Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights 2020

Monday, July 23, 2007

In memory of Doc Rosen, final e-mail from Tsunami relief

July 23, 2007
Dear AIMsters,
As some of you have probably already heard, our dear friend and brother, "Doc" Ron Rosen, suffered a massive stroke on Friday, and passed to the spirit world yesterday morning. He is being taken to Crow Dog's Paradise this morning, on the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota , for his final rest. Please keep Doc, his wife and his children in your thoughts and prayers, and please read the message from one of his colleagues in the message below this one.

As we all know, Doc was a member of AIM at least since his service as a medic in Wounded Knee in 1973. He was one of the few non-Indians who was considered a full member of AIM, having given and given to Indian people, without asking anything in return. Whenever we needed a medic in the streets for any AIM action, Doc was there -- ready to provide his services in the midst of tear gas or police clubs or arrests. Doc was a certified acupuncturist, and many of us benefited from his skills, which he often provided for free, or certainly at a reduced rate for Native people. He travelled regularly to Guatemala , to provide freed medical services to Indian communities there. In 2004, he went to the area in Thailand that was most heavily destroyed by the massive tsunami in that region. In addition, he served as a medic coordinator at the World Trade Organization protests in Seattle in 1999, and in Toronto in 2003. Needless to say, he was always integral to coordinating the medic trainings and teams for Columbus Day in Denver .

Doc and his new wife, Carol, were married only a month ago, and all of our support for her will be appreciated. I believe that we should plan a memorial for Doc toward the end of the summer, to remind us of his commitment and dedication to the Movement, and to Indian people, and to continue his work. I will write more later. Below is a message from one of Doc's colleagues.
In Struggle,
Glenn Morris

From Diana Horowitz:Today is a deeply sad day for the acupuncture profession and for humanity. "Doc" Ron Rosen, OMD, L.Ac., passed away in the comfort of his home at approximately 11:00 a.m. this morning.

As an honored, adopted member of the Lakota tribe, Doc will be buried on the Rosebud reservation in South Dakota tomorrow (Monday, July 23rd) in the late afternoon/early evening. If you wish to attend the burial, please contact Joe Wollen for details at 720-234-0967. Meet up with them in S. Dakota, or join the departing entourage at 10:00 a.m., at the funeral home located at 17th Avenue and York Street in Denver.

There will be a memorial service/fundraiser/ celebration of Doc's life in Denver after August 6th. Details will follow. Doc is survived by his wife Carol (they were just married last month), sons Lonny and Ari, and his daughter Krystal. He did not have any health insurance. To make a contribution towards medical and funeral expenses, please send a check to:

Carol Garlington
1590 S. Dalia StreetDenver, CO 80222

Also, Doc had recently expanded his clinic at Colfax & York in Denver, and was in need of a few more holistic health care renters. Renting a treatment space would be a terrific way to help out Doc's family. Please call Maria Lee, L.Ac. at 720-275-1205 for more information.

Doc dedicated his life to helping all people in need, locally and globally, and regardless of their income level. He treated thousands of patients, and mentored dozens of fledgling acupuncturists over the course of his career. Doc was a co-founder of the Acupuncture Association of CO, and one the persons responsible for our professional licensure in the 1980's. Now is the time to return the generosity that Doc gave so freely. Let's band together as a community to commemorate Doc's extraordinary life, and help his family through this time of uncertainty and loss.

In sympathy,

Diana Horowitz, M.S., L.Ac.

Message from Carter Camp:

In Memory of Doc Rosen, who Carter Camp honors in his passing as "AIM and Wounded Knee brother."

Doc, who chose the path of love for humanity, passed to the Spirit World on Sunday following a stroke. Here's the last e-mail I received from him during his work in Tsunami relief in Thailand in 2005:

Feb. 12, 2005
It should come as no surprise at all for most of you but I am - and have been for the last several weeks- in one of the areas hit by the Tsunami. I tend not to keep in touch much and I want to just let eveyone know that I am OK and what it is I am up to. This is a bit rambling but I have limited time on computer and am just trying to get some of my thoughts down on paper.

I came to Asiawith ateam of Native American Doctors, EMTs, etc. Planned on heading for Bandeh Aceh. We were kept out of Aceh by the Indonesian military.Went to Southern Thailand, Phang Nga Province, Nam Kem. The people here are devestated. Homes gone Boats gone Children dead, Sisters, Brothers, Mothers,Fathers, Grand Children... all dead. You have heard/read/seen this and have moved on.

The people here are still afraid of the sea.
In this one village 4,000 dead out of 6,500.

I am doing PTSD work. Doing Magic /slight of hand for kidsThe kids flock around asking for magic tricks ... as do the adults.The other aid workers say some have not smiled in weeks but they are laughing as i do my slight of hand. Today an old man who lost his entire family -16 people- smiled at me and then he asked me to "do the rabbit trick".The Thai woman counselor said they thought they would lose him because he was not responding before this but now he is talking again and eating....They are so sweet and gentle. Many have lost everyone. Brother dead, sisters dead, mother and father dead it is the constant litany. I cry at night but only when alone.A little girl started calling me uncle
-her favorite is the magic coloring book.Did some recovery and some moving of bodies.The Thai counseling people say that the magic tricks are the biggest step the kids have taken towards normalization.I went on a tour of some refugee camps and orphanages doing magic and medical work.Did magic for a group of orpahans at a temple. Then we handed out toothbrushes and did some medical exams.Acupuncture and slight of hand as medicine for PTSD.Treating other aid workers as well.
We also build houses
The men can not work
They can not feed their families
They do not feel alive
Their entire culture is in danger of dying
The government does nothing for the poor family fishermen
They are talking about rebuilding boats but only for the big boat fisheries not the longtails
They need to have their fishing boats rebuilt or repaired.

The Tsunami Fishermens Relief long tail boat project is trying to do exactly that with local people and resident foriegners working together. (They need to raise $35,000 to repair or replace all of the boats of the fishermen who survived, but this is not a fund appeal)
Right now I am putting a lot of my efforts (outside of clinic hours and doing magic shows) into helping with construction of the dry dock. It is mostly just lifting, carrying, and hammering.
This project can give the people the tools to help themselves.

For me last Thursday was particularly emotionaly rough and I am not able to do any more for a bit and am now taking some time for R&R before I return to my Denver family.Said goodbye to all of the kids (lots of grownups too) and did some last slight of hand for themit makes me sad to have left themBack to USA shortlyEvery Thai person i meet (and lots of westerners as well) thanks me the need is so incrediblethe outpouring of help is also incredibleI am honored to have been working with these folks

Doc rosen
Phang Nga Province Thailand

Doc talks of his Katrina relief in 2005:

About Doc (2005)

Doc Rosen is a long time activist, and Movement Medical Trainer. In 1963 he was a local organizer for the March on Washington. He first joined the Medical Committee for Human Rights during the Selma-Montgomery Walk in 1965 where he was part of the first aid team. In 1968 he worked with Dr. King on the Poor Peoples Campaign. As a member of the National Executive Committee of MCHR, Doc was responsible for organizing and training teams of street Medics for hundreds of civil rights and antiwar demonstrations during from the 1960s,till the present day. He trained and helped lead the Medics for the anti-WTO demonstrations in Seattle and the anti-FTAA demonstrations inQuebec. He was the first medic in Wounded Knee in 1973, (and is still the Medic for the American Indian Movement) and spends part of the year on Rosebud, Pine Ridge and Big Mountain Reservations. He has regularly provided medical assistance for the families of Sun Dancers at Chief Leonard Crow Dogs in Rosebud since 1974and also helped Grandpa Fred Zephier, Celo Black Crow and the Big Mountain Dineh Nation during their Sun Dances. D oc is one of the founders of the Guatemala Acupuncture and Medical AidProject and travels regularly to the Guatemalan Rainforest where he workswith the Indigenous Maya, the survivors of La Impunidad (massacres of over240,000 Maya people). Dr. Rosen teaches the Promotores de Salud Acupuncture, sometimes traveling for days by jeep, mule, and even dug out canoe to reach the villages. Because of his activities he has been threatened repeatedly by the the Death Squads. Throughout the sixties and seventies Sifu Rosen was the Ring Doctor for dozens of Martial Arts Tournaments. Doc has been a student of Chinese Medicine since 1953, and has a practice in Denver CO. and has been elected a Fellow of the National Academy of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. He is a past president of the Acupuncture Association of Colorado. In 2002 Doc with his son Ari set up and taught Street Medic trainings throughout both Eastern and Western Europe and helped create the European StreetMedics (Prague, Gdansk, London, Manchester, Amsterdam, DenHag, Helsinki, Barcelona, Strasburg, Lisbon, Paris, etc.) In October 2002 he began teaching the European No Borders Barefoot Doctor Program. Doc lives very simply preferring to put all of his resources into his pro-bono and Social Justice work. Dr. Rosen is the proud father of a 21-year-old son Ari, daughter Crystal, and GrandDaughter Roslyn (3months).

Here is something from the O Read DailyDoc Rosen needs your help.Doc is a very experienced and dedicated medic. He was the first ofthe medics at Wounded Knee in 1973 when AIM (American IndianMovement) held off the federal government for 71 days! He is a renowned doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine, which has usedsuccessfully for treating Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome( PTSD) andother trauma related psychological damage. He is also skilled in setting up, training local people and running clinics in remoteregions. For many years he has been involved in doing exactly thatin Guatemala, and Chiapas where the indigenous people have beenunder attack by the state for decades. As a "StreetMedic" andanarchist for 40 years, he has been involved in providing medicalsupport for street confrontations including the Black Panthers,women's Reclaim the Night marches, and the anti-globalizationmobilizations of Seattle and Quebec City.
"I am currently trying to fund raise the cost ofmy trip to help with the Tsunami relief effort as part of a group ofNative American Medical Workers. We will be working directly withthe people affected. Besides treating people for the after effects ofinjuries and the PTSD/CIS that is effecting millions in that region I hopeto be able to set up clinics and a teaching program for a corps of Health Promoters who will be recruited from the local populace and trained tohelp their own people. We are going to Thailand and later i hope to BandehAceh.""Those of you who know me may be asking why I would go where so much mainstream help is already going? or Why focus on this when everyday thousands of children die from the direct effects of poverty andthe wars supported by US policies kill thousands more.""250,000 known dead from the Tsunami. Did you ever wonder why somany of those folks had built on the flood plain? The vast majorityof those killed by the Tsunami were those same people who are alwaysmost at risk, the people economically oppressed by the industrialist/materialist system and displaced by wars.""Most of the relief efforts now under way are tied to or going through the very Governments that have created or at least colludedin creating the conditions that placed these people in the path ofthe Tsunami to begin with."
Doc spends 4 - 5 months a year working pro-bono in the developing world teaching Promotores De Salud (often in conflict zones) and working as a Street Medic and does not have the money for the fare or the supplies himself.
(from 2005)

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