August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Protest Rapid City Journal censorship of Native American issues

Protest Rapid City Journal censorship of Native American issues and fees to publish commentaries

Oct 14, 2012: Update KOAT TV Protest of Rapid City Journal editorial policies

By Occupy Rapid City and
South Dakota Peace and Justice, Rapid City Chapter
Posted at Censored News

A protest of Rapid City Journal’s policy decisions is being organized for Saturday, October 13, 2012. The protest issues include the Rapid City Journal's:

□ rejection of articles and letters to the editor relating to historical and ongoing Native America issues (see background below)

□ decision to charge a fee to publish political letters to the editor resulting in suppression of political speech through this, ultimately, discriminatory practice (

The protest will meet at the Seattle’s Best meeting room at the Alex Johnson at 11 AM and then march to the Rapid City Journal Building for a one-hour demonstration.


Jim Kent, a thoughtful and frequent columnist for the Journal recently had an important column rejected which addressed the topic of Indian boarding schools. This is a subject that the community is very interested in addressing as demonstrated by the recent, sold-out showing of a documentary on that topic by the Heartland Film Series.

Jim Kent Sept. 28, 2012 message to column readers:

Though many of you have offered comments on the variety of topics I tend to address, one area that I regularly cover is issues dealing with Indian Country. And though we might not all agree on that particular area of discussion – as on other topics, my primary purpose for writing a column is to open the floor for offering different views on any issue.

That said, the Rapid City Journal refused to publish my weekly column on 9/27/12 re: Native American boarding schools – which came about as a result of a discussion I had recently on the award-winning film "The Thick Dark Fog" (shown in Rapid City on 9/24).

In correspondence advising me of its refusal to publish the commentary, the RCJ editorial board noted that the boarding school issue –though painful – took place decades ago, questioned references to genocidal federal practices prior to the 19th century as well as their use at boarding schools, questioned references to Gen. Philip Sheridan, and stated that publishing the column “would further divide Native Americans and whites without justification.”

The editorial board – via editorial page editor Randy Rasmussen - also wondered why I didn’t write about the film if the column was supposed to be about the film; which is odd since the film is about....the boarding school issue. As I noted to the board, the column was about the very topic that the film explored. A topic, apparently, that the Rapid City Journal editorial board feels shouldn’t be explored.

Excerpt from Madville Times posting October 1, 2012:

The Rapid City Journal cans one columnist for publicly criticizing the paper's decision to lock its content behind a paywall. Now it stifles discussion of a crucial part of white-Native history. That suppression of unpleasant views doesn't seem the best way to celebrate the impending National Newspaper Week.

Next up: we'll see if the Rapid City Journal and the rest of South Dakota's white media find it too "divisive" to discuss this alleged instance of anti-Native hate speech at South Dakota State University.

Jim Kent October 9, 2012 comment on the central issues of concern relative to Rapid City Journal policies:

. . . the refusal to publish this column, dismissing an ongoing cultural issue for Native Americans and, ultimately, controlling what’s “permitted” to be discussed within a community.

Excerpt from Lee Enterprises Incorporated Principles for Quality Journalism:

Focus on understanding and serving the needs and wants of the people in its community, including those who are most vulnerable, such as the poor, minorities or elderly.

Identify and aggressively cover the most important issues to the local community.

Play a leadership role and be a force for change in the community through coverage, editorials and civic involvement.

Show courage and independence in faithfully reporting both good and bad news.

Inform, educate, explore solutions and give readers information on how they can take action or get involved when appropriate.

Encourage and involve the community in journalistic efforts, including promoting public contact with staff members, editors and the publisher.

Provide a regular opinion page with local editorials, plus local and national content reflecting a wide variety of views.


First Nation Terrance Nelson: War with Iran

Terrance Nelson
Terrance Nelson, former chief of Roseau River Ojibwe, leaves for Iran tomorrow and warns of war as political strategy in US presidential election
War With Iran
By Terrance Nelson
Censored News
Dear Prime Minister Harper
October 10th 2012
The bombing of Iran will take place before the United States Presidential election in November. When President Clinton was in trouble, he bombed Iraq and as a "war President" he got out of trouble. President Obama is in trouble. He is behind in the polls and he needs to be seen as standing strong for United States and Israel. I have little doubt that means bombing Iran.
Dennis Pashe and myself will be going into Tehran tomorrow for a week. This war will cost more than Iranian lives. It is economic suicide for the United States and Canada. Pashe and I know our lives are at risk. In order for the indigenous people of Canada to break the Indian Act sanctions imposed upon on our communities, we must reach out to the world. If our Chief won't then our youth must travel the world and seek solutions outside the sphere of influence of the immigrants. The immigrants came to our lands and now impose an artificial poverty upon us.
As I stated many times, Steven Harper is not the problem, we are. As long as we live in fear, we will not break out of the prison we live in. The Chiefs will not contain the anger of the people for long. Your government cannot maintain the 60 to 90% unemployment in First Nations forever without serious consequences to the Canadian and American economy. It is foolish for your government to continue to impose the 1876 Canadian Indian Act upon the indigenous people.
Terrance Nelson
US and Israel prepare to strike Iran
Published: 09 October, 2012, 21:05
Now following a report RT published last week concerning classified footage of Iranian facilities believed to be handed over to American intelligence from a defected member of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad entourage, the US may finally be ready to give in to Israeli pressure and strike Iran.
Military, Nuclear, Iran, USA, Israel, War, Planes
Israel vs Iran Iran tension
The United States and Israel are already involved in discussions over how they could soon conduct a joint surgical strike on Iranian nuclear facilities, a source close to the talks tells Foreign Policy magazine.
After months of urging from Israeli authorities for the US to intervene in a rumored Iranian plan to procure a nuke, a source speaking on condition of anonymity tells Foreign Policy’s David Rothkopf that the two allies have come close to signing off on an attack against Iran.
Although no plan of action has been set in stone yet, the source says the attack will likely be from the sky and consist of drone strikes and bomber jets for only “a couple of hours” at best but would not require more than “a day or two” of action.
But while the US has not officially signed onto the strike, the source reports, American involvement would be absolutely necessary in order to effectively take out the structures where Iranian scientists are assumed to be attempting to procure a nuclear warhead.
“To get to buried Iranian facilities, such as the enrichment plant at Fordow, would require bunker-busting munitions on a scale that no Israeli plane is capable of delivering,” Rothkopf writes in the article, published Monday, October 8. “The mission, therefore, must involve the United States, whether acting alone or in concert with the Israelis and others.”
Israel has long attested that Iranian officials are enriching nuclear materials to be used with volatile warheads, despite longstanding claims from Iran that any program they are operating exists for peaceful purposes only. Hostilities between Israel and their neighboring foe have only worsened as of late, prompting Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to insist that America draw “red lines before Iran,” and demand that the US offer them an ultimatum before time runs out. Last month US President Barack Obama dismissed Israel’s warnings against an escalating nuclear threat, though, saying he understand their concerns over what damage Iran could do with a nuclear weapon, but that he would continue to “block out any noise” from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as he insists on American intervention.
Speaking before the United Nations General Assembly only days later, though, President Obama appeared to be more willing to act if Iran is proven to be procuring a weapon of mass destruction, vowing, “the United States will do what we must to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon,” and said that any attempts by Iran to procure a nuclear warhead would “threaten the elimination of Israel, the security of Gulf nations, and the stability of the global economy” and is “not a challenge that can be contained.”
Now following a report RT published last week concerning classified footage of Iranian facilities believed to be handed over to American intelligence from a defected member of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad entourage, the US may finally be ready to give in to Israeli pressure and strike Iran.
If the rumored plan of attack is put into action, the source says, the strike is expected to set back the nation’s nuclear program “many years,” and doing so without civilian casualties. The end result, however, could be one immensely beneficial to America, specifically its holdings in the Middle East where the country has long expressed a vested interested.
Should US provide power to strike Iran, the source says, the attack would have a long-term effect in the region, but particularly on America’s investments there. The strike, says the source, would be “transformative,” – "saving Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, reanimating the peace process, securing the (Persian) Gulf, sending an unequivocal message to Russia and China, and assuring American ascendancy in the region for a decade to come."
Should Israel strike Iran without the direct aid of the US, however, America would not necessarily be in the clear. Although President Obama has advocated for a peaceful resolution to Israeli/Iranian disputes, Iran’s officials have suggested that they have no problem with striking the US if their allies make the first move.
Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard told reporters last month that his country “will definitely be at war with American bases should a war break out,” explaining that "There will be no neutral country in the region," and, "To us, these bases are equal to US soil."

Ahmadinejad cameraman hands nuclear tapes to CIA, Israel's Debka reports

Published: 05 October, 2012, 19:02
Nuclear, UN, Iran, USA
Iran tension
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, President of Iran, speaks during the 67th session of the United Nations General Assembly September 26, 2012 at UN headquarters in New York. (AFP Photo/Stan Honda)
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, President of Iran, speaks during the 67th session of the United Nations General Assembly September 26, 2012 at UN headquarters in New York. (AFP Photo/Stan Honda)
The Iranian cameraman assigned to document President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s recent trip to the UN has defected, and new reports claim that with his exit he has handed the US a trove of never-before-seen footage of his homeland’s nuclear facilities.
Hassan Golkhanban, a journalist for the Iranian News Network, was among the 140-people that accompanied President Ahmadinejad to the United Nations headquarters in New York last week. Unlike the rest of the Iran head’s entourage, however, the videographer vanished before returning home and has since asked the US State Department to grant him political asylum.
Now Israel’s Debka news agency reports that with his application for asylum, Golkhanban has made good with America’s request for information on a rumored nuclear warhead program being ramped up overseas.
According to Debka, the trusted member of President Ahmadinejad’s crew took with him to the States two suitcases full of “the most complete and updated footage” that US intelligence has ever been offered of Iran’s top secret military facilities and other related structures, something the site claims to include “exclusive interior shots of the Natanz nuclear complex, the Fordo underground enrichment plant, the Parchin military complex and the small Amir-Abad research reactor in Tehran.”
On their part, Iran has not yet commented on either Golkhanban’s defection or the rumored footage reported to have since been delivered to American authorities, but his lawyer confirms that the cameraman has indeed cut ties with Ahmadinejad.
“He was being threatened because of what he thought would happen when he went back,” New York-based attorney Paul O’Dwyer tells Jewish News One in a sit-down interview this week.
“There were demands made on him by the presidential detail while he was here,” O’Dwyer says, “to do things that he did not want to do, and he was obviously very, very concerned about what the repercussions to him would be when he went back to Iran for disobeying those orders.”
Commenting on his client to CNN, O’Dwyer adds of Golkhanban, “He’s perceived as not being a supporter, or being an opponent of the Iranian regime… somebody who has betrayed the regime and who can no longer be trusted by them.”
The United States has been eager to get to the bottom of Iran’s nuclear program, a project that Ahmadinejad attests is for peaceful purposes. If Debka’s report checks out, however, US intelligence may finally be able to hold Iran accountable for proved attempts towards procuring a nuke.
According to the source, “Some of the film depicts Revolutionary Guards and military industry chiefs explaining in detail to the president or supreme leader the working of secret equipment on view.”
During his own recent address before the UN General Assembly, US President Barack Obama called a nuclear-armed Iran “not a challenge that can be contained” that has the potential to “threaten the elimination of Israel, the security of Gulf nations, and the stability of the global economy.”
“That is why a coalition of countries is holding the Iranian government accountable. And that is why the United States will do what we must to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon,” President Obama told his audience.

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