"News Fit to Transmit in the Post Cassini Flyby Era"
Peltier Peace Prize * Sarayaku Emergency
05 February 2004
"Justice is not a flexible tool.
Unless we all do our part to ensure that justice is applied equally
to all human beings, we are a party to its abuse.
We must stand together to protect the rights of others."
– Leonard Peltier3) Leonard Peltier Nominated for 2004 Nobel Peace Prize
- - Unfinished business in Indian country4) Defense of Oil Exploitation by the Sarayaku – State of Emergency
- - Dennis Kucinich Pledges Protection of Western Shoshone Lands Editor's Notes:
Item 3 is big news: Leonard Peltier was nominated for 2004 Nobel Peace Prize, but also important is the international support revealed in the following BBC report called: "Unfinished business in Indian country." Will anybody but Bush give Peltier executive clemency? Will anybody but Bush give American democracy Instant Run-off Voting in support of more than two-in-one party system without the spoiler dilemma? Now is the time to make demands on all the candidates. Dean and Kucinich are the only two so far that have endorsed IRV's. Is Edwards on board? And what about support for a fair review for Presidential Executive Clemency to FREE LEONARD PELTIER?
Item 4 is on the current struggle of the Sarayaku, an indigenous people fighting in defense of their lands and communities against oil exploitation in the rainforests and pristine lands of Ecuador. This report and linked web site shows resistance to what Mike Ruppert describes as "peak oil" interests of the corporate power-hungry madmen. Our ecosystem is being ruined, and heroic tales speak of integrity and human resistance to total destruction. This is the good news. Also, too, is Dennis Kucinich's efforts to help protect the Western Shoshone lands from Yucca Mountain nuclear storage and destruction. Anything But Bush will not stop the course of destruction to life, but your efforts can challenge such a fate, or at least claim actions with an integrity in honor of our gift of life.
3) Leonard Peltier Nominated for 2004 Nobel Peace Prize
- - Unfinished business in Indian country
Last week we posted the call for support from Ward Dossche and Harvey Arden about nominating Leonard for the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize.
The deadline for the 2004 NPP nominations was February 1st. But even though there was little time left, Ward Dossche reports that three people - a university professor from Texas; another university professor from Belgium; and Bart Staes, member of the European Parliament and IPF signatory - sent in their nominations in time.
For more information, contact the Leonard Peltier Defense Committee (LPDC),
LPDC, Inc.; P.O. Box 583 Lawrence, Kansas 66044-0583 USA www.leonardpeltier.org
[You can link from Flybynews.com for Leonard Peltier archived updates.]
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =- - Unfinished business in Indian country
Monday, 2 February 2004
Unfinished business in Indian country
By CHRIS SUMMERS
A revolutionary fighting oppression, killed with a bullet in the back of the head by her erstwhile comrades who suspected her of being an informant. Palestine ? Northern Ireland ? No, this was America's Midwest Anna Mae Aquash was an activist with the American Indian Movement (AIM), which was fighting for the rights of the indigenous people of the United States. This week one of her former AIM colleagues goes on trial in Rapid City, South Dakota charged with her murder. The trial of Arlo Looking Cloud, 49, is likely to reopen plenty of old wounds. A second man, John Boy Graham, who allegedly fired the fatal shot, is fighting extradition from Canada. The body of the 30-year-old Micmac Indian was found in a remote corner of the Pine Ridge reservation in South Dakota in February 1976. It is claimed she was killed because of rumours she was an FBI informant.
'Exploitation and persecution'
In the 1970s a new group was born which was determined to fight proactively for the rights of the Native American people who, it claimed, had been persecuted and exploited for so long by "white" America. AIM took on the mantle of legendary Indian leaders such as Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse. AIM grew rapidly and began to challenge the authority of the FBI, the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and the tame Indian tribal councils who, between them, had run things on the reservations for decades.
AIM wanted, among other things, to publicise the 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty which ceded a vast swathe of South and North Dakota, Nebraska, Wyoming and Montana to the Lakota (Sioux) people in perpetuity. The treaty was later torn up and Lakotas were given worthless scraps of land to live on. They were also evicted from the sacred Black Hills (Paha Sapa) in South Dakota, when the US Government realised they were a rich source of gold, coal, uranium and molybdenum.
Many Lakotas ended up on the Pine Ridge reservation in South Dakota which, in the early 1970s, was run as a private fiefdom by a "half-breed" called Dick Wilson. Pine Ridge was the home of the Oglala - one of seven Lakota clans - who descended from Crazy Horse. In an attempt to highlight what they saw as the graft, nepotism and violence of Wilson's regime and to focus attention on the betrayal of the Fort Laramie Treaty, AIM activists occupied the town of Wounded Knee (scene of an infamous massacre of Indians in 1890) in 1973. For 71 days armed AIM supporters were besieged by FBI agents, BIA police and Wilson supporters. Eventually they surrendered after the US Government promised to investigate the corruption.
Little was ever done and by the summer of 1975 violence against AIM activists on Pine Ridge was at record levels and the atmosphere was poisonous. On 26 June 1975 two FBI agents, Ron Williams and Jack Coler, were killed by AIM gunmen during a shootout near the town of Oglala. Two AIM men, Dino Butler and Bob Robideau, were acquitted but another, Leonard Peltier, was given two consecutive life sentences. He continues to protest his innocence from Leavenworth penitentiary in Kansas and is considered a political prisoner by AIM. He has also drawn support from the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ann Robinson, the Dalai Lama and the Reverend Jesse Jackson.
'Like the Third world'
In September 1975 FBI agents investigating the murder of their colleagues at Oglala raided a property on the nearby Rosebud reservation. Anna Mae was one of several people picked up, although she was later bailed. She jumped bail and headed for California but only got as far as Denver. What happened to her after that remains uncertain. In the quarter of a century since the events on the Pine Ridge reservation life has changed little for the Oglala and the other 4.3 million fellow native Americans.
Frank King, publisher of the Native Voice newspaper, said: "Most reservations are run like Third World countries by tribal elders who act like dictators. Some of them don't even allow freedom of speech." Mr King, a Lakota who hails from the Rosebud reservation, said many Indians lived in a welfare culture and the Crow Creek reservation in South Dakota had the highest unemployment rate in the US. He said alcoholism and obesity were also endemic on most reservations and he blamed it on a "poverty of the mind". "Tribes have come to the point where they have created a business out of being poor and they are just looking for handouts," said Mr King. As for AIM, it has become fractured between different factions and Mr King said: "The main AIM is a federally-funded charity with a board of directors and they're always looking for money. It's just lost the spirit of the thing."
One of the founders of AIM, Russ Means, said the organisation was targeted by the FBI's Counter Intelligence Program, which was used to destroy groups like the Black Panthers and the Puerto Rican liberation movement. Speaking from his ranch on the Pine Ridge reservation he said: "The colonialism of the US Government has led to genocide. We now have the lowest life expectancy in the Western Hemisphere, despite sitting on some of the most valuable mineral-rich land in the world. The US Government has stolen $50bn of our money."http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/3406955.stm
4) Defense of Oil Exploitation by the Sarayaku – State of Emergency
- - Dennis Kucinich Pledges Protection of Western Shoshone Lands
The Community of Sarayaku Declares State of Emergency
Sunday, January 25, 2004
The community of Sarayaku (Pastaza)[in the Ecuadorian Amazon] has decided to declare a state of emergency to defend its territories against oil exploration. The decision was the result of a visit by President Lucio Gutierrez and Minister of Energy and Mines Carlos Arboleda to Pastaza on January 18. The two men ratified their decision to "respect the contract with the Compañía General de Combustibles (CGC), concessionary of Block 23", which implies seismic prospecting studies will be continued in order to determine if there is oil in the zone.
After Gutierrez's announcement, indigenous leaders returned to the community of Sarayaku to coordinate actions for the state of emergency that takes effect today.
Leader Mario Santi clarified that "2,000 inhabitants will mobilize along the boundary where CGC last carried out studies in February, 2003."
25 "Peace and Life Encampments", each with 150 inhabitants, will be established along the boundary to prevent the company from restarting the studies.
Each encampment will be organized to survive "until the government and CGC cease oil activities in this community," affirmed Santi.
While the majority of Sarayaku's inhabitants will be monitoring the community's territory, a group of women, children and elders will be responsible for organizing logistics in the community, preparing chicha (a traditional drink), manioc, and plantain, as well as tending to gardens.
Sarayaku will receive the support of other indigenous nations, such as the Achuar, Zapara, as well as indigenous groups from Arajuno, Santa Clara, and Villa Flora.
The emergency means that school classes, teacher training, a natural resource management project, and other events will all be suspended in Sarayaku.
The president of Sarayaku, Marlon Santi, denounced that militarization has already begun with the creation of a new encampment in Molino (a pro-oil community), and demanded the military's immediate withdrawal.
The company CGC is waiting for the government to provide guarantees for continuing oil exploration. "We are only requesting that the security of our workers be guaranteed," stated Ricardo Nicolas, the oil company's representative in Ecuador.
The state of emergency will last as long as the government and CGC continue attempts to enter the territory of Sarayaku Association and its five communities.
For more information or to find out how you can help, go to:http://www.sarayaku.com
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =- - Dennis Kucinich Pledges Protection of Western Shoshone Lands
Statement from John Gallagher of the Leonard Peltier Support Group
It is my honor to inform you that Dennis Kucinich (in a conversation with him a few minutes ago) pledges his support for the protection of Western Shoshone lands, upholding the Ruby Valley Treaty, stopping the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste disposal facility, and ensuring that tribal sovereignty means the tribe will have complete control over natural resources and use of tribal lands.
For more information, please visit the official web site of the
Western Shoshone Defense Project -- http://www.wsdp.org
At this following url you can write to Dennis Kucinich to thank him for his support of the Western Shoshone, and to request his support for the executive clemency campaign to free Leonard Peltier, a 2004 Nobel Peace Prize Candidate.http://www.congress.org/congressorg/bio/letterslist/?id=468
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