August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Sunday, July 3, 2011

US Flotilla passengers arrested fasting in Greece

Action Alert Update
July 4, 2011, 1:30 pm eastern time

Canadian boat Tahrir boarded by armed Coast Guard who took over the wheel, after boat made a break for it. Boat returned to port. Canadian Boat reports the Coast Guard slammed their boat into a concrete pier, damaging it and now it is leaking fuel. Passengers say two people attempted to halt the Coast Guard in Canoes. They were handcuffed, but the handcuffs were removed. No arrests yet.

July 4th Update
US Boat to Gaza
We want to give you all a quick round up of several items related to the U.S. Boat to Gaza and the flotilla. But first....

Given the tremendous obstacles placed in the way of the flotilla we should not for a moment think this work has been in vain. Just the opposite. We have called greater attention to the urgent need to end the Israeli blockade and siege of Gaza, as well as the overall occupation of the Palestinian Territories. The lengths to which the Israeli government has gone to stop the boats only expose the real story: they are determined to hold on to their repressive, inhuman and illegal policies at any cost. Israel has outsourced its naval blockade of Gaza to Greece.

We cannot for one moment forget that the flotilla project is about our solidarity with the people of Gaza. Changing the Israeli policies and stopping the support they get from the U.S. government requires the strongest movement we can possibly build!

Here's the latest news we have:

1) U.S. passengers harassed and arrested by Athens police
Nine of the passengers on the U.S. Boat to Gaza began a fast last night (7/3). They are Ken Mayers, Carol Murry, Medea Benjamin, Paki Wieland, Ray McGovern, Brad Taylor, Kit Kitteridge, Kathy Kelly and Linda Durham. After a rousing gathering in front of the U.S. Embassy (see photos and video on our website), they were all "cited" by the Athens police with occupying the sidewalk across the embassy and they were let go right away.

Today, 6 members of the U.S. Boat to Gaza were held at an Athens police station after Greek police arrested them for sitting on a park bench across from the residence of the U.S. Ambassador to Greece. Ray McGovern, Linda Durham, Debra Ellis, Ridgeley Fuller, Ken Mayers and Carol Murry were put into squad cars and taken to the police station. We are not sure of the status of these 6 people at the moment.

2) The captain of The Audacity of Hope - John Klusmire - is set to be at a hearing at 12 noon (Athens time) on Tuesday. There are 2 Greek lawyers serving as his defense council. It is important to keep the pressure on the U.S. State Department to make sure they in turn pressure the Greek government to release our captain. Below are numbers and email addresses you can use to contact them. Please keep the pressure on!

3) Status of some of the other boats in the flotilla
Shortly before 6 pm (Greek time) today the Canadian boat, named Tahrir, left its dock in Crete to set sail for Gaza. They got to within 4 miles of international waters when Greek Special Forces stopped them from going any further. The Greek military boarded the Canadian boat and there are reports that when they asked for the captain of the boat all 30 people on board answered, "I am the captain." The Greeks took command of the boat and at least report where headed back to be docked. We have heard reports that all of the people on the boat will be arrested, but we do not have confirmation of that.

Two boats from France - a cargo ship and a smaller passenger boat - are in international waters in the Mediterranean Sea. (They did not set sail from Greece.) We are not sure what they are planning on doing.

The Irish boat was sabotaged beyond repair last week and the Greek boat was also sabotaged but we do not have an update on their status.

Be sure to check our website regularly for update, as well as photos and video footage of much of the activity in Greece.

Leslie Cagan
Coordinator, U.S. Boat to Gaza
-------------------------------
Keeping the pressure on the U.S. State Department

Let them know you want them to help secure the release of John Klusmire, as well as the release of the U.S. Boat to Gaza. Tell them you expect the U.S. government to support the right if its citizens to sail freely to Gaza.

State Department general number: 202-647-4000 - ask for the Overseas U.S. Citizen Services Duty Officer and you'll get a live State Dept. official who has to hear you out.
The voicemail for Kim Richter - also at the State Dept. - says she's out of the office for several days, and that callers with urgent issues should contact a colleague at 202-647-4578. Hopefully, you will be able to reach Kim Richter's office directly tomorrow by calling 202-647-8303. (She is in the office of Consular Affairs, Overseas American Citizen Services at the State Dept.
You can email the U.S. Embassy in Athens at: athensamemb@state.gov or you can send an email to them at: athensamericancitizenservices@state.go
If you can place an international phone call, the number for the U.S. Embassy in Athens is 011-30-210-721-2951. There are several other "after hour" numbers that you can call for emergency situations: 011-30-210-729-4301, 011-30- 210-729-4444. And you might also be able to get through on these "after hour" numbers: 011-30-210-720-2490, 011-30-210-720-2491.

Please also try to call, fax or email your members of Congress as well.

More information is on our website: ustogaza.org

Help us keep the pressure up!!

GET ON BOARD THE U.S. TO GAZA CAMPAIGN

VISIT WWW.USTOGAZA.ORG

July 3, 2011 - 6 pm NY time
By US Boat to Gaza


Photo 1: Greek Coast Guard halting Audacity of Hope/Twitter photo IMEU
Just got word from Athens: the 8 people who were fasting in front of the U.S. Embassy have been arrested. They are Ken Mayers, Carol Murry, Medea Benjamin, Paki Wieland, Ray McGovern, Brad Taylor, Kit Kitteridge and Kathy Kelly. We will not have any more news until the morning.
In the meantime, let's keep the pressure on Washington. They need to pressure the Greek government to release our captain, our boat and now these 8 people as well! Let them sail to Gaza!!!
Throughout this country people have responded to our call to contact the U.S. State Department to demand that they take the steps necessary to ensure that the Greek authorities immediately release the captain and let our boat sail to Gaza. In fact, there has been such a strong response that we are hearing their voice mailboxes are full! That's great, but of course frustrating for those of you trying to make those calls.
Here are some other phone numbers and email addresses to try:
State Department general number: 202-647-4000 - ask for the Overseas U.S. Citizen Services Duty Officer and you'll get a live State Dept. official who has to hear you out.
The voicemail for Kim Richter - also at the State Dept. - says she's out of the office for several days, and that callers with urgent issues should contact a colleague at 202-647-4578.
If you can place an international phone call, the number for the U.S. Embassy in Athens is 011-30-210-721-2951.
You can email the U.S. Embassy in Athens at: athensamemb@state.gov or you can send an email to them at: athensamericancitizenservices@state.gov
Please also try to call, fax or email your members of Congress as well.
Help us keep the pressure up!!
GET ON BOARD THE U.S. TO GAZA CAMPAIGN
VISIT http://www.ustogaza.org/

Hackers expose racism's underbelly: Driving while black, brown or red in Arizona


Driving, and living, while Black, Brown or Red in Arizona
Article and photo by Brenda Norrell
Copyright Censored News
http://www.bsnorrell.blogspot.com/
Photos: Arizona border victims by Brenda Norrell

TUCSON -- When the ACLU released the report, "Driving while Black or Brown," exposing racial profiling by Arizona police, it came as no surprise to Native Americans who live in the state. When hackers exposed the racist e-mails of Arizona police officers last week, it came as no surprise to the Native Americans who are victims of excessive force by Arizona police in bordertowns.
When hackers exposed the fact that off-duty US Marine contract killers are patrolling the Arizona border with assault weapons, stalking migrants, it came as no surprise to human rights organizations in southern Arizona. When hackers exposed the fact that a school cop was reporting the diversity class at a Tucson high school to the Arizona Attorney General, that probably came as a surprise to many students and staff at Santa Rita High School. The district is engaged in an ongoing battle with the State of Arizona to save its ethnic studies programs.
What was a surprise when hackers spilled data from Arizona police files? The surprise was that they got caught. Arizona police, private security officers and white supremacists have carried out their abuse and crimes with impunity in the State of Arizona. The Governor, Arizona State Legislature and Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio have fueled the xenophobic attitude towards migrants and all people of color. This trio has attempted to create rule by white supremacists in a state populated by 21 American Indian Nations and diverse peoples and cultures.
"The good old boy" system crashed with the servers of the Fraternal Order of Police websites last week.
While the mainstream media fuels the racism, aiding private prison profiteers to fill their prisons with people of color, the media also paints Sheriff Arpaio as a colorful character, rather than examining the poisonous climate of hate he has injected into the region.
What was in those police e-mails hacked last week? There were racist chain letters forwarded by police about immigrants. There were insulting chain letters about President Obama. There was an e-mail praising torture from the police chief of Springerville, located near the Navajo Nation, Zuni Pueblo and White Mountain Apache Indian Nations.
The data exposed a registered sex offender who is a member of the Fraternal Order of Police, and a stalker who was a potential candidate for police chief in Tucson in 2009. It also exposed that a Navajo police officer from Teec Nos Pos discovered Arizona state police were filing charges in state court, rather than tribal court, for crimes on Indian land. The Navajo officer was then targeted by his superior and discriminated against.
Although a group of the worst e-mails have been published, one e-mail was too vulgar to publish. The e-mail was sent to a member of the Fraternal Order of Police, who is a former employee of the private prison profiteer Corrections Corporations of America. The e-mail was vulgar sarcasm about what was actually down to the body of Osama bin Laden. It was sent by a person working at a lighting company in southern California. The same FPO member had an outgoing e-mail with too much profanity to publish.
The data exposed the fact that Arizona police are well aware of the white supremacists and hate groups in Arizona. There are few eyes to witness the murders and rapes in the Sonoran Desert. The victims who are people of color in Arizona are a low priority for Arizona prosecutors. When US Border Patrol agents have been charged with the murder of migrants in federal court in Tucson, they were not convicted.
The hacked e-mails show that Arizona police are well aware that their own data was used when the ACLU prepared the report, "Driving while Black or Brown." The report showed that Native Americans stopped by Arizona police are 3.25 times more likely to be searched than whites. The report says that these targeted searches were uncalled for, since whites are far more likely to be carrying contraband than Native Americans.
Here's a recap of stories from the e-mails and reports exposed by hackers during June, who sail under the names of Antisec, Anonymous and Lulzsec.
Hackers slam Arizona police a third time
Hackers slammed the Arizona Department of Police for a third time on Thursday night, exposing police e-mails with more racism directed at Arabs, anti-immigrant chain e-mails, and crude jokes about President Obama. The release, Chinga La Migra Comminque III, "Fraternal Ownage of Police," targets Arizona's Fraternal Order of Police. The Antisec movement said they are defacing and taking down their websites, on behalf of the rights of immigrants and working people. Read the worst e-mails:
http://bsnorrell.blogspot.com/2011/06/hackers-slam-arizona-police-for-third.html
Tucson: Hackers reveal data targeting ethnic studies
TUCSON -- Hackers have once again slammed Arizona police, exposing racism and corruption.
In the second release of data on Wednesday, June 29, in the Chinga La Migra Dos files, Tucson schools public safety officer Robert 'Bob' Barry of Tucson, sent a letter to Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne urging an investigation of studies at Santa Rita High School in May.
Barry tells the Attorney General that students at Santa Rita High are being "indoctrinated" because they are being told about the genocide of Native Americans. Barry calls a diversity speech "hate speech." Read more:
http://bsnorrell.blogspot.com/2011/06/tucson-hackers-reveal-data-targeting.html
Hacked data reveals US Marines as contract killers, hunting migrants on the border
The hunting and murder of migrants by US Marines along the Arizona border was among the first facts revealed, after LulzSec hacked the Arizona Department of Public Safety on Thursday. The data exposes the fact that Arizona law enforcement officers were aware that migrants were being hunted by off-duty Marines patrolling the border with assault weapons. The information was in a report for the month of October, 2008, by Arizona's HIDTA (High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area) Investigative Support Center.
"In other incidents reported in October, U.S. Border Patrol agents encountered two subjects who claimed to be members of the Border Watch Group the Blue Lights based on the Caballo Loco Ranch. The subjects, armed with pistols and at least one M4 rifle, were dressed in full desert camouflage uniforms, similar to those of the United States military. They stated they were not members of the Minutemen, but paid contract employees who ‘get the job done’ and ‘were not just volunteers.’ They possessed valid United States Marine Corps identification cards."
Read more about this ranch near Sasabe, Arizona, south of Three Points, and alongside the Tohono O'odham Nation. The Caballo Loco is where Minutemen, Patriots, off-duty Marines and other white supremacists camp and stalk migrants:
http://bsnorrell.blogspot.com/2011/06/hacked-data-reveals-us-marines-contract.html
Also see:
ACLU Arizona Racial Profiling "Driving while Black or Brown"
http://www.scribd.com/doc/59087728/Arizona-Racial-Profiling-Report-Driving-Black-or-Brown
Columbus, Ohio Police Target Native American Long Walkers, on Friday, July 3, 2011, and in 2008:
http://bsnorrell.blogspot.com/2011/07/columbus-ohio-police-target-native.html
About the photos
At El Tiradito Shrine in Tucson, the organization "No More Deaths," remembered "Descondido" and thousands of other migrants who have died along the border of the United States and Mexico. Descondido was found hanged near the village of Cowlic in 2005 and is among the migrants meeting with violent death after crossing the border.
At El Tiradito Shrine in Tucson, volunteers with "No More Deaths," remembered migrants who have died along the border during a prayer vigil at a shrine in Tucson. When each migrants' name was read, those present said, "Presente" (Present) to show that they had not been forgotten. Thousands of names of migrants, who died from dehydration, assaults and other causes, were placed at the shrine.
Shrine outside federal courthouse in Tucson for Francisco Javier Dominguez Rivera, 22, from Morelia, Mexico, murdered by US Border Patrol agent. Agent was found not guilty.
Angie Ramon, Tohono O'odham, mother of Bennett Patricio, Jr, 18, stands where her son was run over and killed by the US Border Patrol on Tohono O'odham land. Ramon sued the officers in federal court, alleging her son was murdered by officers when he walked up on Border Patrol agents transferring a load of drugs in the remote desert at 3 am. Ramon carried the case to the Ninth Circuit and found no justice.
================================================================
Brenda Norrell has been a news reporter in Indian country for 29 years, living on the Navajo Nation for 18 years and in Tucson for a decade.
Copyright Censored News. To request permission to repost, please contact the publisher Brenda Norrell, brendanorrell@gmail.com
=================================================================

US Boat to Gaza: US must pressure Greece to let us sail

Action Alert: July 3, 2011

The U.S. Government Must Pressure Greece to Let U.S. Boat to Gaza Sail

Release Captain John Klusmire
and Our Boat Immediately!
By US Boat to Gaza
The U.S. Boat to Gaza calls for pressure
on the U.S. State Department

People around the world are rallying for the release of the boats that Greece is preventing from sailing to Gaza. We call on you to show your solidarity and support for the flotilla as a whole, and in particular for the captain of the U.S. boat, John Klusmire.

Over the past two weeks, two boats of the international flotilla to Gaza have been sabotaged while docked at Greek ports. No one has claimed responsibility for the damage done to these boats. The potential danger to the U.S. boat was obvious to the captain, the crew and the passengers: there was a clear possibility that the U.S. boat would be sabotaged next.

The departure of the U.S. Boat to Gaza - The Audacity of Hope - was first delayed by a complaint filed by the Israel Law Center and shown to be frivolous. Greek authorities then inspected the boat but, until the boat set sail five days later the, the results of that inspection has not been shared with the captain and his crew. Those results were not shared until the Hellenic Coast Guard stopped The Audacity of Hope some 20 minutes after it had left the dock on Friday, July 1. The Hellenic Coast Guard intercepted the ship and ordered that the ship stop. This order was obeyed. Commandos with drawn rifles ordered the ship to return. It is now impounded at a military dock in Athens and the captain has ben arrested.

Captain Klusmire faces two charges: disturbing sea traffic and endangering passengers; and moving away from the dock in violation of an order not to do so. He is being held in a cell without a bed and does not have access to toilet facilities. The only food and water he has had has been brought in by visitors. He has not been visited by anyone from the U.S. Embassy even though he is entitled to such a visit by international law.

The U.S. Boat to Gaza campaign urges you to immediately take the following actions. Even though it is a holiday weekend we urge you to make these calls now, and if necessary to place calls again on Monday and Tuesday.
Contact your members of Congress and urge him or her to pressure the Greek authorities to drop the charges against Captain Klusmire.
Contact the U.S. State Department and the U.S. Embassy in Greece. Insist that they fulfill their duty to advocate on behalf of Captain Klusmire and that they demand the release of the U.S. boat by Greece so it can freely sail to Gaza.
Sect. of State Hillary Clinton: 202-647-5291
Kim Richter, Consular Affairs, Overseas American Citizens Services, U.S. State Dept: 202-647-8308
Greek Desk, U.S. State Dept: 202-647-6113
U.S. Embassy in Athens: 011-30-210-721-2951, fax 011-30-210-645-6282, website: athens.usembassy.gov
Activate your emergency response network to publicly demonstrate support for Captain Klusmire and our call for Greece to let the flotilla sail! Pass along this action alert as widely as possible.

Below is a copy of the latest press release from the U.S. Boat to Gaza.

-----------------------

July 3, 2011 Athens, Greece

On eve of U.S. Independence Day, U.S. passengers on
flotilla start open-ended fast at U.S. Embassy in Athens

Demand that U.S. government pressure Greece to
free their boat and captain, and allow boat to sail to Gaza

Members of the U.S. Boat to Gaza have begun an open-ended fast calling on the U.S. government to defend our right to sail out of Greece. The fast has begun in front of the U.S. Embassy at 91 Vasilisis Sophias Avenue in Athens. Fasters delivered an urgent letter to the Embassy and plan to sleep overnight outside the Embassy gates.

Passengers and U.S. boat organizers participating in the fast are: Medea Benjamin, Ken Mayers, Paki Wieland, Kathy Kelly, Ray McGovern, Helaine Meisler, Nic Abramson, and Carol Murry.
Passenger Kathy Kelly said, "We call on officials at the U.S. Embassy in Athens to publicly acknowledge our right to sail and to call on the Greek government to free our ship and its captain immediately."


There will also be a march in support of the flotilla beginning at 7 pm organized by Greek activists who have been protesting the government's austerity measures in Syntagma Square. The march will include a demand on the Greek government to let all of the boats in the Freedom Flotilla 2 sail to Gaza and to free the captain of the U.S. ship, who has been held in jail.

The departure of the U.S. Boat to Gaza - The Audacity of Hope - was first delayed by a complaint filed by the Israel Law Center and shown to be frivolous. Greek authorities then inspected the boat but, until the boat set sail five days later, the results of that inspection has not been shared with the captain and his crew.

The Greek Coast Guard stopped The Audacity of Hope some 20 minutes after it had left the dock on Friday, July 1. The Coast Guard ordered the captain to stop the ship, which he did. Commandos with drawn rifles ordered the ship to return. It is now impounded at a military dock in Athens and the captain has ben arrested.

Over the past two weeks, two boats of the international flotilla to Gaza have been sabotaged while docked at Greek ports. The potential danger to the U.S. boat was obvious to the captain, the crew and the passengers: there was a clear possibility that the U.S. boat would be sabotaged next.

Greek consular officials in the United States, when besieged with calls by angry Americans, told callers that they should direct their protest to U.S. officials because they were ultimately responsible. "We know that the U.S. government has been supporting Israel's underhanded efforts to thwart the flotilla, and has been pressuring the Greek government to stop us. This is a disgrace," said passenger/faster Medea Benjamin. "On July 4, it's time for our government to declare independence from Israel and start supporting its own citizens."

We note that on June 24, passengers on the U.S. Boat to Gaza visited the Consul General in Athens, Deputy Consul General Kate Brandeis agreed that the U.S. Boat "had a right to sail to Gaza."

Ms. Brandeis assured the passengers that the consulate was there to assist U.S. citizens that run into difficulty while in Greece. To date, we have received no assistance from the U.S. Embassy and the captain of our boat, a U.S. citizen, remains in jail and has yet to be visited by anyone from the U.S. Embassy.

GET ON BOARD THE U.S. TO GAZA CAMPAIGN
VISIT http://www.ustogaza.org/