500 which premiered earlier this year at the Sundance Film Festival, is set in the years between 2013 and 2016. It documents the trial of the former Guatemalan dictator Efrain Rios Montt in 2013, who was tried and convicted of genocide and crimes against humanity, when it was found that there was significant evidence that linked him to the ordered killing of over 1,700 indigenous people. 500 years tells the story of this period and the citizens uprising that began when Montt’s conviction was overturned.
Thanks be to High Country News for this latest piece that brings us back to a much-needed review of the ins-and-outs of our representative federal form of government as they relate to the latest events at Standing Rock. Have you found yourself wondering over the past few months, how did we get here, why can this happen in our country, or, even, wait, what does usufructory mean? Then we can’t encourage you more to take five minutes to read “Back to Civics Class: 10 Things to Know About Standing Rock.”
This is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED READING. Just because it’s a well-worn cliched doesn’t make it any less true, friends, knowledge is power. Short, clear, and so freaking well-written, these ten points review historical moments including the Louisiana Purchase, relevant supreme court cases, and the current status of treaties with Native American nations.
For instance, point one: usufrcutory rights; it is an important legal construction that is currently so obscure in our collective consciousness that spellcheck reports that it is not a word. (Spoiler alert: usufructory rights have nothing to do with high fructose corn syrup and mean the right of tribes to hunt, gather and fish in their “usual and accustomed places.)
As the culture-war rhetoric simmers with caustic venom on the Northern Plains, the results of the civics survey mentioned earlier are sobering. Is it not disquieting to learn that 70 percent of us lack a rudimentary understanding of the basic principles of federalism? At what point do we cease to be a government of the people, by the people, and for the people, and become a nation of the blind leading the blind?
For the love of all things good! Can we talk about something other than Donald Trump already? Thanks to Global Research for publishing this informative piece:
“The first point is actually very simple: Native Americans standing up for themselves is not polarizing. In an age of institutionalized media divisiveness and hyper-partisanship, the story of Native Americans in North Dakota fighting for land and water rights just doesn’t fit the script of deep, societal divides plaguing the nation’s law and order, nor does it fit in with the left-right paradigm. People from both sides of the political spectrum pretty much agree that Native Americans have been screwed by the U.S. government and resource-snatching corporations long enough. Considering this sentiment, there’s really no exploitable controversy on this issue from the mainstream media perspective, which inherently drives topical, superficial news narratives.”
The activists currently protecting the water commons, their indigenous heritage, and our planet against institutionalized corporate greed. We stand with them. See Thursday’s post for more background on the Dakota Access Pipeline and the protest again it and for ways you can help, and, at the very least, sign the petition here.
Have you been listening to Earth Matters?? This fabulous podcast series gives voice to indigenous activists, environmentalists, and people around the globe working for social justice. We cannot recommend it highly enough. Hailing from Australia’s community radio station 3CR AM, Radical Radio, you can stream episodes online or download straight form iTunes.
The link above will bring you to this past Sunday’s episode, “Creative Dissent: the pen (and voice is mightier),” which spans themes of deep connection to land, climate change, colonialism, “nationalism, nuclear disaster, direct action and love on the frontlines” in the voices of actives poets.
via Phat Beets Produce:
Greetings Friends,Christopher Columbus, Conquest and Colonization is nothing to celebrate. Please join us this weekend with our friends at Self Help Hunger Program, POOR, and the North Oakland Restorative Justice Council to celebrate resistance through Celebrating Indigenous People’s Day. The gentrication we see in our neighborhoods today is built upon the old notion of discovery, the notion of bringing culture and civilization where there is none. Please come out and see there is plenty already here and its alive and thriving…
Democracy Now! Interviews Onondaga Leader Oren Lyons, Pete Seeger On International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples.
The Two Row Wampum Renewal Campaign, a partnership between the Onondaga Nation and Neighbors of the Onondaga Nation (NOON), is developing a broad alliance between the Haudenosaunee and their allies in New York and throughout the world. Our statewide advocacy and educational campaign seeks to achieve justice by polishing the chain of friendship established in the first treaty between the Haudenosaunee and Dutch immigrants. Environmental cleanup and preservation are the core components of our campaign.