As I type these words, we are two days away from “honoring” Columbus and exactly a month has passed since the cries of “never forget” echoed on the 9/11 anniversary. When it comes to honoring and remembering, however, it’s clearly slipped our minds how -- upon encountering the Arawak people in 1492 -- the venerated Mr. Columbus noted that they “would make fine servants,” adding, “with 50 men we could subjugate them all and make them do whatever we want.”
For residents in West Papua, life is often characterized by widespread violence and intimidation from the state. In fact, the total true population of West Papua is thought to be closer to several million, when factoring in undocumented indigenous peoples. Recently, a boycott against the Indonesian presidential election achieved widespread resulted in activists being arrested, and 14 being reportedly tortured by the military before being thrown in prison.
At the opening game of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, played in Sao Paulo on June 12, a 13-year-old Guarani boy raised a banner in support of Indigenous rights, but according to reports his gesture was omitted from the broadcast. Thank you, internet, for making sure it wasn't completely lost.
The Oglala Lakota and activists of the American Indian Movement have taken a vow that the only way the KXL Pipeline will pass through South Dakota is if they are dead or in prison. This vow was taken back on Feb. 27, Liberation Day, an event to commemorate the infamous 1890 massacre of Native people by U.S. soldiers.
The Bay Area author of an upcoming book shatters the image of California's historic missions as idyllic sites where Franciscan friars and Indians lived in harmony. Speaking before about 100 people Saturday at the American Indian Resource Center at UC Santa Cruz, Elias Castillo, author of "A Cross of Thorns: The Enslavement of California's Indians by the Spanish Missions," said in reality the missions were "death camps."
Earlier this month nearly 400 students were arrested in front of the White House protesting the Keystone XL Pipeline . The next group of people to head to Washington, D.C. will be the Cowboy Indian Alliance, farmers and ranchers and American Indian communities living along the proposed northern part of the Keystone XL pipeline, mostly based in Nebraska and South Dakota. They will camp out near the White House for a week beginning April 22 (Earth Day), ending with a mass demonstration on April 27th.
The Canadian government is increasingly worried that the growing clout of aboriginal peoples’ rights could obstruct its aggressive resource development plans, documents reveal. Since 2008, the Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs has run a risk management program to evaluate and respond to “significant risks” to its agenda, including assertions of treaty rights, the rising expectations of aboriginal peoples, and new legal precedents at odds with the government’s policies.
As the drought, global climate chaos, and the fallout of industrial capitalism continues to be felt throughout the world, the issue of fracking looms as a potential for mass struggle against resource extraction - especially within California. Across North America, many indigenous groups are already waging various battles over fracking and the removal of resources from their lands. Catching up with the group Santa Cruz Indigenous Solidarity (SCIS), we asked them their thoughts on the possibilities for deepening and expanding the struggle against fracking and creating links to indigenous people already in the fight.
"Mexico is many Mexicos," the saying goes, and most of the time conventional wisdom summarizes in short phrases what scholars and researchers express in hundreds of pages. "Mexico is many Mexicos," not only because of the heterogeneity of the country, but also, and primarily, due to the variety of peoples who have inhabited and still inhabit their territory.
The main challenge in Mexico today is to resist a wave of violence that is dispossessing and oppressing people, and which may precipitate increasingly brutal state repression and even a vicious civil war. At the same time, we need to connect the points of resistance, giving them an organizational form adapted to their nature. What is needed is to build a political force that can stop the ongoing disaster, prevent its continuation, and begin to reorganize society from the bottom-up.