Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Power to the Peoples!


If your town didn't celebrate Indigenous Peoples' Day this week, here are some resources to help you establish it in your area:

https://www.zinnedproject.org/campaigns/abolish-columbus-day

Related Stories:

Free Indigenous Prisoner Leonard Peltier!

https://therealnews.com/free-indigenous-political-prisoner-leonard-peltier 

Indigenous Led Alliance Moves to Stop Bolsonaro's Ecocidal Destruction of the Amazon

https://therealnews.com/indigenous-led-alliance-moves-to-stop-bolsonaros-ecocidal-destruction-of-the-amazon

Indigenous Coalition Tells Biden Communities Need Clean Water and Climate Action

https://truthout.org/articles/indigenous-coalition-tells-biden-communities-need-clean-water-and-climate-action/

The US Has Used Conservatorships to Exploit Indigenous Peoples

https://truthout.org/articles/the-us-has-used-conservatorships-to-exploit-indigenous-peoples/

https://scheerpost.com/2021/10/11/happy-indigenous-peoples-day-from-those-who-made-it-possible/

More information on IPD below this week's article. Power to all Indigenous Peoples!

***

October 15th is the day for a #General Strike

https://octoberstrike.com/

A Week in View

by Coast Watcher

In Alabama over a thousand mine workers have been on strike for over over two hundred days, demanding higher pay and benefits. Nabisco workers recently won their strike after closing all the company’s plants in the US. Kellogg's workers are out on strike over pensions, healthcare and more. Hollywood is grinding to a stop over the IATSE strike. All the above labor disputes were voted for by over 98% of the workers concerned. Next Saturday will see a national general strike.

Things are turning at last. We are seeing a seismic shift in public attitudes toward the corporate world, with its pathetic wage structure, benefit cuts, ever demanding work hours and atrocious working conditions. The public is finally becoming aware that too many people are now finding they have to spend more money to work than they actually make in wages and salary.

The current COVID-19 situation is analogous to that pertaining during and after the Black Death of the fourteenth century. Europe’s population dropped by between 30-40%, leading to a chronic shortage of labor. The feudal system, which depended heavily on forcing workers to live and labor all their lives on land owned by the lord of the manor, suddenly faced a surviving population empowered by this shortage of labor and the lack of any effective means of coercing the people to work. 

That’s not to say things will be easy in our modern world. A steady increase in store prices began not long after COVID shut down the economy for several months. The capitalists saw far enough ahead to realize the threat their cozy system faced, and they’re trying to force people back to work through raising prices across the board. All we have to do is stay the course. Without labor, the rich will not get richer. Now is the time to pile on the pressure and force through real change for the better for the 99%. Strike!

BIO: Coast Watcher says it's time to strike while the iron's hot. The workers have been burnt  and the capitalists and their politician puppets have been throwing our human rights into the fire
for far too long. Organize your place of work if you're not represented by a union. Don't cross picket lines. Support those workers who are on the picket lines with food, water, money, and your gratitude for their courage. Power to the people!

 

Tired of working for the man? You can find a Workers' Co-operative in your area:

https://www.usworker.coop/directory/

 ***

Important Stories You Might Not Have Heard Anything About In The Mainstream Media This Week:

The Science of Propaganda is Still Being Developed and Advanced https://soundcloud.com/going_rogue/the-science-of-propaganda-is-still-being-developed-and-advanced

Julian Assange: Silence in the Face of CIA Murder Plots https://progressivehub.net/julian-assange-silence-in-the-face-of-cia-murder-plots/

 Assange and Donzinger Attacked (video) https://www.portable.tv/series/redactedtonight?v=86fddabd-b3a0-440c-8970-e9f45f48c2c8 

***

 

Osiyo,

Today — Indigenous Peoples Day (IPD) — marks the highlight of the Indigenous year. I hope you will join us as we gather to celebrate, heal, and re-Indigenize. This long weekend represents a reprieve from trauma, sadness, and grief as we travel with good hearts to see close family and distant relatives, celebrate together, and share our cultures. 

As you likely know, many places do not yet celebrate with us. They’re still celebrating Columbus Day, perpetuating the myth that Christopher Columbus discovered so-called America. Columbus arrived on October 12, 1492 on Taino homelands. This first voyage was a reconnaissance mission wherein he later established La Navidad in present-day Haiti — America’s first colony. The following fall, he returned with an invasion force of 17 ships and 1,500 soldiers. He found La Navidad destroyed by Taino People, who had retaliated against rapes and murders carried out by the Spaniards.

TED TalkWatch: Giniw Collective’s Tara Houska talks about the journey of Indigenous Peoples of these lands historically until the present day.

European weapons (like cannons and muskets), armour, horses, and dogs soon overwhelmed the Indigenous warriors, who were armed only with clubs and spears. Celebrating Columbus, therefore, condones genocide and colonization. Many think of these issues as only existing in the past. But these systems, set in motion hundreds of years ago by Columbus and other conquistadores, continue. All Taino homelands, from Puerto Rico to the Bahamas, remain colonized today — many by the United States. 

To combat the Columbus-as-hero narrative, we’re working to replace Columbus Day with IPD everywhere. Our hope is that more people like you will come together with us, as Indigenous People focus throughout the long weekend on empowerment through solidarity and sharing pathways to action. 

Watch Tara Houska’s Ted Talk. As our skilled Anishinaabe relative points out, many of these struggles are deeply rooted in trauma. But today is about sharing successes within our sustained resistance to colonization. We see ourselves in the faces of our relatives while they reflect on Indigenous sovereignty, land and water rights, education, economic development, language preservation and promotion, and religious freedom. 

Our celebrations feature Indigenous poets, musicians, artists, singers, leaders, and performers from across Turtle Island, who offer their gifts. Everyone who attends an event can actively participate in round dancing and be uplifted by traditional prayers. The overwhelming feelings of celebration and open-heartedness are palpable. This is the chance for settlers and non-Natives to catch us in our most generous mindset. As we come together across nations to actively decolonize and re-Indigenize our communities and share our gifts, I hope you will join a celebration in your area.

Wado — thank you for your ongoing solidarity with our Indigenous nations.
Sarah Rose Harper
Social Media Coordinator
The Lakota People’s Law Project

***

 From Hip Hop Caucus:

Christopher Columbus didn’t just commit genocide against Indigenous people. He also set the precedent of cruelty and massacre which would haunt the American continents for hundreds of years; a precedent that is still active in the present brutality against Indigenous and Black communities.

Ceasing to honor a genocidal maniac won’t bring back the millions of lives lost to white supremacy and violent imperialism- but it will, at the very least, stop giving that maniac state sanctioned respect.

Write your representatives, and tell them that it is time to stop honoring a murderous criminal, and begin uplifting the beautiful contributions Indigenous communities make every single day.

President Biden, this year, has finally acknowledged the holiday which we should never have had to fight for. It’s time to go a step further, and ensure that this holiday is a permanent federal holiday- and that Columbus day is not one.

Tearing down statues and removing inappropriate holidays may seem small to some.

But we know it’s the difference between a society which gleefully uplifts murder, and one which is actively attempting to heal.

For Future Generations,

Rev Yearwood
President & CEO
Hip Hop Caucus

 ***






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Take Action Logo

Stand Up for BIPOC Facing Climate Change

Stand Up for Minorities Facing Climate Change
Goal: 50,000


Did you know that approximately 74 million people of color live in counties with at least one failing grade for ozone pollution? While climate change is a global issue, centuries of oppression mean that Black people, Indigenous people and people of color (BIPOC) face the brunt of it.

 

In local terms, this oppression manifests as redlining, residential restrictions and unfair zoning laws. Globally, it comes through as economic and environmental discrimination. In the U.S., minority populations are more likely to live near toxic facilities and polluted areas than White communities. Despite making up 13% of the population, minorities in the U.S. are 38% more likely to be exposed to nitrogen oxide, a pollutant from cars, construction equipment and industrial operations.

 

Climate change isn’t going away soon, for any of us. But as fires, floods and pollution continue to get worse, the numbers show that the playing field isn’t level for BIPOC. Sign our petition today and tell the EPA to enact legislation that limits emissions in minority communities.

Sign Today

 

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

There and Back Again: A Pandemic Journey

 


There and Back Again: A Pandemic Journey

by C. A. Matthews

There is another world beyond the county line.

It has been two years since we dared set foot outside of our immediate vicinity due to COVID-19 concerns and lack of funds. Finally, we broke down and realized how much we needed a change of scenery. That, and we also had to admit how much we missed seeing friends we enjoy chatting with at an annual convention we've attended for years  in a nearby state. (It was cancelled in 2020 for obvious reasons.) Once we acknowledged our unaddressed needs, we made plans to go on a road trip.

Or at least we attempted to. Our plans required fine-tuning. It's amazing how out of practice one can get, particularly after two years of staying put. We felt physically and psychologically out of sorts and even a bit fearful. Not that there's anything to worry about when there's a worldwide pandemic going on, is there?

We hit the road a half hour later than planned. (That's a record for us. We usually start out an hour or more late.) The journey proceeded smoothly until we got closer to the state line. There I began to notice a disturbing trend:

Where the hell did all these semi-trucks and double trailers come from? Sure, it's a highway, but why is 80-90% of the vehicular traffic we're seeing commercial rigs--many owned by uber-billionaire Jeff Bezos? What's happened to all the "regular people"?

Oh, yeah. There's a pandemic going on. People who are sensible have curtailed their travels. Most are cash-strapped. Only the wealthy "golden bubble" dwellers can travel without fear because they can buy out whole hotel floors and rent entire campgrounds. Those who state they're not afraid of a "pretend virus" because it's part of a "liberal conspiracy" don't stay at home. This mainstream media viewpoint was reinforced when we stopped at a rural gas station for a comfort break. We couldn't find the restrooms and were about to ask the clerk when I spotted the hand-scrawled sign in the window: Trump flags available--$19.99 plus tax. 

We couldn't get out of there fast enough.

Onward we traveled, experiencing some minor discomforts due to road conditions, weather, and endless construction zones. We've now decided to modify the state slogan of Indiana to The Construction Crossroads of America. It's more accurate. Folks will thank us.

Coming to a standstill twice on the interstate due to construction, and  possibly an accident caused by said construction, caused us to lose an hour. (Funny, we saw plenty of orange barrels but mostly invisible construction workers. The barrels must do the actual roadwork?) However, when we crossed a time zone line we magically gained the wasted hour back. Hurrah! Travel can be like that at times.

Brief stops at rest areas revealed that those of us wearing masks in public are in the minority in Middle America. A lady came up to me in the parking lot of a large interstate highway rest area and said she noticed our masks and wondered if we were vaccinated. I said yes, and she said she was vaccinated too, but she had suffered through two bouts of COVID-19 already, as she worked as a nurse. We commiserated about how not everyone was taking the virus seriously.

This says a lot about us as a people, doesn't it?

We arrived at our convention hotel and were relieved to see that the state of Illinois doesn't mess around when it comes to COVID-19 precautions. Masks must be worn by all persons age 2 and older inside buildings open to the public. Our fellow conventioneers complied with the regulations without fail. Another plus was that at registration all attendees had to offer proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test taken within the past 72 hours. It gave us a feeling of security that others actually cared about their neighbors' health and were willing to be slightly inconvenienced by wearing a mask in public for three days.

Not that wearing a mask doesn't have its downside when attempting to verbally communicate with your fellow humans...  It was often difficult to impossible to hear what panelists and questioners were saying through layers of cloth or paper. But no one complained or insisted their "rights" were being abridged. We simply asked folks to repeat their comments, laughed at any unintentional misunderstandings, and continued the conversation. (And the variety of the novelty masks worn was phenomenal! I've definitely got to order myself some. Maybe the Joker's mouth one or the vampire fangs. Or both.)

The high point of the weekend for us was seeing friends we hadn't seen in 3-D in two years. The lowest point was not seeing a lot of friends because they couldn't attend the convention for whatever reason. Attendance was way, way down--by about 50% when compared to the previous 2019 convention. The traditional big group activities had been cancelled  due to COVID precautions. These events are usually huge draws, and it explained some of the regulars missing in action. Is the state Illinois being too restrictive in keeping hundreds from sitting or standing in close proximity to each other for a few hours in an enclosed area? Or was this a decision of our convention planners to forego these crowded activities in order to prevent a super spreader event from occurring that could bring about the demise of our annual get-together? We don't know.

We were sad to leave and head home, but it was also a relief. Getting out of our rut and venturing forth into the pandemic-riddled world took courage and effort on our parts--especially on the drive home through a climate change-fueled monsoon-like thunderstorm. We felt exhausted when we pulled into our driveway. We hadn't been sure we were up to the trip, but now that we've done it… Will we do it again?

It remains to be seen. Delta variant case numbers are on the rise, and our bank account balance is plunging in the opposite direction. Until both crises are met and vanquished, you'll be finding us at home, wearing our masks, scraping to get by.

 ***

Check out Lee's latest story on the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. See what they're really up to in Africa and why Bill Gates owns the most farmland in the US today. (We're still in the dark about why Bill liked to hang out with child rapist Jeffrey Epstein, however.  Creepy.)

   https://www.portable.tv/series/redactedtonight  and

https://scheerpost.com/2021/10/04/lee-camp-exposes-bill-gates-and-the-hidden-side-of-his-capitalist-projects/

***


CODEPINK.ORG

Right now, as the U.S. escalates its war on China, the U.S. military is actively violating the human rights of Indigenous peoples in Guam, Hawai’i, the Marianas, Okinawa, and other pristine islands in the Asia-Pacific. The U.S.’s militarization of these regions is causing mass environmental devastation of sacred ancestral coral reefs and carbon-sequestering forests, while oppressing and harming Indigenous Pacific Islanders through military exercises and accidents, military crime, and the poisoning of drinking water. All of these issues can be traced back to the bloated pentagon budget. It is more evident than ever that the military and fossil fuel industry cannot be trusted with billions of tax-payer dollars each year. We must #CutThePentagon to save the planet!

From Minnesota to Okinawa, the people, planet, peace and our future are under attack! The U.S. military is the largest consumer of fossil fuels, and we must demand an end to its pollution and displacement of Indigenous, Black, brown and low-income people around the world. Tell the Biden administration to stop building the environmentally destructive Marine base in Henoko, Okinawa against the will of the Indigenous Luchuan (Okinawan) people#WarIsNotGreen

Water and land protectors are once again leading the charge against the fossil fuel industry, join with us and our #CutThePentagon message in the streets of DC. From October 11-15th, frontline leaders are calling for a mass mobilization in DC to ask Biden: will it be People or Fossil Fuels? CODEPINK will host a demonstration Wednesday, October 13th - sign up to act with us, and join our affinity group here. We would love to see you for one, two or more days during this important week of action! 

Contact Olivia - olivia@codepink.org - if you have any questions! 

Onward to Peace & Justice,

The CODEPINK Team

P.S. Make sure you’re ready for Cut The Pentagon events in your town with the proper CODEPINK gear! Get your masks, tees and accessories to make the message stand out! SHOP HERE!

P.P.S. CODEPINK is co-sponsoring the free, virtual War on Terror Film Festival for the month of October - view the schedule and featured films here!


 

Tell the Biden Administration and Congressional Democrats:

"We need decisive action on immigration. We urge you to eliminate ICE and detention centers and criminally charge those committing human rights violations at our border and detention centers; end Title 42; end deportations; and finally develop a pathway to citizenship for ALL, including Dreamers, farmworkers, and essential workers."

Did you know the Biden administration is still defending the Trump-era use of Title 42 to hold up asylum-seekers on public health grounds, a practice that has directly led to a backlog of more than 400,000 asylum applications?

Title 42 is what is being used as a rationale to deport Haitian refugees, despite tremendous political unrest and a devastating earthquake in their country of origin. That is unacceptable!

We suffered through four years of xenophobic, racist immigration policies under the Trump administration. These policies must end.

Join CHN and our coalition of national partners in demanding the Biden administration and Democrats in Congress provide permanent immigration protections and relief this year!

ADD YOUR NAME

This week, the Senate parliamentarian again rejected Democrats' plan for including immigration reform in the Build Back Better reconciliation package, handing us another setback.1 Together, we have to ensure Democrats use every tool at their disposal to pass critical immigration protections this year.

We have a responsibility to migrants, refugees, and frontline workers to hold lawmakers to the commitments they made on the campaign trail. Sign if you agree! Dignity, respect, and nothing less! Tell Congress and President Biden they must pass permanent immigration protection and relief this year.

Thank you for all you do to demand accountability from our elected leaders and to fight for the needs of working families, the vulnerable, the sick and the poor.

Deborah Weinstein
Executive Director, Coalition on Human Needs

1 https://thehill.com/homenews/senate/574534-senate-parliamentarian-rules-out-democrats-immigration-plan-b?rl=1

*** 

From Faithful America:

During his campaign, President Biden promised that his immigration policies would represent a clear break from the white-supremacist regime of his predecessor, who banned Muslims and refugees, demonized Spanish-speaking peoples, and mocked "s***hole countries."

Sadly, this is one promise Biden hasn't kept yet. Viral images of Border Patrol agents on horseback violently rounding up Haitian asylum-seekers tell a very different tale of how our country still treats our neighbors in need.

President Biden is demanding that courts give him the right to keep using Title 42 -- a provision originally intended to protect public health -- as a legal excuse to lock down the border and turn away Haitian nationals and others in need before they can even apply for asylum, just like Donald Trump did.

Americans have been shocked and horrified by the new administration's escalation of Haitian deportations, and by the inhumane treatment of Black asylum-seekers by the Border Patrol. Earlier this week, 177 diverse faith organizations -- including Faithful America -- released a letter demanding the Biden administration stop the deportations.

Let's send the administration 10,000 signatures to show them these faith groups are speaking for a nationwide movement that supports Black immigrants and refugees.

Add your name: Ask President Biden to keep his promises, welcome Haitians in need, and finally end Trump's cruel Title 42 policies.

The people of Haiti have been through so much in recent years. Earthquakes, tropical storms, landslides, and political turmoil have devastated the country. These children of God have turned to Americans for refuge, safety, and hope -- making it even more immoral to force them to return to such violent and unsafe conditions.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ teaches us to welcome strangers with open hearts, and to never turn away those who are seeking help and safety. President Biden's Catholic Church has been particularly strong on immigration -- more than 160 Catholic organizations have called for the end of Title 42.

As Mary J. Novak, Executive Director of NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice, said, Biden's continued abuse of the Trump-era policy is "a violation of the human dignity of immigrants and asylum-seekers. We cannot allow the continuation of this xenophobic order, which puts asylum-seekers in harm's way. We call President Biden to honor the call to love our neighbor and end the misuse of Title 42 completely."

In this spirit, let's raise our voices together and urge President Biden to take immediate action to stop the misuse of Title 42 and welcome all those who have fled Haiti.

Tell President Biden: No more Title 42 expulsions. Restore asylum protections now >>

Thank you for everything you do to love your neighbor and welcome the strangers in our midst.

In peace,
- Karli, Rev. Nathan, and the Faithful America team