Empire, Indigenous Rights And The Environment

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By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese for Clearing the FOG Radio. With Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, wildfires and droughts fresh in our minds and threats of greater global aggression, we take a look at the connections between Empire, war, Indigenous rights and the environment. This week is the tenth anniversary of the official adoption of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. We speak with Gar Smith, editor of The War and the Environment Reader, about his new book and a conference he is organizing later this month with World Beyond War on the topic. Then we speak with Charmaine White Face, author of Indigenous Nations’ Rights in the Balance, who participated in and protested the process used by the United Nation, about Indigenous sovereignty and her work to protect the Black Hills, a sacred site.

Newsletter – No #NAFTA2, Yes To Trade For People & Planet

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By Daniel Cooper Bermudez. The Trump administration is renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with Canada and Mexico in secret, just as President Obama did with the TPP. Over the past two decades, NAFTA has resulted in workers losing their jobs and being replaced by machinery, ruined family farms throughout the continent, displaced communities and privatized social services, environmental disasters like the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and a widespread attack on labor rights and unions. This week, we explain our opposition to NAFTA2 and put forward a strategy to remake trade so it is no longer corporate-driven trade for the profits of a few, but people-driven trade to benefit all and protect the planet.

Stop DAPL Rallies At Energy Transfer Partners HQ

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By Jade Begay and Yolonda Blue Horse. Dallas, TX — Today, hundreds of activists rallied and stood in solidarity with communities who have been impacted by Energy Transfer Partners’ pipelines. Despite unprecedented protest of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) and being charged for many violations during the construction of DAPL, Energy Transfer Partners continues to expand its operations across the United States. From North Dakota to Pennsylvania, from Ohio to Louisiana, from Michigan to Texas, ETP violates Indigenous sovereignty, human and environmental rights. “Enough is enough. Across the country, Energy Transfer Partners steals land, poisons air and water, and trashes the climate,” said Yolonda Blue Horse, Society of Native Nations.

New York City Considers Removal Of All Statues Symbolizing Hate

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By Madina Toure for Observer. New York, NY – A proposal to remove a statue of the explorer Christopher Columbus on the Upper West Side will receive “immediate attention” by Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office in the wake of violence stemming from a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va. City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, a Democrat, and Harlem elected officials held a rally on Monday calling for a statue of J. Marion Sims, a 19th Century doctor who has been called the “father of modern gynecology,” to be removed from Central Park, where it is situated on East 103rd Street in East Harlem. Concerns with that statue stem from the fact that Sims experimented on African slaves without their consent or any anesthesia throughout his career as a doctor.

Multiple Cities Call For End To Celebration Of Columbus

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By Ramona Giwargis for The Mercury News. San Jose, CA – A battle is brewing inside San Jose City Hall to remove a statue some say represents violence and genocide. The San Jose Brown Berets last week launched a petition to remove the Christopher Columbus statue from the City Hall lobby, its home since the East Santa Clara Street building opened in 2005. “That part of history was written in my people’s blood,” said Peter Ortiz, 27, a labor organizer, trustee at Mount Pleasant Elementary School District and co-chair of the Brown Berets. “Christopher Columbus didn’t just come here with nuts and berries for my ancestors. There was rape and genocide.”

Why We're Investigating Grand Canyon Uranium

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By John Ahni Schertow and Garet Bleir for InterContinental Cry. In 2012, US Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced a twenty-year ban on mining surrounding the Grand Canyon National Park. It was one of the biggest wins for the environment that year. After all, 10,000 uranium mining claims threatened to turn this iconic natural landscape into a radioactive wasteland. The moratorium put an end to all that — at least for the next 20 years. Unfortunately, our celebration of the historic decision had consequences. It drowned out two pressing facts that the media urgently needed to focus on: there were at least four old uranium mines near the Grand Canyon that could be reopened despite the moratorium; and there were still hundreds of abandoned uranium mines on Navajo (Diné) land that needed remediation.

First Cross Border Anti-Nuclear Action

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By the Intermountain West Uranium Summit. ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico — Intermountain West Uranium Summit participants are inviting affinity groups everywhere to take part on July 15-16 in our first Cross-Border AntiNuclear Action (CBAN), commemorating the anniversary of the largest radioactive accident in U.S. history and the explosion of the first atomic bomb. Members are holding events in our locales to raise awareness that the entire nuclear industry, from cradle to grave, is one deadly chain. Beginning with extraction of uranium, proceeding to refinement of yellow cake, through transportation on public routes, operation of nuclear power plants, and weapons manufacture, to waste disposal issues, the nuclear process releases lethal radiation to air, land and water. It history is fraught with accidents, illness and threats to life on earth. It must stop before it kills more humans and other living things.

Haul No! Awareness And Action Tour

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By Haul No! Haul No! is an awareness & action tour that will be held in Spring 2017 along the proposed uranium haul route of the Canyon Mine (owned and operated by uranium production company Energy Fuels Inc.). We intend to spread awareness and stimulate action to ensure sacred sites, the Grand Canyon, and our communities are safeguarded from this deadly toxic threat. The Canyon Mine is a uranium mine located near Red Butte, a sacred mountain and Traditional Cultural Property only six miles from the Grand Canyon’s South Rim. Canadian company, Energy Fuels, is currently sinking the mine shaft and plans to extract uranium in early 2017. The company is operating under a Plan of Operations and Environmental Review that date to 1986, and the Forest Service failed to properly consult with the Havasupai Tribe before allowing the mine to operate.

Ranchers Mutilate Indigenous People Demanding Land Back

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By Survival International. Brazil – Thirteen Brazilian Indians have been hospitalized after a brutally violent attack by men armed with machetes in the Amazon. One man appears to have had his arms severed in disturbing photos released to Survival International. The attack was in retaliation for the Gamela Indians’ campaign to recover a small part of their ancestral territory. Their land has been invaded and destroyed by ranchers, loggers and land grabbers, forcing the Gamela to live squeezed on a tiny patch of land. The Gamela are indigenous to the area in Maranhão state in northern Brazil. Powerful agribusiness interests – reportedly including the Sarney landowning family – have been in conflict with the tribe for some time. The family includes a former president of Brazil and a former governor of Maranhão state.

‘Red Line’ For Mother Earth Drawn At US Capitol

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By Lauren McCauley for Common Dreams. Representing the communities on the frontlines of the climate crisis, activists are forming a “red line” in front of the U.S. Capitol building on Friday, vowing to stand firm “against the corporations and politicians driving the extractive economy” and their increasing assaults on people and planet. “We draw a red line through the militarization of the federal budget, and the rising wars at home and abroad, and the ‘dig, burn, dump’ economy,” declares protest organizer It Takes Root in its call-to-action. “We hold a red line to defend our environment, our homes, our families and our future generations.”

Energy Fuels Completes Drilling Near Grand Canyon

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By Klee Benally for Haul No! GRAND CANYON, AZ — Energy Fuels Inc. recently reported that it has completed drilling of it’s uranium mine shaft at Canyon Mine, which is located just miles from the Grand Canyon. The company is now creating a plan based upon results of the drilling before it can resume construction at the site. They have also temporarily fired most of their workers. Energy Fuels threatens that uranium ore extraction could begin at Canyon Mine as early as June 2017. “Energy Fuels is violating Mother Earth, desecrating sacred Red Butte, and now bringing poisonous water laced with uranium out of their mine near the Grand Canyon. It is an outrage to witness careless mine workers spray radioactive pollution over these sacred lands.” stated Klee Benally, a coordinator with Clean Up The Mines and volunteer with Haul No!, “That they are also transporting millions of gallons of this toxic contaminants through Diné Bikeyah (Navajo Nation) without our informed consent, where our communities continue to suffer the effects of the nuclear industry’s deadly legacy, is an outrage.

Grand Canyon Uranium Mine Filling With Toxic Water

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By Alicyn Gitlin and Leona Morgan for Sierra Club. TUSAYAN, Ariz. – The controversial Canyon Mine, located just six miles from Grand Canyon’s South Rim, is filling with surplus water after a wet winter. In an effort to dispose of the water from the bottom of the mine shaft, mine owner Energy Fuels Resources (USA) Inc. is trucking the contaminated water to the White Mesa Mill uranium processing facility near Blanding, Utah and spraying it, into the air and on the adjacent Kaibab National Forest, in an attempt to evaporate it. The Plan of Operations requires that all excess water be retained in holding ponds and be treated on-site. Simultaneously, Energy Fuels has allowed state environmental permits intended to help protect groundwater to expire.

Standing Rocks Is Burning – Our Resistance Isn’t Over

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By Julian Brave NoiseCat for The Guardian. North Dakota – Just north of the Standing Rock Sioux reservation, water protectors set their makeshift and traditional structures ablaze in a final act of prayer and defiance against Energy Transfer Partner’s Dakota Access Pipeline, sending columns of black smoke billowing into the winter sky above the Oceti Sakowin protest camp. The majority of the few hundred remaining protesters marched out, arm in arm ahead of the North Dakota authorities’ Wednesday eviction deadline. An estimated one hundred others refused the state’s order, choosing to remain in camp and face certain arrest in order to defend land and water promised to the Oceti Sakowin, or Great Sioux Nation, in the long-broken Fort Laramie Treaty of 1851.

DAPL: Twenty-first Century Replay Of Manifest Destiny

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By Billy J. Stratton for History News Network. Resistance to colonial oppression has long been a way of life for Lakota and Dakota peoples living at Standing Rock. Their interactions have been defined to a large extent by conflict over land and resources, and through resistance to systematic efforts aimed at the destruction of their cultures and sense of identity through government policies such as allotment, termination, and relocation, along with their forced assimilation in boarding schools and the repression of Native spirituality and religion. Native peoples’ claims to the lands of the Northern Plains, expressed in the very names of North Dakota and South Dakota, have been systematically eroded over the past century and a half through the instruments of war, broken treaties, theft, and corruption.

Federal Judge Denies Request To Block DAPL Pipeline Construction

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By Staff of Associated Press. A U.S. federal judge on Monday denied a request by Native American tribes seeking to halt construction of the final link in the Dakota Access Pipeline, the controversial project that has sparked months of protests by activists aimed at stopping the 1,170-mile line. At a hearing, Judge James Boasberg of the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., rejected the request from the Standing Rock Sioux and Cheyenne River Sioux tribes, who argued that the project would prevent them from practicing religious ceremonies at a lake they contend is surrounded by sacred ground. With this decision, legal options for the tribes continue to narrow, as construction on the final uncompleted stretch is currently proceeding. Another hearing is scheduled for Feb. 27, as the tribes seek an injunction ordering the Army Corps to withdraw the easement. Lawyers for the Cheyenne River Sioux and the Standing Rock Sioux wanted Judge Boasberg to block construction with a temporary restraining order on the grounds that the pipeline would obstruct the free exercise of their religious practices. “We’re disappointed with today’s ruling denying a temporary restraining order against the Dakota Access Pipeline, but we are not surprised,” said Chase Iron Eye.