Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

January 19, 2013

Grassroots Natives end century of censorship in Indian country

The people bring an end to a century of media control and censorship

Six Nations shut down developer Jan. 15. Photo Wesley Elliott
By Brenda Norrell
Censored News

TUCSON -- Grassroots First Nations and Native Americans delivered a final blow to a century of censorship in Indian country this week, as they provided their own news coverage. The news that was once censored can be censored no more.

Dramatic photos from the Six Nations as they shut down a developer, and photos of First Nations lying on the railroad tracks during the rail blockade in Canada, combined with the voices of Navajos exposing the coal mines that are killing their people. A hidden video from No More Deaths volunteers exposed a US Border Patrol agent removing life saving aid on the Arizona border, where Border Patrol agents continue the abuse of Tohono O'odham and other Indigenous Peoples.

Grassroots people served a final smash to the last blocks of the wall of censorship.

Rail Blockade in Manitoba this week
The voices, actions and news coverage of the people tumbled down the media barricades which have kept the news in Indian country controlled by the media owners, their advertisers and politicians, for the past century.

In Canada, the fearlessness of First Nations marked a turning point, as trains were halted and traffic halted at border crossings. In sub-zero temperatures, Whapmagoostui First Nation youths began trekking 1,100 kilometers to Ottawa in solidarity with Idle No More.

This week, the American Indian Movement in Michigan helped shut down the Detroit border bridge, following an earlier march by thousands of Mohawks and other First Nations through the Akwesasne and Cornwall border crossing which closed the border for five hours.

Kahentinetha of Mohawk Nation News wrote,  "Canada is the third biggest country in the world. The oligarchs cannot make war without our resources. The shareholders of the country corporations illegally sell our raw materials to each other."

Gitwangak Warriors Rail Blockade on Tuesday
Terrance Nelson, First Nation Roseau River Ojibway, said, after this week's rail blockade, "We can stop all trains in Canada if we had to. If we are forced to do this, our slogan will be Not one toothpick."

Nelson said that today, Saturday, Jan. 19, the people would call on Mother Earth and sing the song of the Dakota 38 who were hanged in Minnesota.

Leonard Peltier, imprisoned, issued a statement supporting Idle No More and Attawapiskat First Nation Chief Theresa Spence. "If we don’t have healthy water, healthy air, healthy food, and healthy children we will not have a healthy future. That is the law," Peltier said.

On Pine Ridge, Lakotas, Dakotas and supporters organized the "Warrior Up Resistance Tour," which begins Sunday night, Jan. 20, at 6 pm on Pine Ridge in South Dakota. Olowan Martinez, Lakota activist, Waziyatawin, Dakota scholar and activist, T.R. McKenzie, Deep Green Resistance and Latino Activist and Queen Sacheen, Coastal Salish activist will be joined by the Savage Family, Indigenous Hip Hop, at the Billy Mills Center.

Youths trekking to Ottawa Photo: Eli
On the Navajo Nation, Robyn Jackson is among the young Dine' speaking out against the three power plants on the Navajo Nation, with the coal mines and poisoning ash ponds that are poisoning and killing the people.

"This is our home. This is our land, our air and our water. As our stories explain, we were put here by the Holy People. We were told that this would be our home to take care of," said Jackson, the daughter of Dine' environmental activist Leroy Jackson, found dead in 1993, as he struggled to protect the old growth forests on Navajoland.

Navajo and Hopi youths in Flagstaff, Arizona, continued their cutting edge news coverage of efforts to protect sacred San Francisco Peaks from the sewage snow which began blowing at Arizona Snowbowl. Native Americans and global activists continued to push for a global boycott of Arizona Snowbowl ski resort.

Grassroots radio online carried the message of Dine' Bidziil, "One mind, one voice, and one prayer," and an interview with Dine' Norman Patrick Brown, preceding the gathering on Saturday, Jan. 19, in Window Rock on the Navajo Nation.

The humanitarian aid organization No More Deaths released a hidden video of a US Border Patrol agent removing blankets and food left for migrants at Arivaca, as temperatures dropped below freezing and to all time lows.

Hidden video
The latest hidden video from the Arizona border comes after another hidden camera exposed a US Border Patrol agent destroying life saving water on the Arizona border. In October in Nogales, Arizona, a US Border Patrol agent fired through the international border and repeatedly pummeled a Mexican teen with bullets, after someone threw rocks at the agent. Sixteen-year-old Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez was murdered. 

On the Tohono O'odham Nation, the US Border Patrol continues to abuse, beat, and spy on O'odham, as the US Border Patrol seizes tribal land in Pisinemo District for a massive US Border Patrol complex. The US is constructing more spy towers on O'odham land, as agents point spy cameras at O'odham homes. Tohono O'odham human rights activists say the Tohono O'odham elected government has been coopted by the US, and joins with the US Border Patrol to target and stalk O'odham human rights activists. 

Meanwhile Arizona Border Patrol agents continue to be arrested for transporting drugs across the border and aiding cartels as "spotters" or lookouts.
Six Nations shuts down developer
Whapmagoostui First Nation youth trekking to Ottawa
Terrance Nelson 'We can stop all trains'
Warrior Up Resistance Tour Pine Ridge
Mohawk Nation News
Michigan AIM helps shut down Detroit bridge
Leonard Peltier's statement on Idle No More
Calling on Mother Earth, prayers today of Dakotas
Hidden Camera, Border Patrol removes blankets and food in freezing temps
Photos of First Nation rail blockades this week
Dine' Bidziil, One mind, one voice, one prayer
Statement of Gitwangak Warriors on CN Rail Blockade
Indigenous Action Media

No comments: