August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Obama fails humanity after Israeli attack on relief ships

Posted by Brenda Norrell - June 2, 2010 at 7:18 am
By Brenda Norrell/Narcosphere

UPDATE: Israeli politician aboard ship reveals terror: Israeli soldiers executed activists with gunshot wounds to the head and left people to bleed to death:,_accuses_israel_of_intentionally_killing_peace_activists_to_deter_future_flotillas/ Narcosphere update: Wed. 7 Central Time
By Brenda Norrell
In President Obama's most dismal and disappointing days so far, the president of the United States showed no interest in the fact that US citizens were aboard the humanitarian aid ships to Palestine that were attacked by Israeli soldiers, leaving humanitarians dead and wounded.
President Obama showed no interest that former US Army Col. and US State Department Official Ann Wright, now an anti-war and anti-US torture activist, was aboard one of the Freedom Flotilla ships and is assumed to be among the nearly 700 activists who were imprisoned in Israeli prisons following Israel's attack. No one has heard from Wright since she was taken off the aid ship.
President Obama showed no interest in the fact that a group of Californians were among the US citizens aboard the ships in the flotilla. Paul Larudee of El Cerrito, Calif., was badly beaten and sustained injuries while in Israeli detention.
The US Citizens in the aid flotilla included Edward Peck former Ambassador to Iraq and Mauritania, who returned to the US after his release. Navy veteran Joe Meadors, a USS Liberty Survivor, was tasered by Israeli soldiers. He returned home to Corpus Christi, Texas, with a black eye and bruises, after attempting a swim escape, which he maintained for 30 minutes before being captured.
The aid ships carried Huwaida Arraf co-founder of the International Solidarity Movement, and Hedy Epstein a Holocaust Survivor.
"The mainstream media has not reported on the fact that Epstein is a Holocaust Survivor considering they usually bring up the Holocaust when it suits their political objectives," reported Robert Stark.
President Obama showed no interest in the fact that a US student, Emily Henochowicz, was shot in the face at a Gaza checkpoint and lost her eye while protesting the attack on the humanitarian ships.
Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mairead Maguire, and former UN assistant Secretary General Denis Halliday were also onboard the aid ships.
The United States has been absorbed in convincing the United Nations to halt an independent investigation of the Israeli soldiers' murders and beatings, in order to protect Israel.
It is a dark day for the United States, one more day when playing politics is more important than human life.
The US prefers to keep its arrangements with Israel secret, like the US dollars given to Israel's military each year. That is $3 billion annually that the US gives Israel for its military, enabling Israeli soldiers to beat and murder human rights activists and imprison and brutalize the people of Palestine.
The US likes to keep its arrangements with Israel for Apartheid secret, like the contract for spy surveillance with Elbit Systems on the US/Mexico border, by way of a subcontract with Boeing. Elbit is the Israeli defense contractor responsible for surveillance and intelligence along the Palestinian Apartheid Wall.
But even with the US working behind the scenes to provide spin articles, in collusion with the decaying and pathetic US media, the truth is still present.
Unlike Obama, the rest of the world is not silent.
Unlike Obama and US politicians, there are still people in the world who manifest incredible courage. Some of those are now aboard the Freedom Flotilla's Rachel Corrie ship, headed with aid to Palestine.

'Lake of Blood' survivor describes Israel's attack on aid ship:

According to data from Israel, the expelled activists, including those wounded and killed, came from the following countries : Australia (3); Azerbaijan (2); Italy (6); Indonesia (12); Ireland (9); Algeria (28); United States (11); Bulgaria (2); Bosnia (1); Bahrain (4); Belgium (5); Germany (11); South Africa (1); Holland (2); United Kingdom (31); Greece (38); Jordan (30); Kuwait (15); Lebanon (3); Mauritania (3); Malaysia (11); Egypt (3); Macedonia (3); Morocco (7); Norway (3); New Zealand (1); Syria (3); Serbia (1); Oman (1); Pakistan (3); Czech Republic (4); France (9); Kosovo (1); Canada (1); Sweden (11); Turkey (380); Yemen (4).

Australians, mostly women and press, shot, beaten and tasered by Israeli soldiers:

The Free Palestine Movement earlier released this list of US citizens on the aid ships:

Former Ambassador Edward Peck of Chevy Chase, MD, is among those Americans abducted. Among other things, he served as Deputy Director of the Cabinet Task Force on Terrorism at the Reagan White House and State Department Liaison Officer to the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon. He spent 32 years in the Foreign Service, including Chief of Mission in Iraq. His wife, Ann Peck, received this morning text message stating that her husband is well and on his way to New York, but we have not been able to confirm this.

Also forcibly abducted is former U.S. Navy signalman Joe Meadors from Corpus Christi, TX. He is a decorated navy veteran and survivor of the 1967 Israeli attack on the USS Liberty. 34 Americans were killed and 173 were injured in that attack.
"It came as no surprise that Israel behaved in a disproportionate way to this humanitarian mercy mission. The Israeli government has repeatedly flouted international law, denying basic human necessities to Palestinians both in Gaza under siege and in the West Bank in the shadow of the apartheid wall." said Mr. Slevin.

Other Americans believed to have been kidnapped in the Israeli assault include:

Gene St. Onge
Oakland, CA
Civil/structural engineer working with Palestinian engineers to rebuild housing destroyed in Israel's 2009 invasion of Gaza

Dr. Paul Larudee
El Cerrito, CA
(Beaten by Israeli soldiers) Piano tuner and FPM co-founder; also co-founded The Free Gaza Movement that first broke the siege of Gaza in 2008

Janet Kobren
Oakland, CA
Retired math teacher and co-founder of the FPM

Huwaida Arraf
Ramallah, Palestine / Washington D.C. / Detroit, MI

A Palestinian with American and Israeli citizenship; received her Juris Doctor from the American University Washington College of Law, where she focused on international human rights and humanitarian law. In 2001 co-founded the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), which has twice been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Co-author of Peace Under Fire: Israel, Palestine, and the International Solidarity Movement. In 2007-8 taught at Al-Quds University human rights law clinic in Jerusalem, the first legal clinic in the Arab World.

Katherine Elliott Sheetz
Woods Hole, MA & Marin County in the Greater San Francisco Bay Area, CA
Registered Nurse with a master's degree in sustainable development; worked on human rights, health and food security, most often in Haiti.

Mary (Ann) Wright
Honolulu, HI
Former US diplomat who resigned in March, 2003 in opposition to Bush's Iraq war. Retired US Army Reserve Colonel. Trip leader for 3 delegations to Gaza in 2009; helped organize the Gaza Freedom March.

David Schermerhorn
Deer Harbor, WA
Commercial film producer and is 80 years young. Part of the Free Gaza crew on its maiden voyage to Gaza in August 2008. Explorer and adventurer who has traveled around the world on boats.

Iara Lee
San Francisco, CA
Brazilian of Korean descent; activist, filmmaker, and founder of the Caipirinha Foundation which supports projects to secure peace with justice. Currently working on a variety of initiatives grouped under the umbrella of CULTURES OF RESISTANCE, an activist network that brings together artists and changemakers from around the world. At the center of these initiatives is a feature-length documentary film entitled CULTURES OF RESISTANCE which explores how art and creative action contribute to conflict prevention and resolution. Collaborated with numerous grassroots efforts, including the International Campaign to Ban Cluster Munitions, the Conflict Zone Film Fund, and the New York Philharmonic's groundbreaking 2008 concert in North Korea.

Scott Michael Hamann
Portland, ME

Fatima Mohammadi
Chicago, IL
Coordinator of Viva Palestina-US; passenger on the Turkish Mavi Marmara boat

The father of Fiachra Ó Luain, 28, lives in Cape Cod, but his son lives in Ireland. There were conflicting reports as to whether Fiachra was injured.

Israeli soldier shoots US student in face at Gaza checkpoint

Copper Union student loses eye in West Bank Protest
A 21-year old American student at Cooper Union lost an eye after getting hit in the face with a tear gas projectile fired by an Israeli soldier during a demonstration at a crowded checkpoint between Israel and the West Bank yesterday. Emily Henochowicz was part of a group protesting the deaths of at least nine pro-Palestinian activists aboard the Gaza Freedom Flotilla. According to her fellow activists, Henochowicz is undergoing surgery to remove her left eye, and one protester, Sören Johanssen, says Israeli soldiers intentionally fired at her face:
"They clearly saw us," says Johanssen. "They clearly saw that we were internationals and it really looked as though they were trying to hit us. They fired many canisters at us in rapid succession. One landed on either side of Emily, then the third one hit her in the face." Israeli soldiers have previously killed and injured demonstrators with tear gas canisters.
Read more ...
Read Emily's blog, which she called a "Visual Adventure."

'Rachel Corrie' ship to make attempt to break Gaza blockade, despite loss of life

Pro-Palestinian activists to make second attempt to break Gaza blockade
Pro-Palestinian activists said they would make a second attempt to break the blockade on Gaza despite the loss of life on Monday.

By Richard Spencer
Published: 10:00PM BST 01 Jun 2010
Supplies are loaded onto the MV Rachel Corrie in Dundalk Harbour in May Photo: PA The MV Rachel Corrie, belonging to the Free Gaza Movement, was yesterday off the coast of Italy on its way from Malta stocked with building supplies, cement, medical and educational equipment and wheelchairs.

Israelis opened fire before boarding Gaza flotilla

AP video

Published on Tuesday, June 1, 2010 by The Guardian/UK
Israelis Opened Fire Before Boarding Gaza Flotilla, say Released Activists
First eyewitness accounts of raid contradict version put out by Israeli officials
by Dorian Jones in Istanbul and Helena Smith

Survivors of the Israeli assault on a flotilla carrying relief supplies to Gaza returned to Greece and Turkey today, giving the first eyewitness accounts of the raid in which at least 10 people died.

US demands coverup of Israeli murder of humanitarians on flotilla

IN COLD BLOOD: US Demands Coverup of Israeli Murder of Humanitarians on Aid Ships
UK GUARDIAN: US says Israel should lead investigation into attack on Gaza flotilla
Turkey's demands for international inquiry blocked at meeting of United Nations security council
Chris McGreal in Washington, Tuesday 1 June 2010 19.16 BST
The United States has blocked demands at the UN security council for an international inquiry into Israel's assault on the Turkish ship carrying aid to Gaza that left nine pro-Palestinian activists dead.
A compromise statement instead calls for an impartial investigation which Washington indicated could be carried out by Israel.

Israel used electric shock and beat humanitarians on ships
Human rights activists released from prison tell how Israeli soldiers attacked the human rights activists on ships bound with aid to Palestine, used electric shock and beat them. At least 11 dead:
Article by Elena Becatoros, Suzan Fraser, The Associated Press
In the thousands of articles written on Israel's attack, most are pitiful excuses for the truth. The above AP writers, and two newspapers below used the right words, including murder, electric shock and 'In Cold Blood.'
The Australian by Bassam Dally: World Must Take a Stand Against Israel: Israel's murder of human rights activists
The UK Telegraph: 'In Cold Blood' Why Israel's state thuggery must be stopped by Mary Riddell

Israel used electric shock on humanitarians on ships

Gaza aid flotilla activists talk of beatings, electric shocks

By Elena Becatoros, Suzan Fraser, The Associated Press

Last Updated: June 1, 2010 7:02am

ATHENS — Activists returning to Europe after Israeli forces raided their aid flotilla said Tuesday that the commandos had beaten passengers and used electric shocks during the assault.

Six Greeks and several others, including a Turkish woman and her 1-year-old baby, were released Tuesday, but Israel has barred access to hundreds of others seized during the raid that killed at least nine people and wounded dozens early Monday.

The Australian: Israel's murder of human rights activists

World must take a stand against Israel
Bassam Dally/The Australian
ISRAEL'S murder of the human rights activists on the MV Samoud on Monday brings into focus its policy of disregard for human lives and disrespect for international laws and conventions. This policy has been a product of world apathy to the plight of the Palestinians and US blanket support for Israeli actions.
The policy, best described as "shoot first and explain later", is heavily reliant on a well-funded PR department (Hasbara) in the Israeli government. However, the real support for this policy comes from Western governments, including our own, which have provided support and excuses for Israel's actions in the past and today have to share part of the blame for the killing of innocent civilians.

Michigan Song Video: Protect Eagle Rock

Dear all,
I used windows movie maker to make this video (using Eagle Rock photos) with Drew Nelson's song and added section to promote rally at Michigan Capitol this Thursday. Once my high definition video editor is fixed - I plan a video with just Drew's Song using high def. video and photos. Eagle Rock Video with Drew Nelson's Song promoting the June 3 rally at the Michigan State Capitol.
Hope you like it - was up all night editing.
Keeping the faith, Greg Peterson

A contingency of native and non-native residents of the Upper Peninsula are going to the State Capitol in Lansing to hand deliver an Environmental Justice petition and a Tribal Treaty Rights Statement to our Governor and to talk to the Natural Resources Commission about the Eagle Mine Project.
We will be talk about the use of state public lands for a private multi-national corporation's gain.
We will talk about Eagle Rock - a sacred site of the Anishinaabe that is now fenced in and in accessible to the public and the Anishinaabe.
We will talk about the violation of Treaty Rights.
We will talk about rights of communities that have been violated through the lack of engagement from permitting agencies in the permitting of the Eagle Mine on the Yellow Dog Plains in Marquette County.
Groups and citizens from all around Michigan and the Great Lakes are asked
to participate.
Schedule: June 3rd
11:00 am Meet on Capitol Lawn
11:30 am Reading of the Environmental Justice Petition
Reading a Tribal Rights Statement
Eagle Rock - sung by Drew Nelson
Other Voices Joining In
1:00 pm Deliver the petitions and Tribal Rights Statement to the Governor's office
3:00 pm Walk to Natural Resources Commission Meeting - 333 E. Michigan Ave - Lansing Center
4:30 pm Give Public Comment at NRC Meeting
Here is the schedule of events for next week and more detail:
June 2nd - Washtenaw County Circuit Court - 1:30 pm Ann Arbor.
Venue argument for the Contested Case Appeal
This will determine the location of the court case - Ann Arbor or Lansing
Merits of the case will not be discussed yet.
June 3rd - Capitol Steps, Lansing - 11:00 am * Stand for the Land Rally*
The actual speaking/singing event starts at 11:30 and we have until 2:00 for this rally.
There are many musicians joining us and we have a P.A. system so that all can hear.
We will then hand deliver an Environmental Justice Petition to the Governor's Office along with other documents and statements to her attention.
June 3rd - 3:00 pm Walk from Capitol Steps to Lansing Center - 333 E. Michigan Ave - three blocks away to attend Natural Resources Commission Meeting.
Public Comment starts at 4:30.
Musicians are lining up!!
Drew Nelson will be singing his new song Eagle Rock!
Rachael and Dominac Davis, Jen Sygit & Sam Corbin and Miko Fossum will add their voices and sounds to this event.
This is a peaceful demonstration of our rights.
Be there.
Contact: Cynthia Pryor
Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve, Inc

Underreported Indigenous Struggles

Intercontinental Cry: Underreported Struggles
In this month's Underreported Struggles: Eagle Rock Defenders camp 'crushed' by Police; Indigenous People call on FARC, army to leave their territory; Mexico Supreme Court Issues Landmark ruling on Indigenous Rights; Kayapo blockade heads into second month
Photo: Kennecott employees placing a fence across the driveway to the Eagle Rock encampment which had just been demolished. Photo by Greg Peterson

50,000 protest against Arizona's "anti-immigration" law - An estimated 50,000 people showed up on Saturday for the National Day of Action against SB-1070 in Phoenix, Arizona. The protest took place just days after the Border Patrol Headquarters in Tucson was occupied by Indigenous People and non-native supporters. Meanwhile, the blatantly racist law begins to catch on in 10 other states.

Hundreds Gather in Northern B.C. Against Enbridge Oil Tanker Plan - More than 500 Indigenous People gathered in Kitamaat Village this week to oppose the Northern Gateway Pipeline, a controversial project that would transport oil from the Alberta Tar sands to the deep sea port in Kitamaat. The gathering was held two days after Enbridge filed its application for the project.

Eagle Rock Defenders camp ‘crushed’ by Police - Dozens of heavily armed Police and State Troopers have raided the peaceful defenders camp at Eagle Rock in Michigan's Upper Peninsula; "crushing" the month-long effort to protect the site from a controversial sulfide mine. Immediately following the raid, the mining company Kennecott swiftly moved in, demolished the camp and set up a fence around Eagle Rock.

Call on authorities in Brazil to protect the Guarani People! - The indigenous Guarani community of Kurussu Ambá is at grave risk of violence and destitution unless the Brazilian government steps in to protect the Guarani and respect their land rights.

Peasants of Haiti demonstrate against Monsanto’s “humanitarian help” - Monsanto corporation and the US embassy in Haiti decided to donate nearly 475 tons of GM corn to small farmers of the island, with the excuse of helping in the national reconstruction after the earthquake of January 12. The joint measure caused the anger of the Haitian peasants, who are calling a national demonstration against it next June 5.

Dump site 41 is gone forever - Site 41, the controversial landfill in southern Ontario is finally gone for good. The Simcoe County Council has voted to rezone the site as agricultural land with a covenant that no garbage will be dumped, sorted or treated at the site in the future. The welcomed decision, which guarantees the safety of the Alliston aquifer, marks the end of a 15-year struggle by farmers, activists, local residents and indigenous people to "Protect the Water."

Nicaragua signs international law for tribal peoples - Nicaragua’s National Assembly has ratified the only international law for tribal peoples, International Labour Organization Convention 169, making it the 22nd country to do so. The Convention sets legally binding standards for the rights of indigenous and tribal peoples everywhere. By signing the Convention, Nicaragua has committed to respecting and upholding these rights.

Brazil: Kayapo blockade heads into second month - It's been exactly one month to the day since a group of Kayapo set up a ferry blockade across the Xingu River in an ongoing protest against the controversial Belo Monte hydro dam. The Kayapo were dispatched to the site on April 22, the same day Brazil's government granted rights to a consortium to proceed with the dam

Permanent Peoples' Tribunal condemns EU for complicity in social and ecological crimes throughout Latin America - The Jury of the Permanent Peoples' Tribunal of Madrid has issued their ruling over the 27 corporations (PDF) accused of human rights and environmental abuses in Latin America. Finding the corporations "Guilty", the ruling highlights the EU's role in permitting what they termed "a regime of generalized permissiveness, illegality and impunity.. in Latin America”.

Mexico: Supreme Court Issues Landmark ruling on Indigenous Rights - In a landmark decision, Mexico's high court has ruled that the government overstepped its bounds by imprisoning two Otomí women on trumped-up kidnapping charges. The decision, which resulted in the immediate release of the two indigenous women from a federal prison, creates a precedent that allows human rights advocates to use the courts to challenge what they believe is government impunity.

India: Aftermath of police attack on Anti-POSCO villages - The situation in the three villages of Dhinkia, Gobindapur and Nuagaon is grim. Three days after the 15th May assault by police forces on the peaceful assembly of villagers in Orissa, nearly every household in these three villages have people who are injured and traumatized. All exit points from the villages have also been sealed by the police, forcing the villagers, even those "with festering wounds and fractured limbs... including the elderly" to suffer their ordeal silently in the confines of their homes.

Thousands of Tibetans mobilize to defend Sacred Mountains - A massive police crackdown may be imminent in the Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR), where thousands of Tibetan villagers have mobilized to defend their sacred mountains from mining exploitation. As many as five thousand Chinese troops have been called in to make sure the mining operations proceed.

Oaxaca: The Ongoing Extermination of San Juan Copala’s Autonomous Triquis - Twelve people were kidnapped and disappeared in San Juan Copala on May 16, following the ambush of a caravan on April 27, 2010 in which two human rights activists were murdered by Unión de Bienestar de la Región Triqui (Ubisort) paramilitaries. The twelve disappeared are women and children. The kidnapping appeared to be a reprisal for the call to send a second, international and larger caravan to San Juan Copala, scheduled for June 8. At the close of Sunday May 16, late information was received that all the women and children had been freed. Nevertheless the denunciation of their disappearance was published to illustrate the contempt the state government and the State Commission for Human Rights hold for the Triquis.

Colombia: Indigenous call on FARC, army to leave their territory - Indigenous communities in the south western department of Cauca have implored all armed fighters to leave their territory, following the intensification of fighting between left-wing FARC guerillas and the Colombian Army that have left many civilians injured, displaced, or dead.

"Scare the uncontacted tribes or tell them to go home," advises Perenco - Oil company Perenco has released a plan revealing how its workers would react if they meet any voluntarily isolated Indigenous Peoples in Peru. Perenco, chaired by one of France’s wealthiest men, is hoping to build a pipeline into one of the remotest parts of the Peruvian Amazon.

Ecuador: armed attack on Amazon indigenous community - On April 29, a group of indigenous Kichwa men from the community of Sarayaku in the Ecuadoran Amazon were attacked with dynamite and firearms by invaders illegally encroaching on indigenous lands. The assailants fired at point-blank range as the Kichwa men were drinking chicha on a jungle trail, and three Kichwa were injured. In the end, they had to be carried through the jungle for 14 hours to the airstrip in Sarayaku, and were then taken to hospital in the town of Puyo by medevac plane.

Indigenous leaders call for crackdown on Canadian mining companies abroad - Indigenous leaders from Papua New Guinea came to Parliament Hill today to urge MPs to support legislation to clamp down on the practices of Canadian mining firms operating in the developing world.The members of the Ipili tribe have been asking Barrick Gold Corp. to address allegations of human rights abuses and environmental degradation at the Barrick-controlled Porgera gold mine. But Toronto-based Barrick has denied allegations of human rights abuses, saying such violations are not tolerated at the Porgera mine.

Kichwas Preparing to Defend Their Land Against Canadian Drilling - At an historic assembly in Ecuador two weeks ago, roughly 1000 Kichwas "overwhelmingly" agreed to mobilize against the Calgary-based oil company Ivanhoe Energy. Prior to the assembly, Ecuador gave the Canadian company drilling rights on the Kichwa's traditional territory within the UNESCO Sumaco Biosphere Reserve.

Barrick Gold gets court go-ahead on Cortez Hills - In Dec. 2009, the Western Shoshone won a key legal victory over the expansion of Barrick Gold's key Cortez gold mine in Nevada. Unfortunately, that victory has been hollowed out by a U.S. district court, which ruled that Barrick can continue its operations unabated..

Lakotas Prevent Blackhawk Helicopters from Landing at Wounded Knee - Military helicopters approaching from the North could be seen by a crowd of 60 or so Lakota people, gathered at the base of the hill where victims of the 1890 Wounded Knee Massacre lay buried in a mass grave. As the three black helicopters passed overhead and started to turn around, “Block the helicopters!” could be heard faintly, drowned out by the sound of thumping chopper blades and the harsh wind, words shouted by a grandmother. The people began to run toward the helicopters, which were nearing the mass grave.

Monthly Videos
From Noble Savage to Righteous Warrior - Kanien’kehaka Educator, Author and Activist Taiaiake Alfred talks about the realities and challenges of nativism, decolonization and indigeneity in this lecture, entitled, From Noble Savage to Righteous Warrior: Regenerating and Reinscribing Indigenous Presence.

A bird's eye view of uranium mining near the Grand Canyon - In this short video, Roger Clark from the Grand Canyon Trust takes an EcoFlight over four uranium mines situated near the Grand Canyon National park. This bird’s eye view will give you an idea of what's in store for the region and its watersheds that bring water to more than 25 million people.

International Conference: Women, Mining and Human Rights - Interviews and excerpts from the first international conference of its kind in Latin America, "Women, Mining and Human Rights: Beyond the Challenge," held in Guatemala City from March 14 to 17, 2010.