Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Statement of Love and Respect from your brother, Leonard Peltier




letterhead 2018 jpg
 

Dear Friends and Family,

It has been hectic here at the National Office, and I want to bring you all up to date on our needs for financial help. We need help on paying Leonard's legal fees for his transfer and his First Amendment case in Washington State. We are estimating that we will need to raise $5,000 by the end of 2018. For supporters that need a tax deduction we are a 501c3 organization and will happily send you a tax statement for 2018 tax year.
Leonard requested a transfer from USP Coleman, FL to FCI Oxford, Wis. This transfer would place Leonard at the closest federal facility to his family. It would be a 7/8 hour drive rather than the 24 hour drive to see Leonard in Coleman, FL. He has been given a clean bill of health by the Dr. who did his heart surgery last September, and he has completed his management program at Coleman which makes him eligible for this transfer. However, the prison authorities say that he has a medical hold and cannot be transferred at this time. Leonard is going to appeal this through the prison legal system. If they deny his request for a transfer we will file in federal court for the transfer to take place. We hope to have more information on this situation and will be requesting your support for letters in the near future!
Leonard's 1st Amendment case with Attorney Lawrence Hildes, of Bellingham, WA {PELTIER V. SACKS,17-5209 RBL, USDC FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON} is proceeding. A small summary from attorney Hildes follows: "After reviewing the evidence and the arguments, a conservative Federal Judge in Tacoma denied the State's dismissal Motion holding that, unless the art is owned by the government, the right to control its message belongs to the artist, that it is Unconstitutional to censor artwork or other expression because the artist/speaker is controversial,-in fact, that is where the First Amendment protection is greatest, and that the exhibition was advertised to the public, as was Leonard's participation, and the public was encouraged to attend the exhibition and its various speaking and cultural events, and, that therefore, it was a public forum with full protection for Leonard." We are awaiting a trial date early next year, and attorney Hildes plans to have Leonard brought to Tacoma for the trial. See you all there!!
On another positive note, Leonard's AIM brother, Edgar Bear Runner from Pine Ridge will be coming to visit him the first weekend of December and be back in Pine Ridge for the swearing in and Inauguration of his grandson Julian Bear Runner, as Tribal Chairman of the Oglala Lakota Sioux Nation.
In closing is Leonard's statement to all his friends, family, and supporters on the National Day of Mourning, November 22, 2018.
Thank you for your support in our effort to FREE Leonard Peltier.
Paulette, National Office
Leonard Art Book 075 3

Statement of Love & Respect from your brother, Leonard Peltier

Greetings Sisters, Brothers, Elders, Friends and Supporters.
Well here it is, sorry to say, another year, and I'm still writing to you from a prison cell. I am still in pain from my illnesses with no knowledge of whether I will ever get treatments for them. BUT I'm alive and still breathing hoping, wishing, praying for not just my pains, but for all Native Nations and the People of the World who care and have positive feelings about what is happening to Mother Earth and against the evils committed by Wasi'chu in their greed for HER natural resources .
It doesn't seem as if any changes for the good or safety of Mother Earth will happen soon. But the good hearted People are fighting back, and some good People are winning in the struggles to beat back some of this evil and to make THE Changes, the safety networks, we need for our grandchildren and great grandchildren so that they will be able to live happy successful lives, at least decent lives, that most of the poor underprivileged in my generation never got to experience or enjoy in our short lives.
SO, I sit back and look at the world, and I wonder if I will ever get to see the outside world again, free from this prison cell? At 74 it is not looking too good for that to happen. BUT I keep my hopes alive and pray as hard as I can that it will happen. If not, when they bury me I want to be laid to rest face down and with a note pinned to my ass with the words in large bold letters, 'KISS MY ASS!!'… just in case someone wants to study my bones years from now :)!!
On a more pleasant issue one of my grandaughters Ashley is in college at University of Arizona, Flagstaff, and she wants to be a Medicine Woman! How awesome is that? My Baby, a doctor! Wow! How proud am I! You would not believe just how much I am! I could use a little help now and then for her; don't send it to me, but send it to ILPDC earmarked for her use ONLY !!. She is going on a long hard journey, so she will need help now and then. One day, if she continues her studies to be a Medicine Woman, I know things can change as time goes by, but if she makes it, she will be an enormous help to Native Nations' hospitals.
My friend Harvey Arden passed yesterday on Saturday, November 17, 2018 5:20 P:M. He was a very good and kind man who loved Native People and the poor and sick. We are all going to miss him. I hope he has a good safe journey to the Spirit World, and I hope our Relatives will all be there to greet him with open arms; that would be very pleasing to him. See you soon, my Kola.
Politically we are finally making gains in Congress; two great Native ladies made it in the House of Representatives! They are Shanice Davids, Ho Chunk of Wisconsin, for Kansas and Deb Haaland, Laguna Pueblo, for New Mexico. On Pine Ridge MY nephew Julian Bear Runner made it as President of the great Lakota Nation! I'm hearing more states are doing away with Columbus Day! Hell, we may just win the War for Survival yet.:)
My last thoughts on this day, that we Native People call a Day of Mourning, are for my Sisters' and Brothers' family by blood and by AIM that are now in the Spirit World, and to them I say Lila Pilamaya, thank you for your love and work for The People.
My thoughts are also with the youth such as the Water Protectors and all people young and old who are working to protect Mother Earth. I hope someday in the near future to be with you and part of this march and join you in the feast prepared by Native People and wonderful supporters who have joined together today to honor our Ancestors.
In The Spirit of Crazy Horse
Doksha
Leonard Peltier

 
©2018 ILPDC | 116 W Osborne Avenue Tampa, FL 33603

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. 


###


Susan Gordon
Multicultural Alliance
for a Safe Environment

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

Keep Uranium In The Ground!


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