August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Monday, June 4, 2012

China reports US human rights violations of Native Americans, migrants and Occupy Movement

China reports US human rights violations of Native Americans, migrants and Occupy Movement

By Brenda Norrell
Censored News
http://bsnorrell.blogspot.com/2012/06/china-reports-us-human-rights.html

In its report on human rights in the United States, China says the US is overly critical of human rights violations in nearly 200 countries of the world, while turning a “blind eye” and keeping silent about its own human rights violations.

The human rights crisis in the US includes the violation of Native American rights, brutalizing of the Occupy Movement and racial discrimination toward migrants. The US violations include discrimination toward women and ethnic Americans, and the high number of civilian deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“In the United States, the violation of citizens' civil and political rights is severe. It is lying to itself when the United States calls itself the land of the free,” China said describing the Occupy Movement.

The State Council Information Office of the People's Republic of China released the report on May 25, "The Human Rights Record of the United States in 2011."

China describes the high unemployment, lack of health care, child poverty, homelessness, Internet spying on citizens, and failure to protect freedom of the press in the US. The high rates of violence, hate crimes, solitary confinement in prisons, and the imprisonment of civil rights activists are documented.
US denies Native Americans rights
“Native Americans are denied their due rights,” China said, pointing out that American Indians were forced to speak English in schools during forced assimilation, and today Native languages are at risk of disappearing.

Human rights violations of Native Americans include religious freedom, unjust incarcerations and racial discrimination in employment.

China describes how UN Special Rapporteur James Anaya lodged two accusations against the United States, including the use of recycled wastewater for commercial ski operations on the San Francisco Peaks, pointing out that it is “a site considered sacred by several Native American tribes.”

The second was the case of Leonard Peltier. “Peltier was sentenced to life in prison in 1977 for alleged murder of two FBI agents. However Peltier has been claiming he is innocent and persecuted by the U.S. government for participating in the American Indian Movement.”

China points out that two UN Rapporteurs lodged complaints against the U.S, stating that the city of Vallejo, California, is planning to level and pave over the Sogorea Te, held sacred to indigenous people in northern California, in order to construct a parking lot and public restrooms.

Describing the racial discrimination and unemployment in the US, China pointed to South Dakota.

“In Ziebach County of South Dakota, a community mainly composed of native-Americans, more than 60 percent of the residents live at or below the poverty line, and unemployment rate hits 90 percent in the winter (The Daily Mail, February 15, 2011.)”

Occupy Movement: Bruised and Bloodied
China said the Occupy movement tested the political, economic and social systems in the US, and the occupiers were treated in a rude and violent way, with extensive arrests. China points out that 700 protesters were arrested on the Brooklyn Bridge alone. Citing arrests in other cities, and how occupiers were bloodied and brutalized by police, China included the shooting of Marine Scott Olsen at Occupy Oakland.

“At least 85 people were arrested when police used teargas and baton rounds to break up an Occupy Wall Street camp in Oakland, California on October 25. An Iraq war veteran had a fractured skull and brain swelling after being allegedly hit in the head by a police projectile.”

China said the reasons for the Occupy Movement included the unequal distribution of wealth and high unemployment in the US.

Further, China says the US has failed to protect press freedom. During the forcible evacuation of Zuccotti Park, pepper spray was used on reporters. About 200 journalists were arrested.

China also points out bias in the US media.

“On October 15, 2011, when the Occupy Wall Street movement evolved to be a global action, CNN and Fox News gave no live reports on it, in a sharp contrast to the square protest in Cairo, for which both CNN and Fox News broadcast live 24 hours.”

Racism toward migrants in the US
China also describes the racial discrimination in the US, inequality in hiring, bullying in schools, and the abuse of migrants.

Illegal immigrants suffer ferocious maltreatments. Internal reports from the Office of Detention Oversight of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) revealed grave problems in many U.S. detention facilities for immigrants, including lack of medical care, the use of excessive force and "abusive treatment" of detainees (The Houston Chronicle, October 10, 2011). A report released on September 21, 2011, by an Arizona-based non-profit organization revealed that thousands of illegal immigrants detained across the border between Mexico and Arizona are generally maltreated by U.S. border police, being denied enough food, water, medical care and sleep, even beaten up and confined in extreme coldness or heat, suffering both psychological abuse and threats of death (The World Journal, September 24, 2011).

US spying, poverty, imprisonment and wars
In its description of spying on Internet users, China points out the US develops false identities to control conversations on social networks and tracks people using key words on Twitter.

China describes the wealth of US Congressmen and the failure of Congress. The abuse of power by law enforcement in the US, the shooting of people with toy guns and lengthy wrongful imprisonments are also listed.

“Abuse of power, brutal enforcement of law and overuse of force by U.S. police has resulted in harassment and hurt to a large number of innocent citizens and have caused loss of freedom of some people or even deaths.”

China also points out the high rate of imprisonment and prison isolation in the US. The UN Rapporteur on Torture was twice denied visits in 2011 with people in isolation. There are 20,000 to 25,000 people in prison isolation in the US.

“The U.S. remains the country with the largest ‘prison population’ and the highest per capita level of imprisonment in the world, and the detention centers' conditions are terrible.”

As for unemployment in the US, China points out that unemployment in the US in 2011 was the highest in 60 years. In the past three years, the rate of people who did not have enough money to buy food jumped from nine to 19 percent. There are 2.3 to 3.5 million homeless in America.

However, the wealthiest 400 Americans have 1.5 trillion U.S. dollars worth of assets.

Ethnic Americans are badly discriminated against when it comes to employment. It was reported that the unemployment rate of Hispanics rose to 11 percent in 2010 from 5.7 percent in 2007 (The New York Times, September 28, 2011). The unemployment rate of African Americans was 16.2 percent. For black males, it is at 17.5 percent; and for black youth, it is nearly 41 percent, 4.5 times the national average unemployment rate (CBS News, June 19, 2011). Nationally, black joblessness stands at 21 percent, rising to as high as 40 percent in major urban centers like Detroit (The Wall Street Journal, August 31, 2011).
China begins its report by saying that the US could protect its citizens from soaring rates of violent crimes, but doesn’t. The US is the leader in the developed world for gun violence and gun deaths, with high rates of personal gun ownership.

China says the trampling of human rights globally is shown in the high numbers of civilian deaths and the body counts of its wars:

The U.S.-led wars, albeit alleged to be "humanitarian intervention" efforts and for "the rise of a new democratic nation," created humanitarian disasters instead. For Iraqis, the death toll in the U.S.-initiated Iraq war stands at 655,000 (Tribune Business News, December 15, 2011). According to figures released by the Iraq Body Count, at least 103,536 civilians were killed in the Iraq war (Reuters, December 18, 2011). In 2011, there were an average of 6.5 deaths per day from suicide attacks and vehicle bombs (www.iraqbodycount.org). It is estimated that civilian casualties in the military campaign in Afghanistan could exceed 31,000 (Tribune Business News, October 17, 2011).
China concludes its report with these words:

The above-mentioned facts are but a small yet illustrative enough fraction of the United States' dismal record on its human rights situation. The United States' own tarnished human rights record has made it in no condition, on moral, political or legal basis, to act as the world's "human rights justice," to place itself above other countries and release the Country Reports on Human Rights Practices year after year to accuse and blame other countries. We hereby advise the U.S. government once again to look squarely at its own grave human rights problems, to stop the unpopular practices of taking human rights as a political instrument for interference in other countries' internal affairs, smearing other nations' images and seeking its own strategic interests, and to cease using double standards on human rights and pursuing hegemony under the pretext of human rights.

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Special thanks to AIM West for providing Censored News with a copy of China's human rights report

To repost this article, contact:
brendanorrell@gmail.com

Protect Columbia River from Liquified Natural Gas

Photo Columbia River Keepers
Action Alert!
Oregon Liquified Natural Gas to Hold Open House About LNG Export Plans

By Daniel Serres
Posted at Censored News
http://bsnorrell.blogspot.com/2012/06/protect-columbia-river-from-liquified.html

Hello Everyone:
As we’ve anticipated for some time, Oregon Liquified Natural Gas is ramping up its promotion of a plan to export LNG through Oregon.  Oregon LNG refers to its project as “bi-directional," but we all know that Oregon LNG’s new proposal is a clear bait-and-switch.   In 2004, Oregon LNG argued that Oregon needed to import LNG from overseas.  Now, Oregon LNG intends to export huge volumes of natural gas to Asian markets through rural Oregon, Warrenton, and our Columbia River.
On Tuesday, June 12th, Oregon LNG plans to hold an Open House in Warrenton, Oregon to discuss its plans.  This Open House is not a FERC hearing.  FERC does not plan to attend.  Rather, Oregon LNG will likely use this Open House to promote its terminal and pipeline in one-on-one conversations with attendees.
We encourage people to attend, to wear your red “NO LNG” shirt, to ask tough questions about LNG exports, and to inform your neighbors and friends about the threat that Oregon LNG poses to Clatsop County.  Together, we can send a strong message that the people of Clatsop County, who successfully defeated Bradwood LNG, are ready and willing to fight Oregon LNG’s export proposal.
 What: Oregon LNG Open House
 When: Tuesday, June 12th, 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
 Where:  Gateway Masonic Lodge #175, 66 SW 4th Avenue, Warrenton, Oregon
 Who: Oregon LNG is holding this Open House. It is not a formal hearing or a FERC event. 
 Why: We should attend to be a visible presence of opposition.  Oregon LNG is trying to pull a quick bait-and-switch and flip its project from import to export.  While the Open House is being orchestrated by Oregon LNG, we can use the opportunity to talk to our friends, neighbors and attendees to get more people informed and engaged.
Looking Ahead:  For months, we’ve expected a new export proposal from Oregon LNG.  In response, we will need to ramp up our opposition efforts to ensure that the project does not proceed in its new form.  FERC will be holding formal public hearings in coming months: we will inform all of our members when actual federal hearings occur. 
Columbia Riverkeeper and Columbia-Pacific Common Sense will be holding our own informational meetings in late June, once we have more tangible information about Oregon LNG's new proposal.  Stay tuned for more information about our event.
Look for more information on www.columbiariverkeeper.org about upcoming hearings and events regarding Oregon LNG’s major export proposal.
Contact: Dan Serres, Columbia Riverkeeper,  Phone: (503) 890-2441  Email: dan@columbiariverkeeper.org
 (official announcement from Oregon LNG)
 COLUMBIA PRESS
 OREGON LNG
OPEN HOUSE ANNOUNCEMENT
 Oregon LNG and Oregon Pipeline Company invite you to attend a public information meeting regarding a proposal to construct a liquefied natural gas (LNG) bi-directional terminal in Warrenton, Oregon and a natural gas pipeline commencing at the outlet of the LNG terminal and extending to a connection with an interstate pipeline system near Woodland, Washington.
 The meeting will be held:
When:    June 12th, 2012, 6:30pm-8:30pm
Where:   Gateway Masonic Lodge #175
             66 SW 4th Avenue
             Warrenton, Oregon
Daniel Serres
Conservation Director
(503) 890-2441

Navajo Water: Calvin Johnson: Praise for Navajo Human Rights Commission

Protesting Navajo water meeting in Phoenix.
Photo Vincent Yazzie
Praise for Navajo Human Rights Commission for resolution verifying that Little Colorado River water settlement is violation of Dine' rights

By Calvin Johnson, Navajo
Censored News
http://bsnorrell.blogspot.com/2012/06/navajo-water-calvin-johnson-praise-for.html

I applaud the Navajo Nation Human Rights Commission’s recent stance on the Navajo-Hopi Little Colorado River Water Rights Settlement Act of 2012. On May 21, 2012 the NNHRC passed a resolution vehemently rejecting the NHLCRWRS.
The NNHRC clearly understands that the Dine voices are being ignored and the Navajo people overwhelmingly do not want Navajo-Hopi Little Colorado River Water Rights Settlement Act of 2012 enacted.

On May 30 and 31, 2012 the Navajo Nation had a work session titled “Litigation Update and Water Rights Settlement” at the Lewis and Roca law offices in downtown Phoenix. Our leaders are having meetings far away from the public as if the bill and the settlement agreement are not plain or stated enough. This shows that our leaders still do not know the simple definitions of waive, release, time immemorial, injury, quality, resolve, funding. Very disappointing.
Phoenix water meeting of Navajo Nation protested.
Photo Vincent Yazzie.

We as a nation should respect, honor and protect the four sacred elements of life, air, light/fire, water and earth/pollen in all their forms for they sustain life and we are doing just that by opposing Navajo-Hopi Little Colorado River Water Rights Settlement Act of 2012 in its entirely.

To all my indigenous brothers and sisters, keep up the good work of standing up for our precious sacred water. Continue to encourage our elected officials to rejected any land and water grabbing legislations such as NHLCRWRS.

Navajo Human Rights Commission: Water rights settlement violates Dine' human rights
The Navajo Nation Human Rights Commission Resolution states that the water rights settlement for the Little Colorado River violates Dine' human rights:
Calvin Johnson
PO Box 5527
Leupp, AZ 86035