August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Peaks treesit continues after lockdown and two arrests

Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Snowbowl Employees Threaten Tree-sitter's Life, Two Supporters Arrested as Tree-Sit Continues
Contact: Ariana Sauer (602) 388-3726
Xander Vautrin@ (847) 334-7212
protectpeaks@gmail.com
www.protectthepeaks.org

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. -- Tree-sitter James Kennedy watched from 80 feet above as 2 supporters, who had locked themselves to Snowbowl pipeline equipment to protect James' "lifeline", were arrested. At 7:00 am, Snowbowl workers began recklessly moving the line that tethers Snowbowl equipment to the tree-sit platform.

"Two supporters, Eric and Alex, have locked down on heavy construction equipment, where my lifeline is anchored," stated James Kennedy,a student at NAU. "They did this after police and Snowbowl employees alongside Police Chief Treadway said they would attempt a dangerous relocation of my lifeline. I am NOT harnessed into the platform or tree. any movement will send me falling nearly 80ft."

At 1:00PM both supporters were arrested by Flagstaff Police. The two community members who were arrested face trespassing charges. Donations can be made for jail support at: www.protectthepeaks.org.

At 4:00PM James started rain-proofing the tree-sit platform in preparation for his second night in the path of Snowbowl's wastewater pipeline. "Thank you to Eric and Alex who placed readily available bicycle u-locks around their necks and connected them to Snowbowl's pipeline trench machine. They acted quickly to prevent reckless Snowbowl workers and law enforcement officials from further threatening James' life." stated, Liza Minno Bloom, a supporter on the ground at the tree-sit, "So many people have come out today offering support and have called the Flagstaff City Council urging them to ensure noone's safety is compromised, they cannot ignore our concerns."

A rally and march was held tonight starting at Flagstaff City Hall at 5:00 PM. Community members walked through Thorpe Park to the nearby tree-sit site to rally, drum, sing, and express support for the tree-sitter defending public health and the Peaks.

The tree-sit was initiated yesterday to block construction of pipeline that would transport 180 million gallons of sewage effluent from the City of Flagstaff to Arizona Snowbowl for snowmaking on the San Francisco Peaks. Arizona Snowbowl would be the only ski area in the world to use 100% wastewater for snowmaking. The treated sewage effleunt has been proven to contain pharmaceuticals and hormones and more recently to contain Antibacterial Resistant Genes.

The San Francisco Peaks are considered an ecological island and held holy by more than 13 Indigenous Nations.

We invite those of you who believe in the safety and health of our children, the sanctity of our environment, and the protection of public water to demand that:

- The City of Flagstaff rescind the wastewater contract with Snowbowl!
- An immediate moratorium on the City of Flagstaff’s use of treated sewage effluent in public spaces where any person may come in contact with reclaimed wastewater, until new research and technology is available to mitigate long-term environmental & community health risks.
-The use of public water in this desert climate of Flagstaff with only a projected 25-38 years of water left for people’s consumption, should be cleaned and used for people to drink, not for a private corporation to make a profit.
-President Obama fulfill campaign promises to protect human rights and sacred sites.

City of Flagstaff Mayor & Council:
PHONE: (928) 779-7600
EMAIL: council@flagstaffaz.gov

Directions: http://protectthepeaks.org/directions-to-tree-sit/

More info: http://protectthepeaks.org/tree-sit-halts-snowbowl-pipeline-construction-rally-march-from-city-hall-to-be-held-tuesday-aug-21/

Photos Peaks supporters lock down to protect treesitter






Photos by Dawn Dyer/Protect the Peaks. Thank you from Censored News!
Two protesters locked down to protect the Protect the Peaks treesitter James Kennedy Tuesday, and were arrested. They appeared in court on Wednesday morning. The treesitter remains in a Ponderosa Pine, to halt the Arizona Snowbowl pipeline construction that would take sewage water to sacred San Francisco Peaks for snow for tourists.
Read articles at Censored News: www.bsnorrell.blogspot.com
 

Listen: American Indian Airwaves 'Auctioning Pe'Sla: An Urgent Crisis'


Tuesday, 08/21/12, on American Indian Airwaves

"Auctioning Pe' Sla: An Urgent Crises"
Listen online tonight

Chase Iron Eyes,
attorney, writer, and founding writer at LastRealIndians.com, speaks with on the auctioning of Pe' Sla and the critical urgency to raise enough money to buy back this sacred site.
Pe’ Sla, The Heart Of All That Is: Help Save the Lakota Heart Land

Right now, The Great Sioux Nation is battling against the clock to save Pe’ Sla, one of its most sacred religious sites.  Pe’ Sla, located in the center of the Black Hills of South Dakota, U.S.A, is considered to be the heart of everything that is by the Lakota, Dakota and Nakota people. Besides being part of their creation story, Pe’ Sla plays a crucial role in the star knowledge of the Sioux. Ceremonies essential to their culture and beliefs, that Tribal elders and spiritual leaders explain help keep the Universe in harmony, must be conducted at Pe’ Sla.

Pe’ Sla is currently owned by the Reynolds family.  On August 25, 2012, approximately 1,942.66 acres, sold in 5 tracts of land, will be auctioned off to the highest bidder.  Once sold, it is highly likely that Pe’ Sla will be opened up for development, with the State of South Dakota building a road directly through it.

Although we believe our sacred places were taken illegally by the United States government, Lastrealindians, Inc., is collaborating with the Rosebud Sioux Tribe and the Great Sioux Nation (the Oceti Sakowin) to centralize fundraising to save one of our most precious sacred sites, Pe ‘Sla.  In an unprecedented, collective effort, the united Great Sioux Nation (the Oceti Sakowin), is attempting to buy as much of Pe’ Sla as possible, to save it from destruction and ensure that future generations of Lakota, Dakota, Nakota, and other Tribal Nations that consider the Black Hills holy, will continue to have access to this vital sacred site to practice their faith on its ceremonial grounds in its natural, pristine state.

Help save Pe’ Sla, the Heart of the Sioux Nation.  Click on this link to make a contribution.  Any amount given, no matter how small, is appreciated: http://www.indiegogo.com/PeSla-LakotaHeartland?a=1006191

The Rosebud Sioux Tribe is working with LastRealIndians.com to accept donations from both Tribes and individuals who want to join in keeping religious freedoms for Lakota, Dakota and Nakota people alive and intact at Pe’ Sla.  Send contributions to: Rosebud Sioux Tribe/Pe Sla, 11 Legion Ave., P.O. Box 430, Rosebud, SD 57570 or online with LRI at: www.indiegogo.com/PeSla-LakotaHeartland.  All donations to the tribe are tax-deductible and will only be used toward the purchase of Pe’ Sla.

Contact Info:

Lastrealindians, Inc.

4265 45th Street S Ste 111-39

Fargo, North Dakota 58104

Phone: (605) 268-0434



To donate visit LastRealIndians.com, http://www.indiegogo.com/PeSla-LakotaHeartland,  or send a check or money order made out to Rosebud Sioux Tribe at:

Rosebud Sioux Tribe/PeSla
11 Legion Ave.
P.O. Box 430
Rosebud, South Dakota 57570

American Indian Airwaves/Coyote Radio regularly broadcast every Tuesday from 8pm to 9pm (PCT) on KPFK FM 90.7 in Los Angles, FM 98.7 in Santa Barbara, FM 99.5 China Lake, FM 93.7 North San Diego, WCRS FM 98.3/102.1 in Columbus, OH as well as by Internet at http://www.kpfk.org

SPECIAL NOTICE: weekly shows can now be heard on the KPFK web site (http://www.kpfk.org) under "audio archives" located on the top of the KPFK webpage.

Tantoo Cardinal: Respect Pe Sla as a Sacred Place

Tantoo Cardinal opposing tarsands and Keystone devastation
to Cree homeland
Respect Pe Sla as a Sacred Place

By Tantoo Cardinal
Censored News
http://www.bsnorrell.blogspot.com

Respect Pe Sla as a Sacred Place

Lakota who have been utilizing Black Hills for prayer, know Mother Earth.
They have an intimate relationship with Her.
They can hear Her.  They can listen to Her.  They know how to respond to Her directives.
This has not changed through genocide, colonization, and resulting poverty.
Through the wisdom of experiencing soul sickness, and the process of crawling out of that
condition into strong spirit, the Lakota know how to relate to this Land that has been a part of their Life for Time Immemorial.
Mother Earth seeks Balance, always.
Our Planet needs us to lend our soul "ears".
I support the Lakota in their work to get Pe Sla off the auction block, I hope you will do.
Tantoo Cardinal
Photo by Shadia Fayne Wood. Tantoo Cardinal, Margot Kidder and Montana Women For
 march in to be arrested at the White House in Aug. 2011 in opposition to tarsands and Keystone pipleline.

Lakota Debra White Plume: Protect Our Good Red Road


Protect Our Good Red Road

by Debra White Plume, writing from the banks of Wounded Knee Creek

Censored News

Debra White Plume/Photo Brenda Norrell
Debra giving Lewis and Clark expedition
'smallpox blanket' in South Dakota

“As long as the water flows and the sweet grass grows” are words Red Nations people take seriously, like in Treaty Making. We have learned the so-called United States is a trickster. They are settler invaders who occupy our lands across Turtle Island. As Lakota people, we know who we are and where we come from. We went deep under ground for generations, and emerged through Wind Cave in the sacred Black Hills, a place that is located in the middle of this land, to live on Mother Earth again.

We call the Black Hills He Sapa. In our Lakota language, we call He Sapa “The Heart of Everything That Is”, it is sacred land. To make a long story short, our Lakota Nation fought the US military for decades for our freedom and territory, we made Treaty with them in 1851 and 1868 after they begged for Peace. We retained a land base including the He Sapa. After the US made bounty on the Buffalo Nation and almost wiped them out as part of the Scorched Earth Policy to get us off the land (in violation of the Treaties), we came in to be counted. We were each given an Indian Number, and assigned to Prisoner of War Camps. Pine Ridge Reservation was POW Camp 344. We, the Oglala Band of the Lakota Nation, live the closest of the Tetuwan Oyate to the He Sapa, the other Lakota and Dakota Bands located nearby.

When our ancestors came in off the land they had a star map and a land map they had preserved through decades of warfare with the US. The Star Map shows constellations, the Earth Map shows land where our people are to be when the stars are in a certain position, and what ceremony we are to have in that place at that time.  As traditional Lakota people, we are schooled in this way from the womb, so by adulthood, we know this deep in our spirits, hearts, and minds. We teach it on to the next generation, and to those who grew up assimilated and colonized but want to reclaim their Lakota identity. We are to hold our ceremonies at a certain place on Mother Earth when the stars travel to their special place in the sky during the seasons, when done this way by the Lakota people, we call this the Good Red Road. This is what Lakota people are talking about when we say we are walking the Good Red Road, we are traveling through He Sapa in ceremony just as the Stars are traveling through the sky.  We also say “He Sapa is the Heart of Our Home, He Sapa is the Home of our Heart”, so our ancestors fought for it, and so do we. Love is a very powerful force!

One part of the Good Red Road is a prairie area called Pe Sla, in Treaty Territory that the US stole when gold was discovered. Unilaterally approving laws in violation of the Treaty, the US made land available to settlers through gradual encroachment. The Reynolds family began obtaining parcels of land on Pe Sla 136 years ago. Local legend has it they tried to mine for gold there, but found none, no one did, so they bought out the other settlers, one by one. Now the descendants of the early settlers want to sell the land through auction on August 26 in Rapid City. Every bone in my body tells me this is wrong. Not just illegal, but wrong. It tears at my heart to think part of our Good Red Road is being auctioned. Pe Sla is a place that fills your heart with love and joy, and when you go there, you just want to cry, and the healing tears fall, the power there is so strong. It is a place where generations of Lakota have sent their voices to the Universe. We want our generations to be able to go there, too. All of our Lakota way, belongs to our children’s children, and so on. We are keeping care of the Lakota way, for them, to carry on. So we are in a dilemma. 

Certain circumstances can prevail upon a person to behave in a manner that is fundamentally contrary to one’s belief system, instincts, and historical frame of reference. To even sporadically arrive at this conclusion is shocking! Talk about a paradigm shift!

Such is the situation when faced with a very real possibility that sacred ancestral land, that in living memory has not been available to the people, is suddenly obtainable!  Imagine that YOU must get permission from those who withhold it, when you want to pray in ceremony, how would that make you feel? Deprived of your ancestral identity, who will you be? Our Lakota ceremonies are who we are. Without our ceremonies, we cease to be Lakota. We must have access to our sacred places that collectively make up the Good Red Road, for us, here on earth.

While paying money for Pe Sla in the paradigm of western thought is repugnant, knowing what may happen if it developers buy it is more horrendous. The lesser of two evils is to purchase that land to get it off the auction block. The worst scenario is to do nothing, and risk the land passing into hands of a big Fat Taker who will wring every red cent out of it that he can, carelessly destroying the land. While the land purchase is not a happy option, it is seen by some as realistic, the temptation is there to go for it. Buy the land, get it back, even if it is already ours. Take care of it like a good relative! 

One does not easily get comfortable with the decision. Inner conflict rises, you know that feeling of uneasiness, like a distracted thought, just out of reach? Doubts rise, begin to spread, just as that first glimmer of chance that “yes, we can get that land back!” brought elation. If we could see what it looks like, the going back and forth between the conflicting paradigms, intellectually and emotionally, I imagine the image would look like waves in the ocean, rising, falling, going this way and that way, as we change our minds, is it right or wrong to buy this land? Many people suffer this.

 Meanwhile, a group of people has committed to the land purchase option and they are taking action. They are the steady rock of firm belief that this is the route to take, they are leading the way for people to accept the purchase option and have spurred a collective action to raise funds and awareness. This group is called the Last Real Indians, an organization of professional, educated, dedicated Red Nations people. While most Tetuwan Oyate have identity based on ancestral freedom and way of life, it is also possible, and often necessary, to be able to successfully navigate life in the western world's processes on an ‘as needed basis’, without relinquishing ones' ancient ways.

Such rationale supports the immediate option that requires about $10 million, maybe more, and it is a peaceful option. Will it hurt our stance that the land is our Territory by Treaty? Legal minds say no, because it is not Traditional Government doing this work, raising funds, or bidding at the auction; it is Tribal Councils, individuals, organizations that operate in the framework of the US.

A discussion in Indian Country reflects the belief that it is ludicrous that land purchase is the ONLY immediate option, when most Red Nations people believe that it is ALSO an option for the US government to honor the Ft Laramie Treaties, and relinquish its’ illegal and immoral “title” to the land.  After all, the Treaties are legally binding international documents. The US does not make treaties with ethnic minorities now, does it? It makes treaties with other Nations and its Constitution states that treaties are the supreme law of the land. The US Supreme Court in 1980 ruled that the illegal taking of the He Sapa was the “ripest, rankest case of land theft in its history” then awarded millions of dollars to compensate the Lakota Nation, who refuse the money. Other Governments all over the earth are returning stolen lands and territories to indigenous people. What is preventing the US from taking such action?

The United Nations Special Rappateour, Mr James Anaya, acknowledges how the return of the Black Hills to the Great Sioux Nation would be a way for the US to begin reconciliation with the Lakota Nation, stating: that's a situation where indigenous people have seen over time, encroachment on to their land, and they've lost vast territories. there have been clear instances of broken treaty promises. It's undisputed that the Black Hills was guaranteed them by treaty and that treaty was outright violated by the United States, That has been recognised by the US supreme court," he said. he reserves recommendations on a plan for land restoration until his final report to the UN human rights council in September.  “I'm talking about restoring to indigenous peoples what they're entitled to and have a legitimate claim to in a way that is not devisive but restorative. That's the idea behind reconciliation," he said.

As folks everywhere prepare to go to the auction, it is important to know where they are going.  While the richest gold mine in the history of the world was in the He Sapa, it has closed, mined out. Alot of the settlers who came here back in the day were gold miners, people who were FAT TAKERS, our term for selfish greedy people. They saw us, along with the 7th Calvary who grew tired of fighting us, (we are known incorrectly as the Great Sioux Nation) as folks who should be rubbed out. Indeed, many US leaders said so! Dig deep into history to find those old quotes. Mt Rushmore is carved into a mountain in our sacred He Sapa, four faces of American Presidents, a major attraction in a state dependent on tourist dollars. Crazy Horse, carved into granite, is a desecration that attracts major tourist revenue, and is commonly viewed as a twisted Fat Taker gesture to “honor” a great War Chief who gave his life to protect the Lakota people, lifeway, land. Tourist attractions are protected by SD law, while Lakota are prohibited from sacred lands so tourists can free roam to spend dollars. James Anaya of the UN knows what he’s talking about!

Rapid City (RC) is the site of the auction to sell 2,000 acres of Pe Sla. RC was the site of a US Civil Rights Hearing years ago to examine many violent crimes against the Lakota by whites; RC is known for the dozen deaths of Lakota men who “drown” in Rapid Creek, while it is rare for Lakota men to drown in their homelands, for some reason, they drown in RC; RC is known for shoot-outs between the RC Police and Lakota men, sometimes the police die, sometimes the Lakota die. Sometimes both die. Who said the ‘wild west’ was over?

There was recently a march there of Lakota people demanding justice for a blind elder who came out of heart surgery with KKK burned or cut into his torso; indeed, a town nearby still displays photographs of their last KKK Rally in full regalia, held in my childhood. SD social services is under investigation for high rates of Lakota children taken from their families and placed in non-Lakota homes that all get a pretty penny from the state, while Lakota relatives are ignored, overlooked, and never receive one red cent, anyway. RC is where a big trial was held for a white attorney who was guilty of taking pornographic photographs of his foster Lakota daughters. SD was the second place in the US to pass the “show me your papers” law targeted at immigrants from “Mexico”.

So in RC, where Human Rights and Civil Rights hearings have to be held, we can think that there will be nicey-nice doings at the Pe Sla auction, yes we actually have many friends and allies among the white people in SD! Yet, SD history shows wherever there might be more than 3 Lakota people, there is intensified police presence, like state troopers, US Marshalls, FBI, and Homeland Security. Like at the US State Dept Hearing in Pierre, SD recently regarding TransCanada’s proposed oil pipeline. They expected many Lakota to testify on behalf of sacred water and earth, therefore, against the Keystone XL Pipeline, so police presence was intense!

A comment in an area newspaper this week says: "The US stole all that land fair and square. They stole pretty much the whole of this nation. It is one's right as a European to steal anything under the notion of manifest destiny. Make those Indians pay something to get back what was stolen from them. After all giving back stolen goods is not in the best interests of the thieves.”

            While the purchase option is controversial, it is an immediate solution to a BIG problem: access to sacred places that are part of our identity. It is achievable, to make the fast purchase now, and to keep working to get the Ft Laramie Treaties upheld, a struggle that has been going on since 1868 and that we have not abandoned.

Lakota elder Leonard Little Finger when asked by a reporter about the possibility of being outbid at the auction said, “if someone else buys Pe Sla and won’t let the Lakota go there to pray, we’ll still go and if they shoot us or disallow us, there’ll be others that come.”  We have the inherent right to be who we are, so do our children’s children, no government should have the power and support of its people to deliberately take our people’s identity away, to break apart our Good Red Road.


Zapatistas support from Peru and UK

Photo Brenda Norrell
Marcos and Commandantes in Sonora, Mexico
“Worldwide Echo in Support of the Zapatistas:
Freedom and Justice for San Marcos Avilés and
Francisco Sántiz López"
The renowned fighter for social justice and director of the Peruvian publication Lucha Indígena (Indigenous Struggle), Hugo Blanco, issues this important and beautiful statement as part of the “Worldwide Echo in Support of the Zapatistas: Freedom and Justice for San Marcos Avilés and Sántiz López” Campaign. The central task of the first phase of this campaign is to educate and raise consciousness at the international level regarding the severe repression and violence being carried out against our Zapatista sisters and brothers. In this letter addressed to “A quienes buscan un mundo libre” – or “To those who search for a free world” – our compañero Hugo consummates this task by offering us the gift of memory, as he throws light on the historical, economic, and political context in which this nightmare unfolds. With impassioned words, he makes clear the true reasons and forces which seek to do away with, what he calls, this “zone liberated from neoliberalism, where the people govern themselves.”
With great pleasure, we share with you, compañer@s, Hugo's letter in its entirety:
To those who search for a free world
In 1994, at the full glorious height of the neoliberal system that oppresses us, a voice of rebellion arose, the Zapatista movement in Chiapas, Mexico.

Naturally Salinas, the then president, launched a bloody military offensive thinking to rapidly crush the rebellion. Not so, the indigenous fighters resisted. The people of Mexico were outraged at the bloodshed and demanded an end to the attack.

The U.S. government was alarmed, because with the number of Mexicans and Chicanos who had been and were being oppressed in their territory, there was a danger that the Zapatista armed uprising might spread to the seat of the empire. Therefore they ordered the Mexican government to stop the attack, an order which, of course, their subject obeyed. The rebels announced that they were obeying the people of Mexico, who were ordering the war to stop, and suspended the armed conflict.

The government offered talks, the Zapatistas accepted. With the democratic spirit they have, they would not wish to be the ones to speak on behalf of the indigenous Mexicans; they called on indigenous and indigenists from across the country to set out the indigenous demands. This task was completed, and their arguments were so convincing that the government commission had to accept many of them. Both parties signed what were called the "San Andrés Accords." As these had to be in the form of a law to be approved by parliament, a commission was appointed with the task of putting them into the appropriate format. The commission completed its work and submitted it to both parties; the Zapatistas accepted, but the government did not. Instead they filed another document, thus betraying the agreements they had signed. The members of the chamber [of deputies] gave in to this outrage and agreed to discuss and approve the government document. Therefore, the Executive, supported by parliament, betrayed the agreement.

The military government made a treacherous attack on the Zapatistas, trying to liquidate the leadership of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN). They failed. But, (whoever is the current president), they do not abandon their intention of making this island of freedom that exists in the world disappear.

Do not forget that the first international gathering of those oppressed by the neoliberal system which is crushing the world was called by the indigenous Zapatistas, and took place in the mud of Chiapas, years before the World Social Forum

Recently the attacks on Zapatista communities have been increasing, the chief and fiercest ones are those being suffered by the Zapatista autonomous community of San Marcos Avilés. The Good Government Junta ‘Towards Hope’ and the Good Government Junta ‘Heart of the Rainbow of Hope’ have also reported attacks.

These attacks and the continued detention of Francisco Sántiz López and Alberto Patishtán Gómez, are the spearhead of the attack to crush the zone liberated from neoliberalism, where the people govern themselves through the Good Government Juntas. This is seen as the great enemy by the transnational corporations (the 1% of humanity that crushes the 99%), as they are a living example of the fact that "Another World is Possible", "A World where Many Worlds Fit".

We hope that the insurgent rebel movement in Mexico, # yosoy132, understands that their essential task is to defend the island of freedom that is in their own country; if they crush the Zapatistas, # yosoy132 will be easily crushed.
Let us fight in the defense of San Marcos Avilés and against other attacks in the area. Let us fight for the freedom of Francisco Sántiz López and Alberto Patishtán Gómez.

It is in the direct interests of humanity to defend the island of freedom that is the Zapatista area.

Hugo Blanco

WORLDWIDE ECHO FOR FREEDOM AND JUSTICE FOR SAN MARCOS AVILÉS AND FRANCISCO SÁNTIZ LÓPEZ: DECLARATION IN SUPPORT OF THE ZAPATISTAS IN CHIAPAS, MEXICO

TheUK Zapatista Solidarity Network would like to propose that we all issue a joint statement from our various places in every corner of the world. We invite everyone to sign this worldwide declaration in support of the dignified struggle of the Zapatista support bases of San Marcos Avilés and the Zapatista political prisoner Francisco Sántiz López. This declaration is being circulated in association with the “Worldwide Echo in Support of the Zapatistas: Freedom and Justice for San Marcos Avilés and Sántiz López” Campaign, called by our compañer@s from the Other Campaign New York.
The plan is for the declaration to be presented, with all the collected signatures, during the second phase of the Campaign in September 2012.
We ask you to send your signatures of support, including the name of your group, organization or collective, and your town or country, to laotranuevayork@yahoo.com before 20th September, 2012. Following this date, we will ask that you join us in actively distributing the signed declaration as widely as possible, particularly to local, national and international media, and Mexican government offices, Embassies and Consulates, to demand an immediate end to the repression confronting our Zapatista compañer@s.
To watch a video message from San Marcos Avilés: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rY-8CBt3Vkg


WORLDWIDE ECHO FOR FREEDOM AND JUSTICE FOR SAN MARCOS AVILÉS AND FRANCISCO SÁNTIZ LÓPEZ: DECLARATION IN SUPPORT OF THE ZAPATISTAS

We view with profound concern, and demand an immediate end to, the continued acts of intimidation and aggression and the human rights abuses being committed against members of the Zapatista support base community in San Marcos Avilés, official municipality of Chilón, Chiapas, Mexico. We also call for the immediate liberation of the Zapatista political prisoner Francisco Sántiz López, who has been jailed since December 2011 in a flagrant abuse of justice.
Responding to the numerous denouncements and calls issued by the Zapatista Good Government Junta of Oventic and the community of San Marcos Avilés, we manifest in this declaration our solidarity with our brothers and sisters there, as well as with Francisco Sántiz López.
We are aware of the very serious new threats being made against the community of San Marcos Avilés by representatives of political parties in the area. Of particular concern are the open and blatant threats of displacement, physical violence, and the on-going climate of hostility promoted by these individuals. We consider such reprehensible aggression to be extremely serious in light of the events of September 2010, when vigilantes from the Green Ecological Party of Mexico (PVEM), the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) and Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD), led by Lorenzo Ruiz Gómez and Vicente Ruiz López, attacked Zapatista support bases, displacing 170 people and destroying their property and crops.
In relation to the case of Francisco Sántiz López, a Zapatista support base from the Banavil ejido of Tenejapa, who was originally detained in December 2011 under false charges of having orchestrated a conflict in Banavil, we affirm the evidence collected by the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Human Rights Centre and recounted by several witnesses, that he indeed was not present at the location where the events took place on 4th December 2011. His false imprisonment and the continued refusal of local authorities to examine this evidence are, in our view, further indication that the judicial system in Chiapas is wielded as tool of political repression against those who struggle for justice.
In respect to current events in San Marcos Avilés, we demand:
Ø An immediate end to all death threats, verbal and physical harassment, and threats against the property and well-being of the Zapatista Support Base members by elements of the political parties in the San Marcos Avilés ejido
Ø Protection for the life and safety of the Zapatista support base members of San Marcos Avilés
Ø Respect for the Zapatista Support Base community's inalienable right to autonomy as indigenous peoples, as enshrined in the internationally recognized ILO Convention No. 169 and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, both of which the government of Mexico has signed
In respect of the case of Zapatista support base Francisco Sántiz López, we demand his immediate and unconditional release, as well as a swift investigation and prosecution of the perpetrators of violence in Banavil, Tenejapa Municipality, Chiapas.
To our brothers and sisters suffering injustice and violence in Chiapas, we remind you that your struggle is not carried out in silence, nor is it invisible. Indeed, countless individuals, organizations, and communities from around the world remain vigilant regarding your situation and have joined an international campaign in solidarity with your struggle. For our part, from cities across the world we send you a warm embrace, to let you know that we know who you are and what you are fighting for, and to say that we will do whatever we can to support you. We will all continue to make an echo of your just demands, an echo that resonates with the collective heartbeat of the earth.

To watch a video message from the compas in San Marcos Avilés: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rY-8CBt3Vkg
For further information please go to: http://sanmarcosavilesen.wordpress.com
Please send your signatures of support, including the name of your group, organization or collective, and your town or country, to laotranuevayork@yahoo.com before 20th September, 2012.


Peaks Tree Sit Rally and March, Tues., Aug. 21, 2012



Photo by Dawn Dyer/Thank you from Censored News!
Tree-sit Halts Snowbowl Pipeline Construction
Rally and March from City Hall to be Held

Video Interview with James Kennedy: http://youtu.be/I2XMtLiX1pk

ALERT TUESDAY
Protesters locked to tree arrested, tree sitter remains
‎10:41am - TREE-SIT UPDATE: SUPPORT NEEDED. James' (tree-sitter) life in danger! They are trying to move his anchors which are his life lines.
‎10:00 AM - TREE-SIT UPDATE: Cops, detectives, fire department arrived.
8:30 am: Two people have locked down to protect tree sitter!
7:30 am: Machinery cutters arrived to cut out tree sitter.
Support needed!
WHAT: Rally and March from City Hall to Tree-sit to address environmental & public health threats
WHEN & WHERE: Meet at City Hall at 5:00 PM on Tuesday, August 21, 2012, and then walk to Thorpe Park to rally, drum, sing, and express support for the tree-sitter defending public health and the Peaks at 6:30 PM.
WHO: Concerned community members, tree-sitter James Kennedy and ground support crew.

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz -- On the morning of Monday August 20th, 2012 a tree-sit was established to protect our community and our children from the City of Flagstaff’s sanctioning and use of hazardous treated sewage, which contains antibiotic resistant genes, in our public spaces. The ropes securing the tree-sit stretch across the projected path of the City of Flagstaff’s and Arizona Snowbowl Ski Resort's treated sewage effluent pipeline, currently under construction on Mars Hill near Thorpe Park.

James Kennedy Peaks tree sitting
Photo Protect the Peaks

NAU student and Flagstaff community member James Kennedy climbed into a large ponderosa pine tree early in the morning securing himself to pipeline trench digging equipment with a "lifeline" that, if moved, would threaten his life.

"Today was nothing short of amazing, I think we have sent a clear message on the urgency of protecting our communities and environment," stated James. "I am not sure how a city that sells millions of gallons of water to corporate interests will respond, but with so much recent research indicating the dangers of contact with wastewater, i am optimistic. I will be here until I see tangible results to the listed demands, however long it takes until this rigging is unsafe to use." James said.


Photo by Dawn Dyer
According to the Arizona Daily Sun Lt. Lance Roberts, of Flagstaff Police Department stated, “We’re not going to go up there and get him at this time… We’re just going to let them do their thing and hopefully it won’t rain today.”

At approximately 3:00 PM five Fire Department officials arrived on the site. They carelessly ignored ground supporters who cautioned them not to touch a "lifeline" that connects the tree-sitter to a large machine used for digging pipeline trench.

Tree-sitter and ground crew need the continuous presence of supporters throughout the day and night to bare witness and ensure the safety of this peaceful act of resistance. People are welcome all day, please visit www.ProtectThePeaks.org for directions and for more ways to support.

We invite those of you who believe in the safety and health of our children, the sanctity of our environment, and the protection of public water to demand that:

- The City of Flagstaff rescind the wastewater contract with Snowbowl!
- An immediate moratorium on the City of Flagstaff's use of treated sewage effluent in public spaces where any person may come in contact with reclaimed wastewater, until new research and technology is available to mitigate long-term environmental & community health risks.
-The use of public water in this desert climate of Flagstaff with only a projected 25-38 years of water left for people’s consumption, should be cleaned and used for people to drink, not for a private corporation to make a profit.
-President Obama fulfill campaign promises to protect human rights and sacred sites.

City of Flagstaff Mayor and Council:
PHONE: (928) 779-7600
EMAIL: council@flagstaffaz.gov

Peaks Contact:
Contact: Ariana Sauer (602) 388-3726
Xander Vautrin@ (847) 334-7212
protectpeaks@gmail.com
www.protectthepeaks.org