Sunday, July 5, 2015

Photos Apache National Caravan Begins to Save Oak Flat!


By Sandra Rambler
San Carlos Apache
Censored News

History is the making today as our spiritual run began from Dzil Ncha Si An (Mount Graham) and stopped below Shgla'sha en route to Chi'Chil'Bilda'Goteel (Oak Flat) then by caravan to Washington, D.C. Tribal elders shared their words of wisdom and blessed all those traveling in the spirit of our ancestors and keeping our Apache Spirit alive! Repeal the land exchange! Natives stand united--tall and proud of our heritage. Resolution Copper--you can't stop us now! Never surrender. Never did and never will...

Winnemem Wintu Protest Governor’s California Water Summit

Winnemem Wintu and Allies Protest Governor’s California Water Summit 

by Dan Bacher 
Censored News

The Winnemem Wintu Tribe, other tribal representatives and their allies rallied, chanted, sang and waved signs on the sidewalk in front of Westin Hotel on June 29 and 30 outside the Second California Water Summit in Sacramento. 

They were there to protest Governor Jerry Brown’s efforts to exclude California Tribes, environmentalists, fishermen and other key stakeholders in this public meeting about massive state water infrastructure projects proposed under Proposition 1, the $7.5 billion water bond. 

Members of the Concow Maidu, Miwok, Hoopa Valley, Pomo, Wailaki and other tribes and Native Hawaiian groups joined with local activists as they shouted, “Water is sacred, water is life, protect the salmon, protect water rights.” 

Representatives of the Klamath Riverkeeper, Restore the Delta, United Native Americans and Occupy Sacramento also participated in the event. Around 40 people were there at the protest at any given time; over 100 people showed up at the event between the two days. 

Protesters also chanted, “Fight, Fight, Water Rights!” and “Corporate Graft, Corporate Greed, this is something we don’t need!,” as cars drove by on Riverside Boulevard in front of the hotel. 

The Brown administration advertised the event as a conference to discuss the latest developments including project selection for the $7.5 billion water bond money that is now available after the passage of the Water Quality, Supply and Infrastructure Act of 2014, Brown’s controversial Proposition 1. 

The website for the event proclaimed, "With 7.5 billion bond funds available, come and learn about funding and financing opportunities for water infrastructure projects at the must attend event for California water.” 

The keynote speaker was Debbie Davis-Franco, the Local Government Drought Liason for the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR), She was originally scheduled to speak on Monday, but then was rescheduled to speak on Tuesday, apparently due to the protest outside the hotel on Monday

The website also proclaimed, “Key Decision-Makers and Stakeholders Gather 
• To discuss the latest developments including project selection for the $7.5 billion water bond. 
• Provide updates on the new regulations governing groundwater management in California. 
• Hear private investment perspectives on financing and investment opportunities in California water through Public Private Partnerships(P3).” 

Caleen Sisk, Chief and Spiritual Leader of the Winnemem Wintu Tribe, emphasized that registration for the three-day summit was nearly an astounding $1,500 per person – and that been no efforts to “include tribal representatives, environmentalists or anyone who is advocating for sound water policy that will benefit future generations, local ecosystems and salmon and other fisheries.” 

“Most of the California Indians who are working on tribal water rights and for healthier rivers can’t afford a $1,500 registration fee,” said Chief Sisk. “This is clearly an effort by Governor Brown to exclude the tribal voice, shove out anyone who disagrees with his destructive water plans and provide an opportunity for government and the big water power brokers to collude behind closed doors.” 

A review of the agenda and website reveals that the conference was designed for water districts’ staff, government scientists, corporate representatives and other advocates to advance Governor Brown’s pet water projects like the Shasta Dam raise and the twin Delta Tunnels. Both of these would be devastating for salmon and tribal cultural resources and sacred sites, including many of the Tribe’s sacred sites on the McCloud River that weren’t inundated by Shasta Dam, according to Sisk. (

Gerald Thomas, an Elem Pomo member who was holding a sign proclaiming, "Warrior Up For Water," outside the Hotel, agreed with Sisk. 

“This exclusion of Tribes from a major water conference affects all of us. Without water we can’t live; without water we can’t breathe. I am here standing here in defense of the people and the earth,” he said. 

The corporate and water agency domination of the event was no surprise, when you consider that Big Money interests dumped $21,820,691 into the Prop. 1 campaign. There is no doubt that these wealthy corporate interests are expecting a big return for their "investment" in California’s play-to-pay politics system, including the construction of the twin tunnels and new dams. 

The contributors were a who’s who of Big Money interests in California, including corporate agribusiness groups, billionaires, timber barons, Big Oil, the tobacco industry, corporate “environmental” NGOs including the Nature Conservancy, and the California Chamber of Commerce (

Rosa Rivera Furamoto, Nanea Young and Mikilani Young, Native Hawaiains, came from Los Angeles to emphasize the connections between the current direct action blockades to stop the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) on the sacred mountain of Mauna Kea in Hawaii and water struggles in California. 

“From one mountain to another, we are trying to protect the sacred land,” said Mikilani Young. "We are taking a stand to say enough is enough. We came up from Los Angeles to stand with the native people of California.” 

“As the sacred sites and salmon are threatened by the Shasta Dam raise, the proposed Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) on Mauna Kea will sit upon a protected aquifer. Once they start digging into the ground to build the telescope, they will use hazardous chemicals that will impact the entire island," said Young. 

Ryan Camero, representing Restore the Delta and the Beehive Collective, also participated in the protest Tuesday to express solidarity with Tribes fighting their exclusion from California water discussions. “The tunnels and the Shasta Dam raise are part of the corporate takeover of our water by Big Oil and agribusiness,” said Camero. 

Though California is suffering through five years of drastically low rainfall, Chief Sisk said the water problems are all man-made, due to poor management and greed. As the low rainfall puts a stress on California’s boondoggle of a water system, it has never been more important for the indigenous perspective to be heard and for tribal water rights to be acknowledged and upheld, according to Sisk. 

She said the Winnemem Wintu have an especially important stake in the bond funds, as many think they could be used to support the Shasta Dam raise to enlarge Shasta Lake’s capacity, which in turn would flood or damage about 40 sacred sites vital to the Winnemem’s religion and cultural practices. 

“This is a summit that is meant to help these people peddle Brown’s projects that will benefit his buddies: agribusiness and water sellers in Southern California,” Sisk said. “They are not interested in what’s best for the people of California and their children.” 

Michael Preston of the Winnemem Wintu said he tried to get into the meeting, but was told by the organizers that it would cost $1500 for just one day! “I didn’t think it was worth it to spend $1500 for one day,” he said. 

On Tuesday, protesters also marched up to the hotel and back to the sidewalk to challenge the destructive water infrastructure projects being planned at the California Water Summit. 

After the protest on Tuesday, people gathered in front of the hotel to pray, sing songs and talk about the opposing the corporate water grab by Big Ag, Big Oil and other corporate interests. 

“I think we accomplished our major goal to let people know that we want to be involved in water discussions, but are being excluded by the Governor’s staff at the California Water Summit now. We need water for salmon - and Tribes are first in time and first in rights for water,” concluded Sisk. 

Governor Jerry Brown's exclusion of Tribes, along with his exclusion of fishermen, Delta residents, grassroots environmentalists and public trust advocates from water discussions, is part of a larger pattern of the administration's environmentally unjust policies that the mainstream media and most "alternative" media refuse to report about. 

While the media and corporate "environmental" NGOs gush about Brown's cynical grandstanding about "green energy" and pollution trading at carefully staged photo opportunities, Brown has in fact continued and expanded the worst policies of the Schwarzenegger administration. 

Brown has fast-tracked the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) to build the twin tunnels; has implemented questionable "marine protected areas" under the privately-funded Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative; has presided over record water exports and fish kills at the Delta pumps; has put Delta smelt, winter run Chinook and other imperiled species on the scaffold of extinction; and has presided over the expansion of fracking, an extreme oil extraction technique, in California. 

Brown is without a doubt the worst Governor for fish, water and the environment in recent California history, as I have documented in article after article. For more information, read my investigative piece about Brown's war on the environment at: 

Saturday, July 4, 2015

'Dogs and Media Hounds' Russell Means Uncensored a Decade Later

'Dogs and Media Hounds,' Russell Means Uncensored a Decade Later

Photo Brenda Norrell
Russell Means and Ward Churchill
By Brenda Norrell

While going through my files, and remembering interviews with Russell Means, I found these two articles censored by Indian Country Today a decade ago, while I was a staff reporter there. 
I'm publishing these now because Russell wanted these articles published, and because Russell never did shy away from controversy. Russell was not afraid of criticism and did not care if others disagreed with him. Russell was fearless in the face of criticism. These words, too, are part of history.
Here are the words of Russell Means, Ward Churchill and others, as spoken to me a decade ago in 2005.
In the first article, "Russell Means: Dogs and Media Hounds," Russell Means defends Ward Churchill.
“We are the only ethnic group in the world that has to prove our degree of blood, like the dogs and the horses. It is because we live on America's concentration camps; the 'little Iraqis' called reservations, you know?” Means said as he began his address, alongside Churchill at the University of Colorado.
The second article is: "Silencing Ward Churchill, primer on the advance of the far right," subtitled, "Ward Churchill: The lesson of Nuremberg,' is America listening?
Faith Attaguile, reviewer of  the book "On the Justice of Roosting Chickens," said, "Have our ideas of democratic discussion been atrophied and corrupted to such an extent that such people actually feel empowered to silence any voice they don't like, wrapping themselves in the dangerous trappings of patriotic fervor all the while?"

Russell Means: Dogs and Media Hounds
By Brenda Norrell
copyright Brenda Norrell
February 2005

BOULDER, Colo. – Defying the media lynching of Ward Churchill, Russell Means aligned himself with Ward Churchill and said Churchill’s legacy remains in his writings, words that have helped rip open the United States’ regime of oppression in the dark days of the Clear Channel.
“We are the only ethnic group in the world that has to prove our degree of blood, like the dogs and the horses. It is because we live on America's concentration camps; the 'little Iraqis' called reservations, you know?” Means said as he began his address, alongside Churchill at the University of Colorado.
Although the college initially canceled the gathering, Churchill and Means went to court to ensure the student gathering proceeded. Churchill delivered an extensive explanation of his comments regarding 9/11, published three years ago in “Some People Push Back; on the Justice of Roosting Chickens.” Churchill said his comments were distorted in the media and he owes no one an apology.
Means and Churchill spoke to a standing room only crowd on Feb. 8, addressing the issues of corporate exploitation of indigenous people, blood quantum and the U.S. Interior Trust Fund scandal.
Means told students, “We also don't have control of our natural resources, and the corporate might has been ripping us off from day one. That's part of the books, and part of the education that Ward has given not only to the university and its generations of students, but throughout the country and indeed, throughout the world.
“I want you to know that we are forbidden from choosing who are our Indian people, by the United States government.”
Means said his own twin brothers were not enrolled in the Oglala Sioux Tribe, his father’s tribe, until his brothers were 32-years-old. Then, he said it came about only after American Indian Movement efforts in the late ‘70s and the actions of Churchill, who he referred to as a leader in the movement.
“I wonder how many of Clear Channel columnists and naysayers are gonna condemn my brothers for not being Indian. Ward is my brother. Ward has followed the ways of indigenous people worldwide. If you do not believe so, then go to Geneva Switzerland, to the United Nations office of the working group of indigenous peoples, and you will find out that we as one people in the world, we say, if you know your ancestry, then you are who you say you are.”
While Churchill’s comments on 9/11, in reference to Adolf Eichmann were widely misrepresented by the Associated Press and other media, Means did not hesitate to speak of Hitler and Indian reservations.
Means told students, “In the writings of Adolf Hitler, he began his idea of separation by race, in such a preference, by following and reading about the Indian policy of the United States of America, and he wrote in Mein Kampf, or in other writings, that it was a good idea to put people in reservations; hence his labor camps, hence which became concentration camps. And he classified people they did not want, by race.”
Means said South Africa passed the Bantu Development Act in 1964, thirty years after the United States government passed the Indian Reorganization Act.
“The act that institutionalized apartheid, by race and degree of blood, in South Africa was literally copied from the Indian Reorganization Act of the United States.
“Both of those governments no longer exist, and you have these corporate minions from Clear Channel and the corporate media telling us who is our Indian leaders! Telling me that my brother is not an Indian! Because he hasn't been adequately registered.”
Means said he was happy to hear from the moderator that the media could not ask questions at the gathering. Making a point on blood quantum, Means named one reporter and said if the reporter were to ask a question, Means would demand that the reporter show proof of pure Jewish blood.
“Now, understand our struggle. Ward Churchill has understood it and you only have to read his dozens of essays and almost two-dozen books that he's written. I know the Regents aren't going to get through them all,” Means said, which attracted applause.
“Those cowards. Those cowards that cannot stand up for women, and cannot stand up for the rights of teachers!” Means said, followed by loud applause.
“Ward has received many, many honors from the non-Indian world; but the biggest honor and the only honor we can give him, and we have, for dozens of years, is to make him what we call in my language, a leader, a statesman. And he's going around the country with that label, and it is a true label. And I don't care what Clear Channel says about or the Indianate says about his sixteenth, or three-sixteenths, he's what counts.
“And his writings are proof. I cannot convey to you the amount of pride we have in Ward Churchill, and the amount of pride he gives us, the sovereignty he gives us.”
Meanwhile, the Keetoowah Band of Cherokee in Tahlequah, Okla., said Churchill is not an enrolled member. The American Indian Movement Governing Council in Minneapolis also disavowed Churchill as an AIM leader, calling him an “academic literary and Indian fraud.”
However, Means delivered a different perspective of Churchill.
“The American Indian Movement, when we had a together leadership, we appointed him as an ambassador, and he traveled internationally representing us and all Indian people because we are a free people.
So I want, from this day forward, every media person nationally, internationally and locally to know that we have ascertained that Ward Churchill is a full-blooded Indian leader.”
Earlier, Churchill and Means were among the American Indian activists, leaders and attorneys who were subjects of the covert Denver police spy files. Exposure of the police spy files resulted in an ACLU that led to changes within the Denver Police Intelligence Department. Information in the police spy files also revealed a plot to murder Churchill, which he was never informed of.
Churchill’s research and writing often focus on COINTELPRO and covert operations of police and federal agents to infiltrate and disrupt social and political action groups. The media frenzy over Churchill’s “Roosting Chickens,” published three years earlier, came just days after he and others won a court victory in Denver on arrest charges for blocking the Columbus Day Parade.

Silencing Ward Churchill, primer on the advance of the far right
Ward Churchill: 'The lesson of Nuremberg,' is America listening?

By Brenda Norrell
copyright Brenda Norrell
Feb. 4, 2005

BOULDER, Colo. - In three days, using an essay written three years ago,
the right wing and mainstream media distorted comments made by
University of Colorado Boulder professor Ward Churchill, resulting in
death threats and a call for his resignation by the governor of
With the summarized and distorted text distributed by The Associated
Press and appearing across the nation and worldwide, Churchill resigned
from his position as chair of the ethnic studies department. Within 24
hours, a speaking engagement at Hamilton College in New York was
cancelled amid death threats directed at Churchill and the college.
It is a primer in the current crisis in America, the rising power of
the far right and the ability of the conservative and mainstream media
to fabricate news for the purpose of political agendas and vendettas.
Not surprising, the firestorm began within days of the acquittal of
Churchill and seven others on trial for blocking the Italian-American
Columbus Day Parade in Denver. The attack began in the national media
the same day that the article, "Columbus Day protesters victorious in
court," appeared on the website of Indian Country Today.
Both the Denver Post and Rocky Mountain News had already published
editorial comments blasting both the protesters and the Denver City
prosecutor's decision to drop all charges against the nearly 240
protesters arrested for blocking the October 9th parade. The protesters
argued that the celebration of Columbus is hate speech and the bedrock
of genocide for American Indians.
As Churchill prepared to speak at Hamilton College on the panel,
"Limits to Dissent," angry readers responded to fabricated news reports
of Churchill's comments about the attacks of September 11, 2001. Some
accused him of sedition and told him to go to Iraq and join Osama bin
Laden. In reader comments posted on the Rocky Mountain News website,
Churchill was called the enemy of the nation and some pressed for his
arrest and imprisonment at Guantanamo Bay.
However, to others, Churchill became a hero. "Rock on Ward -- We're
listening," one person commented.
How many people had actually read Churchill's book "Some People Push
Back: On the Justice of Roosting Chickens?" Few, no doubt. The
responses were based on media reports from AP, Fox News and Denver
Churchill said the gross distortions could only be viewed as an attempt
to distract the public from the real issues at hand and stifle free
speech and academic debate.
Diminishing Churchill in the media only attracted attention to the
unanswered questions of America's role in world tyranny. He dared to
put a number on the dead children in Iraq, say those who came to his
Silencing Churchill created a void, a vacuum for the unanswered. For
posturing politicians, their positions became teetering pedestals.
Even the film "Fahrenheit 911" did not attract such a violent response
from the far right. But, then again, Michael Moore was not a longtime
activist with the American Indian Movement, coming fresh from a court
victory over opposition to the celebration of Columbus.
"On the Justice of Roosting Chickens," details the chronology of U.S.
military interventions since 1776, U.S. violations of international law
and abuses of human rights.
Under attack, Churchill said, "I am not a 'defender' of the September
11 attacks, but simply pointing out that if U.S. foreign policy results
in massive death and destruction abroad, we cannot feign innocence when
some of that destruction is returned. I have never said that people
‘should' engage in armed attacks on the United States, but that such
attacks are a natural and unavoidable consequence of unlawful U.S.
Churchill said he does not advocate violence. He mourned the victims
of September 11, mourned the 500,000 Iraqi children who died as a
result of economic sanctions and mourned the millions who have died in
Indochina, Central America and from genocide and slave trade.
"Finally, I have never characterized all the September 11 victims as
'Nazis.' What I said was that the 'technocrats of empire' working in
the World Trade Center were the equivalent of 'little Eichmanns.' Adolf
Eichmann was not charged with direct killing, but with ensuring the
smooth running of the infrastructure that enabled the Nazi genocide.'"
Churchill pointed out that the Pentagon was a target and there was a
CIA office in the World Trade Center.
"It should be emphasized that I applied the 'little Eichmanns'
characterization only to those described as 'technicians.' Thus, it was
obviously not directed to the children, janitors, food service workers,
firemen and random passers-by killed in the 9-1-1 attacks."
Churchill, known for his research on COINTELPRO and agents of
oppression against the American Indian Movement, said the bottom line
of his argument is that the best way to prevent 9-1-1-style attacks on
the U.S. is for American citizens to compel their government to comply
with the rule of law.
"The lesson of Nuremberg is that this is not only our right, but our
"On the Justice of Roosting Chickens," won Honorary Mention for the
Gustavus Myer Human Rights Award for best writing on human rights.
The points of Churchill's three-year-old essay came home to roost when
he resigned as chair of the ethnic studies department.
Condemning Churchill's comments during the media frenzy, Colorado Gov.
Bill Owens called for Churchill to resign as professor. Calling
Churchill's comments indecent, insensitive, inappropriate, outrageous
and at odds with facts of history, Owens said evil cowards murdered
innocent victims on Sept. 11, 2001.
"No one wants to infringe on Mr. Churchill's right to express himself.
But we are not compelled to accept his pro-terrorist views at state
taxpayer subsidy nor under the banner of the University of Colorado,"
Gov. Owens said, adding that Churchill besmirched the university's
standard of excellence.
"This is a firestorm out here," said activist Renee Still Day in
Pueblo, Colo, responding to the governor's call for Churchill's
resignation on Feb. 1.
"Freedom of speech is dead if it's not in support of this dictator
Faith Attaguile, reviewer of  book "On the Justice of Roosting
Chickens,"  at the time of publication, said it is obvious that most
people now responding have not read the book.
"We have ignorant accusations and appalling attempts to silence an
honest voice, with threats to his job and person," Attaguile said.
"Have our ideas of democratic discussion been atrophied and corrupted
to such an extent that such people actually feel empowered to silence
any voice they don't like, wrapping themselves in the dangerous
trappings of patriotic fervor all the while?
"What we have here an a good example of organically grown Homeland
Security State troops."
A group of professors on the Boulder campus also came to Churchill's
support. The Boulder Faculty Assembly said his comments were
"controversial, offensive and odious," but they defended Churchill's
right to express his opinion and the need for open debate on campus.
"The lifeblood of any strong university is its diversity of ideas which
allows for the environment necessary to educate and train young
learners and advance the boundaries of knowledge," said the statement,
released by university spokesman Peter Caughey.
Mike Graham, founder of United Native America, said he attempted to
call into a Denver radio station talk show to voice his concerns, but
the station did not want to hear what he had to say about the federal
government's holocaust against Indians. This holocaust, he said, has
gone without an apology.
Graham pointed out that Hitler studied American history and learned
about eliminating races of people. On the Cherokee Trail Of Tears, over
5,000 people were killed and thousands more died from the effects.
"Ward Churchill was telling people that America's policies in other
countries, and corporate America, is why we are being attacked -- that
is why they hit the World Trade Center," Graham said.
Graham said September 11, 2001, was not the worst mass killing of
people in this country.
"That happen to American Indians, because of the federal government's
policies toward the Indian race of people."

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