By Brenda Norrell
Global oppression has intensified as Indigenous Peoples are organizing at the international level to control their resources and halt oppression. Maori leaders in the sovereignty, environmental and peace movements have been arrested. Tame Iti is in prison without bail. New Zealand authorities are attempting to brand the Maori as terrorists. New Zealand is under international pressure to adhere to the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples adopted by the U.N., which recognizes the right of Indigenous Peoples to their ancestral lands. Earlier, New Zealand, the United States, Australia and Canada voted against the UN Declaration.
Just now, Wednesday morning (October 17) the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has announced it will revisit its ruling halting a plan to make snow from sewer water on sacred San Francisco Peaks, a place of healing ceremonies and healing plant gathering for 13 area Indian Tribes. The federal Appeals Court said it is responding to pressure from the United States and Snowbowl Ski Resort.
In the south, the military oppression is unabated in Chiapas and Oaxaca, while mining corporations crush communities in Central and South America.
All of this comes at the same time that Zapatistas are organizing at the international level and Indigenous Peoples are fighting the corporate destruction -- copper and gold mining, oil drilling, coal mining, power plants, uranium mining and nuclear dumping -- from the Andean highlands in South America to the Inuit in Alaska and Aboriginals in Australia, and uniting in solidarity.
At the same time in Canada, Indian Nations are rising up to protect their ancestral territories, resisting colonization and the seizure of their lands for uranium mining, housing developments and oil drilling, as the Bush administration rushes to seize the oil in the melting Arctic.
URGENT APPEAL: Maori plea for support:
Dear Friends, Colleagues and Family,
It is in great distress that I am urged to write this appeal and to inform our international community of the recent events that are happening within Aotearoa (New Zealand) social justice, environmental justice and indigenous movements.
For the past 60 hours Aotearoa activists have been subjected to home invasions,raids and interrogation under threats of terrorist activities against the state.The Crown has decided to employ its recent Terrorism Suppression Act to lockdown on social justice activist, movers and shakers and this is now world widenews with many of our close friends and families houses (mine included) being invaded, possessions confiscated and charges being threatened which will allow for solid activists to be charged under the Terrorist Suppression Act that carries sentencing for life.
The ages of people currently under custody range from 18 – 64. Many of us being implicated in this investigation are young people trying to do good things for our communities.We are headed into an election year and these events are the largest scale operation headed by special operations from the head of states office. We have difficulty in understanding the timing for these invasions of our privacy except for political campaigning off of our backs.The indigenous movement for self - determination is what is being blamed by the media for instigating acts of terrorism.
The Police showed up at my house with files of my activities over years, my phones have been tapped for years, my house under surveillance and everything subject to their review. We have not been involved in any activities that could allow the police to make these claims and the distress they are causing for our families and children is devastating.
Right now we are fighting for friends in Police Custody to make bail. A number of these requests have been denied. A number of people are now been moved between prisons and I will be liasing with them and their families.
Court costs, travel costs, food costs and lawyer costs are above the heads of many of our people and we are asking for support from our communities both national and international to come to our aid in this time of need.'Terrorism' world wide has become a cause for unjust state intervention into the lives of many peoples committed to change and now we are seeing that reality play out here in our own backyards within our own community.
Please support us in anyway specifically: Sending your concerns against state interventions to Annette King, Minister of Police (firstname.lastname@example.org) and to your local New Zealand Embassy's;- By sending financial support towards the Family Support Network to assist with food, travel expenses and Court costs and;
By sharing our stories with your own networks.We have had some international support by indigenous brothers and sisters by way of protests on the streets outside the NZ Embassy's, we encourage any of you to organize and do the same. Thank you all for taking the time to hear what is happening for us here in Aotearoa, these are very troubling times.
For further information please refer to:http://www.indymedia.org.nz/http://www.stuff.co.nz/4240168a25364.html
Most of our Internet sites have been taken down also in relation to these chain of events however all responses and correspondence can be made through me.
Mauriora, Kiritapu Allan Co – Director, Conscious Collaborations
Maori: Race relations set back 100 years
(Radio New Zealand) Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples says this week's police raids have set race relations back 100 years.
Dr Sharples says the justice system has lashed out against Maori, and the raids used "storm trooper" tactics.
He says the police actions remind him of the atrocities committed at Parihaka in the 19th century, when 1500 armed police occupied the settlement and arrested its leaders.
Dr Sharples says no charges have been laid under the Terrorism Suppression Act since it was introduced in 2002, and questions whether there will be what he describes as trumped-up evidence to justify the police actions.
Alliance Party president Victor Billot says confusion and secrecy surrounding the alleged terrorism activities needs to be cleared up.
Mr Billot says the use of the terrorism suppression legislation to raid houses was unnecessary, and the nature of the alleged threats to public safety should be made public immediately.
Copyright © 2007 Radio New Zealand
Profits priority over sacred lands, federal court to revisit San Francisco Peaks case
Save the Peaks Coalition
Ninth Circuit Court Allows Review In Legal Case of Recycled Sewage On Sacred Mountain
Flagstaff, AZ -- The 9th Circuit Court has granted the U.S. Forest Service and an Arizona ski resort the opportunity for review of the court's decision on March 12th, 2007 that had provided protection for a mountain held holy by more than 13 Native American Nations. The slopes of the San Francisco Peaks, located in Northern Arizona, have been at the center of a historical and lengthy battle that has pitted economic interests on public lands against environmental integrity, public health and cultural survival. A small local ski resort proposed a plan to expand and use treated waste effluent to make fake snow. However, their development has been halted due to the Ninth Circuit Court ruling, which has been hailed as a victory for Religious Freedom, Environmental Justice & Cultural Survival.
"The decision of the Ninth Circuit to rehear this case is regrettable. It means that the Court will reconsider the case - not that it has reversed any decision at this point. It is, however, even more regrettable that our federal government seems to place the profitability of a privately owned, non-destination ski area, that operates on federal land, over the deeply held religious and cultural convictions of hundreds of thousands of Native Americans living in the southwestern United States." said Howard Shanker, of the Shanker Law Firm, PLC, representing the Navajo Nation, the White Mountain Apache Tribe, the Yavapai-Apache Tribe, the Havasupai Tribe, Rex Tilousi, Dianna Uqualla, the Sierra Club, the Center for Biological Diversity, and the Flagstaff Activist Network.
Shanker, who is running for Congress in Arizona Congressional District 1, further provided that, "this situation is indicative of the fact that we need better laws and lawmakers who are willing to stand up and be counted in the face of this type of injustice. The continued pursuit of the use of reclaimed waste water to make snow on the San Francisco Peaks should be an affront to all people of conscience everywhere."
"We are confident that a hearing en banc by the 9th Circuit Court will only make the current ruling stronger." Rudy Preston of the Flagstaff Activist Network.
"Why in 2007 do we as America's first people have no guarantee for protection of our religious freedom?" said Jeneda Benally a volunteer with the Save the Peaks Coalition. "The case to protect the sacred San Francisco Peaks demonstrates the need for further protection of Native American religious freedom and rights in this country. We will continue our dedication to save the Peaks until we have our human rights fully upheld."
For more information visit: http://www.savethepeaks.org/