Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Censored News -- The Struggle of the Human Spirit Keeps Hope Alive

Longest Walk 2019 photo by Bad Bear
Love is the founding force of revolution
We are still here

By Brenda Norrell
Censored News
It has been 12 and one-half years since Censored News began. We have the honor of sharing some of the most censored facts of genocide, displacement and injustice. Today Christine Prat exposes the nuclear testing that the U.S. and France must be held accountable for. If you look through our archives, you will discover Tohono O'odham Ofelia Rivas exposing the planned U.S. and Israeli spy towers in her community, and the local resistance to this destruction.
You'll also see Mohawk Nation News and the articles of Kahentinetha Horn​​, taking on Canada. The articles by Lakota and Dakota who stand and live in resistance are among the most read articles, including one from Standing Rock Camp viewed 1.6 million times. There are many issues the mainstream media refuses to cover, including the number of US Border Patrol and ICE agents involved in drug running and murder.
Much of this would not be possible without the founding wisdom and resistance of Dine' and Hopi. From the resistance at Big Mountain, to the gathering by Dine' Care which brought together the Spiritual and  environmental leaders on the Navajo Nation 30 years ago at Dilcon, they are a foundation and pulse.
The words and actions of the Mohawk Warrior Society are a foundation of courage, fearlessness and clarity of purpose.
Around the world, Indigenous Peoples are being assassinated in the struggle for justice. Young women are being disappeared and murdered.
Still the Zapatistas and resisters keep hope alive, with the cry of autonomy, dignity and self reliance
It is the struggle of the human spirit and it keeps hope alive.
Please support the writers, photographers, runners, walkers, translators, great thinkers, and all who live their truth, from their homelands to the frontlines.
Censored News has no ads, grants or revenues.
It is a labor of love, the love that Che spoke of, and the love for the future generations, water, land, rivers, birds and all living things that led Buck Johnston of Taos to strap himself atop a drilling rig last week.
Walking across the land known as the United States is an act few can do. Thanks to Western Shoshone Carl 'Bad Bear' Sampson, who has done it many times on the Longest Walks, we have photos to share of these epic journeys.
I began Censored News after being censored and terminated as a staff writer for Indian Country Today. The editor warned me to stop writing about "grassroots" Native people.
Today, I wish I could do more, but we are all doing the best we can. Thanks to each of you, we are still here. -- Brenda

Nuclear Tests: Shoshone and Polynesian Leaders Prosecute U.S. and France for Genocide



By Christine Prat
March 15th, 2019
Censored News

Nuclear tests have caused and are still causing many deaths and making lands uninhabitable. Many peoples in the world have been victims of 'tests' carried out without their consents. This article has been inspired by the stories told by Mo√ętai Brotherson, a member of the French Parliament from Tahiti (Paris, October 2018), and Ian Zabarte, Principal Man of the Western Shoshone Bands from Nevada (Las Vegas, September 2017). They both have decided to prosecute the French and US governments respectively, to have the consequences of nuclear tests officially recognized as genocide. Mr. Zabarte tries to have the genocide of his people recognized by the UN, Mr. Brotherson filed a complaint with the International Court of Justice. Mr. Brotherson is the only member of Parliament who is an independentist activist.
+American nuclear tests in Nevada started in January 1951. The very first bomb had exploded in New Mexico – in an unpopulated area, according to official media, but not far from the Mescalero Apache Reservation – on July 16th, 1945, only a few weeks before dropping the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. They also started with nuclear tests on Bikini, in the Marshall Islands, in 1946. Strangely enough, instead of causing protests and fear, it mainly gave a name to a new fashionable bath suit and to a silly popular song. Before the first test, the US authorities evacuated the Native population of Bikini, claiming that they could return soon. Bikini is still uninhabitable right now. In Nevada, tests did not take place "in the Desert", as media still claim, but in Shoshone territory. Over 1000 bombs have exploded there, between January 1951 and September 1992. Of course, the Shoshone population has been decimated. Further, the Mercury test site is hardly 70 miles (115 km) from Las Vegas (there is also a Paiute reservation between Las Vegas and Mercury).
+The French nuclear tests started in Reggane, Algeria, Tuareg Territory, from 1960 to 1961. Four atmospheric tests happened there. From 1961 to 1966, 13 underground tests took place in In Ecker, also in Tuareg Territory. Algeria became independent in 1962. The French managed to get in the Treaty that they could go on with nuclear tests until 1967. Thus, as soon as 1966, they started to explode nuclear bombs in 'French' Polynesia, in Mururoa and Fangataufa. From 1966 to 1974, 46 atmospheric 'tests' were carried out, and from 1975 to 1996, 147 bombs were exploded under Mururoa and Fangataufa.
Major media still fail to report about the damages caused to Indigenous Peoples and their territories. Even nowadays, many decades later, they only mention White victims, or otherwise claim that nuclear tests were carried out in 'deserts'. In a rather recent historical program, a French public radio – France Culture – claimed that the Trinity bomb – the first nuclear test ever – took place in the New Mexico Desert, "an uninhabited region"; that the US tests have been carried out in the Nevada "Desert"; that the French nuclear tests in Reggane, Algeria, did cause health problems and death among French militaries and their families, drafted soldiers (which is indeed shocking) and traders who followed the militaries, but they still don't say a word about the Indigenous Tuareg population in Reggane and In Ecker whose territory it is.
+It has been a bit different for "French" Polynesia. Protesters immediately expressed support for the Indigenous population. The reason might be that nuclear tests in Polynesia started during the Vietnam War, when all peace activists in the world were in the streets demonstrating to support the Vietnamese people and were thus conscious of the existence and plight of Indigenous Peoples. A poster, widely spread in the late 1960's, showed an image of Death with the hair and flowers of a Polynesian woman. However, it was not enough to make them stop the tests, repeated complaints by New Zealand probably had more effect. The attitude of the media is still obviously racist.
+Mr. Zabarte is also struggling against a project of deep burial site for nuclear waste, under Yucca Mountain, sacred for the Shoshone, situated on a volcanic region, and quite close to the Mercury nuclear test site. He has also been supporting the Timbisha people, a Shoshone people, living on the other side of the mountain range, in California, also very close to the tests site and also plagued by radioactivity. Mr. Zabarte is also supporting their case at the U.N. by showing that it all happened on unceded territory according to the Treaties. The Shoshone, as many other Indigenous Peoples in the US and Canada, never ceded their territories and are still "sovereign". The United States never respected a single Treaty signed with Indigenous Peoples.+
Mr. Brotherson reminded us that "French" Polynesia, just as Kanaky ("French New-Caledonia"), was on top of the first list of the United Nations of territories to be decolonized, established in 1946. In 1963, Polynesia has been illegally removed from the list following a request by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In 2003, France took the opportunity of changes in its Constitution to replace the word "Peoples" by "populations", concerning its overseas colonies – which it does not recognize as colonies, but as French "provinces". This allowed France to sign the UN Declaration of Indigenous Peoples Rights, without respecting it, as "there are no Indigenous Peoples in French territories"!
+Both Peoples have been devastated by nuclear activities. Mr. Zabarte said he owed his life to his mother who moved to San Francisco as soon as she became pregnant. When they went back to Shoshone territory, years later, Mr. Zabarte was shocked to find out that he had no more family, all his cousins had died. The whole territory of "French" Polynesia is impacted by radioactivity. Many people died of cancer, now people are still suffering of diseases, birth defects and very negative impacts on their environment, their fauna and their flora.+
The genocide is still going on. Do whatever you can to support their efforts to have it recognized by the world!

Copyright Christine Prat

Monday, March 18, 2019

Taos Water Guardian shares risk to aquifers after four days atop drilling rig

Buck Johnston shares why he strapped himself atop a drilling rig near Taos. The aquifers, local wells, rivers and all life are at risk.
Buck was arrested Sunday when he descended. Buck smoked the Sacred Pipe in handcuffs after spending four days and nights atop the drilling rig in the cold.
Buck was released from jail on Monday.
Watch Buck's video update:

Bears Ears runners run with Longest Walk in Utah, photos by Bad Bear 2019

Photos by Western Shoshone Longwalker Carl Bad Bear Sampson.
Bad Bear said of the walkers and runners, "We did 40 miles today."
Longest Walk 2019 was in Scipio, Utah on Sunday, headed for Grand Junction and Pueblo, Colorado

.Below: Runners from the Bears Ears Prayer Run

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Sunday, March 17, 2019

TAOS Buck Johnston descends drill rig in ceremony, arrested

Update Monday: Buck was released from jail.

Taos Water Guardian Buck Johnston descended from atop a drilling rig on Sunday and completed his Four Day Ceremony in Prayer. In handcuffs, Buck smoked the Sacred Pipe.
Buck's sister Lyla June Johnston describes how his courageous action was done with love. A crowd cheered as he came down the drilling rig, after he spent four days and nights strapped atop the rig in the cold.
Watch Lyla's video report which includes how Taos aquifers are now threatened:

Lyla writes:

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Taos Water Protector is On Top of Drilling Rig -- and He's Live!

Buck Johnston is on top of a drilling rig near Taos, New Mexico, in defense of the water. Buck is broadcasting live and plans to stay 4 days. Watch: https://m.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100026931670155
Update Friday morning -- Buck survived the blizzard Thursday night. His bro, a fellow Warrior, climbed up the drilling rig to bring him a phone charger.
"That's the kind of action I'm trying to inspire," Buck said, a top the drilling rig on ancestral Pueblo land, in the pristine region now known as Taos.
Watch: https://m.facebook.com/FreeTaosPueblo/
Update Saturday: Buck remains atop the rig, after they cut away his hammock in the cold. Buck remains strapped to the rig in a Four Day Ceremony. Listen to report:
Update Monday: Buck has been released from jail and is with his family.

Walking that lonely road in Utah -- Longest Walk 2019 Photos by Bad Bear

Longest Walk 2019 Photos by Western Shoshone Longwalker Carl Bad Bear Sampson

Please welcome walkers to Utah and Colorado, as they walk across this land for Indigenous rights.
Route schedule:

Mohawk Nation News 'Canada's Card Game'

Mohawk Nation News exposes Canada as fascist dictatorship run by criminal elite. Read article:

Friday, March 15, 2019

Taos Water Guardian Remains Atop Drill Rig

Defending Sacred Water, Protecting the Deep Aquifer

Article by Brenda Norrell
Censored News

Buck Johnston remained on top of a drilling rig near Taos, New Mexico, as a tipi went up on Friday in the prayer camp below him. A fellow Warrior climbed up the rig to bring Buck a cellphone charger and was arrested when he came down Friday.
The rig operator threatened to drop the rig with Buck on it and endanger his life. However, the women intervened and said they would rush the rig if this happened, and negotiated.
As of now, Friday night, Buck is continuing his commitment to remain until Sunday. Follow Buck's live broadcasts from on top the rig:

Photo by Gera Brown

Below: Buck's words

Buck Johnston screen capture Censored News
Top photos via Facebook. 

Longest Walk Reaches Utah -- Photos by Bad Bear 2019

Photos by Western Shoshone Longwalker Carl Bad Bear Sampson on Longest Walk 2019.

11 Point Plan

1)    Support Indian Children: The Indian Child Welfare Act is supposed to protect Indian children from being taken away from their Nations.  It was recently found to be unconstitutional inBrakeen v Zinke. The ruling was based on state rights, ignoring tribal sovereignty, and viewing Indian status as racial only, and not based on the legal/political relationship between Indian Nations and the United States government. If this is upheld at the Supreme Court, Indian children will be fair game for states in collusion with private adoption agencies to legally kidnap Indian children.  The grounds of the ruling would also open the doors to usher in a new era of Termination, annihilating Tribal Sovereignty.  Further, over 14,000 children are being held in prison camps on the southern border of the United States, most of whom are Indigenous.  These children are virtually forgotten, and pressure needs to happen so this crime against humanity is stopped.

2)    Honor Indigenous Women: Respect and protection for Mother Earth is a common principle for Indigenous Peoples and Nations.  Indigenous Women have been at the forefront and heart of every single struggle to protect and preserve our lands, waters, families and nations in this regard. Yet Indigenous women are still marginalized and are subject to abuse, rape and murder.  As Indigenous nations we are committed to actively change this state of affairs.  There can be no protection of Mother Earth if there is no protection of Indigenous Women.  Collectively, we must create and develop ways of honoring Indigenous Women by way of men taking responsibility to stop the abuse and rape in our communities, and to bring to justice those engaged in committing these crimes.

3)    Strengthen Inherent and Indigenous Sovereignty: Nation-states, including the United States, are undermining inherent sovereignty and self-government by relegating self-government to nothing more than self-management.  Corporate and municipal structures are the structures of choice.  This is nothing more than Termination under various guises.   The nation-states of Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United States have formed an alliance called CANZUS that coordinate together in advancing a common public policy objective to achieve this goal.  We re-affirm our unwavering commitment to the assertion of our inherent sovereignty and self-government as Indigenous Nations, in a way that is inclusive of our own laws, values, customs and traditions. Indigenous Sovereignty is not defined by non-Indigenous laws, rules and regulations; nor by economic development, good governance, and corporate structures. These elements may be pragmatic, but they do not define us. We also specifically support tribal sovereignty and the relationship between Indian Nations and the United States as being nation to nation and not merely government to government as it is often wrongfully characterized.  Underlying all of this is a long history of a bilateral, bi-cultural relationship based not on equality but rather on principles of equitability.  This means that the relationship recognizes each other as being of the same status, but maintain their distinct identities.  Indigenous ideals relating to sovereignty are not just about power and control but are also about responsibility and respect.  This places obligations on Indigenous Nation citizens to practice traditional and customary responsibilities, rooted in Indigenous Knowledge, including the protection of our relationships with our respective lands, waters, animals and plants.  This concept of Indigenous Sovereignty has been severely challenged by a long history of manifest destiny, genocide, and land loss. It is essential that we as Indigenous Nations actively reassert the practice of Indigenous Sovereignty on the one hand while mounting challenges legally and politically on the other.

4)    Create an Environmental Covenant: As Indigenous Peoples, we have a responsibility to be caretakers for the environment.  That responsibility falls upon our respective Indigenous nations regardless of contrary nation-state policies and laws.  We therefore commit to the creation of an Environmental Protection Covenant to be agreed to by Indigenous Nations that set minimal standards in regards to any developments on or in watersheds and traditional territories surrounding our respective Nations.

5)    Repeal Public Law 280 and Overturn the Plenary Power Doctrine: Public Law 280 is a relic from the Termination ere of the 1950's.  It gives criminal and civil jurisdiction over certain Indian Nations to certain states.  We support the repeal of this law and expect appropriate resources to be provided to transition back to Indian Nation jurisdiction. The Plenary Power doctrine is a legacy of judicial racism that was established in a legal decision called US v. Kagama (1886). Under this doctrine, Congress has unilateral authority over Indian Nations.  The Dawes Allotment Act, the Termination policies, and all the other acts of Congress against Indian Nations since this time have been done under the Plenary Power doctrine, where Indian Nations cannot legally contest the constitutionality of these acts.  Recognized Indian sovereignty literally exists at the whim of Congress.  In these times, this is especially worrying.  We are committed to asserting our sovereignty despite any actions by Congress that would otherwise be unconstitutional, and to developing strategies to overturn this racist doctrine.

6)    Land and Waters Clean Up and Protection: Indian lands have long been considered a dumping ground by various corporations and government agencies.  For example, one of the worst nuclear accidents in the United States was the Churchrock uranium mill tailings breach on the Navajo Nation in 1979.  Thirty eight (38) years later the area still has not been adequately cleaned up, and people and livestock are still exposed to contaminated water.  We acknowledge that 500 million has been allocated to cleanup some of the damage from uranium mining on the Navajo Nation, there is a real concern that this and other environmental cleanup funds will be cut under the current administration.  Further, the environmental racism inherent in the inadequate funding and acknowledgement of harm to the environment that impacts upon Indigenous Peoples needs to be stopped.  We call for the creation of a Superfund dedicated to address this historical neglect in all nation-states, clean up our lands and waters, and create policies to prevent them from being contaminated again.

7)    Treaties, Lands, and Customary Responsibilities: In the United States, Indian Nation authority does not just extend to the boundaries of the reservation, it extends over the respective traditional territories.  This includes treaty lands and un-ceded lands taken without consent.  This authority extends not only to hunting, fishing, food and medicine gathering, but also to our sacred sites and protection of our watersheds.  Any process of consultation is always going to be inadequate because it means that the ultimate authority will always rest with non-Indians.  We are more than capable of understanding and making decisions on development issues in our traditional areas.  We also note the recent decision by the Supreme Court of Canada in the case of Tsilhqot'in Nation v British Columbia 2014 SCC 22 (2014).  In this case the Tsilhqot'in Nation was found to have proved that they had retained aboriginal title over a large part of their traditional territory and were therefore found to have consent authority over timber harvesting in this area.  We assert that the same principle should be adopted here in the United States, recognizing the consent authority of Indian Nations for developments impacting upon hunting and fishing rights and responsibilities, food and medicine gathering rights and responsibilities and engaging with sacred sites and Ceremonial grounds.

8)    Strengthen and Assert Spiritual Freedom: The legal assaults on Indian spiritual beliefs and practices have increased over the last few decades.  Despite the American Indian Religious Freedom Act 1978 requiring federal agencies to respect Indian spiritual practices, these same agencies ignore and actively oppress Indian spiritual practices.  For example, the US Army Corps of Engineers, in supporting the DAPL pipeline, actively supported the Morton County Sheriff Department in preventing Indian people from praying on land under their alleged jurisdiction.  Much of the militarized action undertaken against Water Defenders was in fact in areas under alleged federal jurisdiction, and primarily involved suppressing freedom of religion.  There are also a number of court decisions, such as Lyng v Northwest Indian Cemetery Protection Association (1988) which creates a weaker standard for First Amendment protection of Indian spiritual beliefs and practices.  We are committed to actively asserting out spiritual ways in our lands, whether on or off reservation, and see this as an essential responsibility.  We will assert these responsibilities on our sacred sites and Ceremonial grounds as part of a living practice, and not as some relic of the past.

9)    Indigenous Knowledge: Indigenous Knowledge which includes our spiritual ways, language, customs, traditional values, social structures, law, political structures and though are the very heart of who we are, is under significant threat.  Basically, corporations and nation-states who have for generations attacked, undermined and minimized Indigenous Knowledge are now creating definitions which recognize it on their terms and in their context as a property right.  What should never be defined under non-Indigenous ways of thought, is now being defined in various United Nations forums and such, in ways to foster development.  This is really obvious on issues relating to carbon trading and carbon credits.  To protect Indigenous Knowledge we advocate for a definition that is from a completely Indigenous Peoples perspective that is outside of property law.  Without such a stand, those seeking to impose development projects upon Indigenous Peoples will be in a position to acknowledge that Indigenous Knowledge is harmed by the development, and can be taken with property compensation provisions.

10) Just Transition: The current economic system is not doing enough to address major environmental issues such as climate change.  Often, Indigenous nations and communities are at the front end of development projects that cause harm.  Just Transition is a way of finding ways to create sustainable economies of scale that focuses on renewable energy, and community health and well being.

11) Alcohol and Other Drugs: Alcohol and Other Drugs have played a major role in the subjugation of our Peoples and Nations.  Alcohol, heroin and meth amphetamines, to name but a few, continue to wreak havoc and devastation.  There is a need to strengthen our collective commitment to stop this cycle of addiction and abuse, that leads to shattered families and communities.


Apache Wendsler Nosie speaks in Paris, March 23, 2019

Oak Flat -- Protect Sacred Lands from Mining

Announcement by CSIA, Committee in Solidarity with American Indians
 Translated by Christine Prat

Lecture – Struggle against mining on Apache lands in Arizona: "Protect Oak Flat!" – Meeting with Wendsler Nosie Sr., Chiricahua Apache from the San Carlos Reservation in Arizona, representative of the APACHE STRONGHOLD (Paris, March 23rd 2019).
Wendsler Nosie Sr. is a Chiricahua Apache from the San Carlos Reservation in Arizona, he has been Chairman and member of the Tribal Council of that Reservation. He is now head of Apache Stronghold. He is struggling for the cultural rights of his community, as a copper mine project at Oak flats, one hour driving east of Phoenix, threatens this site, sacred for the Apaches, and known as Chi'Ch'il Bildagoteel in Athapasq.
In the past, Wendsler also struggled against the extension of the site of a telescope on Mount Graham, 70 km from Tucson, Arizona. Mount Graham is a mountain considered sacred by the Apaches of the Southwest, and is know as Dzil Nchaa Si An.

Monday, March 11, 2019

Walking for Future Generations, Longest Walk 2019 Photos by Bad Bear

Photos by Western Shoshone Longwalker Carl Bad Bear Sampson on the Longest Walk 2019, We Shall Continue. Today walkers are on Hwy 50 in Nevada, named 'The Loneliest Road" in America by Life magazine. Photos today between Ely and Baker, Nevada.
March 11, 2019.

Photos copyright Carl Sampson, Censored News.