August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Monday, October 15, 2012

GAP halts Manifest Destiny t-shirt sales after Native Americans protest genocide campaign
Thanks to Last Real Indians for permission to
post this photo at Censored News!
GAP halts sales of Manifest Destiny t-shirts, Native Americans want apology for genocide campaign

By Brenda Norrell
Censored News
French translation by Christine Prat

GAP halted sales of the Manifest Destiny t-shirt late Monday, after Native Americans protested the slogan as a symbol of genocide.
GAP responded to the protests on Facebook, "Thank you for your feedback regarding the 'Manifest Destiny' t-shirt. Based on customer feedback, we will no longer offer the t-shirt in our stores or online."
Removing the t-shirts, however, is not enough, says those responding to GAP on Monday.
Klee Benally, Navajo at Indigenous Action Media, in Flagstaff, Ariz., said, "'Manifest destiny' was the symbolic banner settler colonizers marched behind while waging genocidal wars against Indigenous Peoples. This shirt design is grossly offensive and should be immediately removed. I certainly don't think 'Arbeit macht frei' would have made it this far."
"Gap Inc, has been under serious scrutiny for exploitative labor practices within the past couple of decades, maybe they are just now making their intentions more clear?" Benally said.

Donna from Canada told GAP on Facebook, "I am not surprised that Gap would only remove such tasteless racist t-shirts on feedback only and not because their conscience gave them pause to think how unethical 'marketing' strategies would resound in backlash from Native Americans and people with conscience as well. Shame on Gap for using racist, colonialist acts to sell your ideology."
The online petition, from Corine Fairbanks of the American Indian Movement in Southern Calif., states, "This article of clothing promotes a belief that has resulted in the mass genocide of indigenous people, and it serves to normalize oppression. This shirt is marketed to teens and young adults, and it gives no context for the racism and inequality that persists in our society, to this day, as a result of this doctrine. We are asking that this shirt be discontinued, and that an apology be issued."
"The belief of 'manifest destiny' is a devastating one, and it has resulted in the genocide of millions. We are asking Gap to realize that by selling this shirt, it indicates that the company is either racist, and/or ignorant, and/or insensitive to the true meaning of the phrase. We are asking that this shirt be discontinued immediately, and that an apology be issued to the Native American and other indigenous people around the world who have been tragically affected by this doctrine."
Native American youths at Indigenous Action Media in Flagstaff, Arizona, provided this update from the designer of the t-shirt, who apparently apologized on Twitter.

mark mcnairy @mmcnairy
Also in the news today:
First Nation Terrance Nelson in Iran describes the human rights failures toward Indigenous Peoples and women by the US and Canadian governments. Press TV reports that the Canadian government is furious. Read Nelson's statements:
Fifty people blockaded TransCanada's Keystone XL tarsands pipeline construction in Winnsboro, Texas to protect the tree sitters. As the blockade enters its fourth week, two people locked down, with eight arrests today:
Sacred San Francisco Peaks near Flagstaff, Arizona: Sewage Snow could be poured in November on sacred Peaks where medicine men perform ceremonies and gather healing plants. French/English with photos of destruction of old growth forest, by Chris Prat of France.
Contact Brenda Norrell at

Winnemem Wintu protest citations of Chief Caleen Sisk Oct 16, 2012


Winnemem Wintu Tribe Describes USFS Charges as Retaliation

Date: Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Time: 8:00 AM
Location: East California Federal Courthouse
2689 Bechelli Lane, Redding, CA.

By Winnemem Wintu
Censored News

The Winnemem Wintu Tribe will hold a rally at the Federal Courthouse in Redding to call for justice and for the court to rescind the punitive citations served on Chief Caleen Sisk at the end of the traditional Balas Chonas (Coming of Age Ceremony) in July.
On receiving the citations (with penalties totaling $10,000 in fines or one year in prison), Chief Sisk stated, “These citations are against everything that we fought for in getting the closure, and it shows their unwillingness to allow us to carry on our ceremony in peace and dignity. This is total harassment.”
The rally takes place on the day that Chief Sisk is scheduled to appear in court, for a 9:00 a.m. hearing, to respond to the charges, to which she intends to plead “Not Guilty."  There will also be an educational pre-rally event at the Redding library Monday evening (details below).
California has an ugly history of genocide against indigenous people, which includes the criminalization of indigenous religion. The Winnemem Wintu believe the citations are a continuation of these policies, and the federal government and U.S. Forest Service has neglected its duty to protect indigenous cultures, as required by the American Indian Religious Freedom Act, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the First Amendment.
In July, after months of public pressure, the US Forest Service finally agreed to impose a river closure so the Winnemem Wintu could hold our Coming of Age ceremony in peace and dignity, free of public harassment. However, on the eve of the ceremony the agency pressured Chief Caleen Sisk to sign a flawed permit, and after verbally agreeing to the tribe’s use of a motorized boat, omitted the agreement from the final closure order.
During the ceremony and river closure we were threatened by members of the public on land and water, while U.S.F.S. law enforcement officers spent more time harassing tribal members and supporters than responding to the threats and unlawful behavior around the closure. In addition, they tried to stop us from using our own motor boat (as had been previously agreed to) to ferry elders, including disabled women, across the river for ceremonial purposes.
On July 4th, USFS law enforcement officers entered ceremony grounds and served Chief Sisk with two citations, each punishable by $5,000 or 6 months in prison – one for using a motorized boat to ferry elders across the river in the closure area; the other for violating the terms of the special use permit.
Chief Sisk Presentation and Video of US Forest Service Interference
Date: Monday, October 15, 2012
Time: 5:00 PM
Location: Shasta Public Library, 1100 Parkview Avenue, Redding, CA

Press contact:
Douglas Scholfield
Cell: 530-262-9872

Fifty Blockaders defend Texas tarsands treesitters

BREAKING: Over 50 Enter Tree Blockade in Defiance of Police Repression to Defend Tree-Sitters
By Tarsands Blockade
Monday, Oct. 15, 2012
Over 50 Defending Tree Sitters at Texas Tarsands Blockade

UPDATE 3:50 PM - Two blockaders who locked themselves to Keystone XL machinery have been arrested. A crowd of supporters stood by and cheered for as they were taken into police custody to the cheers. These two most recent arrests make 10 total for the day.
Demonstrate your support for our brave blockaders with a generous donation to their bail fund.
UPDATE 3:45PM- In case you missed it, Tar Sands Blockade was on Democracy Now! this morning. Our spokesperson Ron Seifert was joined by landowner Susan Scott and actress Daryl Hannah to discuss the blockade, TransCanada’s bullying and the SLAPP lawsuit against 21 people associated with stopping tar sands.

UPDATE 3:20PM- Solidarity rally in Denton, TX has begun!

UPDATE 1:55PM – At least eight people have been arrested after walking onto the Keystone XL clear cut in defiance of recent repression. Two blockaders are still locked to huge excavator in the path of toxic pipeline.

UPDATE 1:55PM – At least eight people have been arrested after walking onto the Keystone XL clear cut in defiance of recent repression. Two blockaders are still locked to huge excavator in the path of toxic pipeline.
UPDATE 12:50PM-We have now confirmed that a 70-year-old woman participating in the blockade was thrown to the ground and tackled by TransCanada’s hired thugs. Video will be coming soon.

UPDATE: 12:00PM- We just did a call-in with the solidarity rally in DC! “We are not deterred by the legal and police repression we are facing. We will continue and we hope you will help in this fight against the Keystone XL.”
UPDATE 11:35AM- Picture from the DC solidarity rally. Over a hundred people turned out over their lunch hour to stand with the Texas blockade and stop Keystone XL.

UPDATE 11:10AM- 6 blockaders have been arrested at the Tree Blockade.
UPDATE 11:00AM- Today’s first solidarity rally in Washington DC is beginning now outside the American Petroleum Institute!
UPDATE 10:00AM- 4 arrests so far. Freelance journalist/livestreamer Lorenzo Serna has been released. The rally at the easement near the highway is going strong with chanting, singing and lots of colorful banners. TransCanada is barking orders at the police. We should have video and pictures soon.
UPDATE 9:50AM- TransCanada supervisors in an ATV shouting orders to their paid police force.
UPDATE 9:45AM- Small group of ground blockaders break through police line and enter tree blockade!
UPDATE 9:20AM- Livestreamer @uneditedcamera (Lorenzo) has been detained and handcuffed, but they’re STILL STREAMING! Police are trying to flank groups of protestors.

UPDATE 9:50AM- TransCanada supervisors in an ATV shouting orders to their paid police force.
UPDATE 9:45AM- Small group of ground blockaders break through police line and enter tree blockade!
UPDATE 9:20AM- Livestreamer @uneditedcamera (Lorenzo) has been detained and handcuffed, but they’re STILL STREAMING! Police are trying to flank groups of protestors.
Watch the Stream Live NOW!

UPDATE 9:06AM- Three blockaders have been arrested. We outnumber TransCanada’s police 3 to 1. Two blockaders have locked down to excavator equipment protecting the tree-sit.
UPDATE 9:00AM - One Blockader arrested after sitting down in the middle of TransCanada’s easement.

WINNSBORO, TEXAS – MONDAY, OCTOBER 15, 2012 8:30AM – Following a weekend of nonviolent civil disobedience training in North Texas by Tar Sands Blockade, dozens of protesters and supporters are rallying today at the site of the largest and longest tree sit in Texas history to stage the largest walk-on site protest and civil disobedience in the history of Keystone XL pipeline construction. Several individuals are defending the tree sitters and the trees by locking themselves to construction equipment being used in proximity to the forest blockade. Solidarity actions are also taking place in Washington DC, Boston, Austin and New York City.
Altogether more than 50 blockaders are risking arrest to stop Keystone XL construction and bring attention to TransCanada’s repression of journalists attempting to cover the blockaders’ side of the story. They are joined by dozens of supporters who are rallying on public property with colorful banners and signs alongside the easement’s closest highway crossing. A massive media team is in tow to document the day of action and any possible police repression.
As the Winnsboro tree blockade enters its fourth week, the blockaders are resupplying their friends in the trees with fresh food, water, and cameras to further document their protest despite the threat of a newly-expanded Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation (SLAPP) by TransCanada and egregious criminal overcharges by local law enforcement. Due to the SLAPP suits’ outrageous claims, the tree sitters have by-and-large felt too threatened to safely reveal their identities, despite their protest being nonviolent. That the defiant walk-on protest is the largest yet attempted in the history of protests surrounding Keystone XL construction sends a clear signal that the blockaders will not be deterred by SLAPP suits and other legal threats to limit their civil liberties.
Three weeks is a long time to be sitting in a tree. The training I got this weekend has me ready to rise up and join the sitters in defending Texas homes from the toxic tar sands,” shared Glenn Hobbit, 28. “They’re saying we might get sued or worse, but stopping this pipeline is too important.”
Last week, the multinational corporation opened a civil suit in which it named 19 individual defendants, 3 organizations, and 6 anonymous tree sitters for a total of 28 defendants seeking an injunction, declaratory relief, and damages. All the named defendants are former arrestees of Tar Sands Blockade actions with the exception of media spokesperson Ron Seifert, who has yet been arrested in connection with a protest, and area landowner Eleanor Fairchild, who acted independently with activist and actor Daryl Hannah. Hannah was not named in the suit.
Tar Sands Blockade is a coalition of Texas and Oklahoma landowners and climate justice organizers using peaceful and sustained civil disobedience to stop the construction of TransCanada’s Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.
In reality, Tar Sands Blockade is not trespassing on TransCanada’s property. Many of TransCanada’s easement contracts were brokered through fraud and intimidation, and their entire legal foundation is being challenged in the courts for those reasons,” explained Ron Seifert, Tar Sands Blockade spokesperson. “If anything TransCanada is trespassing on the property of landowners who never wanted anything to do with their dangerous tar sands pipeline.”

Follow the latest on our Facebook and Twitter!

PRESS TV Terrance Nelson: Canada has ethnic cleansing on its agenda

Also see breaking news from Press TV:
Harper furious over Iran trip

A top aboriginal leader says the government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper has launched a smear campaign against the Iranian nation and discourages Canadians from visiting Iran

“For us as indigenous people from the Canadian side, for us to be in Tehran, we were absolutely set upon, we were told ‘no, don’t go to Tehran’. But we were pretty clear that the dehumanization, the demonization of the Iranian people has been one of the facts of Western media and we understand that because we too have also met with the crusader,” Terry Nelson, the top Chief of Canada Aboriginals-- also known as First Nations said in an interview with Press TV on Sunday.

Terrance Nelson’s statements on Censored News

In Iran, Terrance Nelson’s statement on Indigenous and women’s rights

First Nation Terrance Nelson’s statement from Iran

Terrance Nelson ‘Purpose of our trip to Iran’

Press TV video interviews with Terrance Nelson

Press TV: Terrance Nelson ‘Canada has ethnic cleansing on its agenda’

Harper furious over Iran trip

Censored News copyright

All content at Censored News is copyrighted by the creator of the work, and may not be used for any reason without written permission. This includes news, books, films, dissertations, grants, reports, pamphlets, and any other purpose.