August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Monday, June 28, 2010

Blackwater's New Afghan Border Patrol: The New Sugar Daddy

Blackwater has new names and a quarter billion from its current US sugar daddy

By Brenda Norrell
Censored News

The Obama Administration has granted a quarter billion dollars in new contracts to Blackwater, whose operatives committed murder in Iraq. Blackwater renamed itself XE and is now also working under the names of US Training Center and Greystone LTD.

US Training Center is now recruiting online for military and law enforcement to serve as "mentors" to the Afghanistan Border Police, Afghan Police, Afghan Preventive Medicine and other positions, according to the XE website.

"We are seeking senior military and law enforcement professionals to provide individual mentoring services to the executive leadership of various government department heads of the Government of Afghanistan."

Along with mentor positions, XE is seeking contractors for hire as "Narcotics Interdiction Unit/ Operational Support Team Medic."

Jeremy Scahill exposes Blackwater's new contracts in the article, "Blackwater's New Sugar Daddy: The Obama Administration," in The Nation.

"Over the past two weeks, the Administration has awarded nearly a quarter billion dollars in new US government contracts to Blackwater to work for the State Department and CIA in Afghanistan and other hot zones globally," Scahill said.

Scahill names the lobbyist.

"No one is paying any attention to what should be a major part of the story of Blackwater's thriving second marriage to the current Administration: the money trail. Blackwater has spent heavily this year on lobbyists—particularly Democratic ones. In the first quarter of 2010, the company spent more than $500,000 for the services of Stuart Eizenstat, a well-connected Democratic lobbyist who served in the Clinton and Carter administrations. Eizenstat heads the international practice for the powerhouse law and lobbying firm Covington and Burling."

The London Guardian today reports the concern of Congress.

Congressman Jan Schakowsky said: "I'm mystified why any branch of the government would decide to hire Blackwater, such a repeat offender. We're talking about murder … a company with a horrible reputation that really jeopardises our mission in so many different ways."

XE's Greystone security company states it is located in Nairobi, Kenya, Abu Dhabi UAE, Bridgetown, Barbados and Moyock, North Carolina.

Scahill writes that Blackwater owners Erik Prince also owns a private intelligence company, Total Intelligence Solutions. Writing in the The Nation article, "Blackwater for Sale," Scahill said Greystone is an offshore mercenary operation. Prince also owns a construction company, Raven Development and Paravant, which has been used as a shell company to win training contracts in Afghanistan.

The murders committed by Blackwater were documented in Iraq. After Hurricane Katrina, the Bush Administration sent Blackwater into New Orleans.

Tucson Peace Vigils: Drones, Depleted Uranium and Raytheon

Tucson Peace Vigils opposing use of drones and depleted uranium ammunition at Davis-Monthan Airforce Base and war profiteering by Raytheon

By Felice and Jack Cohen
Nuke Resister

Please join us from 7:00-8:00 a.m. on the first Thursdays of April-November at Davis-Monthan AFB, and from 6:30-7:30 a.m. on the third Thursdays, April-November at Raytheon Missile Systems plant.
Please note that now the vigils are in the morning and not the afternoon for the hot part of the year.
1) First Thursday, July 1, from 7:00 - 8:00 a.m. at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Craycroft Road entrance (at Golf Links Road).
Why protest at Davis-Monthan AFB?
Air National Guard troops at Davis-Monthan AFB are deeply involved in the rapidly developing phenomena of robotic warfare, remotely piloting UAV's (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) that are firing Hellfire missiles and killing more civilians than targeted "terrorists" in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan. Ground the Drones!
A-10 warplanes that train out of Davis-Monthan AFB are responsible for the vast majority of radioactive ammunition - estimated at well over 400 tons - used in Iraq since 1991.
The Guardian newspaper in Britain recently reported on an Iraqi study that confirms Iraq is littered with high levels of nuclear and dioxin contamination, including depleted uranium, resulting in greater rates of cancer and birth defects near sites. See
And while the Pentagon continues to deny any risk from depleted uranium weapons and thus refuses to help Iraq locate and decontaminate affected areas, the International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons reported this winter that
"It has emerged that the United States is seeking alternatives to depleted uranium for the future development and production of medium calibre bullets for its armed forces..."
and that while the military procurement agency is
"not willing to single out a single reason for the policy change, [it] indicated that environmental considerations were a factor..."
Park at recreation field parking lot at N-W corner of Craycroft & Golf Links with access from Craycroft. Signs provided, or bring your own! More info: 323-8697.
2) Third Thursday, July 15, from 6:30 - 7:30 a.m. at Raytheon Missile Systems, Hermans Road entrance to the plant (3rd traffic light south of Valencia on Nogales Highway, the extension of South 6th Avenue).
Join the Raytheon Peacemakers as we demonstrate against war and those who profit from it. Survival demands better ideas, not better weapons.
Join us at Raytheon this Tax Day to say Tax dollars for schools, not missiles.
Raytheon Missile Systems is the most profitable division of the war profiteer. With its headquarters and largest factory in Tucson, Raytheon Missile Systems employs about 12,000 of our Southern Arizona friends and neighbors.
For more than a decade, Raytheon has hailed Tucson as the Missile Technology Capital of the World - a center for lethal innovation and cutting-edge killing for profit. From Standard Missiles to Star Wars "kill vehicles", Mavericks and AMRAAMs, microwave crowd control beams and pilotless drones, cluster bombs and cruise missiles - it's all made here, some even sold to friends and foes of friends alike.
We oppose the militarism that exploits this need, "developing" our own community at the expense of others around the world.
Park off Nogales Highway, between railroad tracks and highway at the Hermans Road entrance. Signs provided, or bring your own! More info: 323-8697.
Popcorn, beans and Raytheon Missiles
By Brenda Norrell
Censored News
The Navajo Nation continues to have a Raytheon Missiles manufacturing plant on its commercial farm, Navajo Agricultural Products Industries, NAPI, south of Farmington. On NAPI land, where commercial food products are grown for major companies, NAPI has a Raytheon Missile plant.
This was one of the issues censored by Indian Country Today before I was terminated as a longtime staff reporter in 2006. Indian Country Today forbid me from writing about the Raytheon Missile factory on NAPI, even researching this, while NAPI was negotiating a food trade deal with Cuba. This was one of many issues censored.
Censored News was created as a result of this censorship. Today, Censored News maintains a boycott of Indian Country Today because of its longstanding violations of ethics.
ICT now engages in fraudulent journalism, practicing deception. Instead of sending news reporters out on news stories, armchair journalists plagiarize others work. They make a few phone calls, add a free photo and pretend they were there. Otherwise, they rewrite press releases and wire reports. As for the ICT reporters currently "covering" the Southwest, I haven't seen any of these reporters out on a news story in the past 28 years.
Raytheon continues as a war profiteer, producing weapons for profit to kill humanity, including Indigenous Peoples.
When Navajo Nation council delegates vote on continuing the Raytheon Missiles factory, where is the practice of the Navajo Beauty Way, the way of life of living in harmony with all Created things?

Tucson Resist 1070: Enough is Enough!

CoaliciĆ³n de Derechos Humanos, No More Deaths, Tucson Samaritans, UA Students Against SB 1070, Tucson May 1st Coalition, International Action Center of Tucson, Tierra Y Libertad Organization - TYLO, We Reject Racism Campaign

Press Conference: 11:30am
State Building, Northwest Corner of Congress and Granada, Tucson, Arizona
Communities across the state and the nation have galvanized in opposition to SB1070. Today we announce a press conference for tomorrow at 11:30 am, June 29, one month before the effective date, to call for RESISTANCE.
For the next 4 Fridays, our Tucson community will mobilize from 4 PM to 7 PM in front of the State building in Tucson, Arizona, to join with the hundreds of actions across the country demanding a repeal or nullification of this dangerous and racist law. From youth to labor to faith and community-based organizations, our commitment to social, economic, and political justice commands us to act in defiance of this and any other law that violates basic human rights. We act on the principle that if a law is unjust, our duty is RESISTANCE!
Our actions come from our acknowledgement that we are all one community and that our foremost responsibility is to care for one another. SB1070 is totally contrary to our basic duty to act to protect each another, and so we MUST resist any enforcement of this law.

Comunidades UniƩndose a La Resistencia
Communities Uniting To Resist

Mohawk Photographer Ben Powless Arrested in Toronto

By Brenda Norrell
Censored News
Photos by Ben Powless in Toronto

TORONTO -- Mohawk photographer Ben Powless, arrested and released, was among 900 arrested in mass by police in Toronto, who attacked journalists and peaceful demonstrators trapped behind police lines. Journalists were beaten by police, including London Guardian correspondent Jesse Rosenfeld. Inside the G20 Summit, the world's powerbrokers and elitists, including President Obama, wanted nothing less than to hear the voices of the world's poor and the defenders of the land.

Naomi Klein said the real crime scene was inside the G20. "What actually happened at the summit is that the global elites just stuck the bill for their drunken binge with the world’s poor, with the people that are most vulnerable," Klein told Democracy Now.

Ben Powless, 23, provided photos from both the Bolivia Climate Summit in April and Indigenous Day of Action in Toronto last week, on the eve of the G20 Summit, to Censored News. Powless also provided photos from one of the most censored stories in 2007, from UN Climate talks in Bali, to Censored News.

Powless describes his arrest in interviews now available:
(Photo right: Ben Powless: G20 Toxic Tour in Toronto.)

Powless also shares his experience in Cochabamba in the article, "Canadian Reflections on the Cochabamba Climate Summit."

"I was invited to sit as Secretary of the Indigenous Peoples Working Group, one of 17 distinct working groups. In all of the working groups, we built upon an online discussion process that had started weeks before, and involved people who couldn’t make it to the conference. In all the working groups, Indigenous peoples from South America were prominent, which gave a particular flavour to the documents and discussions.

This was evident in the discussions that pushed for a return to principles of 'living well,' granting rights to nature, and building upon long-ranging debates about interculturalism—beyond laissez-faire liberal multiculturalism—while ensuring that these ideas found a receptive audience in the global climate justice community.

Indigenous peoples called for transnational corporations to be banned from Indigenous lands, while calling for the universal application of the United Nations (UN) Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, not only as a protective measure for the climate, but also against the negative impacts of any climate 'mitigation' projects, such as biofuels or mega-dams, which have already devastated many Indigenous communities. Indigenous groups also made a call for people to 'live well' instead of seeking unimpeded economic growth."
Read the article at:

Last week, Powless photographed the Indigenous Day of Action, prior to the G20 Summit, and the G20 Toxic Tour.

Thank you to Ben Powless for your dedication and courage. Thank you also for sharing your photos with Censored News and the world.

(TORONTO: 5:30 PM Eatern Time, Monday)
Hundreds of people from all walks of life have congregated in front of Toronto Police headquarters for a jail solidarity rally. The Toronto Community Mobilization Network organized the protest, which began around 5:30 p.m. and is intended to be a peaceful one. Police officers in full riot gear are in the vicinity of the station at 40 College St., near Bay Street, should the situation get out of hand. Speakers slated to speak during the demonstration include Naomi Klein, Ben Powless, Judy Rebick, David McNally, and Abeer Majeed. People allegedly brutalized by the police during this past weekend's G20 Summit are also planning to share their stories during the demonstration.

Democracy Now! Police Arrest 600 in Toronto

Democracy Now!Toronto Police Arrest Over 600 in Crackdown Outside G20 Summit
Canadian police have arrested over 600 people in Toronto in a police crackdown on protests at the G20 summit. Riot police used batons, plastic bullets and tear gas for the first time in the city’s history. More than 19,000 security personnel were deployed in Toronto, and a nearly four-mile-long security wall was erected around the G20 summit site at the Toronto Convention Center. The security price tag for the summit is estimated at around $1 billion. Franklin Lopez of the Vancouver Media Co-op filed this report from the streets of Toronto.
Naomi Klein: The Real Crime Scene Was Inside the G20 Summit
As thousands protested in the streets of Toronto, inside the G20 summit world leaders agreed to a controversial goal of cutting government deficits in half by 2013. We speak with journalist Naomi Klein. "What actually happened at the summit is that the global elites just stuck the bill for their drunken binge with the world’s poor, with the people that are most vulnerable," Klein says.
Journalist Describes Being Beaten, Arrested by Canadian Police While Covering G20 Protest
Among the hundreds of people arrested at the G20 protests in Toronto were a number of journalists. Jesse Rosenfeld is a freelance reporter who was on assignment for The Guardian newspaper of London. He is also a journalist with the Alternative Media Center. He was arrested and detained by Canadian police on Saturday evening covering a protest in front of the Novotel Hotel.
One Year After Coup, Honduras Repression Continues
Today marks the one-year anniversary of the military coup that overthrew the democratically elected President Manuel Zelaya. A year later, the coup’s repressive legacy continues, with ongoing reports of killings, disappearances, torture and impunity. We speak with Gerardo Torres, a member of the National Front of Popular Resistance in Honduras. --Democracy Now:

Also see:
VIDEO: Real News Journalist Punched in Face by Cops in Toronto

Native People outside makeshift prison: For us this is what we know, this is Canada:
Update Toronto Sun: 900 Arrested in Toronto
Amnesty International: Police Excesses, Arrest of Journalists, in Toronto:
WATCH VIDEO: WeAreChange and InfoWars Reporters Denied Entry into Canada:

US Social Forum: Photos with music

Alyra Rose with Photos by Jim Ellinger:
Watch more videos from the US Social Forum Detroit at Earthcycles: