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Thousands gathered in the pre-dawn hours for the Indigenous Peoples Annual Sunrise Gathering at Alcatraz Island sponsored by the International Indian Treaty Council (IITC) on November 28. This was the 44th year that the event was held to commemorate the American Indian occupation of Alcatraz from 1969 to 1971, according to Morning Star Gali, one of the event organizers and the Tribal Historic Preservation Officer for the Pit River Tribe.
In addition to the Yaqui Deer Dancers, the event featured the Round Valley Reservation Pomo Dancers and Aztec Dancers. Speakers included LaNada War Jack, one of the original Alcatraz occupiers, Ann Marie Sayers from the Ohlone Indian Tribe, Andrea Carmen, Executive Director of the International Indian Treaty Council, Madonna Thunder Hawk, Two Kettle Lakota and one of the original members of the American Indian Movement, and Radley Davis and Mickey Gimmel of the Pit River Tribe.
“As we gather today to celebrate, we do not celebrate the re-write of history that has become Thanksgiving," said Andrea Carmen, Executive Director of the International Indian Treaty Council. "We celebrate our survival as indigenous people. In reality, on this day so long ago, 700 men, women and children of the Pequot Nation were slaughtered during their sacred Green Corn ceremonies by Pilgrims they had saved during the winter months with their own food."
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Around 500 people from 15 cities in Mexico and 11 countries in the world came together in the National Encounter of Autonomous Anti-Capitialist Resistance at the end of May 2012 to share experiences of autonomy and support the uprising and current process of self-government in Cherán, Michoacán. The Cherán K’eri uprising on April 15, 2011 and the process of self-government now underway in that community is, for many, a source of inspiration, a strong show of resistance to be defended, and an experience to learn from.
In this eleventh installment in the series “Hidden in Plain Sight” Peter M writes about Maureen Gosling. Gosling is a documentary filmmaker who worked for many years with Les Blank of Flower Films. On her own she made the award-winning film Blossoms of Fire, which deals with a community in the Mexican Isthmus were women play a special role. She is currently working on a film about fabric hand-dyed by women in Mali that is becoming a cultural phenomenon.
"The media is very powerful," Gosling said in a TV interview, "and people are finding it easier to make their own stories now, which I think is great. Because a lot of times as a girl, as a young woman growing up, you wonder if your story is interesting or if you have anything to say. It’s really important to be able to see your own face on television. Because we are affected by what we see on television, it has a big impact. It can make you feel good about yourself, or it can make you feel really bad about yourself. We see the same stories over and over again on television, in the movies. And there’s room for your story. The world needs your story." Read Full Story and View Photo | Previous Chapters
The European Collectives Nodo Solidale (Italy), Zapatista “Marisol” Collective of Lugano (Switzerland), and Nomads of XM24 (Italy), which make up the Internationalist Platform for Resistance and Self-Initiative Weaving Autonomies (PIRATA), organized a brigade for the observation of the violation of the rights of native peoples in the municipality of Santiago Xanica, Oaxaca, México, in which activists from France and the Spanish State also participated. The brigade traveled through the municipality from March 14 to March 21, 2011.
The task that the International Brigade set for itself has been to listen, understand, relate, and make public what is happening in the community of Santiago Xanica. In recent months the townspeople of Xanica have been denouncing outrageous violations and abuses by PRI party members and power groups against the local Committee in Defense of Indigenous Rights (CODEDI Xanica), Adherent to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, and against the general population.
Historically, the native Zapotec people of Santiago Xanica have suffered constant repression, militarization, and dispossession brought on by capital and international capital. There are now three highly significant problems that affect the community:
1. the tourist and development projects that the State and national and international businessmen seek to implement in their territory;
2. the invalidation of their election according to traditions and customs of the municipality;
3. the arrest of political prisoner Abraham Ramírez Vasquez, imprisoned since January of 2005.
Read the full report in English | Spanish: Informe sobre la situación en Santiago Xanica, Oaxaca
Ké Huelga Radio writes:
Mexico is bleeding. Along with the so-called "war against drug-dealers" we see the whole Mexican territory turn olive green. The militarization is part of the global war driven by the United States, which began with the 9-11 events and created new enemies: terrorism and drug trafficking. Attuned with the Lords of the north, the Mexican government has launched its own war creating a police-ruled state and criminalizing social protest.
The militarization leads to social-control practices which have nothing to envy from those used by the dictatorships of the 70's: from video cameras to torture chambers, via disappearances and massacres, the regime uses all its resources to establish new conditions for slavery. In addition to the barbarism of the beheaded, the "wrapped" (encobijados), those cooked in soup ("pozoleados") and other expressions of savagery which the media use to feed the social fear, we find the technology of electronic espionage (phones and internet) as well as the offers for mercenary imports which "will accomplish" the extermination of the criminals. This is how fear and silence appear as the "magical recipes" (extracted from the manuals for psychological warfare) for habituating the media to censoring itself, managing to also desensitize the population towards state and paramilitary-driven violence against social movements.
Read more | México Sangra: Los medios libres contra la tiranía invisible | Ké Huelga Radio
San Juan Copala, Oaxaca - On April 27th at about 2:50pm, people believed to be paramilitaries affiliated with the ruling party of Oaxaca ambushed an international aid caravan en route to San Juan Copala. At least two people are reported dead.
The caravan was carrying food, water, and other basic necessities to San Juan Copala, which has been subject to a paramilitary blockade that has prevented anyone from entering or leaving the community since January. In addition to carrying much-needed supplies, the caravan was meant to accompany teachers who were returning to classes after paramilitaries denied them access to the community nearly five months ago. The caravan included representatives from the Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca (APPO), Section 22 of the teachers union, the Center for Community Support Working Together (CACTUS), Oaxacan Voices Constructing Autonomy and Liberty (VOCAL), two reporters from the Mexican magazine Contralinea, and international observers from Belgium, Finland, Italy, and Germany.
San Juan Copala has been under constant siege from pro-government paramilitaries since it declared itself autonomous following the 2006 peaceful uprising that shook the state and nearly drove the governor out of office. One such paramilitary organization, the Union for the Well-being of the Triqui Region (UBISORT), warned that the caravan could be in danger if it attempted to enter San Juan Copala. UBISORT leader Rufino Juárez Hernández told press that shoot-outs were a constant occurrence in the region, and that his organization would not be held responsible for “what could happen” to the caravan.
Demonstrations of solidarity in Mexico and internationally have begun to show their rejection of this paramilitary attack. People are encouraged to spread this information, and hold demonstrations at Mexican embassies and consulates
Read more | Paramilitary Attack Leaves Two Dead and Three Disappeared in Oaxaca
Spanish: Indymedia México | CMI Chiapas | Kaos en la Red
English: El Enemigo Común | My Word is My Weapon
On January 28, at around 9pm Andrea Caraballo, Guadalupe Rodriguez Lopez, James Wells and Jennifer Lawhorne were eating ice cream in the zocalo of Oaxaca. At that time, one of them recognized the face of the governor of Oaxaca who was about nine feet away. A friend of Brad Will took advantage of the governor’s presence to ask him about the case of Mr. Will, which to this day remains unresolved.
Bradley Roland Will, a journalist with New York City Indymedia, was shot and killed in October 2006 during the six-month long uprising in Oaxaca. His assailants are believed to be local officials with ties to the ruling political party.
Governor Ulies Ruiz Ortiz walked away from the tourists who asked about Will without giving a response. Five minutes later, between six and eight police agents, some in official uniform and others dressed in plainclothes, surrounded the four tourists, demanding to see their identifications and forcing them to enter a municipal police truck. The police refused to provide them with any information. Read more