August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Monday, June 24, 2013

Marcos: Zapatistas Little School 'The Uninvited'

The Classmates III
Those who were not, are not, and will not be…
By Subcomandante Marcos
Censored News

June 2013.
To the adherents of the Sixth in Mexico and the world:
To the students of the Zapatista Little School:
Compañeros, compañeroas, and compañeras:
The following people won’t be your classmates in the little school, because we didn’t invite them:
The legislators who made up the Peace and Reconciliation Commission (COCOPA) in 1996-1997. It would, however, have been beneficial for them to realize that they had not been mistaken in their initiative for the constitutional recognition of indigenous rights and culture, which was betrayed by all of the political parties, as well as the legislature, the executive, and the judiciary.
The current legislators of COCOPA. Although it would have helped them to discover where the door to reactivate dialogue with the EZLN is located.
The presidents of the registered political parties (PRI, PAN, PRD, PVEM, PT, MC and NA). Because we don’t have enough antacids to alleviate the outrage it would cause them to see the evidence of what can be done, not only without the political parties, but despite them.
The chairmen of the legislature committees and the coordinators of the parliamentary factions. Although it would have been good for them to see what even their counter-reform of the indigenous law could not prevent.
The Secretary of National Defense, the Secretary of the Navy, the Center for Research and National Security (CISEN), the Attorney General (PGR), the National Security Commission, the Secretary of Social Development, and the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation. Although they would have been able to confirm their intelligence reports, which tell them that the standard of living in the Zapatista indigenous communities has risen significantly despite their counterinsurgent efforts, their support for paramilitary groups, and their policing approach to a just and legitimate struggle. Beyond that, they could have confirmed first hand the persistence of that which they have tried so hard to destroy: indigenous autonomy.
The North American State Department, the CIA, the FBI. Although it would have helped them understand their repeated failures…and those yet to come.
The various espionage agencies languishing in boredom in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, where their only occupation is to encourage the raging gossip among the local [Coleta] NGOs.
The Boss,[i] who really gives orders to all of them, and to whom they bow and flatter. Although he would have shuddered to see that his recurrent nightmare has become a reality.
They have never been, nor are, nor will be our guests.
Rather, they have been, are, and will be our persecutors, those who search for a way to destroy us, to break us, to buy us, to force us to surrender.
They will always be spying on us, watching us, and cursing us, as they are now, as they were yesterday, and as they have been for 10, 20, 30, 500 years.
We are not inviting them not only because curriculum doesn’t include groups with no learning capacity, or so as not to encourage the ‘bullying’ to which they would be subjected by the other students (I know, what a shame), or because we have better ways to waste our time.
We are not inviting them because, just as we will not stop resisting and struggling, neither will they stop despising us, trying to exploit us, repress us, to strip us of what is ours, and to make us disappear.
And just as we will never learn the language of money, they will never learn to respect that which is different.
Above all, we are not inviting them because they, and he who commands them, will never understand why, instead of dying, we live.
And so, oh well, you can’t count among your classmates such ‘illustrious’ people. And therefore you won’t appear in the written media, or on the radio, or on television, and there won’t be roundtables, debate, or brainy analysis. That is, as they say, the air will be clean. And the land, which birthed us and nurtured our growth, will appreciate the dignified step that walks upon it: yours.
Vale. Health and freedom, the step of those below is welcome here, as is their heart.
From the mountains of the Mexican Southeast.
Mexico June 2013
Watch and listen to the videos that accompany this text:
Oscar Chávez and los Morales pointing to the chupacabras, which, as you see, are the same as ever.
A brief explanation of the Mexican government’s counter-insurgent strategies and the use of paramilitary groups.
Guillermo Velázquez and los Leones de la Sierra de Xichú, accompanying Oscar Chávez in this long “Pleito entre el peso y el dólar” (dispute between the peso and the dollar).

[i] This refers to former president of Mexico [1988-1994], Carlos Salinas de Gortari.
Traducción por El Kilombo

Zapatistas Marcos 'Classmates II: Still missing: Political Prisoners' Peltier, Manning, Assange, more


 Still missing:
June 2013

To the adherents of the Sixth in Mexico and in the World:
To the students of the Little Zapatista School:
Compañeras, compañeros, compañeroas:
In addition to the fallen and the disappeared in the struggle, who won’t be present but will indeed be accompanying us in the Little Zapatistas School, are the political prisoners who, under various juridical ruses, are held in the prisons of the world or in political exile.
There are thousands of them throughout the world, and our small word won’t reach all of them. Even as we are relying on our compañer@s in the National Network Against Repression and for Solidarity to try to reach as many as possible, there will always be some we don’t get to.
That is why we are sending this invitation, among many others, to some of the political prisoners who symbolize not only the absurdity of trying to lock up freedom, but also, and above all, the dignified resistance and perseverance of those who are not defeated by guards, walls, and bars.
Among them you will find:
Alberto Patishtán Gómez.-  Sentenced to 60 years in prison. This June 19th he will complete 13 years behind bars. His crime: being Mexican, Chiapan, indigenous, a professor, and a Zapatista sympathizer. Despite the evidence of his unjust incarceration, the judicial authorities are delaying his liberation. In the words of one government official: “If we free Patishtán it will be a doubly bad sign: it will give evidence that the judicial system is a bunch of shit, and it will encourage the struggle to free the other prisoners. It is something that does not suit us from any perspective. It is better to wait until those who are making so much noise about this get tired.” But here we already know that the judicial system in Mexico is a bunch of shit and that those who fight for the freedom of the political prisoners will not tire…ever.
Leonard Peltier.-  Has served 37 years in prison. His crime: belonging to the native Sioux Chippewa (Anishinabe-Lakota) people and struggling for the rights of native peoples in the American Union. He was taken prisoner in 1976 and sentenced to two consecutive life sentences (perhaps because his persecutors wanted to be sure he wouldn’t get out dead or alive). He was accused of killing two agents of the FBI (Federal Bureau of Intelligence). The incident took place on Pine Ridge, sacred territory of the Sioux people, in South Dakota, USA, where there are uranium and carbon fields.
He was sentenced without any proof and despite over 10,000 pages of documentation evidencing his innocence. The FBI’s accusation can be summarized like this: “Somebody has to pay.” Robert Redford made a film about his case, a film which has never been shown in North American theaters. Meanwhile, the FBI “boys” and “girls,” who come off so well in television mini-series, have killed 250 Lakota indigenous people. There isn’t a single investigation of these crimes. This in a country built on the dispossession of the lands belonging to the native peoples of that part of the American continent.
Mumia Abu Jamal.- United States citizen. Prisoner for 30 years. His crime: being a journalist and an activist for those discriminated against because of their color, in the United States. He was initially sentenced to death, and is now serving a life sentence. The whites accused him of killing a white, he was judged by whites, sentenced by whites, he was to be executed by whites, and he is guarded by whites. This in a country built on the exploitation of the blood and sweat of the slaves brought from Africa who, of course, were not white.
Edward Poindexter and Mondo We Langa.- United States citizens. Their crime: fighting for the rights of the African American population in the United States. Victims of the Counter Intelligence Program (COINTELPRO) of the FBI, they were accused of killing a police officer in 1970 by blowing up a dynamite-filled suitcase. Despite the confession of the real culprit, the FBI manipulated and planted evidence against these two militants of the Black Panther organization. Various items of juridical evidence prove their innocence. They are still imprisoned in a country that values the integrity and impartiality of its juridical system.
Julian Paul Assange.- Originally from Australia and a citizen of the world. He is now a political refugee. His crime: to divulge to the world, among other things, the corruption of US foreign policy. Assange is currently pursued by the US and British governments, the two supposed defenders of justice and liberty.
Bradley Manning.- First class soldier in the US army. His crime: to release a video showing US soldiers killing Iraqi civilians from a helicopter. Among those killed are two journalists. He is also accused of having leaked documents about the barbaric US actions in Afghanistan and Iraq. The principal charge against Bradley Manning, which could lead to his execution, is that of “aiding the enemy,” that is, aiding the world in knowing the truth. This in a country held together by the lie of a constant external threat (Muslims, Asians, Latinos, etc., that is, the entire world), and according to the recently revealed “intelligence operations” (really spying), US citizens are also a threat.
Antonio Guerrero Rodríguez, Fernando González Llort, Gerardo Hernández Nordelo, Ramón Labañino Salazar and René González Sehwerert.- The homeland of these five people is Cuba, the first free territory in the Americas. They are also knows as “the five Cubans.” Their crime: to have leaked information about the plans of terrorist groups with bases in the United States. In June of 1998, Cuba gave the FBI a report obtained by the five Cubans, including hundreds of pages of documents, videos, and audios of terrorist activities in the US. Instead of dismantling the terrorist cells, the FBI detained the five Cubans who, in reality, had saved the lives of dozens of people, principally tourists, who would have been the target of the attacks. Antonio is an engineer, Fernando a diplomat, Gerardo a cartoonist, Ramón an economist, and René a pilot. They are prisoners for the crime of spying, even though during their trial the prosecutors themselves testified that the material they had obtained did not affect the national security of the United States, and that Cuba did not represent a threat. All this in the territory of they who say they are fighting international terrorism.
Maria Alyójina, Yekaterina Stanislávovna Samutsévich y NadezhdaTolokónnikova.-  Russians, members of the punk rock group “Pussy Riot.” Their crime: denouncing the complicity of the top clergy of the Orthodox Church in the imposition of Vladimir Putin. They were arrested and taken prisoner for playing punk music in a church. The lyrics of the song asked the mother of god to throw Putin out of government. They were sentenced to two years in prison for “undermining the social order.” This in a country that prides itself on having liberated itself from “communist tyranny.”  
Gabriel Pombo da Silva.- Anarchist born everywhere and nowhere. He has been in 20 different prisons over almost 30 years in Spain and Germany. His crime: being a person of principle. To his persecutors he said: There is nothing more deplorable than a satisfied slave… an individual disposed of memory and dignity… it is preferable to be taken to the scaffolds for having rebelled than living 100 years of “conditional freedom,” conditioned by the fears and lies that they have sold us, indoctrinated in us…” Regarding his condition as a political prisoner, he has been clear: “I am certain that for me (as for many others) the possibility of getting out of prison for reasons based on their laws is impossible…because their legality requires my renunciation of my political identity… And obviously whoever renounces their own political identity not only betrays himself but all those who have come before him in this long march for dignity and freedom. There is nothing heroic nor “martyr-like” (the cemetery is already full of those) in this perspective. I believe it sincerely and with all of my hear and that is why I am willing to accept “paying my tax” for being honest with myself and what I think and feel…”
Why do I tell you about these political prisoners, so different and distant from each other? Because for the Zapatistas, freedom is not the patrimony of a creed, an ideology, a political position, or a race. In the videos you will see what we are talking about and this will help you listen, which is how one begins to understand. These consist of about 15 minutes that will help you to peer into the many worlds that exist in this world.
Like these men and women, hundreds of political prisoners have been invited to the Little Zapatista School. We have sent all of them a letter much like the one I annex here. We hope they have received them, as well as the books and audios and videos where we tell our story. We hope that they accept our invitation, not because we think we could teach them anything, but so that they know what it is we call freedom here.
Here it is:
May of 2013.
For: ___________________________
From: The Zapatista women, men, kids, and elderly.
Regarding: Special invitation to participate in the Little Zapatista School.
We send you a greeting from all of the children, old people, women, and men of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation.
We write you because we want to extend to you a special invitation to participate in the Little Zapatista School, “Freedom According to the Zapatistas.”
We know that perhaps it will be impossible for you to participate personally on this occasion. But we know well that the day will come when the doors of the prisons will open for those who, like you, have been taken prisoner by injustice-made-government. And those same doors will remain open long enough so that the bankers and their helpers can go in.
In the meantime, we will see about a way to get you the materials. These consist of texts with the words of our Zapatista compañeras and compañeros, in their great majority Mayan indigenous people, in which they tell their own story of struggle. It is a story surely similar to yours, full of the continuous ups and downs that make up the struggle for freedom, the pain that fills it, the hope that overflows it, and that persistent stubbornness that, like you, doesn’t give in, doesn’t give up, and doesn’t sell out.
Perhaps these won’t get to you just now. It is very probable that your jailers and prosecutors will confiscate the material, alleging that the package contains dangerous material. Because merely the world “freedom,” when it is lived from below and to the left, is one of the many horrors that fill the nightmares of those who are above at the cost of pain for everyone else.
In any case we wait here for your attendance, sooner or later. Because if our resolve is for freedom, one of our distinguishing characteristics is patience.
Vale.  Cheers and let liberty be what it should be, that is, the patrimony of humanity.
In the name of all of the Zapatistas of the EZLN,
Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés.                          Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos.
Mexico, May of 2013.

(end of the invitation letter to the political prisoners)
Well then, now you know a few more of those invited to participate in the Little School with you.
Don’t be scared of them. They aren’t criminals; that designation belongs to those who keep them prisoner.
Vale.  Cheers and may you find freedom the only way possible, that is, with all of them.
(To be continued…)
From the mountains of the Mexican Southeast.
Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos.
Mexico, June of 2013.

Seminole, Okla: Keystone XL Lockdown Blockade

BREAKING: Construction of Keystone XL pump station shut down in largest action yet by the Great Plains Tar Sands Resistance

BREAKING: Construction of Keystone XL pump station shut down in largest action yet by the Great Plains Tar Sands Resistance.
Four people are locked through the treads of an excavator
Seminole, OK: Early this morning, eight individuals blocked construction of a pump station for TransCanada’s controversial Keystone XL tar sands pipeline on Seminole land-by-treaty by locking on to equipment in the largest action yet by the Great Plains Tar Sands Resistance. The group took action today, physically halting the construction process, as a part of an effort to prevent the Great Plains from being poisoned by inherently dangerous tar sands infrastructure, as well as demonstrate the necessity for direct confrontation with industries that profit off of continued ecological devastation and the poisoning of countless communities from “Alberta, CA” to the Gulf. This action comes during the first day of a nationwide week of coordinated anti-extraction action under the banner of Fearless Summer.

BREAKING: Activist has Climbed Inside Enbridge Tar Sands Pipe in Michigan

by Rabb!t / Earth First! Newswire
Chris “The Whammer” at the pipe entrance.
Chris "The Whammer" at the pipe entrance.Early this morning Chris “The Whammer” Wahmoff climbed inside a segment of Enbridge’s Line 6B Pipe south of Marshall, Michigan, to halt reconstruction of the line. Chris used a skateboard to slide-crawl his way deep into the pipe, where he has said he is prepared to stay until at least 5:00 PM tonight. Chris is part of the Michigan Coalition Against Tar Sands (MI-CATS), a grassroots group that seeks to stop all transportation and refining of tar sands in Michigan, and advocates against tar sands production and transportation everywhere.

Terrance Nelson: Rail Blockades and Canada's Human Rights Violations

By Terrance Nelson
First Nation Anishinabe Roseau River
Censored News
FARS News Agency
Thank you for publishing my article as is. I realize that the length of the article was an issue but required to deal with extensive documentation of the information.
It is 8 p.m. on the evening of Sunday June 23 here in Winnipeg. Tomorrow, at 2 p.m.,  I will be in court facing the Attorney General of Canada, the Attorney General of Manitoba and the Canadian National Railway who want the court to put a permanent injunction on our people from "trespassing" on CN railway lines.
In January 2013, we blocked a main railway line in Manitoba. In minus 34 degree Celsius for six hours. On January 15, a day before the blockade, CN got a temporary injunction while no one was there from us to oppose the injunction and we were served that injunction about two hours before we left the railway blockade. CN wants not only a permanent injunction, they want costs, plus damages which will be millions of dollars. They want to intimidate our people. Once they get the court injunction, we will move to begin boycotts of British Columbia lumber sold in the United States. We have support amongst people in the United States.
Everything we have done is peaceful and we sent the government advance notice of the blockade. January 16, 2013 was a commitment by the Chiefs to put pressure on Canada with action. AIM Winnipeg blocked a railway line. When railway lines are blocked by covert activity, the situation will become far worse. For now, there is peace in Canada, it will not last.
Publishing the article gives many people around the world the ability to anticipate what will happen in Canada. Americans have ignored the issues in Canada for a long time. In 1989, we organized THE RUN FOR HUMAN RIGHTS, and we ran 1,000 miles from Winnipeg to Chicago to try to wake up Americans to the human rights issues in Canada. More recently, as Chiefs, we were in Washington 12 days before the first Inauguration of President Obama. We were there to ask the incoming Obama administration to do something about the environmental devastation that the sale of oil to the United States was doing to northern Alberta in the Tarsands.
Nothing has happened from the American Government. They have ignored all our efforts to get them to do something about human rights violations in Canada. The American government will condemn Iran for voicing concerns about human rights violations in Canada but the American government itself will continue to ignore those issues.
On Thursday June 27, AIM Winnipeg will hold a Press Conference and a meeting to organize our own investigation process on five murdered and missing indigenous women whom the City of Winnipeg Police and RCMP have not solved. Shaun Lamb who is charged with three murders of indigenous women in Winnipeg has stated that he has information on five other women who were killed. One of our AIM leaders has been speaking to Lamb. Winnipeg Police Officer Sutherland laughed at Lamb in an interview, refusing to listen to what Lamb is saying. Totally unprofessional, all leads and information must be investigated not ignored. Robert Picton would have been caught years earlier if Vancouver police had been more diligent. Picton would not have killed 49 women if police had done what they were supposed to. They ignored leads just like they are doing here in Winnipeg.
Thank you for publishing the article, it is my hope that other countries will question Canada and its treatment of indigenous people. I will follow up with information on the Dakota people who are facing court in September for selling cigarettes. Another group, the Cree in northern Manitoba is facing court action by HudBay who is mining in their territory without permission from the indigenous people. The Cree face a $400 million lawsuit by HudBay for the blockade done by the Cree. Meanwhile, the mining of sixty different metals and minerals continues every day in Canada, all the while, Canada refuses to pay anything to the indigenous people for those natural resources.
Terrance Nelson

Mohawk Nation News 'Corruption Anyone?'


Corruption Anyone?

govt cakeMNN. June 23, 2013.  Hungry ghosts are in a feeding frenzy to destroy Indigenous sovereignty and take everything from us. To carry out this genocide, willing accomplices are needed. The corporate Injun band and tribal councils are selected and trained in bribery, deceit, theft and to
exterminate us without guilt. 

Corruption needs corporate control of spiritual, moral and mental decay. The greedy band and tribal councils and their accomplices are a major part of the corporate grid to steal our resources and funds and undermine our nations. They create and pit factions against each other, stir up conflicts, confusion and make unilateral decisions from which there is no appeal. We are not told or misinformed about what’s going on. Non-native outside business interests are brought in to stand behind willing community members to compromise and abuse our sovereignty. Their puppet masters, the Corporation of Canada, are the instructors.  
                                                                                                             Like any “banana republic”, the rule is no morals. These corporate Injun degenerates rely on illicit favors for personal gain, called “kickbacks”. Included are gifts, money, sexual favors, off shore bank accounts, entertainment, dishonest employment, preferential treatment and benefits for themselves and their immediate family. Their crimes and misconduct are overlooked as long as they faithfully bow before their puppet master. Bribery makes them susceptible to blackmail and extortion. The corporate media could bring charges or to public light if necessary. Band councils make overt or benign threats with impunity, such as withholding services, benefits and other entitlements from the people.  
no substanceThese Immoral corporate Injun chiefs contribute to the decline in moral and ethical standards of the community. Dishonesty spreads. We could be seen as corrupt by association or letting it go on. We cannot easily exercise the moral foundation of the Kaianerekowa to maintain our power and to command respect. 
When these lackeys get away with abuse, the message is that it’s okay to be cruel. When one does something wrong, it becomes easier to do another wrong. The humane behavior of honest people is constantly undermined. By not stopping these corporate Injun concentration camp wardens from violating us, the decline of our nation’s moral values and ethical standards will continue. 
The colonial strategy is to strengthen their low-life Injun sell-outs to continue being morally destructive. They are given a smooth well-honed honey-covered script. The corporate hierarchical system can only stay in power when we don’t object. Otherwise we are part of it. Soon no one will listen to our voices. There are many with souls and decency who condemn this evil.
tipi saleThis unscrupulous system and the people within it will cease to exist. As Buffy Sainte-Marie sang: Your country, my country, gun for hire, y’all. Mercenary 101, he working for the government”. “He Working for the Government”.
MNN Mohawk Nation News For more news, books, workshops, to donate and sign up for MNN newsletters, go to  More stories at MNN Archives.  Address:  Box 991, Kahnawake [Quebec, Canada] J0L 1B0

Mohawk Nation News 'She No Speak'

mnnlogo1She No Speak

MNN. June 24, 2013. Why did Kanienkehaka/Mohawk power break down? Our men were weakened by the deliberate social and political breakdown, alcoholism, war, poor physical and mental health, teachings of pacifism, movement restrictions, loss of lands and economic rights. Traditionally Haudenosaunee women speak out and question everything.  We are the inherent holders of the land for the coming generations. We create peace by regulating war. None can be called until the women try three times to achieve a peaceful solution. We appoint the warriors, define the conflict and negotiate peace. When the newcomers realized that Haudenosaunee chiefs acted on the recommendations of the women based on the consensus of the people, they set out to break these power bonds. A policy was developed to deal with men only on land, political and trade issues. 
Indigenous women face cultural & lifestyle changes. They dispense wisdom and reason.
Indigenous women face cultural & lifestyle changes. They still dispense wisdom and reason.
The tie to the earth is through the women. The men protect these connections. The strong female role as the foundation of Haudenosaunee society was uprooted. The male dominated hierarchical system took its toll on all the people. The invaders are educated to not hear or see us. Women as the progenitors of the soil were forced by policy to be subservient to the men. will not reform
European men felt uneasy about dealing with women, especially in relation to land and resource holdings. Indigenous female power bonds were a major obstacle. The matrilocal communal land holding system was targeted for destruction. A new regime of land held by a few foreign bankers and corporate entities was set in place to conform to the European hierarchical world view. 
To oppress our women is to oppress all of us. The “She No Speak” colonial system is rigid, punitive, demeaning and self-deprecating towards women. We are not supposed to question male authority. 
Europeans broke the women’ power through non-native religious influence and the Indian Act and Federal Indian Law passed by the colonists. These violations of the rule of law forced us in a subservient position to our men in our relations with the colonists. The major underpinnings of Kanienkehaka sovereignty were undermined.  
she no speakWe survived a holocaust. Our views, duties and responsibilities do not need to be validated by their foreign  tribal and band council Injun accomplices. The balance between men and women is the ultimate reason we are still here and an important people today. As Aretha Franklin points out: “I get tired [just a little bit], keep on trying [just a little bit]” even though everybody knows who we are! “Respect”
Indian Country Today article.
MNN Mohawk Nation News For more news, books, workshops, to donate and sign up for MNN newsletters, go to  More stories at MNN Archives.  Address:  Box 991, Kahnawake [Quebec, Canada] J0L 1B0

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