August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Censored News Today Nov. 8, 2011

Today at Censored News

Mohawks from Akwesasne arrived on Rosebud and Pine Ridge in South Dakota with a truck load of supplies as winter approaches. They are families sharing with families, sharing their photos with you.
In Denver, Colorado AIM takes a stand in solidarity to halt the tarsands and Keystone XL pipeline.
In California, the ACLU says Oakland police are refusing to release records, after numerous protesters were injured in Occupy Oakland actions, including two veterans who were critically injured.
Censored News shares videos and photos as thousands, including Native Americans and First Nations, surrounded the White House on Sunday to halt the Keystone XL pipeline. President Obama did not come out to greet them.

ACLU: Oakland police refuse to turn over Occupy Oakland records

CLU to Oakland Police: No Seriously, Hand Over the Info

The Oakland Police Department oversaw the use of excessive force against Occupy Oakland demonstrators, and now the department is refusing to hand over information about what really happened.
The ACLU of Northern California and the National Lawyers' Guild sent a public records request about OPD's use of force on the night of October 25, 2011 on demonstrators supporting Occupy Oakland. The response we received is both infuriating and misguided.
OPD's Chief of Staff prefaced the Department's response to us with this: "The Oakland Police Department understands that the greater and more unfettered the public official's power, the greater the public's interest in monitoring the governmental action. We recognize and acknowledge your October 26th, 2011 request furthers our commitment to this obligation."
Then the email went on to say that OPD was refusing to provide almost all the information that we had requested.
Not only is this a complete contradiction, it also reveals something very troubling. Police officers actually do not have "unfettered" discretion in using force against political protesters. It's constrained by, among other things, the constitutional prohibition against excessive force and OPD's own Crowd Control Policy, which as we've previously noted, was repeatedly breached that night.
Juxtaposed against OPD's decision to withhold reports documenting its use of force that night — a decision we think misguided as a matter of law and policy (see our letter back to OPD today) — OPD's response underscores the gap between its policy and practice. The agency has a great Crowd Control Policy, but doesn't abide by it. The agency celebrates its "commitment" to "the public's interest in monitoring … governmental action," but withholds essential documents. It's time for OPD to close the gap and live up to its word. Given the seriousness of what happened on October 25, 2011, the public has a right to full disclosure. And while we're on this topic, OPD should really start following its own policies. That will help prevent messes like this.
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Hopi Land 'Water is Life' Saturday, Nov. 12, 2011

A message from Ben Nuvamsa
We are at a Cross Roads!  Critical issues face the Hopi Tribe and the Navajo Nation concerning our tribal water, coal, environment, our culture and our economy.  We must become informed of the big issues that will affect our tribes for hundreds of years to come.  Our tribal councils are not informed of, nor do they understand the complex issues that lie before them.  As tribal members and stakeholders, we must become educated and informed of these issues so that we can educate the elected tribal officials to make the proper and informed decisions.  This is an opportunity for everyone to share their concerns and participate in setting a direction to addressing these important issues.  We will have common issues.  How do we work together to preserve and conserve our resources for our future generations? Come and learn about these issues and express your concerns.
The attached flyer announces our forum to be held November 12, 2011, at the Hopi Veterans’ Memorial Center.  Spread the word to Hopi and Navajo citizens. Everyone is welcome.  Tribal council representatives and delegates are especially encouraged to attend.  Traditional Hopi meal will be served.
One of the most important topics to be covered concerns the recent findings by Dr. Daniel Higgins of the impacts on the N-Aquifer from years of pumping by Peabody Coal.  We will also discuss the proposed Northeastern Indian Water Rights Settlement Agreement and what provisions it contains.  There are many other important issues facing our tribes such as the Kayenta Mine Life of Mine Permit.   What does all of this mean to you?  Come learn and express your concerns.
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AIM Colorado: Solidarity Against Tar Sands

American Indian Movement of Colorado Stands in Solidarity Action against the Tar Sands

By TessaMcLean, Anishinaabe, American Indian Movement Colorado leader
Censored News
DENVER -- On November 5th, 2011, The American Indian Movement of Colorado (AIM) rallied with Occupy Denver and Colorado at noon and later marched to the Canadian Consul located in downtown Denver to protest the Keystone XL pipeline; the action was in solidarity for the White House action on November 6th.
Leaders from Colorado AIM, such as Glenn Morris, Tessa McLean and Scott Denver Jacket spoke at the rally where over a hundred AIM members and climate rights groups came together.  AIM leaders were present to bring awareness to the Indigenous issues at stake with the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline. The pipeline would cross at least five Indian reservations, not only this but the tar sands are on the Cree’s traditional homelands in Alberta, Canada. Observers and people present for the rally listened with open ears and were eager to offer help to the Indigenous struggle against the tar sands.

A teach-in was held after the rally and march where Denver Anarchist Black Cross member, Aspen Miller, educated the protesters about the environmental impacts of the pipeline. Tessa McLean from AIM spoke after Aspen about Indigenous rights and the negative impacts on the Indigenous peoples affected by the pipeline and tar sands. She mentioned at least one oil spill has occurred on Indian land and it took six days for Alberta Environment to survey the destruction. That is six days that Indian children, pregnant women and elders spent breathing in toxic fumes from the spill. This is a human rights issue but also an indigenous rights issue and President Obama needs to understand that First Nations people will not be sacrificed for dirty oil and corporate greed. The tar sands are killing a way of life that has existed since time immemorial, the Indigenous ways and cultures need to be fought for, not destroyed by an addiction to oil.

Last week Colorado AIM stood with the Vice President of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, Thomas Poor Bear, inside president Obama’s speech at the University of Colorado Denver and disrupted Obama in the middle of his speech. President Obama stuttered in his speech after speaking to us and saying, “no decision has been made [on the keystone XL pipeline].” This head-on confrontation with the president was a turning point in the decision-making efforts of the Keystone XL pipeline.  Days after this action, President Obama was on camera in Nebraska talking about possible health concerns the pipeline brings. Prior to the action in Denver, President Obama had not made on remarks on the Keystone XL pipeline.

On November 6th, Thomas Poor Bear was in Washington D.C. with the rest of the 10,000 protesters against the pipeline. His Indigenous delegation took the banner we had inside President Obama’s speech, it says, “President Obama: Yes you can, Stop the Keystone XL Pipeline.”  President Obama once said, “It’s time to end the tyranny of oil.” Indigenous peoples are in the front lines against that tyranny. Words are so powerful, when we speak our thoughts we are making promises, let’s hold President Obama accountable to his promises. Indigenous resistance will continue against the pipeline and against the tar sands as long as we’re still here to voice out against them, it has been and will continue to be our nature to resist the genocide that we’ve seen for the past 520 years.

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Video: Circling the White House NO! Tarsands Pipeline

Photo by Clayton Conn Tar Sands Action
Click on video below:

Tar Sands: Ring Around the White House from Jay Mallin on Vimeo.

Photos Akwesasne to Pine Ridge

Mohawks from Akwesasne share with Lakotas on Rosebud and Pine Ridge in South Dakota
From Neddie Katsisiaiohne, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2011
Photos by Neddie Katsisiaiohne, with computer technician Scottie Ryan Hill/Skennentaia'kwa: Hawi
"We arrived SKENNENTAIA'KWA:  HAWI still have to get the donations to relatives today. Neddie, Leadhorse, and Scottie Ryan Hill, still have relatives to meet today and help get donations of warm winter clothing to Relatives today. Nia:wen to Tom Kanatakeniate and Loretta Afraid of Bear Cook and Running Strong for American Indian Youth.
Update: Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2011: Neddie Katsitsiaiohne, "We will be getting the rest of the donations to different areas today we are at the last part of the donations. Everyone was so happy to get the donations the blankets most were new and sheets still in the package.The baby clothes went really fast and all the young mothers were very pleased and happy to have warm winter clothing for the families. More pictures up later today."
We are Skennentaia' kwa:hawi ~ We are carriers of the peace. Families helping families." 

More photos of the journey: 
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