August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Lakotas Prevent Blackhawk Helicopters from Landing at Wounded Knee

UPDATE MONDAY: Please read Debra White Plume's article on what happened and why, when the helicopters attempted to land at Wounded Knee:

From Alex White Plume, Lakota:
"A large number of people from three rezs came to defend the ground of Wounded Knee at 11:45 am. Three helicopters appeared above Wounded Knee. We were all in shock, it was true, the 7th Calvary. I saw women and children running under the killing machines to keep them from landing. One chopper landed 50 feet from the cement. A society leader stood his ground, and so it lifted off.
The younger generation spoke out. They expressed themselves and the sad state of affairs on the rez, the tension of oppression is very high. I would not consider this a protest, the US military is just not wanted at the killing site in Wounded Knee. I will stand with the seventh generation on this issue. An elderly talked and told us he lost entire families here, and did not appreciate this tourist style invasion.
We can gather all the survivors from all the rezs, This is a time to set the protocol for any activity at Wounded K nee. I remember in 1992 Uncle Oliver and I threw the Seventh Calvary off the rez, they were going to give us truck loads of fertilizer if we would accept a apology, an apology for killing our grandfathers and grandmas."
video :

YouTube Video:
Lakotah Republic: Counting Coup at Wounded Knee

Press statement:
To the Original Peoples of the Fourth World and all International Press Services:
By James (Magaska) Swan
At high noon today US Army helicopters of the US Seventh Cavalry air division attempted to land their Blackhawk aircraft upon Lakota Sacred Burial grounds in South Dakota. The presence of military aircraft from this unit is a sad and insulting reminder of the slaughter of more than 300 American Aboriginals on December 29,1890 when soldiers of the US 7th Cavalry gunned down more than 300 Aboriginal Minneconjou Lakota refugee children, women, infants and the elderly at what is now called Wounded Knee in South Dakota Indian Country. The military then left the bodies of their victims to decay unburied in the driving snow.
As of this writing, the US military was confronted by angry but peaceful and steadfast community resistance as the Aboriginal people of the area have so far, according to reports from Lakota people on the ground, managed to prevent the aircraft from touching Indigenous ground.
For all American Aboriginals of the Americas, this is a sacred area. This is the place where the promise of a people died while fleeing from a genocidal US military unit hell-bent on liquidating the continent of its Indigenous population. There has never been any official apology offered for this massacre and the military awards bestowed upon the genocidal aggressors involved in this conflict still stand, as does a physical monument in honour of the US Army killed during Custer’s “last stand” against a defiant and united Indigenous resistance to their own demise.
The history of the US Army 7th Cavalry is important to understanding the level of violence used against Indigenous peoples. It is important to remember that after the US Seventh Cavalry officially ended the "Indian Wars" at home, they were then dispatched to do battle against Indigenous Filipinos struggling to maintain their hard-won national independence from the colonialist Spanish. In other words, the US War Department sent this very same unit to do overseas what was done here to the Indigenous peoples of the Americas. In this historical light, it is only logical for Indigenous peoples to assume that the Obama administration is attempting to make a political point out of this spectacle. Only, what sort of message are you sending by insulting and humiliating a people already suffering from five centuries of continuous pro-Europocentric, anti-Indigenous genocide?
This domestic military action is a deliberate insult and an obvious message of ongoing colonialism, state-sponsored racism and apathetic Indigenous genocide to all Indigenous peoples across the Fourth World; to the whole of the Lakota/Dakota Nation; and to the Indigenous residents of Pine Ridge and Wounded Knee. The symbolism of dispatching the Seventh Cavalry to Wounded Knee in an attempt to land weapons of mass destruction on Aboriginal sacred ground tells us how little this government, and this particular administration, respects the people of Indian Country and our significant historical perspective as survivors of the racist Euro-settler xenophobic purges waged against the Indian in the Americas.
To make matters worse, this action comes on the heels of newly-passed legislation in Arizona state that requires law officers to racially-profile anyone they believe “looks”, “sounds” or “dresses” like an illegal immigrant, a thinly veiled “race law” that directly effects both our Indigenous sisters and brothers native to Occupied Mexico as well as the Native American population of Arizona in the United States. Given that most Indigenous peoples of the Americas share the same general physiotype and more often than not, similar Spanish last names, the passage of this guideline will without a doubt lead to widespread abuses against that state’s brown-skinned population. The legal door now opened, Texas and other states led by neo-confederate constituencies are moving to pass their own anti-immigrant/anti-Indigenous directives that will broadly effect anyone and everyone who could be perceived by the colonial European majority as a “foreign invader”.

The Obama administration has shown America and the world that they are no different than any other previous US government in their view that the American Indian on both sides of the US border is nothing more than a prop or a tool to be displayed only when it is useful to promote the “contemporary” 21st century neo-colonialist capitalist agenda. The Obama administration, an office headed by a man of African descent, has shamed itself and all those who have supported his candidacy in arrogantly dismissing the memory of our people interred at Wounded Knee by rubbing the military might of the historically anti-Indigenous 7th Cavalry in our faces by forcibly entering Indian Country in an attempt to land their machines of war on top of the bodies of our ancestral dead.
Clearly, the culture war against the American Indian is not over. Welcome to the new American century.

Pass this on. We must get the word out. Let everyone know. Contact the your local media. Tell them the the local media in (Rapid City, South Dakota) hasn't even mentioned this in the news, so typical for Rapid City media, and if they did post it, it would not be the truth. I tried to contact the Rapid City Urinal....LOL. They wont return my calls or post any of the comments I have made in defence of our people.

James ( Magaska) Swan

Call for moratorium on offshore oil development

Press Advisory, May 1, 2010
Contact: Miyoko Sakashita,, (510) 845-6703
KierĂ¡n Suckling,, (520) 275-5960

Center for Biological Diversity Calls for Moratorium on Offshore Oil Leasing, Exploration and Development

Photo: Herald Herbert, AP The Deepwater Horizon oil rig is seen burning Wednesday in the Gulf of Mexico, more than 50 miles southeast of Venice on Louisiana's tip. The rig sank Thursday morning, posing a serious environmental threat.

SAN FRANCISCO— As experts once again increased the estimate of the oil spewing from the Gulf of Mexico oil rig disaster to as much as 25,000 barrels, or one million gallons, per day, the oil spill is poised to become perhaps the worst industrial environmental disaster in U.S. history.

Hundreds of species in the Gulf will be harmed by the toxic oil, including endangered sea turtles that are returning to the beach areas to nest and Atlantic bluefin tuna that aggregate in the area to breed this time of year. Seabirds, sharks, whales and other marine mammals are also at risk, while fisheries and other businesses will suffer ill effects for years to come.

The Department of the Interior approved the Gulf drilling, as well as similar operations planned by Shell for this summer off Alaska, without any meaningful analysis of, or adequate contingency plans for, a large spill.

In response, Center for Biological Diversity oceans program director Miyoko Sakashita issued the following statement:

“The Gulf of Mexico disaster has shown with tragic clarity the absurdity of the claims by the oil industry and politicians beholden to that industry that offshore oil and gas development is safe.

“We call on President Obama to reverse the recent decisions of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to allow drilling this summer in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas off Alaska, and to reinstitute a moratorium on new offshore oil leasing, exploration, and development on all our coasts.

“Given the difficulties in dealing with a spill in the calm waters of the Gulf, where response equipment and other resources are close at hand, it is the height of irresponsibility for the Department of the Interior to allow Shell to drill for oil this summer in remote areas of the Arctic when no technology exists to clean up an oil spill in icy conditions, and mobilizing an effective response would be logistically overwhelming, if not impossible.

“Under Ken Salazar’s watch the Department of the Interior continues to prioritize the wishes of Big Oil over the safety of workers, wildlife, and the integrity of our ocean ecosystems.

“When President Obama appointed Ken Salazar as secretary of the interior, the American people were promised that the mismanagement, lax oversight, and environmentally destructive policies of the Minerals Management Service would be a thing of the past. Unfortunately, Secretary Salazar failed to deliver on that promise and the wildlife and people of the Gulf are now paying the price.”

Nevada: Japanese A-Bomb Survivors Reception

Nevada Desert Experience
1420 West Bartlett Avenue
Las Vegas, NV 89106
Interfaith Resistance to Nuclear Weapons and War

Jim Haber, NDE Coordinator
702.646.4814 (office), 415.828.2506 (mobile)

Wednesday, May 5, 6:30 pm
Reception at the Atomic Testing Museum for Genusikyo Delegation
755 E Flamingo Rd., Las Vegas, NV 89119 702.794.5144
Light refreshments will be available. A set of short presentations will begin around 7:00 pm.
Interviews with delegation members will be available starting at 6:00 pm.
Thursday, May 6, 8:30 am to 9:30 am
Peace Vigil outside Las Vegas Federal Courthouse, 333 S. Las Vegas Blvd.
The Gensuikyo delegation will join the the weekly peace vigil outside the federal courthouse on
Las Vegas Blvd. They will then go to the Mercury entrance to the Nevada Test Site and will
meet with members of the Western Shoshone Nation there and at the Temple to Goddess
Spirituality in Cactus Springs.
Several thousand people from Japan are visiting the United States on the occasion of the
Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty Review Conference at the United Nations throughout the
month of May including 1500 members of Gensuikyo. Eighty of them, including several
Hibakusha (A-bomb survivors) are coming to Las Vegas. Like their compatriots visiting other
cities, they want to speak with people about the need for a swift and total ban on, and the
elimination of, nuclear weapons; also the need for people to support and have solidarity with
Hibakusha (victims of A- and H- bomb attacks and testing). They are promoting an Appeal for
a Nuclear Weapon-Free World.
The Japan Council against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs (Gensuikyo) was established in
September 1955. Since then it has waged various kinds of campaigns for: the prevention of
nuclear war; the total ban on and the elimination of nuclear weapons; and support and solidarity
with Hibakusha (victims of the atomic bombing). Yayoi Tsuchida, assistant general secretary of
Gensuikyo, will be leading their delegation in Las Vegas.
The Atomic Testing Museum is donating their space for the May 5 reception. Organized by
Nevada Desert Experience along with Pace e Bene Nonviolence Service, the Las Vegas
Catholic Worker, and the Temple to Goddess Spirituality.
Coordinating Committee
Ming San Lai, Chair
Sacramento, CA
Johnnie L. Bobb
Austin, NV
Dr. Bonnie Bobb
Austin, NV
National Council
Janet Chisolm
Bangor, PA
Chelsea Collonge
Albuquerque, NM
Alan Edmonson
Pleasant Hill, CA
JoAnn Yoon Fukumoto
Pearl City, HI
Bishop Thomas
Detroit, MI
Joe Kennedy
Dyer, NV
Marcus Page
Albuquerque, NM
Claudia Peterson
St. George, UT
Anne Symens-Bucher
Oakland, CA
Louis Vitale, OFM
Oakland, CA
Jim Haber
Megan Rice, SHCJ
Gary Cavalier