Australian First Nation children are tortured and abused at Don Dale Detention Centre, Australia’s Abu Ghraib

By Ken Canning
Asia-Pacific Research, July 26, 2016
Green Left Weekly 26 July 2016

The following article from Australia is a sharp rebuke of Australian Prime Minister Malcolm B. Turnbull by an Aborigine candidate of the Australian Senate that rightly criticizes his government for doing nothing to stop the torture and widespread abuse of children and juveniles at the Don Dale Detention Centre that was exposed by investigative journalist Caro Meldrum-Hanna on Australian national television on July 25, 2016. The indigenous or Aborigine Australian community repeatedly demanded that the Australian government take legal action. Reports about Aborigine or First Nation children and juveniles, which are the bulk of the detention wards in the Northern Territory, being brutalized were frequently made without meaningful consequences.

Leaks from Don Dale Detention Centre show children being forcefully stripped naked, hog tied like cattle, carried by the neck, knocked down, and thrown by facility staff. Prison guards systematically de-humanized and humiliated children and juveniles with insults, beatings, and gassing in what amounts to nothing short of unjust abuse of authority and criminal acts. Prior to the leaked footage aired by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s Four Corners program that explicitly shows children and juveniles being abused and tortured by guards, current and past Australian governments were well aware of what was happening at the youth detention centre for approximately two  to five years. These governments, however, refused to take any action. Only when the broader general public became aware of the horrific crimes at Don Dale Dentention Centre did the Australian government feign outrage and pledge to take action by saying that it would establish a royal commission of inquiry. This is utter hypocrisy and dishonesty on the part of the federal government of Australia, which has been motivated by the self-interest of saving face.

Along with the long history of the Australian state to abuse vulnerable peoples, the racist attitudes that serve to justify the marginalization of the Aborigine of Australia are deeply entrenched in Australian society and have enabled what has happened in Don Dale Detention Centre. The victims were not seen or respected as being equals. Instead the victims were viewed as lesser people by virtue of their socio-economic and ethnic backgrounds. Essentially they were treated as non-people that could be abused with impunity. This is why Don Dale Detention Centre should be viewed as nothing short of being Australia’s own Abu Ghraib. The Iraqis that were tortured by the US military in Abu Ghraib were also viewed as non-people by the US personnel stationed there, which for the US perpetrators excused the violation of the rights of their Iraqi victims. Moreover, the comparison between Abu Ghraib and Don Dale is especially fitting since many of the wards at Don Dale are children and juveniles from Australian indigenous communities, which are a dispossessed people that have been driven off their ancestral lands by the colonial process that established Australia.

 Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, Asia-Pacific Research Editor, 26 July 2016.

Dylan Voller, a thirteen-year old boy, being strangled at  Don Dale Detention Centre.

Dylan, age seventeen, is seen above and below being tied to a chair in adult prison.

Malcolm Turnbull has called for a Royal Commission after seeing on ABC’s Four Corners the brutality that has been happening under both his government and the previous Labor government.

He said this evidence had not been brought forth at previous inquiries. Not good enough Turnbull!

People have been screaming for the past five years about the Don Dale detention centre and your government and the Labor government have chosen to ignore this pure evil. You not only ignored it, you let it fester.

You either knew and thus are complicit, or you did not know and are simply not fit to govern. You cannot get out of this one with a slippery smile, Turnbull.

A Royal Commission? What a joke! You have all the evidence you need; it shocked a whole nation. Predominantly First Nations children are being brutalised by a system you let continue in your pretence of ignorance.

The evidence is there. Sack everyone in Corrective Services in the Northern Territory. Those who did not actually do anything would have known of these practices and allowed it to happen.

Sack the NT government and while you are at it, sweep the federal parliament of the rubbish currently holding seats of power who sat by and watched while our kids were being tortured.

This is an international disgrace and this country should be dragged before the United Nations and stripped of its powers. The Australian government had its racist intervention into the NT so maybe its time for an international intervention into Australia?

Put simply the Coalition and Labor have lost the ability to govern.

Ken Canning is a First Nations activist who was a Senate candidate for the Socialist Alliance in the July 2 elections.

To read a past report about abuse at Don Dale Detention Centre please click here

The original source of this article is Green Left Weekly

Copyright © Ken Canning, Green Left Weekly, 2016

http://www.asia-pacificresearch.com/australias-abu-ghraib-australian-government-complicit-in-torture-of-children-at-don-dale-detention-centre/5538149

 

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The genocide continues: America attacks more native people to take their land — oppose this action!

This excellent group exposes what the US military is doing environmentally and domestically. Well worth subscribing to their articles.

From West Coast Action Alliance (http://westcoastactionalliance.org):

Tinian

Tinian Island after the military took it over for war games

May 30, 2016 – While the country celebrates Memorial Day and thanks veterans and serving military for their service to our nation, American citizens are about to be forcibly evacuated from an island they’ve inhabited for 3,000 years.

Pagan

Pagan Island (pronounced pa-GAHN) as it looks now, before the Navy claims it for bombing practice.

The people of the Northern Mariana Islands in the western Pacific  decided in the 1970s to not seek independence, but instead to forge closer ties with the United States. They established a commonwealth in political union with the United States in 1975. Like other U.S. territories, the islands do not have representation in the U.S. Senate, but, since 2009, are represented in the U.S. House of Representatives by a delegate who may vote in committee, but not on the House floor.

geography-of-northern-marianas0

The Northern Marianas are a US Commonwealth.

In 2013 the US Navy and Marine Corps announced their intention to turn all of Pagan Island (pronounced “pa-GAHN”) in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands into a live-fire bombing range and training area. The military requested “unfettered and uninterrupted access” to the island, which means the people are to be forcibly removed. Pagan is called “the jewel of the Pacific” because it’s pristine and biologically rich but also fragile. It has been the ancestral and spiritual home of the Chamorro and Carolinian peoples for more than 3,000 years, with recorded history dating back to the 1300s, and is being proposed as an ecotourism resort.

Pagan_usgs

Pagan Island. The Navy has refused to communicate with indigenous peoples in their own languages, thus denying them the right to know what the plans are.

Because of a 1981 volcanic eruption that caused temporary relocation of many but not all residents, families who had to leave the island have been wanting to return ever since. Some residents never left and still live there. “It is one of the most habitable islands in the Mariana chain,” said Dr. Michael Hadfield, a biologist at the University of Hawaii who has studied the island’s unique flora and fauna. Unfortunately, the government has for decades denied resettlement to most of the island’s former residents who have applied, and now the Navy and Marines claim the island is “uninhabited,” which is not true. Because of the volcano they say it’s “too hazardous” for resettlement. And they intend to forcibly evacuate the island’s remaining residents so bombing can commence in 2017.

According to the Los Angeles Times, massive, “guns-blazing war games on Pagan at least 16 weeks a year” would allow aerial, naval, field artillery, grenade, mortar, laser, and rocket bombardment. The Navy says it’ll be a good steward of the island, but with more than 700,000 live rounds to be fired yearly, that’s hard to imagine. And with fewer than 600 of the island’s 11,680 acres officially surveyed for cultural resources, how would the military know where not to bomb? More than 180 historic sites are known on the island, 110 of which are eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. Contractors working for the Navy identified six of those sites, after which the Navy discontinued the survey. That is the military equivalent of shoot, shovel and shut up.

A disturbing chain of events and manipulation has led to this crisis: READ THE REST OF THE ARTICLE

eis-hearing-11

Opposition to forcible evacuation and seizing their ancestral home is universal in the western Pacific.

http://westcoastactionalliance.org/how-the-navy-gets-its-way-part-5-forcible-evacuation

White supremacy and genocide in Australia — the dirty secret of Utopia

By John Pilger
Global Research, April 09, 2016

 

The Derogation of Indigenous Rights in Australia

I had a call from Rosalie Kunoth-Monks the other day. Rosalie is an elder of the Arrernte-Alyawarra people, who lives in Utopia, a vast and remote region in the “red heart” of Australia. The nearest town is Alice Springs, more than 200 miles across an ancient landscape of spinifex and swirling skeins of red dust. The first Europeans who came here, perhaps demented by the heat, imagined a white utopia that was not theirs to imagine; for this is a sacred place, the homeland of the oldest, most continuous human presence on earth.

Rosalie was distressed, defiant and eloquent. Her distinction as one unafraid to speak up in a society so often deaf to the cries and anguish of its first people, its singular uniqueness, is well earned. She appears in my 2013 film, Utopia, with a searing description of a discarded people: “We are not wanted in our own country.” She has described the legacies of a genocide: a word political Australia loathes and fears.

A week ago, Rosalie and her daughter Ngarla put out an alert that people were starving in Utopia. They said that elderly Indigenous  people in the homelands had received no food from an aged care program funded by the Australian Government and administered by the regional Council. “One elderly man with end-stage Parkinson’s received two small packets of  mincemeat and white bread,” said Ngarla, “the elderly woman living nearby received nothing.” In calling for food drops, Rosalie said, “The whole community including children and the elderly go without food, often on a daily basis.” She and Ngarla and their community have cooked and distributed food as best they can.

This is not unusual. Four years ago, I drove into the red heart and met Dr. Janelle Trees. A general practitioner whose indigenous patients live within a few miles of $1,000-a-night tourist resorts serving Uluru (Ayers Rock), she said, “Malnutrition is common. I wanted to give a patient an anti-inflammatory for an infection that would have been preventable if living conditions were better, but I couldn’t treat her because she didn’t have enough food to eat and couldn’t ingest the tablets. I feel sometimes as if I’m dealing with similar conditions as the English working class at the beginning of the industrial revolution.

“There’s asbestos in many Aboriginal homes, and when somebody gets a fibre of asbestos in their lungs and develops mesothelioma, [the government] doesn’t care. When the kids have chronic infections and end up adding to these incredible statistics of indigenous people dying of renal disease, and vulnerable to world record rates of rheumatic heart disease, nothing is done. I ask myself: why not?”

When Rosalie phoned me from Utopia, she said,

“It’s not so much the physical starvation as the traumatising of my people, of whole communities We are duped all the time. White Australia sets up organisations and structures that offer the pretence of helping us, but it’s a pretence, no more. If we oppose it, it’s a crime. Simply belonging is a crime. Suicides are everywhere. (She gave me details of the suffering in her own family). They’re out to kill our values, to break down our traditional life until there’s nothing there anymore.”

Barkly Regional Council says its aged care packages get through and protests that the council is “the poorest of the three tiers of government and is very much dependent on [Northern] Territory and [Federal] governments for funds to provide such services to the bush. Barbara Shaw, the council’s president, agreed that it was “totally unacceptable that people should be starving in a rich and well-developed country like Australia” and that “it is disgusting and wrong that Indigenous people experience deep poverty such as this.”

The starvation and poverty and the division often sewn among Indigenous people themselves as they try to identify those responsible stem in large part from an extraordinary episode known as “the Intervention”. This is Australia’s dirty secret.

In 2007, the then Prime Minister, John Howard, sent the army into Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory to “rescue children” who, claimed his minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Mal Brough, were being abused by paedophile gangs in “unthinkable numbers”.

Subsequently exposed as a fraud by the Australian Crime Commission, the Northern Territory Police and a damning report by child medical specialists, the “intervention” nonetheless allowed the  government to destroy many of the vestiges of self-determination in the Northern Territory, the only part of Australia where Aboriginal people had won federally-legislated land rights. Here, they had administered their homelands with the dignity of self-determination and connection to land and culture and, as Amnesty reported, a 40 per cent lower mortality rate. Distribution of food was never a problem.

It is this “traditional life” that is anathema to a parasitic white industry of civil servants, contractors, lawyers and consultants that controls and often profits from Aboriginal Australia, if indirectly through the corporate structures imposed on Indigenous organisations. The remote homelands are seen as an ideological  threat, for they express a communalism at odds with the neo-conservatism that rules Australia and demands “assimilation”.

It is as if the enduring existence of a people who have survived and resisted more than two colonial centuries of massacre and theft remains a spectre on white Australia: a reminder of whose land this really is.

I know these communities and their people, who have shown me the conditions imposed on them. Many are denied consistent running water, sanitation and power. That basic sustenance should join this list is not surprising.

According to the Credit Suisse Global Wealth report, Australia is the richest place on earth. Politicians in Canberra are among the wealthiest citizens; they like to hang Indigenous art on the white walls of their offices in the bleakly modern Parliament House. Their self-endowment is legendary. The Labor Party’s last minister for indigenous affairs, Jenny Macklin, refurbished her office at a cost to the taxpayer of $331,144. During her tenure, the number of Aboriginal people living in slums increased by almost a third.

When Professor James Anaya, the respected United Nations Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous people, described the “intervention” as racist, the opposition spokesman on indigenous affairs, Tony Abbott, told Anaya to “get a life” and not “just listen to the old victim brigade.”  Abbott was promoted to prime minister of Australia; he was evicted last year.

When I began filming Indigenous Australia some thirty years ago, a global campaign was under way to end apartheid in South Africa. Having reported from South Africa, I was struck by the similarity of white supremacy and the compliance, defensiveness and indifference of people who saw themselves as liberal. For example, black incarceration in Australia is greater than that of black people in apartheid South Africa. Indigenous people go to prison, are beaten up in custody and die in custody as a matter of routine. In despairing communities, children as young as ten take their own lives.

Yet no international opprobrium, no boycotts, have disturbed the surface of “lucky” Australia. As Rosalie’s call reminds us, that surface should be shattered without delay.

www.johnpilger.com

The original source of this article is Global Research

Copyright © John Pilger, Global Research, 2016

http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-dirty-secret-of-utopia/5519484

Guatemalan authorities arrest officers trained at U.S. School of the Americas/WHINSEC for massacres, disappearances

Also, see SOA Watch  www.soaw.org

In a daring and historic move just one week before a new president takes office, Guatemalan authorities arrested 18 former high-ranking military men Jan. 6 for massacres and forced disappearances during the bloodiest years of the dirty war that particularly targeted indigenous populations.

Most of the arrests resulted from an investigation that exhumed the remains of 558 people — 90 of them children — buried in clandestine mass graves on a military base in Cobán, formerly known as Military Zone 21. DNA testing identified victims who were killed or disappeared by the military in the 1980s. Many of the bodies were blindfolded, bound or dismembered.

Guatemala Attorney General Thelma Aldana called it “one of the biggest cases of forced disappearance in Latin America.”

Records show that 12 of the 18 arrested were trained at the U.S. Army’s School of the Americas (SOA), highlighting the sordid U.S.-support for the war, which spanned from 1960 to 1996 and claimed the lives of some 250,000, many of them women and children.

The most prominent of those arrested are Gens. Benedicto Lucas García, and Gen. Manuel Antonio Callejas y Callejas, both graduates of SOA, now known as the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation.

In the early 1980s, during the peak of the government’s repression, Lucas Garcia was the army’s Chief of Staff while Callejas y Callejas was the Director of Intelligence.

The arrests came just a week before incoming president Jimmy Morales takes office on Jan. 14. Morales, a former television comedian, ran as the candidate of the National Convergence Front (FCN), a party he co-founded that’s dominated by military officers.

Prosecutors are seeking to arrest Morales’ top aid, Edgar Justino Ovalle Maldonado, on similar charges of crimes against humanity and forced disappearances. Ovalle Maldonado, also an SOA graduate and a FCN co-founder who helped Morales get the FCN’s nomination, currently has immunity as a legislator. But Aldana has appealed to the Supreme Court to revoke his immunity.

Ovalle Maldonado was an Operations Officer at the Cobán military base in 1983, and later the commander of the base, according to Amnesty International. He is reported to have claimed that the mass graves merely served as cemeteries for two towns near the base.

Morales will be succeeding former President Otto Pérez Molina, another SOA graduate, who resigned last September as the result of a popular uprising over government corruption and is now facing bribery charges.

Further heightening the drama is the retrial of former military dictator Gen. Efrain Ríos Montt on charges of genocide. The proceedings begin today (Jan.11) for the SOA graduate, who was convicted of the same charge in 2013, but saw the verdict overturned on a technicality.

Another SOA graduate arrested in the Jan. 6 sweep was Col. Francisco Luis Gordillo Martínez, who helped Ríos Montt overthrow the government in 1982. He, Rios Montt and another SOA graduate formed a junta that created secret tribunals, repealed the constitution, abolished the legislature, and escalated a “scorched earth” policy to wipe out entire villages.

Records show that Gordillo Martinez was a three-time graduate of SOA, graduating from its infantry Weapons and Infantry Tactics programs in the 1960s and from its Command and General Staff College in 1974.

Another SOA graduate — Col. Ricardo Mendez Ruiz — commanded the Cobán military base where the bodies were found from 1980 to 1982, the year he became the Minister of Interior under Rios Montt. Mendez Ruiz died Jan. 1, five days before the arrests began.

Details on the current charges against the 18 officers are sketchy, and limited to the mass graves at the Cobán base and the case of a Guatemala City teenager disappeared in 1981 by the military. But human rights investigators have long documented the human rights records of those arrested.

The Guatemalan Catholic church’s human rights office estimated the number of dead from counterinsurgency operations in 1981 alone to be 11,000, most of whom were indigenous peasants living in the Highlands.

Lucas García took command of the counterinsurgency campaign in the Highlands in October 1981, according to anthropologist Shelton Davis*, writing in Harvest of Violence: The Maya Indians and the Guatemalan Crisis. The campaign, Davis said, was marked by massacres, targeted killings of community leaders, and the burning of houses and fields to terrorize the Indian population into not joining the guerillas.

Callejas y Callejas was arrested in connection with the 1981 disappearance of a Guatemala City teenager, but his tenure as chief of intelligence coincides with the slaughter of thousands of Mayan Indians, the murders of 27 professors, more than 80 union leaders and four priests, including American Fr. Stanley Rother and the failed 1980 attempt to murder Quiche Bishop Juan Gerardi.

As it turned out, Gerardi was assassinated 18 years later, just two days after releasing a four-volume study showing that the military forces were responsible for 90 percent of the atrocities in the war.

Both Lucas García and Callejas y Callejas graduated twice from the SOA. Lucas García was trained in 1965 in combat intelligence while Callejas y Callejas was trained in 1962 in communications. Both men later graduated in 1970 from the school’s elite Command and General Staff College.

Callejas y Callejas rose to become the Armed Forces Chief of Staff, and despite his horrific human rights record, the U.S. State Department approved his induction in 1988 into the School of the America’s Hall of Fame.

The Hall of Fame induction underscored U.S. complicity, says Roy Bourgeois, a former Maryknoll priest who founded the SOA Watch after learning that the school had trained the killers of six Jesuit priests in El Salvador 1989.

In 1990, Bourgeois was arrested after throwing blood on the Hall’s gallery where the portrait of Callejas y Callejas hung alongside that of several Latin American dictators.

The U.S. intervention, he said, was extensive. “Several U.S. administrations trained, advised, funded and armed the Guatemalan military. Many of its military and intelligence officers were on the CIA payroll.”

Bourgeois and other human rights activists have hailed the Guatemalan arrests.

Grahame Russell, co-director of Rights Action, a Canadian NGO engaged in human rights work throughout Central America, called it “an extraordinarily positive step forward” in a country where military impunity has been the rule.

In an interview with the Venezulean-based TeleSUR television network, Russell praised the Guatemalan attorney general for filing a “series of war crimes charges” stemming from “the worst years of the U.S.-backed repression and genocide.”

The filing was especially significant, he said, coming “just as another military-backed president is about to assume the presidency, in this as yet very undemocratic country.” With Morales strong links to the military, Russell believes that the country will likely continue to be “dominated by the same economic elites — national and international — that were in power during the worst years” of the 1970s and 1980s.”

Still, Bourgeois draws hope from the fact, that against all odds, Guatemalans themselves — from the prosecutors to the “courageous survivors and relatives of the disappeared” — have risked their lives to bring the perpetrators to justice.

“They want the truth, and they want it to come out. And they are willing to die for it,” he said. “They’ve waited some 35 years. The strategy of the military has been to keep stalling until those responsible have died off. But there will never be any justice or reconciliation until there is accountability and the perpetrators start going to prison.”

*An earlier version of this story attributed the wrong author for Harvest of Violence.

[Linda Cooper and James Hodge are the authors of Disturbing the Peace: The Story of Father Roy Bourgeois and the Movement to Close the School of the Americas.]

http://ncronline.org/news/global/guatemalan-authorities-arrest-soa-trained-officers-massacres-disappearances

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Indigenous Nations v. Junipero Serra: AIM takes Serra to court

From Indian Country Today Media Network

Serra Tribunal Defense Team

Nanette Deetz
9/21/15

Junipero Serra was brought to court by California’s tribal descendants of the Mission system in the case of Indigenous Nations v. Junipero Serra. He was brought to court by the American Indian Movement Southern California Chapter on Tongva territory in Los Angeles for the crimes of torture, slavery, rape, theft of California indigenous land and promoting the intentional death of thousands of California’s indigenous people. The historic effects of this trauma are still experienced today. Serra was found “guilty” of all charges against him.

The “No Sainthood for Serra Tribunal” was presented as satire on September 12 in the form of Guerrilla Theater, and was serious yet funny, allowing for laughter amidst the pain of the Canonization proposed by Pope Francis. This theater piece was conceived and organized by Corine Fairbanks (Lakota), director of AIM Southern California.

“We wanted people to have a voice, and we wanted this protest to be creative and interactive in a positive way,” Fairbanks said. “There is so much anger surrounding the proposed sainthood among California’s Native tribes, that we wanted people to be creative and have fun too.”

Mary Valdemar played the Virgin, and reminded Serra: “You cannot use Christianity to strip away our people. It is not an excuse for loss of language, culture and tradition.” (Steven Storm)
Mary Valdemar played the Virgin, and reminded Serra: “You cannot use Christianity to strip away our people. It is not an excuse for loss of language, culture and tradition.” (Steven Storm)

AIM Southern California views the Canonization of Junipero Serra as an international issue having global repercussions. The Doctrine of Discovery was an instrument used by the Spanish Monarchy and the Catholic Church to justify the invasion, enslavement, and genocide of indigenous people. Pope Francis, in his recommendation to elevate Junipero Serra to Sainthood, implies that the Doctrine of Discovery was justified, and atrocities committed against California’s First People were justified and by “Divine Right.” Canonization for a priest such as Serra, with the large body of his own recorded statements, and well-researched historic fact, presents a profound contradiction and hypocrisy within the Catholic Church.

RELATED: Serra-Gate: The Fabrication of a Saint

At the tribunal, Serra was assigned a public defender, portrayed by Fairbanks, and a defense attorney portrayed by Dennis Sandoval Landau (originally from Guatemala, now a senior at Cal State Los Angeles). There was a judge, expert witnesses for the Church, and even Satan, portrayed by San Bernardino College student Jason Martinez.

Martinez portrayed a dancing Satan with lines like, “don’t you love what you have now? Inhale the sweet smell of gunpowder in your streets instead of the sweet smell of sage.”

Josey Trevor played the comedic, yet serious pregnant nun. (Steven Storm)
Josey Trevor played the comedic, yet serious pregnant nun. (Steven Storm)

The role of Junipero Serra was performed by Kevin Head, a professional actor who also organizes community gardens. “It’s tough to play the role of someone so hated. Now I understand why so many California tribal people are angry. The decision to grant sainthood to Serra is wrong,” Head said.

The prosecuting attorney, played by Angela Mooney D’Arcy, Acjachemen Nation/Juaneno Band of Mission Indians, and executive director and founder of Sacred Places Institute for Indigenous Peoples, asked pointed questions about colonial ideology, forcing the defense to stumble. She asked for a definition of genocide, and forced Serra to say that he believed completely in Church Doctrine at the time.

The prosecution presented its own expert witnesses including the Virgin/Tonatzin, who was portrayed by Mary Valdemar, librarian at San Bernardino Community College and V.P. of Latino faculty and staff. The Virgin reminded Serra: “If you have men who claim to be doing the work of God, yet they prey on the most vulnerable, the women, the children, you have an obligation to speak out. You cannot use Christianity to strip away our people. It is not an excuse for loss of language, culture and tradition.”

Lydia Ponce (Mayo, Sinaloa and Quechua, Peru) represented the role of the women working in the fields, who were not fed enough, and were beaten. Her performance brought tears to the eyes of those watching. Josey Trevor (Hopi descendant, Third Mesa and Diné) provided comic relief as the pregnant nun. “Here we are again, Serra. Not only did you rape me (thus my pregnancy) my mother, and our children, but you enabled the Spanish soldiers to beat us and strip us. They came into our room all the time,” the nun said.

Lydia Ponce portrayed women beaten and forced to work in the fields with little food. (Steven Storm)
Lydia Ponce portrayed women beaten and forced to work in the fields with little food. (Steven Storm)

The tribunal was not only creative, funny, and engaging, but it also asked serious questions about the validity of canonization and the effects of colonization and historic trauma that tribal descendants of the Mission system continue to endure. The play presented the effects of dominant cultural mythology that is taught in California schools as the only narrative about California’s tribal nations, and the importance of a new historic truth.

http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2015/09/21/indigenous-nations-v-junipero-serra-aim-takes-serra-court-161802
 
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Vltchek: Ecuador fights for humanity, while Greece fights for Greece

Global Research, July 08, 2015
CounterPunch 7 July 2015

Greece is white, it is European, and therefore eyes of entire Western “progressive” world are now directed towards Athens: will its government dare to default, would Greece leave euro-zone and eventually the European Union? As if the answer to this question could change the world; as if Athens is where the fate of humanity will be decided.

Some 10 thousand kilometers away, Ecuador is predominantly indigenous, and therefore, inhabited by ‘un-people’, to borrow from George Orwell’s colorful terminology. Battered by its own, mainly Euro-centric and pale-skinned ‘elites’ who are enjoying extremely close links with both EU and the United States, Ecuador and its determinedly left-wing government can count very little on international solidarity, especially on the camaraderie from ‘so-called progressive’ movements in the West.

After all, non-white, non-Western people are expected to suffer. Even the left in the West is ‘accustomed to’ their agony.

Frankly, almost nobody in Europe or in the United States wants those left wing governments in Latin America, in Asia or in Africa, to succeed. That is ‘well hidden secret’, or at least ‘an uncomfortable truth’!

China, South Africa, Venezuela, Ecuador and other countries all over the world have been addressed and treated in the most despicable, patronizing, and even racist way by so-called left wing individuals and groups in the West.

The Left got thoroughly defunct in both Europe and in North America. But it continues to be distressingly self-righteous, self-indulged, bossy and arrogant. It does not govern and does not inspire almost anybody, anymore. It became shamefully cowardly and lazy. But it behaves as if it would be holding some God-given right to judge and advice others: those who do fight, those who do inspire and those who do govern! It is evident that it wants non-Western socialist and communist governments and movements, those that are proudly governing all over the world, to go straight to hell!

“If we collapsed, let others collapse as well!” Is unpronounced motto.

It is because even the Left in Europe and US is constructed on Christian and Euro-centric mind frame, with exceptionalism and supremacist sentiments at its core.

Of course such things are never pronounced in Paris, London, Rome, or New York, but there is a perfect consensus there, that only the Western thinkers and leaders are qualified and should be trusted with ‘saving the world’. And only they ought to be allowed to decide, which country qualifies to be called socialist or communist, democratic or tyrannical, progressive or regressive.

Unable to lead, and most likely unwilling to govern, too lethargic and intellectually spent, most of Western ‘progressive’ thinkers are constantly regurgitating lunatic economic and political theories that no one in other parts of the world, especially the poor world, would ever take seriously, let alone want to implement. Those Western ‘progressive leaders’ are also demanding grotesque levels of purity from the Latin American and Asian left-wing leaders. Simultaneously, they demand great sacrifice from non-Western people: “Let us consume and live high-life, as poor us, we cannot help it. But let them care about environment and live in austerity.”

***

And so, while Greece votes on its financial future, Ecuador is facing one of the most vicious subversions in its history. It is facing it alone. It appears that everyone from non-Latin American left who matters is now in Athens. As far as I know, there are no solidarity ‘delegates’ descending on Quito!

Ecuador has now been abandoned, not unlike Venezuela was, for already quite some time.

I was recently invited to speak on an important television channel based in Iran, to talk about Palestine and Greece. I refused. My argument was clear: both Palestine and Greece already received enough solidarity from ‘us’, in Latin America. Now our revolutions are facing great threats. They are being attacked. We are human, too! We also need help; we need solidarity.

To give credit where credit is due, Iranian editor put me on hold, after expressing her concern about the situation in Latin America. Few minutes later she came back to me, via Skype: “I talked to our director and he told me to interview you on Ecuador. He said: they are our brothers. We fall together, or we will survive together!”

Naturally, such statements and gestures are remembered for the rest of the life!

But that’s Teheran, not London or Paris or Chicago!

***

My priority now is Ecuador. My priority is Latin America. This is where I see great battle for the future of humanity taking place. Here and in Asia. Definitely not in Europe!

Latin American governments here are not perfect. Chinese government is not perfect either. But they are doing all they can, after decades and centuries of plunder, after Europe, the United States, in unison with local elites and multinational companies, were pillaging and raping everything “south of the border”.

Corruption could not be eradicated in one year, or in one decade. Imported religious and moral corruptions were shaping entire “Latin America” (which is, thankfully, becoming less and less ‘Latin’ these days) by murderous and greedy Westerners, for generations. Things can improve, greatly, in one decade or even in one year, but horror structures built during long centuries could not be fully reversed. ‘The Process’ has to be in place for many years, uninterrupted.

Yes, we are not perfect, but we are trying to get better as we go. We are moving forward! We are trying to, going and falling, passing through fire, filth, conspiracies and intrigues. We are moving forward, damn it!

***

Ecuadorian elites are protesting and they are sabotaging everything great that was done by Correa and his administration. Many think that the coup is in the air.

Not one word about progress; new highways and airports, modern hospitals and schools, medical posts, countless playgrounds for children, free culture, libraries… Right wing in Ecuador owns most of the media. Not much positive is written about Ecuador by Western ‘progressive’ media outlets, either. We at Counterpunch being a great exception!

Not much good is written about China, Vietnam, Eritrea, South Africa, Zimbabwe or Iran. To Western purists, all these countries are not good enough, not socialist enough, not as they define socialism or communism, not as they define democracy! 6 or 7 thousand years of Chinese culture mean nothing. Everything has to be measured and defined only by Western standards.

Russia is different: it is not socialist at all (although it adopted great internationalist Soviet foreign policy), but it is predominantly white, and so it gets plenty of emotional support, fiery speeches and declarations of love and support.

Many Chinese comrades I spoke to in Beijing fully gave up on the Western left; they see it, mainly, as the most reactionary force (ideologically), when it comes to non-white left wing countries and governments. And I couldn’t agree more!

***

Greece should default. That fortress, fascist European Union, should not bully it.

But Greece should fight for internationalist, global ideals.

While we all know, that what it is fighting for is just its own gain… or for survival of its high standards of living.

When things were going well, when money was flowing in, when Greek farmers began driving latest models of German cars on smooth motorways, Greek people were not protesting. And they were not asking where the money came from. It mainly came from plundering on non-Western world, of ‘non-people’. That was fine, wasn’t it?

I was in Greece, recently. I spoke to many people, including those from their left, mainly from the left. Almost nobody had any clue about what is going on in Latin America. No one cared. Even in Turkey they are monitoring what goes on in Caracas or La Paz.

But not in Athens – in Athens nobody gives a flying f…!

Many were still complaining bitterly about illegal immigration from Africa! Don’t those writers who are now writing flattering essays, glorifying Greek people, know that? Or they pretend not to see and hear?

Greece is fighting for its own goals. Its incomes dropped, from 1.400 to 800 euros a month, per capita, in many cases. Terrible, but in many African nations where money to support Greek farmers often came from (by EU finishing African agriculture), incomes are sitting at around 30 euros per month. I tried to address these issues in Athens, but encountered stone faces and total bewilderment, even hostility. I was told: “But we are used to different standards!”

And therefore I repeat: what is happening in Greece is not some left wing, internationalist revolution.

Greeks are fighting for Greece.

Latin America is fighting for humanity! It never exploited anybody. It sent doctors, teachers, all over the world. It sent oil to the poor, even in the United States. It supplied unfortunate countries like East Timor with trainers. It offered solidarity to Palestine, Iran, so many others!

***

If Ecuador will get under direct fire, I will go back, and I will stand by it, doing all I could to support it. And if the Western Left will do nothing to help, I will break, fully and categorically, all my ties with it!

As many wrote: Greece will survive. “It is, after all, in Europe”. Even when it is down, it is, somehow, up.

We, “down here”, will not have another chance. And if we fall, entire non-Western world will fall with us!

Andre Vltchek is a philosopher, novelist, filmmaker and investigative journalist. He covered wars and conflicts in dozens of countries. His latest books are: “Exposing Lies Of The Empire” andFighting Against Western Imperialism.Discussion with Noam Chomsky: On Western TerrorismPoint of No Return is his critically acclaimed political novel. Oceania – a book on Western imperialism in the South Pacific. His provocative book about Indonesia: “Indonesia – The Archipelago of Fear”. Andre is making films for teleSUR and Press TV. After living for many years in Latin America and Oceania, Vltchek presently resides and works in East Asia and the Middle East. He can be reached through his website or hisTwitter.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/in-ecuador-fight-for-mankind-in-greece-fight-for-greece/5461048

U.S. Navy’s massive war games in pristine Gulf of Alaska — wildlife and ocean be damned

The war “games” run from June 15 – June 26, 2015.

War Games Set to Begin Today in the Pristine Gulf of Alaska
by Sonia Luokkala – June 15, 2015
Earth Island Journal

As the Navy unleashes 6,000 personnel for training exercises, local communities protest impacts on wildlife and fisheries

Today the US Navy plans to unleash 6,000 sailors, soldiers, airmen, Marines and Coast Guard members along with three Navy Destroyers, 200 aircrafts, untold weaponry, and a submarine to converge in war games in the Gulf of Alaska. The training exercises are scheduled to continue through June 26.

The Navy’s choice of the Gulf of Alaska – one of the most pristine places left on Earth, and at the peak of migration and breeding periods of marine life – has left locals baffled and upset.

In the last month, protests have been held in Cordova, Kodiak, and Homer, Alaska. Emily Stolarcyk, a program manager with the Eyak Preservation Council, an environmental and social change organization based in Cordova, says local communities have never before united in such a way, pointing to the 100-plus fishing vessels that joined the protest against the Navy.

“It was incredible to see the commercial fleet turnout and unite like that with tons of support from people on shore as well,”
she says.

Regional tribal villages have also been vocal in their opposition, worried that the Navy’s trainings could affect their subsistence foods. Several tribes have passed resolutions opposing the trainings and others are requesting formal government-to-government consultations regarding the plans. Local people are also concerned about the possible impacts on marine life.

According to Stolarcyk, the Navy has not been receptive to these concerns. “The Navy is refusing to negotiate at all with local communities,” she says.

The Navy has conducted Northern Edge training exercises in Alaska every two years since 1994. In 2011, the Navy expanded the scope of their training exercises and the use of the highly controversial low-frequency active sonar was authorized for the first time. The 2013 training was cancelled due to the federal government’s budget crisis.

The Gulf of Alaska training area includes more than 42,000 nautical miles of surface and subsurface waters. The area of impact spans more than 8,429 nautical miles, including Alaskan Marine Protected Areas and NOAA designated Fisheries Protected Areas

Residents of Homer, Alaska have been vocal in their opposition to the Navy’s war games in the Gulf of Alaska.

The pristine waters of the Gulf of Alaska provide critical habitat for over 383 species of marine life. Its nutrient-rich waters call forth as many as 20 different species of whales every summer, including three different species of elusive beaked whales that are especially sensitive to the effects of the Navy’s active sonar.

Training exercises will be carried out simultaneously with the key breeding and migratory season for marine life in the area, including five species of Pacific Salmon that return from the ocean to lay their eggs in the rivers and streams of their origin.

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