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Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Monday, May 28, 2012

Roberto Rodriguez: Demonizing Mexican-American studies is unjust

Demonizing Mexican-American studies is unjust

by Roberto Rodriguez - May. 28, 2012
Posted at Censored News

I pick up the phone at my office at the University of Arizona and learn that I have three recorded messages waiting for me. The first one begins with the caller claiming to be half White and half Native American, addressing me as an "(expletive) Mexican" and a "Raza (expletive)." This while injecting a .357 Magnum into his rant.
The second and third calls are similar. The vitriol is inexplicable and virtually incomprehensible, except for the threats of extreme violence.
As a lifelong writer, receiving vicious hate mail is not new to me, including receiving a registered letter to my house from the Ku Klux Klan. But receiving death threats as a professor -- this is new.
Just the week before those calls, a video was placed on YouTube by right-wing elements, accusing me of being the ringleader of the movement to defend Mexican-American Studies (MAS) from being eliminated by the state, via House Bill 2281. In reality, that six-year effort has primarily been a student-led movement.
The funny thing is they invented the things that I supposedly did: standing on top of a table while directing the students to chain themselves to the school boardroom chairs and screaming at my students if they didn't read precisely what I wrote for them to read at the board meetings.
Complete fabrications are indeed funny to me, but I can't say the same thing about death threats.
For rest of the column, please go to:
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Also, if you wish to republish or repost column, you have my (the author's) permission. If you require permission from the Arizona Republic, please contact the editorial department
Thanks , Sincerely
Roberto Dr. Cintli Rodriguez
PO BOX 3812
Tucson, AZ 85722

Cintli don't tweet, text, facebook, digg and is not linked.... but you can still email or call me.

Photos videos: Protecting Winnemem Wintu ceremony 2012

Closing the river

River closed

Forest Service

Forest Service with Winnemem
Photos by Klamath Media. Thank you from Censored News!
Censored News

These photos and video are from this weekend's War Dance and actions that were held to protect the Winnemem Wintu's coming of age ceremony on Shasta Lake later this month. Below is also a link to the press release. Day three was the day that volunteers on boats put up a "River Closed" banner across the water and closed it to speed boat traffic for a few hours.
After many of the supporters had already left the river, what was described as an "armada of thunder-engined powerboats" came through to make a disturbance. (See video 4.)
The presence of any fishing boats or curious vacationers that were not associated with the ceremony or support crews had been disruptive in previous days, but this event was obviously planned with malicious intent based on testimony of the people who were down on the river
when the boats came through.
Stormy Staats,
Klamath Media
Day 1 -- War Dance for Safe Coming of Age Ceremony
Day 2 -- War Dance for Safe Coming of Age Ceremony
Day 3 -- War Dance for Safe Coming of Age Ceremony
Day 4
Boats Close River For Winnemem Wintu Ceremony - May 26 2012

Indybay Dan Bacher: Winnemem Wintu close McCloud River during War Dance:

Release: War Dance Scheduled for May 24-May 27
Photos from Winnemem Wintu May 26th War Dance

Media Coverage

LISTEN: First Voices Indigenous Radio
Host Tiokasin Ghosthorse, Cheyenne River Lakota
WBAI New York
April 19, 2012
CALEEN SISK Tribal Chief- - The Winnemem Wintu Tribe, a band of indigenous people located in Northern California, have appealed to the United States Forest Service’s Regional Forester to temporarily close of part of McCloud River, located in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest. Forty to 60 tribal members and supporters gathered at Pacific Southwest Regional Forester Randy Moore’s Vallejo office at about 9 a.m. Monday to picket, said Caleen Sisk, the Winnemem Wintu tribal chair. John Heil, a press officer for the regional forester, confirmed that range of protesters.
After an hour of picketing, Regional Forester Moore came out and addressed the group, said Sisk. She said Moore was receptive and that he did "the respectful thing" by listening to protesters’ concerns. The Forest Service's Heil said Moore will work with the Shasta-Trinity National Forest supervisor in making a decision on the river closure request.
The four-day mandatory closure would allow the tribe to carry out a traditional coming-of-age ceremony, Balas Chonas, in which teenage girls spend four days in prayer and communion with elder women before swimming across the lake and symbolically entering adulthood.
This is the not the first time the Winnemem Tribe has appealed to have the area shut down during Balas Chonas. Since 2005 they have sought to have the area temporarily closed to the public for the religious ceremony, but have only been granted "voluntary closure," in which the area is not physically closed off.

VIDEO: O'odham Ofelia Rivas 'Erase the Border' 2012

Erase the Border is an art project with the O'odham youth from Ali Jegk community on O'odham lands divided by the United States/Mexico border. A Project by Boston artist Catherine D'Ignazio and O'odham VOICE Against the WALL founder Ofelia Rivas.

By Ofelia Rivas, O'odham
Censored News
May 28, 2012

Hello Friends,

We recently had a art project "Erase the Border"  with O'odham youth from  Ali Jegk (Little Clearing) community on the Tohono O'odham Nation adjacent to the US/MX International border.
This is a project of artist Catherine D'Ignazio from the Boston of Institute of Infinitely Small Things group and Ofelia Rivas of O'odham VOICE Against the WALL.
This is our first YouTube video.
It was a crazy windy day on May 24, 2012. We put crepe paper flowers with colorful streamers on the fence, brought tables and chairs, art paper and pigments. The children painted the border fence to produce works of art with the presence of parents and grandparents. The parents and Grandparent comment on how they enjoyed watching the children just have fun, despite what the border has brought to our children and families in our community. The Border Patrol arrived and got out of his vehicle, he was unusually friendly as he talked with the only non-O'odham in the group. He asked the question: "Were you guys out here all day."
We know as community members know they (the border patrol) absolutely do not man the border but monitor our community and drive around at high speeds in our community instead.
The border impacts our community by fear, humiliation and criminalization into the daily lives of our children and families by United States border policies, the border armed forces and Arizona racist laws.
This project hopes to extend the discussion of this impact on our children and families. We are seeking galleries to exhibit the art works. We are also seeking funding or a donation of professional framing of the art works. 
Peace, Ofelia
Contact information;   *   

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