Charlottesville, VA: Woman Takes Sanctuary in Church, Fights Deportation

It's Goin Down - Mon, 10/08/2018 - 22:35

The post Charlottesville, VA: Woman Takes Sanctuary in Church, Fights Deportation appeared first on It's Going Down.

The following press release was sent to It’s Going Down, and details the ongoing fight of María Chavalan Sut to seek sanctuary and resist her deportation.

CHARLOTTESVILLE—María Chavalan Sut, a 44-year-old woman living in Virginia, announces today that she is taking public sanctuary at Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church. After receiving a removal date of September 30, 2018 from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), María instead moved into Wesley Memorial UMC to continue pleading her case in the US Immigration Court system. Returning to Guatemala would mean death for María.

María’s attorney Alina Kilpatrick, support team, and church and community representatives are holding a Press Conference today, Monday, October 8th, at 2:30 PM EST at the church, which is located at 1901 Thomson Road, Charlottesville, VA 22903. Doors open at 2:00pm.

“I have lived all of my life with violence. My children are the reason I am fighting. I want them to live without all of the suffering I have experienced. Living in the church – this is the first time I can breathe; the first time I can sleep; the first time I have not felt afraid.” – María Chavalan Sut

María is originally from the indigenous Keqchikel community in Guatemala. As a member of a persecuted ethnic group, María has a right to claim asylum, but is not being given the opportunity to exercise that right. After passing a credible fear interview at the border, ICE released María to appear in court and present her case. Like many other asylum-seekers, the Notice to Appear that ICE provided to María did not include a date or time to appear.  Because ICE failed to provide María with accurate notice of her hearing date, she did not appear, and an immigration court ordered her removal. María is challenging the lack of notice she received through a motion to reopen her case which is pending before an immigration judge in Arlington. By ordering María to buy a plane ticket to Guatemala, ICE is depriving María of her due process right to make that challenge. ICE has chosen to ignore the 1967 Protocol on the Status of Refugees by deporting her to likely imminent death.

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#HandsOffMaria press conference with local Charlottesville faith leaders and community organizations.

Posted by Hands Off Maria on Monday, October 8, 2018

María has become accustomed to running for her life. As a small child she witnessed first- hand the violence of the long-running Guatemalan Civil War and genocide (1960-1996) when her village was burned as part of an ethnic attack on the Kaqchikel people. Her uncles and cousins were buried alive. Throughout her life,  María has felt the constant weight of persecution, marginalization, and poverty that comes with belonging to a small, persecuted ethnic group. Despite all the hardship, María went to school, and used what she learned to help others. She became an educator herself, teaching math to teenagers who did not have the benefit of school as children. In an effort to keep her native language alive, she worked at a self-publishing company in Guatemala City where she produced and distributed works in her native Kaqchikel language. Resilience and strength are two things María has shown throughout her life in abundance.

María will run no more. At Wesley Memorial UMC, the congregation and the community have come together to lift up María and support her fight for safety and freedom. When asked to open their doors, the congregation said, “Yes” in less than 24 hours, welcoming María and mobilizing community members eager to help.

“Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church is proud to offer sanctuary to María, and we consider her a member of our faith community. We join in her cry for justice. We implore any and all necessary authorities to intervene so that María can be free! We do this because María is a child of God, imbued with dignity by her Creator. Offering sanctuary to her is not a political act; it is an act of faith. In Christ, there is no such thing as citizenship, borders, or political parties. Christians have been offering Sanctuary for thousands of years. As United Methodists, our social principles “urge the Church and society to recognize the gifts, contributions, and struggles of those who are immigrants and to advocate for justice for all.” We are here and will be here for María until she is free.” —  Rev. Isaac Collins, Wesley Memorial UMC.

Today María is facing imminent deportation back to the violence she knows all too well. In 2014 a group affiliated with gentrifiers threatened María with severe consequences if she did not sell her land.  When she refused, they made good on their promise. María remembers the smell of smoke when the group set fire to her home while her entire family was inside. The persecutors who terrorized María and her family believe that indigenous people do not have  basic human rights. This is what the US government is trying to send her back to.

Inside a church built on indigenous land, in a community all too familiar with racial violence, María is reclaiming her dignity and humanity. And the community that is rushing to support her (including numerous community and faith-based groups) is well-prepared, having organized together against August 11-12, 2017 and other racist attacks.

“This community has welcomed me with love that I never expected. I feel so thankful to be united with all of the folks involved in Sanctuary here in Charlottesville.” —  María

María will be sharing information about her case and campaign through Facebook and later other social media platforms:


Categories: News

Making Monsters: Pony Ma, the “Communist” Billionaire

It's Goin Down - Mon, 10/08/2018 - 22:12

The post Making Monsters: Pony Ma, the “Communist” Billionaire appeared first on It's Going Down.

Ma Huateng, also known as Pony Ma,  is the second richest man in China, according to the Forbes World’s Billionaires list, which also lists him as the 21st richest person in the world. Ma is a co-founder of Tencent, a social networking company that produces the WeChat app and owns the popular internet game Fortnite.

An article by the South China Morning Post mentioned a study that listed Ma as China’s most generous philanthropist, noting that he donated $2.15 billion dollars in just one year, but, of course, not questioning why he should have the means to do so.

Tencent, worth $540 billion dollars according to the New York Times, came under fire in January 2017 for sexist and degrading work practices. According to Fortune, a viral video showed female employees being subjected to playing an “oral sex game,” during which they were made to get on their knees and use their mouths to try to unscrew a bottle cap from a bottle held between male coworkers’ legs. This scene took place on a stage in front of large numbers of people.

Despite his company making a mockery of sexual assault in the workplace, Time Magazine is a fan of Ma too, listing him as one of the most 100 influential people of 2018 for his contributions to the tech industry.

From Washington Post: “Chinese President Xi Jinping (L) shakes hands with Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook (C), as Tencent CEO Pony Ma (R) looks on, during a gathering of CEOs and other executives at Microsoft’s main campus in Redmond, Washington, Sept. 23, 2015.“

However, it is worth noting that much of what might serve as Tencent’s competition has been banned in China. Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp, Instagram, Tumblr, Vimeo, Youtube and several other media giants aren’t accessible in Mainland China because of a giant Firewall, according to Sapore di Cina. According to “Make It” on CNBC, the WeChat app is used by about a billion people, most of them inside China’s firewall.

This is an interesting occurrence when considering that Ma is a member of China’s legislative parliament. Is using political power to snuff out the competition what it takes to make it? If so, you can keep that shit, CNBC.

Despite boasting a communist government, China’s parliament has a net worth of $650 billion, according to the New York Times. The article continues to explain that in the last year alone China gained 210 new billionaires, making the number of China’s billionaires 40 percent higher than that of the U.S.

“The obvious reality is that China isn’t communist at all, in fact- their wealth inequality is worse than that of the U.S, making China more capitalist than any country in the western hemisphere.”

According to U.S. News, the Chinese parliament has 83 billionaires. As wealthy members of the parliament use their positions to accumulate more wealth, the gap between them and the country’s poor grows increasingly wider. The article contents that over 800 million Chinese people live on under $15 a day.

A Forbes article describes how Tencent has quietly managed to amass an empire, swallowing up media and entertainment companies in its climb to power. The article claims that China’s loose policies have allowed the company to reach heights enviable by U.S. tech giants who face more regulation.

Business Insider even lists Tencent as a monopoly, explaining that 60 percent of China’s population uses Tencent apps. The article explains why internet monopolies are popular by theorizing that the higher number of people using a website, the more new visitors it will attract. This especially makes sense in terms of social media and networking apps where the goal is to connect with people, but it doesn’t excuse the monopolization of industries and the hoarding of stolen wealth.

One would think that cases like those of Tencent would be the desirable place for China’s “communist” government to step in and redistribute the wealth and means of production, but that’s the opposite of what is happening. The obvious reality is that China isn’t communist at all, in fact- their wealth inequality is worse than that of the U.S, making China more capitalist than any country in the western hemisphere.

Researching Ma’s voting records in parliament has proven nothing short of impossible, assuming that China’s National People’s Congress or the Communist Party of China even make such things public.

Either way, one doesn’t need to see Ma’s voting record to know his empire is built on the backs of the working class, and one certainly doesn’t have to understand the delicate intricacies of China’s government to know that its existence is inherently oppressive and glaringly anti-communist.

You can oppose Ma by divesting in and taking action against Tencent products and subsidiaries listed here.

Categories: News

The Blackout Book

The Organic Prepper - Mon, 10/08/2018 - 21:54
The Blackout Book Daisy Luther … Read the rest

The post The Blackout Book appeared first on The Organic Prepper.

Categories: News

The Prepper’s Hurricane Survival Guide

The Organic Prepper - Mon, 10/08/2018 - 21:48
The Prepper’s Hurricane Survival Guide Daisy Luther … Read the rest

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Categories: News

Bug Out Boot Camp

The Organic Prepper - Mon, 10/08/2018 - 21:41
Bug Out Boot Camp Lisa Egan



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Categories: News

The Prepper’s Yearbook

The Organic Prepper - Mon, 10/08/2018 - 21:36
The Prepper’s Yearbook Erica Nygaard


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Categories: News

The SHTF Anthology

The Organic Prepper - Mon, 10/08/2018 - 21:18
The SHTF Anthology Selco



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Categories: News

The Seasonal Kitchen Companion

The Organic Prepper - Mon, 10/08/2018 - 21:04
The Seasonal Kitchen Companion Daisy Luther


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Categories: News

The Prepper’s Book of Lists

The Organic Prepper - Mon, 10/08/2018 - 20:54
The Prepper’s Book of Lists Daisy Luther


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Categories: News

Call for Autonomous Actions to Oppose the International Corrections and Prisons Association Conference in Montreal!

It's Goin Down - Mon, 10/08/2018 - 20:36

The post Call for Autonomous Actions to Oppose the International Corrections and Prisons Association Conference in Montreal! appeared first on It's Going Down.

Call for mobilization and resistance to the International Corrections and Prisons Association Conference in Montreal. For more info, go to Montreal Contre les Prisons

From the 21st to 26th of October, 2018, Montreal will be the site of the International Corrections and Prisons Association (ICPA) conference, hosted by Correctional Services Canada. The theme this year is “Beyond Prisons: The Way Forward.” Highlighted as topics of some of the conversations are: going forward to make imprisonment and community supervision both more humane and effective, using technology to humanize corrections, and improving community engagement.

The conference is aimed at corrections and prison staff, offering them a mess of programming, including academic research, presentations, and guided visits to prisons, to entrench the view that prisons can be humane, and their professions anything other than deplorable. Also invited are CEOs of companies who cater their businesses towards prisons—whether that be in the form of making electronic bracelets or making the terrible food served in prisons. The conference will include “facility visits” to a halfway house in Saint-Henri, two federal prisons in Laval, and the provincial prison in RDP. For more info on all the different aspects of the conference visit:

We think there are many reasons to oppose this conference, but have decided to highlight the following:

Under the pretext to create more “humane” detention conditions for migrants, CBSA has been awarded huge government budgets for creative new control measures for migrants. Work has begun to attempt to construct a new, higher tech, “more humane” migrant prison in Laval, on land owned by the Correctional Services of Canada. It is meant to replace the current migrant prison right nearby, and “look less like a prison.” In the context of rising fascism and anti-migrant sentiment in Quebec and Canada more broadly it is entirely possible that the number of prison spots available to enforce deportations could double in the coming years, should the current prison be kept open and the new one successfully built.

Regardless, a new humanized migrant prison, or the “alternatives to detention” such as ankle bracelets or the equivalent of parole officers for migrants that the government is proposing, should not be embraced simply because they look less like traditional prisons. They serve the same purpose: to expand the CBSA’s capacity for border enforcement and immigration policing—for imprisoning and deporting migrants and to rip people away from their families and communities. For more information:

As corrections officials gather to talk about how technology can make prisons more humane, we think about the new protocols in Pennsylvania state prisons that are using technology to sterilize communications and make it impossible for people to send books and other physical mail to people inside. For more information:

As Correctional Services Canada hosts this conference, we think about the recent outcries against solitary confinement and psychological risk assessments of Indigenous prisoners. We think of the role of Canadian penitentiaries in imprisoning Indigenous people resisting colonization for centuries. We think of the early jails that imprisoned Black people resisting slavery, that continue to imprison Black people at high rates today. We think of all those who have died in prison and who continue to die in prison and those resisting prisons around the world.

We are inspired by the recent Prison Strike that took place in many prisons across the US and Canada, which drew attention to the terrible conditions in jails and prisons, but also to the foundations of the prison system as a whole in slavery and colonialism. The death of a man incarcerated in remand in Burnside jail in Halifax just after the strike reminds us of the stakes of the continuation of imprisonment, in any form. The strength of resistance both inside and outside prison walls during the prison strike inspires us to reject the ICPA’s attempt to make imprisonment seem normal and palatable. We reject the attempt to whitewash the reality of imprisonment and call for opposition to this conference.

On Sunday October 21st at 3pm—on the two-month anniversary of the 2018 Prison Strike—there will be a rally against all prisons, outside the ICPA Conference at the:

Montréal Marriott Chateau Champlain,
1050 Rue de la Gauchetière Ouest (metro Bonaventure).
Bring banners, signs and noisemakers!

Against all prisons, even the “nice” ones.
The only way forward is an end to prison!
for more information:

Categories: News

Owner of limousine company involved in horror crash is a former FBI informant who was paid $96,000 to go undercover to 'expose terror plots' after fleeing to the US from Pakistan where he'd been accused of murder

Citizens for Legitimate Government - Mon, 10/08/2018 - 20:34

Owner of limousine company involved in horror crash is a former FBI informant who was paid $96,000 to go undercover to 'expose terror plots' after fleeing to the US from Pakistan where he'd been accused of murder --Shahed Hussain is the owner of Prestige Limousines, also known as Hasy Limos --Hussain, who also goes by 'Malik', worked as an informant for the FBI after being caught running a DMV scam | 08 Oct 2018 | The owner of the limousine company behind Saturday's horror crash which killed 20 people is a former FBI informant [and Grade 'A' sociopath] who went undercover to record alleged terrorists in mosques after fleeing to the US from Pakistan in the 1990s where he'd been accused of murder, can reveal. Shahed Hussain, 62, is named as the owner of Prestige Limousines, aka Hasy Limos and Saratoga Luxury Limousine, in Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration documents...2010 court documents from the terrorism trials of four men who plotted to blow up the synagogues in the Bronx and shoot down planes coming out of Newburgh airbase reveal Hussain's past ties to the FBI. In 2002, he convinced the bureau to take him on after being caught running a dangerous DMV scan which helped prospective drivers cheat on their tests.

Categories: News

Traditional Ojibwe Waganogan Built In Path of Line 3 Pipeline

It's Goin Down - Mon, 10/08/2018 - 20:10

The post Traditional Ojibwe Waganogan Built In Path of Line 3 Pipeline appeared first on It's Going Down.

The following report on Indigenous People’s Day comes from Anti-Colonial Land Defense, which is on the front lines of the fight against the Line 3 pipeline. 

On the early, crisp morning of Indigenous People’s Day, October 8th, 2018, a collective of indigenous an non-indigenous Water Protectors and land defenders took action against Enbridge Line 3 by order of some strong Ojibwe grandmother matriarchs.

A traditional Ojibwe Waganogan was erected as a prayer lodge in the midst of Line 3’s pipeline path: it serves as a gathering place for prayer and resistance to Line 3’s racist resource colonial existence and projects.

The main roads leading to Enbridge’s pipeline access roads were also blockaded with the intention to cease Enbridge work activity on or within the pipeline route itself and subsequent buffer zone.

We consider any and all Enbridge construction and affiliated work activity to be serious threats to our water, land, and air, in conjunction with trespassing on indigenous land. We will continue to advocate for and take direct action to stop this genocidal destruction perpetrated by Enbridge!

Categories: News

Amtrak Hijacker Participated In Neo-Nazi Chats with Charlottesville Organizers

Unicorn Riot - Mon, 10/08/2018 - 19:52
Lincoln, NE – 26-year-old neo-Nazi Taylor Wilson was sentenced to 14 years in federal prison last week for his attempted armed attack on an Amtrak train last year. Now, newly discovered materials, including leaked Discord chats from the now-defunct Traditionalist Worker Party, show that Wilson…

The post Amtrak Hijacker Participated In Neo-Nazi Chats with Charlottesville Organizers appeared first on UNICORN RIOT.

Categories: News

Solecast: Frank Lopez on Radical Hip-hop and Submedia’s New Film “And You Don’t Stop”

It's Goin Down - Mon, 10/08/2018 - 19:05

The post Solecast: Frank Lopez on Radical Hip-hop and Submedia’s New Film “And You Don’t Stop” appeared first on It's Going Down.

Anarchist hip-hop artist Sole speaks with film and media maker Franklin Lopez, the creator of the Stimulator and part of the sub.Media collective.

Listen and Download HERE

In today’s episode of the Solecast I sit down with Frank Lopez to discuss Submedia’s new film in their ongoing Trouble series, “And You Don’t Stop.”  And You Don’t Stop is a documentary about radical hip-hop as done by grass roots activists. Its an excellent look on hip-hop’s roots, its evolution and highlights some artists that are doing amazing work today.

In our conversation we talk about:

  • Hip-hop rising from the failures of Neoliberalism in the South Bronx
  • The rise of the Zulu Nation
  • The importance of aesthetics
  • The role music can play in social movements
  • Public Enemy and some of Franks favorite artists of the 80s/90s
  • Combating sexism in hip-hop
  • What rap can learn from punk and why we need to build up a network of radical hip hop based social centers

Frank also goes in depth talking about the artists he highlights in the documentary, the work they do and their music.

Outro music: “Black Anarchist” By Sima Lee

From Submedia:

Trouble #15: And You Don’t Stop

It’s often said that hip hop is more than just a type of music…. it’s a way of life. A code, a set of practices, an aesthetic and a way of handling yourself. And despite the efforts of industry executives to commodify it and strip it of its subversive potential, hip hop remains a lifestyle firmly rooted in the daily struggles faced by oppressed peoples around the world. It is a weapon, masquerading as culture.

In this month’s episode of Trouble, subMedia explores hip hop as a potent site of revolutionary politics, drawing on the first-hand knowledge and experiences of some of Turtle Island’s baddest grassroots emcees: Ant Loc, Mic Crenshaw, La Marea, Sima Lee, Lee Reed and Mare.

Just a heads up that some of the dialogue in the film is in Spanish, so for English speakers we recommend turning on the subtitles by clicking CC on the video player, and/or downloading the SRT file – particularly if you plan on using a hard copy of the video for screening purposes.

As a bonus, The Stimulator brings us a very special sedition of Burning Cop Car, featuring the music of the emcees we interviewed for Trouble #15. Click here to check it out.

Categories: News

(In)visible Disasters: Farmworkers and Hurricane Florence

It's Goin Down - Mon, 10/08/2018 - 18:53

The post (In)visible Disasters: Farmworkers and Hurricane Florence appeared first on It's Going Down.

Mutual Aid Disaster Relief brings us updates on autonomous disaster relief in farmworker communities. For more info on how to plug into autonomous relief efforts, go here

Even without a devastating hurricane, farmworkers face slow, steady invisible disasters of low wages, unsafe working conditions, the breath of ICE down their necks, wage theft, and even modern day slavery. Organizations like the Coalition of Immokalee WorkersUnited Farmworkers, and Farm Labor Organizing Committee are working to change this reality.

However, for many farmworkers, change can’t come fast enough. During the floods of Hurricane Florence, county officials ignored 911 calls from migrant farmworkers abandoned and trapped in the floodwaters, proving once again that we are all we have and we cannot rely on the authorities or “experts” in times of crisis. We must be there for each other.

Post-Florence, farmworkers in North Carolina continue to work tirelessly in tobacco, sweet potato, and other fields. In some instances, workers are wading through over a foot of flooded farmland digging up sweet potatoes. Moldy potatoes go in one bucket, and non moldy potatoes go in another. Workers are not given a minimum wage, but instead paid .40 – .50 cents per bucket for this demanding work, and are threatened if they report abuses.

Many farmworkers in North Carolina were out of work for weeks after Hurricane Florence. Since the storm, we have been steadily getting culturally appropriate food and other needed supplies directly into the hands of migrant farmworkers.

We are currently accepting volunteers to assist in these and other Hurricane Florence relief and recovery efforts. We especially could use more Spanish speakers, skilled workers, and logistics folks, but physical labor and drivers are needed as well. We are asking people to make a 4-14 day commitment. If interested, send an email to

No matter how many times we hear it, these words always cut deep, and leave us with hearts in freefall and our eyes fighting back tears: “You are the first help we’ve seen.”

We know the disaster didn’t begin with Hurricane Florence. Migrant farmworkers in communities from Florida, to North Carolina, to California are struggling daily through ongoing crises and inviting us to walk side by side and envision a revolution in the agricultural industry ensuring dignity and safe, just working conditions for all farmworkers. We also know that there are times when solidarity doesn’t look like a march, but instead frijoles, tortillas, and hot sauce shared without stigmatizing roles or paternalistic hands.

If your hands want to join with ours, if your feet long to find themselves walking these paths, there is much work to be done. And we are only limited by our imaginations.

Categories: News

Navajo Beef Brings Traditional Practices and Modern Business to Ranching

Grassroots Economic Survival - Mon, 10/08/2018 - 16:08
Link: Navajo Beef Brings Traditional Practices and Modern Business to Ranching

14-R Ranch was formed as a nonprofit operation in 2012 with a goal of blending modern practices and cultural teachings. The operation is spread among 14 range units at 18,000 acres each (thus the name 14-R). In the past six years, it has become, in many ways, a model for transforming barren surroundings into a thriving cattle operation. And, as the ranchers see it, Navajo Beef is better-tasting, higher-quality, more ethically raised, and more ecologically sound than your average American beef.

“The general beef industry has been trying to figure out the co-op model for a very long time,” says A-dae Romero-Briones, Native Agriculture and Food Systems program director at First Nations Development Institute, a nonprofit that provided funds to 14-R  to expand its operation. “So far, it’s gotten as far as having ranchers share markets; they combine products after they raise the beef, or perhaps the ranchers share equipment or processing costs. 14-R shares the land base, the equipment, the processing and the markets. [It] has one of the most cooperative models that I have ever seen.”

Beyond producing meat, the ranch is also a source of pride and livelihood that has cultivated a renewed sense of hope in a community that once felt business and life was irrecoverable.

Read the rest at Civil Eats


Go to the GEO front page

Categories: News

Attack on the headquarters of Bayer AG

Anarchist News - Mon, 10/08/2018 - 15:58

via act for freedom now!

During the night of 24 to 25 September 2018, we destroyed some of the windows of the headquarters of Bayer AG, pharmaceutical society resident in the 9th district of Lyon.

In this troubled world where the border between friendship and enmity is increasingly uncertain and changing, the mercantile society is still generous enough to produce some really bad villains. Bayer AG, parent company of zyklon B, and mustard gas, whose non-exhaustive list of horrors includes laboratory tests on women deported to Auschwitz and the flow of products infected with HIV. In the top 100 of the most polluting multinationals the monster Bayer AG merges this year with the horrifying beast Monsanto Company. Monsanto Company, parent company of agent orange, of a GMO seed with the sweet name of “terminator” and glyphosate currently at the centre of several thousand procedures for its carcinogenic properties. The north wind brought us the hearty echo of a well-deserved attack on the seat of one of these companies in Loos. At the start of autumn, while here in Lyon we are preparing for the return of our dear Gerard Collomb, we got it into our heads to make this beautiful action resonate even louder.

So, late into the night of September 24 to 25, we mustered our courage and beat our hammers many times on the pearly facade of Bayer AG headquarters, in the 9th district of Lyon. To get their poisons get out of our plates, their diseases out of the earth and our bodies. And because a minister’s resignation and climate marches will change nothing we are calling for the echo of this modest attack to continue to resonate. On their showcases and in our hearts.

Direct Action For A Better Life

Some fireflies


Translated by Act for freedom now!

via: Attaque

Tags: Francebayervandalismcategory: Actions
Categories: News

After the Confirmation of Kavanaugh, Women Will Continue to Resist

Truth Out - Mon, 10/08/2018 - 15:55

Thousands of women protested outside the US Capitol and across the country on Saturday as Brett Kavanaugh was sworn in as an associate justice of the United States Supreme Court, just hours after the Senate voted to confirm him. “I hope that it is deep enough that it is forming a strong, cohesive movement among people that will resonate through this country and change the culture,” says Medea Benjamin, co-founder of CodePink, who joined the protests. We also speak with longtime feminist activist and writer Soraya Chemaly, author of the new book, Rage Becomes Her: The Power of Women’s Anger. She says conservatives’ biggest fear since the “Me Too” movement is that women are telling the truth. “And if women are telling the truth,” Chemaly notes, “then it’s not just an indictment of a few bad apples, but an indictment of the entire system.”

Please check back later for full transcript.

The post After the Confirmation of Kavanaugh, Women Will Continue to Resist appeared first on Truthout.

Categories: News

Beyond Columbus Day: Changing the Name Is Just the First Step

Truth Out - Mon, 10/08/2018 - 15:46

On Wednesday, October 3, the Cincinnati city council joined a growing trend when it voted to change Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples’ Day. It is now one of more than 70 cities across the country to do so. The first was Berkeley, California, which adopted Indigenous Peoples’ Day in 1992, in recognition of the 500–year anniversary of the European arrival in the Western Hemisphere and the ensuing devastation to Indigenous nations already here in what became known as the Americas.

Other cities that have made the change include Los Angeles, Seattle and Phoenix, as well as states like Minnesota, South Dakota and Alaska, which have significant Native American and Alaskan Native populations. In 2017, the island country of Trinidad and Tobago made the change after a statue of Columbus was splattered in blood-colored paint. A grassroots group called the Cross Rhodes Freedom Project posted an explanation for the vandalism on Facebook at the time, explaining that the painting was soaked in red to protest the celebration of the “Genocidal Genovese Sailor” who “decimated the first peoples of the Americas, destroyed their way of life, then turned around and denied their humanity.”

There are rumors of more cities, including Dallas, Texas, following suit by today. More than 90 different entities (including cities, counties, colleges, universities, states and one country) have changed from honoring Columbus to honoring Indigenous people — at least in name — since 1990.

“I think history tells us that Christopher Columbus was not a good representation of the kind of people we’d want to value and appreciate,” said Chris Seelbach, a Cincinnati councilman, when explaining his vote. He also tweeted, “We can’t re-write history, but we can acknowledge the millions of people who didn’t need to be ‘discovered.'”

This year, the city of Los Angeles will also be celebrating its inaugural Indigenous Peoples’ Day after having voted last year to make the change. I interviewed Chrissie Castro, a Navajo activist who, as vice chairperson of the Los Angeles City/County Native American Indian Commission, helped get the change approved, on my podcast show “Not Your Disappearing Indian.”

In the interview, Castro describes what happened at the meetings that were mandated by the city council between the Native community and the Italian-American community to discuss the potential change. At the first meeting, a large group of Italian Americans came. The Italian-American community began celebrating Columbus Day in Denver, Colorado, in 1907. However, after Native activists read aloud excerpts from Columbus’s diary detailing the atrocities he and his men committed against the Indigenous people of the Caribbean, most were shocked. They admitted they were never told he did those things. Despite 100 years of celebrating the man, the Italian-American community members who attended the meeting seemed to know little about him or about what actually happened when Columbus got to the “New World.” Castro says at the next meeting, less than half returned to defend him.

By the time they got to the city council vote in August 2017, only a handful of community members remained defiant and defensive of the “Great Admiral of the Ocean Sea” (the title Columbus requested for himself from King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain in 1492). Columbus also demanded to be appointed governor of all lands he discovered and given one-tenth of all revenue and one-eighth of the profits from any commercial venture from those lands in perpetuity. Neither Trump nor his father could have finagled a better deal.

I have detailed some of this history and the hell on earth Columbus and his men created on the beautiful island homelands of the Lucayan, Taíno and Arawak people in my article “Goodbye, Columbus.” The peaceful people were worked to death. Their hands were cut off if they did not bring him enough gold. Mothers murdered their own children to save them from the horror their world had become. Writing in his diary, Columbus described how the world he had wrought condemned young girls into sexual slavery, “A hundred castellanoes are as easily obtained for a woman as for a farm, and it is very general, and there are plenty of dealers who go about looking for girls; those from nine to ten are now in demand.”

“Such inhumanities and barbarisms were committed in my sight as no age can parallel,” wrote Bartolomé de las Casas, a 16th-century Spanish colonist and historian. “My eyes have seen these acts so foreign to human nature that now I tremble as I write.”

Given the horrors enacted in the past and the ongoing oppression in the present, changing the name of a holiday is not enough for many Native people. Diné anarchist and filmmaker Klee Benally tweeted the same day as the Cincinnati council vote, “#IndigenousPeoplesDay is meaningless when a city like #Flagstaff can pass a resolution while perpetuating & benefiting from our cultural genocide. #indigenousresistance will never be state-sanctioned. #abolishcolumbusdayforreal.”

Flagstaff, Arizona, which borders the vast Navajo Nation, finally passed a resolution last week to change Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples’ Day (IPD) after three years of debate. The sticking point was city council member Eva Putzova’s request that the city conduct a review of how well it has implemented a 2012 Memorandum of Understanding with the Navajo Nation Human Rights Commission. The formal agreement was meant to foster “better race relations,” but at the time of the name change, little action had been taken to progress toward that goal.

Native activists are still frustrated about how little has been done by the city to meaningfully reach the goals agreed upon in that Memorandum of Understanding. Benally says he opposed Flagstaff’s resolution proclaiming Indigenous Peoples’ Day last week because “the initial conditions [review of the memorandum] were not met at all.” Activists will be demonstrating today, in part in “rejection of their window-dressing IPD.”

In urban settings far from their homelands, Native people and their nations are not on the radar for most city governments. Acknowledgement once a year is helpful to begin to build a relationship and recognition with municipal leaders but is not guaranteed. And the fight to get even this holiday name change has left some exasperated.

“Texas has a dark history of wanting to kill off all the Indigenous people here in the past,” Yolanda Blue Horse of Dallas, a member of the Lakota Nation, told Truthout. She is grateful that Texan cities are finally getting rid of a day that recognizes a murderer, but says, “People should look up why the Texas Rangers (which is still in existence but mainly now another arm of law enforcement) were originally created.”

Still, many see the name change as a beginning. To Guy Jones, Lakota activist and one of the founders of the Miami Valley Council for Native Americans in Dayton, Ohio, changing the name of Columbus Day “is a doorway that opens up to people who know themselves,” allowing for the reclamation of Indigenous histories.

The post Beyond Columbus Day: Changing the Name Is Just the First Step appeared first on Truthout.

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