Monthly Archives: May 2010

A Sacred Fire is Burning at Eagle Rock

By Cynthia Pryor, Huffington Post.

Around the world, indigenous communities are defending their homelands and sacred sites from mining companies with more urgency than ever. With the fictional Avatar receiving so much media attention, it’s important to realize that very real battles between indigenous communities protecting sacred sites and corporations infringing on them are happening in the real world. And not just in exotic corners of the world, but right here in America, in the Great Lakes, where millions get their drinking water.

Rio Tinto has from the beginning played out the role of the big bad mining company in its plans to mine nickel and copper in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. The project has been marred by a flawed approval process, with one expert hired by the state insisting the project could collapse on workers. Despite unresponsive regulators and politicians, a persistent grassroots movement has stalled the company plans by years already.

This seven-year battle between Rio Tinto and local citizens came to a head when I was arrested a couple weeks ago for “trespassing” on land the company wants to mine for nickel, copper and other precious metals. I was doing what I’ve been doing on a weekly basis for over a decade – walking with my dog to Migi Zii Wa Sin, or Eagle Rock, a sacred site to Anishinaabe tribes. Rio Tinto took my presence there as a threat and called local law enforcement to the scene. I was arrested and jailed for refusing to leave land the company still has no legal title to. Read the rest of this entry

Communities Condemn Obama Administration for Militarization of Border

By Derechos Humanos. This first appeared on Censored News.

TUCSON – The Coalición de Derechos Humanos along with groups across the country, condemn Tuesday’s announcement that the Obama Administration will send 1,200 National Guard troops to Arizona and will request an additional $500 million to “secure” the Mexican border.

The decision by Obama to “up the ante” on the militarization scheme of over 16 years, not only follows his administration’s record of continued attacks on immigrant families across the nation since he became President but his own DHS 800 ICE agent military-style assault on the communities in Arizona on April 15, 2010. Last year, President Obama also sent more than 700 new federal agents to the border, at that time responding to cries of non-existent “spill-over violence,” feeding the continued growth of the militarization and of the anti-immigrant sentiment.

“Our communities have born the consequences of border security policies implemented since the mid-1990’s-thousands of migrants who have been funneled to their deaths along the Arizona-Sonora border, dangerous spikes in xenophobia and the growth of hate groups, negative economic impacts and other tensions for border communities, the eventual election of anti-immigrant politicians and the enactment of anti-immigrant laws” stated Isabel Garcia, member of Coalicion de Derechos Humanos. “Now this new decision will be felt increasingly and devastatingly across the country.” Read the rest of this entry

Mohawk Nation News: 20 Years After Mohawk Oka Crisis

MNN. Sep. 15, 2009. July 11, 2010, will be twenty years since the Canadian military attacked the Mohawk Nation at Kanehsatake, Kahnawake and Akwesasne. We did not want the nearby town of Oka to extend its golf course over our ceremonial site and burial grounds. The Quebec police opened fire with automatic guns and tear gas on Mohawk men, women and children. For 78 days we faced the combined firepower of the Canadian Armed Forces, the Quebec Police and the RCMP.

We found ourselves fighting for our identity and defending ourselves against oppression by Canada and Quebec. The Mohawk defenders were brought to trial on criminal charges.

The following is a synopsis of the first day of the first year-long trial after the crisis. [MOHAWK WARRIORS THREE – The Trial of Lasagna, Noriega & 20-20]. This was followed by another year long trial of over 50 other Mohawks and our allies. We were all acquitted.

The trial started on Monday, October 21, 1991, in the St. Jerome Court, north of Montreal.

Our 3 Warriors/Rotiskenrakete faced 59 charges: assaults, mischief, mischief and theft, beating and mischief, and mischief against the Canadian Army. Generally, they were mischievous.

The 12 all-white English jury sat silent. The crown’s lies were totally confusing. The Quebec cops refused to speak English and had a squad of translators. Oui! Oui! Read the rest of this entry