August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Friday, June 3, 2016

Local Documentary on Penobscot Nation River Case Nominated for New England Emmy


Locally Produced Documentary on Penobscot Nation River Case Nominated for New England Emmy  

Sunlight Media Collective
Meredith DeFrancesco
Censored News

INDIAN ISLAND, ME — On Saturday June 4, 2016, representatives of the Sunlight Media Collective will travel to the Boston/New England Emmy Awards Ceremony in Boston. In April, the Sunlight Media Collective was nominated for a Boston/New England Emmy for The Penobscot: Ancestral River, Contested Territory, a documentary film that illustrates the history of the Penobscot Tribe’s fight to retain their sustenance fishing rights and territory in the Penobscot River, from the 1700s to current day. ItThe film also focuses on the Tribe’s environmental stewardship, including the current work of the Penobscot Department of Natural Resources to improve water quality. The film was broadcast on the Maine Public Broadcasting Network in December 2016.

The Penobscot: Ancestral River, Contested Territory highlights the currently unfolding story of the controversial and historic case Penobscot Nation v Janet Mills, in which Maine’s Attorney General claims the Tribe’s territory, which includes more than 200 islands in the Penobscot River, does not include the river itself. Since the film was completed, US District Court Judge, George Singal , decided on the case in December 2015, affirming that the Penobscot Tribe does have sustenance fishing rights in the Penobscot River surrounding their reservation’s islands. But However, on the issue of the river itselfjurisdiction, he Judge Singal sided with the State. In April, the Penobscot Nation and the US Department of Justice filed to appeal the US District Court decision.

“For the Penobscot, this is one of the most important issues facing the tribe today”, says the film’s co-writer/director, Meredith DeFrancesco. “It not only impacts Penobscot territory, but Penobscot sovereignty and cultural identity.”

The Sunlight Media Collective is a collaboration of Wabanaki and non-Wabanaki media makers. This is Sunlight Media’s first film. They continue to create content on the river case, and related issues, including the Maine Indian Land Claims Settlement Act. The Abbe Museum, in Bar Harbor, the only Smithsonian Affiliate in the state of Maine, is featuring the Sunlight Media Collective’s work in their new core exhibit , People of the First Light, which opened May 1st.

The documentary can be viewed in full at

Sherri Mitchell
Meredith DeFrancesco

Sherri Mitchell,Kathy Paul
Dawn Neptune Adams,

Zapatistas 'May: Between Authoritarianism and Resistance'

May: Between Authoritarianism and Resistance

May: Between Authoritarianism and Resistance
The calendar? May 2016
The geography?

From the mountains of the Mexican Southeast
Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés
Subcomandante Insurgente Galeano

Well, it could be any part of this country, scratched open and bleeding with forced disappearances, impunity made institution, intolerance as a form of government, corruption as the modus vivendi of a fetid and mediocre political class.
But it could also be any part of this country healed by the persistence of the families who do not forget their missing, their tenacious search for truth and justice, their rebellious resistance in the face of blows, bullets, and clubs, and their eagerness to construct a path without masters, bosses, saviors, guides, or caudillos; through defense, resistance, rebellion; through the strength of pain and rage making the crack deeper and wider.
“Mexico” as this country is commonly called, reflects in its own way the crisis that is shaking the entire world.
It seems that at some moment in the brief and intense history of the 20th century, this country was an international referent for tourism. One heard about its landscapes, its gastronomy, the hospitality of its people, the perfection of the perfect dictatorship.
But both before and during this travel agency pamphlet image, what happened happened. No, I won’t ply you with information on what has happened in the immediate past, say the last 30 years.
The thing is that over the past few years, “Mexico” has become a world referent for governmental corruption; for the cruelty of narco-trafficking; the full complicity and cohabitation, not merely infiltration, of organized crime and the official institutions; the forced disappearances; the army out of the barracks and into the streets and onto the highways; the murders and imprisonments of opposition figures, journalists, and others; the “warning” signs on the paths of tourists; the cynicism as idiosyncrasy in the media and social networks; and life, freedom, and personal possessions gambled in the deadly roulette of daily life (“if they didn’t come for you today, maybe tomorrow”). If you are a woman, of whatever age, multiply the risks. The feminine, along with any difference, is ahead only in this respect: more likely to suffer violence, disappearance, death.
But you already know all of this. It is enough to have lived here, in these lands and under these skies, a little, not much, let’s say from just a few months old to less than five years old, which was the age of the little girls and boys murdered in the ABC Daycare in Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico, June 5, 2009, almost seven years ago.
What crime did those children commit? Were they victims of bad luck, of a dark divine design, of chance? Or were they victims of a political class that allows itself anything (such as the fact that one of those implicated—and not investigated—in this crime is a pre-candidate for the Mexican presidency for the National Action Party)?
So the place could be Sonora, where nevertheless, neither the crime nor the shamelessness of those responsible were able to defeat the families of the toddlers of the ABC Daycare.
Or the place could be Mexico State, where the Ñatho community of San Francisco Xochicuautla is at risk of being destroyed and buried by one of big capital’s highways. Their crime? Defending the forests. But, on the ruins of their homes, the community members maintain their resistance.
Or the place could be Oaxaca, in the Binizza community of Álvaro Obregón, in Juchitán, where the population was shot at by paramilitaries of the National Action Party and the Party of the Democratic Revolution. What is their offense? Opposing the privatization of the wind, imposed by big capital in the Isthmus as “wind farms.”
Or it could be Veracruz, already a territorial hunting ground targeting women, young people, and journalists, whether or not they are oppositional. Or the Yucatán, where the government has implemented the so-called “Escudo” [shield] against the population of Chablekal as a way to protect its own acts of displacement. Or Guerrero, where all of Mexico is renamed “Ayotzinapa.” Or Morelos, converted into a gigantic clandestine cemetery. Or Mexico City where opposition protests are prohibited because there the automobiles rule, including over the Constitution. Or Puebla, bastion of water and highway privatization. Or Tamaulipas, where, like everywhere in the country, the PRI is the institutional arm of organized crime. Or anywhere in this republic called “United Mexican States” with its waves of firings, displacements, theft, disappearances, destruction, death…war.
But it turns out that it is Chiapas. And in Chiapas, we see…
Tuxtla Gutiérrez, the capital city. May, 2016. Average temperature: 37 degrees [Celsius] in the shade. Altitude: 522 meters above sea level. Date: May of the teachers in resistance and rebellion. But before we go further, allow me a few corrections:
1. The poorly named “education reform” is not about education but rather about labor. If it were about education it would have taken into consideration the perspective of teachers and families. When the government refuses to dialogue about the reform with teachers and families, it is acknowledging that this is not about improving education, but about “payroll adjustment” (which is how capital refers to firings).
2. The law isn’t being applied, it is being violated. Those who say they are defending the constitution (through the educational reform) are violating the constitution (the laws that guarantee basic rights such as gathering, petition, and free movement).
3. What the paid mass media are doing is useless. They declare back and forth: “everything running normally,” “the majority of schools are still functioning,” “over 90 percent of teachers are working.” But there is no referent in reality for these declarations, because the teachers are in the streets. In the villages the families already said clearly that they will not accept substitute teachers, that they won’t let them in or will run them off.
4. The teachers aren’t defending their privileges, they are fighting in the last trench any human being has: for the minimal life conditions for them and their families. Are you surprised that someone is willing to defend the little they have left? A despicable salary, a few classrooms that look like they have been bombed (and they have been, but by economic bombs), not one but multiple work shifts, excessively large classes? In sum: little pay, bad working conditions, and a shitload of work. Sound familiar? And yet, the teachers show up at their schools and teach the little boys and girls the ways of the arts and sciences.
5. The objective of the supposed education reform is to destroy those teachers who prepared for years and dedicated practically their whole lives to this profession. Of course, due to the perseverance of the media, which gets bonuses for their trouble, the teachers’ movement has been given the image of corrupt leaders. But this image is just a decoy, an attempt to get people to take the bait. The objective [of the reform] is not the leaders, but all of the teachers, including the servile National Education Workers Union [SNTE]. Now, if you want a model of corrupt leaders, you have the leadership of the SNTE.
6. Yes, the objective of the education reform is to privatize education. In fact, this privatization is already in process. The attempt to abandon and defund the schools didn’t finish off public education in Mexico for one reason: the teachers. So now the teachers must be destroyed. They [the government] are trying to provoke a catastrophe in the education system such that families turn to private schools, working double shifts to pay for tuition, or resort to raising their daughters and sons on television, radio, and digital media, or in the street, or not even that. The teaching profession is not improvisational, nor is it a question of intuition. It requires study, preparation. Not just anyone has the capacity and the knowledge to educate. Because in school students are educated, not just taught. Not just anyone can successfully take on a group of school-age or preschool-age children. That is why the Escuelas Normales [Teachers’ Colleges] are necessary.
7. Have you been told that what’s going on is that the teachers are lazy and don’t want to study? That’s a lie, any teacher wants to be better, better prepared and better trained. Do yourself what the government hasn’t done: talk to a teacher. Even better, listen to them. You will see that when they talk about their situation, it will seem like they are describing yours.
We Zapatistas try to understand. And in order to understand one has to listen. Whenever we can, we rely on direct information. In this case, we sent a group of “Los Tercios Compas” (Zapatista media that isn’t paid, or autonomous, or free, or alternative, but they are compas) and we listened to the Zapatista bases of support that are part of the teaching profession. We took the following from one of these listeners:
“Compañero Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés, I greet you and hope that you are in good health and doing the work of the struggle.
Having given this brief greeting, I offer my report: Well, we saw the teachers’ march. It wasn’t just male teachers, there were also many female teachers. The damned police attacked them and also attacked the people nearby. They even beat children. Later we saw a sign, well a sign painted on a wall, that said: “The police: such badasses against the people, such pussies against the narco.” We saw that the teachers were happy in the march. As if they didn’t care that they were being beaten and pursued and sprayed with that gas that doesn’t let you breath. The teachers [male and female] just kept going, along with some of the mothers and fathers of the children that go to the schools and whose families support the teachers. It was clear that no one had forced them to go, but rather that they had come because they wanted to. They were excited. And the people in the houses along the street were shouting their support to the teachers. And in the streets people gave them water and fruit. You can tell that the people love those teachers who are in struggle. So then the teachers would shout the chant, “we see your support” and well, I thought there’s probably support that isn’t seen also, but there’s no chant for that.
Later we went to see the damned police who were following the teachers in order to harass them. We saw the police looking very defeated. There were just a few who were enthusiastic and who were beating their batons on their plastic shields, supposedly to frighten people, but it’s not frightening. The majority of the police could barely walk, I think because of the heat. The sun is strong in Tuxtla. And the teachers, well you can tell they’re used to it because they were happy. They sang songs and yelled chants. They sang that one called “We shall overcome” and I even started to sing too, but then I remembered that I was there in the role of “Tercio compa” and so better not. Every time the police paused for a moment they would all run for the shade. Their commander would scold them because they didn’t stay in formation. We heard one police officer telling another about how he pursued a little girl and a teacher, and that the teacher ran faster than the child. And that damned officer laughed like it was a joke to pursue a little girl. And when they got the order to advance, the police went dragging their shields behind them. Some were wearing metal boots. Others carried clubs. As they went by, the people in the street would say things to them, telling them to leave and not to bother the teachers anymore. Some people straight up cussed them out. The police looked at them with anger in their eyes but they didn’t stop. And these are families that are yelling. In some houses and buildings there were signs, like homemade posters expressing support for the teachers. On the radio stations people called in to comment, but not like other times when they complained that the teachers were blocking roads. Now they were complaining about the federal police, that they are just creating trouble, that it looks like we’re at war, that not even during the Zapatista uprising were there so many police in the streets of Tuxtla. No one was thanking the government; they were all saying clearly that this is all the fault of the government. And the radio stations would cut the people off, you can tell they didn’t like what the people were saying. And the newspapers have no shame, they publish stuff that doesn’t have anything to do with anything. The journalists are worried because in Chenalhó some partidistas [political party-affiliated people] kidnapped some other partidistas. But the teachers do politics, they explain their struggle and the people hear them and understand them. We heard what the people say. They don’t listen to or understand the governments. They call Velasco “the kid” and complain about how “the kid” is only good for getting his picture taken and going out for a stroll. And the rumors say that he’s not even in charge anymore, that there is fighting to see who will take the governorship. They say that “whoever gets it is a shameless thief.” They don’t respect the government.
They respect and love the teachers, they give them water and fruit, they applaud them. Even the cars, when they drive by the march, honk and wave. But the police only get insults. We heard one teacher explain their struggle: “This is now about putting food on the table for our children.” In one place close to Tuxtla, called Chiapa de Corzo, the people organized themselves and ran the federal police out of there. They weren’t teachers, they were families. The police hit them and threw gas at them, but the people didn’t give up and they ran off the federal police. Once we had seen all of this, we came back to give our report.
What we think is that who knows what will happen, but the governments already lost.
That’s all I have to say.
Now, questions for the exam on the federal government:
If a government isn’t willing to dialogue and negotiate with the opposition, what path does it leave the opposition? If the government only employs argument via the use of force, what does it expect as a counter argument?
From the mountains of the Mexican Southeast
Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés
Subcomandante Insurgente Galeano
Mexico, May 2016
From the notebook of the cat-dog:
The Hour of the Police 2.
That vendor of deodorant for metrosexuals, the postmodern version of Gordolfo Gelatino, Aurelio Nuño Mayer, should stop his campaign for the presidency and recognize that the reform he purports to defend is neither a reform nor is it about education. It’s merely a shameless personnel switch. A boss badly dressed in institutional clothing uses a perfumed foreman to get rid of jobs.
To be an idiot foreman that longs to be a good policeman, follow these instructions: write 100 times, “public education in Mexico is a business and that’s how it must be managed.” Ah, and don’t study history. Forget that the National Coordination of Education Workers was born in 1979, in Chiapas, Mexico. And it was born as a response to government brutality.
The battles that the teachers and the families wage do not end with May. They are just the beginning of many months and struggles that will come, and not only for the teachers. In the geographies and calendars below, history doesn’t happen, it is made.
I testify.


Mohawk Nation News 'Arrows Flying at Syracuse Corral'



Please post & distribute.
MNN. June 2, 2016. What is the ambulance chase scam? When a large group of people are attacked by the cops and have their human rights violated, they are sure to win the court case against the state. That’s when the lawyers acting like ambulance chasers show up. “We’ll represent you” for free. They get a list of names and add more to increase their list of clients to get a bigger settlement.
onkwe'hon:weh chase INDIAN Ring ambulance.
onkwe’hon:weh chase INDIAN Ring ambulance.
We are used as the front for the INDIAN Ring system that scams their own system. They always enrich themselves at our expense.
The INDIAN Ring is the ring of power in US and Canada. They are in firm control of the corporate governments which are illegally hanging onto our land and resources and trying to annihilate us. They know we know it. They are here and so are we. The Ring is running this Onondaga attack and subsequent court case.
This case is a sure win for us victims of the beating by the NYS Troopers on May 18, 1997. The lawyers don’t want to win the case. They want a settlement to give themselves and their list of victims some money.
INDIAN Ring will soon be shooting blanks!
INDIAN Ring will soon be shooting blanks!
The insurance companies will pay the settlement. So everybody in the Ring is going to get something out of this.
Most of us plaintiffs can prove we were at the incident. Some were not there. Somebody signed them up. They could be charged with a felony. Is that why there’s panic! All the plaintiffs could be subpoenaed to appear at the September 20 trial to testify on their experiences at the hands of the brutal cops.
On the other hand, the 17 non-cooperative plaintiffs were dropped by the “ambulance chasers”.
No fair! They're not supposed to shoot back!
No fair! They’re not supposed to shoot back!
It seem the chasers have an in with the judges and court from whom they are able to get motions and court claptrap to drop clients they don’t like and to issue unprecedented motions for payouts before the trial? As they say, follow the money. The lawyers seem desperate to get all their clients paid off so they won’t have to appear at the trial and be questioned. The INDIAN Ring judicial system is terrified of a trial. The truth will come out.
The last days of the Indian Ring of power are almost upon us as Motorhead sings in their song “Eat the Rich”: “Get a sweet thing on the side. Home cooking, homocide. Side order could be your daughter. Finger licking good. Come on, baby, eat the rich. Put the bite on that son of a bitch”.

ALERT: PayPal has transferred MNN’s funds [$150] to the US Federal Reserve without explanation. MNN Mohawk Nation News for more news, to donate and sign up for MNN newsletters, go to More stories at MNN Archives. Address: Box 991, Kahnawake [Quebec, Canada] J0L 1B0 or original Mohawk music visit

Free Palestine 'Unsung Hero of the North America Nakba Tour'


June 2, 2016 /    /  Make A Comment  /  Uncategorized  / Edit

Nakba teamAmena and Mariam are the stars of the North America Nakba Tour, and we are very fortunate to have such articulate, courageous and utterly charming spokespersons.  But when Samir Salem offered to drive and film the entire tour, we had no idea that he would become one of our most valuable partners.  It is not an exaggeration to say that he has been as responsible for the success of the project as any of us.
Apart from driving more than 10,000 miles in two months, Samir quickly became an on-site coordinator and problem solver for the tour.  In spite of the floods in Texas, he got the women to their next destination in Jackson, Mississippi on time.  When the Canadian visa was not issued in time, he brought the women to his family home in Chicago.  When the schedule permitted an extra day (on top of two scheduled travel days), he took the women to Yellowstone Park for an unforgettable experience.

TUCSON: Migrant Trail Walk Concludes Sunday at Kennedy Park

Our Vision  The precarious reality of our borderlands calls us to walk. We are a spiritually diverse, multi-cultural group who walk together on a journey of peace to remember people, friends and family who have died, others who have crossed, and people who continue to come. We bear witness to the tragedy of death and of the inhumanity in our midst. Lastly, we make this sacred journey as a community, in defiance of the borders that attempt to divide us, committed to working together for the human dignity of all peoples.
La realidad precaria de nuestra frontera nos hace un llamado a caminar. Somos un grupo diverso en cultura y espíritu quienes caminamos juntos en una jornada de paz para recordar a nuestros compañeros, amigos y familiares: los que han muerto, los que han cruzado, y quienes continúan cruzando. Testificamos acerca de la tragedia de muerte e inhumanidad en nuestro medio. Finalmente, en comunidad, emprendemos un sendero sagrado en contra de estas fronteras que intentan dividirnos, comprometidos a luchar juntos por la dignidad de todos.

June 3, 2016

Chandra Russo, Media Team Representative

Olivia Mena, Spanish/English Media Team Representative



13th Annual Migrant Trail Walk Arrives in Tucson

Record Number of Participants Complete Final Day of 75-mile Journey Through the Desert


Press Conference:
Sunday, June 5, 2016 at 11:30 AM
Kennedy Park, Ramada #3

Tucson, Arizona

TUCSON, Ariz- On Sunday, June 5, the thirteenth annual Migrant Trail, a 75- mile walk from Sásabe, Sonora will arrive in Tucson, Arizona. The event will culminate in a press conference, followed by a community gathering at Kennedy Park. More than 100 participants from across the United States, Mexico, and Central America have made the seven-day trek.
Since the 1990s, more than 6,000 men, women and children have lost their lives crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. The ongoing human rights crisis of deaths along the border is only one piece of the larger strategy to funnel vulnerable migrants into Arizona's deadly desert. Participants of the Migrant Trail walk not only bear witness to the tragedy of death, but the intentional dehumanization and militarization of border communities.  
"Many years ago when we gathered to walk the first time in memory of those who have died in our sacred desert we never imagined that we would still be walking thirteen years later," said Margo Cowan, a Tucson-based attorney who has walked every single summer since the Migrant Trail Walk began.

"We walk in memory of thousands of our brothers and sisters who have died horrific deaths as a direct result of our government's policies. We walk for each and every one of them and their families in witness to our government's profound crime against humanity committed daily, in our name, and in our desert made sacred by the blood and tears of the people who cross it," said Cowan.

Chyenne Valenzuela, a freshman in Cienega high school in Vail, Arizona, comes to the walk because of her own family history, linked to some of the troubling policies that predated the current ones, such as the infamous Bracero Program. "I am walking this year because it is the same journey that my great grandparents made from Sásabe to the United States 55 years ago when my grandfather came as a bracero worker. If it weren't for them making this journey, I would not be here with the opportunities that I have today," Valenzuela explained.

Ruby DeWilde, a seventh grader from Portland, Oregon, will be walking the Migrant Trail with her mother for the second time this year. "I'm walking because I want to bring attention to what is happening here and I want to let everyone know that it is not right. There are families and children just like me who make this treacherous journey trying to escape violence, arriving to the United States only to face criticism, racism, and often more violence," said DeWilde.

A coalition of community group sponsors support the walk. This year's sponsors include:

The Tucson Peace Center
365 Day Fast in Solidarity with DREAMers
Boulder Valley Unitarian Universalists Fellowship
Boulder Valley Unitarian Universalists Fellowship Immigration Justice Task Force
Cafe Justo (Just Coffee)
Casa Mariposa
The Colibrí Center for Human Rights
Coloradans For Immigrant Rights
The Colorado Office of the American Friends Service Committee
Franciscans for Justice
Frontera de Cristo
Green Valley/Sahuarita Samaritans
Guardian Angels Catholic Community, a member of the Ecumenical Catholic Communion.
Humane Borders
Jewish Voice for Peace-Tucson
La Coalición de Derechos Humanos
Mennonite Central Committee
Migrant Worker Solidarity Network
No More Deaths
Pacific University
Peace & Justice Committee of the Mountain View Friends Meeting
School Sisters of Notre Dame, Douglas, AZ
Shalom House
Shalom Mennonite Fellowship
Tucson Samaritans
University Presbyterian Church, Tempe, AZ
Wat Buddhametta Tucson Buddhist Meditation Center

The Migrant Trail Walk will begin the final 6.7 miles of their journey at 7:15 am at the BLM campsite on Ajo Way and San Joaquin Road.  Participants will be welcomed home at Ramada #3 at Kennedy Park at 11:30am with speakers, music, food, and testimonies from participants and supporters.  This event non-violent, family-friendly, and is free and open to the public. Participants and organizers of the Migrant Trail call on all people of conscience to stand in solidarity with our migrant sisters and brothers.

For more information you can also visit our website:


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.