Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

July 31, 2018

Larry Commodore Now in Israeli prison: 'A Mission of Indigenous Solidarity'

Larry Commodore Sailing on Al Awda, ‘The Return’

SOS – Release Larry NOW

By Larry Commodore
Censored News

Update Aug. 1, 2018 -- Larry Commodore's foot was injured
when Israeli military violently attacked the Freedom
Flotilla to Gaza boat on Sunday. Larry spent one night in the
hospital before being transferred to Givon Prison in
Israel, where Larry remains imprisoned, the Flotilla
spokesperson told Censored News.

Watch video of why Larry went on Freedom Flotilla Commodore Sailing on Al Awda, ‘The Return’
I’m joining the Canadian Boat to Gaza; challenging the illegal Israeli naval blockade, showing solidarity to the Palestinians suffering under the brutal Israeli occupation… and I’m scared.
It comes to me in the quiet of the night. A visceral image of my mortality flashes across my mind, then my heart starts thumping away.
Thankfully, these episodes have been brief and infrequent. So certainly I’m not paralyzed by fear; my resolve has not been broken.
I think it has more to do with what we Stó:lō people call Shxweli or “life force”; the primordial life instinct that insists that you must avoid death.
Of course, there’s only a slight possibility that our mission will come to a violent end. But it’s a possibility that’s hard to ignore.
The most probable outcome is that we will be illegally apprehended by the Israelis in international waters, put in an Israeli jail and then deported back to Canada,
The desired outcome is that we deliver our humanitarian aid directly to the Palestinians of Gaza and that we move substantially toward a “Just Future for Palestine”.
There should not be a world where violence and injustice exist to the extent and duration as it has in Palestine; inflicted by one of the most powerful military forces in the world, backed by the most powerful military force in history.
But this is the world we live in; this is our world.
And because it is our world; it’s we grassroots people worldwide who must take up the struggle for peace and justice; which is a fundamental tenet of the mission to Gaza. This is a grassroots effort. This is part of the struggle for peace and justice.
I am an Indigenous person of this land showing solidarity to Palestinians, who are indigenous to their land on a part of the earth far from here.
So this is also a mission of Indigenous solidarity.
As Indigenous peoples; we know loss, we know dispossession. We know violence; we know injustice. We know genocide.
We know, too, that the will of our people will not be bent by a larger force. We will not be defeated! We will always rise up!

Read Larry's statement on why he went on the Freedom Flotilla:

Water Protector Legal Collective available to resolve outstanding DAPL warrants

Water Protector Legal Collective available to resolve outstanding DAPL warrants

By Water Protector Legal Collective
Censored News
MANDAN, North Dakota -- During the first week of August, legal workers from Water Protector Legal Collective will be present at tribal gatherings throughout the Dakotas to meet with Water Protectors wishing to resolve outstanding warrants issued in connection with their NoDAPL activities in North Dakota during 2016-2017. As the criminal cases being prosecuted in state court wind down next month, the collective is stepping up its outreach so Water Protectors can access resources for legal representation, travel, housing and lodging in Morton County, before August 31, while they are still available.
“We want to be available to speak in person, especially with those Water Protectors who may have doubts about negotiating the criminal justice system, or who may not know who we are,” said Mary Redway, a paralegal who’ll be part of WPLC’s outreach efforts at the Akíčhita Hanska Wačhípi in Fort Yates, ND, August 3-5.
Ideally, WPLC would like to bring to conclusion all 838 cases in which Water Protectors have faced criminal charges in North Dakota, the overwhelming majority of which have ended in dismissal, pre-trial diversion, plea agreements and acquittal. Only 17 cases have resulted in convictions, and six of those are currently under appeal.
“At least 50 people were recharged and immediately given warrants stemming from mass arrests, October 22nd, for example; therefore there’s a sizable amount of people who are under the impression that their case was dismissed,” said WPLC’s defense coordinator Jess Fuller, referring to the 104 warrants that have been issued for Water Protectors from 25 states. Having an outstanding misdemeanor warrant can put Water Protectors at risk for arrest and detention in any state in the United States. Moreover, having outstanding cases and warrants has already negatively affected some Water Protectors’ ability to secure employment, cross international borders and can complicate U.S. citizenship status.
Staff hopes to have informal face-to-face conversations in a relaxed, familiar setting in which they can explain what Water Protectors can expect if they return to Morton County to resolve the warrants, and also try to facilitate legal representation for those facing warrants so that they might avoid returning to North Dakota altogether.
“We’ve been able to resolve over 200 cases with pre-trial diversions,” Fuller explained. “In diversions you’re never asked to enter a plea of guilty, and as long as you don’t break the law for an agreed-upon time, the record of the arrest goes away.”
The schedule for the WPLC Warrant Outreach Tour is:
August 2—9am to 3pm at Oglala Lakota College Paha Sapa Location, Rapid City, SD
August 3 and 4 —12-5pm—Oglala Nation Wačípi, Rodeo and Fair, Pow-Wow Grounds in Pine Ridge, SD
August 4 and 5—2-6pm Akíčhita Hanska Wačhípi at Long Soldier Pow-Wow Grounds, Fort Yates, ND
Fuller hopes Water Protectors will stop by the WPLC tables or contact the hotline at 701-566-9108 to arrange another meeting place. “Either way, if Water Protectors aren’t sure if they have an open warrant, we’ll look it up and give them a solid answer on the spot,” she said.
All Water Protectors wishing to inquire about resolving open warrants are encouraged to call the hotline no matter where they reside.

July 30, 2018

Freedom Flotilla Seized -- First Nation Leader in Israeli Prison

Photo: Larry Commodore on left.

From the Freedom Flotilla to Gaza:
"Yes I can confirm that Larry Commodore is currently being detained in an Israeli prison (Givon Prison) after the Al Awda was violently and illegally boarded in international waters."

Israeli military seized the lead boat in the Freedom Flotilla on Sunday. Human rights passengers onboard were tasered and hit by Israeli soldiers.
Read more:

July 29, 2018

Freedom Flotilla Boat to Gaza Hijacked by Israeli Forces


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  29 July, 2018 13:15pm CEST
The motor vessel Al Awda (The Return), traveling in international waters towards Palestinian waters, 49 nautical miles from the port in Gaza City, has been contacted by the Israeli Occupation Forces navy and warned. The Israeli navy claims our ship is breaking international law and threatens that they will use "any measures necessary" to stop us. In fact, the only "necessary measures"  would be to end the blockade of Gaza and restore freedom of movement for all Palestinians. At last news from on board, Al Awda maintains her course towards Gaza, where the crew and participants hope to arrive this evening around 21:00 local time. 
A number of warships have appeared, so an attack, boarding and capture appear to be imminent, and we anticipate that all communications with the vessel will be lost shortly. 
Al Awda is sailing under a Norwegian flag, carrying 22 people and a cargo of medical supplies, including #Gauze4Gaza. Passengers and crew on board are from 16 nations, including human rights supporters, journalists and crew, along with €13,000 worth of urgently needed medical supplies. The boat itself, a former fishing vessel from Norway, is a gift to Palestinian fishers in Gaza.
Four boats left Scandinavia in mid-May and have since stopped in 28 ports building support for a 'Just Future for Palestine', that demands Israel end its ongoing breaches of international law and the twelve-year blockade of Gaza, thereby enabling the only closed port in the Mediterranean to open and for people to have their right to freedom of movement. 
Al Awda is being followed by the Swedish-flagged yacht. 
Freedom, which is also carrying medical supplies along with people from a number of nations. We anticipate that it will reach a similar area where the IOF attacked Al Awda within the next two days. Two smaller sailing boats that travelled from Scandinavia and sailed through the canal system in Netherlands, Belgium and France visiting inland ports, participated in the mission until Palermo.
"The Freedom Flotilla Coalition calls on the Norwegian Government, the national governments of those aboard Al Awda and the Freedom, other national governments, and relevant international organizations to act immediately."  said Torstein Dahle of Ship to Gaza Norway, part of the Freedom Flotilla Coalition. "The international community must assume its responsibilities and demand that Israeli authorities ensure the safety of those on board, the speedy delivery of our gifts to the Palestinian people in Gaza, an end to the illegal blockade of Gaza,  and to stop impeding our legal right of innocent passage to Gaza to deliver our gift of much-needed medical supplies".
More information about the 'Right to a Just Future for Palestine' flotilla and the FFC: 
For US citizens, please call the US Department of State and demand that the State of Israel be held accountable for piracy--and demand that the medical supplies for Gaza on Al Awda be sent from Ashdod harbor to Gaza as provided by international law. 

Call/email/tweet for release of US participant Joe Meadors
Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State
Tel: +1 202 647 4000 (ask for Israel & Palestine desk, and American Citizen Services, and/or Operations Center
 Twitter: @SecPompeo
Also call: 
US Embassy in Israel
U.S. Embassy Jerusalem
Jerusalem 9378322, Israel
Phone: 02-630-4000 (ask for Ambassador, American Citizen Services and/or Duty Officer)
Branch Office Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv 6343229, Israel
Phone: 03-519-7575 (ask for Ambassador, American Citizen Services and/or Duty Officer)

Latest news on interception at sea:

 It's not too late to get a T-shirt!
Contact Kit Kittredge at $20 + $5 postage. Specify white or grey, round-neck or V-neck, and size: S, M, L, XL, 2XL.

And please consider a donation to the flotilla for the medical supplies for Gaza stocked on our boats

Our fiscal sponsor is Nonviolence International, 501(c)(3), tax ID 52-164578. Donations can be made above or checks can be mailed to: 
2018 Boats to Gaza
c/o Nonviolence International 

Follow our campaigns on Twitter @GazaFFlotilla

Copyright © 2017. All Rights Reserved.

July 25, 2018

'Sovereignty by the Barrells -- While Fox Circles the Hen House' By Lisa DeVille

Remember who Set TAT Amidst Chaos!

By Lisa DeVille
Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara
Censored News

I recently attended the MHA oil and gas expo in New Town. I couldn't help but be taken amiss when the federal partner panel was taking questions from the crowd. One of the most contentious topics was the trespassing Endeavor pipeline. While, Tesoro is in violation of landowner's rights, there was questions that were asked by a former tribal leader that seemed to be flabbergasted by the situation.

I couldn't help but wonder how this former leader didn't know that this particular pipeline was trespassing on allotted lands. The pipeline was negotiated and built during that leader's administration wasn't it? That same leader's sovereignty by the barrel is flowing through that 40 thousand barrel per day pipeline isn't it? I don't know how this is such a shock to him. The outspoken outrage toward the BLM and BIA seems like a political ploy to gain voter's loyalty even though this oil and gas chaos was created by that administration.

I don't have any hard feelings against this individual; I do feel that our people need to beware of the fox trying to get back into the business council hen house.

July 24, 2018

SANTA ANA PUEBLO -- Activists Disrupt Zinke at Closed Conference


Activists Disrupt Zinke at Convention of Western Attorneys General Conference

Attempt to Infiltrate Meeting to Remind Secretary of His Duties to The People

Press contact:
Julia Bernal, Pueblo Action Alliance ,,,
Rebecca Sobel, WildEarth Guardians,,
Photos to be posted:

SANTA ANA PUEBLO, NM, US: The annual Convention of Western Attorneys General Conference (CWAG) scheduled Fireside chat with Department of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke was met with disruption from activists who demanded the Secretary finally listen to public concerns regarding his administration's crusade to hand over America’s public lands and resources exclusively to fossil fuel industries.

Closed to the public and the press, the event was meant to avoid citizen engagement, a theme of Zinke’s tenure at the Department of Interior. From reducing public comment periods and condemning scientific and social analyses to gutting National Monuments and Endangered Species protections, the Trump administration and Secretary Zinke have shown time and again that industry voices are more important than public health and safety, clean air and water, indigenous sovereignty and tribal consultation, our environment, and our increasingly warming climate.

New Mexico has been a recent target for industrialized fracking, climbing the ranks of oil and gas producing states, as more and more public lands in iconic areas of Greater Chaco and Carlsbad Caverns are sold to the oil and gas industry for as little as $1.50 per acre. Failing to acknowledge unprecedented  public and tribal opposition, Zinke continues to auction off more land in Northeast and Southwest New Mexico for unfettered fracking. His administration's systemic efforts to ignore public engagement have compelled activists today to bring their input directly to the Secretary.

Wearing #NoNewLeases t-shirts, two Indigenous activists attempted to infiltrate the meeting during Zinke’s presentation, unfurling a banner that read “Stop the Genocide” and reciting key policies to remind the Secretary of the duties he is meant to uphold, before being escorted out of the room by hotel security and Santa Ana police.  

Statement from activists:
“Today’s event is evidence of the extreme efforts Secretary Zinke will take in order to avoid any public engagement or accountability. That Indigenous people are not welcome on our own land while Zinke’s administration freely sacrifices our future generations to feed the greed of corporate cronies in the fossil fuel industry is not only disrespectful, it’s deplorable. We may have been escorted out today, but we will not stop in our efforts to hold this administration accountable in its duties of protecting public health, our environment, and the rights of Indigenous peoples. Respect Existence or Expect Resistance.”  

Statement read by activists:

The Department of the Interior protects and manages the Nation's natural resources and cultural heritage; provides scientific and other information about those resources; and honors its trust responsibilities or special commitments to American Indians, Alaska Natives, and affiliated island communities.
The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Article 32 states Indigenous peoples have the right to determine and develop priorities and strategies for the development or use of their lands or territories and other resources.
Article 19 States shall consult and cooperate in good faith with the indigenous peoples concerned through their own representative institutions in order to obtain their free, prior and informed consent before adopting and implementing legislative or administrative measures that may affect them.
Environmental justice is the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations and policies.
Fair treatment means no group of people should bear a disproportionate share of the negative environmental consequences resulting from industrial, governmental and commercial operations or policies.

Santa Ana police stationed a checkpoint two miles away from the hotel, turning back citizens who wanted to peacefully demonstrate at a planned event in the hotel parking lot. Relegated to the corner of Hwy 550 and Tamaya Blwvd, close to 50 activists rallied with signs and banners to call on stronger leadership from Zinke’s Interior.

Additional Quotes:

“Ninety one percent of available public land in Northwest New Mexico has already been leased for the extractive operations. Over 500 new horizontal wells have been approved without proper planning, accurate cultural assessments or analysis. And while this activity is continually occurring, Tribal voices and all Tribal Nations who have spiritual and cultural claim to the land have not been heard. Zinke thankfully deferred a lease sale scheduled for March 2018 due to the need for additional analysis of these cultural resources, but this analysis has not yet occurred and new drilling continues.”
- Reyes Devore, Pueblo Action Alliance

“Secretary Zinke shouldn’t be surprised at his unwelcome greeting in New Mexico. The Secretary has continuously disrespected and disregarded tribal concerns and public input regarding his administration’s intent to allow extractive industry to run roughshod over our public resources.  Despite being physically removed today, we will continue to demand the Secretary hear the voices of the public as loud as industry insiders and we will be relentless in holding him accountable to representing the American people instead of corporate interests.”
- Rebecca Sobel, WildEarth Guardians Climate and Energy Senior Campaigner   

“We are here to reassert our demands directly to the Secretary related to Greater Chaco Landscape protection. We still demand a moratorium on fracking pending completion of adequate Resource Management Plans that consider the health and social impacts on communities and plans to justly transition to more sustainable local economies. We still demand that BLM engage in Tribal Consultation and most importantly, obtain free, prior, informed consent from ALL tribal nations who have spiritual claim to the region. We demand #NoNewLeases across the Greater Chaco Landscape, to retire non- producing and expired leases and begin to restore the balance for this sacred region.”
Julia Bernal, Pueblo Action Alliance

“350NM demands a fast and just transition to 100% clean renewable energy and to spend not one penny more for coal or gas fired electricity.  We call to strictly regulate and stop methane leaks from natural gas production and stop sacrificing indigenous and rural communities, like the Greater Chaco area, to fracking."
Delese Dellios, 350 New Mexico, 505-688-5343

July 21, 2018

Zapatistas Deny any Contact with Newly Elected Mexico President


The Zapatista Army of National Liberation denies any contact with AMLO. Communiqué of the CCRI-CG of the EZLN, ZAPATISTA ARMY OF NATIONAL LIBERATION.








JULY 17, 2018