In Nevada’s remote Thacker Pass, a fight for our future is playing out between local Indigenous tribes and powerful state and corporate entities hellbent on mining the lithium beneath their land. Vancouver-based Lithium Americas is developing a massive lithium mine at Thacker Pass, but for more than two years several local tribes and environmental organizations have tried to block or delay the mine in the courts and through direct action. The Thacker Pass Project is backed by the Biden administration, and companies like General Motors have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in the project, looking to capitalize on the transition to a “green energy economy,” for which lithium is essential.
Reno, Nevada — Lithium Nevada Corporation has filed a lawsuit against Protect Thacker Pass and seven people for opposing the Thacker Pass lithium mine. The lawsuit is similar to what is called a “Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation,” or SLAPP suit, aimed at shutting down free speech and protest. The suit aims to ban the prayerful land defenders from the area and force them to pay monetary damages which could total millions of dollars. “This lawsuit is targeting Native Americans and their allies for a non-violent prayer to protect the 1865 Thacker Pass massacre site,” said Terry Lodge, attorney working with the group.
Orovada, NV — This morning, a group of Native American water protectors and allies used their bodies to non-violently block construction of the controversial Thacker Pass lithium mine in Nevada, turning back bulldozers and heavy equipment. The dramatic scene unfolded this morning as workers attempting to dig trenches near Sentinel Rock were turned back by land defenders who ran and put their bodies between heavy equipment and the land. Now they are being arrested and camp is being raided. Northern Paiute and Western Shoshone people consider Thacker Pass to be sacred.
Orovada, Nevada — For nearly two and a half years, local Native American tribes and leaders have been trying to stop the Thacker Pass lithium project, an open-pit mine that will destroy a sacred site. But despite lawsuits, rallies, regulatory hearings, and community organizing, Lithium Nevada Corporation has now begun construction of the mine at the place Paiutes call “Peehee Mu’huh,” or rotten moon. But the construction has not gone unopposed. On May 11th, Native Americans from the Fort McDermitt Paiute-Shoshone and other regional tribes set up a tipi at Thacker Pass and began prayers directly in the path of the construction of Lithium Nevada’s water pipeline.
Two volunteers with the mutual aid group Reno Food Not Bombs are in “critical, but stable condition” and one unhoused person, Michelle “Mama Bear,” is dead after a 57 year old man, David Turner, “suddenly and inexplicably drove his car through the area where the women were standing” on Monday. All three were reportedly transported to a local hospital directly following the attack, however Michelle sadly passed away due to her injuries. According to law enforcement, Turner claimed that the attack was “intentional.” As This Is Reno reported: David Turner, 57, is facing one count of murder and two counts of attempted murder. He drove into a small group of people, who were reportedly helping to feed those in need, near the Nevada Cares Campus, according to Reno police. Two were injured and are in stable condition.
Nevada - The Thacker Pass Lithium Mine in northern Nevada is headed back to Federal Court on January 5th as the lawsuits against the project near completion, but project opponents are raising the alarm that Lithium Nevada Corporation has already begun work on the proposed mine. Lithium Nevada’s workers at Thacker Pass have begun digging test pits, bore holes, dumping gravel, building fencing, and installing security cameras where Native Americans often conduct ceremonies. Lithium Nevada also conducted “bulk sampling” earlier this year, and may be planning to dig dozens of new test pits across Thacker Pass. They are claiming this work is legal under previous permits issued over a decade ago. But tribes and mine opponents, including the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony and Summit Lake Paiute Tribe, disagree.
Winnemucca Indian Colony, Paiute and Shoshone lands, Nevada - The Winnemucca Indian Colony is an Indian Colony created by the 1916 executive order of Woodrow Wilson and an act of 1928 Congress for homeless Paiute and Shoshone Indians to live and work nearby the developing railroad and town in far northwest Nevada. While the history of the Colony is complex, it is undisputed that Residents engaged in self-governance of their homelands until the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and others asserted involvement in the group’s affairs. The community has suffered from years of litigious disputes, harassment, and violence over who has authority over the Winnemucca Indian Colony. See generally Winnemucca Indian Colony v. United States of America Department of the Interior ex rel Ayers, (9th Cir. No. 18017121).
Las Vegas, Nevada - Anti-drone activists, in Nevada for a week-long protest at a U.S. assassin drone base north of Las Vegas, continued their resistance on Wednesday morning, October 19 with a nonviolent blockade of the entrance road into Creech Air Force Base in Indian Springs. After nearly two hours, three protesters were arrested. Dozens – maybe hundreds – of vehicles were stalled on the highway trying to enter the base. Protesters hope to motivate Air Force personnel involved in the U.S. drone program to follow their conscience and no longer participate. Protesters held life-sized cardboard cut-outs of four of the seven children from the Ahmadi family who were killed by a U.S. drone attack in Kabul in August 2021, and held two signs that read: “A Call To Conscience” and “Can You See, You Are Murdering Me.”
Reno, Nevada - On a recent sunny morning in Reno, Nevada, volunteers worked diligently to harvest fresh vegetables from plots of rich soil, collecting tomatoes, eggplants, and cucumbers while a few farm goats bleated behind them. The freshly harvested produce would be washed, sorted, and stored in a solar-powered refrigerator until ending up on the dinner plates of local families. But this is no typical farm. The five-acre plot of land is situated in the middle of a busy suburban neighborhood, juxtaposed near a Reno intersection where cars almost constantly whiz by. Dubbed the “Park Farm,” the operation is run by the non-profit Reno Food Systems (RFS) as a demonstration farm to train others in organic farming practices and as a means to provide local restaurants and community groups with fresh organic produce.
When Ky NoHeartInWar got a call telling them to get over near to a new digging site at Thacker Pass, or Peehee Mu’huh (Rotten Moon), they knew it was a “pretty intense” situation. NoHeartInWar got to the site, put their drone into the sky and filmed an individual taking what they say was “spearheads” out of the ground while collecting dirt samples as archeological procedures began for the Thacker Pass Lithium Mine in April 2022. The land where construction is slated is at the site of a massacre perpetuated by the U.S. government in 1865. NoHeartInWar sat down to speak with Unicorn Riot in April 2022 about what they filmed near Fort McDermitt on April 16, 2022. In a recorded interview featuring drone footage that NoHeartInWar took, they take us through what they saw that day and explained how Biden’s new Defense Production Act is allowing mining projects to supersede past “agreements between sovereign nations” while disobeying NAGPRA (Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act).
Orovada, NV — The Winnemucca Indian Colony filed a motion to intervene in the lawsuits against Lithium Americas Corporation’s planned Thacker Pass lithium mine on Friday, February 11th, stating that “to build that Thacker Pass lithium mine on lands held sacred to Colony members would be like raping the earth and their culture.” They are the third Native American Tribe to seek to join litigation against the proposed mine, along with the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony and Burns Paiute Tribe. The tribes argue that Thacker Pass is a sacred and culturally significant site, and that the federal government failed to consult with tribes as required by law. The intervention is particularly noteworthy, as the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has claimed that it consulted with the Winnemucca Indian Colony (WIC) prior to approving the Thacker Pass mine.
Reno, Nevada, - Workers for the Washoe County Regional Transit Commission (RTC) went out on strike against the RTC’s contractor, Keolis North America — a division of a notoriously anti-union company based in France that manages bus and rail operations in several U.S. cities, including Boston, Fort Lauderdale, and Los Angeles. The strikers — around 200 workers in all, including drivers, mechanics, and cleaners — were provoked by Keolis proposing a new health plan for the workers — one that would replace their existing coverage with what’s known as Health Plan of Nevada. That’s a plan offered to low-income families,” Michael Lansborough explained. “It’s a travesty for those who need that insurance when we can afford what we already have.”
Did you hear about the 3 Afghan toddler girls whose flesh was ripped to pieces by a U.S. Drone Strike last Sunday? Striking in a Kabul NEIGHBORHOOD, the attack also killed 4 other children, including 2 more under 6 years old! The grief on Amal Ahmadi’s face tells it all! 10 civilian family members dead, 7 of them children, body parts everywhere, and bodies unrecognizable. It was a horrific and tragic scene. And then there was last Friday’s U.S. drone strike in Nangarhar Province that U.S. officials claimed killed two “high profile" ISIS-K targets.” A witness reported, “…rickshaws were burning. Children and women were wounded and one man, one boy and one woman had been killed on the spot.” OFFICIALS LIE...CHILDREN, WOMEN AND MEN DIE! WE MUST UNITE TO STOP THIS RACIST U.S. DRONE TERROR IN THE SKY.
Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak met with members of the Nevada Indian Commission in Carson City on Friday as he signed legislation removing racially discriminatory identifiers or language from schools. Additionally, counties can no longer sound "sundown sirens," which once signified it was time for certain people to leave town. The law will require schools to change any name, logo, mascot, song or identifier that is "racially discriminatory" or "associated with the Confederate States of America or a federally recognized Indian tribe." Under Assembly Bill 88, exceptions can be made only with tribal approval. The legislation applies to public schools and charters, universities and community colleges. Friday's signing took place at the Stewart Indian School, which served as a federally run Native American educational institute for 90 years.
Carson City, NV - Planned legislation to establish new business areas in Nevada would allow technology companies to effectively form separate local governments. Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak announced a plan to launch so-called Innovation Zones in Nevada to jumpstart the state’s economy by attracting technology firms, Las Vegas Review-Journal reported Wednesday. The zones would permit companies with large areas of land to form governments carrying the same authority as counties, including the ability to impose taxes, form school districts and courts and provide government services. The measure to further economic development with the “alternative form of local government” has not yet been introduced in the Legislature.