August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Thursday, September 1, 2016

'Sacred Battles Meet in LA' Solidarity with Standing Rock

Taking on CNN in Los Angeles
Los Angeles Indigenous community and allies gathered at the Mainstream Media Blackout protest outside the Hollywood CNN Building; hosted by AIM So Cal.

Jahnny Lee Visuals (used with permission). Native recording artists Crystle Lightning and MC RedCloud of "Lightning Cloud" at the Mainstream Media Blackout protest.

Crowd gathered around the Spirit Lake Drum at #NoDAPL Benefit

Sacred Battles Meet in LA

By Stephanie Mushrush, Washoe/Filipina
Censored News
Stephanie Mushrush, Cody Hall, Anthony Rogers-Wright and Carrie Curley gather after festivities at the “Enough is Enough” rally in Hollywood.
LOS ANGELES – SEPTEMBER 1, 2016 -- The fight to protect water, sacred sites, and treaty rights was brought to the ancestral Tongva and Kumeyaay lands of Los Angeles and San Diego, at four separate events this past weekend in the Southern California area. The events came about after members of the LA and San Diego Indigenous communities, American Indian Movement – Southern California, and allies, saw a need for support and solidarity for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in North Dakota. Standing Rock and allies have occupied Cannon Ball, North Dakota – reportedly growing from 30 to over 3,000 in just a few weeks – in order to fight the Dakota Access Pipeline. Known as the “DAPL,” the pipeline threatens the tribe’s and residents’ water supply, sacred sites, as well as treaty rights.
The weekend kicked off on Friday evening with a community benefit at Self-Help Graphics and Art, featuring music, art, and speakers, raising over $2300 in funds for the Standing Rock’s Camp of the Sacred Stones. Hosted by the LA Indigenous community and AIM So Cal, powerful musical acts included the Spirit Lake Drum, Aztlan Underground, Maya Jupiter, Cempoalli, and others. Guest speakers included Carrie Sage Curley (San Carlos Apache, Apache Stronghold), George Funmaker (Dakota, Ho-Chunk), Shannon Rivers (Akimel O’otham), and Kalama O Ka Aina (Hawaii, Mauna Kea protector). Attendees stood proudly as a group of powwow dancers danced to the American Indian Movement Song, sang by Spirit Lake Drum. A large banner reading “IDLE NO MORE” graced the stage, with a man eagerly holding it up for the full venue to see.
The excitement level was high, with many surprised at the large crowd and level of support, and the diversity of tribal and allied representation present. Aside from the stage and information tables, Curley painted in the back venue area. Invited by the LA Indigenous community to present about her involvement with Apache Stronghold, Curley informed the crowd through her speech and art. She worked diligently on an image of a young Apache woman at her sunrise dance held at Oak Flat, on a canvas intended to represent the Save Oak Flat movement throughout the weekend.
“There was a huge range of ages here tonight. It made me feel good to be amongst the elders, the youth – to see the kids running around,” stated Curley. “My painting of Nizhoni at her sunrise dance said more about the movement than anything. I wanted to bring awareness to the Cali community through my art.”
The event drew members of the LA Indigenous community, including Native couture fashion designer Bethany Yellowtail, as well as allies, including Asher Underwood of Indie.Genius.Media. “We came in solidarity to help get the message clear that we stand against the Dakota Access Pipeline. This event is very powerful and inspiring, with so many nations and peoples representing from across Los Angeles,” he said.
The #NoDAPL weekend agenda continued on Saturday morning, with a large rally and march that closed the infamous intersection of Hollywood and Highland. The “Enough is Enough” event was organized by California for Progress, featuring speakers and performers from various organizations; the event also served as a fundraiser and support for the Standing Rock’s fight against the DAPL. American actress Shailene Woodley joined the roster of speakers, along with Funmaker, Curley, and Cody Hall and Anthony Rogers-Wright, both of whom flew in from Standing Rock camps for the weekend’s events with messages about the fight against the DAPL. The crowd marched to the Hollywood CNN Building, across from which, AIM So Cal members held a large banner that read “#NoDAPL,” while – in front of a line of police officers and their cars, fancy shawl dancer, Cheyenne Phoenix danced on the street to Funmaker singing the AIM Song.
Later, Hall shared with the crowd his views on the resistance. “This is a humanity issue; this involves all of us. It just happens to be that it’s on our land. But, we stood together.” Cheers came from the crowd, after Hall reported word that there are over 3,500 people at the camp. “In our Lakota way of life, it’s called that warrior spirit… If you are somehow able to leave from here and at some point, stand with us, and be right there at that camp, you are bringing that warrior spirit. Because we, as indigenous people, come from warrior blood,” Hall explained. “We’re in this for the long haul. We have over 50 people that have promised and committed that they are going to stay with us through the winter months. People have said, ‘We’re in this for the long haul.’”
The show of solidarity continued through the evening, again outside of the CNN Building on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood. Elders, community members, bird singers crowded the sidewalks and walkway surrounding the building with signs of protest. “Stand With Standing Rock!” “Make America Native Again!” “Stop the Black Snake!” “No More Stolen Land! No More Stolen Sisters!” “Protect Sacred Sites!” The smell of sage wafted through the crowd in the hazy scene of city dusk. A group gathered around the speakers on the corner; another group chanted, “Water is Life!” enticing honks from passing cars. Kalama O Ka Aina captured the crowd, with her words on solidarity in protecting the earth. “Part of the oppression of the First Nations is intrinsically tied to the extraction and destruction of the planet as we know it… And how are we going to live? How are we going to eat? How are we going to support our future generations?”
The LA event ended with California bird songs, handshakes and gratitude for connection. “I’m so thankful for the people that work hard to bring the LA Native community together to fight for our rights, the land, and our water! This weekend was a beautiful thing to witness!” exclaimed Mashkawizii Ikwe, Anishinaabe. Another attendee, documentary filmmaker, Jahnny Lee, shared his calling to join the resistance in order to capture the historic fight; Lee has set up a Go Fund Me in order to raise funds for his filming in Cannon Ball, ND.
On Sunday, community members, allies, and groups gathered outside the NBC Building at San Diego’s Horton Plaza. Miss Kumeyaay Nation stood in her regalia and crown, holding a protest sign that read, “#NoDAPL.” The Viejas Bird Singers shared songs with dancers and attendees, under the warm sun. Event organizer, Shaun Cook (Tlingit, Thunderbird Wolf Clan) stated, “We hold these rallies for solidarity, and for those that can't make it to the camps. We are raising awareness on what is going to happen when the pipeline ruptures. It will destroy all things that live around the river, creeks, streams, and the people.” Summarizing the weekend, Cook stated, “We’re standing in unity as one heart and one mind, to stand up for Mother Earth – for all people and all living things. We are the seventh generation.”
The Los Angeles and San Diego Indigenous community groups of AIM and Idle No More, and other groups, report that they are planning to continue solidarity events for Standing Rock and other resistance movements around Indian Country, including issues such as freeing Leonard Peltier; in the days since the weekend, various cities have begun planning for simultaneous community gatherings for September 9, 2016.

Kalama O Ka Aina, Carrie Sage Curley, and Cody Hall representing their nations’ fights to Protect Mauna Kea, Save Oak Flat, and #NoDAPL.

Jahnny Lee Visuals (used with permission). Taboo of Black Eyes Peas, Bethany Yellowtail, and others show support for Standing Rock at the Hollywood “Enough is Enough” rally.

DALLAS: Dakota Access Pipeline Demonstration at Energy Transfer Partners HQ

Dakota Access Pipeline Demonstration at Energy Transfer Partners HQ in Dallas

Hundreds are expected to gather for a peaceful demonstration against Energy Transfer Partners, the corporation attempting to construct the Dakota Access Pipeline (aka, “DAPL”), at their Dallas headquarters this Friday. The demonstration will be led by the American Indian Movement (AIM) of Central Texas to show solidarity with their brothers and sisters whose water is under threat by the same corporation attempting to build the Trans-Pecos Pipeline through WestTexas near Big Bend.

Several Sierra Club leaders and supporters from Big Bend to Austin to Dallas and beyond will join the demonstration in solidarity with AIM Central Texas.

However, the Texas connection to DAPL is more than just a show of solidarity. Texas is a key site of Native Resistance to projects that threaten the land and water. A key challenge to DAPL is based on an improper tribal consultation process by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) in complying with National Historic Preservation Act, Section 106. This is the exact same issue with the Dos Republicas coal mine in Eagle Pass, Texas. The mine is actively disrupting a sacred site and pollutes local waterways. It has received major opposition by local Indigenous groups in Texas. In April, 26 indigenous nations united in opposition to the Dos Republicas mine and marched from the border to the mine site.   

What: Peaceful demonstration against Dakota Access Pipeline company Energy Transfer Partners


Where: 8111 Westchester Drive, Dallas, TX 75225

Red Warrior Camp 'Lakota Warriors Locked to Machinery to Protect Sacred Water'

Media Contact:  Cody Hall
Red Warrior Camp
September 1, 2016

Cannon Ball River, 1851 Ft Laramie Treaty Territory -- On August 31, 2016, a unified collective of over 100 water protectors successfully halted construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline south of Mandan, ND.
The nonviolent direct action included two Lakota warriors that locked themselves on to heavy machinery at a construction site where Precision Pipeline Company, a subcontractor of Dakota Access, LLC was working in the pipeline corridor, off Highway 6.
Approximately five to eight workers politely left the worksite upon the arrival of our action team and supporters.  Within minutes a group of private security guards arrived, along with members of Precision Pipeline management.
One security guard handed out “media reference cards” and all workers were instructed to say “no comment” when asked direct questions by media or concerned citizens.
The card was printed by Dakota Access, LLC. The card instructs employees to refer media to their media relations department and advises…”Do not confront or interrupt protestors” “call management immediately” and “be calm” among other instructions.
Under the command of Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier, nine separate agencies arrived on scene to establish a perimeter and remove the water protectors.
North Dakota State Patrol blocked traffic from entering Highway 6, northbound and southbound of the protest site to effectively block any additional water protectors from getting to the site.
One warrior was removed safely from a large dump truck within an hour.  However, the other warrior that chained himself to the arm of a large excavator stayed locked onto the machine for nearly six hours, causing police and construction workers to bring in additional equipment to dismantle the machine.  They were unsuccessful in this endeavor and eventually sawed off the “lock box”.
Misdemeanor charges ranging from trespassing, to disorderly conduct were made against a total of eight people at this site.
Kirchmeier held a press conference later in the day and acknowledged that the direct action was nonviolent and that no weapons were found.
Another nonviolent direct action, organized by Bold Iowa, took place yesterday along the Dakota Access Pipeline route in Iowa.  30 water protectors were arrested there when they peacefully blocked a pipeline construction site.  Protest organizer Ed Fallon, a former state legislator, expressed that this may be the first of many protests to stop construction through their state.
Red Warrior Camp, Sacred Stone Camp, and allies from around the globe are committed to protecting our clean water sources.
Social Media: , @ZuyaLutaOceti on Twitter

Lakota Water Protectors Locked to Machinery in Defense of Water

Update: Happy American Horse, 26, was released from jail late on Wednesday. Happy was among eight arrested at the action.

Wed. Aug. 31, 2016 Water Protector Locked to Machinery
ALERT! A water protector has locked himself to Dakota Access digging equipment, stopping construction! This is non-violent direct action. This is happening 14 miles north of the Cannon Ball River on hwy 6, 19 miles south of Mandan, ND.#NoDAPL #WaterIsLife

Police are allowing only certain press. Human rights observer denied access to close observation. 11:25 a.m.


10:44 a.m, Wed. Aug. 31, 2016

Photo below: 12:15 p.m. Happy American Horse is now on the ground.


Watch live:

"I'm here to protect the water."


Stay active. Oyate blihichiyapo. 14 miles north of the Cannonball river on highway 6 . 19 miles south of mandan on highway 6. Get here. There will be no pipeline here. Stay tuned in. 
Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2016
11:20 a.m.


AUGUST 30, 2016

Amnesty International USA Calls on Authorities to Protect Peaceful Protest at Dakota Access Oil Pipeline Site

After sending a delegation of human rights observers to monitor protest conditions, Amnesty International USA today called on state and local authorities to take specific steps to protect Indigenous communities’ right to peacefully protest at the site of a disputed pipeline in North Dakota.
In a letter to the governor of North Dakota, the North Dakota Highway Patrol and the Morton County Sheriff’s Department, Amnesty International USA asked that a roadblock to the protest site be removed, urged authorities to meet regularly with protesters and community leaders, and reminded officials of their duty to facilitate peaceful protest.
“The U.S. government is obligated under international law to respect, protect, and fulfill the human rights of Indigenous people, including the rights to freedom of expression and assembly.  It is the legitimate right of people to peacefully express their opinion,” the letter reads. “Public assemblies should not be considered as the ‘enemy.’”
Regarding the roadblock, which restricts southbound traffic to the protest area but allows northbound traffic to pass through, the letter states: “While reports indicate that the roadblock was initiated for safety and security reasons related to the protests taking place on the side of the highway, we are concerned that its continued use deliberately hinders access to the protest sites and camp near Cannon Ball…Any security measures imposed regarding protests, such as the use of road blocks, must only be used if they are necessary and proportionate to a legitimate aim.”
The letter states that “no parking” signs and reduced speed limit warnings would address any public safety concerns without having to use the roadblock.
“Police have a duty to protect the right to peacefully protest, not to inhibit it,” said Tarah Demant, senior director at Amnesty International USA. “There is no reason to make it harder for communities coming from the north to exercise their right to free speech, when there are less obstructive ways to protect the public.”
Protesters have gathered in recent weeks at construction sites for the Dakota Access Pipeline near the border of North and South Dakota, close to the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. The protest that the AIUSA delegation observed was peaceful. Separate court rulings are anticipated on whether the construction can continue, and whether the demonstrations can continue to take place. 29 people have been arrested in recent weeks.
The delegation will continue to closely monitor the situation and may return.   
Amnesty International has history of monitoring protests and police conduct to ensure adherence to international standards for human rights. In the United States, AIUSA has deployed delegations of observers to Ferguson, MO, and Baltimore, MD, to monitor protests in the wake of police killings, as well as to Cleveland and Philadelphia to monitor the protests outside the Republican and Democratic National Conventions earlier this year.

Spy Plane on Pipeline Patrol Exposed: Private corp operated by former military

Private corporation spying on everyone, owned by former military, has pipeline patrol

By Brenda Norrell
Censored News

A private corporation has been operating spy planes, and secretly spying on everyone. The exposure has caused outrage in Baltimore. 

An investigation by Censored News reveals that the company -- Persistent Surveillance Systems -- has a pipeline patrol, as shown in this screen capture below from its web site.

Further, it is now revealed that police are paying this private corporation. Police are using private funds to pay this private corporation in order to avoid detection, since they are spying without warrants.

The company boasts that its plane, HawkEyeII, can spy on people at night, in a wide area.

"The technology was first developed by the military and deployed in the siege of Fallujah," reports Partnership for Civil Justice Fund.

Persistent Surveillance Systems reports on its website that it is owned by Ross T. McNutt, PhD.

The following biography reveals that McNutt is a major and was (or still is) employed by the Secretary of the Air Force at the Pentagon.



Baltimore’s covert spy plane program: a national crossroads for privacy and free speech
Spread the word!

By Carl Messineo
PCJF Legal Director

Published on Alternet

Everyone’s movements are watched from a hidden camera in the sky, but no one knows it. Ex-military private contractors control the cameras and run the operation to avoid government oversight. In the background, billionaire funders salivate at the possibility of plush government contracts.

In the City of Baltimore this dystopian scenario is already real life.

A private security firm, Persistent Surveillance Systems, with funding from a billionaire former hedge fund manager, has been filming and recording the people of Baltimore from the skies, using a surveillance plane with an ultra-wide angle camera that circles the city recording the imagery to massive hard drives. The range encompasses thirty square miles simultaneously, almost one third of the city.

“Imagine Google Earth with TiVo capability” gushes Ross McNutt, the founder of PSS.

The technology was first developed by the military and deployed in the siege of Fallujah.

In an all-too-familiar transition, this battlefield technology needs a new marketplace in order to maintain profitability. Wars come and go, but the domestic marketplace is persistent.

Such is the growth cycle of the Surveillance Industrial Complex, the morphed offspring of the Military Industrial Complex that has distorted values and driven policies for years on end. Capital interests profit from the people’s collective and individual loss of personal privacy.

McNutt founded Persistent Surveillance Systems to bring that battlefield technology home to monitor the people of the United States. He viewed Baltimore as an excellent proving ground in the aftermath of the Freddie Gray homicide. However, McNutt lacked necessary finances. In stepped Texas-based hedge fund manager and billionaires John and Laura Arnold. The Arnolds' foundation donated $120,000 to a local foundation, the Baltimore Community Foundation, which funded the spy plane.

By securing private funding, the Baltimore Police Department was able to use the dragnet surveillance technology off-the-books. There was no government oversight or authorization from elected officials, no public disclosures to the community or hearings before the City Council. It was all surreptitious and undisclosed ...

How the Government Creates an Intimate Picture of Your Private Life — Read the rest of the report

Everyone needs to know about this new level of government surveillance — take 30 seconds to share this article on Facebook, Twitter and via email.

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Partnership for Civil Justice Fund

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