Saturday, November 17, 2018

AIM-WEST Annual SF West Coast Conference Summit November 17-18, 2018


Saturday, today, at AIM West
Photo by Tony Gonzalez 
By Tony Gonzalez
AIM West
Censored News

Location 2969 Mission Street
San Francisco

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Welcome all my American Indian Movement-West (AIM-WEST), an inter-tribal non-profit human rights organization based in San Francisco is pleased to welcome everyone to its annual AIM-West Coast Conference/Summit in San Francisco beginning Saturday, November 17 and Sunday 18th from 9 am to 5 pm.  Coffee, rolls, fruits and lunch will be provided.  The Conference will be held at the ANSWER COALITION Office located at 2969 Mission Street/26th in the Mission District.

In solidarity this year with the 50th Anniversary of the American Indian Movement (AIM) 1968-2018, the AIM-West Coast Conference is dedicated to the memory of AIM co-founder Nowa Cumig ("In the Center of the Universe") aka Dennis J. Banks, (Ojibwa Nation) who passed (4/12/37-10/29/17) to spirit world one year ago on October 29th.  A Chanupa/Pipe ceremony will be held commemorating his life and the legacy he left at the opening of the Conference starting at 9 am.  The Mejica Traditional Teo-Kalli Danzantes will lead in the spirits with drum and sage at 8 am to bless and welcome all participants.  Flowers and Banners, and All Drums are Welcome!

Long time friends of DJ Banks such as AIM spiritual advisor Fred Short, Long Walkers like Wounded Knee DeOcampo, Lee Polanco, including Wounded Knee 73' Veteran Ms. Jessie Riddle, and many others from miles around will par-take in the solemn occasion.  There is no more grieving here on this day.  Instead we encourage all our relations, friends and allies to share their thoughts, tears of joy, or experiences and moments they had with Comandante Dennis Banks, including his vision of what he perceived would be best for the Movement of the Peoples to carry forward.  We extend our hand in friendship to all.  The public is welcome


                                                                                                                                                                                 AGENDA (subject to change)
Monday, November 17th:

8   am     Teo-Kalli Traditional Mejica Danzantes - 

9   am     Pipe ceremony one year since the passing of AIM Leader, Dennis Banks -

11 am     Welcoming words and introduction to the AIM West Coast Conference - Roll Call and any changes and additions to the two day program of events -

12 noon                                        LUNCH (Potluck, bring to share)

12:15     FILM:  "Ojibwa Warrior" The Life and Times of Dennis J. Banks…78 minutes, 2018 by NCI and OWP

1:45       Opening Statements and Solidarity with AIM 50th Anniversary from friends and organizations -

              National and International solidarity speakers - also cite issues of concern on agenda for (a) panel discussion and (b) preparation of strategies and resolutions for action (tomorrow);

              Panama - Guest Speaker, Puksu Igualikinya, Kuna Nation;
              
              Caravan Report back from Mexico, Gloria La Riva

2:45                 BREAK 

3 pm     Post Elections - 2018 tally the score…and continue voter registration in 2020 -

             California state of affairs -  Burning of homes, whole villages, crops and animals -

             Ohlone and Sacred Sites and Shell Mounds -

             Amah Mutsun and Juristic Gravel Project -

             Indian Canyon and cultural center -

             Mercury in the Bay, water quality and health and well-being -

            18 Unratified Treaties -

            NAGPRA - Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act - UC Berkeley with thousands of ancestor's bones

4:30    Closing prayer/blessings

          
Sunday, November 18th:

9:30 am  Border Wall and the Militarization along the border - David Garcia, Tohono'Oodham Nation -

10:15     Child Development and Code Talker relations - Jean Whitehorse, Navajo Nation -

11 am    Human Rights Defender Leonard Peltier and Clemency Campaign -

12          Noon                     LUNCH    Film  "Dolores"

1 pm      Mascot and Racism in Sports -

1:45      Extractive Industries, Keystone XL and DAPL, Divestments and Public Banks -

2:30     International and the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in 2019 -

3 pm   Access to media, U streaming, and Live Streaming events, marches and protests - (Frank Sterling?)

3:30    Youth Suicide, gang prevention, Restorative Justice and police violence -

4:15    Raffle….

4:30    Closing comments, prayer/blessings to all my relations!


  

Friday, November 16, 2018

Indigenous Peoples Denied Access to Sacred Site as Ski Area Opens with Sewage Snow

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Friday, November, 16, 2018


Indigenous Peoples Denied Access to Sacred Site as Ski Area Opens with Sewage Snow

By Indigenous Action
Censored News

Flagstaff, Ariz. — Continuing years of ecological destruction, threats to public health, and desecration and assault on Indigenous Peoples’ ways of life, Arizona Snowbowl ski area opened with snow made from millions of gallons of 100% treated sewage today. Police blockaded parts of the San Francisco Peaks, a mountain in Northern Arizona held sacred by more than 13 Indigenous Nations and managed by the US Forest Service as public lands. They threatened to arrest anyone without a ski pass who attempted to access the area. Snowbowl supporters also attempted to assault demonstrators.

Approximately 20 people gathered to offer prayers at 7:30am this morning at the base of Snowbowl Road while four law enforcement vehicles patrolled and surveilled the prayer circle.
As the group went up the mountain they were followed by law enforcement. Multiple people were pulled over and harassed for supposed minor traffic offenses.

A little more than a mile from Snowbowl ski area, people got out of their cars and walked up the mountain singing, carrying banners and prayer staffs.

Ray Ray, who lead the demonstration in prayer up the mountain, stated, "Am I not allowed to pray and go to the Sacred Mountain that my ancestors and that my people have been praying to long before this was considered America? That a sacred space can be privatized by a company that pays for my religious rights to be taken away, for my freedom of speech to be taken away, is tyranny and malice from the company, the employees, the security and patrons of Snowbowl.”

Support vehicles were pulled over and threatened with tickets for “impeding traffic” even though they were following the walkers to ensure their safety.

More than 20 law enforcement agents from varying agencies including the “State Gang Task Force” were patrolling the ski area as the group arrived.

Law enforcement agents including a US Forest Service Ranger blockaded the walkway with a sign to the only ski run Snowbowl was able to open and threatened anyone without a ski pass with arrest for “trespassing.” The sign read, “Ski pass required beyond this point. All sledding prohibited. No pedestrians on ski slopes.”

“This is our sacred mountain, our church, how can we be trespassing? How can you restrict access to public lands?” asked Klee Benally, volunteer with Protectthepeaks.org, to Coconino County Sheriffs and the Forest Service Ranger, “Where does the public land end? What gives you the right to restrict access to my church?” Benally asked but the agents refused to respond to the question. The County Sheriff replied, “If you cross that sign, you will be arrested.”

When asked again where the public lands ended and why Indigenous Peoples couldn’t freely walk on the mountain, the Forest Service Ranger stated, “You can figure that out in court.”

Sheriff's then started checking if everyone walking through the area had ski passes.

Vontrivia Zee, a Flagstaff resident who joined the prayer gathering and demonstration stated, “The cops really didn’t have the knowledge of why we couldn’t go on the mountain. They were violating our rights.”

“At 25 and as a Native woman, I see and feel the struggle of my people and racism within Bordertown Flagstaff.” stated Tylene Halfmoon, “I felt I owe it to my ancestors, and all the indigenous people out there suffering from homelessness, drug and alcohol dependence, broken homes, domestic violence, people being targeted by police for simply being brown, and for my grandmas who lived that hard life back then. All in all, today gave me hope that there are still people out there that care and this is something that will need to continued and taught to our future generations, so that they can understand we are not a weak people: we are strong, tough, resilient, and we are still here even after they tried to kill us all off with mass genocide.” stated Halfmoon.

“From our water, to our earth, to our air to the very stance that we take upon the earth. They want to take that away.” stated Ray.

As a Muslim, I recognize the value of sacred sites because we have our own in my religion. To see this mountain be continuously desecrated for capitalist profits and to totally go against wishes of 13 Indigenous Nations who have been here for tens of thousands of years or more before this so called country was ever created.” stated Sumayyah Dawud, who came from Phoenix to offer support. “It's unacceptable what they're doing and so this is why I came today and why I've come in the past and will keep coming to stand up against this colonial abuse and state violence and capitalist oppression. We are facing catastrophic climate change and what they are doing to this mountain with this sewage snow is contributing to the violence against the earth.”

Snowbowl supporters yelled racist statements at the group throughout the morning.
As the group stood their ground holding banners and chanting, two Snowbowl supporters attempted to push through the crowd and assault the demonstrators. They responded quickly by defending their friends and chanting.

“I experienced at this event so many levels of violence and oppression against people standing for their survival.” stated Mary Begay, a lifelong Flagstaff resident and volunteer Mountain Protector, “We were walking through the desecration as we were restricted from our movement by law enforcement who were there only protecting the company and their profit. Mountain protectors were constantly being verbally assaulted by skiers and two female mountain protectors were assaulted physically by a man who forcefully swung the sharp edge of his snowboard at our faces and would have seriously injured them if they had not blocked it with their hands in time. We will not be intimidated by police or racist Snowbowl supporters. When sacred sites and cultural survival is under attack, we must fight back.” stated Begay.

Snowbowl is the only ski area in the world to make snow from treated sewage. They are allowed to use 180 million gallons of treated sewage per season by the US Forest Service. The effluent is piped up the mountain from the City of Flagstaff who maintains a contract to sell the wastewater to the ski area.

“That people are choosing to pay to ski on what amounts to a frozen river of treated sewage is ridiculous.” stated Eva Malis. “This wastewater has been proven to contain harmful contaminants and cancer causing agents, and the EPA does not require testing or treatment for pharmaceuticals or hormones that have been found in this effluent.”

Snowbowl has long been controversial due to their presence on the San Francisco Peaks. The ski area operates under a special use permit on public lands managed by the US Forest Service. For decades they have been subject to multiple lawsuits that have shaped legal precedent for Indigenous religious freedom and sacred sites.

The Forest Service approved ski area expansion and treated sewage snowmaking in 2005.
Lawsuits by environmental groups and Indigenous Nations ultimately failed and Snowbowl started making treated sewage snow in 2012. The Hopi Tribe is currently in litigation with the City of Flagstaff over the city’s contract to sell wastewater to snowbowl with an Arizona Supreme Court decision on the case coming any day.

For more information: www.protectthepeaks.org...
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Thursday, November 15, 2018

Psychotic Collapse Endangers Life at Border, as U.S Government Bottoms Out


Military vehicles like this one swarmed the Tohono O'odham region today, because of the racist hysteria of the U.S. President.

U.S. soldiers are now used as pawns in psychotic breakdown -- as U S. government bottoms out

By Brenda Norrell
Censored News

LUKEVILLE, Arizona-- Lukeville is just beyond the western edge of the Tohono O'odham Nation. It is a small border crossing vital to locals who need groceries and to go to the hospital.
It is now besieged in a costly, waste of money and military, because of the racist hysteria of an unstable US President.
Today, U.S. military swarm the Tohono O'odham homelands in the border region.
The Tohono O'odham tribal government continues to allow the U.S. Border Patrol to operate on O'odham land. Border Patrol agents continue their longstanding abuse of O'odham in their homeland.
The delusional xenophobia of the U.S. President comes as migrant asylum seekers travel to the U.S. border, fleeing the violence fueled by covert U.S. operations in Central America.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Indigenous Organizers Face Political Attack by Flagstaff Police for Anti-Columbus Day Demonstration

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Indigen.ous Organizers Face Political Attack by Flagstaff Police for Anti-Columbus Day Demonstration

By Indigenous Action
Censored News

OCCUPIED FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — Flagstaff police stalked and cited an Indigenous organizer in so-called Flagstaff, Arizona last night for their alleged role in a demonstration that took to the streets the previous month on what is now recognized as "Indigenous Peoples' Day."
The cops confronted the organizer at work and threatened that they were preparing to cite more people who may have been involved in the action based upon surveillance and a nearly month-long investigation.

According to a police report obtained this morning, at least 13 people, including Indigenous organizers and supporters, are facing misdemeanor charges of "Obstructing a Public Thoroughfare" for their alleged roles in the action. The report states that others have yet to be identified via social media and other forms of surveillance.

"We will not be silenced by what is clearly a political attack designed to deter further organizing for justice in our communities." stated Maile Hampton, who is facing charges. "On the day that city officials celebrated their empty declaration of 'Indigenous Peoples' Day' this demonstration called for justice for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, for an end to mass deportations and migrant detentions, for accountability of the city of Flagstaff for their hypocritical role in desecrating the Peaks, and to address the disproportionate level of arrests Native people face in this town. That I now face further state repression for standing for justice is not a surprise, it is the reality we face as we resist cultural genocide."

"I do not see it as a coincidence that these charges come on the eve of a planned protest against desecration of the Holy San Francisco Peaks this Friday." stated Klee Benally, who is also facing charges. "I will not be intimidated by state repression, I will continue to fight back and honor my ancestors and future generations through this process."

The rally specifically addressed the disproportionate number of Indigenous People threatened and targeted in Flagstaff.

"This political attack further demonstrates a severe issue of targeted policing of the Indigenous community," stated Benally.

According to the most recent census, Indigenous Peoples comprise 10% of the population but account for nearly half of all the annual arrests each year.

Organizers of the rally had previously called for these immediate actions:
* continued boycott of Arizona Snowbowl and for the City of Flagstaff to cancel their contract with the ski resort,
* end to racial profiling & I.C.E. collaboration and further work to abolish police in our communities by establishing community support networks and transformative/restorative justice options,
* repeal the anti-camping ordinance and all anti-homeless policies
* donations of sleeping bags and winter clothing for unsheltered relatives at Táala Hooghan Infoshop (1704 N 2nd St),

You can read more about the October 8, 2018 action here:
http://www.indigenousaction.org/land-defenders-take-streets-rejecting-empty-declaration-of-indigenous-peoples-day-in-flagstaff/

To support or contribute to legal defense please visit www.indigenousaction.org

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Attached photo of Anti-Columbus Day action credit Ed Moss



PARIS -- French Guïana Women Speak, Gold Mine Threatens Rainforest


GOLD MINE, STRUGGLE FOR IDENTITY AND FOR MOTHER EARTH: YOUNG WOMEN FROM FRENCH GUÏANA SPEAK

AGAINST THE GOLD COMPANY 'MONTAGNE D'OR', THE DENIAL OF THEIR IDENTITY, AND THE STRUGGLE FOR MOTHER EARTH: YOUNG WOMEN FROM FRENCH GUÏANA SPOKE, ON OCTOBER 13, 2018, DURING THE 'SOLIDARITY DAY' OF THE CSIA

Recorded on October 13th, 2018
Article and translation by Christine Prat
November 12th, 2018
Censored News

The rainforest of "French" Guïana has been threatened for years by a huge gold mine project, by a mining company calling itself "Montagne d'Or", meaning "Gold Mountain". This company is a merger between the Canadian company Columbus Gold – could you think of a more colonialist name – and the Russian company NordGold, which has already devastated a lot of Indigenous lands in the world. NordGold has a majority in the Montagne d'Or merger. The Indigenous Peoples have opposed the project from the beginning. They have long suffered from illegal gold mining, namely from the garimpeiros from Brazil, which pollutes the rivers on which their lives depend. The rainforest of Guïana has more biodiversity than the whole of Europe. Some people there are willing to give it up with the excuse of 'creating jobs', the magical words that no magician would dare to use. The Indigenous Peoples, who mainly need clean water, and already felt the damages caused by gold mines, totally reject the project. Between the beginning of March 2018 and the beginning of July 2018, Public Hearings took place in Cayenne and Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni. Indigenous people had the feeling of not being heard. However, the conclusion of the public hearings was that the Montagne d'Or project could not be accepted as it is now. Since then, Montagne d'Or keeps going to Indigenous villages, trying to corrupt traditional leaders, but they don't give in. The present Director General of Montagne d'Or, Pierre Paris, has worked before for companies as Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton, well-known names to Indigenous Peoples all over the world, who are fighting against desecration and pollution of their ancestral lands by mining companies.
As part of the 37th Day of Solidarity with Indigenous Peoples, organized by CSIA-nitassinan, a panel was composed of Félix Tiouka, member of the town council of Awala-Yalimapo, belonging to the first generation of Indigenous activists, and three young women from the Indigenous Youth of Guïana, JAG, Jeunesse Autochtone de Guyane.
As all Indigenous people who spoke during the meeting, the Indigenous people from Guïana spoke about the destruction of their identity and culture, but also about the problems they had with having to live as "so-called French citizens", in a Republic that discriminates them, impoverishes them, pollutes their land, while forcing them to submit to the western way of life. "Départementalisation" – meaning that Guïana and other French colonies were officially annexed to France and considered as French "départements" (equivalent to US counties) – was declared in 1945. The "Francization" Act was adopted in 1969. Officially, Indigenous Peoples of Guïana are supposed to be French citizens like all inhabitants of France…
The article below is mainly based on a transcription of speeches by three young women from Guïana, Vanessa Joseph, Nicole Chanel and Cindy van der Pijl, recorded by Pascal Grégis and Christine Prat, members of CSIA, on October 13, 2018.

Vanessa Joseph, vice-Chairperson of the Indigenous Youth of Guïana, already took part in the Solidarity Day of 2017, together with Yanuwana Tapoka. She first said how happy she was to take part in this meeting, "with Moëtai [from Tahiti], Yvannick [from Kanaky, "Nouvelle Calédonie] and my Uncle Félix [Félix Tiouka]." She thanked the CSIA for giving them an opportunity to speak, and also thanked all the people who had reacted to her appeal to donate books for schools inside the country. "We have used them well. Today, it has become a larger project, we are going to build libraries in remote places inside. All this thanks to you, I thank you again." [In Guïana, the 'inside' means the rainforest, where there are no roads, as opposed to the cities on the coast or along the River].
However, Vanessa also had to say that the opening of the school year went wrong. She reminded that "inside the country, there are only primary school, and not in every village." Students who have to go to secondary or grammar schools, must go to the nearest town which has one, but the 'nearest' town can be quite far away. The children then have to live with a foster family or in a boarding school. Last September, some children did not have a place in either a foster family or a boarding school. They went back to their villages, thus wasting a school year. Moreover, some parents don't want to send their children to families on the coast, as there have been some problems. The only solution proposed by the Administration, each year, is to more carefully select the families. Vanessa says that "children in Taluwen, a town on the Upper Maroni, asked that a secondary school be built, so that they could stay near their parents, which is normal for 12-years-olds"… "At the moment, it is still a project. They started building, then stopped, then started again… Let's hope that the secondary school will exist one day. They also started to build a boarding school in Maripasoula, again, we hope it will be completed without problems."
Vanessa added that they are still trying to achieve projects in order to improve the people's daily life, inside the country. When they succeed, it is thanks to a lot of support, like that of the CSIA.
Vanessa summed up what had happened about the gold mine project, since her last visit. Public hearings have been organized in Cayenne and in Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni, from the beginning of March to the beginning of July 2018.
"The representatives of the Indigenous Peoples have been kind of ignored, for what they had to say. At first, they listened to all questions, but then they started to select them, probably because there were disturbing questions." …"a public hearing was planned in a village, west of the country, but they [from the company] did not show up." Thus, the hearings were not very satisfying. However, "the public hearing decided: the project cannot be started as it is. It is not possible to propose such a large project to a population, with so few explanations and so unclear explanations. Thus, the project has to be amended."
"Meanwhile, Vanessa adds, Montagne d'Or has stared to establish itself in the villages, demanding to meet the traditional leaders to offer them money or positions… It was a bit shocking, thus they all said 'no', except for one." Currently, the Montagne d'Or company keeps trying to convince people, with some modifications of their project, and most of all by modifications of their explanations and communication. But for Indigenous people, it remains 'no'.
Vanessa thanks the audience, "it is really a great pleasure to see you all again."

Next speaker is Nicole Chanel, from Camopi. She joined the Indigenous Youth recently.
She explains that she is Teko, a People formerly called 'Emérillon' by French explorers, at the time of colonization. 'Emérillons' means people who live on fishing. "We demanded to be called Teko's, which means 'Indian Warriors'. We, Teko's, come mainly from the banks of the Oyapock River, which is the border between Brazil and 'France'. In our village, there were two nations, the Teko's and the Wayãpi, but now we are mixed. We descend from the Tupi-Guarani, Indians who live in the Amazonian rainforest. Nowadays, the Tupi-Guarani live in Brazil. Some had to run away from wars, this is how we arrived in Camopi."
In the past, an authorization from the 'préfecture' [representation of the French government in regions and counties] was needed to travel to our region. The reason given is that our people were still 'savages'. Nicole says "we have never been savages. We always warmly welcomed the French people." But now, it is open to anyone, which is not always an improvement. Nicole says "It takes 4 to 5 hours on a canoe to go to our region, because there are no roads, only the river. Everything is done by the river. Garimpeiros, gold seekers [from Brazil], come and dirty our water. The water we used to drink, that we used to wash ourselves in, that we used for everything. There are no customs, thus anybody can come. So, now, the garimpeiros come without problems, to seek gold. As they cannot do it where they live, they come to 'French territory'. Then Nicole tells how she noticed that the water was polluted: "I grew up in Indian boarding schools from the age of 4 to 16. An Indian Boarding school is a place where they enlist Native American children who want to 'become civilized'. They call it to get in line, to learn French, to learn to write, to count, etc. I came back home only in the summers, in July and August. So, in the course of time, when I came back home, I saw the color of the water changing. And I remembered that, as a small child, I used to wash myself in that water. I saw it become yellowish. At the point where it met the water dirtied by the garimpeiros, it formed a kind of white coffee. It looked disgusting."
Nicole has been living in France for 15 years. She is astounded to see that the French State does nothing for Camopi. In July 2018, the Administration sent Mr. Jérôme Cahuzac, an ex-Minister now convicted to a jail sentence, to work at Camopi Health Center. Nicole says "he has nothing to do with Camopi" …"he is not a doctor". As matter of fact, Mr. Cahuzac is a doctor, but a plastic surgeon. Nicole was shocked to see that media rushed to see Cahuzac while they showed no interest for the local population. Indigenous people resent it as despise. Of course, the media were interested in Cahuzac for his criminal record, not for political reasons.
Nicole closes her speech saying "In spite of this all, we fight, we shall fight, we Tekos, the Indigenous Youth, we shall fight to let people know, to let the world know, that we exist, that we are there. We are 'French', they put a label on us saying 'French nationality', thus we are part of France, thus look at us, look at our people! Thank you."

Then, Cindy Van der Pijl talked. Cindy still lives in Guïana and specially flew to Paris for the Solidarity Day. She is Arawak/Lokono.
"I joined the Indigenous Youth in February of this year." "I have always been claiming my culture ever since I was a small child. I was looking for an opening, a way to show my non-French identity. Because, back home, they teach us things, we learn all the time, but we are never taught who we are. In between, we are kind of lost in that French culture, in that westernized culture. Where do we stand, what should we do? Am I allowed to wear my traditional clothes, am I allowed to show my feathers without being arrested on the ground that they come from 'protected species'?"
"Our Peoples have been tormented too long, so many tears have been shed, too many souls have been tortured, while the Earth is subjected to human selfishness and suffers even more than we do. They talk about Guïana, that 'island', but they never know where it is." …"a lot of blood has been shed, and more will probably be shed, because of those 'good ideas' of the dominating powers." Cindy wonders why, on the 'united' territory of the Republic, "where they tell us 'Liberty, Equality and Fraternity', they teach us to forget ourselves, to forget who we are. All our knowledge, our colors, our identity are trampled and shattered. Nicole's story, she lived it, my mum lived it too. Indian Boarding Schools are not a myth, it really happened. There, French education is instilled, religion is instilled, it is part of a process of removing someone's identity. It is as if we were made of clay that they can mold and shape as they want it to be. In Guïana, western culture, western people take and never give back."
For Cindy, all that is left to Indigenous Peoples is the struggle. "The first Nation is reduced to the fight for its identity, to get its place in French society. For me, the word 'Indigenous' is equal to the word 'struggle'… Is it normal that Indigenous people have to struggle to get their place and to be recognized? I don't think so.
"Nowadays, we talk of looting. It is unfortunately not to be taken lightly. Apart from the crime of looting our identity, there is also the looting of She who gives us life, She who wakes up to remind the human being how small he is. We don't always understand earthquakes, but they do happen. What if it were our Mother Earth being angry at us? At all we do to Her? She is the one who feeds us, She is our Mother Earth. Our ancestors bequeathed their struggle to us. Today, we, the youth, are trying to take over that struggle. But rather than being victims of this system, although we are, we are warriors. And with this, I join with all my Indigenous Brothers. My Kanak brothers, going through a difficult situation, and all our other Indigenous brothers. We are all warriors and I am happy about that, otherwise we would not be here today. We would be good little French people who believe in Jesus."
Then, Cindy talked about Montagne d'Or. "Why won't we give in to Montagne d'Or? The answer is simple and logical: we are fighting for the Earth, we are fighting for life." As human beings, what we need most is drinking water, eating, walking… All this is given by the Earth.
"For those who don't know, Montagne d'Or is a huge project that tries to establish itself in Guïana. It is a Russian-Canadian merger now called Montagne d'Or, Pierre Paris being the new director. Montagne d'Or means 80,000 tons of waste a day, 10 tons of cyanide a day, 10 tons of explosives, about 125,000 gallons of water PER HOUR, when the population is doing badly. Montagne d'Or would be an open site, in a tropical zone where it often rains. Thus, when they tell us there won't be any accident, it's difficult to believe."
"I took part in the public hearings, in Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni and in Cayenne. You can't believe how those people make you feel small. How tough you must be to tell them 'no'. Seeing Pierre Paris stand up and say 'I am Pierre Paris and I am proud to be the director of Montagne d'Or', ideas of murder can cross your mind… But we stood our ground, we showed our colors, we showed that we were there. The youth was there, the Elders were there, as well as people from all cultures of Guïana who stood with us…" "Those cultures understood that it is a human struggle, a struggle for life, we are going to fight it, to fight to the end. I also would like people to realize what our societies are doing to us, with that capitalist culture. Shall we ever be able to see money for what it truly is, a piece of paper? Shall we ever be able to see gold for what it really is, a piece of stone? It is those things that the world is fighting for, that people kill each other for. It's because of them that blood is shed, again and again."
"Finally, I would like to thank you for listening to me, I am very happy to be here. I thank the CSIA for inviting us, and allowing us to speak on this French land. Tomorrow, I shall fly back home. My fight goes on and I really wish that the youth, of whatever culture, ally with us against this project. The problem of our identity, as Indigenous, is our history. We shall fight Montagne d'Or too, with the same virulence. I thank you for listening to me."

French version with photos: (not copy protected, just right click on photos to copy)

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

O'odham Holiday Toy Drive 2018 by O'odham Voice against the Wall and O'odham Women's Collective



Photo by R. Salcido, copyright.
 Meeting at Wo'osan O'odham traditional route of O'odham leaders and community members. Another successful food delivery to O'odham on the south side of the border.

Toy Drive for O'odham communities in southern O'odham lands in Mexico

By Ophelia Rivas
Censored News
Toys for 200 children ages, up to ten years old are needed. Also needed are money donations to purchase candy for 100 bags for older children and food for one Christmas meal.
O'odham VOICE against the WALL and O'odham Women Collective.
Contact: Ophelia at P.O. Box 1835 Sells, Arizona 85634.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

International Uranium Film Festival Returns to Southwest, Films Reveal Horrid Truth


Diné Media Contact:   International Uranium Film    
Anna Marie Rondon, Executive Director Festival Media Contact:
New Mexico Social Justice and Equity Institute Norbert G. Suchanek, General Director 
505-906-2671 (c)   info@uraniumfilmfestival.org  
     
Albuquerque, Grants and Santa Fe Media Contact: 
Susan Gordon
Multicultural Alliance for a Safe Environment
505-577-8438

International Uranium Film Festival Returns to the Southwest
Films Reveal the Horrid Truth

"It is through the courage of independent film makers that the horrid truth of the Nuclear Beast is exposed and denounced", states Anna Rondon, uranium legacy activist, member of the Diné Nation, Executive Director of the New Mexico Social Justice Equity Institute and one of the co-producers of the International Uranium Film Festival.

The International Uranium Film Festival returns to the Diné Nation, with additional screenings throughout New Mexico and Arizona, from Thursday, November 29th through Wednesday, December 12th  An Awards Ceremony will be held on Saturday, December 1st in Window Rock.  All showings are free and open to the public. Donations will be accepted to support the costs of production.
In a time of escalating nuclear threats, the Festival provides a visual resource to explore the consequences of nuclear power and nuclear weapons that have left deep scars on the peoples and lands of the Southwest. The Nuclear Fuel Chain - from uranium mining and milling to nuclear testing and waste disposal - will be addressed in the wide range of films representing more than 10 countries. 

"Los Alamos, the birthplace of the Atomic Bomb maintains its culture of secrecy, a practice which began with the inception of the Manhattan project. The films we bring to the public help to break the bubble of secrecy which the US government and multi-billon dollar corporations continue to operate under, hiding the truth about harm the nuclear industry causes to our land, water, people, communities and all living beings", states Rondon.

Several international filmmakers will attend the Festival and take part in Round Table Discussions and panels with local community members.

The schedule and locations for the U.S. Southwest tour of the 2018 International Uranium Film Festival is as follows: 
November 29th and 30th and December 1st, Navajo Nation Museum, Hwy 264, Post Office Loop, Window Rock, Navajo Nation, AZ
December 2nd, Native American Cultural Center, Northern AZ University, Flagstaff, AZ
December 6th, Guild Cinema, 3405 Central Ave, Albuquerque, NM
December 7th, NM State University Campus, Martinez Hall, 1500 Third Street, Grants, NM
December 9th, Jean Cocteau Cinema, 418 Montezuma Ave, Santa Fe, NM
December 12th, YWCA Tucson (Frances McClelland Community Center), 525 N. Bonita Ave, Tucson, AZ 

For a complete list of films selected and additional activities scheduled, visit: www.uraniumfilmfestival.org

About the International Uranium Film Festival:
Since its inception in 2011 the International Uranium Film Festival has traveled around the world showing documentaries and movies about the risks of nuclear power and uranium. In November 2013 the world's most unique film festival was hosted for the first time by the Navajo Nation/Diné Nation. 


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Susan Gordon
Multicultural Alliance
for a Safe Environment

sgordon@swuraniumimpacts.org
505-577-8438
www.swuraniumimpacts.org

Keep Uranium In The Ground!


Thursday, November 8, 2018

Court Invalidates Trump Administration's Keystone XL, Blocks Construction




November 8, 2018

Contacts: 
Margie Kelly, Natural Resources Defense Council, (541) 222-9699, mkelly@nrdc.org
Mark Hefflinger, Bold Nebraska, (323) 972-5192, mark@boldalliance.org
Gabby Brown, Sierra Club, (914) 261-4626, gabby.brown@sierraclub.org
Jared Margolis, Center for Biological Diversity, (802) 310-4054, jmargolis@biologicaldiversity.org
Patrick Davis, Friends of the Earth, (202) 222-0744, pdavis@foe.org
Dustin Ogdin, Northern Plains Resource Council, (406) 228-1154, dustin@northernplains.org
Dena Hoff, Northern Plains Resource Council, (406) 939-1839
In Blow to Pipeline Project, Court Invalidates Trump Administration's Keystone XL Environmental Review, Blocks Construction
GREAT FALLS, Mont.— A federal judge ruled today that the Trump administration violated bedrock U.S. environmental laws when approving a federal permit for TransCanada's proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline project. The judge blocked any construction on the pipeline and ordered the government to revise its environmental review.
The decision is a significant setback for a pipeline that investors are already seriously questioning. TransCanada has not yet announced a Final Investment Decision on whether to move forward and build Keystone XL should it receive all the necessary permits.
U.S. District Court Judge Brian Morris found that the Trump administration's reliance on a stale environmental review from 2014 violated the National Environmental Policy Act, the Endangered Species Act and the Administrative Procedure Act. This ruling follows the court's previous decision on August 15 to require additional analysis of the new route through Nebraska.
The court required the U.S. Department of State to revise the proposed project's environmental impact statement to evaluate the extraordinary changes in oil markets that have occurred since the previous review was completed in 2014; to consider the combined climate impacts of approving both the Keystone XL and other tar sands pipelines; to study the many cultural resources along the pipeline's route; and to examine the harmful risks of oil spills on nearby water and wildlife.
The State Department must also provide a reasoned explanation for its decision to reverse course and approve the permit, after the Obama administration denied it just three years ago on the same set of facts.
Based on these violations, the court ordered the State Department to revise its environmental analysis, and prohibited any work along the proposed route — which would cross Nebraska, South Dakota, and Montana — until that analysis is complete. Keystone XL would have carried up to 35 million gallons a day of Canadian tar sands — one of the world's dirtiest energy sources — across critical water sources and wildlife habitat to Gulf Coast refineries.
Plaintiffs Northern Plains Resource Council, Bold Alliance, Center for Biological Diversity, Friends of the Earth, Natural Resources Defense Council and Sierra Club filed the lawsuit in March 2017 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Montana.
Quotes
"Today's ruling is a victory for the rule of law, and it's a victory for common sense stewardship of the land and water upon which we all depend. Despite the best efforts of wealthy, multinational corporations and the powerful politicians who cynically do their bidding, we see that everyday people can still band together and successfully defend their rights. All Americans should be proud that our system of checks and balances can still function even in the face of enormous strains," said Dena Hoff, Montana farmer and member-leader of the Northern Plains Resource Council.
"Farmers and our Tribal Nation allies in Nebraska, South Dakota and Montana celebrate today's victory foiling the Trump administration's scheme to rubber-stamp the approval of Keystone XL. This now ten-year battle is still far from over. We'll continue to stand together against this tar sands export pipeline that threatens property rights, water and climate at every opportunity, at every public hearing. People on the route deserve due process and the Ponca Trail of Tears must be protected," said Mark Hefflinger, communications director for Bold Alliance.
"Today's ruling makes it clear once and for all that it's time for TransCanada to give up on their Keystone XL pipe dream," said Sierra Club Senior Attorney Doug Hayes. "The Trump administration tried to force this dirty pipeline project on the American people, but they can't ignore the threats it would pose to our clean water, our climate, and our communities."
"This is a complete repudiation of the Trump administration's attempts to evade environmental laws and prioritize oil company profits over clean water and wildlife," said Jared Margolis, senior attorney with the Center for Biological Diversity. "Keystone XL would devastate species and put communities at risk of contamination. There's simply no excuse for approving this terrible project. We need to move away from fossil fuel dependence, not support more devastation."
"Keystone XL would be a disaster for the climate and for the people and wildlife of this country," said Jackie Prange, senior attorney at the Natural Resources Defense Council. "As the court has made clear yet again, the Trump administration's flawed and dangerous proposal should be shelved forever."
      
"Today's ruling is a decisive moment in our fight against the corporate polluters who have rushed to destroy our planet," said Marcie Keever, legal director at Friends of the Earth. "Rejecting the destructive Keystone XL pipeline is a victory for the grassroots activists who have worked against the Keystone XL pipeline for the past decade. Environmental laws exist to protect people and our lands and waters. Today, the courts showed the Trump administration and their corporate polluter friends that they cannot bully rural landowners, farmers, environmentalists and Native communities."

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.


AIM West Red 'n' Blues Concert San Francisco 2018


Mohawk Nation News 'Face of a Traitor'

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Young Kanak Movement in Paris -- Struggle for Independence in New Caledonia


COLONIALISTS WIN REFERENDUM IN KANAKY ("NOUVELLE CALEDONIE") REPRESENTATIVE OF YOUNG KANAKS IN FRANCE SPOKE AT CSIA DAY OF SOLIDARITY

By Christine Prat
Censored News

Today, November 4th 2018, the colonialists won the referendum by which, inhabitants of Kanaky – so-called New Caledonia – had to decide for or against Independence. Supporters of colonialism won with much fewer votes than expected. However, settlers of European origin being now in greater numbers than Indigenous people, they could still win.
A few decades ago, tensions raised, as France was encouraging massive European immigration. Violent incidents took place in the 1980s. Two agreements were signed, in Paris in 1988, and in Nouméa in 1998. This agreement decided that several referendums would be held, in which only people already living in Kanaky in 1998 and their descent could take part. However, the immigration policy had started earlier, so that settlers arrived before 1998 are more numerous than Indigenous people.
Kanaky – 'Nouvelle Calédonie' – is on top of the United Nations list of countries to be decolonized. However, it is one of the biggest nickel producers on earth. Indigenous people and environmentalists say that digging mines for nickel is destroying the country, which is home to rare species, to exceptional fauna and flora. Those who oppose independence claim that, if France pulled out, the country would necessarily fall under Chinese influence. But this would mean that the world and Kanaky would remain submitted to capitalism, that will go on exploiting nickel until the land is totally destroyed.
On October 13th 2018, a delegation of young Kanaks, led by Yvannick Waikata, spoke person for the Young Kanaks Movement in France, was invited to the Annual Day of Solidarity organized by CSIA-nitassinan, the French Committee for Solidarity with Indians of the Americas. This year, Native Americans from the USA, Chili, Argentina and "French" Guyana were speakers at the event.
The Young Kanaks offered a traditional dance to welcome the Indigenous guests from the Americas.
Yvannick first explained the meaning of the dance. He said the purpose was to bow before the guests and audience, as, in their country, doors are low so that they must bow to enter someone's house. Bowing also means that they apologize as they are going to make noise. Originally, the purpose of the dance is to initiate young men to the art of war. It is also meant to show 'their face'. Thus, the purpose of this dance was to show 'their face', their identity, for which they have been struggling since 1853. Yvannick said "since that old cloth is flown above our stone (Kanaky), the flag of that colonial empire".
Yvannick spoke for the Young Kanaks in France. He spoke about the referendum that was to take place on November 4th, explaining: "Why a self-determination referendum? Because we are in a situation of colonizer to colonized. Those who will take part in this referendum are the colonized, us, the Kanaks. 'Kanak' is a Hawaiian word meaning 'human being'."
Then he went on summing up their history: the colonial conquest began in Tasmania, and in Hawaii. The French colonial empire started in "New Caledonia", an island thus named by James Cook in 1774. The French conquered it in 1853. The goal was, ultimately, the end of the Kanak People.
This is because of the denial of the Kanak People that they danced that day. "… when we dance somewhere, it is to show our identity, and that we are still alive". Since 1774 and 1853, and later the policy of European immigration, the French have been trying to drown the Indigenous claim. So, they dance, to say they are still there, they still exist.
Yvannick reminded the audience that the murdered leader Jean-Marie Tjibaou, had organized the Festival 'Melanesia 2000'. For that festival, the Indigenous people decided that they would no longer limit their sacred dances and cultural practices to ceremonies, but that they would show them publicly to affirm their existence. They wanted to break completely with what had been shown in France before, during 'colonial exhibitions'. He stressed that it was important for them to dance in Paris before the referendum, to show their faces, their culture, their identity and their history. "Our history does not start with French colonization". So, since 'Melanesia 2000', their struggle was "to place the Kanak claim for identity, the cultural field, into the political field".
After that summary of the history from the 1980s to today, Yvannick said "We, the young people, are the generation born from those peace agreements. There have been two agreements, that of Matignon in 1988 et that of Nouméa in 1998. We are the generation that lived through that peace. For the November 4 referendum, the Young Kanaks Movement creates spaces to speak, to awake the awareness among our people. Of course, we did not live the civil war situation in 'Nouvelle Calédonie', those 'events', as historians put it, but it was a war, it actually was an independence war".
The Young Kanaks Movement works to awake awareness about the Kanak People history, in particular that of the heroes of the struggle, as the French National Education does not do anything, does not even mention the Kanak People.
What the Young Kanaks Movement wants is an identity revival. Yvannick says "for us, it is important that you can identify us and see who we are. Not reduce us to what colonial exhibitions produced in the collective imagination of the French People. So, it is important to dance and show our culture. To come nearer, to learn to know each other. We do not blame the French People at all, we blame the colonial administration." He added "you are also human beings, like us, so we can reach you". The colonial exhibitions created an imaginary Other, supposed to be a savage. "At the last colonial exhibition, there was Christian Karembeu's – star of the French National Football Team – grandfather. His grandfather was a school master in "Nouvelle Calédonie", but he came here to impersonate a savage!"
"When we come to dance here, it is to decolonize ourselves. The message we bring is to learn to know each other, through the Kanak People's struggle. I want to thank you for being here and I hope we shall remain connected. We still need you, we still need solidarity. Thank you."

Copyright Christine Prat