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.

Documentary: Freedom Babies


This documentary follows Kanahus over the course of a year as she raises her babies decolonized and free from the restrictions of the Canadian government. Kanahus and her father, Arthur Manuel, reminisce about the plight they have faced against the Canadian government in their effort to fight against colonization by encouraging Indigenous people to live free. She leads by example by living traditionally according to her First Nations culture, living off the land and in an underground earth pit house. Kanahus and Guateberi raise their four children in a warrior school that teaches the traditional values of respect for the land and taking care of the people. Kanahus, defies the laws that oppress and colonize her people by not registering her four children with the Canadian government. She’s been imprisoned and beaten, the police have broken into and ransacked her home without a search warrant, but she is as determined as the day she began this journey thirteen years ago. She educates her children decolonized as Freedom Babies.

Freedom Babies trailer 2 from Doreen Manuel on Vimeo.

For more info, visit the Freedom Babies website here.

Sunday: Local 2 Global Decolonial Cypher(s)


Sunday Oct. 12, 2014. Doors Open 6pm

2313 San Pablo Ave
Oakland CA 94612

Os Qilombo Hip Hop Cypher Series Kickoff!

Honoring Mare Avertencia Lirika

from Oaxaca to Oakland, Kickin’ off local 2 global decolonial Hip Hop Struggle

joinin’ us on the Mic Chhoti Maa, Alas!, McKSwift, Poesia, Hannibal, Audiomatic aka Shango accompanied by Richelle Scales on Keys (Listen Below)

***Freestyle Cypher(s) throughout the night***
Hip Hop, Music, Food

$5-20 suggested donation ****proceeds maintain the space n creative resistance

More info on Facebook and on the Qilombo website.

Mic Chhoti Maa



Click here to hear Audiomatic aka Shango.

Interview On Being a Chicano Intellectual: Sisyphus and the Fucking Boulder

Dr. Rudy Acuña

Dr. Rudy Acuña

Originally Posted in Notes from Aztlán

I just got back from Denver. So this week I am posting a copy of an interview that was taken last week. It will be published in a book by a New Mexico State university professor in yet another form.  The answers are candid and not acceptable in what we normally call intellectual discourse. My feeling is, however, when you strain something too much you often take the pulp out of the juice.

Questions for Professor Acuña

1-    Let me begin by pointing that that the main focus of the book is social justice. With that said, let me ask you the following question: How has social justice, broadly defined, informed your scholarly and activist work?

I have developed an intolerance of injustice and am easily moved to moral outrage. As a kid I would often root for the underdog. I came into the movement because of racism not because I was a Mexican — it was not just. Although I am an atheist I was educated by the Jesuits and have strong ideas of right and wrong. There is also right and wrong in history and it is wrong for a person to be born with millions of dollars while another is born with a crack habit. If you know something is wrong, you have a duty (not an obligation) to do something about it. A person should not separate his or her scholarship from his life – it is not intellectually honest.

2-    For the last 45 years or more, you have spoken and written extensively about a wide range of issues, such as structural racism, colonialism, neocolonialism, xenophobia, to which Chicano (as) and other historically marginalized groups have been subjected. How do you see your socio-political and intellectual activism, including your stance against these forms of oppression mentioned here, connected to social justice?

I am an activist and take the role of the praxis seriously. As a scholar I have the duty to do something about correcting society. The above topics were part of the activist/scholarly dialogue of the times and thus I addressed them. But going back in time – in studying theology I learned that if something is imperfect, it was logical to make it more perfect – indeed you have a moral duty to do so. Continue reading

Behind Islamophobia, Fascism and Complicit Antifascism – Houria Bouteldja

Paper presented by Houria Bouteldja 

5th International Conference on Islamophobia

UC Berkeley (April 17th, 2014).

Originally Posted in Decolonial Translations

First, I would like to thank the conference organizers for inviting me. I want to pay tribute to their efforts for putting together this high-quality conference. As is the case every year, I will speak on behalf of the Party of the Republic’s Indigenous People (Parti des Indigènes de la République or PIR). This time, however, I will also speak on behalf of Mothers All Equal (Mamans Toutes Égales), a collective to which the PIR belongs and that struggles for the repeal of an administrative text that bans mothers who wear the veil from participating in school outings. If I take on the role of representative here today, it is to raise awareness and denounce such unfair discrimination against these women and their children.


By way of introduction, I would like to start by saying that the situation in France and in Europe is quite worrisome. The economic crisis magnifying the situation, we observe, across the continent, the problematic rise of far-right, fascist and neo-Nazi forces. These radical nationalisms are increasingly uninhibited. Some of them take part, democratically, in different elections and quietly become institutionalized. The National Front is the third political power in France, and its president is a woman with a steel grip who does not hide her ambitions for the country’s presidency. To reach this objective, she will stop at nothing to make her party appear respectable and she is admirably successful. Admittedly, her task is facilitated by a number of circumstances. For instance, Islamophobia — and more exactly a State-supported anti-Muslim type of racism — is a national sport in France. The white political field that goes from the extreme right to the extreme left is completely contaminated. However, we must be precise in our analyses. Let me unpack some of this. Continue reading

The Story of a Show: Olmeca in Seattle

Flyer by Poesia

Flyer by Poesia

Back in August 26th, 2013, the world renowned underground revolutionary artist from LA, Olmeca,touched down in Seattle. He was joined on stage withSista HailstormJulie C, and Poesia (who also did this flyer artwork to the right) for an intimate show. If you missed it, which you probably did due to that fact that this show was largely overlooked by the Hip Hop community in Seattle, there is video below. But my aim in this narrative is not to guilt you for not coming. Actually, I want to share an important back story to how this event even came about. For me, organizers of the event, and for the author of the narrative below, the beginning of this story started on a rainy night down at Westlake at the dawn of Occupy Seattle, traveled across the imaginary lines we call ‘borders’ south to Chiapas, the heart of the Zapatista movement, and back up before landing at South Side Commons in Columbia CityI first met Tabs, aka Isolina, one organizer of this event, on one of those early Occupy nights. Actually, the first time I saw her, she was getting arrested by the SPD for sitting on the ground. She became one of the powerful voices advocating thedecolonization framework for Occupy, and a big supporter of Hip Hop Occupies to Decolonize early in the game while we were still battling the doubtful for a voice in the movement. I talk a lot about the importance of art and culture in movement, revolution, change. It is, to me, a fundamental aspect of humanity, and thus just as fundamental in inspiring, galvanizing, and organizing the masses, beyond just “a tool of outreach”. So I guess, take the story below as a case study, and remember, it’s always bigger than Hip Hop. Here it goes, in her words:

“When I reflect back on the journey we took in December 2012, I can hardly believe that was part of my life. It was a shared experience with four other female bodied people. A shared experience, that was potent, eye opening, and an affirmation that our ancestors are with us holding our hands, holding us up, and guiding us through a very tricky world. We are on a path and we do not know where it will take us. Continue reading