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American Indian Movement of Colorado

Spirituality • Self-determination • Solidarity • Sobriety
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Friday, December 16, 2005

Evo Morales to lead Bolivia!

Evo Morales Favored to Win Sunday’s Elections in Bolivia

La Paz, Dec 15. - Indigenous leader Evo Morales is favored to win Sunday’s presidential elections in Bolivia, despite rumors of possible fraud and military involvement clouding this year’s elections.

According to the latest poll, Morales has 34.2 percent support, five points above his nearest opponent, former president Jorge Quiroga (29.2 percent), reports Prensa Latina news agency.

Today, in Indian Country Today, John Mohawk writes:
Evo Morales is an indigenous man, a member of Bolivia's national Congress and a candidate for president in the national elections scheduled for Dec. 18. He is the rarest of all politicians because not only is he an individual of indigenous descent, he actually represents indigenous constituencies in Bolivia. One might say he is an Indian's Indian. If he wins, he will become the first American Indian to be head of state in modern times.

Morales' political career and his candidacy for the country's highest office are deeply troubling to the United States and the Bush administration. An ally of Cuba's Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, Morales heads a political organization called the Movement Toward Socialism.

The United States has long opposed Castro because of the reforms that followed the Cuban revolution, reforms that included the expulsion of the American-based Mafia from what was then Cuba's lucrative gambling trade and policies that produced a range of what amounted to seizures of American corporate properties on the island.
full article

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

From this week's edition of Westword.

AIM, Fire
The American Indian Movement targets the Rocky.
By Michael Roberts

Published: Thursday, December 15, 2005

The Rocky Mountain News and the American Indian Movement of Colorado are a match made in hell. The Rocky's been consistently critical of Colorado AIM's position regarding Denver's annual Columbus Day Parade and has printed enough words attacking longtime AIM provocateur Ward Churchill to fill a Harry Potter book. Meanwhile, Colorado AIM contends that the Rocky carries a stain of anti-Native American prejudice that can be traced back to its Wild West origins; in an 1863 editorial, the paper described the Ute people as "a dissolute, vagabondish, brutal and ungrateful race" that "ought to be wiped from the face of the earth."
Relations between these two organizations could hardly be more strained. But during the past month, matters deteriorated even further, with Colorado AIM picketing the paper and calling for the firing of editorial-page editor Vincent Carroll. Not that anyone would know from reading the Rocky, which hasn't printed any of the particulars.

The latest dispute began shortly after the November 13 death of author and scholar Vine Deloria Jr. , who was "the equivalent of Thurgood Marshall, Frederick Douglass and Martin Luther King rolled into one in the eyes of the Indian world," according to Glenn Morris, a Colorado AIM leader. Deloria's passing was cited by publications such as the New York Times and prompted a remembrance from syndicated columnist Clarence Page. Locally, the Denver Post offered a laudatory editorial and an obituary that was plugged on page one, whereas the Rocky positioned its obit in a bottom corner of page 6 -- placement that Morris finds highly questionable. He was much more upset, however, by a subsequent item by Carroll, who disparaged Deloria tributes that ignored the "wacky nature of some of his views." To Morris, this thesis is objectionable on its face, but the disrespect was compounded because it appeared on November 18, hours before Deloria's memorial service and burial in Golden.

"Vine died almost a week earlier, and Carroll had all that time to write something critical about him -- but he waited until the day of his funeral," Morris says. "What other community would put up with something like that?" full article

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Flagstaff cops harassing Native Youth organizers

we'll be posting more information as we receive it.
Statement from Youth of the Peaks

Today we are going to gather at 2:15 and have a press conference at 2:30 on the corner of Cedar and West St. across from the Conoco in the Safeway parking lot, in front of the Coconino
High School fence. We are going to DEMAND an apology from the
Flagstaff Police Department for intimidating our youth and using
scare tactics to stop a movement.

"We will move forward with our faith, our spirit, and our love, not with fear." said Alberta Nells declaring that
this will not stop their efforts to protect the San Francisco Peaks.

Yesterday members of Flagstaff Police Department's gang task force
came into Coconino High School and tore down Youth of the Peaks
flyers without initial permission from the school saying it was
"evidence". This seemed to be in direct response to the Youth of
the Peaks vigil that brought our nearly 200 youth the night before,where they filmed our families and us.

They asked Youth of the Peaksquestions concerning their activities, leadership, and their cause bring three young indigenous women into the administration's office without a parental gaurdian or lawyer present.

The Youth of the Peaks felt intimidated and scared, but we still
met that day and furthered our resolve and commitment to our
community and cause. However, the intimidation worked for the
administration at Coconino High School, they subsequently cancelled the film screening that they originally permitted.

This is completely despicable for officers of the law to attempt to prevent civic engagement and political activity using intimidation and scare tactics against mostly young women. It
is completely inappropriate and anti-democratic for this to
happen in our community.

Question is, what are the Youth of the Peaks guilty of?

For defending culture, the sacred, our land, the beautiful things,
and our community... guilty

For building a community and family who are committed to social
change and creating a world where many worlds can fit... guilty

For getting youth involved with the movement as opposed to gangs,
drugs, and violence.... guilty.

For believing that the San Francisco Peaks should be protected as
opposed to exploited, kept in reverance instead of treated as a
sewage fecility, to be cherished and protected instead of

For taking a stand, for finding our voice, for being guided by our
elders, for being a little bit different....


Tuesday, December 06, 2005

White Plume in 8th circuit court of appeals-Dec 12

Press release

November 28, 2005
From: Alex White Plume, Percy White Plume, Tierra Madre, LLC and
Madison Hemp and Flax 1806, LLC.

U. S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals to Hear White Plume Case in St.
Louis, 12/12/05

The United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit has
scheduled oral arguments in the pending case of Alex White Plume;
Percy White Plume; Tierra Madre, LLC; and Madison Hemp and Flax
1806, LLC vs. United States of America (Appeal No. 05-1654,
consolidated with 05-1656) for December 12, 2005 at 9:00 a.m. in St. Louis, MO.

The case is under appeal from a ruling by the United States District Court Judge Richard Battey in Rapid City, SD. Battey ruled in favor of the government without taking oral argument on behalf of the White Plumes. The oral argument before the Court of Appeals represents the first time the White Plume's will be able to have their case heard before a court.

In what has been deemed "a sovereignty case that is very uniquely
framed," the White Plumes have planted industrial hemp on their
family land for three seasons only to have it cut down and
confiscated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

The White Plumes assert their right to raise industrial hemp as an exercise of their sovereign rights and pursuant to an Oglala Sioux Tribal Ordinance enacted to secure rights guaranteed by the Treaties of 1868 and 1851.

The U.S. government maintains that its asserted "trust responsibility" gives it the final authority to decide appropriate uses of reservation lands.

Alex White Plume/Percy White Plume
Bruce Ellison, Attorney for the White Plumes
David Frankel, Attorney for Tierra Madre, LLC/Madison Hemp & Flax
1806, LLC

Background article

The Drug War Comes to the Rez
When Alex White Plume planted a field full of industrial-grade hemp, he hoped that his crop might lift his family and community out of poverty. Then the DEA came to Pine Ridge.
By Leora Broydo
February 13, 2001

Alex White Plume called it his "field of dreams": an acre and a half of plants so tall and strong they seemed to touch the sky; a crop representing hope for a new and self-sufficient life for his family, residents of the desperately impoverished Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota.

But on Aug. 24, 2000 at sunrise, just four days before White Plume and his neighbors planned to harvest their bounty, White Plume awoke to the sounds of helicopters. He looked out the window and saw a convoy of vehicles heading for his field.

He raced down to investigate, and was met by a slew of black-clad and heavily armed figures -- 36 agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration, the FBI, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and the US Marshal's office. full article