August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

VIDEO: Banned Books Tucson Students Speak Out!

On Martin Luther King Day in Tucson 2012, Tucson students spoke out on the seizure of books from their classrooms and the decision to forbid Mexican American Studies. The public school district, Tucson Unified School District, voted in Jan 2012 to forbid the studies after Arizona threatened to extract millions of dollars. Rethinking Columbus was one of seven books moved to a depository by the schools. There are 50 books on the reading list. Read more at Censored News
Closing music by Sharon Burch, Navajo

Students Step Up Tucson Walkouts

Protest School District Folly and Mexican American Studies Banishment

As the nation watches the Tucson Unified School District’s spiral into disarray, hundreds of students walked out of their Tucson schools Monday in a coordinated protest against the banishment of the district’s acclaimed Mexican American Studies program.(Photo: D.A. Morales)

Pouring into the downtown Tucson area from Pueblo, Cholla and Tucson high schools, among other institutions, the students brought their march to the offices of floundering Tucson Unified School District (TUSD) administrators. In recent days, administrators and board members have issued a series of conflicting and inaccurate statements and carried out the extreme actions of confiscating books in front of children. Last week, a recently hired assistant superintendent from Texas made a troubing call for the deeply rooted Tucson students–many of whom trace their ancestors to the town founders– to “go to Mexico” to study their history.
In a district with over 60 percent of the students coming from Mexican American backgrounds, the TUSD board “dismantled its Mexican-American studies program, packed away its offending books, shuttled its students into other classes,” according to an editorial in the New York Times on Sunday, because “it was blackmailed into doing so.”
The New York Times referred to the extremist measures of Arizona state superintendent of public instruction John Huppenthal on January 10th, who threatened to withhold millions of dollars if TUSD didn’t terminate the nationally acclaimed program immediately.
As her Tucson school district prepares to celebrate the 140th anniversary of its founding by Mexican American immigrant Estevan Ochoa, Cholla High School student Ahtziri Iñiguez noted that she was following the march in the footsteps of her brother, a graduate of the Mexican American Studies Program.
“I think it’s very unfair that people here don’t let us learn about our own culture,” she said. “My brother took (Mexican American Studies) classes his junior year and he would go home and discuss with my Mom and interested me in education, so I knew I wanted to take these classes.”
Less than two months away from the anniversary celebration of Arizona native and United Farm Worker leader Cesar Chavez, Iñiguez added: “We did this walk out to prove if you want something you should fight for what you believe in, because if you don’t do anything, nothing will change.”
Known as the “Sheriff Arpaio of Ethnic Studies,” Arizona education chief John Huppenthal defended his campaign slogan to “stop la raza” in an extraordinary Democracy Now debate on TV last week. The Tea Party activist Huppenthal has referred to Mexican American students as “Hitler Jugend,” and raised concerns across the nation about possible criminal behavior last summer when he openly misrepresented the results of an independent audit that praised the Mexican American Studies program and found it in compliance with Arizona’s bizarre Ethnic Studies law.
State Rep. Sally Gonzales introduced a bill to repeal the Ethnic Studies crackdown last week. A similar bill to repeal Arizona’s notorious SB 1070 immigration law was also being introduced.
Instead of surrendering to Huppenthal’s crackdown, many community leaders in Tucson called on the Tucson Unified School District board to join a federal court suit against the state and summon the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice to follow up their investigation of Arpaio and investigate Huppenthal for racial profiling, hate crimes, fraud and even extortion.
Last month, when the DOJ charged Arpaio with “chronic culture of disregard for basic legal and constitutional obligations” and a “widespread pattern or practice of…activities that discriminate against Latinos,” Tucson supporters of Ethnic Studies wonder if similar charges could be made for Attorney General Tom Horne and Superintendent Huppenthal, who have invoked violent imagery and pathologically singled out only Tucson’s Mexican American Studies program.

First Voices Indigenous Radio: Debra White Plume and Roberto Rodriguez

Listen: Women of Vision gathering on Lakota land, and banned books in Tucson schools

First Voices Indigenous Radio
Host Tiokasin Ghosthorse, Cheyenne River Lakota
WBAI New York

DEBRA WHITE PLUME: Manderson, South Dakota is the Director of Owe Aku or Bring Back the Way - a grassroots nongovernmental organization dedicated to the preservation of the Lakota Way of Life and Treaty Rights.

On Sunday January 15th, a group of powerful Native women held a day long conference called Winyan Ituwan or Women of Vision along with Kandi Mosset, Marie Randall, Tantoo Cardinal and many others to not only talk about women’s role in Native culture, but effects of oil and uranium effects of mining on water. We will be talking about the impacts of colonialism to Native Nations and how we will survive it. (

DR, ROBERTO RODRIQUEZ - Tuscon, Arizona - While TUCSON UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT claims that there are no banned books, the fact remains that administrators have come into Mexican American Studies classrooms (which no longer exist) and removed the MAS classroom materials, which includes books that were formerly utilized in the now suspended MAS program.

While TUSD claims that only 7 book titles were ordered boxed and carried off, the fact is that the confiscation, in some cases in front of the students, involved more than the 7 books that were listed by TUSD. 50 books (listed at the end of the Cambium report) are not banned, they are confiscated, or in the process of being confiscated... THUS THE BOOKS ARE NOW UNDOCUMENTED! They are as welcome in TUSD schools as undocumented migrants are welcome in this country.

Northern Cree @ Black Eagle Pow Wow - Santa Ana Star Center

Mighty Truck of Midnight - Bruce Cockburn

Winter Rain - Ferrodyne

Migrant death rate doubles on Arizona border as US expands criminal policies

Remembering migrants at San Xavier Photo Brenda Norrell
Migrant Death Rate on Arizona Border More than Double in Two Years while DHS Plans Expansion of Deadly Criminalization Policies

By Kat Rodriguez
Derechos Humanos
Censored News

Arizona- Despite continued claims by the Department of Homeland Security that the number of migrant deaths has reached an all-time low, data show that the actual rate of migrant death on the Arizona border has actually almost doubled in the last two years. This information comes as DHS announces plans to eliminate voluntary removals and criminally prosecute, incarcerate, and formally deport all apprehended immigrants, a move that is clearly spurred by the need to boost detention numbers to justify a grossly bloated DHS budget.

While apprehension numbers do not provide an exact number of immigrants attempting to cross the border, academic research has illustrated that apprehension are highly correlated and fluctuate with true unauthorized migration flows (1). Using the numbers of U.S. Border Patrol apprehensions as a proxy for migration flow, along with the number of human remains recovered on the border, we are able to generate an approximate "migrant death rate."

As a point of comparison, in 2009, the number of recovered human remains of those believed to be border crossers was 183. The number of apprehensions reported by the Border Patrol in the Tucson sector was 241,673. Thus, it can be said that for every 100,000 apprehensions, there were 75.72 human remains recovered on the Arizona border.

In 2011, the number of recovered human remains of border crossers was also 183. However, reported apprehensions for the Tucson sector dropped dramatically that year, to 123,285. Ultimately, for every 100,000 apprehensions, the remains of 148.43 migrants were recovered; nearly double the rate of 2009.

Since 2000, the remains of more than 2,300 migrants have been recovered on the Arizona, and at least 6,000 border-wide. The continued policies of criminalization of working men and women, coupled with the strategy of funneling migration further into the harsh Arizona desert, has resulted in a human rights crisis that has been denounced by local, national, and international communities.

Claiming credit for the decrease in migration, which is in fact the result of the poor economy, DHS's plan to dramatically increase the criminalization of migrant workers is irresponsible. Such a policy will ultimately result in forcing more people through non-regularized forms of migration while boosting the budgets of private detention centers such as CCA and contracted companies such as Geo Group, whose budgets depend specifically on the criminalization, detention and deportation of migrants, and who have long been included in the biggest lobbyists for longer and harsher sentencing for immigrants.

The failure of the Obama Administration to acknowledge the impact of deadly border policies and the appalling position of increasing the enforcement regime is reprehensible. In this heated election year, it is particularly insulting to Latino families that political leaders jockey to outdo each other on anti-immigrant and blatantly anti-Mexican rhetoric, while at the same time strategize on how to secure the Latino vote. Democrats and Republicans alike should be advised that this hypocrisy has not gone unnoticed by Latino communities, and they can expect no less than to harvest what the seeds of their xenophobia and racism will yield them.

Currently, the number of remains recovered in Arizona from October through December of 2011 is 45, already exceeding of the number recovered last year during the same timeframe. 82% are currently unidentified. 55% are of unknown gender, meaning that not enough of their bodies were recovered to establish gender. 73% are skeletal remains, a result of the federal border strategy of forcing them into the most isolated and remote areas of the border. While Arizona continues to be viewed as a "battleground state" by political and economic forces, the real battle is being waged around the issue of dignity and justice, with human beings as the casualties of greed and division.
Espenshade, Thomas J. (1995b). "Unauthorized Immigration to the United States." Annual Review of Sociology. Vol. 21, Pp. 195-216.

The complete list of recovered remains is available on the Coalición de Derechos Humanos website: This information is available to anyone who requests it from us and is used by our organization to further raise awareness of the human rights crisis we are facing on our borders.

Resistance: Darker Shade of Green on REDD

Photo Council of Canadians
New Video Reveals Global Resistance to Forest-Carbon Projects
A Darker Shade of Green Documents Critical Perspectives on REDD

Orin Langelle, Co-director/Strategist
Global Justice Ecology Project
Censored News

Global Forest Coalition and Global Justice Ecology Project have produced a new video entitled A Darker Shade of Green: REDD Alert and the Future of Forests. The twenty-eight minute video, launched today, documents opposition among Indigenous Peoples, forest-dependent communities and environmental justice groups around the globe, to controversial programs that claim to Reduce Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) by putting forests into the carbon market.

As REDD policies and programs are promoted around the world by corporations and governments, Indigenous Peoples and other forest-dependent communities are raising the alarm that these programs will have serious negative impacts - and will not mitigate climate change.

Clayton Thomas-Muller of Indigenous Environmental Network, featured in the video, declares, "We can take care of our own lands, we don't need agencies to do this for us. As Indigenous Peoples we want rights, and we don't want REDD."

Nnimmo Bassey, of Nigeria, Chair of Friends of the Earth International, also featured in the video, says, "The whole idea of Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation is not about stopping deforestation. It's industry driven. It's driven by speculators who want to grab land in Africa, in Asia, in Latin America, and who don't really want to change the mode of economy we're living right now."

REDD has been hotly contested since it was first introduced into the climate mitigation package at the United Nations climate talks in 2007. Every year since, REDD has been pushed by those who wish to use the world's forests as carbon offsets and protested by Indigenous Peoples and forest dependent communities that face potential forced relocation if their forest homelands are "protected," under the REDD scheme. A Darker Shade of Green details the ideas behind REDD and the concerns being raised against it.

Following the UN Climate Conference in Durban, South Africa last month, global REDD projects are coming under even greater scrutiny. Simone Lovera, Director of Global Forest Coalition, said, "The outcomes of the Durban Conference in the field of REDD are generally seen as a major step backwards. The already unacceptably weak and non-binding social and environmental safeguards that were adopted previously were further undermined, and the vague guidance for reporting emission reductions allows cheating and exaggerations."

Subnational REDD programs such as the agreement between California, USA, Chiapas, Mexico, and Acre, Brazil - featured in the new video - are still set to more forward, though with carbon markets collapsing, grassroots resistance growing, and global climate agreements in deep-freeze, legislators may be hard-pressed to provide concrete footings for the complicated agreement.

A Darker Shade of Green: REDD Alert and the Future of Forests, produced in English and Spanish, features interviews and testimonies from Mexico, Brazil, Panama, Philippines, Indonesia, Nepal, Uganda, India, and California. It is available for viewing in English and Spanish on the Climate Connections blog.

The DVD version of the video contains two additional bonus films on REDD: Amador Hernandez: Starved for Medical Services by Global Justice Ecology Project and REDD: A Greed for Trees by the Chiapas-based NGO Otros Mundos. This DVD will be made available next week. Information on requesting the DVD can be found here.

A three-minute trailer is also available for viewing in English and Spanish by clicking here.

Orin Langelle
Global Justice Ecology Project

Skype: olangelle
P.O. Box 412
Hinesburg, VT 05461 U.S.
+1.802.482.2689 ph/fax
+1.802.578.6980 mobile

Global Justice Ecology Project Mission Statement: Building local, national and international alliances with action to address the root causes of social injustice, economic domination and environmental destruction.

ntal destruction.

Mohawk Nation News: From Freedom to Sarcasm


MNN Jan. 22,2012.

Freedom requires responsibility [Kaianerehkowa].

The unsurrendered land, water, air and resources above, beneath and on Great Turtle Island is the birthright of the Indigenous people. The bankers and their agents want to steal it all. Our resistance to genocide is causing panic. Here’s their plan. Lie about economic prosperity and ending mass unemployment. Increase military spending. Build more prisons. Set up secret police outside of civil authority.

Rescind habeas corpus and civil liberties. [US Defense Authorization Act; Canada Omnibus Crime Bill.] Bribe, destroy, kill, imprison opponents. Remove citizenship rights [US Enemy Expatriation Act]. Wear non-person ID in public. Send resisters back to country of origin! [Bye!] Special courts for death sentences. Execute soldiers for cowardice! [Or give them more meds.] Centralize power under one leader. Assassinations to restore order. Swear oath to leader like Canada to the Queen.

Control courts and civic organizations. Disband state and local governments. Appoint governors, premiers, mayors. Divide and rule. Rich fight the poor. Racial conflicts intensified. Religious-based parties control education and youth groups. Promote Pan Americanism based on white culture, to defend western civilization from ‘brown sub-humans’. Criminalize the truth. Ban questioners. Indigenous continue to be hated and feared [for existing]. Book burnings [Stop Arizona brown market in Indian books]. Teach race superiority dogma. [Guess which is at the top of the totem pole?]. Fire teachers who oppose.

Control mainstream media [A done deal]. Kill the internet [SOPA]. Produce entertainment, films, mass rallies and rhetoric to push corporatist ideology down our throats. Create economic depression. Then make up fantasies to restore fake national pride. Unreasonable foreign policy. Demand surrender or threaten war. No compromise. No reparation to peoples or countries attacked. Create enemies. Get another country to invade. Send ultimatums demanding all their power or face invasion. Step in. Bomb. Call for elections. Put in puppets. Set up quislings. Form alliances with dictators or replace them. Set up spies and informers. Install tribal/band council-like entities to control masses and report on them. Infiltrate and suppress labor unions and strikes. [If we’re lucky] The US might threaten to pull out of or destroy the UN if they can’t own it.

Form secret and illegal alliances like the North American Union NAU. Annex Canada and Mexico. Suppress revolts. Businesses owned by western interests. Native land and resource owners do menial work. Sign pacts to divide up world dominated by a small group of rulers. Create fear of travel, such as airport TSA groping of passengers and mysterious shipwreck in Italy. Heavy fines or long prison terms for crimes like parking tickets, spitting on the sidewalk or free speech. US and Canada are conservative authoritarian corporations. Their citizens are property of the corporations, squatting on a land they don’t own. The youth want their corporations to give them a piece of the Indigenous pie.

Over 100 million Indigenous were murdered in the attempt. They need to decolonize and respect the legal ownership of Great Turtle Island. The white house or congress or parliament could be graffitied to signal a civil unrest over something that doesn’t belong to them. Look for more false flags such as the World Trade Center and laws without parliamentary or congressional debate. Open attack on uncooperative Indigenous communities. Human rights violated. Deprivation of necessities of life. Canada’s Prime Minister Harper wants to revive the old ghetto policy to keep us in deplorable conditions to carry out the final solution. [Mother Earth segregated all of Great Turtle Island for us].

Death by warfare, genocide, reprisals, forced labor and starvation to carry out the Pan Americanisation of the western hemisphere. Dictators studied these US strategies [Wasichu] of atrocities, mass murders, concentration camps, ethnic cleansing and theft on a grand scale. The great natural power preserved us and continues to do so. We don’t have a standing army. We have the dreaded truth. As Oscar Wilde said: When liberty comes with hands dabbled in blood, [and a forked tongue] it’s hard to shake hands with her.

MNN Mohawk Nation News For more news, books, to donate to maintain the website [PayPal] and to sign up for MNN newsletters go to More stories at MNN Categories “COLONIALISM/ART/CULTURE”. Address: Box 991, Kahnawake [Quebec, Canada] J0L 1B0 Store: Indigenous authors – Kahnawake books – Mohawk Warriors Three – Warriors Hand Book – Rebuilding the Iroquois Confederacy. Category: World – Colonialism - Great Turtle Island – History – New World Order – courts/police Economics/trade/commerce – Land/environment – art/culture. Tags: North American Indians – Turtle Island – Indian holocaust/genocide – NAU North American Union – History Canada/US – United Nations – Cointelpro - colonialism.

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