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American Indian Movement of Colorado

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Tuesday, July 27, 2004

articles july 27

Young Activists fight for climate justice

Across the country in Bemidji, MN Native American communities realize that as climate change transforms their environment, it endangers their culture, which has developed through interaction with their surrounding environment over thousands of years. "Climate change affects our Indigenous communities in profound ways," points out Sammie Ardito, a Climate Justice Corps member who is working with the Indigenous Environmental Network in Bemidji this summer. "We are already severely impacted by over five hundred years of colonization and destruction. We are intimately tied with the land and as such even the subtlest disturbances will disrupt our ways of life. Climate change will make worse what is already severely distressed. These impacts are akin to genocide."

And as is all too familiar, these communities are habitually excluded from the political process explains Roberto Nutlouis, a Climate Justice Corps member working with the Black Mesa Water Coalition in his home in the Navajo Nation this summer. "It is important to shed light on the unjust politics of climate change. People who contribute the least to greenhouse gas emissions; Indigenous peoples, people of color, and disempowered communities, are the first to be impacted." full article

Homeless in Hawaii:
More land for the military than for Hawaiians

by: Winona LaDuke / Guest Columnist
It’s summer in Hawaii, the state is considering another generous land donation to the military and has made homelessness a crime. Under the cover of the term "Military Transformation" and with the blanket of 9/11, the military is taking a wide berth in land stealing. And, recently enacted Act 50 makes criminals out of people who have been displaced by the military itself, many of them Native Hawaiian.  

"They bombed the houses in the l940s and took over the entire valley," explained Sparky Rodrigues, one of many Makua residents still waiting to move home. "The government moved all of the residents out and said after the war, you can move back - and then they used the houses for target practice. The families tell stories that the military came with guns and said, ‘Here’s $300, thank you,’ and ‘You’ve got to move.’ Those people remain without their houses, and for years, many lived on the beaches in beautiful Makua Valley, watching the bombing of their land.

"Tomorrow morning they’re going to detonate a 1,000 pounder, a 500 pounder and a 100 pound bomb," Rodriques mused. Such detonations are part of the military cleanup of the site before, apparently, any new maneuvers. "We’ve gone in and observed them detonate those bombs," said Rodriques. More than once, live ammunition has washed up on the beaches at Makua full article

Apache Tribe’s ‘Erin Brockovich:' The attorneys
Attorney contracted by the tribe calls for federal investigation

by: Mary Pierpoint / Correspondent / Indian Country Today
ANADARKO, Okla. - Confusion and refusals to communicate with royalty owners from the Apache Bromide Unit by both the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Apache Tribe of Oklahoma’s governing body has caused a jumble of misinformation and endless court hearings. Although the Apache tribal chairman and secretary/treasurer were removed from office by referendum during the annual general council meeting they are still being recognized by the Anadarko BIA Agency as officials of the tribal government.

All of the questions asked by Indian Country Today regarding who exactly is in charge of the Apache Tribe of Oklahoma were referred to BIA offices in Washington, D.C.; neither office would answer the question as to whether or not Emily Saupitty is the tribe’s tax commissioner. Tribal Vice Chairman, Nathan Tselee stated that he would not discuss the matter with "outsiders."

When Emily Saupitty, Millie Tapedo and Sandra Marguin met to discuss both issues with Anadarko Agency Superinten-dent Betty Tippaconnie, any hopes they had for getting even simple answers were dashed. full article

Ancient bones found at construction site

By Niki King, Sun Staff

Johnson Charles knelt before a square gap in the ground that was once a home and played his traditional, yellow cedar flute.

Its solemn, reedy tune lilted up and over, carried wide by the wind, across 22 acres of hot, barren earth crawling with machines and men digging for secrets once left by Charles' ancestors, members of the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe.

He comes every day to play, praying the spirit of the wind will allay his people, the living who toil now at this excavation site and the spirits of the dead buried there.

"People ask me to pray. It's soothing," Charles said.

His people need soothing. The last few months have been trying for them, a tragedy and a blessing all at once. full article

U.N. Set to Designate Second Indigenous Decade

UNITED NATIONS, Jul 26 (IPS) - A second U.N. decade spotlighting indigenous peoples is a step closer after the world body's economic and social council (ECOSOC) recommended another 10-year project after the existing decade expires Dec. 30.

The decision will go before the 191-member U.N. General Assembly (GA) whose annual meeting begins in September.

In their recommendation the members of ECOSOC, one of the U.N.'s five main bodies, said a second decade would have to take its mandate from a review of the first 10 years, and include concrete goals and adequate resources to ensure those aims could be met..

The ongoing International Decade of the World's Indigenous People is aimed at strengthening international cooperation to solve problems faced by indigenous peoples -- also known as aborigines, native, first nations or tribal peoples -- in areas such as human rights, environment, development, education and health. The decade's theme is ”indigenous people: partnership in action full article

The Bedouin Dilemma
Many Call For International Intervention In The Negev

They seem peaceful and majestic in the desert heat, cut into the landscape dotted with shacks for living quarters and tents constructed with burlap and wooden sticks not far from the 52 active military zones in the Negev.  The old men in their khafeyas sit drinking Arabic coffee, stone-faced – as if they’ve seen this all before.  The women are nowhere to be seen.
 
The Bedouin village of Wadi al-Na’am sits under the shadow of a chemical industrial zone.  Following the dusty road off the highway, it emerges from the left, dark and oppressive, an architectural catastrophe. 
 
4,000 people live in the vicinity of Ramat Hovav, Israel’s toxic waste dump – one of 17 chemical plants in the area. Opened in 1975, it has left a trail of wreckage adding to the dire situation:  high infant mortality rates, cancer and numerous other health effects from the effluent, 97% of the village population on national insurance.  The electric power lines run past the village yards away connecting nobody to the grid. full article

Yasukuni Shrine and the Double Genocide of Taiwan's Indigenous Atayal:

 "Do all of you know the history of Taiwan's indigenous people?" asked Chiwas Ari at the post-verdict press conference. "Please look at this book of photographs we brought here today." The title of the book was Valley of Silence. The photograph on the page she opened to sent shock waves through the room. A Japanese soldier wielding a military sword had just beheaded a captured Taiwanese aborigine. "These photographs were taken to show ‘meritorious service' in Japan's army. The beheaded man is one of our Atayal ancestors." She paused in silence for a time, then continued. "From 1911 to 1915 the Japanese colonial rulers in Taiwan carried out a policy of ‘native control,' killing indigenous people, seizing their possessions, and burning their homes if they did not submit to Japanese rule. Their surviving children were indoctrinated in a program of ‘education for native youth' (that is, education to make them Japanese imperial subjects) and, as soon as they were old enough, they were sent to South Pacific battlefields in units called ‘Takasago patriot brigades.' Those who died in the fighting were automatically enshrined at Yasukuni. If you ask me, this is genocide spanning two generations."
 
For most of us at the press conference, knowledge of the indigenous people's history barely extended to the Wushe Incident of October, 1930, their final resistance to Japanese rule. We knew that continuing protests against the Prime Minister's Yasukuni pilgrimages have come from the governments and people in China, South Korea, and elsewhere in Asia, but not from the government or people of Taiwan. Why, we wondered, had the plaintiffs in this case come from Taiwan and filed suit as indigenous people? full article

Bushman says God gave land to him
Posted Tue, 27 Jul 2004

A San Bushman who defied a State order to move out of the Central Kalahari Game Reserve told the Botswana High Court on Tuesday that the land had been given to him by God.

The high court is hearing a case brought by 243 San Bushmen challenging their relocation from the game reserve, one of the world's largest sanctuaries and an area which has been their home for some 20 000 years.

"I don't need any piece of paper to show that land was given to me by God," Amolang Segwetsane testified in court. "It belongs to my forefathers and all my children who were born there." full article

Control Room

Inside Al Jazeera

By MIKE WHITNEY

There's a chilling scene in Jahane Noujaim's new documentary Control Room where an American F-16 is seen slowly turning in the sky over Baghdad. The plane arcs lazily in the blue sky and then quickly noses downward, following a straight line towards the building that houses the Al Jazeera news facility.

In a flash, two laser guided missiles are fired at the building and their impact knocks out the visual.

It all happens in a matter of seconds.

Veteran journalist, Tarik Ayoub was killed instantly in the attack.

Later that same day, fighter pilots would bomb the Abu Dhabi media facility in similar fashion.

The day's events would end on the streets of Baghdad where an Abrams Tank slowly turned its turret towards the Palestine Hotel; the accommodation for all the visiting media in Iraq.

The tank lifted its muzzle towards the 13th floor, and moments later fired...killing a Spanish journalist and wounding three others.

No one who sees this shocking segment will confuse it for anything other than what it was....cold blooded murder, authored and directed by the Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld. (Al Jazeera even provided the US Military with its exact coordinates so they wouldn't be attacked as they were in Kabul) full article

An Excuse-Spouting Bush Is Busted by the 9/11 Report

Busted! Like a teenager whose beer bash is interrupted by his parents' early return home, President Bush's nearly three years of bragging about his "war on terror" credentials has been exposed by the bipartisan 9/11 commission as nothing more than empty posturing.

Without dissent, five prominent Republicans joined an equal number of their Democratic Party peers in stating unequivocally that the Bush Administration got it wrong, both in its lethargic response to an unprecedented level of warnings during what the commission calls the "Summer of Threat," as well as in its inclusion of Iraq in the war on terror. full article


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