Deferred (In)Action: Where’s the solidarity with indigenous people facing militarization?

From Alex Soto, 

Komkch’ed e Wah ‘osithk (Sells) 

Tohono O’odham Nation

attacktherootnoteachotheroodham

Reposted from the O’odham Solidarity Across Borders Collective.

To all those unaware of the fine print of Obama’s immigration plan:

First and foremost, it will direct more resources to border security. Meaning…further militarization of Indigenous communities who are divided by the so-called border, such as my home community of the Tohono O’odham Nation. Our O’odham him’dag (way of life) will once again be attacked by settler border politics, as it was in 1848 and 1852 when the so-called border was illegally imposed. Attacked like we were in 1994 when the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was enacted. These borderland policies are being devised and implemented without any settler consciousness to the Indigenous peoples who will be most negatively impacted by such policies. The Indigenous nations who pre-date so called Mexico and the United Snakkkes end up almost voiceless.

Basically Obama’s 2014 Immigration plan = border militarization = 21st century colonization.

So in light of Obama’s latest immigration plan, I’m writing this to say “DON’T BELIEVE THE HYPE”. The plan is anti-Indigenous and anti-Migrant. Please look at the bigger picture (NAFTA). Please see the trade off. Please see the state’s 2014 divide and conquer tactics.
Then ask yourself, what does an anti-colonial migrant/Indigenous response to this all look like? What does a world without NAFTA borders look like? What does collective liberation look like in O’odham lands? Lipan Apache Lands? Yoeme Lands? Kickapoo Lands? Indigenous homelands which are now in the so-called border region?

Where’s the solidarity with Indigenous people facing militarization?

I recognize this is a complex issue. I do not want fellow Indigenous migrants coming from the southern hemisphere to be criminalized by racist laws. I do not want families to be separated, loved ones to be deported, or for them to ever have to walk the hot desert in the first place, just to have a “chance” in this neo-liberal, NAFTA world we are forced to slave in. But at the same time, I do not want my homeland to be a police state. I do not want our ceremonies to be disrupted. I do not want our jewed (land) destroyed by border security apparatus. I do not want our sky to be polluted by more Border Patrol helicopters, cameras placed atop rotating cranes as tall as skyscrapers, or drones. I do not want freedom of movement for O’odham to be granted only to the holders of bio-metric colonial passports. I do not want CANAMEX/NAFTA corridors scarring our lands with freeways (Loop 202/Interstate 11). Ultimately I do not want, in the words of my late grandfather, who saw the Berlin Wall with his own eyes while being stationed in Germany, “an O’odham Berlin Wall” built at the border.

These are just a few thoughts I have at this time. Overall I maintain my hopes we can all get our shit together. We just have to weather the neo-colonial, mainstream migrant rights industrial complex funded by the creator knows who (but is worth a longer analysis), Dream ACTors and at the same time, we also have to weather the settler state, while empowering our own community. Either way, we got this… because we have to.

#ourdreamisyournightmare

#attacktheROOTnotEACHOTHER

#OodhamRiseUP

#eeewhatBorder

#browningofamerikkka

#akathebrowningofwhite supremacy

#smash21stcenturyColonialism

#eeewhatReform

#dontbelievethehype

#sayingtheshitthatyoucantsay

For additional resources please check:

http://www.indigenousaction.org/comprehensive-immigration-reform-is-anti-immigrant-anti-indigenous/

http://oodhamsolidarity.blogspot.com/2010/04/movement-demands-autonomy-oodham.html

http://inaborderworld.org/2014/03/13/colonization_immigrant_rights/http://survivalsolidarity.files.wordpress.com/2011/02/a-call-to-action-pdf1.pdf

http://stopcanamex.blogspot.com/

Impoundments & Potential Evictions of the Sovereign Dineh Nation

DinehUpdateNovemberIn the last three weeks, the harassment and surveillance of communities resisting forced relocation on the Sovereign Dineh Nation (so-called Hopi Partitioned Lands) has escalated. There have been the largest-scale impoundments since the late ‘90s, and BIA agents charged one community member with trespassing, which could lead to an attempt to evict. Impacted families are requesting long term support in the form of human rights observers over the fall and winter. Be prepared for a call to action against the Department of Interior and Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Community members are organizing for unity, justice, and protection of traditional lifeways, livestock, and continued existence on their ancestral homelands. Community member, Gerald Blackrock, wants to ensure the solidarity networks and outside world understand, “This is not about a conflict between Dineh and Hopi people. This is a conflict between people and government and what is happening is coming down from the U.S. government. ” It is important to remember that these impoundments and threats of evictions are directly related to resource colonialism. As we speak, Peabody is attempting to expand the mines on Black Mesa. [Read more here.] The resistance communities who are being targeted for impoundments are and have been the direct blockade against mine expansion.

Update on Impoundments and Potential Evictions

“I disapprove of the impoundments. They really affect the elderly. Ever since I was a baby I was carried on a horse to herd sheep. I have herded all my life and I am in my eighties. You have the livestock in your heart, and they want to take that away.”–Jack Woody, Black Mesa Elder 10/25/14

“We are a people of the land. We grow our own food, raise our own livestock, and tend to the area around us. In order to do this we have to have the basics of food, water, and shelter. Due to certain laws, water, food, and shelter have all been restricted to us. It started in 1974 with the federal relocation policy–known as Public Law 93-531–which has forced thousands of Dine’ (Navajo) people from their ancestral land. This was the beginning and has not stopped.

Right now our sheep are being impounded and we are living in a state of fear. In the span of two weeks, three families have had over 300 sheep impounded (even at gunpoint) by heavily armed Hopi Rangers and BIA agents. Elders fear they are next everyday, and do what they must to stop the theft of their sheep. Will our livelihood, our life, be taken from us with the next hour? Day? Week? Support is needed. Whether it be coming out and doing direct action, or even just spreading the word and writing what will hopefully be thousands of letters to the US and Navajo Governments.”–Selest Manning, granddaughter of relocation resisters on so-called “Hopi Partitioned Lands”

During the impoundment of elder Caroline Tohannie’s sheep, she was made to sign a document identifying herself as a trespasser. Caroline will have to go to court to face the charges. If found guilty of trespassing at her own home, Caroline was told she will be given a 90 day notice for eviction. This is what the Director of the Hopi Tribe’s Natural Resources Department, Clayton Honyumptewa had to say about the impoundments and trespassing charge:

“So now we’re at this stage where there is no other recourse but to evict you guys [those living on the so-called Hopi Partitioned Lands who have not signed the Accommodation Agreement]… So finally I guess from central office they said we got to start doing something about this issue. And this was just this past year, we got directions from Washington, Washington D.C.”–Clayton Honyumptewa, director of the Hopi Tribe’s Natural Resources Department, 10/22/14

Ongoing Calls for Support

Please consider coming out to stay with a family who could be impacted by impoundments or evictions. We will try and keep you informed of the most urgent times for support, but there is a need for supporters and human rights observers throughout the fall and winter, so if you are able to plan ahead for a stay in the coming months, please do so. Continued presence of on-land human rights observers is the most direct way for people to support these families. The stress of impoundments and potential evictions continue to take a heavy toll on residents. “It is reassuring to us when supporters are here.”–Glenna Begay, Black Mesa Elder 11/1/14

Read the entire article and learn how to donate and support in other ways: here.

Go here to watch a video memorializing Dineh (Navajo) Matriarch and Elder, Ida Mae Clinton, from Star Mountain Arizona. (In Dineh with English Subtitles). She sends this message in a call for support and assistance as these traditional land-based Dineh make Their Final Stand against coal mining, climate change and colonization.

Escuelita Students Report Back in Oakland

Mural in an Oventic school

Mural in an Oventic school

Several folks living in the Bay Area, California, attended the Zapatista Escuelita, or Little School. Below is a report back given at Oakland’s Qilombo community center by the students. The students talked about some of their experiences from spending time in the caracoles, what they shared while they were in Chiapas and how the journey has shaped their ideas and efforts in building autonomy in the Bay Area.

Though the Little School was in December, the students deliberately waited several months to report back–in order to take time to reflect on their journey.

A brief history of Zapatismo is given at the beginning of the presentation and the QnA session at the end is included in this recording.

For more information, read the latest Zapatista communique here (in English here) and news regarding Galeano’s murder here.