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Join The Caravan In Support Of Big Mountain Resistance Communities of Black Mesa, AZ.

Join The Caravan In Support Of Big Mountain Resistance Communities of Black Mesa, AZ.

November 21-28, 2009

from BMIS

Greetings from Black Mesa Indigenous Support,

We are excited to inform you that a caravan of work crews will once again be converging from across the country in support of residents of the Big Mountain regions of Black Mesa. On behalf of their peoples, their sacred ancestral lands and future generations, these communities continue to carry out a staunch resistance to the efforts of the US Government, which is acting in the interests of the Peabody Coal Company, to devastate whole communities and ecosystems and greatly de-stabilize our planet’s climate for the profit of an elite few.

By assisting with direct, on-land projects you are helping families stay on their ancestral homelands in resistance to an illegal occupation and working for climate justice. These communities serve as the very blockade to coal mining! More than 14,000 Dine’ people have been forcibly removed from their ancestral homelands due to spin created by the U.S government & Peabody Coal, under the guise of the so-called “Navajo-Hopi Land Dispute.” Families are now in their THIRD DECADE resisting this travesty and, as you can imagine, many residents are very elderly and winters can be rough. With their guidance, the aim of this caravan is to honor the elders and to generate support in the form of direct, on-land support: chopping and hauling firewood, doing minor repair work, offering holistic health care, and sheep-herding before the approaching cold winter months arrive.

“The Big Mountain matriarchal leaders always believed that resisting forced relocation will eventually benefit all ecological systems, including the human race,” says Bahe Keediniihii, Dineh organizer and translator. “Continued residency by families throughout the Big Mountain region has a significant role in the intervention of Peabody’s future plan for Black Mesa coal to be the major source of unsustainable energy, the growing dependency on fossil fuel, and escalating green house gas emissions. We will continue to fight to defend our homelands.”

Peabody Coal’s Disastrous Coal Mining Operations on Black Mesa: At this moment, decision makers in Washington D.C. are planning ways to continue their occupation of tribal lands under the guise of extracting “clean coal,” which does not exist. In 30 years of disastrous operation, Dine’ and Hopi communities in Arizona have been ravaged by Peabody’s coal mining, which has taken land from and forcibly relocated thousands of families, has drained 2.5 million gallons of water daily from the only community water supply, and has left a toxic legacy along an abandoned 273-mile coal slurry pipeline. Peabody’s Black Mesa mine has been the source of an estimated 325 million tons of CO2 that have been discharged into the atmosphere. Coal from the Black Mesa Mine could contribute an additional 290 million tons of CO2 to the global warming crisis!* Ignoring protests from Dineh and Hopi communities and their allies, the U.S. Government (Office of Surface Mining) has permitted Peabody Energy to extend it’s massive strip-mining operations until 2026 or until the coal is gone. Peabody Coal Co. plans to seize another 19,000 acres of sacred land beyond the 67,000 acres already in Peabody’s grasp at Black Mesa. Peabody Energy, previously Peabody Coal Company, is the world’s largest private-sector coal company, operating mines throughout North America, South America, and Australia and is the twelfth largest coal exporter. In addition Peabody is proposing new coal-fired power plants in several states. Peabody’s coal mining will exacerbate already devastating environmental and cultural impacts on local communities and significantly add fuel to the fire of the current global climate chaos!

We are at a critical juncture and must take a stand in support of communities on the front lines of resistance now! Indigenous and land-based peoples have maintained the understanding that our collective survival is deeply dependent on our relationship to Mother Earth. Victory in protecting and reclaiming the Earth will require a broad movement that can help bridge cultures, issues and nations.

BMIS wishes for this caravan to be an important opportunity for people of all backgrounds to listen and work with the families of Black Mesa to generate more awareness that relocation laws & coal mining need to be stopped, that these communities deserve to be free on their ancestral homelands, and to come together to strengthen our solidarity and find ways to work together to protect Black Mesa & our Mother Earth for all life.

Ways you can support:

Join the Caravan & Be Self-Sufficient! By joining one of the volunteer work crews, you are expected to be adequately prepared and self-sufficient prior to your visit on Black Mesa, which is a very remote area in a high desert terrain. There is no electricity, no central heating, and no running water. You must come prepared, and bring everything you will need. There could be extreme weather, and it will be cold especially at night! Each participant will need to bring food, water, outdoor camping gear (although we will likely be staying inside with families), very warm clothing, and appropriate attire for hands-on manual work. Coming equipped with chainsaws, trucks, shovels, axes & mauls dramatically increases your effectiveness as a work crew!

Read and sign the Cultural Sensitivity & Preparedness Guide: All direct, on-land supporters of Black Mesa are required to thoroughly read over and sign the Cultural Sensitivity & Preparedness Guide. This document is an in-depth guide that contains important information that you will need prior to and during your visit with a host family on Black Mesa. This guide gives you crucial information about what to expect, what to bring, how to be adequately prepared, background and current his/herstory, safety and legal issues, cultural sensitivity, code of conduct, and a suggested list of what to bring with you. We want to ensure that each person is informed about the agreements & basic requests by these communities, that each person is safe and accounted for, and that we have your contact and emergency contact info should an emergency arise. It is of the utmost importance that each caravan participant understand and respect the ways of the communities that we will be visiting. Please print out & bring this guidebook with you during your visit to Black Mesa http://blackmesais.org/tag/cultural-sensitivity/
Pre-register: To help us estimate how many people to expect as well as to help us make necessary accommodations for all.
Host or attend regional organizational meetings in your area: We strongly urge participants to attend or organize regional meetings. Caravan coordinators are located in Prescott, Phoenix, Flagstaff, Colorado, Ithaca, NY, and the San Francisco’s Bay Area. The meeting locations and dates will be posted at the BMIS website as coordinators set them up. This caravan will be collaborating with the annual Clan Dyken Fall Food & Supply Run on Black Mesa.

Raise Awareness about Black Mesa and the caravan. You can obtain literature from BMIS.

Organize fundraisers: At the weeks prior to every caravan, grassroots supporters from all over throw benefits to raise the much-needed funds, for such things as supplies, wood, and direct, on-land people-support. Please contact BMIS for guidelines prior to any fund-raising in the name of Big Mountain and Black Mesa.
Collect supplies: Chainsaws, axes, mauls, axe handles, tools of all kinds, organic food, warm blankets, and especially trucks –either to donate to families or to use for the week of the caravan–are greatly needed on the land to make this caravan work! Check back on the BMIS website for an ongoing list of specific requests from the land.

Donate: We are not receiving nor relying on any institutional funding for these support efforts, but are instead counting on each person’s ingenuity, creativity, and hard work to make it all come together. We are hoping to raise enough money through our community connections for gas, specifically for collecting wood and food for host families, and for work projects.
Stay with a family on Black Mesa: Families living in resistance to coal mining and relocation laws are requesting self-sufficient guests who are willing to give three or more weeks of their time, especially in the winter. Since it is crucial to have good help out there and not create more work for the families, all supporters are required to read and sign the Cultural Sensitivity Preparedness Guide. Contact BMIS in advance so that we can make arrangements prior to your stay, to answer any questions that you may have, and so we can help put you in touch with a family.

We can’t wait to see you in November!Give Back To Mother Earth! Give To Future Generations!

Black Mesa Indigenous Support

Black Mesa Indigenous Support (BMIS) is a grassroots, all-volunteer organization dedicated to working with and supporting the indigenous peoples of Black Mesa in their Struggle for Life and Land who are targeted by & resisting unjust large-scale coal mining operations and forced relocation policies of the US government.
Black Mesa Indigenous Support
P.O. Box 23501, Flagstaff, Arizona 86002
Message Voice Mail: 928.773.8086
Email: blackmesais@gmail.com
Web: www.blackmesais.org

Denver American Indian Commission: Transform Columbus Day

This was originally posted by Brenda Norrell at http://bsnorrell.blogspot.com/

Denver American Indian Commission: Transform Columbus Day

From the Denver American Indian Commission:

The Denver American Indian Commission believes the city’s rich community of diverse tribes deserves a proactive change most of us can agree on — that rapidly approaching Columbus Day could be transformed into a day to honor our all of cultures and values. Only in recent years and in some places has the holiday become a tribute to Indian America, but the DAIC believes our Denver community could join the growing chorus of tribal nations and other Native and non-Native entities that choose to honor the continent’s original residents and its vital, pre-1492 history. We feel this is an opportunity we can’t take lightly.
Our present and future generations view their culture and themselves as being directly affected by how we celebrate our history. As it stands, the holiday reinforces the inaccurate notion that North America came into being in 1492, when “uncivilized” Native inhabitants appeared only to play a short-lived role in the founding myth, and soon vanished into history.
With growing, abundant evidence of complex pre-Columbian cultures in North as well as South America, we want to restore our ancestral tribal nations to the dignity they deserve. Therefore, the DAIC is joining a growing number of tribes and nations, like the sentiment of the 10,000-member Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians that this year voted unanimously to replace recognition of Columbus Day with a day to commemorate the cultural and religious center of Choctaw life.
“For Native Americans, Columbus Day should not be a day of celebration,” said Mississippi Band Chief (Miko) Beasley Denson. “His arrival on our shores marked the beginning of centuries of exploitation of our people and our land. Much better that we should celebrate our rich culture and our traditions.”The following have eliminated, replaced or changed Columbus Day, according to media and internet information: Navajo Nation, Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, Tohono O’odham Nation, Saginaw Chippewa Tribe of Michigan, Jicarilla Apache Tribe, and Gila River Indian Community; Cities of Berkeley, Portland, and Duluth; the states of Alaska, South Dakota, Hawaii, Nevada, and Alabama, and several colleges and universities, including Brown University, Rhode Island.
Although Cherokee and Muscogee (Creek) nations’ tribal offices remain open on the holiday, the Osage Nation and United Keetoowah Band’s tribal offices close and the tribes refer to the day as Osage Day and Native American Day, respectively. As an organization, the Native American Rights Fund does not observe Columbus Day as a holiday. The 350-member Gathering of Indigenous People in the Americas since 1992 has referred to the day as the International Day of Solidarity with Indigenous People.
The DAIC supports and joins the Episcopal Church in repudiating the Doctrine of Discovery, an inadequate excuse offered by the early Christian Church for the brutal Colombian invasion and theft of Native homelands. The Doctrine is also the basis for subsequent laws and policies that damage Native North America today.
Let us join the many tribes and nations that have already made positive changes in their communities.

Sioux leaders work on Black Hills Land proposal for Omama

Please read article, cited after the quote. Articles open in a new window.

Sympathetic signs from President Barack Obama have inspired hope among Sioux spiritual and government leaders that some federal land in the Black Hills might one day be returned to Native American control.

Leaders for Sioux tribes in the Dakotas, Montana and Nebraska are holding meetings to shape a proposal on Black Hills land for the Obama administration, one they hope will be better than the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in 1980. That forced settlement was about millions of dollars, not acres of land, and it has consistently been rejected by tribes of the Great Sioux Nation.

http://www.rapidcityjournal.com/articles/2009/09/25/news/local/doc4abc1f16d8281841431807.txt

Cause Announcement from Dooda (No) Desert Rock

Cause Announcement from Dooda (No) Desert Rock

GREAT NEWS folks: US EPA Environmental Appeals Board Remands PSD Permit for the desert rock energy project! Celebration information coming forth! Here’s another opportunity for you to contribute to DDR, we need your help!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 25, 2009

Contact: Elouise Brown, Dooda (NO) Desert Rock Committee President, (505) 947-6159

DOODA (NO) DESERT ROCK RELIEF AT US EPA ENVIRONMENTAL APPEALS BOARD PSD PERMIT DECISION
“We are relieved to hear that the US EPA Environmental Appeals Board finally granted the agency’s request to take back the clean air permit for the failed Desert Rock Power Plant. It confirms our position that the initial permit grant was ill-considered and premature,” said Elouise Brown, President of Dooda Desert Rock. The organization, a grassroots Navajo effort to block a third coal-fired power plant in the Four Corners area, continues to resist and have a very active encampment for almost three years.

“The appeals board decision confirms our belief, echoed in the British news magazine The Economist, that Desert Rock is dead. Recent efforts in Congress to freeze the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to deal with carbon dioxide as a pollutant shows that Big Coal also recognizes that polluting energy is on its way out. We have a specific reason for gratitude at the return of the permit,” Brown said.

“When the air permit was initially under consideration the San Francisco Region 9 US EPA office found a study that indicates that the two existing power plants are adversely affecting the health of Navajos in the Shiprock Area. Cold weather and the Hogback formation pull pollution down into Shiprock and that causes Navajos to seek medical treatment for respiratory illness at rates far higher than the rest of the population in the Four Corners area. Children and the elderly are affected at a rate of ten times the rest of the population. The EPA warned the Bureau of Indian Affairs about the situation and told it to act, but it did nothing. We want something done about existing health risks now.”

“While we believe that the power plant is dead, the debate continues. There are many issues to address, including the fact that ordinary Navajos would get no economic benefit from the plant because local infrastructure was ignored in planning. At minimum, we want the health issue addressed first, and in a way that satisfies us that the health of Navajos is being protected. If anyone doubts what is going on in Shiprock, just drive north toward Shiprock on a cold day.”

Hiroshima & Nagasaki-Original 1945 Documentary 1/5

The atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were nuclear attacks during World War II against the Empire of Japan by the United States of America at the order of U.S. President Harry S. Truman. After six months of intense firebombing of 67 other Japanese cities, the nuclear weapon "Little Boy" was dropped on the city of Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, followed on August 9, 1945 by the detonation of the "Fat Man" nuclear bomb over Nagasaki. These are to date the only attacks with nuclear weapons in the history of warfare.
The bombs killed as many as 140,000 people in Hiroshima and 80,000 in Nagasaki by the end of 1945, roughly half on the days of the bombings. Since then, thousands more have died from injuries or illness attributed to exposure to radiation released by the bombs. In both cities, the overwhelming majority of the dead were civilians.
Six days after the detonation over Nagasaki, on August 15, Japan announced its surrender to the Allied Powers, signing the Instrument of Surrender on September 2, officially ending the Pacific War and therefore World War II. (Germany had signed its Instrument of Surrender on May 7, 1945, ending the war in Europe.) The bombings led post-war Japan to adopt Three Non-Nuclear Principles, forbidding that nation from nuclear armament.
The Target Committee at Los Alamos on May 10--11, 1945, recommended Kyoto, Hiroshima, Yokohama, and the arsenal at Kokura as possible targets. The committee rejected the use of the weapon against a strictly military objective because of the chance of missing a small target not surrounded by a larger urban area. The psychological effects on Japan were of great importance to the committee members. They also agreed that the initial use of the weapon should be sufficiently spectacular for its importance to be internationally recognized. The committee felt Kyoto, as an intellectual center of Japan, had a population "better able to appreciate the significance of the weapon." Hiroshima was chosen because of its large size, its being "an important army depot" and the potential that the bomb would cause greater destruction because the city was surrounded by hills which would have a "focusing effect".
Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson struck Kyoto from the list because of its cultural significance, over the objections of General Leslie Groves, head of the Manhattan Project. According to Professor Edwin O. Reischauer, Stimson "had known and admired Kyoto ever since his honeymoon there several decades earlier." On July 25 General Carl Spaatz was ordered to bomb one of the targets: Hiroshima, Kokura, Niigata, or Nagasaki as soon after August 3 as weather permitted and the remaining cities as additional weapons became available.

Remember Hiroshima

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