Thursday, March 18, 2010
Russell Means: UN Listening Session is US Smokescreen
Statement by Russell Means, Republic of Lakotah
on the Occasion of the United States State Department “Listening Session” in Albuquerque, New Mexico, 16 March 2010
Once again, the occupation government of the United States of America has trotted out its dogs and ponies to provide a smokescreen and diversion from its continuing crimes against the indigenous peoples and nations of the Western Hemisphere. The reason for today’s media spectacle is supposedly for the US State Department to “listen” to input from indigenous peoples and nations for inclusion in the U.S.’s report to the United Nations Human Rights Council, universal periodic review process.
As we can see, many indigenous people have been duped to participate, yet again, in a lying and duplicitous process of the United States. The United States has absolutely no interest or intention of admitting to the world its human rights record that is neither justifiable nor defensible. In particular, the record of the United States with regard to historical, and ongoing, violations of over 370 treaties that were negotiated and signed with indigenous nations must be, but will not be, addressed by the United States. Instead, as is its ongoing practice, the United States will use this session, and the one tomorrow on the territory of the Diné (Navajo) Nation, as its justification that indigenous peoples were “consulted,” and “listened to,” while the U.S. simultaneously lies to the world about its disgraceful human rights record.
The Republic of Lakotah will not legitimize this embarrassing process. Instead, we will submit our report directly to the UN Human Rights Council, not to be filtered or sanitized by the State Department. Let us be clear, our report will be scathing. The United States continues, on a daily basis to violate the terms of the 1851 and 1868 Fort Laramie Treaties with the Lakotah. Our report will indicate that the United States never intended to abide by the terms of the treaties, and has violated them consistently from the time of their signing to the present.
Our report will also cite the United States’ own language in acknowledging that “the treaties retain their full force and effect even today because they are the legal equivalent of treaties with foreign governments and have the force of federal law.” Periodic Report of the United States of America to the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, April 23, 2007, paragraph 335. In light of the United States’ own admissions, in addition to reporting to the Human Rights Council on the egregious human rights record of the US towards indigenous peoples, the Republic of Lakotah will report to the Council and to the world, the exercise of its own rights under principles of international law. The United States has continually breached the treaties with the Lakotah, and international law allows the Lakotah to return to our status quo ante position prior to the signing of the treaties.
On March 30, 2010, the Republic of Lakotah will repeat its position to the United States, and will transmit its communication to the President of the United States and to the Secretary of State, demanding that the United States cease and desist it activities in Lakotah territory, and insisting that the United States withdraw its presence from our homeland.
Posted at Censored News http://www.bsnorrell.blogspot.com
By Denis Campbell
As we have seen in the blizzards in Washington and New York 100s of crews of snowploughs and front-end loaders work feverishly to open roads, airports and railway tracks. But, what if you lived in the Cheyenne Sioux Indian Reservation of South Dakota and there were only three snowploughs to clear an area nearly the size of Connecticut?
Most of the reservation is covered with rural 2-lane asphalt and dirt roads that even this meagre snow removal equipment cannot reach because of the drifts. Their only hope is for the temperature to rise above freezing.
If 8,000 telephone poles snapped in Potomac, Westchester, or Greenwich, crews would work 24/7 to restore power. Yet many in the Cheyenne Sioux Reservation have been without power or heat for more than five days. They daily brave temperatures and wind chills of -19◦.
“Many people have died, not only of exposure but of complications from sugar diabetes,” said Russell Means, Chairman of the Lakota Republic. “Diabetes is an epidemic on Indian Reservations,” he continued “and in rural areas of Sioux country the reservations are very isolated.”
We take for granted that the snowploughs will be there to clear our roadways, yet those living on the reservation died because they could not get out of their driveway to transport loved ones to kidney dialysis centres. Heart attacks and exposure claimed even those with cars to transport loved ones, because the snow trapped them in their homes. And forget 911, it does not exist. Nearly everyone is without heat or electricity. Russell Means’ daughter called from her home 200-miles away asking to borrow a generator, but it was stolen.
When asked what the most pressing immediate needs were, his reply was: “come out, come on out, the whole Congress should come and check. We definitely need the funds, The Bureau of Indian Affairs needs the funds, the tribes need the funds just for snow removal and emergency equipment. THAT WOULD SAVE LIVES. Then we need adequate healthcare.”
Generous Americans sent millions to Haiti, New Orleans and Texas when disasters struck sending shockwaves through the media. Yet here is an ongoing, some would say daily, tragedy that affect millions of Americans. They live under the control of a broken federal agency, The Bureau of Indian Affairs, with 85% unemployment, record levels of alcoholism, Type 2 diabetes and unspeakable poverty.
As Keith Olbermann of MSNBC’s Countdown said, “this tragedy is 450 miles from Minneapolis.” Russell Means described it more aptly as “genocide of the Indian people.”
It certainly is, at minimum, gross neglect that entire tribes across massive state-sized territories have people freezing inside their paper thin walled and ill-equipped homes, dying from both exposure and CO2 asphyxiation from bad propane heaters.
Massive Sioux Indian Reservation Battles Snow with 3 Ploughs
Posted on 10 February 2010 by Denis Campbell
Denis Campbell is the American Editor of UK Progressive. He is a political and business pundit contributor to both BBC television and radio. Denis specializes in translating the American electoral and governing process for UK and EU audiences and vice versa, contributing regularly on UK elections and issues to the Huffington Post. He has contributed to newspapers and magazines around the globe. In his “spare” time, he is managing director of Target Point Ltd focused on social media, communication strategy, leveraging technology, corporate change and building world class selling organisations. Denis has lived in the EU since 1998.
In an hour long interview with KUOW in Seattle, Russell Means speaks to the current economic situation and the fall of the dollar. He speaks as well of the deceitfulness of the Federal Reserve and how the U.S. Government, in collusion with the Federal Reserve, is printing money out of nothing.
Russell Means points the way out of the current debacle by calling for a return to matriarchy, rule of consensus and how, once again, small is beautiful.
On April 2nd, 2009, A jury returned a decision stating that Ward Churchill had been wrongfully fired from his position as a tenured professor at Colorado University. The cause stemmed from the publication of his now infamous essay ‘The Ghosts of 9-1-1: Reflections on History, Justice and Roosting Chickens’. After its initial publication, three years passed until a section of the esay entitled ‘Some People Push Back’ was brought to light by a college newspaper reporter that the essay came under public criticism and caused the circumstances under which Churchill was subsequently fired.
In the full text, Churchill contends that the events of September 11th, 2001 were made inevitable by a foreign policy that puts the rights of corporations inexorably in front of the rights of people, histories or environments, and that the systemic amnesia engendered and perpetuated within the system is its own form of culpability.
Citing the failures of popular movements to cease the sanctions in Iraq during the 1990s, abolish the WTO or its colluding powers at the IMF/World Bank, he charges the left with acquiescing to state powers in deference to that which is comfortable and secure. The phrase, ‘Little Eichmans’ is largely credited for having drawn attention to the essay, a curious objection as the phrase itself was borrowed from a John Zerzan article, published in 1997.
The jury found for Churchill’s suit and held CU liable for the costs of his legal team and an additional one dollar.
The proceedings come at a time of increased scrutinity of college professors. From Norman Finkelstein’s being denied tenure, to Dr. Cornell West’s somewhat fiery departure from Harvard for Princeton, the high halls of academia have held witness to more power struggles than usual of late. The common thread underlying them all though would seem to be a charge of anti-zionism leveled at all the actors involved here. Finkelstein wrote ‘Beyond Ghutspa: On the Misuse of Anti-Semitism and the Abuse of History’ and West chose to leave Harvard after a public row with Larry Summers, a man who equates Anti-Zionism, the refusal of the State of Israel to exist, and Anti-Semitism, the racist bigotry towards a Jewish person. All three, Churchill, Finkelstein and West are all outspoken critics of US Foreign policy, vis-a-vis Palestine. All three have faced massive scrutiny that others in their fields are hardly ever subject to.
The case in point, Churchill was a tenured professor, but was abruptly demonized at the hint of equivalency of complicity of those who oversaw speculative investing and those who who punched tickets for Auschwitz victims. To be sure, there is a very real difference between the two, but what of those who ran the books for the SS? What of those who currently oversee the World Bank funding of dams that have flooded out perhaps 60 million people in India. Tens of thousands of these were farmers who have now committed suicide. What of the one million farmers displaced by US agribusiness in Mexico in the last 8 years who have no choice but to leave their villages and either enter a sweatshop or take the uncertain road north? The US does not send any of these people to be incinerated, but what level of collusion is acceptably equivalent? At what point will the American or even the progressive voices in America cease being voices and become actions in solidarity against such practices? Until Americans, and in particular those Americans who know something is wrong, answer this question, there will continue to be rhetoric, but no response, and the chickens are still out in the field, waiting to come home.
For Churchill, he has been proved triumphant against the school system that fired him. Unrelenting, he is now seeking the school to either reinstate him or award him one million dollars in damages. A Denver District Court Judge will decide within 30 days of the ruling whether additional damages will be awarded.
This week Russell talks to us about self-esteem and how important it is that we rebuild a strong sense of self-worth in the Children now growing up on the Reservations. We are given a first-hand glimpse of how the charitable act of one man really made the day for some kids here at the Porcupine School. He also illustrates the two-faced nature of our sicko, wacked-out USA Government by revealing how the fabulous “new school” is just a fascist coverup for what really goes on here on the Pine Ridge Sioux Indian Reservation.