Sunday, February 28, 2010

Photos Tucson Peace Fair 2010

Tucson Peace Fair, Feb. 27, 2010. Scenes from the Tucson Peace Fair, including the Quilt Project to remember the migrants who have died in the Sonoran Desert. The final photo is a painting of the ongoing torture in China, a series of paintings by and about torture victims: A child comes home to find her parents have been taken into custody. Photos copyright Brenda Norrell Censored News

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Ninth Circuit: Border agents and O'odham police violate law at border checkpoints

US Border agents and Tohono O'odham police harass and provoke motorists at checkpoints; Ninth Circuit Court ruled Aug. 4, 2009, that they are acting beyond their jurisdiction

Federal Appeals Court Limits Tribal Roadblocks

Ninth Circuit US Court of Appeals imposes limitations on the ability of tribal governments to operate roadblocks.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling last Tuesday imposing restrictions on the ability of Indian tribes to use roadblocks to detain motorists who are not tribal members. The court examined the case of motorist Terry Bressi who was stopped at a checkpoint on the Tohono O'odham Reservation in Pima County, Arizona while traveling on State Route 86 on December 20, 2002. Tribal police, Border Patrol and Immigration and Naturalization Service agents manned the roadblock.

When stopped, Bressi insisted that the roadblock was unconstitutional and declined to produce his papers when a tribal policeman demanded it. Instead, Bressi asked the officer if he had any probable cause to believe he was in violation of any state law. That infuriated the officer who, after a lengthy exchange, pulled Bressi out of his vehicle, handcuffed him and arrested him for failure to obey a police officer and failure to produce proof of identity. At trial, tribal officers admitted that they knew Bressi was not impaired and not an Indian subject to their jurisdiction.

By January 2003, the Pima County Justice Court dismissed all charges against Bressi. After Bressi sued the officers involved, prosecutors re-filed the criminal charges against him. The re-filed charges were again dismissed. A federal district court eventually dismissed Bressi's lawsuit, but the appeals court agreed to hear the challenge based on the complicated jurisdictional situation created by the state highway passing through the reservation. Courts over time have created a system that allows a tribe to maintain jurisdiction over its members on tribal land.

"A tribal officer who observes a vehicle violating tribal law on a state highway has no way of knowing whether the driver is an Indian or non-Indian," the court explained. "The solution is to permit the officer to stop the vehicle and to determine first whether or not the driver is an Indian. In order to permit tribal officers to exercise their legitimate tribal authority, therefore, it has been held not to violate a non-Indian's rights when tribal officers stop him or her long enough to ascertain that he or she is, in fact, not an Indian. If the violator turns out to be a non-Indian, the tribal officer may detain the violator and deliver him or her to state or federal authorities... The amount of intrusion or inconvenience to the non-Indian motorist is relatively minor, and is justified by the tribal law enforcement interest."

The Ninth Circuit asserted that the suspicionless roadblocks were not unconstitutional, but rather that they must be limited in scope.

"We conclude that a roadblock on a public right-of-way within tribal territory, established on tribal authority, is permissible only to the extent that the suspicionless stop of non-Indians is limited to the amount of time, and the nature of inquiry, that can establish whether or not they are Indians," the court ruled.

In substance, the court ruled that Bressi was exactly right in at least one element of his roadside argument with officers. The motorist had insisted that they had no right to use the roadblock for law enforcement purposes and that, under US Supreme Court precedent, they could only be used for "public safety" purposes such as removing suspected drunk drivers from the road.

"There is no dispute in the evidence, however, that the officers, after stopping Bressi, did not confine themselves to inquiring whether he was or was not an Indian," the court ruled. "Their general request for identification was permissible as part of that determination, but they specifically requested Bressi to show his drivers' license and immediately treated his refusal as a violation of state law. Once they departed from, or went beyond, the inquiry to establish that Bressi was not an Indian, they were acting under color of state law. These actions established, beyond any dispute of fact, that the roadblock functioned not merely as a tribal exercise, but also as an instrument for the enforcement of state law."

The court remanded the case so that Bressi would have an opportunity to present facts that he believes could show the tribal government failed to adhere to the US Supreme Court's restrictions required of any law enforcement agency operating a roadblock under the color of state law. The court also made clear that the tribe has no power to exclude non-members from traveling on a state road through a reservation.

"This latter issue was somewhat of a concern because the Tohono O'odham Nation had been making thinly veiled threats of banning me from traveling along sections of SR86 that pass through the reservation for years, presumably in retaliation for bringing this legal action forward," Bressi explained on his website, Checkpoint USA. "Fortunately, the ruling makes it clear the tribe has no such authority on state highways running through tribal land."

The court dismissed a number of other claims Bressi had made against the roadblock, but Bressi believed that he has won on the most important points. The ruling is binding on tribal governments that operate in Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington.

Source: Bressi v. Ford (US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, 8/4/2009)

(1) Bressi v. Ford

No. 07-15931 (08/04/09)

Before Circuit Judges Canby and Wardlaw, and Judge Mills, District Judge for the Central District of Illinois
Civil Rights / Sec. 1983 / Authority of Tribal Police Over Non-Tribal Members on Reservation
Opinion (Canby): In 2002, the Tribal Police of the Tohono O’odham Nation (“Tribal Police”) constructed a roadblock on a portion of a state highway running through the Tohono O’odham Nation Reservation in Arizona. Under Tribal Law, the Tribal Police were authorized to detain tribal members. They were also permitted to detain non-tribal members and transport them to state or federal authorities. In December of 2002, the Tribal Police stopped Terrence Bressi at the roadblock. When asked for his name and identification, Bressi refused. The officers arrested Bressi, a non-tribal member, and turned him over to state authorities for refusing to comply with a peace officer. Bressi claimed the roadblock and his detainment were unconstitutional and sued in district court under 42 U.S.C. 1983. The district court granted summary judgment to the officers and to the United States. This appeal to the Ninth Circuit followed. The Ninth Circuit held that a state highway roadblock on a Reservation can be an acceptable use of state power, even when the detaining officers stop each motorist and not merely those exciting suspicion. Despite this, the Ninth Circuit held that the district court improperly granted summary judgment on the issue because it based its ruling on the determination that the Tribal Police had acted under the authority of Tribal Law and not state law. Because of this change, the Ninth Circuit held that Bressi was entitled to address the Sec. 1983 claims on remand. AFFIRMED IN PART, REVERSED IN PART, and REMANDED.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Rodriguez: Huehuetlahtolli of Maria Molian

FEBRUARY 17, 2010
The Huehuetlahtolli of Maria Molina
By Roberto Dr. Cintli Rodriguez

Maria has a cargo. A sacred cargo. How do you translate that? It’s not
something physical, but it is akin to a bundle.

I cannot tell you what’s inside of it, but it is something greater
than its contents. Some of the things are unknowable. Others have no
name. Yet, what she carries inside it are ancient instructions. More
than that, she carries a responsibility and a sacred obligation to her
family, community and to humanity. You might think that inside this
sacred bundle there are precious stones, seeds, sage or copal. There
might be that, but more than that, there are gifts. Gifts that she has
received and gifts that she freely gives.

One gift that she possesses is the gift of Tlahtolli – the gift of the
word and the gift of In Xochitl – In Cuicatl – Flor y Canto. Flower
and song. Poetry.

She also speaks clearly and naturally.

She speaks with truth in her eyes, with flowers in her hands and music
from her heart.

With her words, she inspires. With her words, she soothes.

I still remember the first time I heard Maria speak in public, giving
guidance – Huehuetlahtolli – to a young woman, a runner that was set
to run the length of the continent, from Alaska to Panama. Other
runners would be running from South America to Panama as part of the
Peace and Dignity Journeys to once again fulfill the prophecy of the
eagle and the condor – the unity of the continent, north and south.

That evening, she spoke of Inixtli – In Yollotl – the heart and the
face. It was something I had learned more than a generation ago. That
evening, as she was sending off this young warrior woman, I didn’t
just hear the concept, I saw it… the meaning of Inixtli – In Yollotl.
Cara y Corazon. The Face and the Heart. I saw it in both their eyes.

In the past couple of years, I have seen other gifts that she carries
in that bundle… that responsibility that she carries… a responsibility
that she actually shares with her husband , with her children… her
other precious cargo. I am a generation older than Maria. She could be
my daughter. They could be our children. Yet despite the age
difference, I respect them fully as I see them as co-equals. More than
that, I see them as bearers of that sacred bundle. They are carriers
of tradicion, danza, and ceremonia.

In my own bundle, I carry but the Tlahtolli and sometimes, the
Huehuetlahtolli, the Antigua Palabra or ancient word. That is why I
write this, to tell you of Maria, and her family. They are part of
Calpulli Teoxicalli of Tlamanalco, Arizona, also known as Tucson. I am
not a member of this Calpulli, though I have the great honor of
running with them – on the Barrio Runs – spiritual runs that go
through the heart of Tucson’s historic barrios. I’ve also had the
privilege of having them speak in my classrooms at the University of
Arizona. For years, they’ve opened and closed different and
innumerable functions with ceremonia, on campus, at schools and
throughout the community.

I can affirm that I do not have the same commitment or the same
responsibilities as they. They do what many of us don’t, can’t or
won’t do. I do not apologize for that. That is what makes us unique.
As I once told Maria: “If we both had the same responsibilities, there
would be one too many of us.” That’s why I appreciate and respect the
duties she has assumed, just as other Marias have assumed these same
duties in other barrios across the nation.

Today, Maria carries another bundle, a most special and sacred bundle…
she is almost 13 moons… just days from bringing another precious human
being into the world, a little grandfather, a little grandmother.

As a community, we all take care of each other. These are our ways.
Currently, friends are raising funds so that Maria can deliver her
special bundle, her sacred bundle, at home. When I spoke to Norma
Gonzalez recently (a member of Calpulli Teoxicalli), I asked her about
how the effort was going. She related that but a third of what was
needed had been raised. “After all they’ve done for our community, you
would think we would have raised more.”

“We will,” I replied, “as soon as people become aware of their own
responsibilities and obligations.” We all know the difficult times we
are living in, but the gifts that Maria has given through the years
cannot be quantified. This is beyond what insurance companies do not
cover. It is beyond the health care debate. It is about community
responsibility. It is about appreciating the sacrifices she has made
in her life for others. It is appreciating the open door that they
are, that they provide year-round, especially for those who come for
words, guidance, cleansing, healing and spiritual support.

Their open-door is year-round, yet there are two things in particular
that they should be especially thanked for. When our sister Consuelo
Aguilar passed on to spirit world last year, they provided that much
needed spiritual support to many in the community.

The other thing that Maria must be thanked for is their role this past
summer when the state attempted to eliminate Ethnic Studies (They’re
at it again this year). At that time, our community turned to Calpulli
Teoxicalli, precisely because they already run to heal our barrios.
They did not hesitate. Along with mostly youths, many of them from the
Social Justice Education Project and MEChA, many hundreds of us walked
from TUSD headquarters at the crack of dawn to Joaquin Murrieta Park.
From there, our community ran to Phoenix in 115-degree heat. Assisted
by runners from the Akimel O’odham and from the Yoeme community of
Guadalupe, we were then greeted by Nahuacalli-Tonatierra Embassy of
the Indigenous Peoples in Phoenix. There, we rested to garner our
strength for the next day where hundreds more joined us in our walk to
the state capitol. Not coincidentally, it was Maria’s words, time and
again, that represented the Calpulli. And of course, we won.

This is my relationship to Maria, Chucho and their Calpulli – peoples
who sacrifice of themselves, without profit, without gain, except to
our communities.

Rodriguez can be reached at

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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

ASU film: Angela Davis & Yuri Kochiyama

Arizona Premiere of the film Mountains That Take Wing: Angela Davis & Yuri Kochiyama - A Conversation on Life, Struggles & Liberation
Q&A w/ filmmakers.
WHEN: Friday, February 26th from 5:30-9PM (refreshments at 5:30 &; video at 6)
WHERE: ASU Tempe Campus – Neeb Hall (

SPONSORED BY: Local to Global Justice (
and The School of Social Transformation (at ASU)

We will be collecting donations at the event for survivors of the Haiti Earthquake.

Features conversations that span 13 years between two formidable women whose lives and political work remain at the epicenter of the most important civil rights struggles in the US. Through the intimacy and depth of conversations, we learn about Davis, an internationally renowned scholar-activist and 88-year-old Kochiyama, a revered grassroots community activist and 2005 Nobel Peace Prize nominee's shared experiences as political prisoners and their profound passion for justice. On subjects ranging from the vital but largely erased role of women in social movements of the 20th century, community empowerment, to the prison industrial complex, war and the cultural arts, Davis' and Kochiyama's comments offer critical lessons for understanding our nation's most important social movements and tremendous hope for its youth and the future.

H. L. T. Quan (Ph.D. University of California-Santa Barbara) is an Assistant Professor and an Affiliate Faculty in African/African American Studies, Asian Pacific American Studies and Women's and Gender Studies. Her research centers on race, gender and economic and political thought. She is currently writing a book about savage developmentalism and its tendentious propensity to secure order and capitalist expansion. This study investigates foreign policy conducts by Japan in military Brazil, the United States in occupied Iraq, and China in Sudan amidst humanitarian disasters. She is also working on a collaborative project on the historical and political development of Black capitalism in the United States, a 17-city comparison.

Professor Quan is also a co-founder and member of QUAD Productions, a not for profit production company that produces media for progressive community organizations and activists. She and C. A. Griffith (Associate Professor, School of Theatre & Film) are co-directors and co-producers of the "Mountains That Take Wing: Angela Davis & Yuri Kochiyama - A Conversation on Life, Struggles & Liberation" and "América's Home" (working title).

C.A. (Crystal) Griffith
Associate Professor, School of Theater and Film
Professor Griffith was raised in Washington, D.C., and graduated from Stanford University (B.A.) and University of California, Santa Barbara (M.F.A). Ms. Griffith's credits include Juice (1992), award-winning PBS and BBC documentaries such as A Litany For Survival: The Life & Work of Audre Lorde (cinematographer), Branford Marsalis: The Music Tells You (camera operator), Depeche Mode 101, Eyes on the Prize I & II , and music videos including Tracy Chapman, Public Enemy, and The Rolling Stones. She was awarded a 2004 Illinois Arts Council Fellowship in Media Arts, the Panavision/Kodak University Outreach Program Grant and the Vision in Color Award of the New England Film/Video Festival. Ms. Griffith also received a grant from Digital Media's Avid Feature Film Camp for her film, Del Otro Lado (The Other Side). Shot on location in Mexico City and screened extensively at U.S. and international film festivals, Griffith directed, co-edited and co-produced this Spanish language, independent feature in 1999. With H.L.T. Quan, she is co-directing "Mountains That Take Wing: Angela Davis & Yuri Kochiyama - A Conversation on Life, Struggles & Liberation", a documentary on women of color cultural workers. C.A. Griffith's publications appear in Filming Difference (forthcoming), Black Feminist Cultural Criticism: Classic Readings, Black Women Film and Video Artists , Herotica 4, The Wild Good, the journals Meridians, Signs and Calyx. Ms. Griffith joins Arizona State University 's new Film Program from Columbia College Chicago (2000-06), Smith College and the University of Massachusetts Amherst (1997-00).

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Narcosphere articles by Brenda Norrell

Narcosphere articles by Brenda Norrell

Spooks and Apartheid Contractors Team Up in Haiti
The NarcoSphere - Brenda Norrell - ‎Jan 31, 2010‎
By Brenda Norrell CIA contractor Evergreen International Aviation, Inc., and the Israeli border spy contractor Elbit Systems, have teamed up to fly ...
Softly stepping into prison one more time
The NarcoSphere - Brenda Norrell - ‎Jan 26, 2010‎
By Brenda Norrell It is bittersweet to hear that Fr. Louie Vitale is once again in prison. Now, at the age of 77, prison must be hard for him. ...
Shame on the New York Times for Fueling Border Misery
The NarcoSphere - Brenda Norrell - ‎Jan 11, 2010‎
By Brenda Norrell Kevin Annett, human rights activist beaten in Vancouver on Wednesday, released a new article today exposing the role of Canada's police ...
CNN Censors Dakotas Emergency; US Scams Dollars for Relief
The NarcoSphere - Brenda Norrell - ‎Jan 29, 2010‎
While CNN censors the emergency in the Dakotas, the US funnels relief dollars to the US military with George W. Bush taking the lead By Brenda Norrell ...
Censored: Forgotten People on Black Mesa
The NarcoSphere - Brenda Norrell - ‎Jan 10, 2010‎
By Brenda Norrell The mainstream media continued aiding and abetting the dirty coal industry this week, in the genocidal targeting of American Indian lands ...
Human remains being auctioned in New York could be Geronimo's
The NarcoSphere - Brenda Norrell - ‎Jan 21, 2010‎
By Brenda Norrell NEW YORK -- Christie's auction house in New York said a skull ballot box from the Skull and Bones Society has been withdrawn from the ...
Ten Native Events of the Decade
The NarcoSphere - Brenda Norrell - ‎Jan 15, 2010‎
By Brenda Norrell President Obama selected war criminal and corporate thief George W. Bush to head up US relief efforts to Haiti, along with Bill Clinton. ...
Bush Formula for Disaster Relief: Deprivation, Militarization and Genocide

Beyond Nuclear: Be Vigilant: End Yucca Nuclear Dump

Feb. 3, 2010

Press Statement by Kevin Kamps, Radioactive Waste Watchdog, Beyond Nuclear

Regarding Major Moves by the Obama Administration to End the Yucca Mountain High-Level Radioactive Waste Dump Proposal

Contact Kevin Kamps via cell (240) 462-3216 or email at

Press Statement by Kevin Kamps:

“President Obama has fulfilled a major campaign pledge by zeroing out the Yucca Mountain Project’s funding in his Fiscal Year 2011 budget request to Congress. Energy Secretary Chu has moved to withdraw the Energy Department’s license application to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission within the next month, with no option for its re-submission at a later date. For keeping this wise promise to cancel the geologically unsuitable Yucca Mountain radioactive waste dump, the Obama administration deserves our thanks.

So do Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, former U.S. Senator Richard Bryan, U.S. Representative Shelley Berkley, and many more Nevada leaders, especially the State of Nevada Agency for Nuclear Projects, who have stood strong to reverse the injustice of the 1987 “Screw Nevada Bill.” Yucca Mountain was singled out in the first place due to raw politics, not sound science. Yucca Mountain is an active earthquake zone, at risk of volcanic activity, and would have massively leaked any radioactive wastes buried there into the drinking water supply below, as well as the air above.

But not only does the cancellation of the Yucca Mountain dump represent an environmental victory, it represents an environmental justice victory. The “peace and friendship” Treaty of Ruby Valley of 1863, signed by the U.S. government and the Western Shoshone Indian Nation, recognizes the Western Shoshone land claim to Yucca Mountain. Such Western Shoshone groups as the Western Shoshone National Council, the Western Shoshone Defense Project, the Shundahai Network founded and led by Western Shoshone spiritual leader Corbin Harney (1920-2007), and bands such as the Timbisha Shoshone Tribe in Death Valley, worked tirelessly for over two decades to protect their sacred lands at Yucca Mountain from radioactive waste dumping.

Well over 1,000 grassroots and national environmental groups also worked to oppose the Yucca dump for more than 20 years. The cancellation of this risky plan has also avoided many thousands of “Mobile Chernobyls” and “dirty bombs on wheels” -- shipments by road, rail, and waterway through most states of hazardous high-level radioactive waste, vulnerable to being released by accident or attack.

Nearly 63,000 metric tons of commercial irradiated nuclear fuel now exists in the U.S., enough to have filled Yucca Mountain to its legal limit. Thus, even if the Yucca dump had opened, a second national dump in another state would have been needed to accommodate radioactive wastes generated from now on, excess to Yucca’s capacity.

Now that the Yucca dump has been cancelled, more than 50 years after commercial atomic reactors first started up in the U.S., we still have no solution for the forever deadly radioactive wastes they generate. Highly radioactive wastes remain stored on-site at the atomic reactors, vulnerable to accidents, attacks, or eventual leakage that could result in catastrophic releases of harmful radioactivity to the environment.

The wastes that already exist must be hardened on-site, secured against attacks, safeguarded against accidents, and protected against leaks. Over 150 grassroots and national environmental groups have signed a Statement of Principles for Safeguarding Nuclear Waste at Reactors, endorsing hardened on-site storage as an interim improvement upon current indoor pool and outdoor dry cask storage.

Environmental groups must remain vigilant, as the nuclear power industry and its supporters in government push for other dirty, dangerous and expensive radioactive waste proposals. The U.S. national nuclear labs, along with the French government owned atomic giant Areva, have lobbied for high-level radioactive waste reprocessing, which risks nuclear weapons proliferation, environmental and public health devastation, and astronomical costs for taxpayers. Former U.S. Senator Pete Domenici, now appointed to Energy Secretary Chu’s blue ribbon commission on radioactive waste policy, has pushed for “centralized interim storage” that risked establishing de facto permanent “parking lot dumps” by Energy Department dictate, overruling state governors and attorneys general. Such radical proposals would make the radioactive waste dilemma much worse, not better.

Yucca’s cancellation shows more clearly than ever that we need to phase out nuclear power, stop generating forever deadly radioactive wastes for which we have no solution, and replace dirty, dangerous, and expensive uranium-generated electricity with safe, clean, and affordable energy efficiency and renewable sources such as wind and solar power.”

Beyond Nuclear aims to educate and activate the public about the connections between nuclear power and nuclear weapons and the need to abandon both to safeguard our future. Beyond Nuclear advocates for an energy future that is sustainable, benign and democratic.

Kevin Kamps

Radioactive Waste Watchdog

Beyond Nuclear

6930 Carroll Avenue, Suite 400

Takoma Park, Maryland 20912

Office: (301) 270-2209 ext. 1

Cell: (240) 462-3216

Fax: (301) 270-4000

Monday, February 1, 2010

Olympic Tent Village Launch Feb. 15, 2010

Call-out for the Olympic Tent Village!

Alongside the Rally for Homes, where our demand of 'No More Empty Talk, No More Empty Lots' will be heard clearly amidst the Olympic chaos, there is another action planned to further underscore our demand for housing on the DTES.

Read ahead for all the info and inspiration you can gain from the "Olympic Tent Village," to be launched on FEB. 15th.

*** The Olympic Tent Village needs your support ***

The upcoming 2010 Winter Olympics has escalated the homelessness crisis in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside and the Greater Vancouver area. Since the Olympic bid, homelessness has nearly tripled in the GVRD, while real estate and condominium development in the Downtown Eastside is outpacing social housing by a rate of 3:1. Meanwhile, a heightened police presence has further criminalized those living in extreme material poverty in the poorest postal code in Canada.

With the eyes of the world on Vancouver, residents of the Downtown Eastside and supporters will be setting up an Olympic Tent Village (ie. Tent City) to raise our demands and voices for:

1. Real action to end homelessness now. No more empty talk and no more empty lots.

2. End condo development and displacement in the Downtown Eastside

3. End discriminatory ticketing, police harassment, and all forms of criminalization of poverty.

The Olympic Tent Village, a grassroots community effort, will need YOUR support and solidarity to keep going! We are relying on the determination of the DTES community and the strength of our supporters during the Olympic period.

*** We need: ***

- Tarps

- Tents

- Blankets, foams, and sleeping bags (for DTES and/or homeless residents)

- Water

- Non-perishable food items (granola bars, trail mixes, peanut butter etc)

- Cameras

- Recorders

- Books, magazines

- Bus tickets

- Cigarettes, rolling paper

- If your organization, group of friends, or community network can commit to a six hour supporter shift (6 am to noon, noon to 6 pm, 6 pm to midnight, midnight to 6 am) with a presence of 8 people, please let us know. We definitely need to ensure a high presence during night times when we are most vulnerable to law enforcement activity.
- Host an art workshop, performances, storytelling or poetry evening to facilitate the building of connection and community.
This is a critical time to take concrete action about the ongoing poverty, homelessness, and criminalization in the DTES, which cannot be sanitized or hidden for the Olympics. Once the Tent Village is up (and public), FEB. 15th, we encourage you to please stop by – whether for 5 minutes or 5 days.
Thank you for your support. Please respond to us at the contacts below if you are able to donate any of the above items and would like to arrange pick up/drop off, or to coordinate supporter shifts or support programming at the Olympic Tent Village.

Dave Diewert

Streams of Justice



Fort Huachuca Torture Demonstrator in Federal Court



February 1, 2010
Contact in Tucson: Jack or Felice Cohen-Joppa, 520-323-8697

Fort Huachuca Demonstrator in Federal Court Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2010

Photo: Joshua Harris being carried away by soldiers after peacefully crossing onto Fort Huachuca Army Intelligence Center base in southern Arizona. Photo Brenda Norrell

Joshua Harris, a California graduate student, is set to appear for arraignment at the U.S. District Court, 405 W. Congress Street, Tucson on Wednesday, February 3, to answer criminal charges following his arrest last November 15 during a protest of military involvement in torture and robotic warfare. He is on the docket for an 8:30 a.m. arraignment, along with other unrelated arraignments scheduled that day.

Harris, 33, is charged under Arizona law with trespass onto the U.S. Army's Fort Huachuca in Sierra Vista, Arizona, and with refusing to provide a truthful name. His prosecution is proceeding in federal court in Tucson under the Assimilative Crimes Act (18 USC 13).

Harris is the only one among five people arrested during the November demonstration to be prosecuted. Four others were released within the hour after identifying themselves to military police and receiving a formal letter barring them from entering the base for one year. Harris was released later that day, having identified himself after being cited for the offenses. He initially said he was there representing a victim of torture, and had only given that man's name.

Following is the statement explaining why the five were among 150 people protesting at Ft. Huachuca. More information about the November demonstration can be found at



We return to Fort Huachuca to call for an end to torture.

We are here because we desire dialogue with soldiers and commanders engaged in interrogation training.

We are here because we still question whether soldiers are provided with adequate training about international human rights law so they would know to refuse illegal orders and other pressure to torture captives (including a guarantee that speaking out would not lead to retaliation or punishment).

We are here in the hope that healing can take place - healing for the victims of torture, as well as the men and women who have been involved in carrying out torture.

Because the Obama administration has failed to close Guantanamo and the U.S. continues to imprison and interrogate thousands of captives at military prisons in Afghanistan, Iraq and places unknown, we renew our call for civilian, human-rights centered oversight of all interrogation training and practice.

Ft. Huachuca is also implicated in the rapidly expanding, legally questionable and morally reprehensible use of remotely-piloted aircraft, or drones, as a weapon of war. We're told that currently the Army only trains for the operation and maintenance of reconnaissance and surveillance drones at Ft. Huachuca. But we also know that the Army plans to weaponize some of these same drones.

Drone attacks have killed many more innocent civilians in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and elsewhere, than alleged terrorists. The U.N. Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Executions has asked whether the use of drones in targeting terrorists to be killed constitutes "arbitrary extrajudicial executions", or rogue assassinations in violation of international law.

We are here today to call for an end to the use of armed drones in warfare. We believe this terrorizing and killing generates deep resentment in the region that incites hatred for the U.S., boosts recruitment for Taliban, Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups, and may spawn decades of retaliation.

We act in solidarity with the campaign to close the School of the Americas/Western Hemispheric Institute for Security Cooperation at Ft. Benning, Georgia, where the testimony of torture survivors has informed our outrage and moved us to action. We also act in solidarity with people in New York protesting the presence of Reaper drones at a NY Air National Guard base outside of Syracuse today.

Rogue assassinations and torture have damaged the soul of our nation and tarnished our image around the world. We know that a world without torture, without violence and without war is possible. We invite you to help us create that world.

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Censored News is published by censored journalist Brenda Norrell. A journalist for 27 years, Brenda lived on the Navajo Nation for 18 years, writing for Navajo Times, AP, USA Today, Lakota Times and other American Indian publications. After being censored and then terminated by Indian Country Today in 2006, she began the Censored Blog to document the most censored issues. She currently serves as human rights editor for the U.N. OBSERVER & International Report at the Hague and contributor to Sri Lanka Guardian, Narco News and CounterPunch. She was cohost of the 5-month Longest Walk Talk Radio across America, with Earthcycles Producer Govinda Dalton in 2008:
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"O FRIEND! In the garden of thy heart plant naught but the rose of love, and from the nightingale of affection and desire loosen not thy hold." --Baha'u'llah, Baha'i Faith