August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Radio Free Alcatraz: Fifty Years Later, Sounding out Beauty, Truth and Resistance

Photo by Lolly Bee Nov. 28, 2019
Radio Free Alcatraz: Fifty Years Later, Sounding out Beauty, Truth and Resistance

Article by Brenda Norrell
Censored News

ALCATRAZ -- Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Occupation of Alcatraz, thousands streamed up Alcatraz for sunrise prayers, as traditional singers and dancers offered their gratitude at the first light of dawn.
In the spirit of John Trudell who first broadcast Radio Free Alcatraz in 1969, at first light on Thursday, there was a call out from the Water Protectors in Mauna Kea and the Dakotas, shout-outs of solidarity from Palestine and Ireland, and remembrances of those in prisons, from the migrant children in cages to the prison cell of Leonard Peltier.
Radio Free Alcatraz, broadcast live by KPFA, carried the words and sounds that were as chilling as the cold wind.

KPFA began its first live broadcast from Alcatraz on December 22, 1969, under the direction of Santee John Trudell. With borrowed and donated radio equipment, Trudell's programs originated from the main cell block building on Alcatraz.
"Each episode began with a recording of Buffy Sainte-Marie singing 'Now that the Buffalo's Gone,'" said Pacifica Radio.
During this year's Sunrise Ceremony, in a passionate appeal for justice, the names of the law enforcement who shot grandmothers and children with rubber bullets at Standing Rock were read aloud.
Solidarity with Indigenous struggling around the world -- from Chile, Bolivia, Argentina and Brazil to the resistance at Oak Flat and on the Tohono O'odham border -- was sounded out.
Mama Julz, Lakota, remembered the words of her grandmother, 'Be there for the people."
Julz described Mothers Against Meth Alliance and the nightly patrols to make sure the people are safe.
"We all need to come together."
In the resistance to pipelines, Julz said she has locked down to three pipelines to bring awareness to the sex trafficking and the missing and murdered Indigenous women, resulting from the man camps that pipelines bring in.
Lenny Foster, Dine', brought greetings from Leonard Peltier.
"He wishes he could be here with you," Foster said, urging prayers for Peltier in prison and prayers for his freedom.
Foster said he came to the Occupation at the age of 21, on a pilgrimage, a spiritual journey.
"I want to thank the Ohlone people for allowing us to come here and share on their land."
Foster thanked the students who made the stand here and took the Rock and the new generation of Water Protectors.
During interviews, KPFA radio host Miguel Gavilan Molina described how Trump signed legislation regarding Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women.
Foster said women are sacred and sustain life, and sustain the foundation of the home. "We have that responsibility to protect that giver of life."
Native women are being raped and murdered.
"The Warriors need to step up," Foster said.
KPFA radio host Jeanine Etter said Mother Earth is being abused and raped at the same time this is happening to Indigenous women.
Dr. LaNada War Jack, Shoshone Bannock, remembered the plants, animals and people being killed in the Americas, especially those in Brazil.
Although the people have gone from self-determination back to termination under the current administration, War Jack said, "We're still struggling. We're still fighting."
War Jack said her new book, "Native Resistance: An Intergenerational Fight for Survival and Life," chronicles the history of Native people beginning with the genocide and continuing to the present.
Speaking in the Circle, Morning Star Gali recognized Danny Glover, who supported the original Occupation of Alcatraz and was here again for the 50th Anniversary.
Morning Star Gali said, "He is a Warrior for our People."
Glover also joined Radio Free Alcatraz for an interview.
Remembering those in prison and the caged migrant children, Nane Alejandrez of Barrios Unidos Prison Project and Danny Glover spoke on the struggle against racism and their travels throughout the Americas, urging people to realize the oneness of humanity.
Returning to Alcatraz again this year, Colin Kaepernick, earlier criticized for 'taking the knee,' spoke at the 50th Anniversary of the Occupation on Alcatraz and voiced his solidarity.
The Indians of All Tribes -- the students from the University of California and San Francisco State who took the Rock -- were remembered by their children and the new generation of Native Americans now claiming their place in history.

Listen to the clear sounds on Radio Free Alcatraz Nov. 28, 2019, Part I:
Listen to Radio Free Alcatraz Part II

Morning Star Gali thanked Shingle Springs, Ione band of Miwok. Round Valley, Tule River, Mudcat and Yolanda Hoaglen, Ral Christman and Vanessa Christman, Kumeyaay Bird Singers and youth, Cody Thomas Blackbird The Cody Blackbird Band, Alvaro Kepokamaztli Tellez, Bernadette Antoinette Smith, Brook Franco, Dee Dee Manzanares Ybarra, James Browneagle, Radley Davis, Laulani Teale, Liko Martin - Music Page, Julz Rich, Isabella Zizi, María Xiomára Dorsey, Mahxus Jamarkis, LaNada War Jack, Manny Lieras, All Nations Singers, Nane Alejandrez, Michael Bellanger, Danny Hatch, Phil Albers and Taralyn Ipina, Fred Short, Bruce Gali, Bruce Gali, Joe Berberena, Edwina Lincoln, Otaka Redhawk, Neesh-kin RedHawk, Lara Kiswani AROC: Arab Resource & Organizing Center, Eloy Martinez.
Courtesy Morning Star Gali

Danny Glover and Morning Star Gali
Photo courtesy Mourning Star Gali

Justice for our Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women
Photo courtesy Morning Star Gali

Photo courtesy Morning Star Gali

"Radio Free Alcatraz was conceived to give a voice to the voiceless minority of Native Americans. On December 22, 1969, KPFA began its first live broadcast from Alcatraz, under the direction of John Trudell, a Santee Sioux from Nebraska who was relocated to the Bay Area with his wife and two children. With borrowed and donated radio equipment, the programs originated from the main cell block building on Alcatraz, and were carried live by the Pacifica Network, which consisted, at the time, of KPFA, Berkeley; KPFK, Los Angeles; and WBAI, New York weekday evenings at 7:15 p.m. PST. Each episode began with a recording of Buffy Sainte-Marie singing "Now that the Buffalo's Gone." The series of news reports on the Indians of All Tribes occupation of Alcatraz Island in San Francisco was recorded and broadcast live from 22 Dec. 1969-3 Sept. 1970. The Pacifica Radio Archives currently holds 39 episodes from between December 29, 1969 and August 13, 1970." -- Pacifica Radio.

Article copyright Brenda Norrell, Censored News.

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