Category Archives: Political Repression

French anti-dam protester killed by police grenade

Another example of the misnomer of “less-than-lethal” weapons like concussion grenades. They may be less lethal, but still can be quite deadly, as this case in France shows.

TNT traces in slain France activist case

Press TV, 28 Oct  2014.

An investigation into the cause of the death of a French activist killed in clashes with the police has yielded traces of TNT used in police grenades.

Sending shockwaves throughout the country, the 21-year-old victim, Remi Fraisse, was killed on Sunday as security forces clashed with people protesting against a controversial dam project in the southwestern Tarn region.

To read the whole story and watch the Press TV story about this, click here.

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Hydroelectric dams, Political Repression

RCMP surveilled Indigenous environmental groups fighting Canada’s extreme ‘energy economy’

Photo by Ben Powless of the Wet’suwet’en Nation Enbridge protest that was one of the areas of focus for the RCMP. Extremist? Worthy of surveillance by the RCMP. Worthy of attention, for sure, but not RCMP surveillance.

Photo by Ben Powless of the Wet’suwet’en Nation’s Enbridge protest that was one of the areas of focus for the RCMP. Extremist? Worthy of surveillance by the RCMP? Worthy of attention, for sure, but not RCMP surveillance. The sign now takes on new meaning. In response to ‘Respect Indigenous Rights,’ RCMP says, ‘No.’

Last week, APTN released findings from researcher Jeffrey Monaghan that show that the RCMP closely surveilled members of the IEN (Indigenous Environmental Network) and their allies in 2010 during organizing to fight the extreme energy extraction of the tar sands and the pipelines. Documents show that the RCMP categorized IEN as an extremist group, and might still do so, despite disagreements even among officers.

Global Justice Ecology Project is among several others who are named as supporters of a 2010 protest against the Enbridge pipeline, and named as “involved persons.”

“When you read the document closely it shows an intimate surveillance,” said Monaghan. “(The documents) show the breadth of and the normalization of the regular systematic surveillance of protest groups, of people who criticize government policy and critics of energy policy. You have national security bureaucracies, agencies, focused on domestic protest groups and it has nothing to do with terror, but with the energy economy.”

Yup, not surprising historically at all, but repression nonetheless. What to do? Hard to know, but political pressure couldn’t hurt. How dare RCMP target Indigenous environmental organizers in this way?

 RCMP tracked movements of Indigenous activist from ‘extremist’ group: documents
By Jorge Barrera. APTN National News. Oct. 17, 2014.

The RCMP closely monitored the movements of an Indigenous environmental activist as it tightened surveillance around possible protests in northern British Columbia targeting the energy firm behind the controversial Northern Gateway pipeline, according to “confidential” documents obtained by APTN National News.

Read the whole article here.

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Filed under Indigenous Peoples, Pipeline, Political Repression, Tar Sands

Brazilian Indigenous Peoples group under attack

While they do not typically use violence as a medium for their message, the organizations that shine a light on corporate agendas and corrupted governments often get those kinds of threats in return. Over the last few weeks the Brazilian organization Indigenous Missionary Council (CIMI) has come to know these tactics all too well.

CIMI ransacked office. Photo: World Rainforest Movement

CIMI ransacked office. Photo: World Rainforest Movement

Their office in Acre, Brazil, has been ransacked and equipment stolen. A letter from the World Rainforest Movement, signed by more than 50 groups, including Climate Connections’s own Global Justice Ecology Project, appeals to the Brazilian government, asking them to step in and demand an end to the violence.

Threats of violence against Indigenous Missionary Council (CIMI) in Acre, Brazil
by Chris Lang, REDD-Monitor, 17 October 2014

Over the past few weeks, staff at the Indigenous Missionary Council (CIMI) in the state of Acre have faced a series of threats and intimidation. The office has been broken into twice, the room ransacked, a computer taken, files burned, and internet wiring destroyed.

CIMI is one of the key organisations in Brazil demanding the respect of indigenous peoples’ rights. In Acre, CIMI works to support indigenous peoples who are faced with ranching and logging companies taking their land and destroying the forests.

In an attempt to publicise and to stop the violence and threats, CIMI is holding a public gathering outside its office in Rio Branco today.

Since 2012, the state of Acre has received funding from the German government, through its “REDD Early Movers” programme. On its website the Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW), which is managing the REDD Early Movers programme, describes Acre as one of the “pioneers” in forest protection, “not just in Brazil but also beyond”.

Read the full article here.

 

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Filed under Indigenous Peoples, Political Repression

Thousands march in Bolivia demanding justice for 2003 Gas War massacre

Friday's gas war march in Bolivia. Photo: Ben Dangl.

Friday’s gas war march in Bolivia. Photo: Ben Dangl.

Benjamin Dangl of Upside Down World covered Friday’s protest march in Bolivia, in which thousands demanded justice for the 2003 massacre of over 60 people during the country’s Gas War under the Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada (Goni) administration. Dangl provide both a quick history and photos from the march, all taken by him.

Photo Essay: Thousands March in El Alto, Bolivia Demanding Justice for 2003 Gas War Massacre
Written by Benjamin Dangl. Upside Down World. 19 October 2014

Thousands of people marched in El Alto, Bolivia on Friday, October 17th to demand justice for the 2003 massacre of over 60 people during the country’s Gas War under the Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada (Goni) administration. Sanchez de Lozada is currently living freely in the US, and marchers demanded he and others in his government be brought to Bolivia to be tried for ordering the violence. October marks the anniversary of that assault on the city, and people mobilized on Friday to remember and to demand justice.

Check out the whole article and many more photos on Upside Down World!

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Energy, Political Repression, Politics

This should be the last Columbus Day

When Howard Zinn wrote A People’s History of the United States, the first chapter was called “Columbus, the Indians, and Human Progress.”  After he passed away in 2010, The Zinn Education Project was begun in order to promote and support the use of the book. Two non-profit organizations, Rethinking Schools and Teaching for Change, coordinate the project.

The project publishes the If We Knew Our History Series, featuring articles by teachers, journalists, and scholars “that highlight inadequacies in the history textbooks published by giant corporations.”

An article published last week by the project was written by Bill Bigelow, author and teacher. We are  pleased to excerpt it and provide the full link below.

Native American and Chicano students protest the 500th anniversary of Columbus landing in the Americas, 10/12/1992 at UW-Madison

Native American and Chicano students protest the 500th anniversary of Columbus landing in the Americas, 10/12/1992 at UW-Madison

It’s Columbus Day…Time to Break the Silence

By Bill Bigelow, Zinn Education Project. October 3, 2014

This past January, almost exactly 20 years after its publication, Tucson schools banned the book I co-edited with Bob Peterson, Rethinking Columbus. It was one of a number of books adopted by Tucson’s celebrated Mexican American Studies program—a program long targeted by conservative Arizona politicians.

The school district sought to crush the Mexican American Studies program; our book itself was not the target, it just got caught in the crushing. Nonetheless, Tucson’s—and Arizona’s—attack on Mexican American Studies and Rethinking Columbus shares a common root: the attempt to silence stories that unsettle today’s unequal power arrangements.

 Read the full article here.

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Filed under Indigenous Peoples, Political Repression, Racism

Dupont Dynasty: the Unauthorized Biography now Available

Celebrate non-GMO Month with this scathing critique of GMO giant Dupont

AT LAST! DuPont DYNASTY, the extensively researched and unauthorized biography of the powerful Du Pont family and company–twice suppressed in 1974 and again in 1984--  can now be accessed for only $9.00!! Below find details of the book, how to order it, and its history of suppression.
unnamedDu Pont’s move to dominate the world’s genetically modified foods market.  Du Pont uses contracts to impose higher priced GM seeds that supposedly resist drought, disease and pests.

Using American taxpayers’ money through AID’s and the Washington-based World Bank’s “development” grants and loans, Du Pont and other corporations sell these seeds to compliant (and increasingly desperate) national governments for distribution to farmers.

Unlike natural seeds, Du Pont’s genetically modified seeds are under Du Pont’s exclusive patent control through contracts imposed on poor farmers and cannot be reproduced or stored.  Growing crops for export are thereby increasingly needed by poor national governments to earn foreign exchange to keep up with the growing debt from loans by American banks involved in direct loans to these governments or in purchasing U.S. bonds to help pay for the U.S. Government’s foreign aid programs, including loans brokered through AID and the U.S.-controlled World Bank.

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Filed under Commodification of Life, Food Sovereignty, GMOs, Political Repression, Uncategorized

Continued arrests in Ferguson, MO, call for a weekend of protests

Just outside of St. Louis, the town of Ferguson, MO, lit up after the chilling shooting of an unarmed African American teenager named Mike Brown on August 9, 2014. The incident solidified a truth many minority Americans have known for decades — that racial tension and police brutality are still very much alive and present in the United States.

Police action morphs Ferguson, MO, from a city in a democracy to a hostage in a military state. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Police action morphs Ferguson, MO, from a city in a democracy to a hostage in a military state. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Protests erupted after Brown’s murder, and continue to this day. Police in military-grade riot gear plowed through unarmed and emotional protestors. Though the media attention has since dulled, the severity of the situation is still an active reality. Viewers can keep up with the protests, police reaction and other events in real time via livestreaming and live feeds. In an afford to raise awareness about the seemingly limitless power of police, as well as unite citizens in solidarity for Ferguson, a Weekend of Resistance is planned for Oct. 10-13, 2014.

From the Weekend of Resistance website:

We are in a movement moment.

Droves of people, many of them young and black, took to the streets of Ferguson to demand justice for Mike Brown. Millions stood in solidarity as protestors were met by a brutal and militarized response by local police departments.

Our country can no longer deny the epidemic of police violence facing Black and Brown communities. Mike Brown is now part of a long list of people like John Crawford, Ezell Ford, Eric Garner, Oscar Grant and countless others who have been unjustly killed by police. Their lives mattered.

Join Hands Up United, Organization for Black Struggle, Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment and our partners in Ferguson from October 10-13th for a weekend of resistance. We’re hosting a series of public events—marches, convenings and panels— to build momentum for a nationwide movement against police violence.

We will gather in Ferguson, but the world will hear our call for change.

Visit the website to learn more about the events occurring Oct. 10-13, 2014, in Ferguson, MO.

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Events, Media, Political Repression

U.S. government to pay Navajo Nation $554 million

In reparation for mismanaging 14 million acres of their lands, United States government will pay the Navajo Nation more than $500 million. According to an article by Reuters reporter Steve Gorman, this record settlement is the result of the U.S. government using “land held in trust for the tribe and leased for such purposes as farming, energy development, logging and mining.”

Photo: www.salon.com

Photo: www.salon.com

Even though Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly hails the outcome victorious, I’m curious to know how much the government made by prostituting out these Navajo lands. How much does their profit compare to their payout? The article doesn’t give specifics and some late night Internet research revealed no answer, either. This record settlement is the highest paid out ever, which is an obvious achievement for native and indigenous peoples, but in return the Navajo Nation promised to “forego further litigation over previous U.S. management of Navajo funds and resources.” What’s being hidden here?

U.S. To Pay Navajo Tribe $554 Million In Landmark Settlement

by Steve Gorman, Reuters/Huffington Post, September 24, 2014

The Obama administration has agreed to pay the Navajo Nation a record $554 million to settle longstanding claims by America’s largest Indian tribe that its funds and natural resources were mishandled for decades by the U.S. government.

The accord, resolving claims that date back as far as 50 years and marking the biggest U.S. legal settlement with a single tribe, will be formally signed at a ceremony on Friday in Window Rock, Arizona, the capital of the sprawling Navajo reservation.

The deal stems from litigation accusing the government of mismanaging Navajo trust accounts and resources on more than 14 million acres (5.7 million hectares) of land held in trust for the tribe and leased for such purposes as farming, energy development, logging and mining.

In return for $554 million, the Navajo agreed to dismiss its lawsuit and forego further litigation over previous U.S. management of Navajo funds and resources held in trust by the federal government.

The deal does not preclude the tribe from pursuing future trust claims, or any separate claims over water and uranium pollution on its reservation, Navajo Attorney General Harrison Tsosie said.

Read the full article here.

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Filed under Greenwashing, Indigenous Peoples, Political Repression, Politics