of the Holy San Francisco Peaks, located in Northern Arizona, and to demand that the USDA revoke the Special Use Permit for Arizona Snowbowl for the greater public interest.


The Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for Arizona Snowbowl is currently under review by the USDA in its Draft Report on Sacred Sites. The EIS details the public outcry about the plan to use treated sewage effluent to make snow to "provide a consistent and reliable ski season" for Arizona Snowbowl. It further states that in an effort to build trust with local Native American tribes the USDA will try to reverse some of the damage caused by decisions that have directly contributed to the desecration of sites held sacred to Native American tribes.

However, at the outset of the 60 day public comment period for the Draft Report on Sacred Sites, Arizona Snowbowl had already began clear cutting 40 acres of rare alpine forest and laying a 15 mile pipeline to carry treated sewage water up the Mountain to manufacture snow. The people who hold this mountain sacred implore you as Regional Forester to step in and make the USDA aware that the very mountain your own report’s claim to protect as a show of trust is being devastated. This will destroy any hope of building trust with tribes in the future.


It should also be noted that the Forest Service has violated the MOA with multiple tribal governments, without any recourse by the Coconino National Forest Service. Your position as Regional Forester obligates you to help provide oversight and protections of tribal interests in this matter. The Final EIS is insufficient, faulty, racist, environmentally unsound, scientifically unsound, and is clearly completely biased towards allowing Snowbowl to expand and use effluent water for snowmaking.

As you can see by the national outcry of resistance to the construction of Snowbowl, the citizens of this country strongly object to the decision to approve the Proposed and Preferred Action. Secretary Thomas J. Vilsack needs to be urged to uphold the Environmentally Preferred Action and it is your job as manager of part of this nation’s forests to encourage him to do so.  We demand that you halt construction if at the very least until the Sacred Sites Report is released and taken into consideration.  The entire East side of the Peaks was lost in a fire and it is the Forest Service’s duty to step in and fulfill their responsibilities in protecting the remaining pure wilderness watersheds, which are so rare in Arizona.

The Forest Service decision to expand Snowbowl is a perfect example of what Executive Order (EO) 12898 was created to stop. EO 12898 is an attempt to stop racism within the Federal Government. To continue this desecration would only continue to perpetrate the racism that has been taking place against the indigenous peoples of this land for centuries. Your own EIS clearly states that this will disproportionately affect and has, since 1938, been disproportionately affecting many Native tribes. Remand this decision, as it violates EO 12898, FS policy regarding EO 12898, and EPA policy regarding EO 12898.

 The Forest Service is not delegated with the responsibility of passing judgment on, or measuring the validity of a tribe’s religious belief.  That is, however, exactly what the federal government has done here.  It has forsaken its obligation as “trustee” and effectively undermined the continued viability of native religions, traditions, and culture that it is otherwise charged to protect.  Neither the asserted “improved skiing experience,” nor the undisclosed economic benefit to Arizona Snowbowl Resort Limited Partnership, can legitimately justify the devastating impact this project has on the tribes and on the individuals that hold the San Francisco Peaks sacred. 

The Forest Service is mandated with providing recreation, but it does not mandate recreation at the sake of sacred sites and fragile ecosystems. Artificially creating snow goes against this mandated recreation provision by completely ignoring the natural environment that exists within the SUP and has always existed within the SUP. There is no consistent snow on the Peaks as they are in high desert. In order to stay within Forest Service regulations, CNF should be providing recreation that fits the area the CNF is supposed to be managing—not artificially creating an environment that will benefit the owners of Snowbowl.

Mr. Newman, do your part to halt the construction at Snowbowl so that Mr.Vilsack has the option to remand this decision via the Report on Sacred Sites, primarily because it is unhealthy for all living things and will destroy the rarest ecosystem in Arizona. This decision is not only morally and ethically indefensible, the decision at issue: (1) was based on inaccurate and/or incomplete information; (2) is not supported by the record; and (3) was improper as a matter of law and currently has two lawsuits surrounding the project, one versus the US Forest Service and one against the City of Flagstaff.

Your prompt attention to this emergency situation is greatly appreciated.

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