August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Friday, June 16, 2017

Arizona -- Border Patrol attacked No More Deaths humanitarian camp

  America's War on the Voiceless

Above: Border Patrol agents at No More Deaths Camp entrance in Arivaca, south of Tucson, on Thursday before arresting four migrants in need of emergency medical aid. Below: Agents from the Nogales Border Patrol station stalking the humanitarian aid camp on Wednesday and Thursday.

Border Patol Agents attack medical aid camp for migrants at Arivaca. On Thursday, 30 armed agents entered camp with at least 15 trucks, two quads and a helicopter overhead and arrested  four migrants receiving emergency medical aid, as deadly heat wave approaches with southern Arizona temperatures to reach 120 degrees.

Border Patrol Raids Humanitarian Aid Camp in Targeted Attack

By No More Deaths

Thursday, June 15, 2017
Dutch translation by Alice Holemans at:
French translation by Christine Prat

A helicopter, 15 trucks and 30 armed agents descended on the medical aid station to apprehend 4 people receiving medical care in deadly summer heat
Thursday, June 15th, 6:00 pm, Arivaca, Arizona: In temperatures surging over 100℉, US Border Patrol raided the medical aid camp of humanitarian organization No More Deaths, and detained four individuals receiving medical care. Obstruction of humanitarian aid is an egregious abuse by the law enforcement agency, a clear violation of international humanitarian law and a violation of the organization’s written agreement with the Tucson Sector Border Patrol.
Agents from the Border Patrol began surveilling the No More Deaths’ camp on Tuesday, June 13th at around 4:30 PM. Agents in vehicles, on foot and ATV’s surrounded the aid facility and set up a temporary checkpoint at the property-line to search and interrogate those leaving about their citizenship status. The heavy presence of law enforcement has deterred people from accessing critical humanitarian assistance in this period of hot and deadly weather. These events also follow a pattern of increasing surveillance of humanitarian aid over the past few months under the Trump administration.
This afternoon, in an unprecedented show of force, approximately 30 armed agents raided the camp with at least 15 trucks, 2 quads and a helicopter to apprehend four patients receiving medical care.
For the past 13 years, No More Deaths has provided food, water, and medical care for people crossing the Sonoran desert on foot. The ongoing humanitarian crisis caused by border enforcement policy has claimed the lives of over 7000 people since 1998. Human remains are found on average once every three days in the desert of Southern Arizona.
Kate Morgan, Abuse Documentation & Advocacy Coordinator for the organization said, “No More Deaths has documented the deaths and disappearances of hundreds of migrants in the Arivaca corridor of the border. Today’s raid on the medical aid station is unacceptable and a break in our good faith agreements with Border Patrol to respect the critical work of No More Deaths”.
John Fife, one of the founders of No More Deaths, commented that, “Since 2013 the Tucson sector of the Border Patrol has had a written agreement with No More Deaths (NMD) that they will respect the NMD camp as a medical facility under the international Red Cross standards, which prohibit government interference with humanitarian aid centers. That agreement now has been violated by the Border Patrol under the most suspicious circumstances. The Border Patrol acknowledged that they tracked a group for 18 miles, but only after the migrants sought medical treatment did the Border Patrol seek to arrest them. The choice to interdict these people only after they entered the No More Deaths’ camp is direct evidence that this was a direct attack on humanitarian aid. At the same time, the weather forecast is for record setting deadly temperatures”.
People crossing the deadly and remote regions of the US Mexico border often avoid seeking urgent medical care for fear of deportation and incarceration. For this reason, a humanitarian focused aid station in the desert is an essential tool for preserving life. The targeting of this critical medical aid is a shameful reflection of the current administration’s disregard for the lives of migrants and refugees, making an already dangerous journey even more deadly.
In spite of this, No More Deaths remains committed to our mission to end death and suffering in the desert and will continue to provide humanitarian aid, as we have for the past 13 years.

Also see The UK Guardian's coverage:

The Intercept coverage:

America's War on the Voiceless
No More Deaths Camp was attacked by Border Patrol agents who arrested four migrants receiving emergency medical aid at Arivaca, south of Tucson, late Thursday. This photo shows America's current violent attacks being carried by heavily armed police and agents targeting dying migrants crossing the desert on foot; the voiceless; the desperate and Indigenous Peoples, as was done by militarized police at Standing Rock. The weather forecast in southern Arizona is for deadly heat, with temperatures to reach  120 degrees. Attacking emergency medical aid is an humanitarian crime. 
-- Brenda Norrell, Censored News

Below: Border Patrol agents vandalize life saving water for migrants in 2012
In the early morning of May 14, 2012 Border Patrol agents destroy water left for migrants in distress along a desert trail near the town of Arivaca, Arizona. More than 178 people died while crossing the Arizona desert during Fiscal Year 2012. [note: the time stamp on this video is incorrect]

Ute Mountain Ute -- Haul No Tour Resisting Uranium Mining Poisoning Utah

Follow @haul_no on Instagram! #haulno #stopcanyonmine

Leona Morgan, Dine', with Yolanda Badback, Ute, monitoring radioactivity on the road to White Mesa Uranium Mill.

Canadian Mining Company Poisoning Ute Mountain Ute, Targeting Havasupai Sacred Land in Grand Canyon

By Brenda Norrell
Censored News
French translation by Christine Prat at:

The 'Haul No! Tour' is now exposing, and resisting, uranium mining and transport on sacred lands of the Ute Mountain Ute and Havasupai, and the threat to the ground water for Utes and at the Grand Canyon.
Sacred lands are being desecrated by uranium processing and water and land is threatening by uranium hauling through Ute, Navajo and Supai lands.
Ute Mountain Ute depend on ground water from their wells for drinking.
"Please help us shut this mill down," said Yolanda, on this video in her homelands.
"We don't need any more of this nasty waste."
Energy Fuels of Canada owns the White Mesa Mill and Canyon Mine.
Canyon Mine is now threatening to poison sacred lands of the Supai at Red Butte in the Grand Canyon.
"Haul No! is an Indigenous led awareness and action tour along the proposed haul route. We intend to spread awareness and stimulate action to ensure the Grand Canyon, sacred sites, and our communities are safeguarded from this deadly toxic threat," said Native American organizers.
The Tour concludes at the Havasupai Gathering June 23 -- 25, 2017.

Contact: Klee Benally,
Sarana Riggs,

'Haul No!' Tour Opposing Grand Canyon Uranium Mining and Transport

GRAND CANYON, Arizona  — As Energy Fuels Inc. (EFI) threatens to start uranium mining on sacred Indigenous Lands managed by the US Forest Service, just miles from the Grand Canyon, Haul No! has planned a 300 mile awareness and action tour along the Canyon Mine haul route.

Who: Haul No! is a volunteer Indigenous-led group collaborating with Indigenous communities and leaders, environmental organizations, and community-based advocates working to stop nuclear colonialism in the Southwest.

What: Haul No! Tour including presentations on public health, cultural and environmental impacts from uranium mining, and a direct action workshop. Starting near the White Mesa Uranium Mill, also operated by EFI, and stopping in impacted Indigenous communities and the city of Flagstaff, the tour will wrap up at sacred Red Butte near Canyon Mine. The tour will culminate at a Prayer Gathering organized by the Havasupai Nation.

When and Where: June 13–25, 2017 

Why: Up to 12 trucks a day with 30 tons each of highly radioactive uranium ore are slated to be transported through mostly small reservation communities.The Havasupai Nation has legally challenged the US Forest Service due failure complete meaningful consultation with the Havasupai in their 1986 Environmental Impact Statement regarding Canyon Mine. A decision from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals is still pending.
Although the Navajo Nation has banned transport of uranium through its lands since 2012, EFI would be permitted by the state of Arizona due to jurisdictional issues.

Possible radioactive contamination to land, water, and air from the Canyon Mine, White Mesa Mill, and transport of uranium would impact northern Arizona, southeast Utah, the Colorado River, Moenkopi Wash, the San Juan River, and the lands and cultural resources of the Havasupai, Hopi, Navajo, Ute, and Paiute peoples.

Haul No Tour Schedule
Tuesday, June 13, Bluff, UT 
Community Center, 5:30 pm
Wednesday, June 14, Oljato, UT
Thursday, June 15, Kayenta, AZ
Kayenta Town Hall, 5:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Friday, June 16, Tuba City, AZ
Greyhills Auditorium, 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Saturday, June 17, Cameron, AZ
Monday, June 19, Flagstaff, AZ
Coconino Center for the Arts, 6 pm - 8 pm

MADRID, SPAIN -- Nataanii Means and Spanish Activists Speak on Divestment and Indigenous Rights

            Nataanii Means in Barcelona , Spain. Photos courtesy Pascal Gregis, member of the CSIA-Nitassinan

Nataanii Means, Dine' Lakota from Chinle on the Navajo Nation, shown here as he arrived in France to begin the 11 country tour. Water Protectors from Standing Rock camps concluded the Tour in Spain and Italy. Nataanii joined Waste Win Young, Dakota Lakota from Standing Rock; Rachel Heaton, Muckleshoot from Washington State, and Rafael Gonzalez, Dakota from Minneapolis. Photo credit Waste Win Young.
MADRID, SPAIN -- Nataanii Means and Spanish Activists speak on divestment and Indigenous rights

Article by Pascal Gregis, member of the CSIA-Nitassinan
Translation by Christine Prat in France
Censored News
Friday, June 9 2017

Pascal Gregis, member of the CSIA-Nitassinan attended the lecture and summed up the main interventions concerning climate change, fossil fuels, the disinvestment campaign and Indigenous Peoples.

Speakers were:
- Samuel Martín Sosa (Ecologistas en acción)
- Erika González Briz (Observatorio de las multinacionales en América Latina)
- Nataanii Means (Diné Lakota, Water Protector at Standing Rock, Hip Hop artist)

Samuel Martín Sosa provided an overview of the mechanisms, causes and consequences of climate change and the part of fossil fuels in it.
He explained that it was oil that had made possible the explosion of the use of other resources, as aluminum, for instance, as processing it requires using oil. Exploitation of all those resources led to extractivism which caused the relocation of populations, and the slow disappearance of all forms of life bound to their environment …
He reminded people that climate change and destruction of the environment did not affect all communities in the same way, and that the poorest where the most affected, giving as an example the Dakota Access Pipeline, whose route was originally planned to pass near Bismarck, but has been diverted to pass near Standing Rock, as the well-to-do population of Bismarck refused to have the pipeline pass through there.

Erika González Briz talked about the Movement for Dismantling the Transnational Companies Power.
She talked about the big infrastructure projects players, the technical players, but most of all about the financial players: investment funds, pension funds and banks. She explained that there were two ways for those players to be involved:
- financing, to provide the funds allowing implementation of the projects
- pension funds, belonging to the oil/extractive companies, which are quite common nowadays, and which submit those companies to a financial logic, meaning trying to maximize the shareholder profits, that speculation leading to "compress" the firm's activities and make them more aggressive.
Then, she reminded people that the aim of transnationals was to make profit and there was not a single transnational company that did not violate human rights, as they can't maximize their profits without violating human rights, in other words, to maximize their profits is their goal and there does not exist any mandatory mechanism to force them to respect human rights. However, there are mandatory international agreements on the right to invest, but agreements over human rights are not compelling, it is thus impossible to challenge a transnational company in court for violation of human rights, as such a company has given itself a chart, which it is not even compelled to respect.
It is thus necessary to:
- go on opposing locally all projects violating human rights
- push the adoption of compelling mechanisms to insure they are respected.

Nataanii Means delivered a very strong speech on the present situation of Indigenous Peoples and the struggle against the DAPL (Dakota Access Pipeline) at Standing Rock.
He said that Indigenous people were born inside resistance, that they did not know anything else. There had been the uranium mines, first exploited, then abandoned, there are now coal mines, pipelines. Indigenous peoples are affected by a huge rate of suicides, a huge rate of cancers and a rate of deaths caused by police higher than that affecting African-Americans.
When the Protectors went to the Crédit Suisse bank in Geneva, they spoke with the director responsible for 'sustainability' and told him that his bank was involved in the genocide of their peoples; he looked at them and said: "Be careful with the use you make of the word genocide."
The Struggle against the Dakota Access Pipeline opposed a non-violent resistance to the police, who did use violence, including attack dogs. Nataanii told of having seen a dog catching a woman by a breast while the security agents laughed. This struggle had a huge impact throughout the world, not only because of the number of resisters, probably the highest ever in that kind of struggles, but also, we regret to say, because of the violence of its repression. The water protectors performed symbolic actions as running false pipelines.
Nataanii reminded people that the pipeline Line 2, in Minnesota, had been dropped, and that victories were possible.

I [Pascal] asked a slightly sensitive question: "Of course, there are still other pipelines projects, as Line 3 and KXL, but for the DAPL, can we still stop it by disinvestment, knowing that the money seems to have already been paid and the oil to flow?"
Nataanii answered that he was no expert in the matter, but that it was important for future pipelines, and that, even if it was not realistic, he hoped that it could increase the consciousness and stop the use of the DAPL.

Vendredi 09 juin 2017 à Madrid, Centro Galileo

3 intervenants ont parlé du changement climatique, des énergies fossiles, de la campagne de désinvestissement et des peuples autochtones :
- Samuel Martín Sosa (Ecologistas en acción)
- Erika González Briz (Observatorio de la multinacionales en América Latina)

Samuel Martín Sosa a fait un tour d'horizon des mécanismes, causes et conséquences du changement climatique et du rôle des énergies fossiles.
Il a expliqué que c'était le pétrole qui avait permis l'explosion de l'utilisation des autres matières premières, comme l'alluminium par exemple, dont la transformation nécessite l'utilisation de pétrole. L'utilisation de toutes ces matières a conduit à l'extractivisme qui a causé le déplacement de populations, la disparition progressive des formes de vie en lien avec leur environnement ...
Il a rappelé que le changement climatique et la destruction de l'environnement ne touchaient pas pareil toutes les communautés et que c'étaient les plus pauvres qui étaient le plus touchées, en prenant pour exemple le Dakota Access Pipeline qui au départ devait passer près de Bismarck mais a été dévié pour passer à côté de Standing Rock car la population de Bismarck, plutôt aisée, avait refusé le passage du pipeline.

Erika González Briz a parlé du mouvement pour le démantellement du pouvoir des multinationales.
Elle a parlé des acteurs des grand projets d'infrastructure, acteurs techniques, mais surtout acteurs financiers : fonds d'investissement, fonds de pension et banques. Elle a expliqué qu'il existait 2 types de participation de ces acteurs :
- le financement, pour mettre les capitaux qui permettent aux projets d'être mis en oeuvre,
- les fonds de pension appartenant aux entreprises extractives/pétrolières, que l'on trouve souvent aujourd'hui, qui soumettent ces entreprises à la logique financière en essayant de maximiser les rétributions à l'actionaire, et cette spéculation a pour effet de « comprimer » les activités des entreprises, de les rendre plus agressives.
Ensuite, elle a rappelé que le but des multinationales était de faire du profit et qu'il n'existait aucune grande multinationale qui ne violait pas les droits humains, car elles ne peuvent pas maximiser leurs profits sans violer les droits humains, or maximiser leur profit est leur but et il n'existe aucun mécanisme contraignant pour les obliger à respecter les droits humains. Il existe pourtant des accords internationaux contraignant sur le droit à l'investissement, mais ceux qui existent quant aux droits humains ne sont que volontaires et ainsi il est impossible de traîner une multinationale devant un tribunal pour violation des droits humains car celle-ci s'est elle-même donné une charte et n'a même pas obligation de la respecter.
Ainsi il est nécessaire de :
- continuer à s'opposer localement à tous les projets violant les droits humains
- pousser pour l'adoption de mécanismes contraignants pour le respect de ceux-ci

Nataanii Means a fait un discours très fort sur la situation des peuples autochtones et sur la lutte contre le DAPL à Standing Rock.
Il a dit que les autochtones étaient nés dans la résistance, qu'ils ne connaissent que ça. Il y a eu les mines d'uranium qui on t été exploitées puis laissées et abandonnées, il y a les mines de charbon, il y a les pipelines ... Les peuples autochtones connaissent des taux de suicide énorme, des taux de cancer énormes et des taux de mortalité par la police suppérieurs à ceux que connaissent les afroaméricains.
Quand ils sont allés voir la Banque Suisse à Genève, ils ont parlé au directeur en charge de la durabilité et lui ont dit que sa banque participait au génocide de leurs peuples, il les a regardé et a dit : « Faites attention à l'utilisation que vous faites du mot génocide. »
La lutte contre le Dakota Access Pipeline a opposé une résistance non-armée à la police qui a usé de violence, y compris de chiens d'attaque - Nataanii raconte avoir vu un chien attraper une femme par un sein pendant que des agents de sécurité riaient -, cette lutte a eu un grand retentissement dans le monde en raison non seulement du nombre de résistants, qui est sans doute le plus élevé jamais connu sur ce genre de luttes, mais aussi, et c'est triste à dire, à cause de la violence de la répression. Les protecteurs de l'eau ont fait des actions symboliques comme faire passer de faux pipelines dans des cimetières.
Nataanii a rappelé que le pipeline Line 2 dans le Minesotta avait été abandonné, et que les victoires étaient donc possibles.

J'ai posé la question un peu délicate « Certes il y a d'autre pipelines de prévus comme le Line 3 ou le KXL, mais en ce qui concerne DAPL, peut-on encore le stopper par le désinvestissement sachant que l'argent semble déjà avoir été versé et le pétrole avoir commencé à transiter ? »
Nataanii a répondu qu'il n'était pas expert de la question mais que c'était important pour les pipelines à venir et que, même si c n'était peut-être pas réaliste, il espérait que cela puisse faire grandir la prise de conscience et faire arrêter l'utilisation du DAPL.

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