Yesterday James suggested she and others would return to the site at daybreak to protect cultural sites in their traditional territory. “I’m a Sinixt woman within Sinixt territory,” she said. “I have to uphold my responsibilities to my society. We’re doing our cultural practices and they’re trying to turn us into criminals.” Little, who was not present when the arrests were made, said a number of other people were also on site when police arrived but stood aside when asked. He was not sure whether the Crown would proceed with civil or criminal contempt of court charges. “We will be patrolling the area and monitoring it,” he said. “If the company is blocked we will respond.” The injunction, which BC Supreme Court Justice Mark McEwan extended until June 30, bars anyone from interfering with Galena Contracting of Nakusp, which has a contract with BC Timber Sales to extend the Perry Ridge forest service road eight kilometers and harvest about 5,000 cubic meters of wood.
After 50 days and 1,700 kilometres on foot, a trio of Cree men are now in Ottawa. Danny Metatawabin, Paul Mattinas and Brian Okimaw set out from Attawapiskat, Ont., a First Nation near the shores of James Bay, on Jan. 4. Their goal was to walk to Ottawa and send a reminder along the way to both chiefs and the government to honour the treaties forged between Canada and First Nations. “As in the wisdom of our Elders that continue to remind us of where we should be, and in considering the future aspirations of all of our youth, we are seeking justice, equality and fairness as First Peoples of this country,” said a message from Metatawabin on the Facebook page that has chronicled their journey. They arrived, as scheduled, on Sunday. Today, the group will stopped at the Human Rights monument for a ceremony before continuing on to a rally at Parliament Hill.
Five protestors from the radical environmental group Earth First! this morning chained themselves together at the entrance to FPL headquarters in Juno Beach in an attempt to disrupt company operations and protest FPL’s plans to build a massive new power plant on 3,200 acres of land adjacent to the Seminole Tribe’s Big Cypress Reservation. Protest supporters on the scene told New Times they numbered as many 80, and said the group was in discussions with law enforcement pending the arrival of a police cut team. The group has refused an offer not to prosecute in exchange for voluntarily dispersing. Earth First! has called FPL’s plans “an act of environmental racism against indigenous people and an attack on the Everglades.
When President Obama signed the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (VAWA) in 2013, he enacted legislation that allows Native American tribes to use their own courts to prosecute non-Natives accused of committing dating and domestic violence against Natives on tribal land. The jurisdictional changes take effect in March 2015 but a pilot program, coordinated by the Department of Justice (DOJ), has authorized three tribes to exercise the prosecutions starting this week. Tribal authority over non-Natives is not new but was completely halted in 1978. But the pilot project—and VAWA itself—is a big acknowledgement of tribal sovereignty. And, because non-Native attacks on Natives on the reservation are so prevalent, it’s expected that its first case under the pilot project will emerge soon.
On Tuesday (02/18) Dozens of fishing boats surrounded the ship while more protesters attempted to block the beach. Armed police reportedly leveled their weapons at protesters in an attempted to quell uprising. At least one boat was destroyed when a water-taxi collided with it. All four occupants were rescued with minor injuries. The villagers are protesting plans to mine the island under a concession permit issued to the Chinese-owned MMP by the local government in violation of Indonesian law. The permit grants mining rights to 2,000 hectares that potentially contain iron ore. The total area of Bangka Island is 4,800 hectares. Villagers claim the mining activities will force them to relocate, and will destroy the forest and ocean upon which they depend.
This is not the first time in Kenya that Indigenous People suffer violent evictions from their ancestral territory that is slated for REDD. “The Mau Forest was made “ready” for UNEP-funded REDD with violent evictions of the Indigenous Ogiek People,” which threaten their cultural survival.[xviii] A landmark ruling on these evictions is expected to be handed down by the African Court this year. The evictions of the Sengwer join the growing roster of land grabs and grave human rights violations caused by REDD ‘readyness” initiatives and forest carbon projects, which also include persecution, imprisonment, and killing.[xix] The evictions of the Sengwer may also confirm Friends of the Earth International’s concern that REDD could “foster an ‘armed protection’ mentality that could lead to the displacement of millions of forest-dependent people, including by force.”
“Those who have organized against Correa’s policies have not fared well. If they’re lucky, they are merely harassed. More than 200 other non-violent activists end up in court and face serious jail time. ‘Like a dictator, everyone in government repeats his pro-development themes and slogans: Responsible mining, man over nature, Indians versus progress,’ said Fernanda Solis, a weary-eyed campaign coordinator for the Quito group Clinica Ambiental. ‘There is no independent judiciary. The three powers of government are acting with Correa and everyone knows it. Because Correa represents the left, opposing him opens you up to the charge of supporting the U.S., or the old right that bankrupted everyone. He’s betrayed the new constitution and proven himself a neoliberal with redistributive touches. He’s avoided pacts with the U.S. but has sold the country to China.’”
“Just the fact that we’re women and we’re indigenous makes us susceptible for violence for no other reason other than those two factors,” the University of Alberta alumna, lawyer and community activist says. “(But) not just the physical forms — the mental, the emotional and the spiritual forms that indigenous women face more highly than any other group in the country. “This is a continued reality, it hasn’t stopped, and it’s not a historical thing.” It’s revelations like these that have enticed impassioned and frustrated calls for justice, respect and social change, especially since indigenous women 15 years and older are 3.5 times more likely to encounter violence than non-indigenous women. This has prompted the Native Women’s Association of Canada to compile a database of 582 missing and murdered indigenous women nationwide, with more than half of the cases in the database remaining unsolved.
“In Vancouver, there were people chanting about the Olympics and indigenous rights. In Atlanta, the ACLU was up in arms about the jailing of thousands of young Black men in advance of the 1996 Games. In Greece back in 2004, there were armies of the ungrateful yammering about the exploding price tag and the deaths of Olympic workers. In Beijing, we heard carping about “human rights” and the crushing of dissent. In England, there were nattering nabobs of negativism dulling the Olympic shine by asking why fears of terror attacks were being used to harass activists, not to mention their whining about the extensive use of surveillance drones and cell phone monitoring. At every Olympics, you can cue the complaints, getting in the way when all we’re trying to do is enjoy a good luge. Yet it took a visionary like Vladimir Putin, a man with the pecs to match his steely will, to finally figure out a way to unite the world and make the Olympics something for everybody. Everyone, thanks to Putin, has something to care about during the 2014 Sochi Games.”
Mounds of radioactive waste dot the eastern portion of the Navajo Nation in the US state of New Mexico. The earthen monoliths contain contaminated material from the more than 250 abandoned uranium mines that once provided the raw materials for the US nuclear complex. As the Cold War ended, so did the demand for uranium. Yet growing international investment in nuclear energy has led to the prospect of renewed uranium mining in New Mexico, including the controversial new Roca Honda mine located on Mount Taylor, an area considered sacred by the Navajo and Pueblo peoples of the southwestern United States. “If developed, Roca Honda will be a huge underground mine with tremendous impacts,” said environmental attorney Eric Jantz. “This mine could destroy people’s water, land, their places of worship – all for the purposes of funnelling profits to a Canadian company that is in turn selling it to Korea.”
In this week’s Resistance Report week in we review stories from the week of action in the movement for social and economic justce. The Resistance Report covers: The Day We Fight Back Against The NSA: this Tuesday a worldwide day of activism in opposition to the NSA’s mass spying regime; Massive Resistance Building To Stop #KXL: over 200 events took place from coast to coast saying ‘No KXL’; Did We Defeat the TPP?: A growing movement of movements to organize, educate, and resist the fast track authority; and What Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Death Can Teach Us About Climate Change: Claiming the KXL will not have a negative impact on the environment is like Walter White saying heroin is as healthy as kale.
Global trends towards a strengthening of legal rights over land for local and indigenous communities appear to have slowed significantly in recent years, leading some analysts to warn that the fight for local control over forests has reached an inflection point with a new danger of backtracking on previous progress. The past five years have seen less than 20 percent of global forestland put under community control compared to the previous half-dozen years, according to new research released Wednesday by the Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI), a Washington-based coalition of 140 international organisations. Further, the group says that far fewer legal safeguards were put in place during this latter period, while those laws that have been passed have been weaker. “If private companies and governments from the developed countries don’t weigh in, all of this progress could be lost – this could be it,” Andy White, RRI’s coordinator, told IPS.
Unist’ot’en Camp has recently learned that the construction phase of the proposed Pacific Trails Pipeline has started from the East and also from the West. They intend to have the pipeline finished to the Eastern and Western borders of our unceded lands with us as the last obstacle. The entire illegitimate BC governmental system as well as the Harper regime plan on using mainstream media and their powers within to come down hard on the Wet’suwet’en for our refusal to allow them to bully their way into our lands. It is time for us Wet’suwet’en to hunker down and assemble all of the allies and supporters and begin working at shutting down the present construction phase. All researchers and activists who have committed to helping us need to step up now and provide help where you can.
Last week, the State Department has released the Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) for the proposed northern leg of the controversial and long-embattled TransCanada Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. As Steve Horn, of DeSmog Blog notes: “In a familiar “Friday trash dump” — a move many expected the Obama administration to shun — John Kerry’s State Department chose to “carefully stage-manage the report’s release” on Super Bowl Friday when most Americans are switching focus to football instead of political scandals.” Even with the Super Bowl weekend serving as a distraction, over 200 events took place from coast to coast the day after the Super Bowl aimed at sending a message to President Obama, that – according to 350.org: “it’s time for President Obama to be a climate champion, not the pipeline president, and reject Keystone XL. Standing together, we can be heard.”