Monday, September 1, 2014

Pacific Northwest Social Forum This September

Portland, Oregon: Dozens of social, economic and climate justice organizers from across the Pacific Northwest have been meeting for the past 16 months to bring the Pacific Northwest Social Forum to Portland, Oregon, September, 26th-28th, 2014. The three-day event will feature music; a fundraiser/solidarity action for a computer center in Burundi, Africa; and assemblies and panels on topics including Indigenous Treaty Rights, Climate Justice, Housing and Homelessness and Democracy. The overall goal of the event is to create a Pacific Northwest People’s Plan for Social, Economic and Climate Justice with strategy and actions for the next two years. The event will conclude with a direct action on Sunday that is also the kick-off to the implementation of the Pacific Northwest People’s Plan for Justice.

The Pacific Northwest Social Forum is one of many events taking place across the country in 2014 that are connected to and building toward larger gatherings in 2015 for the US Social Forum. The US Social Forum (USSF) is a national and international movement building process that is connected and accountable to the World Social Forum. After gathering 100,000 people in Porto Alegre, Brazil in
 2005, the International Council of the World Social Forum decided the following year there would be
 regional social forums. The USSF is one of these regional forums, stating that it was strategic to hold a gathering of peoples and movements within the “belly of the beast” that were against the ravages of
 globalization and neoliberal policies in the US and worldwide. The USSF is not a
 conference rather it is a space to come up with the peoples’ solutions to the economic and ecological crisis. The USSF is a next most important step in the struggle to build a powerful multi-racial, multi-sectoral, inter-generational, diverse, inclusive, internationalist movement that transforms this country and
 changes history.
 
1pacnwsfWe hope to gather as many folks from the Pacific Northwest as we can from all walks of life,” reported Shamako Noble, National Coordinator with the USSF and organizer for the event. “We have buses coming from the North, South and East to the Forum, with reps from Hip Hop Congress, Move to Amend, Montana based Indian Peoples Action, and (folks from North), and groups from Seattle like the Multi-Media Center. This is shaping up to be a historic event, a game changer in working together to reclaim our region in a way that makes sense for the people and the planet. We’re excited to come together for this motion forward.”
 
Alyssa Macy, an organizer with the International Indian Treaty Council has been mobilizing Indigenous Peoples to participate in the forum. She stated, “This is an excellent opportunity to educate those individuals and organizations working for a most just society on Treaty Rights here in the Northwest and our shared responsibility in ensuring that the US honors them. Our struggles are related and it is only together that we can realize the society we envision.”
 
Registration is now open for this historic event at www.pnwsf.org and offers a sliding scale of $10-$100 with the opportunity to do 2-hours of barter work in exchange for registration.

Clear Demands Needed At People's Climate March

Climate Action vs. Climate Justice: the Need for Clear Demands at the Peoples’ Climate March in New York City

In New York City on September 21st, a major climate march is planned. It will take place two days before UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s UN Climate Summit–a one-day closed door session where the world’s “leaders” will discuss “ambitions” for the upcoming climate conference (COP20) in Lima Peru.

350.org and Avaaz originally called for the march, but environmental and climate justice organizations and alliances based in the New York/New Jersey region and across the US demanded (and won) a seat at the organizing table to attempt to ensure that the voices of front line and impacted communities are heard.

So, what are the demands of the march? There are none. That’s right. The march will simply bring together an estimated 200,000 people to march through the streets of New York and then…

There will be no rally, no speakers, and no strong political demands. Just people showing up with the overarching message that the world’s leaders should take action on climate change. Why no solid demands? I’ve been informed by organizers that the reason this march is being held with no actual demands is because we need a big tent.

More:  http://www.popularresistance.org/clear-demands-needed-at-peoples-climate-march/

Occupy Movement Gets Its Own TV Station

BEVERLY HILLS, CA--(Marketwired - August 27, 2014) - In partnership with FilmOn Networks, the National Convention PBC and a new union of the groups Occupy Television, ArticleV.org, and the National General Assembly, have launched Occupy Television, a free 24/7 online television channel. The new outlet consolidates all previous sites providing Occupy news and commentary in order to provide access to the maximum amount of people around the world.
There is no more visceral demonstration of the importance of the principles behind Occupy -- and the need for independent control of the movement's own messages -- then the complete failure of the police state in Ferguson, Missouri and its violent behavior toward the media.

Occupy Television's goal is to circumvent mainstream media, with its multitude of conflicts of interests, in order to break out of the echo chambers of conventional political discussion. The station is based on the work of Occupy community members and citizen journalists -- it is TV for the 99%.

More:  https://finance.yahoo.com/news/occupy-movement-gets-own-tv-141500133.html

Hunger Games on the Rez: Filmmakers Plan Dystopian Pine Ridge Drama

It’s 2085 on Pine Ridge. The reservation has been quarantined and borders guarded by the military for 30 years. Sparked by the ramifications of the Keystone XL pipeline, the war between the government and the insurgency lasted for eight years and resulted in the dystopian setting that provides the background for "The People," the inaugural project from Indigene Studios.

Based out of Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, Indigene was co-founded in April by Willi White, Oglala Lakota, and Angel White Eyes, Oglala Lakota and Ojibwa. Both graduated from Red Cloud Indian School in 2008 and then from college—White from Creighton University and White Eyes from Oglala Lakota College—in 2013 with arts degrees. Since high school, they have dreamed of being able to provide a platform for Natives to tell their own stories using film, theater and photography.

RELATED: Pine Ridge's Scatter Their Own: Rez Rockers on the Rise

The People, a 15-minute short film, is the first culmination of those dreams.
Photo by Willi White.
Photo by Willi White.
“This is our way of giving back to our communities but also expressing ourselves,” White said. “Non-Natives always come here and sell the same narrative to the mainstream media. We want to change that narrative and give a voice to the stories that are already here.”
Written by Isnala Belt, Oglala Lakota, the film follows a 26-year-old Oglala protagonist, Itancan, played by Marcus Bear Eagle, Oglala Lakota, through his struggle to break free from the militaristic quarantine and fight for his people’s rights and freedom.

“It’s a great introduction piece for the studio because it relates to the mainstream as well,” White said, noting that environmental issues and popular dystopian films such as The Hunger Games can appeal to everyone, not just Natives.

White said inspiration for the film came from one of his photographs, now the main image used to promote the film. The aesthetic of the photograph inspired Belt to create the apocalyptic setting found in the script. According to White, Belt served in the military and has an extensive knowledge of fighting tactics and weaponry, which helped with accuracy.

The film is currently being funded via an IndieGoGo campaign. As of this posting, the campaign has five days left and still needs a little more than $5,000 to meet the $8,000 goal.

Most of the funds raised will go toward renting the equipment necessary to produce the film. With plans to shoot for five days at the beginning of October and festival submission deadlines looming at the end of October, the team plans on doing a quick turnaround—after production and editing, Indigene plans to submit the film to various film festivals, including South By Southwest Film Festival in Austin, Texas, and Tribeca Film Festival in New York City.

Long-term goals for the studio include creating larger scale projects such as feature films (including expanding "The People" into a full-length feature film) and documentaries, as well as setting up a permanent studio space on Pine Ridge for other Native filmmakers to rent and use.

“We also want to continue to build relationships with others in the industry and find support from them,” White said.

More information can be found at the film’s IndieGoGo campaign site (indiegogo.com/projects/the-people-a-short-film-by-indigenous-filmmakers) and at Indigenestudios.com. Contributions to the campaign can be made in sums ranging from $5 to $,5000.

Smart Justice Fair Justice: Campaign to End Mass Incarceration

 
Visit:  https://www.aclu.org/smart-justice-fair-justice-0

Facts about the mass incarceration of people of color in the U.S.

The United States leads the world in incarceration, with over 2.4 million people behind bars—a 500 percent increase over the past 30 years. The United States has 5 percent of the world population, yet approximately 25 percent of its prisoners.

More than 60 percent of the people in prison are people of color. For black males in their twenties, one in every eight is in prison or jail on any given day. Three-fourths of all persons in prison for drug offenses are people of color.

With the emergence of “Secure Communities” and other race-based injustices, one in six Latino men born today can expect to be incarcerated in their lifetime.

Prisons have exploded with the "war on drugs": more than 500,000 people—nearly a quarter of all those incarcerated—are incarcerated as the result of a drug conviction. The number of drug offenders in state prisons has increased thirteen-fold since 1980.
In 2008, 37 percent of black high-school dropouts were incarcerated. If these trends hold, 68 percent of African-American male high school dropouts born from 1975 to 1979 will spend time living in prison at some point in their lives.

Nationally, approximately 5.3 million Americans are denied the right to vote because of laws that prohibit voting by people with felony convictions. Felony disenfranchisement has resulted in an estimated 13 percent of black men being unable to vote.

In 2009, the federal government held over 380,000 people in immigration custody.

Prisons devastate our communities: over the last two decades, state spending on prisons grew at six times the spending on higher education. Nearly $70 billion is spent annually on prisons, probation, parole and detention centers.

From 1997 to 2007, the number of women in prison has grown by 832 percent to over 65,000 in state or federal custody. Two-thirds of these women were the primary caregiver to minor children.

Although Latino women make up only 9 percent of the U.S. population, they represent 32 percent of women in federal prisons.

In 2009, there were 7.2 million people under some form of correctional supervision.
Today there are over 92,000 juveniles in federal, state, and local custody.

What can I do about it?

The Campaign to End the New Jim Crow has put together a study guide for Michelle Alexander’s book, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, which you’re encouraged to read with a book group.

They also offer these action steps:
  • Organize or join community watch programs to monitor the police
  • Challenge your legislators to end all collateral consequences to a criminal conviction
  • Demand that criminal justice policies and practices be racially neutral
  • Support efforts to shift the criminal justice paradigm away from punishment and retribution to healing and transformation
  • Petition your representatives to redirect prison resources to community development
Build the movement

Bring your expertise, skills, ideas and interests to the Campaign: Visit their website, find them on Facebook, or attend a meeting in New York.

Compiled by The Campaign to End the New Jim Crow

Sources: Daedalus; Drug Policy Alliance; NAACP; Sentencing Project; Women’s Prison Association; Prison Policy Initiative

Woman IDs dead, learns about Native beliefs

WINSLOW, Ariz. (AP) — A dusty, barren field in the shadow of a busy Arizona interstate was for decades a place where children played freely, teenagers spooked themselves on Halloween and locals dumped trash, seemingly unaware of the history beneath them.
 
Inside cotton sacks, burlap bags and blankets buried in the ground are the remains of stillborn babies, tuberculosis patients, and sick and malnourished Native Americans from Winslow and the nearby Navajo and Hopi reservations.

It's hard, if not impossible, to know where each grave, some just 18 inches deep, is located at the Winslow Indian Cemetery. The aluminum plates and crosses that once marked them were trampled on, washed away or carried off.

It was no place to mourn, thought local historical preservationist Gail Sadler, before she made it her mission to unearth the identities of the roughly 600 people buried there and help their descendants reconnect with their history.

"If anyone is searching for family, I don't want these little ones to be lost," said the soft-spoken child welfare worker.

What she learned, however, was that not everyone wanted to reconnect.

Her Mormon belief about the value of knowing one's ancestry suddenly came up against traditional Navajo beliefs about death as something one rarely discusses, and Navajo and Hopi tradition about not visiting burial sites.

Some warned her that she risked inviting evil spirits if she continued her pursuit of the dead.

More:  http://news.msn.com/us/woman-ids-dead-learns-about-native-beliefs

 

Treaty Council’s 40th Conference Celebrates Indigenous Peoples Rights

The International Indian Treaty Council turned 40 this year and its annual conference will celebrate the past, share experiences and cultures of the present, and develop plans and strategies to meet the ongoing struggles of Indigenous Peoples worldwide.

When the First International Treaty Council of the Western Hemisphere held its first conference on the land of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe on June 8-16, 1974, around 5,000 representatives from 97 indigenous nations from across North and South America attended. The conference established the International Indian Treaty Council (IITC), a non-profit organization that works for Indigenous Peoples’ human rights, sovereignty, self-determination, and the recognition and protection of treaties, traditional cultures and sacred lands. The organization 40th Annual International Indian Treaty Council Conference (IITC) – a huge and historic event – will take place on the family land of Phillip Deere, a Muscogee (Creek) Nation citizen and one of IITC’s original co-founders, in Okmulgee, Oklahoma, September 10-12. The theme of the conference is “Commemorating 40 years Defending the Rights and Recognition of Indigenous Peoples.”

Read more at http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2014/09/01/treaty-councils-40th-conference-celebrates-indigenous-peoples-rights-156684

Reno, NV: March for Freedom of Leonard Peltier, 12 September

Friday, September 12
at 5:30 pm PDT
 
Downtown Reno Nevada -1ST and Virginia-Ice skating ring in front of City Hall.
 
Leonard Peltier Rally-March for Freedom will be celebrating our Brothers 70th Birthday. We recognize his doing time for all indigenous people across Mother Earth as we educate the world of all the wrongs onto our People. As our brother continues to sit behind bars for a wrongful conviction for 38 years, we fight and allow our voices to be One-a strong One. We will Not give up until our brother is home with his family. Let the Truth set him free as fbi lies had him locked away.

Concluding with March to Federal Building.

Singers, drummers , Warriors , those willing to march for Our Brother-welcome-All colors, in the Four Directions

PLEASE also contact President Barack Obama and ask that he grant Leonard executive clemency:

The White House; President Barack Obama
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
Please include your e-mail address
Comments: 202-456-1111
Switchboard: 202-456-1414
FAX: 202-456-2461
Contact Website: http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact
Submit Questions & Comments: http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/submit-questions-and-comments (fill in the form).
Twitter: https://twitter.com/whitehouse (@WhiteHouse)

MONTH-LONG VIRTUAL ACTION EVENT 4 LEONARD PELTIER'S 70th BIRTHDAY

This September Leonard Peltier celebrates his 70th Birthday! His actual birthdate is September 12, 1944. We think 70 is an awesome birthday to celebrate so we’re going to CELEBRATE Leonard ALL Month long and we’d Love to have you join us! This is an action-oriented virtual global event from whatever device you use to access the Internet. Our Birthday wish for Leonard is “FREEDOM”! There is ONLY one person in the World who can release Leonard from his unlawful imprisonment. That individual so designated by the United States Constitution is the current sitting President of the United States. Until January 2017, that individual is President Barack Obama! It is up to those of us who care about and support Leonard to focus our Positive Energies to President Obama and [respectfully] demand that he grant Executive Clemency to Leonard! You do not have to like our current president or his politics, but there is no getting around it that he holds the KEY to Leonard’s FREEDOM! We encourage ALL supporters to contact the White House directly thru phone calls, e-mails, faxes, written letters and Twitter.

The White House; President Barack Obama
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
Please include your e-mail address
Comments: 202-456-1111
Switchboard: 202-456-1414
FAX: 202-456-2461
Contact Website: http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact
Submit Questions & Comments: http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/submit-questions-and-comments (fill in the form).
Twitter: https://twitter.com/whitehouse (@WhiteHouse) 

For those unaware of who Leonard Peltier is, there is a lot of information about him on the Internet but sadly some of the information is misleading. Very briefly, Leonard is a Federal Political Prisoner; he has been imprisoned for 38 years. He was arrested in Canada on February 6, 1976 for the killing of 2 FBI agents during the "Reign of Terror" on the Pine Ridge Reservation in Oglala, South Dakota on June 26, 1975. He was extradited to the USA on December 16, 1976. Leonard's time in Canadian prison counts as being "in Prison". Both his arrest and extradition were based on falsified evidence from the FBI during the Presidency of Gerald Ford. Leonard’s case is complicated. The amount of Constitutional, Civil, and Human Rights violations that he has endured during his almost 4 decades of wrongful incarceration are astounding. For a complete chronology of Leonard's case (and some life events) go to this website > http://users.skynet.be/kola/lpchrono.html KOLA has long been a champion for Leonard's Freedom and Indigenous Rights throughout the World. Leonard has always appreciated their support. You will also find accurate information including printable documents and brochures at this website > http://www.freepeltiernow.org/ Friends of Peltier was established in 2007, with Leonard's blessings. Both KOLA and Friends of Peltier are independent organizations in Good Standing. Thru these past 38 years Leonard has had numerous individuals, organizations and committees work for him and his FREEDOM; his current committee can be found at this website > http://www.leonardpeltier.info/.

Thank YOU All so very much for your Support. We are here in Good Faith and Respect for All! In and With the Spirit of Crazy Horse.