August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Sunday, October 9, 2016

US Appeals Court denies injunction to halt DAPL construction

U.S. Court of Appeals denies injunction that would have halted construction during appeal process

Standing Rock Sioux Tribe will continue fight against pipeline despite court setback
By Standing Rock Sioux Tribe
Censored News

Breaking News Monday: Twenty-seven water protectors arrested, including actress Shailene Woodley for livestreaming, and activist Vic Camp.

CANNON BALL, North Dakota — The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit today rejected the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s request for an injunction to halt construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline by Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners. The decision comes as the Tribe is pursuing an appeal to stop construction while the rest of the case proceeds in U.S. District Court.
“The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe is not backing down from this fight,” said Dave Archambault II, Chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. “We are guided by prayer, and we will continue to fight for our people. We will not rest until our lands, people, waters and sacred places are permanently protected from this destructive pipeline.”
The 1,168-mile pipeline crosses through the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s ancestral lands and within a half mile of the reservation boundary. Construction crews have already destroyed and desecrated confirmed sacred and historic sites, including burials and cultural artifacts. The original pipeline route crossed the Missouri River just north of Bismarck, the capital of North Dakota. The route was later shifted downstream, to the tribe’s doorstep, out of concerns for the city’s drinking water supply.
“We call on Dakota access to heed the government’s request to stand down around Lake Oahe,” said Jan Hasselman, lead attorney from Earthjustice, which is representing the Tribe. “The government is still deciding whether or not Dakota access should get a permit. Continuing construction before the decision is made would be a tragedy given what we know about the importance of this area.”
In its ruling, a panel of U.S. Circuit Court judges denied the tribe’s request for an injunction, allowing construction to continue as the Tribe’s appeal is considered. Previously, the Department of Justice announced a temporary halt to pipeline construction on federal lands and requested that Energy Transfer Partners voluntarily halt construction on private lands.
“The federal government recognizes what is at stake and has asked DAPL to halt construction,” said Archambault. “We hope that they will comply with that request.”
Archambault notes that by allowing pipeline construction to continue, today’s ruling threatens millions.
“This ruling puts 17 million people who rely on the Missouri River at serious risk,” said Archambault. “And, already, the Dakota Access Pipeline has led to the desecration of our sacred sites when the company bulldozed over the burials of our Lakota and Dakota ancestors. This is not the end of this fight. We will continue to explore all lawful options to protect our people, our water, our land, and our sacred place.”

ABC News reports:
A federal appeals court on Sunday opened the door for construction to resume on a small stretch of the four-state Dakota Access pipeline while it considers an appeal by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.
The ruling removed a temporary injunction that halted work on the project.
The tribe had asked the U.S Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to continue work stoppage on the pipeline within 20 miles of Lake Oahe in North Dakota. The court earlier ordered work to stop while it considered the motion.
In a statement, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Chairman Dave Archambault II said that the tribe "is not backing down from this fight."
"We will not rest until our lands, people, waters and sacred places are permanently protected from this destructive pipeline," Archambault said.
Owned by Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners, the $3.8 billion, 1,172-mile project would carry nearly a half-million barrels of crude oil daily from North Dakota's oil fields through South Dakota and Iowa to an existing pipeline in Patoka, Illinois, where shippers can access Midwest and Gulf Coast markets.
The company did not immediately return an email Sunday seeking comment on the court's decision.
The pipeline passes near Standing Rock Sioux reservation land that straddles the North Dakota-South Dakota border. The tribe's protest encampment near the confluence of the Missouri and Cannonball rivers has swelled to thousands at times as demonstrators from around the country joined their cause.
Tribal and state officials also are at odds over whether sacred sites were destroyed while digging the pipeline corridor. The state archaeologist has said an inspection found no sign that the area contained human remains or cultural artifacts.
Congressman Kevin Cramer applauded the ruling. "I look forward to the workers getting back to work, doing the jobs they need to do Monday morning," the North Dakota Republican said in a statement.
The court hasn't decided on the tribe's appeal of a September ruling by U.S. District Judge James Boasberg, who declined to shut down work on the entire pipeline. He said the Sioux hadn't demonstrated that an injunction was warranted.
Though work may resume, three federal agencies — Interior, Justice and Army — immediately ordered that construction stop on land owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers next to and underneath Lake Oahe as it reviews its permitting decisions.
No timetable has been set for the federal review.

Breaking News at Censored News Monday and Tuesday, Oct. 10 -- 11, 2016:
--Twenty-seven water protectors were arrested on Monday, including
Lakota activist Vic Camp and actress Shailene Woodley, costar in the new Snowden film, who joined the Native youth runners to DC this summer. Two supporters locked down to machinery and were charged with felonies.
Red Warrior Camp statement:
--In a hate crime, Native Americans were run down as they marched in the anti-Columbus Day parade in Reno on Monday. A grandmother with a fractured pelvis speaks out after police refuse to arrest the driver.
--Michael Lane writes of Standing Rock efforts: Time to file civil charges against Morton Co. Sheriff
--US Appeals Court denies injunction
--The Native American Forum on Nuclear Issues is going on now. Please see yesterday's report, as Western Shoshone, Acoma Pueblo, Dineh, and more gather.
--In Sonora, a gathering was held to protect the Pascolas and Deer Dancers. We were invited and reported live.
--All this and more at Censored News.
Best, Brenda
Censored News

West Coast Women Warriors: Prayer Counters Morton Co. Sheriff's Criminal Enterprise


Comanche Nation leads prayer, as Morton Co. Sheriff expands its criminal enterprise, violating human rights, violating civil rights

West Coast Women Warriors Media Cooperative

Censored News

URGENT UPDATE: October 9th 2016
Only three days after the Morton County’s Sherriff’s department staged a press conference that stated they were calling in reinforcements and escalating actions against the Water Protectors, the Comanche Nation led a prayer walk from Oceti Sakowin, Standing Rock Encampment. They left the encampment, and walked on Highway 1806 towards the sacred burial grounds where the dog attack occurred and that has been desecrated by construction of the DAPL pipeline.

Shortly after they started the walk, they were confronted by 12 police vehicles including four State Police and eight Sherriff’s. The situation here is so extreme, that our people cannot even walk down a highway without being assaulted. The fact that we cannot even walk in prayer without harassment is a testament to the times we live in and how much value is put on oil and profit before water and people.

Women, children, and elders were amongst the Prayer Walkers, they had flags and other ceremonial items with them, they were unarmed and the intention of the police was to intimidate and harass them as they offered songs and medicine to the Sacred Water. This is an act of war against our people and our very way of life.

People were very upset and in a high state of emotion to have their ceremony disrupted in such a manner, we are lucky that Camp Security responded so quickly and they came to protect those praying, they arrived to form a line with coordinated action ensured the safety of the people and actively diffused the police who left when they seen the support of the whole camp of 200 people come to defend and protect the people in prayer.

We are very lucky no one got hurt and shortly after the police left roughly over 150 people came together to pray in a circle and to ensure they did not come back. The level of the tactics the police state is uncalled for, they are using escalating force as they waste tax payer’s money on deploying helicopters and police every day.
This is a battlefield in the fight for clean water we will hold our frontline and protect Mni Wiconi with strong hearts.

What the world needs to know is that the atmosphere of fear and aggression is not coming from the Indigenous peoples of the lands, it is coming from DAPL and the police state, it is coming from the Governor protecting his shares in the pipeline.

The very presence of the Comanche Nation today peacefully walking in ceremony as Water Protectors has threatened DAPL. We will remain strong, and we will hold the frontline in our fight to Protect the Sacred. We call on all who say we will be there when it gets real. It is real and the time is now, we are calling on all Warriors to come here and lend your body to our battle for clean water. WATER IS LIFE

West Coast Women Warriors Media Cooperative #NODAPL #WATERISLIFE #WATERPROTECTORS #StandingRock Ancestral Pride

Rio Yaqui, Mexico: Preservation of Indigenous Languages and Culture

Indigenous from Sonora and Sinaloa, Mexico, gather for the preservation of languages and culture
Yaqui language learning cards
Photo Brenda Norrell

By Brenda Norrell
Censored News
copyright Brenda Norrell

COCORIT PUEBLO, Sonora, Mexico -- The scent of the mesquite wood is sharp and crisp, as the dancers get ready. Inside, Indigenous from across the states of Sonora and Sinaloa, Mexico, discuss how to preserve and protect their languages and culture.

Here on the central coast of western Mexico, where the Pacific Ocean meets the Sonoran Desert, it is the music, the dance, the languages and the culture that the Indigenous of Sonora struggle to protect. Comcaac (Seri), Yoeme (Yaqui), Yoreme (Mayo), Guajiro and O’odham (Papago) are gathered. The O'ob (Pima) were unable to come, as life is very difficult.

Indigenous gathered are discussing ways to preserve the Pascolas traditional dances of Yoeme, O'odham and other Indigenous in the states of Sonora and Sinaloa.

Alejandro Aguilar Zelleny of the Instituto Nacional de Antropologica e Historia, INAH, said the effort is underway to preserve the traditions and cultures. Indigenous Peoples are expressing concerns, and ways, of how to keep the traditions and culture in tact for future generations. They are working toward recognition of traditions and culture by UNESCO, Aguilar said.

This might be the friendliest community.

As we pass through Yaqui Pueblos, we stop and ask directions. A young woman jumps in the car with us and guides us to the gathering. She gives us an impromptu tour of carvings and plazas and ends with this offer, “I’ll give you my phone number, in case you need more directions, or want to have dinner together tonight.”

Photo copyright Brenda Norrell
We return her to work, and thank her. Inside the Yaqui Museum is a tribute to the Yaqui pueblos, their history, language and culture. At lunch, there is the unexpected: It is new cuisine of stuffed chicken breasts, vegetables, and an artistic ring of a whole grain tortilla. At the table, the languages spoken are O’odham, Spanish and English. Other languages drift across the meal from neighboring tables.

Here in Sonora, there is a great beauty of the desert and the sea. There is the desert, which braces against the Pacific Ocean waters.

Down the road is Vicam Yaqui Pueblo, where for years Yaqui maintained a highway blockade for their water rights. Long haul trucks would back up for miles, and occasionally be let through. These freighters were carrying produce to the U.S. and Mexico. At stake, was the water of the Rio Yaqui, which the City of Hermosillo was seizing by way of an illegal aqueduct that violated the water rights of Yaquis.

Two Yaqui media spokesmen of the Vicam water rights struggle were illegally imprisoned for one year. The men were released after a year of imprisonment. Mario Luna recently went to the United Nations, and the Standing Rock resistance in North Dakota, to share the struggle here for  water rights.

During the long years of struggle, the Zapatistas came with support from Chiapas, and the Mohawk Warriors came from the far north.

Rio Yaqui cultural exhibit at Yaqui Museum at Cocorit, Sonora,
Mexico. Photo Brenda Norrell
Back at the gathering today, an espresso coffee shop with free wifi is located across the road. Unexpectedly, a Yaqui cowboy rides up on his horse. In Spanish he happily greets another Yaqui man at the door of the museum, both are wearing the crisp white cowboy hats that are worn here. “Hola, where you from?” the Yaqui on horseback asks, happy to greet others to this community. There is a peace and joy here, not far from the sea, and not far from Vicam, where one of the greatest water battles of our times has unfolded.

When the Yaqui Deer dances began, the travelers who came so far are blessed. From the northern border, the O’odham have driven eight hours to be here. The roads, at least, are fairly free of the Mexican military that once frightened travelers.

The real danger is not seen. It is not discussed. It is there, the ever present danger.

The water wars, the struggles for the survival of the languages, music, dances, culture and traditions, and the battle for survival itself is always present. Here, in Sonora, for Indigenous, the battle is always the struggle for life itself.

Photo below: Victor Garcia Brown of the ritual ceremony of the flying papantla. Photo by Brenda Norrell.

Below: Comcaac (Seri) elder from the coastal fishing villages of Comcaac, speaks on preservation of language and culture. Photo Brenda Norrell.

TODAY: Censored News Coverage Fundraiser: Native American Forum on Nuclear Issues

Nevada Test Site on Western Shoshone lands; Navajo uranium miners in Four Corners area working unprotected with radioactive ore during U.S. government's Cold War; Supai children and friends at Havasupai Uranium Summit (Photo Brenda Norrell) and Dineh marching against uranium mining in Church Rock, N.M.
By Brenda Norrell
Censored News

Update: Sorry, I was unable to raise travel fund donations to attend the Native American Nuclear Forum, so I will not be able to provide live coverage.

Best, Brenda Norrell

LAS VEGAS -- The Native American Forum on Nuclear Issues begins tonight, Sunday night, with reception. Two day conference of Western Shoshone, Paiute, Navajo, Supai, and more, discussing the U.S. policies of genocide and the nuclear industry. From the Nuclear Test Site and Yucca Mountain on Western Shoshone lands, to the Cold War strewn radioactive tailings on the Navajo Nation, and the ongoing targeting of Navajoland and Native communities, the U.S. government has long wanted to make Indian country a nuclear dump site.

Censored News celebrates as we begin our 11th year of publishing. We have no ads, grants or revenues. Reader donations help pay the expenses of our live broadcasts. Thank you for donating and being part of Censored News.

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