Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Lenny Foster on Native American Spirituality & Leonard Peltier

Lenny Foster on Native American Spirituality & Leonard Peltier

Tuesday, May 17, 2011
6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
The Commons
388 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, NY

Lenny will speak on Native American Spirituality, the Prison System, and Native American Prisoner of War Leonard Peltier

Light Refreshments Will be Served

"Spirituality is the foundation of American Indian culture—the root of a traditional way of life. If American Indian peoples are denied the right to exercise their spirituality, we're talking about a denial that borders on cultural genocide." —Lenny Foster, 1997

Lenny Foster of the Diné Nation is the Director of the Navajo Nation Corrections Project and the Spiritual Advisor for 1,500 Indian inmates in many state and federal prisons in the Western U.S. He has co-authored legislation in New Mexico, Arizona and Colorado that allows Native American spiritual and religious practice in prison and results in significant reductions in prison returns.

He is a board member of the International Indian Treaty Council, a sun dancer and member of the Native American Church. He has been with the American Indian Movement since 1969 and has participated in actions including Alcatraz, Black Mesa, the Trail of Broken Treaties, Wounded Knee ’73, the Menominee Monastery Occupation, Shiprock Fairchild Occupation, the Longest Walk and the Big Mountain land struggle. He was a 1993 recipient of the City of Phoenix Dr. Martin Luther King Human Rights Award.

Lenny will speak on five Native American issues: the illegal imprisonment of Leonard Peltier, land and resources taken from Native peoples by the U.S. government, stripmining, uranium mining and the pollution of the land, air and water, Native American freedom of religion and the demand to honor Native treaty rights.

To download a flyer for this event, click here.

Sponsors: LPDOC Chapter NYC , NYC Jericho Movement, ProLibertad (list in formation)

For more info: • 718-325-4407

Directions to The Commons: (Atlantic Ave. between Hoyt & Bond Sts.) A, C, G to Hoyt-Schermerhorn (walk down Bond St. 2 blocks to Atlantic, hang a right and walk half a block) or F to Bergen Street (walk 4 blocks up Smith St. to Atlantic, hang a left and walk approx.1.5 blocks; 2, 3, 4, 5 to Nevins St. (walk 4 blocks on Nevins to Atlantic, hang a right and walk approx. 1.5 blocks to 388 Atlantic Ave.

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Marcus Levings: Set the record straight on tribal spending (4/27)
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Court Rules Mumia Abu-Jamal’s Death Sentence is Unconstitutional, Grants New Sentencing Hearing

The case of Pennsylvania death row prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal took a surprising turn Tuesday when the Third U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously declared his death sentence unconstitutional. It is the second time the court has agreed with a lower court judge who set aside Abu-Jamal’s death sentence after finding jurors were given confusing instructions that encouraged them to choose death rather than a life sentence. Now Abu-Jamal, a former Black Panther and journalist, could get a new sentencing hearing in court. We speak with his co-counsel, Judith Ritter, and Linn Washington, an award-winning journalist who has followed Abu-Jamal’s case for almost three decades. [includes rush transcript]

27 Apr 2011: Today's Democracy Now!

Court Rules Mumia Abu-Jamal’s Death Sentence is Unconstitutional, Grants New Sentencing Hearing

The case of Pennsylvania death row prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal took a surprising turn Tuesday when the Third U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously declared his death sentence unconstitutional. It is the second time the court has agreed with a lower court judge who set aside Abu-Jamal’s death sentence after finding jurors were given confusing instructions that encouraged them to choose death rather than a life sentence. Now Abu-Jamal, a former Black Panther and journalist, could get a new sentencing hearing in court. We speak with his co-counsel, Judith Ritter, and Linn Washington, an award-winning journalist who has followed Abu-Jamal’s case for almost three decades. [includes rush transcript]
Inside War-Torn Libya: As NATO Intensifies Air Strikes, Rebels Struggle to Break Gaddafi’s Control of Libya

Anti-Gaddafi rebel fighters in Libya have called on NATO to offer them more assistance to try to end the military stalemate in the country. NATO patrols and air strikes are still trying to break the hold of forces loyal to Col. Muammar Gaddafi. Pro-government troops have been shelling the port area in Misurata, the only city in western Libya that is in rebel control. There are reports Gaddafi’s forces are using human shields in the city. Leila Fadel, Washington Post Cairo bureau chief, joins us from Benghazi. [includes rush transcript]
Arab Spring: A Discussion on Libya, Egypt and the Mideast with Palestinian Writer Rula Jebreal, Author of “Miral" & Journalist Issandr El Amrani

With former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in detention and Libyan leader, Col. Muammar Gaddafi, under attack, we discuss the state of the region with two leading Middle Eastern writers. Rula Jebreal, a former broadcast journalist in Italy, reflects on Italy’s decision to join the NATO bombing of Libya. Issandr El Amrani of talks about Libya and post-revolution Egypt. [includes rush transcript]

Today's Headlines

•Eight NATO Troops Killed by Afghan Air Force Pilot
•Pakistan Discourages Afghan President from Partnering with United States
•Panetta to be Next Defense Secretary, Gen. Petraeus to Head CIA
•NATO Plans to Escalate Libya Strikes on Gaddafi Facilities
•Syria Crackdown Continues as Government Deploys Thousands of Police, Tanks
•Obama Meets With UAE Crown Prince Despite Human Rights Criticisms
•Report: Major Banks Profited from Bailout
•BP Reports $7 Billion Profit amid Rising Gas Prices
•Guantánamo Doctors, Psychologists Concealed Evidence of Harm, Torture
•Oklahoma Bill: Manufacturing Hashish Could Land You Life in Prison
•Tucson Ethnic Studies Students Shut Down School Board Meeting

US Gov´t Opposes Gerardo Hernandez Habeas Corpus Motion

US Govn´t Opposes Gerardo Hernandez Habeas Corpus Motion

HAVANA, Cuba, Apr 26 (acn) The US government filed an opposition to the habeas corpus motion filed by Gerardo Hernandez, one of the five Cuban antiterrorists unjustly incarcerated in the United States since 1998.

Cuban News Agency

The filing requests the US district court of the Southern District of Florida to deny the motion without an evidentiary hearing and to rely on its own recollection of the previous trial.

The government’s opposition is a 123-page and three-annex document filed on Monday by DA Caroline Heck Millar, who led the prosecution against Gerardo Hernandez in the 2001 biased trial and asked for his two-life term plus 15 year sentence.

Heck Miller also asked harsh sentences for Ramón Labañino, René Gonzalez, Antonio Guerrero and Fernando Gonzalez in that trial. The Cuban Five, as they are known internationally, were arrested in 1998 for monitoring Miami-based anti-Cuban terrorist organizations.

She refused to try confessed terrorist Luis Posada Carriles in 2005.

Cuban Parliament President Ricardo Alarcón recently spoke to the press on the habeas corpus petition filed by Gerardo Hernandez at the Florida court to vacate, set aside or correct his sentence.

In this document Gerardo gives details of the circumstances that deprived him of having an effective defense in the 2001 trial to face the charge of conspiracy to commit murder in the incident of the 1996 shootdown of two aircraft that violated Cuba’s airspace.

The US government has consistently refused to show available images that would prove the veracity of Gerardo’s claims, said Alarcón.

In his motion, Gerardo asks the court to allow him to prove the erroneous interpretations the government made of the evidence and let the jury know the truth, concluded Alarcón.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Merle St. Claire: Turtle Mountain takes a stand on racism

Merle St. Claire: Turtle Mountain takes a stand on racism
Monday, April 25, 2011

"It’s “the Fighting Sioux fighting the Fighting Chippewa,” or at least that was the implication of the recent story on the Herald’s front page.

Once again, this is evolving into an issue of two tribes pitted against each other. This instead should be a story of all North Dakota tribes uniting together against the stereotyping of American Indian people and their culture.

Unfortunately, it is not going in that positive direction in some circles, judging by comments in the Herald made by Frank Black Cloud of the Spirit Lake Sioux Tribe. Contrary to Black Cloud’s statements, we are not envious of UND’s choosing our neighboring tribes for the university sports teams’ name and logo.

As the tribal chairman of a North Dakota tribe, I recently signed a tribal resolution supporting the NCAA ban on Indian nicknames, mascots and logos. We are not without our own Fighting Sioux supporters on the reservation, but as a whole, this tribe has taken a stand against a practice that breeds racism and tribal division."

Get the Story:
Merle St. Claire: Let’s move on to real issues for N.D. tribes (The Grand Forks Herald 4/24)

More Opinions:
LLOYD OMDAHL: Too much has been squandered on logo fight (The Grand Forks Herald 4/25)
OUR OPINION: ‘Ready,’ says the NCAA. ‘Aim ...’ (The Grand Forks Herald 4/24)
Mike Jacobs: NCAA sanctions will affect UND athletic teams (The Grand Forks Herald 4/24)

News from Indianz.Com


Doug George-Kanentiio: Planet in midst of climatic revolt (4/26)
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Column: A conversation with Indian activist Dennis Banks (4/26)
Colorlines: 'Smiling Indians' is a highly moving meditation (4/26)
NPR: Quileute Tribe seeks approval to move to safer land (4/26)
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BLM planning to transfer site to Alaska Native corporation (4/26)
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Editorial: Cherokee Nation car tag funds good for schools (4/26)
Clean Energy: Tribes talk potential for solar development (4/26)
Chickasaw Nation holds ribbon-cutting for new firehouse (4/26)
Blog: Treaty with Kaskaskia Tribe didn't pay for ministers (4/26)
AP: Vermont governor didn't say he was Native American (4/26)
DOI report warns of low flows in three major river basins (4/26)
Minnesota Indian Gaming Association off to State Capitol (4/26)
Passamaquoddy Tribe testifies for bill to authorize racino (4/26)
Hotel director at Suquamish Tribe casino leaving position (4/26)
Group eyes slot machines at racetracks and reservations (4/26)
Mark Trahant: Rising gas prices hit Indian Country hardest (4/25)
Vi Waln: Take time to remember Mother Earth with prayer (4/25)
Wambli Sina Win: Iyeska, the Interpreter, turning extinct (4/25)
Merle St. Claire: Turtle Mountain takes a stand on racism (4/25)
Sam Bradford to promote healthy lifestyles in USDA visit (4/25)
More headlines...

26 Apr 2011: Today's Democracy Now!

Chernobyl Catastrophe: 25th Anniversary of World’s Worst Nuclear Accident

As Japan continues to deal with its nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi power facility, memorials are being held in Ukraine, Belarus and Russia today to mark the 25th anniversary of the nuclear meltdown at Chernobyl. On April 26, 1986, an explosion at the power plant sent a cloud of radioactive fallout into Russia, Belarus and over a large portion of Europe. Soviet officials attempted to cover up the accident, but eventually 50,000 people living in Chernobyl’s immediate surroundings had to be evacuated. A vast rural region near the plant remains uninhabitable. Until the crisis in Japan, Chernobyl was the world’s only Level 7 "major accident" nuclear disaster, the most severe designation issued by the International Atomic Energy Agency. [includes rush transcript]
Locked-Out Uranium Processing Workers Protest Honeywell’s Use of Scab Workers at Uranium Enrichment Plant in Illinois

Dozens of workers protested at Honeywell’s shareholder meeting on Monday, accusing the company of putting employees and the public in danger at its uranium enrichment plant in Metropolis, Illinois. Major U.S. defense contractor, Honeywell, pleaded guilty last month to illegally storing hazardous radioactive waste without a permit. The company kept highly radioactive mud in drums in the open air behind its facility near the Ohio River. Workers at the facility say they notified Honeywell of the problem on many occasions. Many are members of the United Steelworkers union and feel this particular incident led to the company’s desire to bust their union. More than 200 workers at the Metropolis plant have been out of work since last June due to stalled contract negotiations with the company on workplace safety, economic and seniority issues. We speak with labor journalist Mike Elk, who has covered this story extensively for In These Times magazine. [includes rush transcript]
Guardian Newspaper Editor Defends Publishing WikiLeaks’ Secret Guantánamo Files

More than 750 "secret" Guantánamo prisoner "assessment" files released by the whistleblowing website WikiLeaks cover almost every prisoner since the U.S. military base was opened in Cuba in 2002 and reveal the United States believed many of those held at Guantánamo were innocent or low-level operatives. Today The Guardian published a new series of reports based on the files that show how a single star informer at Bagram base won his freedom by incriminating at least 123 other prisoners. We’re joined from London by The Guardian investigations executive editor, David Leigh. [includes rush transcript]
Daniel Ellsberg: Bradley Manning Charges Should Be Dismissed After Obama Declares Accused Army Whistleblower "Broke the Law"

We speak to Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg about President Obama’s comments last week on accused U.S. Army whistleblower Private Bradley Manning. Speaking at a fundraiser in San Francisco, Obama openly declared that Manning—who has been accused of leaking classified military documents, but has yet to stand trial—has broken the law. Obama was also asked to compare the actions of Manning to Ellsberg, who leaked the most important secret documents about the Vietnam War. Obama said the cases are not similar because “Ellsberg’s material wasn’t classified the same way.” In fact, the material disclosed in the Pentagon Papers was designated Top Secret, the highest secrecy designation under law, whereas the material allegedly leaked by Manning to WikiLeaks was marked “secret” or “classified,” among the lowest-level secrecy designations. [includes rush transcript]

Today's Headlines

•Syrian Security Forces Kill 23; Detain 500
•Italy Plans to Bomb Libya as Gaddafi Forces Continue to Shell Besieged City of Misurata
•NATO Forces Kill Senior al-Qaeda Leader
•Taliban Claims Responsibility for Afghanistan Prison Break
•U.N.: Sri Lanka Committed War Crimes in 2009 Assault
•White House Criticizes News Organizations for Release of Guantánamo Files
•Rising Food Prices Could Push 60 Million Asians into Extreme Poverty
•Amnesty Criticizes Plan to Demolish Slum Homes in Brazil for Olympics
•iPhone Users Sue Apple over Secret Tracking Technology
•Immigrant Rights Group Calls on New York Governor to Extend Pardon Panel
•Law Firm Backs Out from Defending Defense of Marriage Act

US court grants new sentencing for Mumia Abu-Jamal

US court grants new sentencing for Mumia Abu-Jamal
(AP) – 3 hours ago

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A federal appeals court on Tuesday ordered a new sentencing hearing for convicted police killer and death-row activist Mumia Abu-Jamal, finding for a second time that the death-penalty instructions given to the jury at his 1982 trial were potentially misleading.

The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ordered prosecutors to conduct the new sentencing hearing within six months or agree to a life sentence. Abu-Jamal's first-degree murder conviction nonetheless stands in the fatal shooting of Officer Daniel Faulkner.

Prosecutors said they were considering another appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

"We continue to maintain that granting this new sentencing hearing is contrary to clearly established precedent of the United States Supreme Court," District Attorney Seth Williams said in a statement.

Abu-Jamal's lawyer, Widener University law professor Judith Ritter, did not immediately return a call to The Associated Press.

Tuesday's ruling is the latest in Abu-Jamal's long-running legal saga.

A federal judge in 2001 first granted the former Black Panther a new sentencing hearing over the trial judge's instructions on aggravating and mitigating factors. Philadelphia prosecutors have been fighting the order since, but the 3rd Circuit ruled against them in a pivotal 2008 decision.

In rejecting a similar claim in an Ohio death-penalty case last year, the Supreme Court ordered the Philadelphia appeals court to revisit its Abu-Jamal decision.

On Tuesday, the 3rd Circuit judges stood their ground and noted differences in the two cases.

Under Pennsylvania law, Abu-Jamal should have received a life sentence if a single juror found the mitigating circumstances outweighed the aggravating factors in Faulkner's slaying. The three-judge appeals panel found the verdict form confusing, given its repeated use of the word "unanimous," even in the section on mitigating circumstances.

"The Pennsylvania Supreme Court failed to evaluate whether the complete text of the verdict form, together with the jury instructions, would create a substantial probability the jury believed both aggravating and mitigating circumstances must be found unanimously," Judge Anthony J. Scirica wrote in the 32-page ruling.

Tuesday's decision upholds the 2001 ruling by U.S. District Judge William H. Yohn Jr., who first ruled that the flawed jury instructions warranted a new sentencing hearing. While prosecutors were fighting that ruling, Abu-Jamal has been fighting unsuccessfully to have his conviction overturned.

Faulkner, a white 25-year-old patrolman, had pulled over Abu-Jamal's brother on a darkened downtown street in 1981. Prosecutors say Abu-Jamal saw the traffic stop and shot Faulkner, who managed to shoot back. A wounded Abu-Jamal, his own gun nearby, was found at the scene when police arrived.

Abu-Jamal is now 58. His writings and radio broadcasts from death row have made him a cause celebre and the subject of numerous books and movies. Hundreds of vocal death-penalty opponents and supporters typically turn out for hearings in his case.