August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Wednesday, 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:

Occupy Tucson: Solace in the city

Bob Zavoda at Occupy Tucson. Also shown
are peace keepers in front of kitchen and
information center at Armory Park downtown

Tents form a circle at Occupy Tucson
Armory Park downtown

Occupy Tucson satellite site downtown.

By Brenda Norrell
Censored News

TUCSON -- Pigeons make their way across the grass as people visit outside the information booth at Occupy Tucson. There is a sweetness here, where green apples are on the table next to a large gourd carved for Halloween. When dinner arrives from a distant kitchen, the aroma of lasagna fills the air on the lawn of Armory Park, outside the senior center.
There is talk of donated solar panels and the morning appearances in court. There were about 300 citations for occupying this space. Pleas of not guilty were entered at the arraignment.
In the middle of the courts downtown, there is a new Occupy Tucson satellite camp. Sitting around the park table, young people talk about political theories, and what occupying this space means to them. One young man arrives with chocolate chip cookies. There is talk of where to charge laptops and where to shower.
Bob Zavoda takes a cardboard sign in hand and stands on the busy downtown corner as passerby honk horns.
"This is what it is all about," he says, referring to the sign he is holding. "The corporations are taking over."
The night before, walking between the two camps, there was the stillness and quiet of downtown Tucson. A local ministry was serving hot chocolate and hot chicken soup out of the back of their car, just as they have done for the past six years.
In the night, a row of people sat outside the library, sipping their hot drinks.
"It is like a big slumber party," says my friend, laughing, as we walk again between the camps in the Tucson night.
Another friend, O'odham, is one of the peacekeepers at Occupy Tucson at night.
On the bulletin board, there is the face of Tucson. There is an announcement for the migrant walk on Saturday to San Xavier. Walkers will carry crosses bearing the names of migrants who have died in the Sonoran Desert.
Friday night at Armory Park is family night, with parents and children planning to camp out.
"What about the citations?" I ask. No one has the answer yet.
Around the corner, at Shot in the Dark Cafe, where an Occupy Tucson benefit concert was held, occupiers drink ice tea and coffee and use the wifi. A sign in the window says simply: "Occupy Tucson."
As usual, at 10:30 p.m., Tucson police issue their citations, after another long day where police appear to be extremely bored, watching people at Armory Park.

News reporters clench paychecks, lose their moral compass

US Border Patrol on Tohono O'odham Nation
with spy cameras pointed at traditional O'odham homes.
Photo by Ofelia Rivas.
Copyright Brenda Norrell
Censored News

TUCSON -- Before supporting an American Indian casino, people should examine the facts for themselves.
In the case of the Tohono O'odham, O'odham are living in desperation as millions from the Desert Diamond casino go to non-Indian management companies, the state of Arizona, and into the pockets of a few corrupt politicians.
All it takes is for reporters to drive through the Tohono O'odham Nation to see that the desperation has not changed in a decade of millions pouring into the Desert Diamond Casino.
O'odham elderly and women with children suffer the most. Many O'odham are without food, without gas, without safe drinking water and without wood in winter.
But reporters would rather live in front of their computers than go out and discover the truth. If they drove out to the Tohono O'odham Nation, they discover the truth: The casino money is not going to the people.
If reporters did go out to the Tohono O'odham Nation, they would likely be illegally detained by the US Border Patrol, which is common practice now.
They would also discover that the Tohono O'odham Nation does not allow freedom of the press. It does not allow outside reporters to attend their council meetings (as the Navajo Nation does.) This allows the Tohono O'odham Nation to conceal its human rights violations of traditional O'odham who protest the corruption.
Will any reporters respond and examine the facts, out on O'odham land, for themselves? The fact is that most of the Indian media at the national level rewrites web material, or posts articles they did not write. They do not investigate the facts.
At best, the reporters make a phone call, victimize the victims and collect their paychecks.
In the worst case scenario, they plagiarize content and produce spin that is dishonest and has longterm damaging effects on the people.
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Chicago hosts Lakota environmental activists

Posted at Censored News

From Pine Ridge to Chicago, Wicker Park Arts Center, 2215 W. North Avenue
6 -- 10 p.m. dance party to follow
Wednesday November 9, 2011
From Pine Ridge to Chicago is a celebration of the dedicated work being done to protect the land, water and people. Inspired by the work of activists and organizers on the Oglala Lakota Nation, Pine Ridge, S.D., and in Chicago, we will host a series of events to support and connect those on-the-ground activists and Chicagoans interested in environmental themes and social justice.
Feed your soul with the strength of the spirit.
Everyone is welcome, please share with Chicago friends and connections
Native activists and media makers traveling from the Oglala Lakota Nation, Pine Ridge, S.D., will present current stories from the CRYING EARTH RISE UP campaign -- dealing with the impact current uranium mining has on the water, land and peoples of the great plains.
Guests From Pine Ridge include:
-Debra and Alex White Plume (from the documentary Standing Silent Nation- about the embattled story of the Lakota to grow industrial hemp on their sovereign land)
-Members of Owe Aku/Bring Back the Way, a Lakota justice organization fighting to stop the expansion of environmentally destructive policies on Native lands and sacred sites.
-Representatives of The Lakota Media Project, who will screen current work.
Prairie Dust Films (a Chicago-based independent film company) will kickoff their most recent feature with samples from the documentary project Crying Earth Rise Up (working title). Director Suree Towfighnia will be in attendance.
CONFIRMED PERFORMERS INCLUDE: Che Christ (hip hop) Olmeca (spoken word) Rosebud White Plume (spoken word) and Native Flute
If you are interested in volunteering or donating to the event, please let us know by 11/5/11.
For more information, contact:
Suree Towfighnia 773/ 517-3132
Jessica Tevaga 630/ 803-7439
Hope to see you out!
Prairie Dust Films

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