Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

November 21, 2016

AIM West LIVE Monday, Nov. 21, 2016

Standing Rock on Sunday night. Militarized police attack of water protectors. Photo copyright Josue Rivas

During a panel discussion on mascots and racism, Hernry Guzman Villalobos spoke on organizing against Trump. "The KKK is in the White House," he told the AIM West Conference.

Wounded Knee spoke out for the water protectors,
and offered prayers for the people.

By Brenda Norrell
Censored News

SAN FRANCISCO -- AIM West coordinator Tony Gonzales began the American Indian Movement West Coast Conference today with a salute to the Standing Rock water protectors and description of last night's attack by militarized police that left hundreds of water protectors injured. Water protectors were hospitalized and bloody after being shot with rubber bullets and projectiles.
"The water protectors are not backing down," Tony told those gathered. He said, "We salute the elders, men and women who are sacrificing for the benefit of water."
Tony said today the gathering will be emphasizing clemency for Leonard Peltier.
Three years ago, Peltier was released in general population and was jumped and beaten severely. "It was a set up."
Standing Rock Peoples Attorney Speaks at AIM West
On Monday afternoon, Rachel Lederman, of the National Lawyer's Guild and Standing Rock Water Protectors Legal Collective, described the legal team, which represents 500 people now charged with crimes since the water protection of the Missouri River began. The collective recently changed its name from Red Owl Legal Collective to Water Protectors Legal Collective.
Right now, Lederman said Dakota Access Pipeline is ready to drill through the river. She said there is a temporary halt, but Trump is an investor in DAPL.
She said DAPL water protectors who are elderly have been strip searched and caged. Describing the attack on water protectors last night, she said, "Water cannons mixed with mace were used on the people."
Describing the events which led up to the attack on the water protectors last night, she said that law enforcement has the highway blocked.
She said there were serious injuries last night, Sunday night, when the water protectors were hit with water blasts in 20 degree weather.
She said she was there when water protectors were attacked by vicious dogs on Sept. 3. The protectors had walked up the road and were startled to see the bulldozers there where there are burials and sacred cultural places.
DAPL bulldozed the area just one day after those sacred places were identified.
People were bitten by the dogs on Sept. 3, 2016. It was very traumatic, especially for Lakota people.
She said there have been illegal arrests. People were led into a remote area and arrested, including two observers of the National Lawyer's Guild.
She described the raid on the camp on the pipeline route, known as Treaty Camp, and elderly were dragged out of ceremony.
On that day, many people in prayer circles were falsely charged with felonies involving fires.
The elderly were left without enough clothing, left in cold concrete floor cages, strip-searched when jailed. They were driven to jails all over.
One Native man in the audience asked what happens now. A woman has been hurt. He said what happens if someone is killed.
Attorney Rachel Lederman said the attorneys in camp are in need of more attorneys licensed in the state of North Dakota.
She said there are many challenges in representing so many cases.
She said it has been a foolish mistake of the state attorney to charge the people with the charges. The court is even unable to deal with so many cases.
Now, the Standing Rock Camp is having to deal with interference with their Internet connections, she said.
Lederman said the legal team is preparing cases for federal court in North Dakota, including the attack by dogs and recent charges.
She was asked if the UN non-profit report would make any difference. She said it was doubtful if this would make a difference to the courts.
She was asked if Red Warrior Camp, or the women's camp, was being closed.
Lederman said, "I don't think Red Warrior Camp is going anywhere."
She said Obama should stop DAPL before Trump gets in office, and Obama should free Peltier as well.
Water Protectors Legal Collective and National Lawyer's Guild are working on the criminal defense of water protectors. Donate at:
On Monday morning at AIM West, Chairman Valentin Lopez, California Amah Mutsun Sovereign Nation, spoke on the genocide of American Indians in California.
Elias Castillo spoke on California missions, describing the torture and abuse of California Indians, especially women. "They were death camps."
Elias is the author of the book, A Cross of Thorns, The Enslavement of California Indians by the Spanish Missions.
Donna Schindler was introduced by Chairman Lopez, who described the wellness program his people has created. 
Donna is speaking now on wellness and historical trauma. She describes the depression, how the victims in turn become abusers, and why there is so much violence as a result.
She said people "shut down their feelings," to numb out the pain.
She described women who shut down because they were sexually abused, and may not recognize it when their own daughters are sexually abused.
Donna, a psychiatrist, said she worked on the Navajo Nation and worked with survivors of abuse, historical trauma and the racism that exists.
She said it is a racist act to honor the abusers of the California missions.
Jean Whitehorse, Dine', described the abuse of boarding schools for Navajos.
Following Jean's comments, Chairman Lopez said his people don't accept apologies.

Erica Huggins of Black Panther Party

Erica Huggins of the Black Panther Party will speak now.
"I know there is a lot of pain in the room. It is in our DNA."
"There is something that we can do. We can recognize our innate power." She said we can not wait for something to come from the outside. She said we must understand the power of the spirit.

She said her people experiencing this pain.
"When I listen, I hear slavery."
She said people today are living with post-traumatic slave syndrome.
She said the people have lost the ability to heal.
"We are walking with soul wounds."
"It is multi-generational. We must heal."
She told people to straighten their spines, and breathe.
"Your breathe belongs to you." It doesn't change with whoever is in the White House.
"We are looking for something outside us to change us."
She said we need to look inside, and go to the heart.
She said when she was incarcerated. She was at age 21, a widow and single mother.
Then, she was in solitary confinement.
"I wasn't going to do what they wanted in any way."
"I felt free-er" than she ever had, once she went within in solitary confinement. She knew she wasn't going to go out that way.
She said everyone must take time for themselves, or they will become "like that."
"You can live with compassion. Not pity, not false forgiveness, but compassion."
Seek out the people you have harmed, and make a difference, she said.
"You can do it differently."
She knew she was being lied to in school about people who are black and brown.
She knew she had to surround herself with good company.
She said continue to do your work in the world, while continued to remember the Great Spirit.
Calling for a pause, she asked everyone to send good thoughts to Standing Rock, blessings, or a prayer if you pray, send love, send what heals, she said.
"We don't have to know them. We are them."
Breathe in, and as you breathe out, send it, she said.
She thanked people for their goodness, and their love, and for listening.
She said find moments to pause.
And she thanked people for taking care of Mother Earth, which belongs to all the Indigenous Peoples of North America.

Tony Gonzales spoke on Standing Rock and the water protectors. He reminded everyone of the need to help fund the Water Protectors Legal Collective in Standing Rock Camp, as there are hundreds of water protectors now charged.
Mascots and racism is being discussed by a panel on Monday afternoon.

Shiprock President Duane 'Chili' Yazzie sent us this message:

AIM West Coast Conference      
November 21-22, 2016 Agenda
Monday, November 21:

8 - 8:30 am           Traditional Mexica Teo Kalli Dancers

                             Registration, Sign in and collecting winter goods and supplies to Water Protector camps at Standing Rock Reservation against the DAPL;

9 - 9:15 am           Welcome Prayer and Dedication to Martin Jacques;

9:20 - 9:50 am      introduction:  Antonio Gonzales, AIM-WEST Director;  Welcome, and changes to agenda, logistics, and announcements;

                                                   Solidarity statements from allies and organizations;

9:55 - 10:45 am     Special guest speaker Mr. Valentin Lopez, Chairman, California Amah Mutsun Nation;

                             Panel discussion:  Ms. Donna Schindler, Elias Castillo;

10:50 - 11:15 am  Special invited guest speaker Ms. Erica Huggins, Black Panther Party Solidarity;

11:15 - 11:30 am  BREAK   

11:30 - 12:15 am  Invited guest speaker Ms. Corrina Gould, Indians Organizing for Change;

                            Panel discussion: Wounded Knee, Perry Mattlock, other;

12:15 - 1 pm        Felipe Hernandez, Youth incarceration, violence prevention and restorative Justice;

                            Panel discussion:  

1 - 2 pm               LUNCH

2 - 2:45 pm          Kim DeOcampo:  Mascots and racism in sports, NFL, and in public schools sports team;

                           Panel discussion:

2:50 - 3:05 pm    Invited guest speaker Ms. Rachel Lederman, National Lawyers Guild (NLG) Human Rights Defenders at Standing Rock Reservation and against the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) human rights violations;

3:10 - 3:30 pm   Invited speaker Ms. Elizabeth Milos, a report on preparing to travel to support Water Protecters at Standing Rock Reservation North Dakota,  and against DAPL;

3:30 - 3:50 pm   BREAK  (Raffle)

3:55 - 5 pm        Discussion from the floor;

                         Drafting ideas,  plans for 50th anniversary of AIM (1968-2018) submit guidelines to the Grand Governing Council; issues of concern, strategies to propose for action, including international reporting;

5 - 5:30 pm       Closing comments and prayer

****Benefit        6 - 9 pm   Impact Hub, 2323 Broadway Street (24th Street). In support for Standing Rock Reservation!  cover charge, nobody turned away!  

Tuesday, November 22:

8 am -                          Registration and gathering winter supplies to Standing Rock Reservation North Dakota  (caravan leaving November 26/27);

9 am -                           Opening with Blessing and Mni Wiconi “Water is Sacred " water offering, song and flute;

9:20 am - 9:40 am        Welcome everyone and comments from yesterday;        

9:45 am - 10:20 am      Special invited guest speaker, Dr. Roxanne D. Ortiz, Professor Emeritus, Author, International activist;

10:25 am - 10:45 am    Invited guest speaker, David Escobar, overview on El Salvador and social and Indigenous movements in Central and South America;

10:45 am - 11:15 am    Special guest Michael Flores, on the border issues i.e. the Wall, militarization, and immigration/crossing desert;

                                    Panel discussion:

11:15 am - 11:30 am    BREAK

11:30 am - 12:15          Sampson Wolf, Political prisoners and bay area support for Leonard Peltier;

                                    Panel discussion:  Executive Clemency Campaign, Statue by Rigo 23, and Peltier Week in DC December 4-10;   

12:20 am - 1 pm           Film, to be determined…

1 pm - 2 pm                  LUNCH

2 pm - 2:45 pm             Open assembly discussion in these post election times, assessment of political damage, backlash, is third political parties viable in Indian country, should we prepare for 2020, how? or does it matter?

2:50 am - 3:35 pm        BREAK  (raffle!)  Film   

3:40 am - 4:25 pm        Ms. Isabella Cummings, Environment,

                                    Panel discussion on Climate Change, Extractive Industries, Idle No More, DAPL, REDD, COP 22, Richmond Refineries;

4:30 - 5 pm                 
5 pm                          Announcements and closing Prayer

6 pm - 8 pm               Mr. Len Foster, spiritual adviser to political prisoner Leonard Peltier, Wounded Knee veteran, our Special invited guest speaker on Tuesday at Answer Coalition Office, 2969 Mission Street, SF.

****  AIM-WEST seeks winter supplies for Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota who are challenging the Dakota Access Pipeline, and in support of Water Protectors of the Missouri River.  Caravan departs 11/27/16.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Fight to keep your water there
because we have no water here.
We're in a drought
Water we are without.
All the green plants are drying
The bees around them dying.
Take me to the water where the ancient fish are crying.
Since April I've been walking,
I've heard many voices talking.
And finally I have come to know the river by her name.
I ask her if I can stay with her awhile,
In my heart there is a smile.
I ask, without words, about the noise & confusion
And she says "man is not greater than god"
And I feel for your love,
I will walk for your love,
I will stand for your love
I will cry for your love,
I will fight for your love.
You feed me,
You heal me,
You are me,
You are many things
and we are one.
Water is one