Monday, November 30, 2009

Sign the petition on behalf of Alvaro Luna Hernandez


COMMITTEE to FREE ALVARO LUNA HERNANDEZ
COMITE PRO DEFENSA ALVARO LUNA HERNANDEZ
P.O. BOX 7187 • AUSTIN, TEXAS 78712 • (512) 320-0511

November 24, 2009

RE: INJUSTICES: A POLITICAL PROFILE, UPDATE

ALVARO LUNA HERNANDEZ is a Chicano-Mexicano political prisoner. He was born in Alpine, Texas, in 1952, into a racially segregated society, where police ruled the Chicano barrio with an iron fist. On June 12, 1968, Alvaro was with 16 year old Ervay Ramos and witnessed RAMOS murdered in cold-blood by Alpine Police BUD POWERS, a known racist cop with a history of brutality against Chicanos. POWERS never served a day in jail and escaped justice under the protection of the U.S. Judicial system, until his recent natural death in November 2009 in Alpine. Along with the Texas Rangers’ murder of a young Chicano to break union strikers of the United Farm Workers Union in South Texas, the RAMOS and Farm Workers cases were documented by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights in their 1970 report MEXICAN AMERICANS AND THE ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE IN THE SOUTHWEST, (Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.)

As is the case involving other ethnic nationality groups and police, the relations between the Chicano community and the Texas police is one of a legacy of violent confrontations since the illegal colonial occupation of over 50% of Mexico’s homeland territories during colonial wars of conquest and expansionism beginning in the early 1800’s. The U.S. judicial system has always been used by the oppressor occupation forces to enforce colonial rule with its “kangaroo court” systems, to disenfranchise Chicanos and keep them enslaved as an internal colony of U.S. imperialism, and treats them as “foreigners” in their own native homeland. The infamous “LAW WEST OF THE PECOS” saloon-court of Judge ROY BEAN and the Texas Ranger’s history are contemporary “historical sites” celebrating this colonial tyranny enforced against Chicanos in the occupied territories of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Colorado, and parts of Utah and Nevada, affectionately called “Aztlán” by militant, conscious Chicanos. Despite the false promises of the Treaty of GUADALUPE HIDALGO, signed on February 2, 1848, that ended the war between the United States and Mexico, Chicanos, or Mexican-Americans have been constant victims outrageous injustices by the genocidal forces of national and racial oppression in violation of international law. With good reason, the United Nations declared “colonialism” an international crime and a crime against humanity, yet, these protections granted human beings do not seem to apply to Chicanos and these crimes committed against them have gone unpunished. It is this colonial history that sets the stage for the railroading of a Chicano freedom fighter by the police, the judicial system and the government.

The Alpine Police kidnapped Alvaro from the barrio and charged him with a bogus “criminal” charge, he later beat in court acting as his own attorney. However, during the interim between his initial arrest on this false charge, his release on bond, and the dismissal of the original charge, Alvaro disarmed a racist sheriff in self-defense that resulted in a shoot-out with police. The original pretext of arrest and charge was the end result of police confrontation and shoot-out with police. Had police not filed the initial false charge, the subsequent confrontation would not have occurred. Alvaro was tried in Odessa, Texas, in 1997, on a change of venue from Alpine due to extensive pretrial publicity, on 2 counts of aggravated assault on police. The jury found him guilty on 1 count but not guilty on count 2. He was sentenced by the jury to 50 years imprisonment. He is not parole eligible until the year 2021, under Texas’ harsh aggravated sentencing laws.

Alvaro has pursued on full round of appeals in State and Federal Courts all his State and Federal Court appeals, as well as to the U.S. Supreme Court, which refused to review his case in 2005. For more information on Alvaro’s activities and his case, please visit www.freealvaro.org.

As of this writing, Alvaro’s case is pending review before the INTER-AMERICAN COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS, a consultative organ of the ORGANIZATION OF AMERICAN STATES, styled ALVARO LUNA HERNANDEZ v. UNITED STATES, No. P-1033-08. The human rights complaint asserts human rights violations against police and invokes the diplomatic right of immunity under international law, in Alvaro’s capacity as a delegate-member of a non-governmental organization, the INTERNATIONAL INDIAN TREATY COUNCIL, to the 49th Session of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, March-April 1993, held in Geneva, Switzerland, where Alvaro personally addressed the U.N. General Assembly on the human rights violations of U.S. political prisoners, among other human rights violations committed by the U.S. government domestically.

The Alpine Police were well aware of Alvaro’s activism and barrio organizing activities, nationally and in Alpine. They knew Alvaro was attempting to organize the Chicano barrio and was calling for the Federal prosecution of Police BUD POWERS for the murder of young RAMOS. That is why they framed him, “criminalized” his human rights work under the “pretext” of fighting “crime”, used the judicial system to railroad Alvaro, a system that protects corrupt and racist cops. The system had a special “hatred” for Alvaro, as he had been responsible in 1977, for the Federal Civil Rights lawsuits against police and police considered him a “trouble maker” because of his ardent resistance to police brutality, institutionalized racism and injustices against Chicanos in Alpine. COINTELPRO-like tactics (counter-intelligence programs) were used by the Alpine Police to monitor Alvaro’s legitimate activities, and to frame him and railroad him into prison.

Alvaro is currently held in a repressive “control unit” in a Texas prison, the Hughes Unit, located in Gatesville, Texas. He continues to protest his innocence and calls for civil rights investigation into his police frame-up, as a victim of the U.S. Government’s war on dissent. Alvaro is a brilliant political thinker and revolutionary writer, as well as a “jailhouse lawyer” and a leader of the prison movement, form his “sensory-deprivation” Texas prison cell. He is well known and is officially recognized as a political prisoner by many human rights groups domestically and internationally, contrary to the U.S. Government’s imperialist lie that it holds no political prisoners, while at the same time hypocritically condemning other countries such as Cuba, Russia and China for imprisoning “political dissidents” and violating human rights. Yet, the U.S. judicial system protects real criminals and terrorists like POWERS and LUIS POSADA CARRILES, the right wing monster involved in the bombing of the Cuban passenger airline in 1993 that killed many people.

We are calling on all justice, freedom-loving people in the United States and around the world, to support the movement to FREE ALVARO, a classic case of political imprisonment the government wants to keep away from the public eye. Including the hundreds of other men and women imprisoned by the U.S. Government because of their political beliefs, and their opposition to the injustices and militarist adventurism of the government, legitimate actions undertaken and protected by international law. We ask that you call, write a letter, fax, or e-mail PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL ERIC HOLDER, and demand the Justice Department open a civil rights investigation into this police frame-up conspiracy to railroad an innocent man into prison as part of racist and corrupt police and judicial system practices that protects police. This outrageous injustice must be exposed and Alvaro must be free now!

Download the petition at
www.freealvaro.org, and sign and mail it to the COMMITTEE TO FREE ALVARO LUNA HERNANDEZ, Main Headquarters, in Austin, Texas.


Minnesota Man Held in UI Vandalism Case Released from Jail


Minnesota Man Held in UI Vandalism Case Released from Jail
Originally printed at http://www.kcrg.com/news/local/78178407.html


MUSCATINE COUNTY - Scott DeMuth, the Minneapolis man charged in the 2004 animal-rights vandalism at the University of Iowa, was ordered released from jail Monday.

After reviewing prosecutors’ challenge to an earlier order for DeMuth’s release, Judge John Jarvey wrote “the government has failed to
demonstrate that the release of the defendant would pose a danger to the community or a serious risk of flight.”

DeMuth, 22, a University of Minnesota graduate student, pleaded not guilty Nov. 21 to one count of conspiracy in U.S. District Court in Davenport. The government had asked DeMuth be held in the Muscatine County Jail pending trial, set for March.

Investigators used a journal and a lock-picking device found in a search of DeMuth’s home to tie him to the Nov. 13-14, 2004, break-in at Spence Laboratories and Seashore Hall. University officials said the vandalism, which included the release of 88 mice and 313 rats used in psychology department experiments, totaled $450,000.

Carrie Feldman, 20, also from the Minneapolis area, remains jailed for civil contempt. She refused twice to testify before the grand jury investigating the incident.


Fred Hampton Commemorative Film Festival


Fred Hampton Commemorative Film Festival

Fred Hampton, Deputy Chairman of the Illinois Black Panther Party was killed by Chicago Police and the FBI on December 4, 1969

Commemorate the History and Inspiration
And the Lasting Impact
Of our Revolutionary Leaders!!

Friday, December 4, 2009
522 Valencia Street, San Francisco (near 16th Street, one block from BART)
7:00-9:30 pm

Sponsored by: Collision Course Media, Its About Time BPP, Freedom Archives, ILPS-Bay Area Grassroots Organizing Committee, Committee to Free the SF8, Haiti Action Committee, Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, BAYAN-USA(NorCal)


The Assassination of Fred Hampton: Book Party and Screening


MONDAY, December 7th - 7:30 pm
at the Brecht Forum, 451 West St. (West Side Highway), between Bank & Bethune Sts. , Manhattan (212) 242-4201 * http://brechtforum.org
For directions, go to http://brechtforum.org/directions
Sliding scale admission: $6/$10/$15

BOOK PARTY & FILM SCREENING

Co-Sponsor: Red Channels

The Assassination of Fred Hampton:
How the FBI and the Chicago Police Murdered a Black Panther

Speakers: Jeffrey Haas, Michael Steven Smith, Cleo Silvers

2009 marks the 40th anniversary of the assassination of Black Panther Party leaders Fred Hampton and Mark Clark. Slain in their Chicago apartment by the police department, Hampton and Clark's killing marked an escalation of state sponsored violence by local, state and federal police departments.

Join us as we discuss the story behing the killing of Hampton and Clark. Also part of the program will be a viewing of Video Freex interview with Fred Hampton

About the Book:

It's sometime around 7:00 a.m., on December 4, 1969, and attorney Jeff Haas is in the Monroe Street police lockup in Chicago, interviewing Fred Hampton's fianc?e. Only four hours earlier, she was lying in bed next to Hampton when the police burst into their apartment. She is still in her nightgown, describing how the police pulled her from the room as Fred lay unconscious on their bed. She heard one officer say, "He's still alive." She then heard two shots. A second officer said, "He's good and dead now." She looks at Jeff and asks, "What can you do?"

The Assassination of Fred Hampton is attorney Jeff Haas's personal account of the eighteen-month trial in which he and People's Law Office partner Flint Taylor pursued Hampton's assassins, ultimately prevailing over FBI stonewalling and unlimited government resources bent on hiding the conspiracy that led to Hampton's death. The book not only tells the story of justice delivered but also puts Hampton in a new light as a dynamic community leader whose dedication to his people and to truth telling inspired the young lawyers of the People's Law Office, solidifying their lifelong commitment to fighting injustice.

Jeff Haas has spent his career working for justice. In 1969 he and three other lawyers set up the People's Law Office, whose clients included the Black Panthers, SDS, and other political activists. Haas went on to handle cases involving prisoners' rights, police torture, and the wrongfully accused. He lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, with his wife and children and continues to represent victims of police brutality.


LA: A Free Screening of 'Warrior: The Life of Leonard Peltier'


Thursday, December 17, 2009
7:00 pm
A Free Screening of 'Warrior: The Life of Leonard Peltier'

The shocking, true story of Leonard Peltier, the American Indian leader locked away for life, convicted of the alleged murder of two FBI agents during a bloody shoot-out on the Pine Ridge Reservation in 1975. Around the world his trial and conviction have been denounced as a sham. The heart of the film, is a detailed painstaking account of Peltier's harrowing odyssey through the American justice system.

Special guest Ben Carnes, formerly of the Leonard Peltier Defense Offense Committee, will speak after the screening. (The LP-DOC is the center of communication between Leonard Peltier and his program coordinators, the general public, government officials, political and tribal leaders, the media, and his supporters worldwide).

Bringing the Circle Together: A Native American Film Series is a FREE monthly film series located in downtown Los Angeles at the National Center for Preservation of Democracy. The film series was established to provide quality documentaries by and about Indigenous cultures of the Americas, and bring together a central gathering place where discussion and awareness of issues can be shared with the Native community and its supporters.

The film series is held at the National Center for Preservation of Democracy located at 111 North Central Avenue, between 1st Street and Central Avenue, in downtown Los Angeles. Directly across from the Japanese American National Museum, our host sponsor. The NCPD can be reached via train, bus, or parking in the area. Films will begin at 7pm, and it is advisable to arrive at least 15-20 minutes prior for seating. Each film will include a raffle at the end of the screening.

The film series is hosted by Lorin Morgan-Richards and is sponsored by the following organizations:

The Japanese American National Museum
American Indian Community Council
Hecho de Mano
Nahui Ohlin
SCIC-InterTribal Entertainment


www.bringingthecircletogether.com

Robert Greenwald & Brave New Films: 10 DVDs... 5 Golden Years... (partridge not included)


For the last five years, Robert Greenwald’s Brave New Films has been at the forefront of the fight to create a just America, using the power of new media.

Over 1,000,000 Members
Over 45 million video views

To celebrate five years of activism 2.0, Brave New Films has compiled nearly everything they’ve produced into a massive, 10-disc box set. It’s a must have tool kit for any documentary filmmaker or passionate activist who wants to use video to achieve political and social change.

Order YOUR Box Set


ZOOM IN Campaign for Leonard Peltier: Take It to the Streets!


Do you have a digital camera?* Maybe you have a cell phone with a camera. Well then:

  • Hit the streets! Go to an area with heavy pedestrian traffic—near shops, a post office, a popular park, etc. (For safety and companionship, you may want to work with a partner.)
  • Do you use public transportation to commute to and from work? Every work day you’ll have the opportunity to meet new people, talk about the Peltier case, and collect photos of new supporters.
  • Table at community events, too. Or create your own mini-event by setting up a table outside a grocery store or another public place (with permission, of course).
  • Don’t forget church and other civic functions, flea markets, bazaars, and pow wows.
  • Will you be attending a gathering related to Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years? These are prime opportunities to get friends, colleagues, and family and/or community members involved.
  • Host a house party and invite friends, neighbors, and family members.

From now until January 31, collect as many photos as you can and get folks interested in and participating in the campaign to free Leonard Peltier. If we all do our part, tens of thousands of photos will be collected by January 31.

*You can also purchase a disposable (standard or digital) camera or use a Polaroid camera, although these are more expensive options.

The
Campaign Packet provides you with all the tools you will need to fulfill your mission. Please pay particular attention to the Guidance and Tips document in your packet.

Mail your mailers, log sheets, and donations to the support branch coordinators: ZOOM IN, c/o 2241 NW Hoyt Street, #214, Portland, OR 97210. Please also provide your contact information so that we can verify receipt of your batches. NOTE: Please provide an e-mail address and/or telephone number.

All materials should be received NO LATER THAN JANUARY 31, 2010 (but please don’t wait until then to send us batches of photos).

For information, contact
zoom@whoisleonardpeltier.info.


News from Indianz.Com


Senate Indian Affairs meeting, hearing on Thursday (11/30)

House Resources hearing on Indian Arts and Crafts (11/30)

NMAI hosts holiday art market in DC and New York (11/30)

DOI changes location of Alaska tribal consultation (11/30)

Alaska Natives hospitalized for flu at highest rate (11/30)

Bill helps public schools get rid of Indian mascots (11/30)

Mark Trahant: Health reform bill tests democracy (11/30)

Maliseet Chief: Address Maine settlement issues (11/30)

Mary Annette Pember: Obama meets tribes in DC (11/30)

Tracey Fischer: Superheroes and tribal leadership (11/30)

Lynne Harlan: Eastern Cherokees fight for culture (11/30)

Interview: Amanda Blackhorse, 'Redskins' plaintiff (11/30)

Editorial: IHS hospital risks shutdown over money (11/30)

Democracy Now: An hour with Buffy Sainte-Marie (11/30)

Column: Native language revived on city's streets (11/30)

Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe finds gaming partner (11/30)

Opponents of Guidiville Band casino eye Congress (11/30)

Seneca Nation still pushing off-reservation casino (11/30)

Letter: Off-reservation casino vote made no sense (11/30)

Editorial: Off-reservation policy affects Seminoles (11/30)

Editorial: Keep ban list for Kickapoo Tribe's casino (11/30)

More headlines...

Protest the Day of the Re-Sentencing of the Cuban 5


The Popular Education Project to Free the Cuban 5 For more information on the Project, please contact us at FreetheCuban5@gmail.com or The Cuban Hotline at 718-601-4751. Also, consult our Website: www.freethecuban5.com.


PROTEST THE DAY OF THE RE-SENTENCING OF THE CUBAN 5!

On June 15th, The U.S. Supreme Court refused to review the case of Gerardo, Ramón, Antonio, Fernando and René, known as the Cuban 5. Yet another insult on the part of Made in USA-justice. Despite the worldwide clamor in favor of the freedom of the five Cuban anti-terrorist fighters, this country’s highest judicial body turned a “deaf ear” and thus the Cuban 5 remain U.S. held Political Prisoners! Last year, a federal appeals court ordered new sentences for Fernando Gonzalez, Ramon Labañino, and Antonio Guerrero. Labañino and Guerrero had been serving life terms, and Gonzalez was sentenced to 19 years.

U.S. District Judge Lenard, who unjustly sentenced them before, will be re-sentencing Gonzalez and Labañino on Dec. 8th! Guerrero was already re-sentenced on Oct. 13th to 21 years and 10 months in jail!

These brothers should not be re-sentenced they should be freed! There was no evidence provided to convict the Cuban 5 of conspiracy to commit espionage! They are not spies! Their only crime was fighting against terrorism in Cuba and the U.S.A.!

Join us as we demand the freedom of the Cuban 5!

Tuesday December 8th, 2009 at 5pm Picket at 26 Federal Plaza, NYC.
Take the 4, 5, 6, J,M, Z To Brooklyn Bridge-City Hall Stop.


SF8 Update


Francisco Torres has a court date scheduled Thursday, 12/3 at 9 am, 850 Bryant Street, SF.

It is expected that a date will be set to hear the motion to dismiss charges against Cisco Torres as well as a date for the preliminary hearing.

Cisco may or may not be present, but it is important that we be a presence for every court date to show that we are watching and that community support is powerful.

DROP THE CHARGES AGAINST THE SF 8 - Dismiss the case against Cisco Torres

Sign the Open Letter at
http://www.freethesf8.org/.

30 Nov 2009: Today's Democracy Now!

Amy Goodman Detained at Canadian Border, Questioned About Speech...and 2010 Olympics
While traveling to Vancouver, Canada to speak at the Vancouver Public Library at a benefit for community radio stations, Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman and her two colleagues were detained by Canadian authorities. Amy was questioned extensively about the speech she intended to give; their car was gone through by armed border guards, and their papers and laptop computers were scoured. The armed interrogators were particularly interested in whether she would be speaking about the upcoming Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics.

WTO Chief Pascal Lamay: Free Trade and Interdependence Help Promote Freedom, Human Rights and Civil Liberties
The World Trade Organization convenes today in Geneva for its seventh ministerial. Investigative journalist Greg Palast files a report from Geneva where he interviews WTO Director General Pascal Lamy to see how much the organization and its priorities have changed over the past 10 years.

The Battle of Seattle 10 Years Later: Organizers Reflect on 1999 Shutdown of WTO Talks and the Birth of a Movement
Ten years ago, on November 30, 1999, tens of thousands of people from across the country and the world shut down the World Trade Organization talks in Seattle. Police responded by firing teargas and rubber bullets. Hundreds were arrested. On this 10th anniversary, we speak with two organizers of the protests: David Solnit, co-author of “The Battle of the Story of the Battle of Seattle” and Ananda Tan, of the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives.

Headlines

9,000 More Marines Prepare to Head To Afghanistan
Supporter of Coup Wins Election in Honduras
Iran Plans to Build Ten New Uranium Enrichment Plants
Switzerland Votes to Ban Construction of Minarets
Obama to Attend Copenhagen Climate Talks; U.S. & China Outline Emissions Cuts
18 Anti-Deforestation Activists Arrested in Indonesia
Israel Orders Partial Settlement Freeze
Ex-UK Ambassador: Bush and Blair Agreed on Iraq War in April 2002
Senate Report: U.S. Missed Chance to Capture/Kill Bin Laden in 2001
Ex-Rebel Leader Wins Election in Uruguay
Iran Accused of Confiscating Ebadi’s Nobel Peace Prize Medal
More Americans Depending on Food Stamps and Food Banks
Four Police Officers Shot Dead Near Tacoma, Washington


Sunday, November 29, 2009

Nzingha Shakur-Ali: "My blood is a million stories..."


Nzingha Shakur-Ali: "My blood is a million stories..."
Facebook
Wednesday, November 25, 2009 at 3:08pm

sitting here thinking and wanted to share...

my dad goes before the parole board december 2nd. thinking about my family and the families of other political prisoners and freedom fighters around the world.


thinking about you especially, kamel. i am SO truly blessed to come from the family i do. the hearn clan. the shakur clan.

it's a different way of life in many ways, being children of revolutionaries. our parents fought, were imprisoned, were exiled, and died fighting for basic human equality; and all the while growing us in the discipline and knowledge, love and respect for not only our people, but for all people. we think differently; we see the world differently.

i was thinking about the last time i saw mutulu. it's a harsh reminder to me when i think about the fact that i've never known my dad in any other context outside of prison, even back to my first memory. his every entrance into my life since i can remember has always been the same...coming from behind those steel bars, he stops so the officer can take of the chains. i've never seen him for more than 4-5 hours at a time. you only get so many hours of visitation. i've never seen him standing in the sunlight, never seen him standing in grass; i've never seen him in anything other than a prison uniform.

we've never had a phone conversation that wasn't recorded, written letters that weren't read before it reached his hands, or given hugs that weren't closely watched. i've shared every intimate moment with him, with someone else. he's never been able to see all of his children together at once, and now that pac has passed away he'll never be able to.

now mutulu is in florence, colorado. the #1 maximum security prison in the united states. "also known as the ADMAX, Supermax, or The Alcatraz of the Rockies, ADX houses the prisoners who are deemed the most dangerous and in need of the tightest control. it is the highest level security federal prison in the united states, and generally considered the most secure prison in the world. individuals are kept for at least 23 hours each day in solitary confinement. that means he gets 1 hour, by himself, outside his cell in a heavily guarded area. all of our visits are behind glass and he often handcuffed.

these things come to mind as his parole hearing draws near. they have and continue to do everything they possibly can to keep him in prison. long and short: after denying him his first parole hearing in 1996 with no just cause (as stated by a court) the parole board ignored the recommendation to give him due process and waited 6 years to convene. in 2002 the parole board finally convened, denied him parole and stated that they would not allow him to come before the parole board for another 15 years. because his first parole hearing was legal set for 1996, a 15 year hit would mean he was able to come before the parole board again in 2011, but as the parole board refused to acknowledge the 6 year false delay (again, as stated by the court), he will not be able to come before the parole board until 2017. his upcoming parole hearing is a fight for due process and his right to come before the parole board and fight for his freedom in 2011.

as "thanksgiving" draws near, i am humbled by those who, like mutulu, saw their difficult path before them and even still chose to stand and fight, rather than lay down and continue to be enslaved. freedom fighters ALL OVER THE WORLD. many of them will not be able to sit down and have dinner with their families, will not be able to tuck their children in at night, and will not be able to hold the ones they love as they fall asleep.

yet they are fighting for our right to do so.

this thanksgiving, i give thanks for the people who fought and are still fighting for freedom and equality.


i give honor to the indigenous people of this country who are still fighting for their basic rights on their own land.

i give remembrance to who i am and where i come from. a people who's blood runs deep in the earth of this country.

...and i pray, so very hard, that we continue to move forward as a GLOBAL community, in love.

my blood? is a million stories. FREE 'EM ALL.

peace.


The bird and the prisoner


The bird and the prisoner
This is How it All Began -
Espanol

By Alicia Jrapko

Translation: Machetera

Once upon a time, a bird made friends with a prisoner. Both were incarcerated in the United States and both were unjustly imprisoned for defending Cuba from terrorist activity.

This is how the story began. On June 4, 2009, the same day as his birthday, Gerardo Hernandez heard about this creature. He found out about it through a prisoner whose last name was Lira, who worked in the prison factory. Lira and a guard were cleaning the roof with a pressure hose and without meaning to or perhaps without knowing, they destroyed a nest that contained three chicks. Two of them died instantly but one remained alive. They were so tiny that they didn't even have any feathers. It's possible that they had just barely hatched.

The guard was visibly moved, and feeling responsible, allowed Lira to bring the chick secretly inside the prison to try to save it. The prisoner arrived with the chick in the palm of his hand and not knowing what to do with it, began to ask the other prisoners what to do. Someone suggested: Ask Cuba [the nickname the prisoners had given Gerardo]; he likes animals and surely he will know what to do." That's how Gerardo came to be summoned, and he came to the cell where they kept the bird.

Gerardo's first reaction was to whistle, imitating what he imagined the chick's mother would have done. He moved his fingers as though they were little wings. Miraculously, the little bird opened its beak. Gerardo began to give it breadcrumbs and later, dipped his fingers in water and let the drops fall softly into the little bird's beak.

Gerardo didn't want to take the bird to his cell, but every day he went to feed it. The problem was that at the beginning, the bird didn't want to take food from anyone except Gerardo. One day it occurred to Gerardo to offer the chick a few slivers of fish, and afterwards the rascal didn't want breadcrumbs any more. His feathers began to grow and so Gerardo taught it to eat on its own. He put the bits of food in the palm of his hand and the little bird came fearlessly.

However, the prisoners were worried. If an inspection were to happen, the little bird would be a problem. Since he was already quite a bit bigger, they let him loose in the patio so that he might fly free. The bird flew a little while and then returned to Gerardo's shoulder. Every time he tried to fly with the other birds, they rejected him with little pecks. Little by little he gained confidence.

Gerardo went alone to the wing where his cell was, but when he returned to the patio, the bird also returned to see him.

Once there were many prisoners in the patio. Someone told Gerardo that the bird was perched on the concertina wire surrounding the prison. Gerardo whistled, and in front of all the prisoners, the little bird appeared out of nowhere and landed on his shoulder. Incredible. Everyone talked about it.The little bird was named Cardinal, because Gerardo had painted its tail feathers with a red marker to distinguish him from all the rest. The ink affected the bird a bit. It lost its tail feathers but only for a little while. Later they grew back, in their natural color. However, the name remained: Cardinal.

On a different occasion another prisoner found the little bird in the patio with its beak stretched open. It was very hot, and the bird was thirsty. Gerardo gave it water. He hid the bird under his hat in order to go inside without the bird being seen. Of course the guards realized he had something odd on his head. "What's under the hat?" they asked, and Gerardo answered, "Nothing." Cardinal answered as well, whistling like crazy. "Don't tell me you're training him to take messages to Fidel," said one of the guards, laughing.

The story didn't end there. Gerardo brought the bird to his cell and made a nest for him to stay there with him. He played with him, letting him rest on his shoulder, or on his head. When Gerardo was writing, the bird came to play and Gerardo would pet him gently, to calm him. So Cardinal would run along his back, where he'd be out of reach. Sometimes he curled up inside Gerardo's collar and slept there. Or he pecked at his friend's ear and when Gerardo moved his head, he'd go for the other ear.

Once when Gerardo had let Cardinal go, he flew toward the cafeteria and landed on the plate of a very large, tough prisoner who was eating a piece of chicken. The prisoner caught the bird in his hands, meaning to strangle him and someone shouted, "Don"t kill him! He belongs to Cuba." The outcry took the prisoner by surprise. He let Cardinal go and asked, surprised, "And who the hell is Cuba?"

Gerardo was actually very worried. A certain guard was not showing any mercy toward the little bird. During an inspection, the guard had forced Gerardo to let Cardinal go, and closed the door behind him. The little bird returned later, completely exhausted. Gerardo let him rest for a few days inside his cell. And then came the lockdown (solitary confinement as punishment for all prisoners), and whenever there's a lockdown, there are inspections.

When Gerardo heard that they were checking all the space between the floor and the door, he pushed Cardinal outside. Cardinal flew, within the wing where Gerardo's cell was located. When the guard arrived, he saw the box where Cardinal lived. Gerardo said that this was where his friend lived, of his own free will: "The problem is that I take him outside and he returns; it's not my fault."

"Look," said the guard, gesturing as though to say he thought Gerardo was nuts, "if you think I'm going to believe that bird is going to return…"

Gerardo whistled from his cell and the guard froze in his tracks as he watched the bird return.

Cardinal had no problem picking out the cell belonging to his friend, among the huge array of cells on two floors that looked exactly alike.

Cardinal arrived at Gerardo's cell. He looked at him through the bars but couldn't enter (since this was lockdown). He waited there nervously, until Gerardo couldn't stand it any more and opened the slot where food was delivered, and Cardinal came in. A few days later there was another inspection. When the guards arrived at Gerardo's cell, he told them that he had a small bird, so they wouldn't be scared if the bird should happen to fly overhead. He was told that he had to release it, but since none of them could catch the bird, they brought Gerardo to the entrance for the entire wing so that he could let it go himself.

Since they were in lockdown, Gerardo and the little bird walked down the passageway, escorted by the guards. All the other prisoners saw them through the bars of their cells and began to shout: "They're taking Cuba and the bird to the hole!" as they banged their doors in protest.

The guard shouted, "Calm down! He's not going to the hole; we're just going to free the bird!"

That was the last time that Gerardo saw Cardinal. The lockdown lasted a month while the wing was completely shut down. Gerardo couldn't leave and Cardinal couldn't enter. The little bird had been inside this rough high-security prison since Gerardo's birthday, from June 4th, and he remained there until July 16th, one day after the wedding anniversary of Gerardo and his wife, Adriana.

And that's the end of this (true) story.



Alicia Jrapko wrote this story from memory, two hours after hearing it from Gerardo during a visit to the maximum security prison in Victorville, California. Gerardo later revised and corrected the text, which Alicia plans to present to Casa Editora Abril so that it can be published as a children's story. Gerardo is incarcerated under a double life sentence plus 15 years, for unproven charges made against him in a highly prejudiced trial in Miami.

Gerardo Hernandez Nordelo was born in Havana on June 4, 1965; the third child of Gerardo Hernandez Marta­ and Carmen Nordelo Tejera, both deceased. He is a graduate of the Raul Roa Garcia Foreign Services Institute (ISRI). One year before graduating, he and his wife Adriana Perez O'Connor were married. He is a cartoonist and graphic artist who has worked in both Cuba and the United States. In the mid-1990s, he served missions in the United States, designed to protect Cuba from the terrorist actions planned and executed by counter-revolutionary organizations located in Miami. On September 12, 1998, he was arrested along with four other men and subjected to a trial plagued with irregularities and prejudice, in Miami. He was convicted, without any evidence whatsoever, and sentenced to two life terms plus 15 years, which he is serving in a high security prison in Victorville, California.


Machetera is a member of
Tlaxcala, the network of translators for linguistic diversity. This translation may be reprinted as long as the content remains unaltered, and the source, author, and translator are cited.

29 Nov 2009: Native News from PECHANGA.net


Tribe protests power plant's expansion (MINNESOTA) -- After sitting in the shadow of the Prairie Island Nuclear Power Plant for more than 30 years, the Prairie Island Indian Community is again speaking out against more storage of spent fuel and loss of its heritage.

Navajo Co. to station deputies in Kayenta, Piñon (ARIZONA) -- Another major effort is underway to cross-deputize Navajo and non-Navajo law enforcement authorities where the tribal land overlaps the state of Arizona.

BIA, tribal police dispatched to Cheyenne-Arapaho Complex (OKLAHOMA) -- The staff of outgoing Cheyenne and Arapaho Governor Darrell Flyingman showed up for work Nov. 17 to find padlocks on all the doors and a group of protestors, Bureau of Indian Affairs law enforcement and tribal police officers at the administration’s offices.

Navajo vote funded / Tribe takes $700,000 from Motor Vehicle Authority to fund $290,000 election (ARIZONA) -- Funding has been approved for the Dec. 15 special election, and the Navajo people will get to vote on whether to reduce the Navajo Nation Council from 88 to 24 delegates and whether to give the line item veto power to the president.

Forums let voters question reforms (ARIZONA) -- Despite the funding uncertainty dogging the Dec. 15 special election, efforts to educate the public about what's at stake are moving full steam ahead.

Editorial: The 'Redskins' should go / Washington's NFL team should ditch its racist moniker; how about just the 'Reds'? (CALIFORNIA) -- Rush Limbaugh, who on his radio show has referred to Native Americans as "Injuns," was rejected as a pro football team owner because of his racial insensitivity.

An Editorial Follows Indians' "You're Welcome Day" (CALIFORNIA) -- The Los Angeles Times Friday called upon the National Football League's Washington Redskins to "ditch its racist moniker," two weeks after the Supreme Court declined to review a nearly two-decade legal challenge by Native American activists to the name.

Some Ute Tribe members seek to halt hatchery (UTAH) -- Some members of the Ute Indian Tribe of the Uintah and Ouray Reservation in Utah are seeking to halt construction of a $6 million fish hatchery at Big Springs Creek.

Ute Tribe faction wants fish hatchery stopped (UTAH) -- A small faction of the Ute Indian Tribe has voted to ask their leaders to stop construction of a $6 million fish hatchery at Big Springs Creek.

Three Affiliated Tribes eye crime prevention grant (NORTH DAKOTA) -- The Three Affiliated Tribes of North Dakota are hoping to receive a grant that would help with crime prevention on the reservation.

Reservation seeking crime-fighting grant (NORTH DAKOTA) -- The Three Affiliated Tribes is asking the U.S. Department of Justice for help in dealing with illegal activities on the reservation through a grant called Operation Weed and Seed.

Grand Canyon Skywalk: A Bridge With An Added Essence (ARIZONA) -- Grand Canyon Skywalk has never been just another bridge, but soon it will be including a theater, museum, VIP lounge, restaurants, cafes…you name it.

Buffalo inspection fees killing meat plant's finances (MONTANA) -- Financial woes are plaguing the tribal Little Rockies Meat Packing plant, according to General Manager Howard "Jiggs" Main. Two months ago, the U.S. Department of Agriculture notified the Fort Belknap Community Council that it no longer would inspect the plant's buffalo meat until overdue bills are paid.

Senate passes benefits for vets’ caregivers (WASHINGTON, DC) -- The Senate on Nov. 19 unanimously passed legislation that would provide monthly stipends and medical benefits to family members who stay home to care for severely injured veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Tribe Raises Utility Assistance (ARKANSAS) -- The Cherokee Nation is again providing help with home energy bills for qualifying Cherokee and other Native American low-income households within the nation’s 14-county jurisdiction, according to a tribe news release.

Hagoóne, trees! / Diné brave chilly weather to send off Capitol Christmas Tree and friends (ARIZONA) -- Mae Wallace was born among the pines at the top of the Defiance Plateau. She feels connected to them. "I've been living with pine trees ever since I was a baby," said the septuagenarian from St. Michaels, Ariz. "I don't even like to cut them."

Troopers hunt for Native, rural recruits (ALASKA) -- A small team of Alaska State Troopers hopes to recast the department's image in rural Alaska in an effort to bring more Natives and rural residents into its ranks.

Man gets probation for stealing money from tribe (MONTANA) -- A 28-year-old Lame Deer man who pleaded guilty to stealing money from the Northern Cheyenne tribe has been sentenced to four years probation and must pay more than $6,000 in restitution.

Greyhills Academy freshmen visit Canyon de Chelly (ARIZONA) -- Students from the Greyhills High School Freshman Academy went on an overnight trip to Canyon de Chelly on Nov 9-10. In addition to hiking and camping, the trip was also an opportunity for the 39 students to experience more of the history of the canyon and their Navajo culture.

Applications open for USDA National Scholars Program (WASHINGTON, DC) -- Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that USDA/1890 National Scholars Program applications for the 2010 academic school year now are being accepted.

Discovering Native Cultural Centers (USA) -- As children, many of us first learned about Native American culture in November, when we were instructed to draw, recite and perform scenes from the original Thanksgiving Feast, when "Indians" emerged from the wilderness shadows to feed (and save) the starving Europeans.

AARP honors Native elders / Authors, teachers, chiefs and veterans among honorees (OKLAHOMA) -- American Indians from across Oklahoma gathered for AARP Oklahoma’s first Indian Elder Honors November 17th in Oklahoma City.

America’s real first Thanksgiving occurred in Florida (FLORIDA) -- Fifty-five years before the pilgrims even landed in Plymouth, Spanish Admiral Pedro Menéndez de Avilés and his crew celebrated America’s first Thanksgiving about 100 miles north of UCF.

Port property picked for planned Chetco Indian memorial (OREGON) -- The Chetco Historical Indian Memorial is one step closer to reality after the Brookings Harbor Port Commission voted to dedicate a piece of land where a Chetco Indian village once stood to the memorial in perpetuity.

BLOG: Pix of Alcatraz sunrise ceremony (CALIFORNIA) -- A photo album of Indians and others commemorating the 40th anniversary of the Alcatraz occupation:

Mashpee Schools Tread Lightly Around Thanksgiving Stories (MASSACHUSETTS) -- A festive holiday, based on traditional English harvest festivals, observed on the fourth Thursday in November as a commemoration of English settlers’ survival of their first year in Plymouth Colony. First observed as a federal holiday in 1941.

More headlines

Call to Action: Proper medical care for Lynne Stewart


Greetings,

We need your signatures asap for Lynne Stewart. She must NOT be operated on in a prison hospital.

Please get the signatures out asap.

Thank you,


Ralph Poynter
New Abolitionist Movement

Sign the petition at
http://www.PetitionOnline.com/091127ls/petition.html.


Celebrate International Human Rights Day with NYC Jericho and Friends


Sunday, December 13, 2009, 1 to 5 p.m.

Celebrate International Human Rights Day
with NYC Jericho and Friends

6th International Day in Solidarity
with Political Prisoners and POWs

The Brecht Forum
451 West Street (between Bank & Bethune Streets), NYC

Salal from Malcolm X Grassroots Movement
on Political Prisoners in Exile

Film of Sister Nehanda in Cuba

Ashanti Alston, National Jericho

Former Puerto Rican Political Prisoner

Speaker from Irish Freedom Committee

and other special guests!

Sponsored by (list in formation): NYC Jericho, Malcolm X Grassroots Movement

For more information:
www.jerichony.orgnycjericho@gmail.com • 718-853-0893


Art Benefit Show and Auction for Daniel McGowan


SATURDAY, DEC 12

ART BENEFIT SHOW AND AUCTION FOR DANIEL MCGOWAN
AND AGAINST POLITICAL REPRESSION, INCARCERATION, AND ISOLATION!

Bid on amazing, inspirational work from artists such as Swoon, BORF, Nikki McClure and many more!

Mark your calendars:

Doors open - 1pm
Reception (DJ/bar) - 7pm
Bids close - 9pm

Location:
ADC Gallery
106 West 29th Street (bet 6th/7th aves), NYC


Artists! There's still time to send in work. Go here for more information:
http://supportdaniel.org/art/.


The 2006 show and auction featured some of the most respected and prolific street artists working today, including the Barnstorme's David Ellis, Banksy, Swoon, Borf, Chris Stain, Arofish, Kelly Burns, GoreB, Josh MacPhee, and MOMO, as well as veterans of the landmark political comics journal World War 3 Illustrated, including Eric Drooker, Seth Tobocman, Peter Kuper, Nicole Schulman, and Christopher Cardinale, as well as dozens of other participating artists. See photos here:
http://tiny.cc/Lwlk8.

friendsofdanielmcg [at] yahoo [dot] com


COINTELPRO Then and Now: 40 years since FBI & Chicago police assassinated Fred Hampton


Racism, Repression, and Resistance:
COINTELPRO Then and Now:
40 years since FBI & Chicago police assassinated Fred Hampton

Thursday, December 3, 2009, 6:30 pm
The Community Church of New York
40 East 35th Street Between Park Avenue and Madison Avenue
New York, NY, 10016-3870

Commemorating the 40th anniversary of the murder of Fred Hampton and the release of The Assassination of Fred Hampton: How the FBI and the Chicago Police Murdered a Black Panther by Jeffrey Haas. Panel discussion will explore the ongoing repression of political dissent in the U.S., from the COINTELPRO program that targeted the Black Panther Party to the current surveillance and disruption of political movements in the name of national security.

Panelists Include:

Jeffrey Haas: attorney and author
Rachel Meeropol: staff attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights
Malik Rahim: founder of Common Ground Relief in New Orleans
Francisco Torres: member of the San Francisco 8
Laura Whitehorn: activist and former political prisoner

Discussion and book signing will follow the presentation.

This event is free and open to the public.

Sponsored by the Center for Constitutional Rights.
Co-sponsors include: The National Lawyers Guild.

For more information, contact Sarah Hogarth at shogarth [at] igc [dot] org.


Historic Feature Film, to be released in 2010


Historic Feature Film, to be released in 2010

The Diary
"Canada's Anne Frank Story"
Directed by Louie Lawless
Based on a story by Kevin and Lori Annett and Louie Lawless,
Producers of the award-winning documentary film UNREPENTANT


"The Diary" is the only feature film ever to shed light on the horrible truth of genocide and murder in Canada's Indian Residential Schools - and one man's struggle to hold his church and country accountable. Filmed on Vancouver Island, on the very land where these crimes occurred and continue, and featuring native people and actual residential school survivors, "The Diary" goes where no film has gone before.

Based on the life and books of Rev. Kevin Annett, "The Diary" is set for release in 2010.

To view the trailers of this amazing film, go to:

www.thediarymovie.com/trailer

For more information and to assist in the distribution and release of "The Diary," contact Louie Lawless at
louie0@telus.net or Kevin Annett at hiddenfromhistory@yahoo.ca.

www.thediarymovie.com


Read and Hear the truth of Genocide in Canada, past and present, at this website:
www.hiddenfromhistory.org, and see the trailer to Kevin's award-winning documentary UNREPENTANT film on the same website.

Soon to be released feature film, THE DIARY, based on Kevin Anett's epic struggle to bring to light genocide in Canada - see the trailer at:
www.thediarymovie.com/trailer.

“Kevin is more deserving of the Nobel Peace Prize than many who have received it in the past.”-Dr. Noam Chomsky, Institute Professor Emeritus, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

“A courageous and inspiring man." (referring to Kevin Annett)-Mairead Corrigan-Maguire, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Belfast , Northern Ireland

"As a long time front line worker with the Elders' Council at the Downtown Eastside Women's Centre, I stand behind what Kevin Annett is trying to do for our people. The genocide that continues today and which stemmed from the residential schools needs to be exposed. Kevin Annett helps break the silence, and brings the voice of our people all over the world."-Carol Muree Martin - Spirit Tree Woman, Nisgaa Nation

"I gave Kevin Annett his Indian name, Eagle Strong Voice, in 2004 when I adopted him into our Anishinabe Nation. He carries that name proudly because he is doing the job he was sent to do, to tell his people of their wrongs. He speaks strongly and with truth. He speaks for our stolen and murdered children. I ask everyone to listen to him and welcome him."-Chief Louis Daniels - Whispers Wind, Elder, Turtle Clan, Anishinabe Nation, Winnipeg, Manitoba


29 Nov 1864: The Sand Creek Massacre


Colorado Territory during the 1850's and 1860's was a place of phenomenal growth in Colorado homes spurred by gold and silver rushes. Miners by the tens of thousands had elbowed theirway into mineral fields, dislocating and angering the Cheyennes and Arapahos. The Pike's Peak Gold Rush in 1858 brought the the tension to a boiling point. Tribesmen attacked wagon trains, mining camps, and stagecoach lines during the Civil War, when the military garrisons out west were reduced by the war. One white family died within 20 miles of Denver. This outbreak of violence is sometimes referred to as the Cheyenne-Arapaho War or the Colorado War of 1864-65.

Governor John Evans of Colorado Territory sought to open up the Cheyenne and Arapaho hunting grounds to white development. The tribes, however, refused to sell their lands and settle on reservations. Evens decided to call out volunteer militiamen under Colonel John Chivington to quell the mounting violence.

Evans used isolated incidents of violence as a pretext to order troops into the field under the ambitious, Indian-hating territory military commander Colonel Chivington. Though John Chivington had once belonged to the clergy, his compassion for his fellow man didn't extend to the Indians.

Sand Creek Massacre

In the spring of 1864, while the Civil War raged in the east, Chivington launched a campaign of violence against the Cheyenne and their allies, his troops attacking any and all Indians and razing their villages. The Cheyennes, joined by neighboring Arapahos, Sioux, Comanches, and Kiowas in both Colorado and Kansas, went on the defensive warpath.

Evans and Chivington reinforced their militia, raising the Third Colorado Calvary of short-term volunteers who referred to themselves as "Hundred Dazers". After a summer of scattered small raids and clashes, white and Indian representatives met at Camp Weld outside of Denver on September 28. No treaties were signed, but the Indians believed that by reporting and camping near army posts, they would be declaring peace and accepting sanctuary.

Black Kettle was a peace-seeking chief of a band of some 600 Southern Cheyennes and Arapahos that followed the buffalo along the Arkansas River of Colorado and Kansas. They reported to Fort Lyon and then camped on Sand Creek about 40 miles north.

Shortly afterward, Chivington led a force of about 700 men into Fort Lyon, and gave the garrison notice of his plans for an attack on the Indian encampment. Although he was informed that Black Kettle has already surrendered, Chivington pressed on with what he considered the perfect opportunity to further the cause for Indian extinction. On the morning of November 29, he led his troops, many of them drinking heavily, to Sand Creek and positioned them, along with their four howitzers, around the Indian village.

Black Kettle ever trusting raised both an American and a white flag of peace over his tepee. In response, Chivington raised his arm for the attack. Chivington wanted a victory, not prisoners, and so men, women and children were hunted down and shot.

With cannons and rifles pounding them, the Indians scattered in panic. Then the crazed soldiers charged and killed anything that moved. A few warriors managed to fight back to allow some of the tribe to escape across the stream, including Black Kettle.

The colonel was as thourough as he was heartless. An interpreter living in the village testified, "They were scalped, their brains knocked out; The men used their knives, ripped open women, clubbed little children, knocked them in the head with their rifle butts, beat their brains out, mutilated their bodies in every sense of the word." By the end of the one-sided battle as many as 200 Indians, more than half women and children, had been killed and mutilated.

While the Sand Creek Massacre outraged easterners, it seemed to please many people in Colorado Territory. Chivington later appeared on a Denver stage where he regaled delighted audiences with his war stories and displayed 100 Indian scalps, including the pubic hairs of women.

Chivington was later denounced in a congressional investigation and forced to resign. When asked at the military inquiry why children had been killed, one of the soldiers quoted Chivington as saying, "Nits make lice."


Saturday, November 28, 2009

Video: 40th Day of Mourning, 26 Nov 2009, Plymouth, MA



Video: Laguna Negra (English)

Laguna Negra (English)

Laguna Negra reveals a tough community desperately struggling to preserve their way of life in the face of powerful forces that wish to exploit the resources they live on. It is a film that explores the core values of a campesino community, the way the fabric of this society has been threatened by large scale[...]

You may view the latest post at http://intercontinentalcry.org/laguna-negra-english/.


This Week from Indian Country Today

Senate committee passes PACT Act to extinguish Indian mail order tobacco trade
WASHINGTON – A Senate committee has approved a proposed bill that the Seneca Nation says would significantly impact its tobacco-based economy, its citizens, employees, and the financial well-being of western New York state. Read more »

Headlines

Matherly receives humanitarian hero award
Alan Parker: Recognized for uniting traditional knowledge and scientific disciplines
Thousands celebrate 40th anniversary of Alcatraz occupation
Senate committee passes PACT Act to extinguish Indian mail order tobacco trade
Council resolution condemns exploiters of sweat lodges
Navajo delegation attended Tribal Nations Conference
Inland waters now named ‘Salish Sea’
$867K for Montana tribe on hold after state audit
AISES conference attracts America’s next young leaders
Ceremony held for white buffalo at Pa. resort home
Ruby Tiger Osceola remembered
Riverton agreement with tribe raises concerns
Building a new generation to take on the Redskins case
Johnson to head Native DoJ committee
Cautious days ahead for IHCIA in Senate
Alternatives in the works if Carcieri fix legislation fails
White Bison founder says award will fund his dream
EchoHawk discusses water rights
Recognition issues may kill Indian Affairs panel
Northern California tribal leader airs concerns with Obama
Six artists receive Aboriginal Art Awards
Swinomish help extinguish trestle fire
Orca calf receives Samish name
State ferry will be named for Klallam historical figure
Termination-era issues land in federal court

More

Northeast
Southeast
Great Lakes
Midwest
Plains
Southwest
Northwest
Alaska/Hawaii

Opinion

Baca: A day to honor Native Americans

This Friday, Nov. 27, we celebrate the second national Native American Heritage Day, to honor the original native residents of this great land of ours. Read more »

For news you won't get at Indian Country Today, see Censored News.


Friday, November 27, 2009

Federal Prosecutor Tries to Keep Minneapolis Activists Jailed for Their Political Beliefs


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 27, 2009

MEDIA ADVISORY
Contact: Earth Warriors are OK! (EWOK!) hotline (Natalia Shulkin) 612-293-9657,
ewok@riseup.net

Federal Prosecutor Tries to Keep Minneapolis Activists Jailed for Their Political Beliefs

Federal court hearing scheduled Monday for Scott DeMuth charged under the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act

Davenport, IA -- Using sensational and inflammatory language, the federal government accused recently indicted activist Scott DeMuth on Wednesday of being a “domestic terrorist” in an effort to keep him imprisoned until trial. DeMuth, a Dakota activist from Minneapolis who has worked for many years to support political prisoners, was indicted November 18th for conspiracy to “commit animal enterprise terrorism and cause economic damage to the animal enterprise in an amount exceeding $10,000.” The indictment is related to an Animal Liberation Front (ALF) action at the University of Iowa in 2004, in which research equipment was damaged and hundreds of animals were set free. The indictment came a day before the statute of limitations on the 2004 action was to expire. DeMuth will be tried under the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, widely criticized by groups such as the Center for Constitutional Rights as unconstitutional.

What: Ruling on the release of federal defendant Scott DeMuth
When: By 4pm on Monday, November 30th, 2009
Where: U.S. District Court, 131 E. Fourth St., Davenport, Iowa

Prosecutor Cliff Cronk argued that DeMuth's association with anarchist movements makes him a domestic terrorist, illuminating the larger issue of "terrorism" being redefined in order to suppress dissent. Anarchism is a political ideology whose adherents believe in cooperation rather than coercion.

“Political beliefs are not a legitimate reason to detain a defendant awaiting trial,” said Thomas Addo of Earth Warriors are OK! “By sensationalizing DeMuth’s political work and beliefs, the federal government attempts to divert attention from the fact that they have little to no evidence with which to prosecute him,” continued Addo. “As a graduate student in the Sociology Department, as well as a Dakota language student at the University of Minnesota, DeMuth is well integrated in the Minneapolis community and should be released in order to continue his studies.”

DeMuth was jailed on November 17th along with Carrie Feldman, another activist from the Twin Cities, after both of them refused to cooperate with what they called a politically motivated grand jury. Feldman, who was found to be in civil contempt, may be forced to remain in jail for the life of the grand jury, up to 11 more months. In a statement made to the grand jury before she was found in contempt, Feldman denounced the use of grand juries as a coercive “tool of the prosecution,” and asserted that they are used to “investigate and intimidate those who would express dissent.” Supporters have organized a call-in campaign on Monday to demand that U.S. Attorney Nicholas Klinefeldt dismiss the subpoena issued for Feldman and secure her release.

After a psychological evaluation concluded that DeMuth was emotionally healthy and at no risk of flight, U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas J. Shields ruled that DeMuth did not have to remain in jail until trial, and on Tuesday issued an order for his release. Federal prosecutor Cliff Cronk responded by filing a motion to keep him in custody on Wednesday, claiming DeMuth is a danger to the community and a flight risk. So far, the only evidence Cronk has supplied has been a journal of DeMuth’s children’s stories and a lock-picking device found in the common foyer of his home. Both items were seized by police four years after the incident in a raid prior to the 2008 Republican National Convention that targeted activists.

Supporters claim that DeMuth has become yet another target of the “Green Scare,” a term used to refer to the Federal government's campaign to intimidate animal and earth liberation activists. The Green Scare is just one campaign among many that the Federal government uses to repress social movements. Other recent targets of grand juries have included the San Francisco 8 case against former Black Panthers, and the Puerto Rican Independence movement following the FBI assassination of movement leader Filiberto Ojeda Rios in 2005.

Further Information:
·DeMuth’s indictment:
http://davenportgrandjury.files.wordpress.com/2009/11/scottindictmentredacted.pdf
·Magistrate’s order for DeMuth’s release:
http://davenportgrandjury.files.wordpress.com/2009/11/scottbondreleaseorder.pdf
·Justice Department’s motion to revoke DeMuth’s release order:
http://davenportgrandjury.files.wordpress.com/2009/11/govtmot4miscreliefreleaseorder.pdf
·More info on Scott DeMuth and Carrie Feldman:
http://davenportgrandjury.wordpress.com/

Indigenous Mayans beaten, arrested for roadblock

Indigenous Mayans beaten, arrested for roadblock

More than 200 Indigenous Mayans were arrested this week for setting up a roadblock just south of Cancun, in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo. On the night of November 24, Mayan ejidos (communal landowners) from the municipality of Felipe Carrillo Puerto went to block the main highway leading from Felipe Carrillo Puerto to [...]

You may view the latest post at http://intercontinentalcry.org/indigenous-mayans-beaten-arrested-for-roadblock/


27 Nov 2009: Today's Democracy Now!


Studs Terkel 1912-2008: A Democracy Now! Special Tribute to the Beloved Oral Historian and Broadcaster
The legendary radio broadcaster, writer, oral historian, raconteur and chronicler of our times, Studs Terkel, died last month at the age of ninety-six in his hometown of Chicago. Today, a Democracy Now! special tribute: We spend the hour on Studs Terkel. Over the years, Terkel has been a regular guest on Democracy Now! We play a wide-ranging interview we did with him in 2005. We also feature a rare recording of Terkel interviewing the Rev. Martin Luther King at the bedside of the gospel singer Mahalia Jackson. “My curiosity is what saw me through,” Terkel said in 2005. "What would the world be like, or will there be a world? And so, that’s my epitaph. I have it all set. Curiosity did not kill this cat. And it’s curiosity, I think, that has saved me thus far.” [includes rush transcript]


U.S. journalist grilled at Canada border crossing


U.S. journalist grilled at Canada border crossing
Officials demanded to know what she would say publicly about 2010 Olympics
November 26, 2009
Watch Video Report

U.S. broadcaster and author Amy Goodman said she is concerned a journalist would have to undergo an interrogation while trying to enter Canada. (CBC)U.S. journalist Amy Goodman said she was stopped at a Canadian border crossing south of Vancouver on Wednesday and questioned for 90 minutes by authorities concerned she was coming to Canada to speak against the Olympics.

Goodman says Canadian Border Services Agency officials ultimately allowed her to enter Canada but returned her passport with a document demanding she leave the country within 48 hours.

Goodman, 52, known for her views opposing the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, told CBC News on Thursday that Canadian border agents asked her repeatedly what subjects she would cover at scheduled speaking engagements in Vancouver and Victoria.

Goodman said she told them she planned to speak about the debate over U.S. health care reform and the wars in Asia.

After much questioning, Goodman said the officials finally asked if she would be speaking about the 2010 Olympics.

"He made it clear by saying, 'What about the Olympics?'" said Goodman. "And I said, 'You mean when President Obama went to Copenhagen to push for the Olympics in Chicago?'"

"He said, 'No. I am talking about the Olympics here in 2010.' I said, 'Oh I hadn't thought of that,'" said Goodman.

"He said, 'You're saying you're not talking about the Olympics?'"

"He was clearly incredulous that I wasn't going to be talking about the Olympics. He didn't believe me," Goodman said.

The CBSA declined comment on the incident Thursday.

Searched car, computer and notes
Goodman said her car was searched and the officials demanded to look at her notes and her computer.

Goodman is best known as the principal host of Democracy Now, a U.S. syndicated radio broadcast.

She was coming to Canada as part of a tour to promote a new book, Breaking The Sound Barrier.

"I am deeply concerned that as a journalist I would be flagged and that the concern – the major concern – was the content of my speech," said Goodman.

Source URL:
http://www.cbc.ca/canada/british-columbia/story/2009/11/26/bc-amy-goodman-border-incident.html#

Sunrise Ceremony at Alcatraz (Audio) - 26 Nov 2009


Sunrise ceremony and celebration of the
40th anniversary of the occupation of Alcatraz
Sunrise Ceremony - November 26, 2009 at 6:00am

Click to listen (or download)


Return to Alcatraz: 40 Years of Resistance
November 26, 2009
By Brenda Norrell

ALCATRAZ -- With the sounds of the Miwok singers and the calling out of the names of the original occupiers of Alcatraz, American Indians ushered in a new era of resistance, remembering how the act of holding the rock became the bedrock of a new generation.

During the Alcatraz Sunrise Ceremony, commemorating the 40 year anniversary of the Occupation of Alcatraz, Clyde Bellecourt of the American Indian Movement, told thousands gathered to prepare to hold President Obama accountable.

Bellecourt said that last year everyone was excited when President Obama took office. "I was happy too. I went to his inauguration. The whole world was excited."

"I told every one of you to be vigilant, to be watchful. We've heard promises before."

Bellecourt pointed out that President Obama has bailed out the car companies, bailed out Wall Street and bailed out the banks. The Indian people, however, have not been bailed out. Obama made campaign promises to the Indian people. So far, the missing billions in the trust funds have not been returned to the Indian people.

"We haven't seen a penny of what belongs to us. There may be a day when we have to hold his feet to the fire."

"We don't want a stimulus package. We don't want anyone to bail us out." Bellecourt said Indian people want what is justly theirs and guaranteed by treaties.

Referring to the Massacre of Wounded Knee, he said, "We'll never let this sacred hoop be broken again." Bellecourt said it is time to nourish the sacred tree and this hoop of life.

"We're still at war," he said, responding to questions of how to join the American Indian Movement. "I draft every one of you."

On Alcatraz, Doug Duncan said casinos have brought greed to Indian country and many elected tribal governments are now acting like whites. In northern California, the Pomo people are struggling to have their sacred land returned at Bloody Island, the site of the Massacre of Bloody Island in 1850.

Lenny Foster, Dine', spiritual leader for inmates in state and federal prisons, said he continues to visit Leonard Peltier in prison in Pennsylvania. Urging calls and letters to Obama to grant Peltier clemency, Foster said Peltier's health has not been good.

"He's been incarcerated for 33 years on fabricated evidence, "said Foster, adding that Peltier is one of the world's most famous political prisoners. Foster said Peltier's release would spark reconciliation between the United States and Indian people. Referring to the longstanding failure of the US to live up to its promises, he said, "We're not asking for any more than what is guaranteed to our people. Our people signed treaties."

During the weeklong events of AIM West, which began on Nov. 23, Bill Means spoke of the recent visit by United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Adequate Housing, Raquel Rolnik, to his Oglala homeland at Pine Ridge, South Dakota. Describing some of the worst living conditions in America, Means, cofounder of the International Indian Treaty Council, said there is a need for 6,000 more homes. On the average, 14 Lakotas live in each home. Because of the lack of funding and repairs, HUD homes have mold, disrepair, broken windows and doors that don't shut.

Means said the people are asking for what was guaranteed by treaty and are not seeking the benevolence of the United States. "The United States is not living up to their legal commitments through the treaties." Housing, education and health care were assured when the US took the lands of the Indian people.

Bellecourt, Foster, Means, Madonna Thunder Hawk (Two Kettle Lakota) and Mark Maracle, Mohawk, were among the AIM-West speakers on issues ranging from the theft of Indian children by social services to the theft of Indian lands for energy development. The Ohlone people were honored with images shown on Coit Tower, towering above the city, from sunset to dawn, before the Alcatraz Sunrise Ceremony. Still, the Shellmounds of the Ohlone people continue to be desecrated in the San Francisco region.

Mark Maracle, describing the genocide of Indian people in the United States and Canada, said Indian children were sent to residential schools and boarding schools. "They murdered their minds."

"They continue to do it today," he told those gathered at AIM West. Speaking of the need for unity, Maracle said the Haudenosaunee's Great Law is for everyone.

"We are a Nation," he said, pointing out that the United States is not 100 percent sovereign. Only Native nations are 100 percent sovereign.

"We have the greatest weapon, the truth."

Thousands gathered before first light at the Alcatraz Sunrise Gathering on Nov. 26 to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the Occupation of Alcatraz. In the 1960s, American Indians occupied Alcatraz in a series of occupations. On November 20, 1969, Indians of All Tribes -- American Indian men, women and children -- made a stand here for justice. Alcatraz, vacated by the Bureau of Prisons in 1963, became the rallying place for the people to demand that their treaties be honored and their lands be returned. Lakota, Creek, Mono, Pomo, Paiute, Navajo, Mohawk, Chippewa and others took a stand that became a pivotal point for sovereignty, justice and freedom in Indian country.

For photos, audios and videos of these week's events:
http://www.bsnorrell.blogspot.com.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

A Reason to Fast ... [Freedom for Leonard Peltier]


26th November 2009

15th Anniversary-FAST FOR FREEDOM!


Today marks the 15th year that myself and other activists around the country FAST FOR FREEDOM. Whether in the public arena or in the privacy of our own homes we fast for cleansing, for sacrifice and freedom.

FAST FOR FREEDOM began 1995. Myself and four Irish Activists spent four days on the steps of the temporary County Building in San Francisco, California fasting and sleeping. The fast began on THANKS-FOR-TAKING Day morning and concluded 72 hours later on Sunday morning. The reason? To bring attention to the freedom struggle of the H-Block 4; Four Irish Political Prisoners awaiting trial in the United States or extradition to Northern Ireland. Within three years the H-Block 4-Pol Brennan, Terry Kirby, Jimmy Smythe and Kevin Barry Artt were released from U.S. custody, unfortunately it did not end their struggle for safety, security and asylum.

In 1998 the FAST FOR FREEDOM was moved to San Diego. The Presidio in Old Town San Diego became the focal point of our sacrifice. Old Town San Diego is credited with being the first fort and settlement of the Spanish for the Catholic Church; ground zero of the occupation of our California indigenous ancestors. It was fitting to channel our energies to one of our Indigenous leaders.

Concentrating on the unjust justice system that permeates the United States government and enforcement agencies our work was now dedicated to the FREEDOM OF LEONARD PELTIER. The three years we spent in San Francisco were supported by the Free Peltier campaign including Mr. Dennis Banks; it was a no brainer that we officially join Peltier's Freedom Campaign. From a four-day fast to a one-day fast we concentrated on the historical ramifications of THANKS-FOR-TAKING Day acknowledging the displacement, rape and slaughter of millions of Indigenous people. Leonard Peltier sits in prison for a crime he didn't commit and our one-day a year sacrifice was and continues to be the very least we can do for the most famous political prisoner in the world.

Times have changed. Activism has changed. Mass demonstrations are replaced by mass emailings, Twitter and Facebook. Challenging oppression, occupation, racism, sexism, homophobia, classism, environmental destruction and animal abuse can be challenging in economic depression; but where there is hope there is the possibility of progress.

Many of you will be sitting down to a meal where an animal has suffered to fill your body; where a worker was underpaid or overworked to offer fruits and vegetables on your table; where genetically engineering companies play "God" with nature; and where the celebration of a day has been historically distorted for the sake of corporate profit-making.

So today I fast for the Freedom of Leonard Peltier, for the Freedom of my Palestinian sisters and brothers and for the lives of my animal relations. Pick an issue, there are so many. It is easy to do and costs nothing. As most of my time is now thwarting the euthanasia process of dogs, cats, rabbits and farm animals, FREEDOM for anyone or anything should not be a competition between struggles. It is what it is. FREEDOM is to live in a world without violence of any kind.

Think before you act; act as if you will be alive in seven generations and live today in peace.

Peace & Resist in Health,


Janice Jordan
Peace & Freedom Party

Ms. Jordan was the Peace & Freedom Party Candidate for Vice-President in 2004; Leonard Peltier was the Presidential Candidate. Ms. Jordan currently works with Ferdinand's Familia, an all volunteer non-profit all species animal rescue and sanctuary serving Southern California.