Monday, February 28, 2011

Navajo: Remove John McCain from Senate Committee on Indian Affairs

Navajo Vincent Yazzie, US Navy veteran, said John McCain takes sport in killing old men, women and children in Vietnam and the relocation of Navajos in Arizona

Censored News
Photo: Roberta Blackgoat opposing coal mining and relocation in Flagstaff during one of her lasts protests. Photo Brenda Norrell
February 23, 2011
Senate Indian Affairs Committee regarding John McCain's conduct in the Vietnam war and how it affects Indian Affairs. John McCain should be removed from the US Senate Committee on Indian Affairs for killing old men, women and children. John McCain is suppose to be helping Natives but has passed laws that are contrary to Indians. -- Vincent Yazzie

Vincent H. Yazzie
Flagstaff, AZ 86004

Committee on Indian Affairs
United States Senate
838 Hart Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Honorable Senators,

The attached documents came from the CIA website
DOC_0000463502.PDF page 6 reveals only 2 bombs hitting a thermal power plant, but 35 civilian structures destroyed and 40 damaged.

John_McCain_captured.pdf page 1 reports John McCain and his friend dropped steel pellets, from "foreign correspondents in Hanoi saw with their eyes civilian dwelling houses destroyed and Hanoi's women, old folks, and children killed by steel-pellet bombs dropped from McCain's aircraft and those of his colleagues."

McCain Interview2.pdf on page 5 is a psychological point of view on John McCain by Dr Barral, "He showed himself to be intellectually alert during the interview. From a morale point of view he is not in traumatic shock. He is neither dejected nor depressed. He has able to be sarcastic, and even humorous, indicative of psychic equilibrium. From the moral and ideological point of view he showed us he is an insensitive individual without human depth, who does not show the slightest concern, who does not appear to have thought about the criminal acts he committed against a population from the almost absolute impunity of his airplane, and that nevertheless those people saved his life, fed him, and looked after his health, and he is now healthy and strong. I believe that he bombed densely populated places for sport. noted that he was hardened, that he spoke of ???? things as if he were at a cocktail party."

This man has no regard for human life. In his state alone the Navajo Hopi Land Dispute continues, tribes are losing their water rights, and over half the Navajo Nation now lives off the reservation. An acting congressional laws that are contrary to the Apache (Mount Graham Observatory), created congressional laws for Navajos to trade their lands rights for 75 year lease agreements. Page 23 of Healing v. Jones II, 210 F. Supp 125 says 300 unknown Navajos were settled on the 1882 Reservation and this case was confirmed by the US Supreme Court Jones v. Healing 83 S. Ct. 1559. The US Department of Interior has engaged in hiding important land records from the Healing v. Jones court a major violation of Rule 26 of Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The US government had a duty to disclose, but failed. Healing v. Jones II, 210 F. Supp 125 says 300 unknown Navajos, but the land records show there are 834 Navajos and 3,500 Hopis.

John McCain as in Vietnam takes sport in killing indigenous helpless old man, woman and children as well as in Vietnam. How many Navajos have been moved to foreign lands via relocation and lost their homes who now wander the land with no home. Where Navajos that roamed free in there land with their sheep now waste away in a small 10x10 foot room waiting for death as the only language they know is Navajos. This conduct is not tolerated by Native Americans and only brings up memories of the Massacre at Wounded Knee.

John McCain needs to step down from the Senate Indian Affairs Committee as well as being a Senator from the State of Arizona.

I am a member of the Navajo Tribe of Indians, 305,180 and over the age of 18. I have served in the US Navy.

Vincent Yazzie

Also see: Senate Committee on Indian Affairs membership:

Penn: Long Walk to Carlisle US Army War College 2011

Photo: The children who never came home, Carlisle Indian School cemetery. Photo by Brenda Norrell

Not another Dollar! Not another Death!
55-Mile “Long Walk” to Carlisle US Army War College
● Members of the Lancaster Coalition for Peace & Justice will be walking 55 miles from Lancaster, PA to Carlisle, PA
● Join us and tell the U.S. Military to bring the war dollars home and to put an end to the death and destruction of war.
● Marchers will depart from downtown Lancaster on Saturday at 10:30am, helping Gold Star father, Bill Adams, carry a coffin representing his son, SFC Brent Adams, who was KIA on 12/1/05 in Ramadi, Iraq. The coffin will be delivered to the War College on Sunday March 26th to be followed by a rally at approximately, 2-4pm, exact time to be announced.
● We will also stand in solidarity with the indigenous peoples movements at the burial site of the Carlisle Indian Industrial School (which later became the US Army War College) to pay respects to the Native American children whose lives were taken at this institution.
Please join up and walk with us along our route, come out to cheer us on along
the way, or travel by car and meet us in Carlisle!
● When: Departing from Lancaster on Friday, March 25th at 10:30am / Rally at Carlisle Army War College on Sunday March 27th at approximately 2-4pm, exact time will be announced.
● Where: US Army War College, Carlisle, PA - specific location TBA
● Why: the month of March marks the eight year of the US invasion of Iraq. Walking
55 miles is a small action on our part to raise awareness to the countless lives lost in war, the returning troops who do not receive adequate care, and the US dollars being misspent on death and destruction.
Anyone interested in joining us for any leg of our journey, please contact Bill Adams at or Jennie Leary at
We will travel from Lancaster through Elizabethtown, Middletown, Harrisburg, Camp Hill, and Mechanicsburg.
Overnight accommodations are being made for walkers, so please RSVP by March 11th if you wish to walk with us.
"We need to decide that we will not go to war, whatever reason is conjured up by the politicians or the media, because war in our time is always indiscriminate, a war against innocents, a war against children."
~Howard Zinn

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Photos Umatilla Indian Nation Long Walk 3

Umatilla Indian Nation welcomes Long Walk 3 northern route in Oregon. Photos by Christina Akaquiqui, published with permission. Photo 2: Long walker Willow on crutches now, walked all the way across America in 2008. Photo 3: Western Shoshone Carl Bad Bear Sampson, in front, is on his second Long Walk across America. Bad Bear was also on the 2008 northern route. More photos and videos on Censored News Homepage:

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Agent Orange tested and stored in US, and BC, prior to and after Vietnam War

Agent Orange exposed in toxic genocide targeting American Indians and First Nations
Agent Orange was used in the US, BC and Ontario, prior to and after the Vietnam War
This is a breaking news story, constantly updated
In the news; Agent Orange sprayed along Ontario roadways until the 1980s:
By Brenda Norrell
Censored News
PINAL MOUNTAINS, Ariz. -- Arizona was one of 21 states where Agent Orange was stored, or tested, prior to and during the Vietnam War, according to the US Department of Veterans Affairs. The site in Arizona was in the Tonto National Forest in the Pinal Mountains near Globe, in the Apaches homeland.
The Department of Defense published studies showing that exposure to Agent Orange has led to adult onset diabetes. Medical studies have linked exposure to brain tumors, and diseases in grandchildren of those in contact with Agent Orange. The severe deformities and birth defects resulting from Agent Orange exposure of pregnant women in Vietnam can be seen online in the photos of their children.
The US Department of Veterans Affairs reveals that Agent Orange was tested and used in Florida and Texas as early as 1944. But even after it was banned in the US, it was sprayed in Canada.
In Canada, Agent Orange was sprayed in British Columbia during the 1980s. At Kapuskasing, Ontario, Agent Orange was sprayed about 20 kilometers from a First Nations community.
Agent Orange spraying in Gagetown and surrounding communities in Canada had far reaching effects, since soldiers from around the world trained there.
The spraying at Kapuskasing reveals the pattern of the US and Canada of targeting areas with Indian communities. Kapuskasing was not only the site of Agent Orange spraying, but was also the site of a WWI prisoner of war camp and later a power plant.
In a pattern of toxic genocide, areas near and on Indian communities have been used as prisoner of war camps, power plant sites and toxic waste dumps.
In Arizona, the WWII prisoner of war camps included sites on Gila River Indian Community and Colorado River Indian Nations. Coal-fired power plants are now on and around many Indian Nations, including the Navajo Nation. The Western Shoshone in Nevada and Goshute in Utah continue to be targeted with toxic and nuclear waste dumps.
Navajos in New Mexico, Havasupai in Arizona and Lakotas in Nebraska and the Dakotas are targeted with new uranium mining that could contaminate their drinking water. During the Cold War, Navajos, Acomas and Laguna Pueblos worked in uranium mines without protective clothing and many died of cancer and respiratory diseases. Today, radioactive tailings are strewn on the Navajo Nation.
Dene in Canada, like the Dine' in Arizona, were never told of the dangers of uranium mining during the Cold War, and worked in the uranium mines without protective clothing. In the Pueblos, the radioactive dust blew on their foods as they ate.
In the case of the Goshute in Utah, their neighbor continues to be a biological and chemical warfare testing site, the US military's Dugway Proving Ground.
John H.W. Hummel is pressing for an investigation of the use of Agent Orange in and around Indian communities in Canada and the United States.
"I think that herbicides (contaminated with dioxin) were sprayed on many of the forests and traditional territories of Indigenous people in North America. I think that this has harmed the health of many people," Hummel told Censored News.
"The infamous 'Agent Orange' was sprayed by the forest industry upon large tracts of Canadian forests in Ontario, New Brunswick, British Columbia and likely elsewhere in Canada and probably on American forests too.
"This should be investigated. It may well impact thousands of Indigenous people on this continent," Hummel said.
The US Department of Veterans Affairs now provides a list of sites where Agent Orange was tested and stored, beginning in 1944, in the US.
As more people who were exposed to Agent Orange develop cancer and other serious health problems, the liabilities multiply for the US. Veterans and other victims are now fighting for justice, both at Veterans hospitals for treatment and in court for restitution.
The US Veterans Affairs website states that Agent Orange was used to remove foliage providing cover for the enemy during the Vietnam War.
"Agent Orange was the most widely used of the herbicide combinations sprayed. Agent Orange and other herbicides used in Vietnam were tested or stored elsewhere, including some military bases in the United States," the Veterans Affairs website states.
"The U.S. military herbicide program in South Vietnam took place between 1961 and 1971. Herbicides were sprayed in all 4 military zones of Vietnam. More than 19 million gallons of various herbicide combinations were used. Agent Orange was the combination of herbicides the U.S. military used most often."
"Agent Orange and other herbicides used in Vietnam were tested or stored elsewhere, including many military bases in the United States. Below is information from the Department of Defense (DoD) on projects to test, dispose of, or store herbicides in the U.S. For projects outside the U.S., go to Herbicide Tests and Storage Outside the U.S."
Meanwhile, Agent Orange was used in BC, Canada, after the Vietnam War, during the 1980s.
Jorma Jyrkkanen said, "When I was habitat protection technician for the BC Fish and Wildlife Branch between 1981 and 1987, I got a request by the BC Ministry of Forests to use Estron 3-3E in a sensitive area near the mouth of the Lakelse River. Upon examination of the ingredients, I determined that it was in fact one of the Agent Orange (AO) concoctions and rejected the application along with a note to MOF that I was not very pleased that they had entertained such an option. Read more ...
Ontario teens were soaked by Agent Orange spraying done at Kapuskasing:
The Toronto Star reported that, "records from the 1950s, 60s and 70s show forestry workers, often students and junior rangers, spent weeks at a time as human markers holding red, helium-filled balloons on fishing lines while low-flying planes sprayed toxic herbicides including an infamous chemical mixture known as Agent Orange on the brush and the boys below."
Agent Orange was used in Australia, New Zealand and Brazil (see Wikipedia link in references below.)
"The Brazilian government used Agent Orange to defoliate a large section of the Amazon rainforest so that Alcoa could build the Tucuruí dam to power mining operations. Large areas of rainforest were destroyed, along with the homes and livelihoods of thousands of rural peasants and indigenous tribes," according to Wikipedia.
US sites where Agent Orange was stored and tested, US Department of Veterans Affairs:
Arizona Arkansas California Florida Georgia Hawaii Indiana Kansas Kentucky Maryland Mississippi Montana New York North Dakota Pennsylvania Rhode Island Tennessee Texas Utah Washington Wisconsin
Read more at Wikipedia:
Miscarriages and birth defects linked to Agent Orange spraying in US and Vietnam; Dow Chemical and Monsanto produced Agent Orange; Agent Orange used in Australia and New Zealand:
Also see:
VA links Agent Orange to brain cancer in court decision:
Department of Defense: Agent Orange exposure leads to adult onset diabetes:
Recent News Coverage
Agent Orange "soaked" Ontario teens:
Agent Orange outrage - Timmins Daily Press:
Ontario probes Agent Orange poisoning:
Agent Orange probe widens:
Agent Orange spraying in Gagetown and surrounding communities:
Transportation Ministry also used Agent Orange, say NDP. Minister investigates. - Winnipeg Free Press:
'Sources of Dioxins and Furans in British Columbia':
Agent Orange Use in British Columbia:
Ontario probes Agent Orange poisoning:
New to this article: Sources of dioxins and furans in British Columbia:

The original article was updated with more information. It also appears on Censored News Homepage:

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Photos Long Walk 3 Pechanga to Soboba

Longest Walk 3 Reversing Diabetes, southern route, day three. Photos by Mike Subish from the REZ RIDERS. Thank you!
Return to Censored News Homepage:

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Subcomandante Marcos: Mexico's Drug War

Communique on Mexico's Drug War
Photo by Brenda Norrell/Marcos in Sonora, Mexico
About the Wars: A Fragment of the First Letter from Subcomandante Marcos to Don Luis Villoro, beginning the correspondence about Ethics and Politics

by Subcomandante Marcos
January-February 2011
Part 2 of the 4 that make up the first letter, which will appear in its entirety in the next issue of Rebeldía magazine.
(…) As Mexican native peoples and as the EZLN, we have something to say about war. Above all if it is carried out in our geography and in this calendar: Mexico, in the beginning of the 21st century …
"I would welcome almost any war because I believe that this country needs one." Theodore Roosevelt.
And now our national reality is invaded by war. A war that is not only not far away from those who were accustomed to see war in distant geographies or calendars, but also one that begins to determine the decisions and indecisions of those who thought that wars were only in the news and in places so far away like … Iraq, Afghanistan, … Chiapas.
And in all of Mexico, thanks to Felipe Calderón Hinojosa's sponsorship, we don't have to look towards the Middle East to critically reflect on war. It is no longer necessary to turn the calendar back to Vietnam, the Bay of Pigs, always Palestine.
I don't mention Chiapas and the war against Zapatista indigenous communities, because it is known that they aren't fashionable (that's why the Chiapas state government has spent so much money so that the media no longer puts it on war's horizon, instead, it publishes the "advances" in biodiesel production, its "good" treatment of migrants, the agricultural "successes" and other deceiving stories that are sold to editorial boards who put their own names on poorly edited and argued governmental press releases).
The war's interruption of daily life in current-day Mexico doesn't stem from an insurrection, nor from independent or revolutionary movements that compete for their reprint in the calendar 100 or 200 years later. It comes from, as all wars of conquest, from above, from the Power.
And this war has in Felipe Calderón Hinojosa its initiator and its institutional (and now embarrassing) promoter.
The man who took possession of the title of President by de facto wasn't satisfied with the media backing he received, and he had to turn to something else to distract people's attention and avoid the massive controversy regarding his legitimacy: war.
When Felipe Calderón Hinojosa made Theodore Roosevelt's proclamation that "this country needs a war" his own (although some credit the sentence to Henry Cabot Lodge), he was met with fearful distrust from Mexican businessmen, enthusiastic approval from high-ranking military officials, and hearty applause from that which really rules: foreign capital.
Criticism of this national catastrophe called the "war on organized crime" should be completed with a profound analysis of its economic enablers. I'm not only referring to the old axiom that in times of crisis and war, the consumption of luxury goods increases. Nor am I only referring to the extra pay that soldiers receive (in Chiapas, high-ranking military officials received, or receive, an extra salary of 130% for being in "a war zone"). It would be necessary to also look at the patents, the suppliers, and the international credits that aren't in the so-called "Merida Initiative."
If Felipe Calderón Hinojosa's war (even though he's tried, in vain, to get all Mexicans to endorse it) is a business (which it is), we must respond to the questions of for whom is it a business, and what monetary figure it reaches.
Some Economic Estimates
It's not insignificant what's at stake:
(Note: The quantities listed are not exact due to the fact that there is not clarity in the official governmental data. which is why in some cases the source was the Official Diary of the Federation [the federal government's official publication], and it was complemented by data from [government] agencies and serious journalistic information).
In the first four years of the "war against organized crime" (2007-2010), the main governmental entities in charge (the National Defense Ministry--that is, army and air force--, the Navy, the Federal Attorney General's Office, and the Ministry of Public Security) received over $366 billion pesos (about $30 billion dollars at the current exchange rate) from the Federal Budget. The four federal government ministries received: in 2007 over $71 billion pesos; in 2008 over $80 billion pesos; in 2009 over $113 million pesos; and in 2010 over $102 billion pesos. Add to that the over $121 billion pesos (some $10 billion dollars) that they will receive in 2011.
The Ministry of Public Security alone went from receiving a budget of $13 billion pesos in 2007 to receiving one of over $35 billion pesos in 2011 (perhaps because cinematic productions are more costly).
According to the [federal] Government's Third [Annual] Report in September 2009, in June of that year, the federal armed forces had 254,705 soldiers (202,355 in the Army and Air Force and 52,350 in the Navy).
In 2009 the budget for the [Ministry of] National Defense was $43,623,321,860 pesos, to which was added $8,762,315,960 pesos (25.14% more), in total: over $52 billion pesos for the Army and the Air Force. The Navy: over $16 billion pesos; Public Security: almost $33 billion pesos; and the Federal Attorney General's Office: over $12 billion pesos.
The "war on organized crime's" total budget in 2009: over $113 billion pesos.
In 2010, an Army private earned about $46,380 pesos per year; a major general received $1,603,080 pesos per year, and the Secretary of National Defense received an annual income of $1,859,712 pesos.
If my math is correct, with 2009's total war budget ($113 billion pesos for the four ministries) could have paid the annual salaries of 2.5 million Army privates; or 70,500 major generals; or 60,700 Secretaries of National Defense.
But, of course, not all that is budgeted goes towards salaries and benefits. Weapons, equipment, bullets are needed … because those that they already have don't work anymore or they're obsolete.
"If the Mexican Army were to engage in combat with its over 150,000 weapons and its 331.3 million cartridges against an internal or external enemy, its firepower would only last on average 12 days of continuous combat, according to the Joint Chiefs of Staff's estimates for the Army's and Air Force's weapons. According to the predictions, the gunfire from 105mm howitzers (artillery) would last, for example, 5.5 days of combat if that weapon's 15 grenades were shot continuously. The armored units, according to the analysis, have 2,662 75mm grenades.
In combat, the armored troops would use up all of their rounds in nine days. In the Air Force, it is said that there are a little over 1.7 million 7.62mm cartridges that are used by the PC-7 and PC-9 planes, and by the Bell 212 and MD-530 helicopters. In a war, those 1.7 million cartridges would be used up in five days of aerial fire, according to the Ministry of National Defense's calculations. The Ministry warns that the 594 night vision goggles and the 3,095 GPS used by the Special Forces to combat drug cartels "have already completed their service."
The shortages and the wear in the Army and Air Forces' ranks are evident and have reached unimaginable levels in practically all of the institution's operative areas. The National Defense [Ministry's] analysis states that the night vision goggles and the GPS are between five and thirteen years old, and "they have already completed their service." The same goes for the "150,392 combat helmets" that the troops use. 70% reached their estimated lifespan in 2008, and the 41,160 bulletproof vests will do so in 2009.
In this panorama, the Air Force is the sector most affected by technological backwardness and overseas dependency, on the United States and Israel in particular. According to the National Defense Ministry, the Air Force's arms depots have 753 bombs that weigh 250-1,000 lbs. each. The F-5 and PC-7 Pilatus planes use those weapons. The 753 that are in existence would last in air-to-land combat for one day. The 87,740 20mm grenades for F-5 jets would combat internal or external enemies for six days. Finally, the National Defense Ministry reveals that the air-to-air missiles for the F-5 planes only number 45, which represents only one day of aerial fire." -- Jorge Alejandro Medellín in "El Universal", Mexico, January 2, 2009.
This was made known in 2009, two years after the federal government's so-called "war." Let's leave aside the obvious question of how it was possible that the commander-in-chief of the armed forces, Felipe Calderón Hinojosa, could launch a war ("long-term" he says) without having the minimal material conditions to sustain it, let alone "win it." So let's ask: What war industries will benefit from the sales of weapons, equipment, and vehicles?
If the main promotor of this war is the empire of stripes and cloudy stars (keeping note that, in reality the only congratulations that Felipe Calderón Hinojosa has received have come from the US government), we can't lose sight of the fact that north of the Rio Grande, help is not granted; rather, they make investments, that is, business.
Victories and Defeats
Does the United States win with this "local" war? The answer is: yes. Leaving aside the economic gains and the monetary investment in weapons, vehicles, and equipment (let's not forget that the USA is the main provider of all of this to two contenders: the authorities and the "criminals." The "war on organized crime" is a lucrative business for the North American military industry), there is, as a result of this war, a destruction/depopulation and a geopolitical reconstruction/rearrangement that benefits them.
This war (which was lost from the moment it was conceived, not as a solution to an insecurity problem, but rather a problem of questioned legitimacy) is destroying the last redoubt that the Nation had: the social fabric.
What better war for the United States than one that grants it profits, territory, and political and military control without the uncomfortable body bags and cripples that arrived, before, from Vietnam and now from Iraq and Afghanistan?
Wikileaks' revelations about high-ranking US officials' opinions about the "deficiencies" in the Mexican repressive apparatus (its ineffectiveness and its complicity with organized crime) are not new. Not only amongst the people, but also in the highest circles of government and Power in Mexico, this is a certainty. The joke that it is an unequal war because organized crime is organized and the Mexican government is disorganized is a gloomy truth.
On December 11, 2006, this war formally began with "Joint Operation Michoacan." Seven thousand soldiers from the army, the navy, and the federal police launched an offensive (commonly known as the "michoacanazo") that, when the media's euphoria passed, turned out to be a failure. The military official in charge was Gen. Manuel García Ruiz, and the man in charge of the operation was Gerardo Garay Cadena of the Ministry of Public Security. Today, and since December 2008, Gerardo Garay Cadena is imprisoned in a maximum security prison in Tepic, Nayarit, accused of colluding with "el Chapo" Guzmán Loera.
And, with each step that is taken in this war, the federal government finds it more difficult to explain where the enemy is.
Jorge Alejandro Medellín is a journalist who collaborates with various media outlets--Contralinea magazine, the weekly Acentoveintiuno, and Eje Central, amongst others--and he's specialized in militarism, armed forces, national security, and drug trafficking. In October 2010 he received death threats because of an article where he pointed to possible between drug traffickers and Gen. Felipe de Jesús Espitia, ex-commander of the V Military Zone and ex-chief of the Seventh Section--Operations against Drug Trafficking--during Vicente Fox's administration, and in charge of the Drug Museum located in the offices of the Seventh Section. Gen. Espitia was removed as commander of the V Military Zone following the tumultuous failure of the operations he ordered in Ciudad Juarez and for his poor response to the massacres committed in the border city.
But the failure of the federal war against "organized crime," the crown jewel of Felipe Calderón Hinojosa's government, is not a destiny that the Power in the USA laments: it is a goal to reach.
As much as corporate media tried to present resounding successes for legality, the skirmishes that take place every day in the nation's territory aren't convincing.
And not just because the corporate media have been surpassed by the forms of information exchange used by a large portion of the population (not only, but also the social networks and cell phones), also, and above all, because the tone of the government's propaganda has passed from an attempt to deceive to an attempt to mock (from the "even though it doesn't appear as though we're winning" to "[drug traffickers are] a ridiculous minority," which pass as barroom boasting for the president).
About this other defeat for the written, radio, and television press, I will get back to that in another missive. For now, and regarding the current issue, its enough to remind people that the "nothing's happening in Tamaulipas" that was extolled by the media (namely radio and television), was defeated by the videos shot by citizens with cell phones and portable cameras and shared on the Internet.
But let's get back to the war that, according to Felipe Calderón Hinojosa, he never said was a war. He never said it, right?
"Let's see if this is or isn't a war: on December 5, 2006, Felipe Calderón said: "We work to win the war on crime …". On December 2007, during breakfast with naval personnel, Mr. Calderón used the term 'war' on four occasions in a single speech. He said, "Society recognizes in a special manner the important role our marines play in the war my Government leads against insecurity…", "The loyalty and the efficiency of the Armed Forces are one of the most powerful weapons in the war we fight …", "When I started this frontal war against crime I stated that this would be a long-term struggle," "…that is precisely how wars are …". But there's more: on September 12, 2008, during the the Commencement Ceremonies of the Military Education System, the self-proclaimed "president of employment" really shined when he said war on crime a half a dozen times: "Today our country fights a war that is very different from those that the insurgents fought in 1810, a war that is different from that which the cadets from the Military College fought 161 years ago…" "…it is the duty of all of Mexicans of our generation to declare war on Mexico's enemies… That's why, in this war on crime…" "It is essential that all of us who join this common front go beyond words to acts and that we really declare war on Mexico's enemies…" "I am convinced that we will win this war…" (Alberto Vieyra Gómez. Agencia Mexicana de Noticias, January 27, 2011).
By contradicting himself, taking advantage of the calendar, Felipe Calderón Hinojosa neither corrects his mistakes nor corrects himself conceptually. No, what happens is that wars are won or lost (in this case, lost) and the federal government doesn't want to recognize that the central focus of this administration has failed militarily and politically.
Endless War? The Difference Between Reality… and Videogames
Faced with the undeniable failure of his warmongering policies, will Felipe Calderón Hinojosa change his strategy?
The answer is NO. And not just because war from above is a business, and like any other business, it is maintained as long as it is profitable.
Felipe Calderón de Hinojosa, the commander-in-chief of the armed forces, the fervent admirer of [former Spanish Prime Minister] José María Aznar, the self-proclaimed "disobedient son," the friend of Antonio Solá[1], the "winner" of the presidential elections by a half a percentage point thanks to Elba Esther Gordillo's alchemy[2], the man of authoritarian rudeness that is close to a tantrum ("Get down here or I'll make them bring you down here!"[3], he who wants to cover up the murdered children in the ABC Daycare Center in Hermosillo, Sonora, with more blood[4], he who has accompanied his military war with a war on dignified work and just salaries, he who has calculated autism when faced with the murders of Marisela Escobedo[5] and Susana Chávez Castillo[6], he who hands out toe tags that say "members of organized crime" to little boys and girls and men and women[7] who were and are murdered by him because, yes, because they happened to be in the wrong calendar and the wrong geography, and they aren't even named because no one keeps track, not even the press, not even the social networks.
He, Felipe Calderón Hinojosa, is also a fan of military strategy video games.
Felipe Calderón Hinojosa is the "gamer" "who in four years turned the country into a mundane version of The Age of Empire -- his favorite videogame--, (…) a lover--and bad strategist--of war." (Diego Osorno in Milenio, October 3, 2010).
It is he who leads us to ask: Is Mexico being governed videogame-style? (I believe that I can ask these sorts of controversial questions without them firing me for violating an "ethics code" that is determined by paid advertising[8]).
Felipe Calderón Hinojosa won't stop. And not only because the armed forces won't let him (business is business), but also for the obstinacy that has characterized the political life of the "commander-in-chief" of the Mexican armed forces.
Let's remember: In March 2001, when Felipe Calderón Hinojosa was the parliamentarian coordinator of the National Action Party's federal deputies [in Congress], that unfortunate spectacle took place when the National Action Party (PAN) did not let a joint indigenous delegation from the National Indigenous Congress and the EZLN take the podium in Congress during the "March of the Color of the Earth."
Despite the fact that he was making the PAN out to be a racist and intolerant political organization (which it is) by denying the indigenous people the right to be heard, Felipe Calderón Hinojosa stood firm. Everything told him it was an error to take that position, but the then-coordinator of the PAN deputies refused to cede (and he wound up hiding, along with Diego Fernández Cevallos and other distinguished PAN members, in one of the chamber's private halls, watching on television as the indigenous people spoke in a space that the political class reserves for its comedy sketches).
"No matter the political cost," Felipe Calderón Hinojosa would have said at the time.
Now he says the same, although now it's not about the political costs that a political party assumes, but rather the human costs that the entire country pays for that stubbornness.
At the point of ending this missive, I found the statements of the US Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, speculating about the possible alliances between Al Qaeda and Mexican drug cartels. One day prior, the undersecretary of the United States Army, Joseph Westphal, declared that in Mexico there is a form of insurgency lead by the drug cartels that could potentially take over the government, which would imply a US military response. He added that he didn't want to see a situation in which US soldiers were sent to fight an insurgency "on our border … or having to send them to across the border" into Mexico.
Meanwhile, Felipe Calderón Hinojosa was attending a rescue simulation in a simulated town in Chihuahua, and he boarded an F-5 combat plane and he sat in the pilot's seat and joked with a "fire missiles."
From the strategy video games to the "aerial combat simulation" and "first-person shots"? From Age of Empires to HAWX?
HAWX is an aerial combat video game where, in a not-so-distant future, private military companies have replaced governmental militaries in various countries. The video game's first mission is to bomb Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico, because the "rebel forces" have taken over the territory and threaten to cross into US territory.
Not in the video game, but in Iraq, one of the private military companies contracted by the US State Department and the Central Intelligence Agency was "Blackwater USA," which later changed its name to "Blackwater Worldwide." Its personnel committed serious abuses in Iraq, including murdering civilians. Now it has changed its name to "Xe Services LLC" and is the biggest private security contractor the US State Department has. At least 90% of its profits come from contracts with the US government.
The same day that Felipe Calderón Hinojosa was joking in the combat plane (February 10, 2011), and also in the state of Chihuahua, an 8-year-old girl died when she was hit by a bullet from a shoot-out between armed people and members of the military.
When will this war end?
When will "Game Over" appear on the federal government's screen, followed by the credits, with the producers and sponsors of the war?
When will Felipe Calderón be able to say "we won the war, we've imposed our will upon the enemy, we've destroyed its material and moral combat abilities, we've (re)conquered the territories that were under its control"?
Ever since it was conceived, this war has no end, and it is also lost.
There will not be a Mexican victor in these lands (unlike the government, the foreign Power does have a plan to reconstruct-reorganize the territory), and the defeat will be the the last corner of the dying National State in Mexico: the social relations that, providing a common identity, are the base of a Nation.
Even before the supposed end, the social fabric will be completely broken.
Results: the War Above and the Death Below
Let's see what the federal Ministry of the Interior reports about Felipe Calderón Hinojosa's "not-war":
"2010 was the most violent year during the current administration, accumulating 15,273 murders linked to organized crime, 58% more than the 9,614 registered during 2009, according to statistics published this Wednesday by the Federal Government. From December 2006 up to the end of 2010 34,612 murders were counted, of which 30,913 were reported as "executions"; 3,153 are listed as "clashes" and 544 are listed as "homicides-attacks." Alejandro Poiré, the National Security Council's technical secretary, presented an official database created by experts that will show, beginning now, "monthly disaggregated information at the state and municipal level" about violence in the whole country." (Vanguardia, Coahuila, Mexico, January 13, 2011)
Let's ask: Of those 34,612 murders, how many were criminals? And the more than one thousand little boys and girls murdered (which the Secretary of the Interior "forgot" to itemize in his account), were they also organized crime "hitmen"? When the federal government proclaims that "we're winning," against which drug cartel are they referring to? How many tens of thousands more make up this "ridiculous minority" that is the enemy that must be defeated?
While up there they uselessly try to tone down this war's murders with statistics, it is important to note that the social fabric is also being destroyed in almost all of the national territory.
The Nation's collective identity is being destroyed and it is being supplanted by another.
Because "a collective identity is no more than an image that a people forges of itself in order to recognize itself has belonging to that people. Collective identity is those features in which an individual recognizes himself or herself as belonging to a community. And the community accepts this individual as part of it. This image that the people forge is not necessarily the persistence of an inherited traditional image, but rather, generally it is forged by the individual insofar as s/he belongs to a culture, to make his/her past and current life consistent wit the projects that s/he has for that community.
So identity is not a mere legacy that is inherited, rather, it is an imagine that is constructed, that each people creates, and therefore is variable and changeable according to historical circumstances." (Luis Villoro, November 1999, interview with Bertold Bernreuter, Aachen, Germany).
In a good part of the national territory's collective identity, there is no (as they wish us to believe) dispute between the national anthem and the narco-corrido ["narco-ballad"] (if you don't support the government you support organized crime, and vice-versa.
What exists is an imposition, by the force of weapons, of fear as a collective image, of uncertainty and vulnerability as mirrors in which those collectives are reflected.
What social relationships can be maintained or woven if fear is the dominant image which which a social group can identify itself, if the sense of community is broken by the cry "Save yourself if you can"?
The results of this war won't only be thousands of dead … and juicy economic gains.
Also, and above all, it will result in a nation destroyed, depopulated, and irreversibly broken.
(…) Alright, Don Luis. Cheers, and let critical reflection inspire new steps.
From the mountains in the Mexican Southeast.
Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos.
Mexico, January-February 2011.
Translated by Kristin Bricker
Translator's Notes:
[1] Antonio Solá is a Spaniard who was in charge of Felipe Calderón's "Image" during his presidential campaign.
[2] Elba Esther Gordillo is the despised (and arguably self-imposed) president of the National Education Workers Union (SNTE), one of the largest unions in Mexico. Critics argue that thanks to Gordillo, the teachers' vote gave Calderón the 0.5% advantage he needed in the 2006 elections.
[3] In October 2007, Calderón visited Villahermosa, Tabasco, to inspect flood-damaged areas. He helped fill sandbags for a few minutes, then yelled, "Get down here or I'll make them bring you down here!" to observers on a bridge. He then sent the military to get them so that they would help fill sandbags.
[4] On June 5, 2009, the ABC Daycare Center in Hermosillo, Sonora, caught on fire, killing 49 children and injuring another 76, all between five months and five years old. The daycare caught fire when an adjoining file warehouse belonging to the Sonora state government caught on fire. A lack of fire alarms, fire extinguishers, and emergency exists lead to the enormous loss of life. The children's parents continue their fight for justice and accountability.
[5] Marisela Escobedo fought for justice in the disappearance and murder of her daughter, Rubí. Rubí's boyfriend admitted to murdering her and directing authorities to her body, but he was released for lack of evidence. Marisela campaigned unsuccessfully to have him imprisoned until she herself was assassinated in front of the Chihuahua municipal palace on December 16, 2010.
[6] Susana Chávez Castillo was a poet from Chihuahua who coined the slogan "Not one more [murdered woman]" ("Ni una más"). She was mutilated and murdered in January 2011.
[7] Mexico is in the midst of a "false positive" scandal in which soldiers murder civilians and then the government issues press releases arguing that the dead were members of organized crime who attacked the soldiers. Such is the case of five-year-old Bryan and nine-year-old Martin Salazar, shot by soldiers at a checkpoint and accused of being members of organized crime ; and US citizen Joseph Proctor. Soldiers murdered Proctor at a checkpoint and then planted a weapon in his hands to argue that he had opened fire on the soldiers…except that the gun was registered to the soldiers, and not even Rambo can drive a minivan and shoot an assault rifle at the same time.
[8] Radio and TV journalist Carmen Aristegui, a critic of Calderón, was fired in February 2011 for having asked on air if Calderón has a drinking problem.

Kristin Bricker

Freelance journalist / periodista freelance

Friday, February 11, 2011

Derechos Humanos Corazon de Justicia Awards 2011

Coalición de Derechos Humanos

Coalicion de Derechos Humanos

For Immediate Release
February 9, 2011
Contact: Kat Rodriguez: 520.770.1373

Eighth Annual
Corazón de Justicia
Award Recipients

Friday, February 18, 20116:30pm Apollo Middle School
265 W. Nebraska
Tucson, AZ

On Friday, February 18, 2011 at 6:30pm the Coalición de Derechos Humanos will hold the Eighth Annual Corazón de Justicia Awards: Celebration and Recognition. On this powerful evening, volunteers and organizers will be honored who have been selected by their peers and have shown to possess a "heart of justice."

The following individuals have been selected,
and will be honored in the indicated areas by the these local organizations:

African-American Issues

Billie Laurie

Selected by: NAACP


Raices Taller

Selected by: Coalición de Derechos Humanos

Community Empowerment

Jason Aragon

Selected by: Coalición de Derechos Humanos


Nancy Zierenberg

Selected by: Coalition for Sonoran Desert Protection


Mary Ellen Kennon

Selected by: Southside Presbyterian Church

Human Rights

Ethnic Studies 11

Selected by: Coalción de Derechos Humanos

Immigrant Rights

Steve Johnston

Selected by: Coalición de Derechos Humanos

Indigenous Issues

Ernest Moristo

Selected by: Alianza Indígena Sin Fronteras


Vikki Marshall

Selected by: AFSCME Local 449


Noel de Tierra

Selected by: Wingspan

Women's Issues

Alison Hughes

Tucson Women's Commission


Elisa Meza

Selected by: Social Justice Education Project

This year, the Corazón de Justicia Awards will have the privilege of David Bacon as our keynote speaker. David Bacon is a writer and photojournalist based in Oakland and Berkeley, California. He is an associate editor at Pacific News Service, and writes for TruthOut, The Nation, The American Prospect, The Progressive, and the San Francisco Chronicle, among other publications. He has been a reporter and documentary photographer for 18 years, shooting for many national publications. He has exhibited his work nationally, and in Mexico, the UK and Germany. Bacon covers issues of labor, immigration and international politics.

Please join us on Friday, February 18, 2011 at 6:30pm at Apollo Middle School as we honor the strength and courage of these inspiring community members in the struggle for justice and human rights in our community.

Please RSVP to: 520.770.1373

All proceeds will go to benefit Coalición de Derechos Humanos.
Make checks payable to the Arizona Border Rights Foundation,
a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization

Coalición de Derechos Humanos
P.O. Box 1286 Tucson, AZ 85702
Tel: 520.770.1373
Fax: 520.770.7455

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Struggles for land and justice: Splitting the Sky nominates Anthony Hall for peace award

Struggles for land and justice: Splitting the Sky nominates professor Anthony J. Hall for peace award

Censored News

ALBERTA, Canada -- Writing a peace prize nomination, Splitting the Sky, Mohawk, weaves together events that have solidified the movements of Indigenous Peoples. From Oka to Gustafsen Lake, the histories of struggle are found in this tribute to professor Anthony J. Hall. When Splitting the Sky attempted a citizens arrest of former President George Bush for war crimes, Hall was among those who assured the world that Bush should be held accountable.
Today's submission to Censored News begins with correspondence between Splitting the Sky and Hall, and continues with a tribute to this legacy of struggle.--Brenda Norrell, Censored News
By Splitting the Sky, Mohawk

Dear friends,
Enclosed is a biographical sketch I have done of my friend and colleague professor Anthony Hall for nomination for a peace award which is explained within.
I am also initiating a campaign to get his latest book Earth into Property as mandatory reading for all persons working at the United Nations level, especially the UN Security Council, General Assembly and hopefully members of the non aligned movement and non governmental organization that would be willing to help nominate this incredible work for a Nobel Peace prize in literature.
I will be writing a blurb for this massive work of love and peace and invite you to get a copy of his book and read cover to cover.
From Anthony Hall,
Thanks for nominating me, STS, and passing by me the text of your proposed info to explain your nomination. I approve of the text and thank you for your generous characterizations of my work in which you have often been so integrally involved.
Given the need for timeliness and the limitations of E-Mail access to you while you are traveling, I'm submitting the text to the Peace Consortium as well as to you.
Meegwetch, Tony Hall
Peace nomination from Splitting the Sky
Anthony James Hall is Professor of Globalization Studies at the University of Lethbridge and Alberta Canada. He is a prolific author of many publications including the epic series, Bowl with One Spoon. Volume One is entitled The American Empire and the Fourth World. It won the Alberta book award in 2004 as the best non-fiction text by an Alberta author. Volume 2 is entitled Earth into Property: Colonization, Decolonization and Capitalism. Earth into Property was selected by The Independent in the UK as one of the best English-language history books in the world published in 2010. Both volumes are published by McGill-Queen’s University Press.

Hall was born and raised in Toronto Canada. He did his BA and MA in History at York University and then his Ph.D. at the University of Toronto. His Ph.D. thesis, entitled “The Red Man’s Burden: Land, Law and the Lord in the Indian Affairs of Upper Canada, 1791-1858,” was supervised by Professor J.M.S. Careless. In 1982 Hall was hired as Assistant Professor by the Department of Native Studies at Laurentian University in Sudbury Ontario. In the mid-1980s Hall was deeply involved in the work of the Canadian Alliance in Solidarity with the Native Peoples, becoming a board member and a co-president of the organization.

During the 1980s and early 1990s Hall worked on many aspects of the process to entrench and then define the extent of existing Aboriginal and treaty rights as recognized and affirmed in Canada’s Constitution Act, 1982. He attended with his students all four of the First Ministers-First Nations constitutional conferences on Aboriginal matters between 1983 and 1987. Hall responded to the Meech Lake accord in 1987 with an array of publications in academic and popular venues. He was a frequent media commentator on this subject and contributed to the work of various parliamentary and legislative committees in Ottawa and Toronto, calling attention to the failure of the Meech Lake accord to include Aboriginal peoples in the first ministers’ proposed definition of Canada’s “fundamental characteristics.” This phrase was introduced to provide the context wherein Canada’s first ministers proposed to define Quebec as a “distinct society.”

Some of Hall’s arguments were incorporated into the positions of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, the organization backing Elijah Harper when in the spring of 1990 this elected parliamentarian in the Manitoba Legislature used his veto power to block the incorporation of the Meech Lake accord in Canada’s constitution. Elijah Harper’s stand helped initiate what Hall has referred to as the Indian Summer of 1990. Harper’s stand in the Manitoba Legislature was interpreted in Quebec as an Indian rejection of the province’s constitutional identity as a distinct society. This resentment in Quebec was a factor in the police attack on a small Mohawk blockade set up to prevent the expansion of a golf course into a sacred stand of white pine trees covering a burial ground at the old Sulpician Indian mission at Oka on the Ottawa River.

The conflict between the Mohawk Warriors and the Canadian Armed Forces at Oka spread quickly, resulting in the closure of the Mercier Bridge running through Kanawake Indian Territory in Greater Montreal and a number of sympathy blockades elsewhere in the country. Hall was deeply involved in one of these actions at Long Lake Indian reserve #58, where his two sons, Sampson and Riley Nabigon, are band members. For one week in August of 1990 the people of Long Lake 58 together with Hall set up a protest camp on the CNR train yard on their reserve, asserting that the Crown’s railway corporation lacked proper land title to this plot and that the band’s interests in their traditional Aboriginal lands had never been the subject of a ceding treaty. Other bands further to the south took similar actions on the CPR mainline so that trans-Canadian railway service was entirely severed. Hall traveled from the Indian train blockades in northern Ontario to Oka Quebec where he and Bernard Abraham were afforded the status of negotiators by the Mohawk Warriors and the Canadian Armed Forces. Fortunately there was no more loss of life in the confrontation after the death of a member of Quebec’s police force in the opening episode of the conflict.

When he returned to Lethbridge to commence the academic term of 1990-1991, Hall joined forces with a group of Peigan Indians known as the Lonefighters. With a group of Lonefighter and Greenpeace activists, Hall took part in a peaceful protest directed against the illegal construction by the province of Alberta of the Oldman Irrigation Dam upriver from the Peigan reserve. Hall faced a criminal charge for the speech he delivered in this action. He was charged by the Crown of Alberta with “creating a disturbance” by allegedly speaking too loudly in a public place when he informed the museum’s visitors of the aggressive incursions of the RCMP in their efforts to shut down the Lonefighter’s dissenting resistance. The Crown of Alberta eventually stayed the charges against Hall, a prelude to the Crown of Alberta’s staying the criminal charges against itself for violating the federal Fisheries Act in constructing the Oldman Dam.

The Canadian Association of University Teachers deemed that the charges against Hall amounted to a government attempt to stifle Professor Hall’s academic freedom. By this time Hall had moved from Sudbury to join the Department of Native American Studies as Associate Professor. In the years that followed Hall helped the Assembly of First Nations with its representations to Parliament as efforts were made to revisit the constitutional file and come up with an improved version of the Meech Lake accord. This process ultimately broke down after 1992 when the Charlottetown consensus report failed to garner majority support in a national referendum. Hall also made several contributions to the work of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples set up to address some of the contentious issues that had emerged during the Indian Summer of 1990. One of Hall’s interventions appeared prominently in the Highlights pamphlet of RCAP’s recommendations.

In 1995 Hall wrote in The Globe and Mail about an Indian War at Gustafsen Lake in British Columbia. In the aftermath of this episode Hall entered into a lifelong friendship and professional collaboration with me, Splitting The Sky. In 2000 this collaboration gave rise to an expert witness report that Hall was invited to write for the court in Portand Oregon after it was charged to consider the request to extradite James Pitawanakwat back to Canada. The case of USA versus Pitawanakwat dealt with questions of whether political interference had taken place in the Canadian court proceedings where Pitawanakwat had been criminalized for taking part in the activities of the Sundance-turned-protest-camp near Gustafsen Lake. The Canadian government, which included Joint Task Force 2 in its military response to an action challenging the constitutionality of BC’s land title regime, admitted to firing 70,000 rounds of live ammunition at the self-declared Ts’peten Defenders. The Canadian government also deployed land mines. One of the casualties of the episode was the professional career of Bruce Clark who was eventually disbarred as a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada for his spirited and unorthodox tactics in defending his Indian clients.

In her ruling Judge Janice Stewart accepted much of Hall’s report wherein he argued that Canada’s political interference in Pitawanakwat’s criminalization was indeed serious enough to justify invoking the relevant passages of the Extradition Treaty between Canada and the United States. Judge Stewart overruled the US State Department that was seeking permission to extradite Pitawanakwat back to Canada because he had left the country while still on parole. To this day James Pitawanakwat continues to enjoy the same kind of asylum in the United States that Leonard Peltier was denied in similar proceedings in Canada when the Justice Department in the mid-1970s sought permission to extradite the accused man back to the United States. The effect of Judge Stewart’s historic ruling, based in large measure on her accepting the arguments of the expert witness for the defense, was to internationalize the issue of Aboriginal title in British Columbia and to call into question the means of representing Indian people in the modern-day treaty negotiations taking place in that province.

In the spring of 2001 Hall helped organized a conference in Quebec City on the relationship of Indigenous peoples throughout the Western Hemisphere to the negotiation of an extension of the NAFTA Treaty between the governments of Canada, the United States and Mexico. The proposed Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) was aimed at incorporating the governments of all 34 countries in the Western Hemisphere, excluding that of Cuba, into the legal matrix of a comprehensive commercial trade agreement. In his call for participation in the event, Hall pointed out that from the Vatican’s initial “donation” of the Western Hemisphere to the Crowns of Spain and Portugal, to, for instance, the founding of New England, New France and New Netherlands, to the Louisiana Purchase, to the Alaska Purchase, to the transfer of Hudson’s Bay Company lands to the Dominion of Canada etc. etc. etc., Indigenous peoples have consistently been excluded from efforts to redraw the geopolitical map of North, Central and South America. The efforts to institute the FTAA renewed the process that has historically excluded Indigenous peoples from taking part directly in the formulation of the highest order of international law.

The nascent National Security Section of the RCMP made an unannounced visit to Hall’s office at the University of Lethbridge to interrogate him on his role in organizing the Quebec City conference, Americana Indigenismo. Within hours questions were being asked about the incident in Canada’s Parliament. For the second time the Canadian Association of University Teachers intervened to allege that law enforcement officials had wrongfully interfered in Hall’s academic work in an effort to stifle his academic freedom. In spite of this interference Americana Indigenismo went ahead. Following the conference Hall was arrested and incarcerated for several hours in Orsainville Penitentiary. He was released without charge. Amnesty International did an investigation into Hall’s treatment by Canadian officials throughout the FTAA controversy.

In 2002 Hall was appointed as Founding Coordinator of Globalization Studies at the University of Lethbridge. This appointment was part of his efforts to expand the academic framework of his investigations. Increasingly his teaching, research and publication was devoted to looking at the encounter between Indigenous peoples and empire builders of various kinds, including the corporate empires that thrive through the agencies of globalized capitalism. Hall has used the Internet especially creatively through the incorporation of video conferences into his curriculum. In this way Hall has hosted for his students inside and outside the classroom a worldwide discussion on globalization through a primary medium of globalization. Increasingly his curriculum is devoted to issues of human rights and international law as evidenced especially in the second volume of The Bowl with One Spoon.

I have worked closely with Professor Hall in widening the picture of our shared preoccupation with the need to enforce the rule of law in the cause of international peace. This shared preoccupation led us to work closely together in the winter and spring of 2009 on organizing a peaceful protest aimed at making the point that law enforcement officials in Canada had a legal duty to arrest former US President George W. Bush when he delivered a speech in Calgary Alberta on March 17. I made sure that Hall’s main article on the subject, “Should George W. Bush Be Arrested in Calgary Alberta and Charged with International Crimes,” was part of the court evidence we brought forward when I faced a criminal charge for my attempt to conduct a citizen’s arrest of the former US Commander In Chief. Throughout this action I spoke frequently to Professor Hall’s students in Lethbridge. Hall’s graduate student, Joshua Blakeney, made a documentary published as a series of You Tubes about our intervention to have George W. Bush charged as a credibly accused war criminal. One of our shared motivations in taking this collective action with other activists in southern Alberta was based on our views concerning the unanswered questions of what did or did not happen in the shocking episode used to justify the 9/11 Wars.

Many important movers and shakers joined us in Calgary to help us publicize our contentions that the rule of law is not being respected when it comes to addressing the highest order of international crime. One such individual is Cynthia McKinney, a former US Congresswoman representing a riding in Georgia. Another is my long-time lawyer, Ramsay Clark, the international jurist that I credit with saving my life by getting me out of jail after doing 16 years as the sole individual charged in the Attica debacle of 1971. We appreciate the role of the Consortium for Peace Studies at the University of Calgary for hosting events in which we were able to present the facts of my case together with the opinions of our learned visitors to Albertan audiences. Both these events were recorded by Joshua Blakeney who has documented their contents in multiple You Tubes produced with the help of Hall’s unit, Globalization Studies.

AIM West Report Feb 2011

AIM West: Local and global strugges, February 9, 2011

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Internet's New Highway: Writing for free takes a detour

Internet's New Highway: Writing for free takes a detour
Writing for free on the Internet, new copyright lawsuits, and the Wikileaks saga chart a new course for Internet news
By Brenda Norrell
Censored News

Just when you thought you knew your way around the Internet, everything changes. This includes three areas: Who you can trust, the danger of ignoring copyrights and giving your carefully-penned word songs away for free, for the sake of the cause, any cause.

Although Wikileaks claims most headlines these days, the sale of Huffington Post, made popular by writers working without pay, and new copyright lawsuits for posting news stories on blogs without permission, are important developments for writers, bloggers and everyone on the web.

Writing for free quickly became known this week as the way to get duped by big business on the Internet. The Huffington Post began as a sort of ragtag news site. AOL is purchasing Huffington Post for the inflated price of $315 million, without compensation to the writers. The writers who have been posting there, working there for free, quickly began removing their posts.

Ethically, and legally, the question remains: Can the Huffington Post sell the contents of the website since the articles remain the property of the writers?

Meanwhile, new lawsuits are being filed by several major newspapers against bloggers who post news articles and graphics without permission. The lawsuits include small time bloggers without funding, non-profits and even the people interviewed in the same articles, if they posted any amount of content, or a graphic, without permission.

One striking difference in these lawsuits is this: There is no take-down notice, no warning to remove the content. Bloggers are paying between $2,000 and $5,000 to settle out of court.

This round of lawsuits is viewed as the demon itself. However, in the end, it may work for writers and photographers whose content has been stolen and is now being used for advertising without permission. It could also benefit writers and photographers, whose work is being used without compensation, by major news outlets for profit.

There is another shady area of emerging web journalism.

In the age of Internet news, there is a grey area of plagiarism. Here's how it works. Armchair journalists extract info from the web and rewrite it. If desperate they make a phone call, or just rewrite a written document. They use the photo of someone who was actually present, who gives it up for the cause. The armchair journalist turns out this story in less than an hour and smiles all the way to the bank. It is not journalism, it is exploitation.

Meanwhile, the writers and photographers whose work the armchair journalists are profiteering from receive no payment. These articles appear with the byline of an armchair journalist, or simply say "Staff Report." ("Staff Report" usually means that the editor did the profiteering from others work.) The way to expose the writers, and editors, is to write or call, and ask them if the reporter was actually there, present, to cover the news story. Especially when there are victims involved, it seems important to prevent writers and editors from cashing in for profit, with no real attempt to be present, find out the facts and talk with the family.

In earlier times, articles and photos on the web were considered there for the taking. This is no longer the case. But what is troubling about the new developments is that a chosen few are the recipients of million-dollar sales, as with the case of Huffington Post, while writers are making less than ever.

Photographers, too, now have to constantly track their photos to ensure those are not being used without permission on websites set up purely for advertising purposes. One of the new gimmicks is for people to set up websites with Google ads and use articles and photos without permission to attract hits. It takes vigilance to halt this when one's work is being exploited.

Not all the news is bad. The ever-changing technology of the web came to the rescue last week, when Google invented Speak2Tweet, as Egypt attempted to cut off Internet access. It was created to provide, free of charge, a way to post voice messages, tweets, to the world.

Of course the big news is Wikileaks. The parameters for whistleblowers and how the media deals with news leaks, along with the definition of what can be prosecuted, are all being redefined. Although the knee-jerk reaction is to blame the messenger, in the end, those who have been benefiting from deception, those who have carried out their crimes with impunity, will be held responsible.

Sometimes, it is a matter of time. Former President George Bush is now wanted for war crimes based on his admission of torture in his new book. A new indictment is waiting for him and led to Bush canceling a trip to Switzerland.

The world, and the Internet, are changing at a fast pace. The news makers writing for free, along with the corporate profiteers and the old guard politicians, are all players, setting the foundation for the future of news, and perhaps for the future of mankind.

Brenda Norrell has been a reporter in Indian country for 28 years, writing for American Indian newspapers and mainstream news. She is publisher of Censored News, which has no advertising.

Quigley: Swiss Miss Bush: GWB Ducks Geneva Criminal Torture Charges
Al Giordano, creator of Narco News,
Why I Removed My Journalism from Huffington Post:

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Roberto Rodriguez: How far can Arizona secede?

How far can Arizona secede?
The state's racist campaign against Mexican Americans' and indigenous peoples' rights will make it an international pariah
Roberto Cintli Rodriguez, Tuesday 8 February 2011 18.30 GMT

Published with author's permission
Ningun ser humano es illegal – nigun libro es illegal. No human being is illegal – no book is illegal.

This succinctly defines the human rights situation in Arizona. Arizona is a place where conservative state lawmakers do not appear to know the meaning of: "inalienable rights" – seemingly hellbent on revoking not just the 20th, but also, the 19th centuries. They seem to believe that if a majority of them agree to anything – including the taking away of peoples' basic human rights – that their votes, along with their governor's signature, constitutes a law.

Those opposed to their concocted laws have turned to US courts for relief. And now, as state legislators continue on their seeming path to secede from the Union, the opposition is now also examining international courts and forums for possible relief. Also being explored is the possible use of the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo in this dispute. This treaty ended the war between the United States and Mexico, with the Mexican nation ceding, under threat of force, half its territory. Ironically, it is also a treaty that purportedly safeguards the rights of Mexicans living in what is today the United States.

This path of examining the treaty and international law has been triggered by the states new racial profiling SB 1070 and the anti-ethnic studies HB 2281 "laws". Same with new proposed laws: HB 2382/SB 1097 – which would, in effect, force children to identify the legal status of their parents; and HB 2561/SB 1308 and HB 2562/SB1309, which would deny birthright citizenship to children and that would nullify the 14th amendment to the US constitution.

The stagecoach has, apparently, yet to arrive in Phoenix with the memo that informs Arizonans that all human beings are born with rights, as opposed to being granted them by governments, and that no government (local, state or federal) can take them away. That's the meaning of inalienable.

Actually, the stagecoach finally appears to have arrived this year because the state legislature, in a tragicomic manner, is now attempting to cover its behind. First, a proposed Arizona law, SCR 1010 (pdf), calls for Arizona to be exempt from international law. Now, Arizona legislators are proposing yet another law, SB 1443; it would enable the state legislature to ignore federal law – that is, to ignore the "supremacy clause" of the US constitution.

But Arizona politicians, beware. The community of nations anticipated such behaviour from rogue governments; through the years, the United Nations has created and developed treaties and conventions that protect the rights of all human beings. So has the Organisation of American States.

Aside from all the rogue gun laws, much of the hate legislation that has been advanced in the state legislature, with the governor's signature, has focused on one particular group: Mexicans/migrants/indigenous peoples. Most of these pieces of legislation appear to be in clear violation of virtually all international human rights treaties and conventions. The operative word is "appear" – as legal research has now begun to examine the feasibility of bringing a court case or cases on this question before the OAS and/or the UN.

This could conceivably result in the opening-up of a second legal front. Both SB 1070 and HB 2281 have already been challenged in court, with good prospects of them eventually being ruled unconstitutional. The HB 2281 case involves a lawsuit by 11 educators against the state, charging that their ability to teach Mexican American studies, which was declared out of compliance on 3 January, has been hampered due to discriminatory treatment by the state. The Tucson Unified School District (TUSD) has until 18 April to comply (with the order to eliminate Mexican American studies). The legal theory for a second legal front (with regard to HB 2281) would involve the fact that virtually all international human rights treaties and conventions protect the right of all peoples to their history, culture, language and education.

Amid these legislative assaults, in perhaps an ironic twist of history, the actual Treaty of Guadalupe is currently on display at the Arizona State Museum in Tucson, offering a stark reminder that all treaties are alive, including this one. Without revealing legal strategy, perhaps at no time has the time been riper than now, to put forth a test case involving this treaty. One element of such a challenge (or related challenges) would involve whether in fact Mexican Americans continue to be protected by this treaty and whether, in fact, Mexican Americans also constitute indigenous peoples.

Tupak Enrique Acosta, a co-founder of Tonatierra in Phoenix, an organisation dedicated to fighting for the rights of indigenous peoples, said he welcomes such a development. To those who would challenge the indigeneity of Mexican Americans (Chicanas/Chicanos), he says: "Bring it on."

Yet, whether this second legal front, in fact, includes the treaty or not, what the overall moral challenge involves is something even simpler: the right of all peoples to be treated as full human beings and the right to an uncensored education.

Rodriguez, a professor at the Universit5y of Arizona, can be reached at:



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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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