Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

October 31, 2011

Photos: Unidentified officers arrived before Marine Scott Olsen shot

Officers on the far right, unidentified, arrived on the police line
in front of Marine Scott Olsen, moments before Olsen was struck
with a projectile in Oakland. The uniformed officers are with the San
Francisco Sheriff's ESU, Emergency Services Unit.

Officer in the center, unidentified, with pepperball or paintball gun,
appeared in the area from where chemical agents were fired
shortly before Marine Scott Olsen was struck.

Censored News

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Videos reveal that the San Francisco Sheriff's ESU, Emergency Service Unit, were on the front line when chemical agents and flash bombs were fired and Marine Scott Olsen was struck Tuesday in Oakland.
However, moments before chemical agents and flash bombs were used, unidentified officers arrived on the scene, as shown in these photos.
The San Francisco Sheriff's Department defended its officers on Monday and said that they carried guns that shoot a stun projectile, but those were not used in Oakland on Tuesday. The Alameda Sheriff's Department, coordinating the Bay Area police units, said its officers were armed with a large amount of tear gas, but no flash bombs.
Scott Olsen, Marine and member of Iraq Veterans for Peace, suffered a skull fracture after being hit as he stood peacefully with Navy seaman Joshua Shepherd. Shepherd held a Veterans for Peace flag. The two stood between the police and the crowd, directly in front of the San Francisco Sheriff's ESU police line.
After Olsen was hit, and was being carried away, a flash grenade was thrown at them, and hit one of his rescuers in the leg.
Videos show that the flash bomb was thrown from the police line of the San Francisco Sheriff's ESU and the unidentified officers above.

Roberto Rodriguez: Arizona's Experiment in Democracy Failing Badly

Column of the Americas

Arizona's Experiment in Democracy Failing ... Badly
By Roberto Dr. Cintli Rodriguez

The experiment in Democracy seems to be failing badly in Arizona. Here, government, the state legislature, law enforcement, the educational system, the courts and the media are a testament to this colossal failure. Here, rampant hate and bigotry starts at the top and here, it is government by [ugly] mob rule.

Acourt proceeding earlier this month in Phoenix – with a decision expected any day now – attests to this experiment gone awry; the court hearing was as absurdas the daily Kangaroo trials in Tucson known as Operation Streamline (70 migrants are charged, tried, convicted and sentenced in one hour). This Phoenix proceeding was part of an appeals process, being held to determine whether Tucson’s Mexican American Studies (MAS) Department is out of compliance with HB 2281, the state’s anti Ethnic Studies or mind control measure. The program graduates nearly 100% of its students and sends over 70% percent of them to college. Yet, these phenomenal accomplishments are of little consequence for those trying to eliminate it.

This last hearing featured a formidable sounding state witness, Dr. Sandra Stotsky.She testified that multiculturalism is harmful to students. Upon review of MAS curriculum materials, she testified that she saw no evidence that MAS students are being reminded of the virtues of being American citizens (her specialty is teaching the virtues of democracy to students in the former communist countries of Eastern Europe). Her very presence, given her expertise, gave off a disturbing message. She made the further assessment that MAS students were being taught to resent whites [HB 2281 bans classes that teach resentment, create ethnic solidarity and that promote segregation).

Her testimony sounded very damaging to the MAS cause … until she was cross-examined. She readily acknowledged that she was not an expert in Ethnic Studies, Mexican American Studies or Critical Race Theory. She further revealed that she had never set foot in an MAS classroom nor had she ever spoken with an MAS teacher or student, nor read MAS books, though she claimed to be familiar with some of them.

Upon making these acknowledgements, the erudite-sounding scholar and the state’sstar witness was thanked and asked to step down.

Atthe previous hearing, the director of MAS-TUSD, Sean Arce, was forced to defend the MAS curriculum in a manner comparable to the 1950s McCarthy hearings.[Indigenous] knowledge itself was on trial. The proceedings were actually closer to an Inquisition; they were about what can be taught inside ofArizona’s K-12 classrooms. Books, authors and even classroom posters (“Who’sthe Illegal Alien, Pilgrim”) were on trial.

Glaringly absent was any mention of the independent Cambium Study, which was commissioned by State Superintendent of Public Instruction, John Huppenthal. It foundMAS-TUSD to be in compliance with HB 2281. Despite this, Huppenthal rejected the findings and declared MAS to be out of compliance. This is what triggered the appeals hearings. Inexplicably, neither the Cambium authors, nor Huppenthal, were called to the stand.

TUSDsuperintendent, John Pedicone, however was. He testified that there were things that bothered him about the curriculum, but admitted that he saw nothing illegal. Eerily, no one was there to ask him why he ordered the May 3rdschool board meeting militarized, at which time the neighborhood and TUSDheadquarters were occupied by riot officers, students and elders were arrested inside the meeting (some were physically thrown out of the building) and youths outside were beaten.

The hearings revealed that beyond Tucson’sMAS program, it is the discipline, and by extension, a people and their right to history, culture and memory that have [again] been put on trial. Also revealed is that MAS stands accused of being outside of civilization and specifically,outside of Western Civilization, in effect, that its knowledge-base does not concur with the U.S. Master Narrative of history.

Actually,that is not in dispute; MAS’s philosophical foundation is in fact derived from the ancient maiz-based cultures of Abya Yalla or Cemanahuac [Americas], as opposed to Greco-Roman culture. This begs the question: since when is having a different cultural, historical and intellectual tradition, grounds for an intellectualexecution?

While the decision is expected in mid-November, it is actually Huppenthal, who campaigned to “Stop La Raza,” that will render the final verdict. If he rules against TUSD, look for MAS to be openly taught in front of the capitol and other state buildings. The suggestion that the MAS curriculum be remanded to the home is an idea that is so 500 years ago.

Rodriguez,an assistant professor at the University of Arizona, can be reached at: or

October 30, 2011

Another mellow day at Occupy Tucson

By Brenda Norrell
Censored News

TUCSON -- It was another mellow day at Occupy Tucson, with nutritious sandwiches and fresh coleslaw served at noon. A new solar panel, in the little garden, provides electric power for the kitchen.
Like most days, there was a steady stream of local activists and university folks sauntering through, joining the occupiers for a visit. At one table, there was information on "Save the Peaks," and the threats posed by Rosemont Mine. On the bulletin board, there's info on the local efforts like Derechos Humanos and No More Deaths.
There's a steady stream of young tech wizards, homeless, housewives, retirees, bike riders and downtown folks around to visit. There's an information table, library, tech tent, medic tent and of course, the kitchen, where fresh food or donated pizzas are usually found. Today there was popcorn in the afternoon.
Although Occupy Tucson made national news this week, the news wasn't exactly accurate.
While more than 300 people have been cited at Occupy Tucson, they have not been arrested. Each night Tucson police come around about 10:30 pm and issue citations at the main site, at Armory Park, and at the satellite camp down the street. Still, those cited have to make a court appearance, and each fine could be a maximum of $1,000.
--Sunday, Oct. 30, 2011

Copwatch: Occupy Oakland: Beware of police infiltrators and provocateurs

Oakland Calls, We Answer: Nov. 2, 2011

Oakland Calls - We Answer All out in the Streets in Solidarity with Occupy Oakland

Wednesday, November 2nd   
Early Tuesday morning 900 police from a dozen police agencies in the Bay Area, along with Homeland Security, brutally cracked down on demonstrators who marched in support of Occupy Oakland. The demonstrators were marching to reestablish the Oakland occupation, which was shut down earlier in the day. At least one person was critically injured, 24 year old Iraq war veteran, Scott Olsen, who was struck in the face with a projectile launched by police.
In response to the violent repression, which included the use of tear gas, guns that use incapacitating bean bags, batons and the arrests of over 85 protesters, the General Assembly of Occupy Oakland has called for a Mass Day of Action and a General Strike in Oakland to take place on Wednesday November 2nd.
We support Oakland's call. In the wake of the violence used by the police in Oakland, also in Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, Boston, New York and elsewhere, we are asking students and community organizations, unions, anti-war groups, all progressive organizations and individuals across the country to take to the streets in solidarity. Defend Oakland! Defend all the occupations!
All Out Wednesday, November 2nd
We Are Oakland
Stop Police Brutality
We Shall Not be Moved
Supported by:
Bail Out the People Movement, Labor-Community Forum/South Bronx Community Congress; May 1 Workers & Immigrant Rights Coalition, Cynthia McKinney; Clarence Thomas, Co-chair Million Worker March, Exec. Bd member ILWU Local 10*, Bay Area; Council on American Islamic Relations, New York Chapter (CAIR-NY); BAYAN USA, United National Antiwar Coalition; The Islamic Leadership Council of Metropolitan NY (Majlis Ash-Shura) Social Justice Committee; International Action Center; SEIU Local 32BJ* Latino Caucus - Ed Figueroa-Chair; Charles Jenkins, VP Coalition of Black Trade Unionists; Larry Hales, New Yorkers Against the Budget Cuts; Mike Eilenfeldt-Delegate-NYC Central Labor Council* Ramsey Clark - Awarded UN Human Rights Award, former U.S. Attorney General, Frantz Mendes, Pres. United Steelworkers Local 8751, Boston School Bus Union; John Parker, President, Los Angeles Empowerment Congress Central Area Neighborhood Council*; All Peoples Congress, Baltimore; Reverend C. D. Witherspoon, President, Baltimore Southern Christian Leadership Conference; Andre Powell, AFSCME delegate, Baltimore Metropolitan AFL-CIO Council*; Puerto Rican Alliance, Los Angeles; Carlos Montes, LA Committee to Stop FBI Repression
*=for ID only
Bail Out the People Movement
Solidarity Center
55 W. 17th St. #5C
New York, NY 10011

Resistance at Big Mountain 2011 Santa Cruz

Resistance at Big Mountain
2011 Benefit Event in Santa Cruz
Sunday, November 6th
6:00pm @ Quaker Meeting House
225 Rooney St. (at Highway 1 & Morrissey Blvd.)
Louise Benally (Diné/Navajo)
A Diné mother, grandmother, activist, educator and lifelong resister of relocation and coal mining at Big Mountain.
Ann Marie Sayers (Ohlone)
An outspoken and active Ohlone woman who has worked for decades to protect burial grounds and sacred places of her ancestors.
- Delicious food, drinks, and desserts
- Black Mesa Indigenous Support slideshow
- California Indian Singers, including Wicahpiluta Candelaria (Rumsen Ohlone)
This is a fundraiser, however, no one will be turned away for lack of funds.
All donations will go to direct on-land support for Black Mesa families resisting relocation.
Since 1977, federal relocation policy has forced over 12,000 Diné (Navajo) people from their ancestral homeland in Arizona, an area known to contain 21 billion tons of high-grade coal. For over 30 years, many traditional Diné families at Big Mountain have lived in resistance, steadfastly refusing to relocate as strip-mines rip apart their sacred lands and generating plants poison the desert air.
"Coal is the liver of Mother Earth"
Keep it in the ground. Keep the earth alive.
To view the poster for this event:
For a printable mini-flyer in PDF format:
Facebook invitation link:
Indybay announcement link:
* 2011 Fall Caravan to Black Mesa *
On November 19th, work crews from Santa Cruz and all across the country will converge in support of the indigenous resistance communities of Big Mountain/Black Mesa, AZ.
Donations of tools, food, clothing, and other basic supplies are requested.
Donations can be dropped off at the Resource Center for Nonviolence in Santa Cruz, Monday-Thursday between 12 and 4pm, or please call 831-708-8199 to make a different arrangement or request a pick-up.
Thank you!
For more information:
Black Mesa Indigenous Support, Santa Cruz regional organizers: / 831-708-8199

October 29, 2011

From Tucson to San Xavier, walkers remember migrants

Janice Felix, San Xavier District Council Member,
Tohono O'odham, welcomes walkers

Article and photos by Brenda Norrell
Censored News

TUCSON -- Walkers journeyed eight miles from Tucson to San Xavier on the Tohono O'odham Nation on Saturday, in the annual pilgrimage to remember the migrants who have died crossing the Sonoran Desert.
Family members walked with the crosses of loved ones who died, and placed their crosses in the circle of crosses for their fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, children and grandparents.
Janice Felix, San Xavier District Council member, walked with the walkers and welcomed them to Tohono O'odham land when they arrived.
Kat Rodriguez of Derechos Humanos described how US immigration policies and the militarization of the US/Mexico border has resulted in increased deaths over the past decade, as more migrants risk dangerous areas of the desert for crossing.
Standing in front of San Xavier Mission, walkers called out the names of loved ones, and said, "Presente!" when their names were read.
"The Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is a celebration of life, a traditional way for the living to affirm their love for those who have passed away," said the statement.
"Today, as we make our pilgrimage to the beautiful, historic San Xavier Mission, we walk with the spirits of those who have gone before us. We carry in our hearts the memories and dreams of all who have walked beside us in the journey of life. So long as we remember with love and honor, the dead never really die."
There have been 2,287 human remains recovered on the Arizona-Sonoran border since the year 2000.
"For eleven years, we have walked to honor the memory of all who have died, especially those who lost their lives on the U.S. - México border. We invite all friends and allies to walk with us this year, bearing witness to the lives that have been lost in our communities," said the statement.
The walk is sponsored by Coalición de Derechos Humanos, Alliance for Global Justice, Casa Maria, Tucson Samaritans, Borderlinks, Fundación México, No More Deaths and St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church.

Occupy Denver: Police using rubber bullets and teargas

Officer strikes woman with gun repeatedly

Mace or pepper spray sprayed into faces of protesters

Officer repeatedly jabs man with baton

Watch on Channel 9 news:

Andres Cleres, 21,  said he was shot with a
rubber bullet
Hactivists release data on officer following abuse
By Brenda Norrell
Censored News

DENVER -- Hactivists released personal data on a Denver police officer today, vollowing a violent attack on Occupy Denver. The personal data on Officer Ethan Donnell Aldridge, #05100, was released, showing a history of allegations of violence and racial profiling.
The full release is at:
  3. : Investigation of the shooting death of Eugene
  4. Paul Velarde, dob 06/18/84, DPD#656974, by
  5. Lakewood Police Department Agent Devaney
  6. Braley, on June 10, 2009 in the 1700 block of
  7. Sheridan Boulevard, Denver, Colorado:
  9. :Investigation of the wounding of Daniel
  10. Alderete, dob 08-05-84, by Officer Ethan Aldridge,
  11. #05100, on July 18, 2010, at 3436 West 18
  12. th Avenue, Denver, Colorado.:
  14. ----
  16. As a result of the Denver Police Department’s practice of racial profiling, ethnic
  17. stereotyping, and biased policing, plaintiff Jose Sanchez was unjustifiably targeted while he was standing lawfully on the public sidewalk, smoking a cigarette, outside the Denver home of his girlfriend, Joshinna Carreras. Police illegally detained and handcuffed him, falsely accused him of being an “illegal immigrant,” and falsely arrested him on a bogus charge of providing “false identification.” The supposedly “false” identification was a current and valid photo ID card issued by the Department of Homeland Security verifying Mr. Sanchez’s legal presence and authorization to work in the United States. Mr. Sanchez spent five days in jail on the bogus charge before it was dismissed. :

October 28, 2011

VIDEO: Who shot Scott Olsen at Occupy Oakland?

Update Oct. 12, 2012
Oakland police chief wants two officers fired, 42 disciplined, for abuse of Occupy protesters

UPDATED FEB 24, 2012:

(Above) Police video used to identify Oakland police officer R. Roche. Watch video:

Video reveals San Francisco Sheriff officers on front line when Marine
    Scott Olsen was shot at Occupy Oakland. An Oakland officer can be heard
    on the loud speaker giving commands. More photos below.
Center police line when Scott Olsen was shot: San Francisco Sheriff Emergency Services Unit (ESU) officers Ceciel Yambao, Scott Bergstresser and Hugo Aparicio.
Officers on the far right, unidentified, appeared on the police line moments before Olsen was hit.

Marine Scott Olsen and Navy Joshua Shepherd, Veterans for Peace, face police minutes before tear gas
canisters were fired directly at them. See video below. Screen capture by Censored News.
UPDATE: Video shows riot police firing shotguns where Marine Scott Olsen was shot:
Update: Nov. 4, 2011: The following video shows the unidentified officer above moving down the police line when Scott Olsen was shot. The riot shotgun he is holding can fire rubber bullets or bean bags. In this video, police are shown firing riot shotguns at head level into the crowd, on the far right in the video, minutes after Olsen was shot. New photos and videos show that several Sheriff's Departments were positioned in the area when Olsen was shot:
Censored News
San Francisco Sheriff's officers on center front police line, during shooting of Marine Scott Olsen have been verified, by way of an official list of officers.
They are San Francisco Sheriff Emergency Services Unit (ESU) officers Scott Bergstresser, Ceciel Yambao and Hugo Aparicio.

OAKLAND, Calif. -- US Marines are gathering evidence to prosecute the officers who shot fellow Marine Scott Olsen, member of Veterans for Peace, at Occupy Oakland on Tuesday night. Scott was standing in front of police to protect the people behind him, when police fired directly at him.
Scott suffered a skull fracture when a police projectile struck him in the head. After Scott was down, and people rushed to help him yelling for medics. Police threw a flash grenade at Scott after he was unconscious and bleeding from the mouth and head.
A video reveals that the San Francisco Sheriff's Emergency Services Unit (ESU) were on the front police line at Occupy Oakland when the tear gas canisters were fired. The video below shows San Francisco Sheriff ESU team member Scott Bergstresser, (whose uniform has two stripes) next to officer Ceciel Yambao.
"Multiple copies of the videos used to ID Yambao, Bergstresser and officer Hugo Aparicio are on servers. Too late for YouTube takedowns," according to a Twitter message today.
"Two questions that Bergstresser should be asked under oath: Did you fire directly at Scott? Did you throw a grenade?" At minimum, Bergstresser is a witness.
The video reveals one of the officers striking his baton at a disabled woman before the gas attack began. An Oakland officer in the background can be heard giving commands on a loud speaker.
Also see: Video: Officer shows flash bang at Olsen after he was hit:
A separate series of photos details the events when the teargas was fired:,-Scott-Olsen-Shooting

Photos below of additional San Francisco Sheriff's Emergency Services Unit (ESU) on the front police line when tear gas canister was shot at Scott Olsen. See also top photo of Bergstresser.
Screen captures from above video. Double click on images to enlarge.

Officer on the right strikes baton repeatedly at
disabled woman being helped to stand.

Video from KTVU TV news reveals this teargas shooter, standing with San Francisco Sheriff ESU officers:
Officer in center with pepperball gun
shortly before Olsen was hit
Occupy Marines Statement:
OccupyMARINES Have Watched Closely The Response From The OPD, The Mayor, The Governor, And All Others Involved In The Oakland Attack On Peaceful Demonstrators; We Have Observed These Pathetic Cowards Refuse Responsibility For Their Actions That May Very Well Alter The Course Of Our Brother’s Life. Additionally, Many Other Police Departments Nationwide Deploy Similar Riot Tactics Against Demonstrators Honoring The OWS 8, A Peaceful Declaration Of Assembly; We Will Organize Peacefully Against These Departments.
In Response To The Oakland Shooting Of Scott Olsen OccupyMARINES Request The Following:
The GOP Cowards Responsible For Influencing This Event Be Brought To Justice. Track Names And Photos Of Each And Email Them To Us
Identify The 300 OPD Riot Officers By Name, Photo, And Badge Number With Boots On The Ground Engaging In Illegal Excessive Force Acts Against Peaceful Americans For Prosecution.
Identify The Officer Responsible For Harming Scott Olsen By Name And Photo For Prosecution.
The Honorable Resignation Of Oakland Mayor Jean Quan And Acting Police Chief Howard Jordan.
A Public Apology From California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. For The Unlawful Injury Of Our Brother Scott Olsen.
We Fully Intend To Make An Example, Legally And Peacefully, Of The Cowards Associated With Harming An American Veteran. We Will Not Stop Until Our Aforementioned Demands Are Met In Their Entirety.
God Be With Scott Olsen, We Pray A Speedy Recovery For Him And His Mother.
Semper Fidelis Scott Olsen
Keep Pushing Forward America We Support You.

Lakota Media Project Photos: A Day with Daryl Hannah and Tom Weis

Copyright Lakota Media Project

Copyright Lakota Media Project
Copyright Lakota Media Project

Copyright Lakota Media Project

Copyright Lakota Media Project

Copyright Lakota Media Project

Lakota Media Project photos
Published with permission at Censored News

LAKOTAS JOIN TOUR OF RESISTANCE: Actress Daryl Hannah and climate activist Tom Weis, crossing the country on his pedal-powered Rocket Trike, join Lakotas on Pine Ridge in South Dakota. They oppose the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline and the Tarsands mining that is destroying First Nation land in Alberta, Canada. The pipeline of dirty oil would go through the Ogalalla Aquifer, which provides drinking water and water for crops in the region. Tarsands activists will circle the White House on Nov. 6. Debra White Plume, shown in photos, was among those arrested on Sept. 2, when Native American activists engaged in civil disobedience in front of the White House in opposition to the Tarsands and Keystone pipeline. (Debra White Plume is on Hannah's left in photo five.) Read more about Tom Weis' Rocket Trike:
For permission to repost photos, please contact the Lakota Media Project

Occupy Oakland Solidarity in Egypt

Egyptians march from Tahrir Square to support Occupy Oakland protestors

By Egyptian blogger Mohammed Maree
Reposted at Censored News

As they vowed earlier this week to do, Egyptian pro-democracy protesters marched from Tahrir square to the U.S. Embassy today to march in support of Occupy Oakland—and against the type of police brutality witnessed in Oakland on Tuesday night, and commonly experienced in Egypt.
In this post, photos from Egyptian blogger Mohammed Maree, who is there at the march live-tweeting these snapshots. He is a journalist with, a human rights activist, and a veterinarian; all photos are his.

Lehman Brightman Benefit Dinner

Lehman L. Brightman's Dinner Benefit for Recovery
By Quanah Parker Brightman
Censored News
Mills College, Graduate School of Business Gathering Hall
5000 MacArthur Blvd, Oakland, CA 94619
Nov. 10,2  011
6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
As many of you are aware, Indigenous Scholar, Korean War Veteran, Professional Football Player and Resistance Leader Lehman L. Brightman suffered a stroke this past July 22, 2011 and is currently recovering in the hospital.
Dr. Brightman is in need of financial assistance in paying his medical expenses, back taxes, and his mortgage. Any monetary gift is generous and is greatly appreciated.
Benefit Dinner Itinerary:
Opening Blessing: Lakota Medicine Man Richard Mooves Camp
Introduction: Son, Quanah Parker Brightman
Slide Show Presentation Of Prof. Lee Brightman
Including Singing Groups The Sweet Lodge Sistahs
Community Dinner
Honor Song by Drum
Closing Prayer
Mills College, Graduate School of Business Gathering Hall
5000 MacArthur Blvd, Oakland, CA 94619
Nov. 10,2 011
6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
For Event Details Contact:
Melinda Mills
(510) 430-3324
Facebook Page:
All other info regarding Prof. Lee Brightman or UNA Inc.
(510) 672-7187
Dr. Brightman's bio:
Lehman L. Brightman is a Sioux and Creek Indian who was born on the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation in South Dakota. Professor Brightman is the founder and National President of United Native Americans,Inc. an Indian organization formed in 1968, to promote the progress and general welfare of American Indians. In his capacity as President of UNA, Mr. Brightman has testified in two U.S Senate Hearings on the deplorable conditions of Indian boarding schools and hospitals on reservations. He led investigations of seven Indian boarding schools and three Indian hospitals due to the poor service and abusive treatment of Indian people. He is a former football and track star at Oklahoma State University where he earned a B.A. degree, and he has an M.A. degree from the University of California at Berkeley. Mr. Brightman is an ex-Marine and served one year in the Korean conflict where he was wounded inaction. Professor Brightman established and coordinated the first Native American Studies Program in the United States at UC Berkeley in 1969, and has since taught at the University of California in San Diego, Sacramento State University, D-Q University, and Contra Costa College in San Pablo, California. Brightman is the author of numerous articles on the history of Indian education and federal boarding schools. He is the former editor of the first International Indian newspaper called Warpath, and was involved in the occupation ofAlcatraz, and the takeover of Wounded Knee, and led the takeover and occupation of Mt. Rushmore in South Dakota in 1970. He was one of the national coordinators of the Longest Walk in 1978, and the Long Walk for Survival in1980. At the present time, Mr. Brightman is writing a book on the history of the Indian Civil Rights Movement from the 1960's to the present.

*Kindly mail your donation to:
UnitedNative Americans, Inc.
2434 Faria Avenue
Pinole, California 94564.
The entire U.N.A. family would like to personallythank you for assisting us in helping Lehman Brightman during this difficulttime.
Your continued prayers for his health and welfareare greatly appreciated.
For more information, please contact or (510) 672-7187
United Native Americans, Inc.

October 27, 2011

Occupy Oakland: Moving vigil for wounded Marine Scott Olsen

Veterans for Peace member Scott Olsen stands between
police and crowd at Occupy Oakland to protect the people.
Minutes later he was shot with a police projectile.
Occupy Oakland: Moving vigil for wounded Marine Scott Olsen
By Brenda Norrell
Censored News

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Friends of wounded Marine Scott Olsen gave a moving tribute to Olsen, who remains hospitalized with a skull fracture. Olsen was struck in the head by a police projectile when Oakland police opened fire on peaceful demonstrators Tuesday night.

Olsen was standing with Navy veteran Joshua Shepherd in front of police to protect the crowd from the police. Videos show there was no provocation when police fired directly at the veterans and into the crowd. Olsen, who completed two tours of duty in Iraq, and Shepherd, are both members of Veterans for Peace.

On Thursday night, about one-thousand people gathered for the vigil, with many carrying candles, as the tent encampment of Occupy Oakland was resuming.

Speaking at the vigil, the announcer said of Olsen, "He is conscious and able to write and will not need additional surgery." The crowd cheered as news was announced of his condition and that other vigils for Olsen were being held in Chicago, New York, Austin, Philadelphia and San Francisco.

Clare Chadwick described what happened when Olsen was hit, after police began firing on the peaceful gathering, Chadwick looked down to her left and saw that Olsen was hit.

"There was nothing to provoke the police when they started tear-gassing the citizens," she said. Olsen was on the ground and he was not moving. "He was bleeding from the mouth. His eyes were rolling to the back of his head."

Chadwick screamed to the police for medical help. Instead of giving medical help, Oakland police threw a flash grenade toward them.

Keith Shannon, a friend who served in Iraq with Olsen, spoke during the vigil. He met Olsen six years ago. He said when they came back to the United States from Iraq, they had different views of what was happening in Iraq. Shannon said Olsen worked during the days and spent his free time at Occupy San Francisco. "He has been spending every night, and every weekend.”

Another friend, who spent the night at the hospital when Olsen arrived in critical condition, also spoke. "I can not express the outrage," she said, of seeing him with a fractured skull and brain hemorrhage. She described the outrage that Olsen had to take this kind of risk after returning home from two tours in Iraq safely.

Pointing out that this is not the first incidence of police brutality in Oakland, she expressed the “hope that we stand in solidarity with other communities in Oakland that experience egregious police violence." She said she has deep respect for Scott, who came back from Iraq with the sense that real peace will be achieved by standing up for a just economy and redistribution of wealth in the world.

She said Olsen was with the campaign to stop the deployment of traumatized troops. She encouraged people to take care of one another, and look out for one another.

During the vigil, an announcer said Scott still has a bruised brain and would need months of recovery.


DENVER Oglala Vice President confronts Obama on Tarsands

By Tom Poor Bear, Oglala Lakota Vice President
Posted at Censored News
From Tar Sands Action

Today I was removed from Obama’s speech at the University of Colorado in Denver for sharing words that have been weighing on my heart. Because I was stopped before I could fully express myself this morning, I would like to share these words now.

I feel that the United States of America should fulfill their obligation to the Treaty Tribes of the territory of the 1851 and 1868 Fort Laramie Treaties, and also their obligation to us as the true owners of this territory. President Obama must honor these treaties. We just want Obama to respect our Mother, the Earth. We just want Obama to respect our water, which is life – and to respect our future generations. We ask all indigenous people to join us in our plight to oppose the TransCanada Keystone XL pipeline. We feel that Obama, in his position as President of the United States, should look at this issue very seriously because he also purports to represent us as indigenous peoples. So we are asking all indigenous peoples and Treaty Nations, as well as all other peoples who also respect our Mother, the Earth, to join our opposition and stop the TransCanada Keystone XL pipeline. Through a unified effort, we will accomplish this task. As our great leader of our ancestral days, Crazy Horse, once said: “You cannot sell the land your people are buried on.” I believe today he would say: “You cannot desecrate the land your people are buried on.”
In respect of Mother Earth and our Future Generations,
Tom Poor Bear, Vice President, Oglala Lakota Nation

By Glenn Morris
Hello AIMsters, and fellow renegades,
DENVER -- Yesterday, we had our action at the Obama speech on the Auraria campus. It was pretty awesome, as was the action on Tuesday, despite the cold and rain and snow. I want to acknowledge the leadership that was shown by Scott, Tessa and Sky, in the lead-up to today's action, and for the courage that they showed, in the face of the Secret Service and other police agencies. They stood for hours in the rain and snow with our banners and messages and bullhorns, outside of the Pepsi Center where Obama had his $5000 per person fundraiser, outside of Obama's hotel, stood in line for hours to get the tickets to get inside the Auraria event, They smuggled banners into the event, past Secret Service security, and raised the banners, and the Oglala Sioux, flag at the critical time. Also essential to the action locally were Robert Chanate (who was central to the organizing, and who held up the banner, too),Carol Berry, Jolynne Locust-Woodcock whose pictures of the event can be found on her Facebook page, and Lance Tsosie, an Indian student from DU. Several others who could not get into the event braved the snow to rally outside, including Viki Eagle and other DU students, Lizzie Kerplanek from CU-Denver and Colorado AIM, and especially to Kia Fathi, a strong and solid ally, who worked tirelessly to support this action. There were other AIM people who helped, too: Brenda Jenkins, Dave and Joylynne Woodcock,  Frank who helped with security for us, Harrison Sadler, and Tessa's dad, mom and sister. Deb Freemont was in the event too, but got separated from us by the huge crowd. I also want to commend Steve Keith for creating a beautiful banner for us.

A special message of appreciation to Tom Poor Bear and his daughter, Evangeline, who drove down from Pine Ridge, and who were in there with us. Tom is a long-time AIM veteran of the Trail of Broken Treaties, Wounded Knee "73, Yellow Thunder Camp, Camp Justice, and many other AIM sponsored actions; he is now the Vice-President of the Oglala Sioux Tribe. Several other members of the OST Council said that they were going to join us, but Tom was the only one with the courage actually to show and confront Obama. He was also instrumental in shouting to Obama about honoring Indian treaties, stopping the Keystone XL pipeline, and respecting our mother the Earth. Also very important to the action was Jennifer Baker, an attorney from the Smith, Shelton and Ragona law firm, who is lead advisor to Tom on the Keystone pipeline impact on the Oglala Sioux Tribe. Jennifer hung in there with us through the actions on Tuesday night, and came into the Obama event, and help us hold up the Keystone banner.

The events above caused Obama to stammer, lose his place in his speech, pause, and then directly to respond to the messages that were shouted, and the message on the banners that were located right in front of him: "Honor Indian Treaties," and "Stop The Keystone Pipeline." Obama stopped and said that a decision had not yet been made, and he said, "I know your deep concern about it. We will address it." The Secret Service then surrounded our group and ordered us to stop shouting, and to take the banners down. When Sky told them that we weren't taking the banners down, they ordered us to leave the room, which we did, eventually.

In the news articles below, you can see that the fact Obama stopped his written speech, and responded to the Keystone issue, was a first. These stories were reported locally, nationally, and internationally -- including on Associated Press, Reuters, and in the New York Times, some links are below -- for more Google news search the terms "Obama, Denver, Keystone."

Indigenous Resistance to the Tar Sands - our local FB page:

Occupy Oakland Photo Brings Global Solidarity

Photo copyright by Justin Warren/Oakland Oct. 26, 2011

By Brenda Norrell
Censored News
OAKLAND, Calif. -- When this photo by Justin Warren was posted of Occupy Oakland on Wednesday night -- after the violent repression by Oakland police on Tuesday night -- it was retweeted by Egyptian activists, and brought solidarity from people around the world.

Voices of support and solidarity came from Western Shoshone in Nevada and from Santiago, Chile, China, South Africa, New Zealand, Spain and Romania. Messages of love and support came in from Fiji, BC, Canada, Germany and Wales.

On Censored News' Facebook, (brenda.norrell) the photo was "liked" and shared more than 2,000 times within 12 hours. Elsewhere on the web, there were 15,000 views.

Veterans for Peace released a statement concerning Scott Olsen, the US Marine who was hit in the head by an Oakland police projectile on Tuesday night, and suffered a fractured skull and brain swelling.

A video shows Olsen and Navy veteran Joshua Shepherd, both member of Veterans for Peace, standing in front of the crowd to protect them.

The video shows Oakland police firing tear gas canisters directly at the veterans, who were separated from the crowd behind them by police fencing. It shows police firing at Olsen a second time while friends attempted to rescue him as he was fallen on the pavement.

In a second video, a young man who helped carry Olsen from the scene describes a second projectile crashing close to Olsen's head as they were moving him to the hospital. Olsen's condition was upgraded to fair on Thursday and he was reported breathing on his own.

Watch videos and read statement:

Occupy Oakland filled the streets on Wednesday night, as Occupy San Francisco prepared for arrest with a huge dance party outside, with a California senator and city officials present to ensure the peoples rights were not violated as they were in Oakland the night before.

At the same time, Occupy Oakland took to the streets. In a general assembly on Wednesday night, Occupy Oakland voted for a city-wide general strike on Nov. 2.

To prevent Oakland protesters from joining San Francisco, the Bay Area Rapid Transit system (BART) stations were blocked by police in Oakland and closed near Occupy San Francisco, at the Ferry Building in San Francisco.

When Occupy Oakland began considering taking the Bay Bridge, BART suddenly announced the stations would be opened again.

In San Francisco, as people prepared for arrest, Senator Leland Yee said he was there to make sure the peoples rights were protected. San Francisco City Supervisors were also present.

Thanks were sent out to Wikileaks and the hactivists at Anonymous. One of the reasons that the Occupy movement began was because the banks and PayPal froze all Wikileaks accounts. The US used the banks to silence the truth, after the Wikileaks' exposures of the US killing of civilians and journalists in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In the midnight hour, Oakland activists began catching rides to San Francisco after BART blocked its doors in Oakland. Eventually, the police raid in San Francisco was called off in the dawn hours of Thursday.

Thanks resounded around the world to Occupy Oakland, photographer Justin Warren and the global community.


October 26, 2011

Veteran wounded by police in Oakland

New video of Oakland police shooting veteran Scott Olsen with tear gas canister, then shooting at him again as friends tried to rescue him on the pavement:

Footage of Scott Olsen being shot by Police at Occupy Oakland from Raleigh Latham on Vimeo.

VIDEO: In Oakland, young man hit by a rubber bullet describes how Veterans for Peace Scott Olsen, a Marine who was in Iraq twice, was hit in the head by a canister fired by Oakland police on Tuesday night.

Official VFP Statement Regarding Occupy Incident in Oakland

Veterans for Peace Statement
Veteran For Peace member, Scott Olsen, a Marine Corps veteran twice deployed to Iraq, is in hospital now in stable but serious condition with a fractured skull, struck by a police projectile fired into a crowd in downtown Oakland, California in the early morning hours of today. Other people were injured in the assault and many were arrested after Oakland police in riot gear were ordered to evict people encamped in the ongoing "Occupy Oakland" movement. Olsen is also a member of Iraq Veterans Against the War.

VFP members are involved with dozens of these local "occupy movement" encampments and we support them fully. In Boston, for example, our members, wearing VFP shirts and carrying VFP flags, stood between a line of police and the encampment, urging police to "join the 99%" and not evict the protesters. In that case, several of our members were banged and bruised when the police decided instead to carry out their eviction orders.
In Oakland, last night, a similar thing happened, according to VFP Chapter 69 member and Navy veteran, Joshua Sheperd, who said he went to downtown Oakland "to see if, as a VFP member, I could help still the be between the police and the seemed unconscionable to me that the police use the cover of darkness like that to do what they were doing." Fortunately, he was not injured in the police assault that left Olsen with a fractured skull

As with virtually every example of the occupy movement across the country, those encamped were conducting themselves peacefully beforehand, protesting current economic, social and environmental conditions in the U.S. brought about by decades of corporate control, a criminal financial industry and wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that are driving the U.S. global empire into bankruptcy. These "occupy movement" participants are telling us something we need very desperately to hear. They should be listened to, not arrested and brutalized.

Police in the majority of cities are acting with restraint and humanity towards the encampments, but Veterans For Peace will not be deterred by police who choose to use brutal tactics. In fact, as happens with repression everywhere, more people join the cause. We do believe that the rank and file police officers are part of the 99%, the overwhelming majority of Americans who are suffering at the hands of an intolerable system. Layoffs and cutbacks in city after city prove that we must join together to demand justice for all.

We send our very best to Scott Olsen and his family and wish him a speedy recovery to health.

We shall not be moved.

Video from Tuesday night in Oakland: