24 December 2007

Lakota Nation Sovereignty

LAKOTALakotaMitaku Oyasin: We Are All Related
MEDIA ADVISORY Immediate Release: 19 December 2007
Media Contacts: Naomi Archer,
Communications Liaison (828) 230-1404
lakotafree@gmail.com Freedom!

Lakota Sioux Indians Declare Sovereign Nation Status
Washington D.C. – Lakota Sioux Indian representatives declared sovereign nation status today in Washington D.C. following Monday’s withdrawal from all previously signed treaties with the United States Government. The withdrawal, hand delivered to Daniel Turner, Deputy Director of Public Liaison at the State Department, immediately and irrevocably ends all agreements between the Lakota Sioux Nation of Indians and the United States Government outlined in the 1851 and 1868 Treaties at Fort Laramie Wyoming. “This is an historic day for our Lakota people,” declared Russell Means, Itacan of Lakota. “United States colonial rule is at its end!” “Today is a historic day and our forefathers speak through us. Our Forefathers made the treaties in good faith with the sacred Canupa and with the knowledge of the Great Spirit,” shared Garry Rowland from Wounded Knee. “They never honored the treaties, that’s the reason we are here today.” The four member Lakota delegation traveled to Washington D.C. culminating years of internal discussion among treaty representatives of the various Lakota communities. Delegation members included well known activist and actor Russell Means, Women of All Red Nations (WARN) founder Phyllis Young, Oglala Lakota Strong Heart Society leader Duane Martin Sr., and Garry Rowland, Leader Chief Big Foot Riders. Means, Rowland, Martin Sr. were all members of the 1973 Wounded Knee takeover. “In order to stop the continuous taking of our resources – people, land, water and children- we have no choice but to claim our own destiny,” said Phyllis Young, a former Indigenous representative to the United Nations and representative from Standing Rock. Property ownership in the five state area of Lakota now takes center stage. Parts of North and South Dakota, Nebraska, Wyoming and Montana have been illegally homesteaded for years despite knowledge of Lakota as predecessor sovereign [historic owner]. Lakota representatives say if the United States does not enter into immediate diplomatic negotiations, liens will be filed on real estate transactions in the five state region, clouding title over literally thousands of square miles of land and property. Young added, “The actions of Lakota are not intended to embarrass the United States but to simply save the lives of our people”. Following Monday’s withdrawal at the State Department, the four Lakota Itacan representatives have been meeting with foreign embassy officials in order to hasten their official return to the Family of Nations. Lakota’s efforts are gaining traction as Bolivia, home to Indigenous President Evo Morales, shared they are “very, very interested in the Lakota case” while Venezuela received the Lakota delegation with “respect and solidarity.” “Our meetings have been fruitful and we hope to work with these countries for better relations,” explained Garry Rowland. “As a nation, we have equal status within the national community.” Education, energy and justice now take top priority in emerging Lakota. “Cultural immersion education is crucial as a next step to protect our language, culture and sovereignty,” said Means. “Energy independence using solar, wind, geothermal, and sugar beets enables Lakota to protect our freedom and provide electricity and heating to our people.” The Lakota reservations are among the most impoverished areas in North America, a shameful legacy of broken treaties and apartheid policies. Lakota has the highest death rate in the United States and Lakota men have the lowest life expectancy of any nation on earth, excluding AIDS, at approximately 44 years. Lakota infant mortality rate is five times the United States average and teen suicide rates 150% more than national average . 97% of Lakota people live below the poverty line and unemployment hovers near 85%. “After 150 years of colonial enforcement, when you back people into a corner there is only one alternative,” emphasized Duane Martin Sr. “The only alternative is to bring freedom into its existence by taking it back to the love of freedom, to our lifeway.” We are the freedom loving Lakota from the Sioux Indian reservations of Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana who have suffered from cultural and physical genocide in the colonial apartheid system we have been forced to live under. We are in Washington DC to withdraw from the constitutionally mandated treaties to become a free and independent country. We are alerting the Family of Nations we have now reassumed our freedom and independence with the backing of Natural, International, and United States law. For more information, please visit our new website at www.lakotafreedom.com.

16 December 2007

3rd Encuentro of the Zapatista Peoples with the Peoples of the World, Comandanta Ramona and the women Zapatistas

English translation of Compañera Everilda’s words convoking the 3rd Encuentro of the Zapatista Peoples with the Peoples of the World, Comandanta Ramona and the women Zapatistas:

Compañeros and compañeras of Mexico and the world. Good evening to all of you. With this Second Encounter of the Zapatista Peoples with the Peoples of the World we are very energized, with much responsibility and this worries us greatly. It makes us think. How there is much that we would like to say in this encuentro but scarcely find the time to share what we Zapatista communities are doing and there remain things for us to share, especially us women Zapatistas. Because of this we wish to say with anticipation that these words will remain well-guarded by us while you go to inform our compañeros y compañeras in your communities of what you have already come and heard so that the rest who are not here can be informed.

But we think it’s better at once that you already bring the message from us women Zapatistas that we convoke the Third Encounter of the Zapatista Peoples with the Peoples of the World, and the principle and unique theme will be the women Zapatistas, especially for us women Zapatistas of the Zapatista communities to gather with compañeras from México and the world.

We are going to speak, us women Zapatistas, with compañeras from Mexico and the world and you will be able to ask questions of how we organize ourselves, the women Zapatistas, more directly with women. We are going to ask the compañeros men Zapatistas that they help us with logistical questions. Compañeros from Mexico and the world may also come to hear us, but remain silent [calladitos], same as our compañeros men Zapatistas.

This Third Encuentro, as it will be especially of the women Zapatistas, will be dedicated to Comandanta Ramona, and will take her name. Thus it is like this: Third Encuentro of the Zapatista Peoples with the Peoples of the World: Comandanta Ramona and the women Zapatistas.

Bring this message to the rest of the compañeras. That they are prepared. At the same time, that they go to tell their spouses that they will have to take care of the house, the kids, and pets for a few days, while they leave and gather with the women Zapatistas to organize ourselves on how to fight against capitalism and neoliberalism.

This Third Encuentro of the women Zapatistas we think will happen around the last days of December 2007. We are consulting with the compañeras and compañeros of the Good Government Council of the caracol of La Garrucha and the community of La Garrucha, which is the seat of the caracol, if they will permit us to have our Third Encuentro there.

We’ll confirm later. We ask that you watch our Zezta Internazional and Enlace Zapatista internet pages, the Intergalactic Commission of the Sixth Commission of the Other Campaign.

The days we are thinking of:
Arrive the day of December 28 in the Caracol of La Garrucha and register;
December 29, 30, 31: plenary workshops of the Zapatista women with time for questions from the women of the world,
January 1: Celebration of our 14th anniversary of the beginning of the uprising of these dignified lands.

This is the invitation, compañeros y compañeras. We will be waiting here as always by the doors.



Comandanta Ramona, 1959-2006

In 1993, Comandanta Ramona, together with Major Ana María, extensively consulted indigenous Zapatista communities (back then, still underground and not public) about the exploitation of women and subsequently penned the Revolutionary Laws of Women. On March 8 of that year, the Revolutionary Laws were passed.

Ramona was a woman charged with significant responsibilities, such as having been entrusted with the military leadership in San Cristóbal during the uprising in 1994. In February of that year and after the Zapatistas called a cease-fire to the twelve-day long uprising in response to mass peace marches, Ramona was the first Zapatista representative to speak during peace talks with the government. Two years later, when the Mexican authorities forbade the Zapatistas from participating in the National Indigenous Congress in Mexico City, the frail and ill-struck Ramona was asked to represent the Zapatistas. The plan worked as the government conceded to Ramona and she went on to represent the Zapatistas, speaking in front of 100,000 supporters in Mexico City’s Zocalo during the important nation-wide indigenous gathering.

The Mexican government, baffled by the popularity of a poor indigenous woman, made numerous attempts to undermine her influence. In 1997, it went so far as to state that the rebel leader had died and when she made public appearances that proved otherwise, authorities accused the Zapatistas of having used a “double.”

Comandanta Ramona passed on January 6th, 2006, after a decade-long bout with cancer of the kidney. Ramona's death is reflective of a health care crisis that the impoverished indigenous communities of Chiapas continue to suffer from. In the highlands of the southeastern Mexican state, where most of Chiapas’ indigenous residents live, there are no hospitals. The state government has promised for years to build a hospital in San Andrés Larráinzar (the same town that peace accords between the Zapatistas and the Mexican federal government were signed in 1996 but never implemented). However, the promise to build such a hospital has not been acted upon and Chiapas continues to lack crucial health care resources in its remote regions. Only in San Cristóbal, which is anywhere between two and twelve hours away from most indigenous communities, can women access preventative studies that could save the lives of women with early detections of cancer. In addition to the lack of hospitals, medical costs are often prohibitive to many of Chiapas’s poor and infirm.

Choking back tears, Subcomandante Marcos made the public announcement of Ramona’s death in the midst of the Chiapas segment of the nationwide six month Zapatista led “Other Campaign.”“I want everybody to listen to what I am about to say without any interruptions. Comandanta Ramona died yesterday… The world has lost one of those women it requires. Mexico has lost one of the combative women it needs and we, we have lost a piece of our heart.”


Here is the title & citation for the article we read from on this week's show (15 December 2007):

Do Not Leave Us Alone!
Interview with Comandante Ramona,

Published in Double Jornada,
Monday, March 7, 1994

article link on the web:

14 December 2007

EZLN Revolutionary Laws for Women

1) Women, regardless of their race, creed, color, or political affiliation, have the right to participate in the revolutionary struggle in a way determined by their desire and ability.

2) Women have the right to work and receive a fair salary.

3) Women have the right to decide the number of children they will bear and care for.

4) Women have the right to participate in the affairs of the community and to hold positions of authority if they are freely and democratically elected.

5) Women and their children have the right to primary attention in the matters of health and nutrition.

6) Women have the right to education.

7) Women have the right to choose their partner and are not to be forced into marriage.

8) Women shall not be beaten or physically mistreated by their family members or by strangers. Rape and attempted rape will be severely punished.

9) Women will be able to occupy positions of leadership in the organization and to hold military ranks in the revolutionary armed forces.

10) Women will have all the rights and obligations elaborated in the revolutionary laws
and regulations.

09 December 2007

Prison Radio

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I hope you all know about this website with current and archived radio essays by Mumia Abu-Jamal.

Mumia Abu-Jamal is an award-winning journalist who chronicles the human condition. He has been a resident of Pennsylvania’s death row for twenty-five years. Writing from his solitary confinement cell his essays have reached a worldwide audience.

We hope you can make use of it on a regular basis to check-in with his crucial perspective on current events. Bless.

07 December 2007

Olga Gacia Poem

I havent heard words this fiery in along time. This comes from an untitled poem by Olga Garcia, a chicana poet from LA. The music was by a good friend added to the original audio track.
Link to her poem Protest:


They have made us know the way to jail
Shut us in their concentration camps
But we have not lost sight of our goal
We are a people of resistance
Slavery, occupation, nothing has broken us
We have slipped through every trap
We are a people of resistance.
~Recorded by SoAnn

SoAnn Auguste is a sixty-something folksinger who sings of the joys and sorrows of the Haitian people. Over a year ago, she was thrown into jail – though not charged – and remained in the overcrowded, fetid cell without medical help for a year. Perhaps the small ruling class didn’t like her lyrics. She was released a
few months ago and was to have toured Canada; we were expecting her in Victoria mid-March, but her doctor convinced her to postpone the trip.
It’s shameful that countries like Canada, France and the USA – rich in natural resources, and accumulated wealth – should decide that Haiti, the poorest country in the Hemisphere, must not enjoy the government it chose.

After two generations of the US-backed Duvalier dictatorship ended, Haitians placed their hope in the popular Lavalas (flashflood) party which chose Jean-Bertrand Aristide to be their leader. After Lavals’ massive win in Haiti’s first free elections, action followed: health care (new clinics staffed by Cuban doctors and nurses, and medical training for Haitians in Cuba), education (poor children went to school and had a hot lunch), literacy training, resistance to privatization, attempts to bring human rights violators to justice, an effort to create an independent judiciary. Even more dangerous to offshore profits, a higher minimum wage was enacted. Owners of sweatshops and factories, seeing their profits diminish, complained to their friends in the US and Canada. Thereafter, aid went only to Lavalas opponents. Their conspiracy to intervene was described in the Western media as “an effort to bring democracy to Haiti … to stabilize the country … to establish law and order”.
The CIA created and funded a paramilitary group called FRAPH, which trained in the Dominican Republic,
Haiti’s neighbour on the island of Hispaniola. These commandos crossed the border and raided several police stations, killing many policemen. In 2001, 30

heavily-armed commandos took over the Presidential Palace, and tried to oust Aristide. The Haitian police, aided by crowds of civilians fought off the attackers.

In 2003, a FRAPH contingent attacked one of Haiti’s hydroelectric power plants, causing massive outages. They assassinated Lavalas leaders in Cap Haitien, in the north of Haiti, and blew up Aristide’s former church while it was full of supporters praying for his safety.
A secret meeting of Canadian, US, OAS and other officials decided that ‘Aristide must go’. Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Bill Graham and US Secretary of State Colin Powell demanded that Aristide ‘step down’. President Chavez of Venezuela, who, with Castro, was Aristide’s only supporter, offered direct military assistance to President Aristide under the Rio Convention and the Democratic Charter of the OAS. (cf Kevin Pina interview with Amy Goodman, p.88, “Getting Haiti Right This Time” Noam Chomsky, Paul Farmer, Amy Goodman, Common
Courage Press, 2004)

Three days later, March 1, 2004, Aristide and his wife were escorted by US Marines to the airport ‘secured’ by Canadian soldiers: they were flown to the Central African Republic. Shortly after his abduction, Aristide was rescued from the Central African Republic by a group from CARICOM and given sanctuary in Jamaica. He returned to Haiti to the great joy of his supporters, but seeing that his presence would continue to exacerbate the fragile peace, he is now in South Africa.
In February 2006 new elections were held, marked by intimidation of Lavalas supporters, electoral fraud and such mean-spirited ploys as voting stations being placed far from the populist areas and being open for too few hours. Nevertheless, the polls gave René Préval of Lavalas, more than 60% of the vote. The ‘official’ tally announced was 46%. Lavalas supporters filled the streets and cried foul. Many were shot. A few TV reporters found thousands of ballots, most marked for Préval, smouldering in a dump from failed attempts to burn them. René Préval was declared the winner. Violence marred his inauguration as thousands of illegally-detained prisoners broke out of prison, while the United Nations peacekeepers’, MINUSTAH, fired
at unarmed prisoners still inside.

In June ’06 several high-profile prisoners were released from jail. So-Ann Auguste, popular folk-singer was freed. Yvon Neptune, former Lavalas President, also known for his work with children in the slums, was also released just as he was near death. In Sept., The Lancet, a prestigious British medical journal, published a tally of human rights abuses in the capital in the 22 months since the coup of 2004: 35,000 rapes and 8,000 murders. MINUSTAH soldiers were accused of most of the sexual violence, and members of the illegal interim government of most of the murders.
The ‘war against the poor’ has not abated.
MINUSTAH is still being deployed in bloody raids into the poorest and most vulnerable parts of the capital and other mercenaries are terrorizing the countryside where they suspect Lavalas supporters. A Bolivian commentator, distressed by the role of Bolivian soldiers in MINUSTAH, says “In a context of integration based on "solidarity", like ALBA, it might be appropriate to ask ourselves whether the future of Haiti, which is in a profound state of social disintegration, lies in the UN's military approach or through continental cooperation, independent of the great powers and imbued by a Latin American vision oriented around the interests of the majority impoverished Haitian masses. (Pablo Stefanoni, ‘Bolivia Rising’, March 2007)

So what can Canadians do in the face of such gross injustice? Is it even possible to do anything useful?
Knowledge is power: let’s start by learning more about Haiti and let’s protest the role our country has been playing in Haiti’s martyrdom.

Let’s support groups which inform us about Haiti: locally, Victoria Peace Coalition which has brought us a series of speakers and film-makers to keep us up to date, and Canada-wide,
the Canada-Haiti Action Network, which provides your computer with breaking news and web-sites for in-depth analysis. Let’s write to our elected officials: those, like Denise Savoie, who are already informed and on-side, and the others, who may not know what harm Canada is doing in Haiti in our name.

MUMIA ABU JAMAL: "Behine the Coup D'Etat in Haiti"

Cuba and Venezuela have just created a 1 billion fund to help Haiti, with resources devoted to purchase equipment, build homes and provide assistance to the Cuban doctors to be deployed in Haiti, said the Venezuelan People's Power Ministry of Communication and Information(MINCI) on its website.
In a joint news conference with Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, Haitian President René Préval announced the signing of several cooperation agreements during a tripartite meeting with Cuban State Council Vice-President Esteban Lazo. “With Cuban help, healthcare will soon be provided in all Haitian communities even remote ones. A group of Haitians are taking medical studies in Cuba. They will replace Cuban doctors now working in Haiti. Also, Venezuela has provided USD 20 million in humanitarian aid to strengthen cooperation in healthcare," Préval explained to Castro on the phone. "President Castro took part in the meeting by phone to consolidate trilateral cooperation among Cuba, Venezuela and Haiti,"

Chávez declared before leaving Haiti, where he ended his tour of several Latin American and Caribbean countries. The three governments entered into an agreement under which Venezuela undertook to install four electric powerhouses with an overall capacity of 100 megawatts in Port-au-Prince, Cap Haitien and Gonaives.
President Hugo Chávez also officially announced that Venezuelan state-run Economic and Social Development Bank (Bandes) would create a USD 20 million to finance development projects in Haiti. Venezuela will spend USD 57 million to overhaul Haitian airports, and will also provide 7,000 bpd of crude oil to the island, besides the 7,000 bpd Venezuela provides to Haiti under Petrocaribe.

President Chávez seized the opportunity to clarify that he has nothing personal against George W. Bush. "This is not about Chávez versus Bush or Bush versus Chávez. If this were a personal matter, he would have been knocked down a long time ago….Bush embodies the imperialist model of colonial domination. We represent…. the Bolivarian project of liberation of our peoples," said Chávez. --Andrée Scott


Music Video: Sun Showers
British Rapper MIA Denied Entry Into U.S.
By Bhavna Malkani

British rapper MIA was reportedly refused a visa by American immigration officials due to the political content of her lyrics.
Last year, MTV banned MIA's single "Sun Showers" because it was a song about a suicide bomber.
MIA's lyrics are said to support the Sri Lankan political group Tamil Tigers and the Sri Lankan armed forces.
The rapper, born Maya Arulpragasa, was planning to visit the United States to work on her new album with various Hip-Hop producers.
Shortly after the incident, the London-born Sri Lankan rapper posted a blog on her Web site telling fans, "Roger, roger, do you hear me, over? The U.S. immigration won't let me in, I'm locked out. They won't let me in. Now I'm making my album outside the borders."

Music Video: Bird Flu

04 December 2007

Pangea Unity

Poetry by EyezaJustice

it's no longer the master and the slave
it's the father who sent the mother to the grave
ripped apart in exchange for the love she gave
it's a bird with one feather flying in stormy weather
it's taking the last breath of sanity before becoming a plundered treasure
it's the scent of terror that turns them on
pop vulture singing hit me baby one more time in their manufactured song
and the orgasm been faked for too long
just to make him feel like he's worth a little more that the truth
and so they cut the branches but forget the root
they'll be talking about the revolution
going home and beating their solution
while the children watch and cry
then grow up and give it a try
and the cycles are burning the flesh of the savior
passing it around and saying here is a taste for yah
so you reluctantly swallow then realize it's a disgrace
but their saying "its you whose got blood on your face"
there is no time to waste on unproductive guilt
we all had a part in the milk that's spilt
and now the children are suffering there is no foundation built
so be a stone cut in perfect size
to fill the hole in their lies
one circular side constructing the temple of the mind
a place where no one is left behind
be the change in the time.

we need your help. the wombin are being raped at increasing
rates. they will listen to you if you speak. we need to be
solutions. check out more information:

listen to your intuition. in times of chaos, seek clarity

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Mountain top removal. escavation. mechanized. exploitation. taking more than is needed. The me-firsts and the gimme-gimmes be a lootin' and cheating. husslin' and stealing the dignity of the mountain. Robbing the poor blind, pocketing their unemployment, down'pressor 'pon dignity. Been acid reignin' way too long. ever since Babylon. Charge us for bottles of water while they be poisoning our rivers. Feed the people Frankenstein GM foods while they be seizing our land and infiltrating our seed. Beware of such marks of the beast, funded by the neoliberal, neo-con, fascist, conquistador. Treating their own mother like a whore. How dare this be! Madda-Jah-Allah lead I to clarity. I see the cause and effect like never before. We meditate and we pray for the now of a new day. We must cultivate inner safety while taking risks. Maintain I-n-I sanity and self respect. Love is the answer. Love is the way. Dissolve the illusion of separation, of isolation, of division…this is their weapon. Carry the torch of liberation. Collaborate for resolution. Take care of your nutrition. Listen to your intuition. Improv. the solution. The ancient hold the secrets, our great grandmothers hold the key, we enroll into the school of iscense. Mother nature's divinity.

Min Erhabe--Who's the Terrorist??!!


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Digna Ochoa ( 1964-2001)

On October 19th, 2001, Digna Ochoa, a leading Mexican human rights lawyer, was found shot dead in her office in Mexico City.

Digna Ochoa had taken on some of Mexico's most controversial cases,including the defense of Rodolfo Montiel and Teodoro Cabrera, anti-logging environmentalists in the state of Guerrerro, Zapatistas guerrillas in Chiapas and the rights of indigenous communities in her home state of Verazcruz. At the time of her death, she was defending three men charged with bombing banks in Mexico City to protest against globalization.

In August 1999, after she began work on the Montiel and Cabrera case, Digna Ochoa was kidnapped and beaten by two unidentified men before being set free with the warning that she would be killed if she drew attention to the abduction.
In September 1999, three death threats were received at her office. Attached to one letter was one of Digna Ochoa's business cards that had been taken from her during her abduction. Then in October,1999, on the same night that the offices of her agency, PRODH, were ransacked and files destroyed, three men broke into her home. They tied her to a chair, immobilized her arms and legs, and locked Digna in a room with an open gas canister, and left her to die. Miraculously, once again, she was able to free herself.

But the determination of her persecutors finally prevailed. On 19 October, 2001, Digna Ochoa's body was found in a legal office in Mexico City. The killers left a death threat warning other human rights defenders from the PRODH, that they would meet a similar fate, if they continued their human rights work.

The murder of Digna Ochoa sent shock waves through Mexican society. President Fox's administration, which came to power after over 70 years of one-party rule, had pledged to end impunity and radically improve Mexico's human rights situation. Digna Ochoa's murder demonstrates that the authorities have failed to deliver real improvements.

In july 2003 despite overwhelming evidence and a note beside her body addressed to other " sons-of bitch " human rights lawyers, the Mexican government ruled Digna Ochoa's violent deatha "probable suicide" and slammed the case shut.

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