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.
By George L. Pauk for Popular Resistance. The Apache Stronghold will again run, march, and pray to save the sacred land known as “Oak Flat” on February 16, 17, 18, 19. It is the third anniversary of this event that somehow echoes back thousands of years. (http://www.apache-stronghold.com/3rd-anniversary-feb-16-19.html) Oak Flat has become another of the recent flagrant abuses of American Imperialism on the body of indigenous nations. The surreptitious insertion of a note in a huge military appropriation bill turned the sacred Apache Tribe land over to foreign mining corporations. It was a masterstroke of political payola. Senator McCain led the greedy pack —and other politicians joined. They have tried to pay back the huge mining corporations for their campaign contributions. They passed a “quick-one” by the human rights community to trash a piece of high desert land that is a traditional sacred site of a small tribe of Apache indigenous people.
By Staff for #NoDAPL Solidarity Team. As you know, The Department of the Army has granted the final easement permit that is needed to complete the Dakota Access Pipeline! Drilling has begun! We need you now! We are calling all able bodied, prepared Water Protectors to the frontlines! Come to camp prepared! The conditions are hazardous and North Dakota State Legislature is passing laws that target Water Protectors! Be prepared for these conditions. Several contingents of US Veterans are on their way back to camp. Join us! We need you now! This is our last stand! Lastly, the NoDAPL Global Solidarity Campaign currently share access to our website, mailchimp, Zoom and Maestro systems with other amazing organizations.
By Deborah MacKay for the Minnesota Alliance of Peacemakers. Without the eyes of a free press these attacks and trespasses continue, with the human rights and sovereignty of indigenous peoples denied. The UN Committee on Transnational Corporations and Human Right Abuses was in Standing Rock this week to take testimony of the many transgressions against people: crop dusters spraying poison pesticides and fertilizers on the camps; hair samples indicating the presence of these chemicals; people who have been injured, beat up, arrested, strip searched; media and medics being targeted by snipers; (one medic told me he stopped wearing his Red Cross vest due to medics being targeted); praying people being attacked and the refusal of DAPL and our government to abide by the Rule of Law.
By Gina Magana, Organizer for Punt the Pipelines. Super Bowl 51 is HERE, in Houston, Texas and we have an opportunity to convey a critical message to millions of people. We must demand an end to a Carbon Based Economy, switch to a Clean Energy Economy, and end all new pipelines to protect our sacred water people, and planet. We need your help. In the air above the stadium we will fly an airplane with an urgent message to divest. On the ground, we will be at the gates of the Super Bowl drawing attention with banners, signs, while we march, drum, dance, sing, and pray to protect our sacred water, people, and planet. Please, donate $1, $10, $100 or whatever you can to help fund this Super Bowl LI Action to Punt the Pipelines for People and Planet. The airplane will reach tens of thousands of people at the game and millions on television and through social media.
By Indian Country Media Network. In an effort to make the 700 acres of beachfront property he purchased in 2014 on the North Shore of Kauai as secluded as possible, three companies controlled by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg are suing more than 300 people—living and passed on—with ancestral links to the land. The Honolulu Star Advertiser reports there are close to a dozen small parcels within the estate purchased by Zuckerberg that are owned by Hawaiian families who have rights to be on the property. The legal action Mark Zuckerberg is trying to push is called “quiet title and partition,” and according to the Star Advertiser it isn’t uncommon in Hawaii.
By Beverly Bell for Other Worlds – Gustavo started Otros Mundos / Friends of the Earth Mexico in 2007. Under his leadership, Otros Mundos has become a focal point for environmental defense throughout Mexico and Mesoamerica. The group organizes impacted peoples and their allies for campaigns around water, energy, and climate crisis, amongst other issues. It also educates, connects, and mobilizes activists and advocates around the world for effective action toward economic and environmental alternatives. Gustavo is an electric light switch – solar electric – sparking and connecting currents across the region.
By Andy Campbell for Huffington Post. Republican lawmakers in North Dakota are taking aim at protesters with a handful of bills that would make another pipeline protest far more dangerous. The oil-friendly legislature argues that its constituents are frustrated over the protests, which led federal authorities to halt construction of the $3.8-billion Dakota Access Pipeline as thousands of protesters braved cold weather and violence for months. A bill that state GOP Rep. Keith Kempenich introduced would exempt drivers from liability if they accidentally hit a pedestrian, according to the Bismarck Tribune. House Bill 1203 was written up in direct response to groups of protesters blocking roadways, Kempenich told the paper. He claims protesters were seen jumping out in front of vehicles.
By Simon Moya-Smith for Indian Country Media Network. The number of Native Americans killed by police nearly doubled in 2016 compared to the previous year, according to reports. Last year, an estimated 21 Native Americans were killed by law enforcement. In 2015, police killed 13 Native Americans, The Counted, a tabulation of all police killings in the U.S., revealed. A 2014 study by The Center of Juvenile and Criminal Justice reported that, per capita, Native Americans are more likely to be killed by police than any other demographic in the U.S.
By Tristan Ahtone for Yes! Magazine. As President-elect Donald Trump prepares to occupy the Oval Office, much of Indian Country is bracing for the worst. But the U.S. Congress has an opportunity to welcome tribal nations to the table in a unique way: It can seat an Indian delegate. For more than 200 years, the Cherokee Nation has held the right to send a nonvoting delegate to the House of Representatives, much like Puerto Rico or the District of Columbia. That right stems from treaties signed by the United States and the Cherokee Nation—treaties that are currently in effect and backed by the U.S. Constitution. It’s a right that’s also enshrined in the Cherokee Constitution: “In accordance with Article 12 of the Treaty with the Cherokees, dated November 28, 1785 (Treaty of Hopewell), and Article 7 of the Treaty with the Cherokees dated December 29, 1835 (Treaty of New Echota), there shall be created the office of Delegate to the United States House of Representatives, appointed by the Principal Chief and confirmed by the Council.”
By the Society of Native Nations. The Society of Native Nations (SNN) has been asked by the Big Bend Defense Coalition of Alpine, TX and the surrounding communities in West Texas to help stop the Trans Pecos Pipeline. SNN has committed to help by starting a camp, which will be open on Dec 30, 2016 to receive Water Protectors. The camp has been named “Two Rivers Camp”, known as “La Junta de los Rios” by the local native communities such as the Jumano, Apache and Conchos People. The Trans Pecos Pipeline (TPPL) is owned by Kelcy Warren, billionaire and CEO of Energy Transfer Partners, the same company that owns the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota. The TPPL is a fracked gas pipeline that is being built through west Texas. It will go under The Rio Grande River into Mexico where the gas will be exported to various foreign countries.
By Staff of Indian Country Media Network. “Bears Ears has been home to Hopi, Navajo, Ute Indian Tribe, Ute Mountain Ute, and Zuni for countless generations,” the coalition said. “Our ancestors lived, hunted, gathered, prayed, and built civilizations here, and it remains vital today as a place of subsistence and spirituality. Our oral traditions speak of this area, and of certain spiritual resources found only there. The protection of the Bears Ears cultural landscape is powerful medicine for healing—of the land, of plants and animals, and for all people. The Bears Ears National Monument will also ensure continued access to tribal ceremonies, firewood and herb collection, hunting, grazing and outdoor recreation.”
By Haul No! Grand Canyon, AZ — Energy Fuels Inc. is planning to poison the Grand Canyon including the precious Colorado River. Are we going to let our future be poisoned for thousands of generations by this greedy corporation? We say, “Haul no!”. #HaulNo! is an awareness & action tour that is being planned for Spring 2017 throughout Northern Arizona and Southern Utah along the proposed uranium haul route from Energy Fuel’s Canyon Mine to its White Mesa Mill. Volunteers from organizations such as Diné No Nukes, Clean Up The Mines, Grand Canyon Trust, and concerned community members have joined forces to spread awareness and empower action to ensure that the Grand Canyon, sacred sites, precious water, and our communities are safeguarded from the deadly and toxic threat of uranium contamination.
By Beverly Bell of Other Worlds. Standing Rock, ND – The power of mobilized, united people was proven once again on December 4, when the Army Corps of Engineers denied a permit necessary for the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) to be laid under the Standing Rock Sioux tribe’s ancestral Missouri River. The Army announced that it would explore alternative routes. Despite these advances, victory is not assured. Growing the visibility and resistance is the only way to prevent the Trump administration from clearing legal roadblocks so that Energy Transfer Partners, the company behind the $3.7 billion oil project, can proceed. Fierce political pressure is essential to stopping the pipeline from being dug under the river as per the current plan, or from a rerouted access point in another community with less power.