Thursday, September 29, 2016

Censored News 10th Anniversary! Celebrating the Collective

Celebrating our 10th Year Anniversary
Today, on our 10th Anniversary, Censored News had one million readers!

By Brenda Norrell
Censored News

We are celebrating the 10th Anniversary of Censored News today, Sept. 29, 2016. What makes me happy is that we have, in the words of Martin Luther King, overcome. We have overcome the censorship and oppression, and the lies and manipulations, of the media, corporate monsters, and sinister politicians. We are still here. We are still publishing with no advertising, grants, or revenues. Today our readers have multiplied, and today we passed the 9 million mark in pageviews.

Ten years ago, I was a staff writer for Indian Country Today, where I had worked for most of the years since 1995. On that day, after being censored repeatedly, I was terminated. The editor had warned me, in writing, that if I did not stop writing about grassroots Native people, that I would be fired. On that day, I was on my way to the Indigenous Peoples Border Summit in San Xavier, on Tohono O'odham land.

With no place to post my articles, Censored News was born.

Indian Country Today editors censored some of the greatest and most powerful voices in Indian country. This happened after the newspaper was sold by Tim Giago, Lakota, to the Oneida Nation in New York in the late 1990s.

Those powerful voices that were censored included Buffy Sainte Marie, Russell Means, Louise Benally, Bahe Katenay, Lenny Foster, and San Carlos Apaches, just to mention a few.

An interview with Buffy Sainte Marie was censored for seven years, which detailed how President Lyndon Johnson blacklisted her out of the music industry in the U.S., because of her stance against the Vietnam War and her song, "Universal Solider." When the article was published, Indian Country Today continued to censor the facts about uranium mining on Lakota land at Pine Ridge.

When Louise Benally, Dineh of Big Mountain was censored, she spoke out against the invasion of Iraq as it began, comparing it to the horror and tragedy of the Long Walk of Dineh. She spoke out at a time when few would speak out against America's bogus wars and the lies behind those wars. (See Censored article below.)

Bahe Katenay of Big Mountain was censored when he described how oil and gas drilling were desecrating Dinetah, the Dineh Place of Origin in the Four Corners region. Russell Means was censored often. Lenny Foster was censored when he described how Leonard Peltier's rights were denied in prison. San Carlos Apaches were censored when elders protested for their water rights.

Being censored always leads to personal hardship, even devastation, as detailed in the lives of those who survived McCarthyism. Censorship can also open doors unimaginable. Both were the case for me.

After being censored and terminated by Indian Country Today in 2006, the other newspapers I had worked for since 1982 also refused to hire me. With time on my hands, I was able to travel the West, and even to Mexico and Bolivia, to share censored voices, always scraping up just enough money to make it happen.

During the past 10 years, thanks to Govinda at Earthcycles, Censored News was able to broadcast live and preserve audios of some of the great Native Americans of our time. We began our broadcast at the Indigenous Peoples Border Summit ten years ago. We broadcast for five months live on the Longest Walk northern route across America in 2008. Then, we were live at Western Shoshone, Acoma and Laguna Pueblos, Havasupai, Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara, and AIM West. We also broadcast from the Mother Earth Conference in Bolivia, and the Peltier Tribunal and Boarding School Tribunal in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

In Sonora, Mexico, I was able to spend time with the Zapatistas when Marcos and the Comandantes came to Sonora, after traveling with the Zapatistas in Chiapas and elsewhere in Mexico through the years.

It is, however, the collective that Censored News represents today that is its greatest honor, its greatest offering. Today Censored News is a gathering of the good hearts. It is a collective of the writers, photographers, translators and activists -- who often pay out of their own pockets and share freely -- so the world will know the truth.

Today, Censored News belongs to all of them, and all of you, the good hearts who are resisting.

Thank you for this opportunity to celebrate.

-- Brenda Norrell

Dineh and Apache children in the prison of Bosque Redondo, Fort Sumner, N.M.
Louise Benally censored by Indian Country Today

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

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

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

About Censored News
Brenda Norrell has been a news reporter in Indian country for 34 years. She began as a news reporter at the Navajo Times, during the 18 years that she lived on the Navajo Nation, living for years in a log cabin in the Chuska Mountains. During those years, she was a stringer for AP for five years, covering the Navajo Nation and federal courts, and USA Today for seven years, covering the Navajo Nation. As a staff writer for Indian Country Today, she covered the Southwest. After being censored and terminated by Indian Country Today, she created Censored News, now concluding its 10th year with more than 9 million pageviews.

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Unknown said...

Omg my prayers are with the protectors ..leave them alone.

Anonymous said...

all prayers, I contacted white house. Dept. Of Interior, I got in touch with Sky & bbc news UK, the news agencies dont have info, so evryone you got to do it the old fashioned way, telephone & email. I dont know how to send video from FB so I sent links, not the same as opening and seeing, anyone got any Ideas

TruthSeeker said...

Any of us, anywhere, anytime. Wakeup! Apathy, the business of "getting through" each day, doesn't solve anything. The problems continue to fester, globally and at our backdoor. Change is never easy, dying an inch at a time inside, isn't either. This earth cries out to be heard. This is all of life.

Marlene Thompson said...

Terrible just posted to facebook

Geneva Ducote said...

Us government at work.

Anonymous said...

This is just so wrong on so many levels our government is nothing but a corrupt corporation nowadays and not for the people anymore they should be ashamed of the way they are treating these people , they choose to do this to peaceful protestor but the BLM assholes have free reign looting and destroying property and are being called peaceful protestors , this is just an outrage !!!!!

THE OZONER said...

Happy 10th Anniversary Brenda Norrell and to everyone at Censored News!!! I greatly appreciate your intact, up to date, source-labeled, and advertisement-free news that I've come to rely on quite frequently lately (as others I know also do). My small donation is barely a pittance comparatively.. Smiles!
Best wishes everyone. Stay vigilant. We all rise together in care! NO DAPL!

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