Wednesday, November 25, 2015

No War, No Warming – Build an Economy for People and Planet

November 23, 2015

Despite the ban on Protest in Paris, we will be there to raise our voices against war, racism and pollution profiteering. We stand in solidarity with the countless victims of recent violence in Paris, Beirut, and Mali, as well as their families and loved ones.

The It Takes Roots to Weather the Storm delegation of over 100 frontline leaders from climate impacted communities across the US and Canada, including the Arctic, united under the slogan: No War, No Warming – Build an Economy for People and Planet. We stand against the criminalization of the defenders of Mother Earth and the illegitimate criminalization of protest, in particular during the COP21. Civil society, popular movements, indigenous movements and society in general have the right to raise their voices in dissent, especially when our futures are being negotiated. The voices of Indigenous peoples, youth, women and frontline communities need to provide guidance in these negotiations, now more than ever.

Climate justice seeks to address much more than greenhouse gas emissions, but the root systemic causes of climate change itself. Climate justice is about social and economic justice, and how democratic, peaceful and equitable solutions, not military violence, best serve the interests of humanity. The fossil fuel economy is a driver of this multi-faceted crises facing the world: causing resource wars; polluting our air, water and land; creating illness and death to people and of ecosystems; privatization of nature; economically exploiting Indigenous communities, communities of color and the working poor; forcing mass migrations; and, depriving millions of adequate food, access to water, housing, healthcare and healthy and safe employment.

As part of a global climate justice movement, we oppose the bombing of Syria. Over many decades we have witnessed that Western militarism has only increased the instability of the Middle East and other regions. This militarism abroad has also escalated the military complex at home in the United States, where communities resisting the industries causing climate change, have been heavily policed and targeted by police violence.

Our delegation is made up of grassroots leaders from Indigenous, Black, Latino, Asian and working class white communities.   We know first-hand the violence and repression of state racism that exploits tragic moments like this. We reject rising Islamophobia and racism across Europe and North America, as well as the scapegoating of migrants and refugees. The global community has a human rights responsibility to refugees fleeing violence and fleeing for their lives. The roots of the Syrian crisis are linked to climate change, and those seeking refuge because of drought, repeated bombing, and the lack of humanitarian support from world governments.

We are in solidarity with undocumented peoples, migrants and people of color facing repression, raids, and police brutality in France and Europe. We know that people of color face extreme violence within and because of colonial States. We support our comrades in this time as we know they face even more racism, attacks and nation-State violence. We call for continued support for these communities and their organizing efforts. Understanding that our struggles are inextricably linked through globalization, militarization, and neo-liberalism, stemming from a long history of colonialism.

Taking action on climate is a essential to global stability and peace. Peace also includes the need to have peace with Mother Earth. Our movements are aligned across issues of migration, climate, human rights and rights of Indigenous peoples, Earth jurisprudence, jobs and housing.   We are calling on world leaders, and President Obama in particular, to move toward inclusion over exclusion, renewable clean energy over pollution profiteering, cutting emissions at source over carbon trading and offset regimes, and peace over militarism.

We are inspired by the tenacity and humanity of people around the world, and we will continue to mobilize for Paris and to use our love, creativity and solidarity to make our presence known and felt. The protection of Mother Earth, as we know her, and our collective survival is at stake.

Media Contacts:
Jaron Browne 415-377-2822,
Dallas Goldtooth 708-515-6158,
Preeti Shekar 510-219-4193,

Quick action needed: Save Net Neutrality‏

Net Neutrality is under attack in Congress. Again.
Comcast and their cronies in Congress are taking advantage of the slow week before Thanksgiving to slip a Net Neutrality-killing provision into this year’s omnibus spending bill — the bill Congress *must* pass to avoid another government shutdown.

Tell Congress: Protect Net Neutrality — the open Internet isn’t a bargaining chip.

Because Congress’ and the media’s attention has (appropriately) been elsewhere the last few weeks, they haven’t been hearing nearly as much about Net Neutrality or the open Internet. That’s why we need to take action now to make sure they know that the Internet isn’t a bargaining chip that can be traded away. It’s too important for that.

Hundreds of American Indians to Gather on Alcatraz Island Thursday

ALCATRAZ ISLAND – On Thursday morning, before sunrise, hundreds of American Indians – and non-Native allies – will gather on Alcatraz Island for “The Indigenous Peoples Sunrise Ceremony.”

Every year since 1975, American Indians have journeyed from the mainland to Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay on Thanksgiving Day. Previously the day was called “Un-Thanksgiving Day.”

In modern times, Alcatraz Island has become a symbol to American Indians. It is a symbol of both struggle and hope. The affinity American Indians has with Alcatraz Island goes deep.

For years, the island was home to a federal penitentiary there. Called the “Rock,” the penitentiary’s most famous inmate was notorious gangster Al Capone.

After the prison closed in 1963, American Indians began to petition the federal government to put it into “Indian land.”


Celebrate the Holiday: Pardon Peltier

This year on the holiday celebrating the relations between indigenous peoples and foreign settlers, Native Americans and supporters will rally in front of the White House at 10:00 a.m. demanding clemency and justice for the people of Pine Ridge and Leonard Peltier. It's time, says Native American organizer John Iversen, to pardon Peltier so that we can celebrate in a real spirit of reconciliation.


16 Shots

A first-degree murder prosecution begins in Chicago, where a white police officer is charged in the October 2014 shooting death of a 17-year-old black teenager. The officer was arraigned Tuesday; the judge denied bail. Chicago Sun-Times More: The prosecutor moved up the announcement of the charges to coincide with the release of a grim police video, which shows Laquan McDonald gunned down — and contradicts police statements made at the time of the shooting. Chicago Tribune Related: The defendant, Jason van Dyke, has a history of misconduct complaints. The Washington Post Finally: Protests there overnight remained largely peaceful. NBC News

FBI and DOJ: Will Track Police Shootings

In separate announcements, the FBI and the Department of Justice say they’ll create programs to monitor police-involved shootings at the federal level. Law enforcement agencies are tasked with tallying their own officer-involved shootings, but after the officer-involved death of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, it came to light that no government agency maintains a complete database of the national numbers. On Wednesday, FBI Director James B. Comey called it “embarrassing” and “ridiculous” that up until very recently, officials had made no concerted effort to track the sort of violence that has inspired national protests and the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement.


Despite Bans Global Climate Marches To See Unprecedented Numbers

On November 28 and 29, hundreds of thousands of people around the world will take to the streets in more than 2000 events in 150 countries to turn up the heat on leaders heading to the Paris Climate Summit. Frontline community representatives, unionists, faith leaders, and families will call on politicians to forge an ambitious new global climate agreement this December that speeds up the just transition from fossil fuels to 100% renewable energy and protects vulnerable people from worsening climate impacts. The people’s call for leadership will be harder and harder to ignore.


The Struggle for Justice on Tribal Lands

...tribal governments now face a grave threat to this kind of partnership and to their very sovereignty. The danger comes from an action brought by the Dollar General Corporation. On Dec. 7, the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments in a case regarding alleged sexual assaults by a Dollar General manager against a tribal minor, a 13-year-old who apprenticed in a store on Choctaw tribal lands in Mississippi. While working in partnership with non-Indians remains an important part of what tribal governments do, ensuring the welfare of tribal members is an essential function of their power. This case has the potential to undermine the authority of tribes to do both.

In keeping with the fraught legal and political relationship between Indians and the federal government, this case, Dollar General v. Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, is deeply rooted in our shared history. And as its focus has expanded, it is no longer exclusively about the child who was originally at its center. is chilling that the Supreme Court has now agreed to hear Dollar General’s challenge to the sovereignty of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians. Initially, the minor and his parents — barred from bringing criminal charges through tribal court — secured the molestation suspect’s expulsion from the reservation. No criminal charges were ever filed by the United States attorney’s office. The family then sought compensatory, civil damages within the tribe’s court system. Tribal and lower federal courts all agree that the tribe has the jurisdiction to hear the case. Dollar General, however, does not.

Black Lives Matter Activists Vow Not to Cower After 5 Are Shot

MINNEAPOLIS — As the police arrested three people on Tuesday in connection with the shooting of five people during a Black Lives Matter protest outside a police precinct here, demonstrators returned to the street with renewed vigor, vowing not to cower in fear of what one organizer called “an act of terrorism.”

Tensions remained high as activists urged caution among the peaceful demonstrators who have been protesting after a white Minneapolis police officer fatally shot Jamar Clark, 24, an unarmed black man, on Nov. 15.

The police said that they had arrested a 23-year-old white man, and that two other white men, ages 21 and 26, turned themselves in on Tuesday afternoon. A 32-year-old Hispanic had been detained and questioned but was released when the police determined that he was not involved in the Monday night shooting, they said.

Activists remained critical of the police, saying that officers did not properly respond during the shooting and that they had lost trust in the department.


17 Awarded Medal of Freedom

WASHINGTON — President Obama awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom on Tuesday to an eclectic mix of Americans from the sciences, arts, sports, politics and human rights, some of them household names and others who he indicated should be.

...The Medal of Freedom is the highest civilian honor the president can bestow, and Mr. Obama has used his selections over the years to reflect policy priorities, political affiliations and personal hero worship. While the big-name recipients drew a crowd of onlookers, the president seemed just as impressed with those who made a difference without achieving great fame.

...The president also posthumously honored Billy Frank Jr., a lifelong advocate of Indian treaty rights who led so-called fish-ins to preserve salmon resources in Washington State, and Minoru Yasui, who fought a World War II military curfew for Japanese-Americans all the way to the Supreme Court.