Friday, April 30, 2010

What Are Warrior Societies?

indigenous mohawk resistanc What Are Warrior Societies?

By Taiaiake Alfred and Lana Lowe

Taiaiake Alfred is Kanien’kehaka (Mohawk) and is the author of three books, Heeding the Voices of Our Ancestors: Kahnawake Mohawk Politics and the Rise of Native Nationalism (on Native nationalism), Peace, Power, Righteousness: An Indigenous Manifesto (an extended essay on Indigenous ethics), and Wasáse: Indigenous Pathways of Action and Freedom (on the regeneration of the warrior ethic). He currently holds a Canada Research Chair and is a Professor in the Indigenous Governance Programs and the Department of Political Science at the University of Victoria.

Lana Lowe is a member of the Fort Nelson Dene First Nation. She holds a Master’s degree in Indigenous Governance at the University of Victoria, where she also earned an undergraduate degree in Geography. In 2006 she completed a solo motorcycle journey across the Americas. She has worked as a Land Claims researcher for the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs in Vancouver, Canada and also works with indigenous peoples in Central America.

This article is a condensed version of a background paper by the authors entitled “Warrior Societies in Indigenous Communities,” prepared for the Ipperwash Inquiry and available on the commission’s website and in its archive. This condensed version first appeared in New Socialist # 58, a special article devoted to the resurgence of militant Native resistance in Canada. The issue was guest edited by Taiaiake Alfred.

The history of indigenous peoples in the modern era is, fundamentally, a story of struggle to overcome the effects of colonization. And it is a story of the Canadian government’s manipulation of vulnerabilities that have been created through the process of dispossession. The indigenous struggle has expressed itself in efforts to gain intellectual and cultural self-determination, economic self-sufficiency, spiritual freedom, health and healing, and recognition of political autonomy and rights to use and occupy un-surrendered lands. The re-emergence of warrior societies in the modern era is one element of a larger struggle of indigenous peoples to survive.

Contemporary warrior societies emerged in the late 1960s, with the rise of the Mohawk Warrior Society at Akwesasne and Kahnawake. The Mohawk Warrior Society was established by a group of young people committed to reviving traditional Kanien’kehaka teachings, language and structures in Kanien’kehaka territories. Accordingly, the strategy and tactics employed by the Mohawk Warrior Society are community and/or land based. The overall strategy was to repossess and protect Kanien’kehaka territories according to the Kaienerekoawa, the Great Law of Peace. The tactics employed by the Mohawk Warrior Society included barricades and roadblocks (to prevent Canadian and U.S. authorities from entering Kanien’kehaka territories), evictions (of unwanted people living in Kanien’kehaka reserve lands) and occupations (repossession of lands within Kanien’kehaka territory).

1970s: Red Power Alliances

The emergence of the Mohawk Warrior Society coincided with the emergence of what was termed the Red Power movement, an urban-based movement established in the United States to resist oppression and discrimination against indigenous people in all of North America. The overall strategy of the Red Power movement was to raise political, spiritual and cultural awareness among indigenous people and to advocate for what at the time were called “Indian rights.” This political awareness was grounded in the philosophy and tactics of the American civil rights movement: sit-ins, rallies and marches to pressure the US and Canadian governments to treat indigenous people fairly and to honour treaties. It is worth noting that contrary to the Mohawk Warrior Society’s strong roots in Kanien’kehaka cultural and spiritual traditions, the Red Power movement reflected the diverse racial and national backgrounds of its urban membership. It was grounded in a pan-indigenous culture and spirituality that was not reflective of a single nation exclusively.

There were other fundamental differences between warrior societies and the Red Power movement. Warrior societies emerged from within (and remain a part of) indigenous communities. Like the Mohawk Warrior Society, they are grounded in the indigenous traditions of their own communities, and are accountable to traditional leadership bodies. Red Power organizations emerged from within urban centres, were highly mobile and often formed a loose network of “chapters.” They focused their activities in urban centres unless called upon by people in indigenous communities during times of crisis. Once in a community, a Red Power organization was held accountable to its hosts and adjusted its approach accordingly. Whatever the differences between them though, warrior societies and Red Power organizations did draw on the same spirit of discontent among young indigenous people and focused on the same fundamental problems; thus warrior societies and Red Power organizations naturally formed alliances in conflict situations.

Warrior societies and the Red Power movement expanded throughout the 1970s, often working together during episodes of crisis and mobilization. In 1973, the Mohawk Warrior Society stood in armed resistance against the Quebec Provincial Police at Kahnawake. The prominent Red Power organization, the American Indian Movement (AIM), formed an alliance with the Mohawk Warrior Society during this time. Later that year, AIM adopted the term “warrior society” for its promotional poster, A Red Man’s International Warrior Society, and attributed its imagery and words to the Kahnawake Mohawk Warrior Society leader, Louis Hall (Karoniaktajeh). The text of the AIM poster is illustrative of the spirit of the times and of that movement: Pledged to fight White Man’s injustice to Indians, his oppression, persecution, discrimination and malfeasance in the handling of Indian Affairs. No area in North America is too remote when trouble impends for Indians. AIM shall be there to help the Native People regain human rights and achieve restitutions and restorations.

The promotional poster produced by AIM in 1973 depicts a Mohawk man (indicated by the three upright feathers of the Rotinoshonni style Gustoweh, or headdress) standing atop inverted United States and Canadian flags. This imagery gained prominence in 1974, when the Mohawk Warrior Society re-established the territory of Ganienkeh after repossessing Kanien’kehaka lands that had been occupied privately in New York State.

Karoniaktajeh himself was instrumental in the repossession of Ganienkeh territory, and it was there that he unfurled the “Indian Flag,” sometimes called the “Ganienkeh Flag.” The flag symbolized a mighty Union of Indian Nations, depicting a generic indigenous man’s head with long hair and one feather (symbolizing, according to Karoniaktajeh, indigenous peoples being “all of one mind”). Since Ganienkeh was envisioned as the staging ground for such a union, it was adopted there.

Later, Karoniaktajeh designed a flag for the Mohawk Warrior Society that depicted a Mohawk man’s head on the same background of the “Indian Flag”— a sun on a red background. However the printer made a mistake and printed one feather instead of three! This flag has since been massproduced and can be found everywhere in the world (most recently it has been seen flying at the UN Conference on the Environment in South Africa) and has been adopted by many indigenous people in their defence of land and nationhood.

The Ojibway Warrior Society gained prominence in 1974 when they occupied Anicinabe Park in Ontario. This Society was similar in ideological orientation to the other movements that emerged during that era. The Ojibway Warrior Society appears to have been a unique combination of the urban and “revolutionary” (in outlook and strategic objective) Red Power movement with the culturally and community rooted Mohawk Warrior Society. Tellingly, Louis Cameron, the Society’s leader, commented that the name “warrior society” was only chosen because of its growing currency at the time and in response to pressure from outside of the movement to label itself – it is quite evident that the Ojibway Warrior Society did not stem from an ideological struggle. Rather, ideology and the label of a warrior society was grafted onto a movement that developed within the Ojibway community and in North western Ontario in response to systemic and immediate injustices against indigenous peoples. In this basic way, the Ojibway Warrior Society joined AIM and the Mohawk Warrior Society on the list of organic movements expressing long-standing grievances in a vocabulary that reflected both traditional culture and contemporary political discourse.

Later that same year, in the fall of 1974, the Bonaparte Indian Band in the interior region of British Columbia set up an armed roadblock on the highway that passed through their reserve to demand better housing. Louis Cameron and members of AIM led a Native People’s Caravan to Parliament Hill in Ottawa, where they were met with barricades and riot police.

Through the 1970s and 1980s, the Kahnawake-based Mohawk Warrior Society expanded to the neighbouring community of Akwesasne and was instrumental in establishing a lucrative cigarette trade that generated revenue for both the Warrior Society and the traditional governments in the Kanien’kehaka communities. Meanwhile, AIM intensified its activities in British Columbia and Alberta, establishing chapters in major cities and attending the roadblocks, sit-ins and “fish-ins” that were springing up throughout western Canada and the United States.

Oka and Aftermath

By the end of the 1980s, the Mohawk Warrior Society had been embroiled in several armed conflicts with Canadian and United States authorities as a result of police invasion and raiding of reserve cigarette stores, casinos and bingo halls. And in 1988, the Mi’kmaq Warrior Society emerged out of the community of Big Cove, New Brunswick.

Meanwhile, AIM’s influence had all but disintegrated. The nature of the organization as a transient, urban-cultured movement had prevented any lasting connection to indigenous communities, and it failed to gain widespread support from indigenous people. AIM members were subsequently harassed, arrested and incarcerated by United States and Canadian authorities. First Nation politicians and leaders of established political organizations publicly denounced the confrontational approach taken by the organization, hoping to curry favour with Canadian governments in order to gain access to negotiating processes. AIM was nowhere to be found during the mid-1980s, when several indigenous communities in the interior and northern part of British Columbia took direct action to defend their territories from ongoing unsanctioned and rapacious resource extraction.

In 1990, the Mohawk Warrior Society faced off with the Quebec Provincial Police and the Canadian Army to prevent the expansion of a municipal golf course in Kanesatake, another Kanien’kehaka territory. Images of armed, masked men dressed in army fatigues, defending their land and the people from the full force of the Canadian state, shook mainstream Canada and galvanized indigenous people from coast to coast. By the mid 1990s, warrior societies had emerged throughout Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec and Manitoba.

Many of the people who became involved in the warrior society movements on the east and west coasts have cited the 1990 Oka crisis as a turning point in their lives, and the watershed event of this generation’s political life. Indeed, the Mohawk Warrior Society’s actions in 1990 around Kanesatake, Kahnawake and Akwesasne have provided crucial inspiration and motivation for the militant assertion of indigenous nationhood.

Young indigenous people in communities across the land saw that it was indeed possible to defend oneself and one’s community against state violence deployed by governments in support of a corporate agenda and racist local governments. Perhaps more importantly, young indigenous people recognized the honour in what the Mohawks had done in standing up to what eventually were proven to be unjust and illegal actions on the part of the local non-indigenous government. The Oka crisis led to an awakening and radicalization of indigenous consciousness, as well as a broadening of the spectrum of possible responses to injustice.

The Mi’kmaq Warrior Society had developed and maintained a presence in several Atlantic communities, including Big Cove, Listiguj and Esgenoopetitj. In 1994, the Mi’kmaq Warrior Society made headlines when they seized land once occupied by a residential school and demanded the land be returned to the Mi’kmaq people. A year later, the Mi’kmaq Warrior Society was called in to protect the community of Eel Ground as they conducted their traditional salmon fishery in the Miramichi River in defiance of Canadian regulations.

In 1995 in Vancouver, second-generation AIM activists established the Native Youth Movement (NYM), an urbanbased youth organization grounded in Red Power traditions, philosophies and tactics. They too, wore camouflage and masks and carried the Mohawk warrior flag. For three years, NYM engaged in sit-ins, rallies and marches throughout British Columbia to protest the province’s so-called Treaty Process.

In 1997, the Okiijida Warrior Society formed in Manitoba as an alternative to urban youth gangs. The Okiijida Warrior Society soon affiliated with AIM and worked to raise awareness about indigenous peoples’ relationship with the Canadian government and encourage people to pressure Canada and the United States to treat indigenous people fairly. Since 2002, the Okiijida Warrior Society has helped the Grassy Narrows community in Ontario maintain a blockade preventing logging trucks from entering their territory. The Grassy Narrows blockade continues to this day, and is actively supported by the people in the community. It is a highly visible and accessible site, both physically and psychologically, and indications from people involved are that the blockade has served a galvanizing purpose. It is enabling indigenous youth to learn from elders about the importance of land, spirituality, and the sustained connections to their heritage. Though situated within a conflict between the community and outside interests, the blockade has established a fundamentally positive and motivating environment for those involved at the community level.

Defending Indigenous Territories

In 1999, the Cheam First Nation recruited members of the NYM to assist them as they engaged in their Fraser River salmon fishery in defiance of Canadian regulations. In 2000, these same members formed the West Coast Warrior Society. Soon, they donned their fatigues and set up a three- month roadblock to protect Cheam fishing camps. Later that year, the West Coast Warrior Society travelled to Esgenoopetitj to assist local indigenous communities in that region in their on-going conflict with local fishers and Canadian authorities over the conduct of traditional fisheries by the Mi’kmaq.

Since 1999, the Mi’kmaq people of Esgenoopetitj had been asserting their treaty rights and conducting their own lobster fishery in defiance of Canadian regulations that were prejudiced against them. After the government refused to recognize the extreme disparity of access, the once uniformly cooperative indigenous community mobilized to demand fair treatment and the Canadian government’s conformity with international and domestic law. This resulted in several clashes with Canadian authorities and citizenry.

By the fall of 2000, Esgenoopetitj was under siege and the waters of Miramichi Bay became the frontline. Warrior societies, activists, politicians and media descended on the community. Members of the Mi’kmaq, Mohawk, Okiijida and West Coast Warrior Societies all joined the Esgenoopetitj and Listiguj Rangers in defence of Mi’kmaq communities and fisheries. When the fishing season was over, the warrior societies dispersed back to their home territories, with the commander of the East Coast Warrior Society (which had emerged in Esgenoopetitj during the fall of 2000) travelling to British Columbia to form an alliance with the West Coast Warrior Society.

In 2003, the West Coast Warrior Society was summoned to help five Saanich communities in protecting the viability of the Goldstream salmon run in Saanich Inlet from a commercial fishery opening proposed by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO). Large commercial fishery interests were demanding access to salmon runs that had been restored through the indigenous community’s own habitat rehabilitation projects. The same inequity faced by the east coast communities and fishers was now facing these west coast indigenous communities: large fleets and corporate interests in the commercial fishery were to be given access to fish for maximum commercial harvest while the indigenous communities would receive token access and benefit from the resource.

This was a direct threat to the salmon fishery, the basis for their cultures and survival, and the federal government again failed to intervene in a principled manner. On the invitation of the five Saanich communities and supported by the communities’ band councils, the West Coast Warrior Society remained in the community for five weeks preparing to block the commercial fishery. In the end, the fishery was cancelled without physical confrontation and the West Coast Warrior Society left the communities.

Defending Indigenous Communities

What has become clear through the history of the warrior society movement is the continuing and impressive patience of indigenous people in resolving political matters in principled, fair, and legal (via international and national conventions) ways. In every instance where conflict has arisen between warrior societies and Canadian authorities, violent interactions have been instigated by police or other government authorities, or by local non-indigenous interests opposed to indigenous people. Indigenous communities are comprised of normally cooperative and peaceful people. In all cases, it is only when an overwhelming injustice is perpetrated against them in the face of possible mutually beneficial alternatives that these people, who are yet struggling to survive, rise up to demand just treatment and fairer relations with the settler society.

The warrior society strategy gains credence among indigenous people during a crisis situation because there is a deeprooted fear among all indigenous people that the Canadian government is seeking to annihilate their existence. Most indigenous people favour peaceful and non-confrontational methods of advancing their political agenda and of advancing the cause of justice. But at the same time, all indigenous people have direct experience with or second-generation memory of the genocidal intent and capacity of the Canadian state. All have direct experience with the virulent forms of racism that still exist in most rural parts of Canada. Indigenous people understand well how ordinary Canadians turn hostile and violent when indigenous peoples’ demands for recognition of their land rights or political rights threatens white society’s economic privilege on the land.

So, in a crisis situation, facing armed paramilitary force and the hostility of white society as a whole, in the context of impending violence capable of eliminating the very existence of their communities, the raw realities of the colonial relationship between indigenous peoples and the state are laid bare. In these situations, the warrior societies’ analysis of Canadian society is proven correct. The legitimacy of the warrior society agenda and approach flows from this dynamic. People do recognize in very pragmatic terms the necessity of defending the community in physical terms from outside aggression. The warrior societies provide a measure of national defence.

There is broad support among indigenous people everywhere for action, even militant action, against the continuing unjust process by which they are being dispossessed of their territories. The disagreement among indigenous peoples is about their capacity to effectively confront state authorities and to sustain a politic of contention, and whether or not the costs (violence, further deprivation, hostility of society, etc.) are worth the gains to be made in confronting the injustices facing indigenous communities. Thus, there is no need for a screening or filtering process whereby warrior societies would judge the merit of various conflicts and decide which ones are suitable engagements.

Engagement does not need to be rationalized. The operating assumption is that all indigenous communities are facing an injustice that needs to be confronted; the main factor influencing whether a warrior society is involved in a conflict is simply the existence of a conflict in a community where there is a warrior society with the capacity to respond. Simply put, warrior societies will become involved in conflicts between their nation and outside forces if the people call for their help, and if they possess the capacity to respond.

In this sense, indigenous people, through warrior societies, are acting on their basic right and responsibility to protect and defend their lands, their communities and their persons from unprovoked outside aggression.

Originally spotted at The Speed of Dreams.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Paramilitary Attack Leaves Two Dead and Three Disappeared

Oaxaca de Juárez, Oaxaca. April 27, 2010

To the news media
To the peoples of Mexico
To the peoples of the world
To the peoples of Oaxaca

Armed attack on the Support and Solidarity Caravan to the Autonomous Municipality of San Juan Copala, Oaxaca


Yesterday, an announcement was sent to the news media about the Caravan headed for the Triqui Region in our state of Oaxaca. Caravan participants include members of the Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca (APPO), Section 22 of the teachers’ union, Oaxacan Voices Constructing Autonomy and Freedom (VOCAL), CACTUS, members of MULT-I (Independent Triqui Movement of Unification and Struggle), as well as international observers.

As announced, the caravan left the city of Huajuapan de León, Oaxaca, at 11:00 a.m. on April 27, 2010, with the aim of breaking the siege around the Autonomous Triqui Community, a manifestation of state and paramilitary repression on the process of autonomy being built in this community. The violent paramilitary attacks have occurred at different times in San Juan Copala’s autonomous process and have been led by the paramilitary UBISORT organization (Social Welfare Union of the Triqui Region), now presided over by Rufino Juárez Hernández and MULT (Triqui Movement of Unification and Struggle).

Before the caravan left, the autonomous president of San Juan Copala, Jesús Martínez Flores held the following people responsible for any aggression whatsoever against it: Oaxaca State Attorney General Evencio Nicolás Martínez, Oaxaca Minister of the Interior Jorge Franco Vargas, ”el Chuky”, and PRI party legislative candidate Carlos Martínez. He also demanded that UBISORT and MULT behave responsibly and take the Triqui people’s peace talks seriously.


About 100 Km. from the entrance to La Sabana, the road was blocked with stones, and that’s where the cowardly attack began with firearms whose caliber is as of yet undetermined. The attack was perpetrated by around 15 paramilitaries at the service of the government of the killer Ulises Ruiz Ortiz, destroying the vehicles, wounding one comrade, and killing two others, according to initial reports.

During the attack, some comrades escaped, running into the mountains. Their location is unknown and it is feared that they have been captured by paramilitaries. The disappeared comrades are NOE BAUTISTA JIMENEZ, DAVID VENEGAS REYES, and DANIEL ARELLANO CHAVEZ, all members of VOCAL.

We have just received information about the two comrades who lost their lives in this attack. They are CACTUS member BEATRÌZ ALBERTA CARIÑO TRUJILLO, and an international observer from Finland, JYRI ANTERO JAAKKOLA. Both were shot dead.

During the attack, our comrade MONICA CITLALI SANTIAGO ORTIZ was shot in the back and has received medical attention at Juxtlahuaca.

Other people at the scene of the shooting were forced out of the vehicles and taken down the mountain to be interrogated. Some received death threats before being released on the highway. VOCAL member RUBÈN VALENCIA NUÑEZ was detained by paramilitaries who took his voter registration card and cell phone and threatened him with death before turning him loose.

An ambulance arrived at the scene to give medical attention to the wounded, but it was also fired upon in a cowardly paramilitary attack, causing it to leave. As it was leaving, the medics came to the aid of a wounded comrade, who confirmed the deaths of the two previously mentioned comrades.

Due to confusion and uncertainty regarding the events, it has been impossible to ascertain the whereabouts or the physical and psychological situation of the previously mentioned comrades.

WE EMPHATICALLY DENOUNCE the fact that this armed attack is the product of the conditions of institutional violence and impunity enjoyed by paramilitary groups in this region of our state and directed against different expressions of the social struggle in Oaxaca, specifically the construction of autonomous processes.

This aggression takes place in the circumstances of isolation and the state of siege imposed on the municipality of San Juan Copala, where children have been deprived of their classes since January. Furthermore, the lights have been turned off and the community has no access to drinking water or medical personnel. It is subjected to permanent harassment from military troops that have set up a roadblock just outside the town.


– that the government of the killer Ulises Ruiz put an end to all paramilitary attacks in the Triqui Region, and to the financing, provision of arms, and impunity enjoyed by these paramilitary groups in our state;

– and assure the immediate presentation of our disappeared comrades.


the people of Oaxaca, Mexico, and the international community and different social organizations, collectives and groups to make a visible show of solidarity and support, demanding the live presentation of our disappeared brothers and punishment of the responsible people. We also ask that you demand an end to the conditions of violence imposed on the Autonomous Municipality of San Juan Copala.

Live presentation of our disappeared comrades!

Punishment for the murders of our comrades!

An end to the attacks against the Autonomous Municipality of San Juan Copala!

An end to the paramilitary blockade around this autonomous Triqui community!

Oaxacan Voices Constructing Autonomy and Freedom


Movement Demands Autonomy: An O'odham Perspective on Border Controls and Immigration

OSABC stands in solidarity with anti-SB 1070 convergence at the Arizona State Capitol last weekend

Expressing the O'odham voice in the mist of the convergence .

SB 1070=Police State

This article has already been distributed in pamphlet form, the few paragraphs immediately below are a few notes on recent developments.

In light of the state's new attack of SB 1070 on migrant communities, OSABC would like to show a perspective and experience that is often overlooked in the immigration struggle, that being the indigenous impacts. Indigenous communities have, and still are being attack by the state (meaning the political entity, also called "government") since the first migrants, European settlers, arrived to this hemisphere. But that, we already know. What OSABC would like to express is, WE ARE STILL HERE. As O'odham, we have seen our lands occupied by three colonial states (Spain, Mexico, and now the United States), and STILL, we have endured in the face of colonization. The very land that this bill was passed on, is still O'odham land! From the Phoenix Valley, to Scukson (Tucson is from an O'odham word), to Rocky Point, to the Sierra Madres in Mexico, this is O'odham jewed.

The passing of SB1070 leads us to the police state, and does not just affect migrants, it affects us all! SB 1070 like policies already occur on the Tohono O'odham Nation since the mid-90's with the states push for immigration enforcement . Border Enforcement that would be a Berlin-like Wall through our lands to control movement. The current push for immigration reform by politicians and by reformist activists includes the push to secure “their” borders which would be the forced removal and relocations of all indigenous tribes that live in the border region (Yaqui, Lipan Apache, Mohawk to name a few) . This dismissal not just shows the colonial attitude that both reformist activists and politicians have, but also the settler privilege that they evoke when constructing border policies.

We need to be asking the why in all this? Immigration Reform to us, means militarization of our homelands, so we dare to ask the politicians and reformist activists, how can reform for many, be at the expense of the original inhabitants of the land? We need to see it for what it is, and question neo-liberal projects, such as NAFTA, not just put a bandage on policies that affect everybody! We must challenge both the politicians and reformist activists that try to pit indigenous and migrant communities against each other in their “political” solutions ! We are in this together, and must start at the root of the problem, in this case from an O'odham perspective.

Movement Demands Autonomy: An O'odham Perspective on Border Controls and Immigration

We want to express as young O'odham, that we oppose the building and structure of a wall along the traditional O'odham territory, The concerns of the villages grow in fear of the on-going tactics that is plainly disguised as a 'part of the rules of conduct for testing censors and technology', have now made the Tohono O'odham people walking targets and criminals in the eyes of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in our own homelands. As O'odham people, we face the ever growing crucialattacks on Homes, traditional routes, and Identity as indigenous people . The O'odham voice still goes underminded by tribal government and the right of passage through our routes have become a killing field and a battle ground.


Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recent, unprecedented power to waive existing law along the borders of the United States to construct a massive Border Wall and implementations of stricter border crossing regulations, undermines the Tribal Sovereignty, Indigenous Autonomy and Self-Determination of the many indigenous nations whose ancestral lands span into Mexico and Canada. The O'odham people, particularly the Tohono O'odham people, of southern Arizona are one such indigenous nation once again caught in the middle of the United States Border Policies. Policies that have disregarded the history, voice and cultural impacts that any border wall will bring to all indigenous people whose homeland will be further disconnected by the U.S. push to establish the 1,951 mile barrier on the U.S./Mexican Border, 75 miles of which rest on Tohono O'odham Nation southern boundary. In my introductory analysis, I feel the need to state the history and connection the O'odham people have with their ancestral lands, Homeland Security's waiver power on the border and stricter policies and how such power has lead to the militarization of O'odham Jev'ed (O'odham lands). DHS power to waive existing laws to ensure the border wall will have negative implications on all Indigenous Nations whose land is separated by the U.S./Mexican Border and represents the continuation, of the colonization of Indigenous people and land in the 21st Century.

O'odham 101

The O'odham people have called what is now Southern Arizona (U.S.) and Northern Sonora (Mexico) home long before any lines were drawn on their traditional territory. The O'odham people and their culture have flourished in the heat of Sonoran Desert for hundreds and thousands of years and their ancestors the Huhugahm (also know as the Hohokam) created a highly complex society like the Anasazi to the north and the Mogollon to the east. The massive canals that the Huhugahm constructed are being utilized by Salt River Project (SRP) today and their influence is found throughout this region. O'odham culture is deeply rooted throughout this area, which is as far north as the Phoenix Valley, as far west as the coast of Mexico in what is now Rocky Point, east as the San Pedro river and as far south as Hermosillo and the Sierra Madres Mountains.
Huhugahm Traditional lands

In this area, the many different tribes of O'odham learned to live with the harsh heat of the Sonoran Desert. In pre-Columbus times, the O'odham never considered themselves as one “O'odham Nation”, but were centered in local, regional autonomy. But certain areas did have common traits that made them more distinguished. The O'odham who lived in the area of the Gila River and Salt River, are known as the Akimel O'odham (People of the River), for the O'odham south of this area, they are known as the Tohono O'odham (People of the Desert), and for the O'odham who live west of them, along the coast line, they are known as the Hia-Ced O'odham (People of the Sand).
Traditional O'odham jewed

Each different tribe had its own unique connection and history with the regions that they lived in, but all shared a common way of life, traditions and language. Prior to European contact, the different tribes communicated and traded with each other. Each band of O'odham was familiar with each other and would come together for numerous reasons (i.e. Religious, farming, war, etc.). The O'odham would freely travel throughout their traditional lands and were unaware of the events that were happening south of them in Central Mexico with the arrival of the Spanish.


The Spanish crossed O'odham land in the mid 1500's. The Spanish Conquistadors were in search of gold, but did not find any riches on their travels throughout what is now the southwest of the United States. But their travels did usher in Spanish missionaries who wanted to bring “god and civilization” to the Indians. Catholic Missionaries established missions throughout traditional Tohono O'odham lands. The missions were part of the Spanish's “soft power” tactics to colonize the O'odham to Spanish Culture. Tactics that would be that of hard labor, indoctrination of Catholic beliefs and regulation to areas in closed proximity of the missions. Contrary to most O'odham historians though, this “soft power” was not effective and only lured few O'odham to the Spanish way of life. But the Spanish misinterpretations of O'odham seasonal movement, which is mostly cited by historians as acceptance to Spanish Culture, is questionable when looked into more closely. The Spanish took advantage to seasonal migrations to wetter areas, areas for example being the San Xaiver Mission or Magdalena. The O'odham move to wetter areas was interpreted as a acceptance to the Spanish way of life but for the most part, a great number of Tohono O'odham rejected the harsh practices of the Spanish, and in many cases rebelled. In 1695, 1751, 1756 and 1776, major rebellions occurred, in which the Tohono O'odham expelled the Spanish entirely and in most cases, burned their missions down. In some instances, the O'odham would form alliances with the Apaches in the east which is interesting being that for most part, the two were enemies. These rebellions were just as large and effective as the Pueblo Rebellions going on at the same time. These rebellions temporarily expelled the Spanish Military from O'odham lands and prevented the Spanish from gaining a tight hold in the region which lead to their missions not being built any farther north than what is now Tucson and kept Akimel O'odham lands free of any permanent Spanish presence.

Mexico then Washington
Mexican Land "Claim" of our lands

After the Spanish lost its hold in the Americas with Mexico establishing its independence in 1821, the Mexican government would impose its colonial control over the O'odham. The newly founded Mexican government interaction was few compared to the Spanish. The more secular Mexican Government did not continue the Missionary system and shut down the last one in 1842. In 1846, the Mexican-American War started over territorial expansion, which leads to the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848. This placed the U.S./Mexican border at Gila River but this border was still being negotiated by both governments. The Akimel O'odham and Tohono O'ohdam were never consulted in these negotiations and were not of any importance in the colonial governments decision to where the international border would be drawn. Soon after this border was expanded to where it is today by Colonel James Gadsden who negotiated on behalf of the U.S., by purchasing it for 10 million dollars. This purchase, known as the Gadsden Purchase, placed the international line through the center of traditional Tohono O'odham land. The O'odham were also not consulted and are not even mention within the purchase.

The colonial attitude of Manifest Destiny was in full effect and embodied by James Gadsden, whose previous interaction with Indigenous people was his campaign of removal of the Seminoles. Gadsden previous history before becoming the Minster of Mexico was that of the railroad business, which at the time held enormous power in U.S. Politics. One of the main reasons the U.S. purchased the land was to make way for the transcontinental railroad, a point I like to state because it shows the U.S.'s total disregard to the many people that this border would impact then, but only seen the economic impacts it would bring. Basically the border was established to ensure capital, a similarity that will continue in the decades to come.
Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848 and Gadsden Purchase (U.S. Land "Claim")

The O'odham, unaware of the decisions that were being made by Washington, continue their way of life relatively unaffected by the establishment of the southern border for the rest of the 1800's. They still traveled freely back and forth between the border for traditional ceremonies and to see family. The O'odham were slow to learn that the United States now claimed hold to their land north of the border. In the years after the Civil War, more Anglo-American citizens enter traditional O'odham lands. From this point, the O'odham faced the same racist attitudes and injustices that other indigenous people faced with the U.S. Government and its citizens up to the present (land loss, persecution of traditional religion, boarding schools, assimilation policies, establishment of BIA imposed tribal governments to name a few).

For the O'odham that now resided on the U.S. Side, the loss of land was intermediate. Reservations were established, and for the first time in their history, permanent borders and diversions were established around them to make way for the many Anglo-American that were now settling their lands. The Akimel O'odham were placed in two reservations, the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community and the Gila River Indian Community. The Tohono O'odhams were bunched in the Papago Reservation (which in 1984 changed to the Tohono O'odham Nation). Ak-Chin Indian Community was established for the Tohono O'odham and Akimel O'odham who lived together by their traditional boundaries. The Tohono O'odham in Mexico have no reservation and fend for themselves, from Mexican settlers to this day and the Hia-ched O'odham whose land was mostly in Mexico, lost all of their land on both sides and have no title to their lands like their O'odham relatives in the north.

The colonization of O'odham lands impacted the O'odham people's connection to the different bands of the O'odham such as the Akimel O'odham's relationship to their relatives in the south. But for the Tohono O'odham, the international line did not cut their ties to the land. Enforcement of the border was few, and pillars of the line did not mark the land as they do now. Besides chicken wire barriers to stop cattle crossing, there were no signs of any border. The establishment of the U.S. Border Patrol in 1924 did not affect them at all. Religious practices that take place on both sides of the border still took place such as the pilgrimage to Ma:lina (Magdalena). The O'odham in Mexico would still travel to the U.S. side for medical needs in the tribal capital of Sells, to buy goods and to see family. The O'odham in the U.S. crossed southwards to do the same as well.

The Tohono O'odham up to this point did not have any problems with their rights as indigenous people to cross the border. The Tohono O'odham faced the many assaults on their land, and negative impacts that colonization imposed on their culture, that indigenous people around the world also faced. This colonization process did lead to the O'odham settlements in Mexico to be reduced from 45, to 9 and lead to a limitation of traditional crossings to be recognized by the U.S. Only till the mid 1990's with Immigration becoming a issue for most of America did the O'odham begin to see their inherit rights attacked by the still, colonial government of the United States.

Operation Colonization: Immigration Policy and the O'odham
U.S. Border Patrol Map

In this time, border polices were being formulated once again without their O'odham input. Clinton era policies such as Operation Gatekeeper in San Diego, CA, Operation Hold The Line in El Paso, TX and Operation Safeguard in Nogales, AZ were conducted by the U.S. Border Patrol. The aim of these operations was to crack down on illegal crossing through major cities and force migrants to go through the more barren lands along the border, one such area being the 75 mile region of the Tohono O'odham Nation lands. Another policy change was the Border Patrol now shifted its attention away from interior approach and now focused on the Border itself. With the influx of migrants now crossing the Tohono O'odham Nation lands, the Tohono O'odham tribal enrolled members slowly felt the impact of Border Patrol Agents entering their lands. But just as previous Border Policies, the O'odham people were never considered and consulted.

Congress mandated that Border Patrol secure the borders and enabled their jurisdiction to override local, state and tribal jurisdiction. Agents would now patrol the sovereign nation of Tohono O'odham, with or without the permission from the Tohono O'odham Nation tribal government (TON).

I like to note, TON is the BIA recognized governing body of the Tohono O'odham people , that was established by the Indian Recognition Act of 1934 (IRA). Since its conception, the legitimacy of this body has been called into question by the the traditional people of the community. Many Traditional O'odham and parts of the community feel that TON decisions do not speak for the community as a whole. Congresses border mandates would now reflect such disconnect with TON and “its” members. TON lack of effort to enforce sovereignty, or realization that they don't really have any sovereign rights under IRA would would soon come to light with the O'odham peoples struggle to maintain autonomy in its everyday affairs. The split between TON and the traditional O'odham is not new, but would sadly play out in the struggles to come. True sovereignty over Tohono O'odham lands would not allow the many negative policies to come.

But regardless of sovereignty, or lack of it, Congresses approvals of evaluated enforcement greatly attacked the Tohono O'odham people's autonomy of free movement and right to culture. Indigenous people along the border were feeling theeffects of Congress's Plenary Power to impose its jurisdiction over their BIA tribal nation government and their inherit autonomy of as indigenous people.

All of T.O. Nation lies in West Desert Corridor

Accounts of Border Patrol harassment started to be voiced and citizenship issues brought to life. Large numbers of the TON enrolled members were not born in hospitals and did not have valid birth certificates, if any. This confusion lead to the TON issuing Tribal ID cards to the 25,000 Tohono O'odham in the U.S. and to the estimated 2,000 in Mexico. This tribal ID acted as their passport. Their Akimel O'odham relatives also utilized their tribal ID as a passport. But the wave of migrants crossing through reservation land grew throughout the late 90's and early 2000's lead more Border Agents to enter Tohono O'odham lands. Also, along with migrates crossing reservation land, established and dangerous Human and Drug smuggling rings beginning to utilize traditional crossing along the border. Border Agents were not well trained about the O'odham people and their culture, which lead to many accounts of racial profiling and human rights violations when crossing on their reservation or when crossing the borders as they did before, to see family and participate in traditional gatherings.

Department of “American” Security

“In the words of the United States Supreme Court, Indian tribes “predate” the United States. We are older than the international boundary with Mexico and had no role in creating the border. But our land is now cut in half, with O’odham communities, sacred sites, salt pilgrimage routes, and families divided. We did not cross the 75 miles of border within our reservation lands. The border crossed us. And the border comes at a price.”i

-Tohono O'odham Chairman Ned Norris

In wake of 9/11, the United States push to secure the borders greatly evaluated more so than any time previously mentioned. At this time, Border Patrol was moved to the newly established Department of Homeland Secretary (DHS). Under DHS, the TON would soon feel Congresses Plenary Power, imposed on them all in the name of national security. The Tohono O'odham would now face more harassment when crossing back and forth between the border, by the need to secure the border from “terrorists” and “illegal immigrants”. The TON, under pressure from DHS , partnered with Border Patrol to slow down the amount of illegal immigration activity to much dismay from the Tohono O'odham people. Tribal Governments decision to support alternative strategies to the wall, such as the construction of vehicle barriers, checkpoints and integrated camera-radar systems open the door for the Federal Government to undermine Tribal Sovereignty and attack the people's autonomy to exist as O'odham. The TON's willingness to work with DHS was desired by TON, hoping that such cooperation would prevent any Border Wall to be constructed on their lands. But just as their history shows, the concerns of the O'odham would not be heard and appeared to be ignored by the United States to established “its” border. Even though the TON decided to “work” with the Federal Government on the “Border Issue”, the TON publicly denounced a physical wall to cross their ancestral lands.

But the aftermath of 9/11 would now put TON sovereign rights to not allow any wall, secondary to the bigger national emergency. The fear of another 9/11 gave the Federal Government an excuse to invade Indigenous land under the guise of security, and with the flux of immigration growing, along with huge anti-immigrant sentiment growing throughout the country, the O'odham voice would be marginalized out of the debate. The REAL ID Act of 2005 and the Secure the Fence Act of 2006 would reflect the marginalization of that voice because these acts implemented many security related mandates, one being the securing of the U.S. Borders with a physical wall. This display of Plenary Power and the executive branches mechanism to apply it (DHS) would give the Federal Government the excuse to now invade Indigenous land all in the name of national security.

It’s interesting to note, that the REAL ID Act and the Secure the Fence Act were passed without the TON and the many other Border tribes being consulted by Congress. This lack of consideration follows in stride with this country's lack of regard for Indigenous peoples who have never been consulted since the border was “created” on their lands.

Regardless of the obvious colonial nature, these Acts gave DHS the authority to waive all pre-existing laws under Section 102 of the REAL ID act, along the northern and southern border to implement the Secure the Fence Act. This clause gave DHS the power to “legally” acquire land from private owners, State and Federal Parks and tribal nations whose land rested on the border. This act was immediately attacked and on October 8th, 2007 not by any tribal government, but by the environmental organization, Defenders of Wildlife, who sued to stop the border wall from being built in the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area (SPRNCA) in Arizona, until environmental impacts studies were completed as required by the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA). On October 10th 2007, the Federal Court motioned a temporary restraining order to halt DHS from any construction. But on October 26, 2007, DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff waived NEPA and nineteen other laws to begin construction in SPRNCA. Secretary Chertoff put Section 102 of the REAL ID into effect, and cited that as his authority to begin construction. Soon after, Defenders of Wildlife and Sierra Club filed a complaint in the District Court of the District of Colombia. They claimed that the Secretary and DHS act was unconstitutional because of his power to pick and choose what laws to follow in construction of the border wall. This was soon dismissed by the District Court in December 2007 and which lead the plaintiffs to file a Writ of Certiorari petition to the Supreme Court.

In this petition, more plaintiffs joined the suit, one being the TON. Unfortunately, this petition was dismissed in June 2008 and the lower courts decision to allow Secretary Chertoff and DHS the right to waive all statutes was now the law of the land. In the Writ of Certiorari petition, T.O. Nation did cite that DHS power to waive The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA), The American Indian Religious Freedom Act and The Eagle Protection Act would greatly have negative impacts on O'odham Culture and undermine their sovereignty of TON. Unfortunately, Congress's prior legislated commitment to protect Indigenous people in this country took backseat to the need to secure the border in the wake of 9/11. In the petition, other non-indigenous citizens all along the border also addressed their concerns and cited the injustice that DHS authority would bring to their communities. The displacement that DHS would cause with the construction of any border barrier is huge, but the precedent that enables them to do so is even huger. The parties that joined the Defender of Wildlife suit understood the implications that would come if the lower court decision was not reversed. But for the Tohono O'odham people, it showed the U.S. continuation of colonial polices. The outcome of the SPRNCA decision did not affect O'odham lands, but as their concerns in this suit addressed, it open the door for DHS to invade their land because as the petition was in the judicial system, DHS was already applying its power to the border region on TON and traditional O'odham lands.


Those Who Are Gone..the Huhugahm

In the time that Writ of Certiorari was working its way in the court system, DHS used their waiver power on traditional Hia-Ched O'odham land, that now lies in Barry M. Goldwater Range to start border wall construction, and to expand the he El Camino de Diablo, a recreational off-vehicle route. Their Subcontractor, Boeing Company did not need to perform archaeological surveys, which lead to two known Huhugahm sites to be damaged and unearthed. These account for the eleven identified Huhugham sites that lie in the path of the border wall, on or off the reservation. Since NAGPRA can be waived, the proper care of these sites is not maintained. Many in the community voice their concern of such abuse of power may lead to Huhugham and O'odham remains to be funneled outside the community. The remains unearth by Boeing were later returned to tribal members but the absolute disregard by DHS to enact their waiver powers to dismiss NAGPRA shows the impacts that any future use would cause. The physical wall would just be one attack on O'odham people and land but the impacts to “those who have gone” would bring catastrophic damage to the O'odham universe.

Checkpoints and Virtual Wall

TON initial “cooperation” with DHS to establish vehicle barriers, checkpoints and integrated camera-radar systems on their lands has lead to a escalation in these measures. Border Checkpoints have now become permanent, and become a point of surveillance where O'odham of any tribal government affiliation are harassed. In many cases, Border Agents violate traditional items in search/seize procedures. Surveillance technology, such as radio towers have been constructed on and off the reservation in DHS “Virtual Wall”. Traditional ports of entry and the immediate border area are a complete militarized zone.

Enhance Tribal IDs

Along with NAGPRA and the virtual wall, the O'odham right to cross the line for traditional ceremonies became even stricter. Usually, such traditional practices of religion would be protected by The American Indian Religious Freedom Act, but since such participation spans border, O'odham were required to show proper paperwork to freely move back and forth between the border. Up to this point, Tohono O'odham people, on both sides used the tribal government ID that was issued in the mid 90's. But since that ID was also distributed to Tohono O'odham and Hia-Ched O'odham in Mexico, DHS declared the Tohono O'odham ID not able to prove citizenship, therefore not a valid ID to cross back into the United States. Along with the Tohono O'odham ID, the O'odham in the north; Gila River, Salt River and Ak-Chin tribal nations were told their tribal government ID was no longer valid. The O'odham in the north who still ventured to the south for traditional gatherings were now caught in a position where DHS only recognized the TON as a border tribe, not realizing their relatives share a connection and inherit rights just as the Tohono O'odham people do to their ancestral lands in Mexico. DHS colonial attitude labeled the O'odham not enrolled in the TON as completely different tribes. The dismissal of tribal ID's is another clear example of tribal sovereignty being infringed on by DHS, and how TON supposed sovereign rights, such as a tribal ID, can be easily waive by Congresses Plenary Powers.

DHS did set a deadline, June 1st, 2009 as the date that all American citizens needed a passport and mark the last day any tribal ID would be recognized as a valid form of proof of citizenship. But the border tribes who use their tribal ID as a passport were able to extend that deadline till they can met DHS new federal requirements listed in the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI). In WHTI, it requires that any ID card or passport to be RFID ready . So in November 2009, TON announced that it enter into “agreement” with DHS to produce their new “enhanced” tribal ID which will be RFID ready.

Apartheid in America
Border Patrol Spy Cameras

DHS's push to militarized our lands, and tribal government's cooperation in doing so not just shows how tribal sovereignty in the border region does not really exist, but shows how the voice and concerns of the O'odham people have been disregarded by both federally backed institutions. Regardless of how you see the immigration issue, the O'odham are stuck in policies that have been created not by them, but by the bigger ever-existing colonial system where borders are established to maintain capital flow. The U.S.'s objectives in its war with Mexico and James Gadsden purchase in the 1800's are no different to what the U.S. Border policies is today, to ensure capital at expense of indigenous displacement. If people were informed about the history of the border, and why it was established, it would then put today's struggle in perspective.

The O'odham people are now in the shadows of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which leads to the bigger struggle of globalization. I feel, the basic principals of these policies and the history of its oppression to the many other indigenous nations worldwide , must be told to show the colonial nature that each embodies. The O'odham people must be informed of “why” migrants cross and “why” O'odham land is now a corridor for migration and drug smuggling . If TON took a broader approach with the immigration issue, it would not be a issue of migration, but a issue of globalization. TON is in a unique position to publicly critique these issue, but decides not to due to the colonial framework of tribal nations and the United States (ward/guardian relationship).

The Defenders of Wildlife v. Chertoff case reflects the importance that the U.S. holds in their global economic agenda of globalization by justifying the Border Walls in their courts, and the expense of the displacement of all people. It shows that justice in our lands will not come from the courts because they represent the colonial power. The same arguments that the courts offered in the Marshall Trilogy that stated they have no choice to rule the way they did because the policies of the United States mandated them to do so, is just as alive today. National Security is the guise today. But for the O'odham, it has ushered in a apartheid-like tribal nation, where tribal government operates in a confined colonial system which offers only colonial solutions to the many migrants who journey to this country for survival.

In conclusion, I felt the need to provide the history of the O'odham and the Border was important because it shows the continuation of colonization and puts the struggle in perspective for people who are unaware of the O'odham. In my travels, as a Tohono O'odham, I find myself meeting many who have no idea of our connection to our traditional land. This connection has long been under attacked since the days of the Spanish, and the United States endorsement of globalization policies is now attacking our O'odham Him'dag. The need to understand the Defenders of Wildlife v. Chertoff case is important because it shows the politics of the colonial rule. Politics that put the O'odham voice behind their security and capital. Militarization now is the state of my lands, and judicial system is not the answer. I wrote this to educate my fellow O'odham, and those who stand in solidarity with us, so we can construct ideas thats may, or may not work in their system. Hopefully, this understanding of the issue will lead to a bigger debate. Not just the same colonial one that is offered by them.

For more info, check:

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

M.I.A. "Born Free"

M.I.A - BORN FREE VIDEO OFFICIAL (real and explicit version)
Uploaded by elnino. - Explore more music videos.

Cop Watch L.A.: Receive text alerts / Reciba alertas por texto

Cop Watch Los Angeles:

To receive police/ICE checkpoint and raid updates from Cop Watch LA text

StopICE to 67553

Para recibir textos de Cop Watch LA con informacion de retenes y redadas del ICE y policia mande un texto:

StopICE al 67553

No Basta con La Reforma

Banner in Phoenix, Arizona: "No Basta con la Reforma" (Reform isn't Enough!)

Friday, April 23, 2010

"By the time I get to Arizona"

Fuck SB1070

I received this message from a comrade in Arizona:

SB1070 was signed at 10am! What are we going to do about it? Whether in PHX, LA, the Bay, AZ or in another state, let us put a stop to the state and its reign of terror in our communities, MAKE YOUR VOICES HEARD WHEREVERYOU CALL HOME AND BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


Please forward widely:


The Taala Hooghan Infoshop & Youth Media Arts Center is very excited
to present our 2nd Annual Liberate Earth Day Event!
Join us for this educational and active event for an end to corporate
greenwashing & "green" capitalism!

Taala Hooghan is also seeking volunteers to help us build and sustain
this community space! More info at
Spread the word!


Join us for a FREE FREE MARKET! before Liberate Earth Day at 11AM-2PM
- Bring something, take something! Nothing bought or sold.

An anti-capitalist/anti-colonial event for healthy and sustainable communities!

2nd Annual
End Corporate Greenwashing & "Green" Capitalism!

Sunday, April 25th
3:00PM - 10:00PM - FREE
At Taala Hooghan Infoshop
New Location: 1700 N. 2nd St. East Flagstaff

Workshops and discussions on:
• Abolish Profit Farming & the Importance of Autonomous Agriculture
• Green Consumerism: The Misguided Discourse on Sustainability
• Eco-Feminism
• Derrick Jensen: The Problem of Civilization and Resistance
(online video discussion)
• Defending Sacred Lands - Intersections of environmental and
social struggles for justice
• Direct Action: Tactical training and discussion

Free food by
Flagstaff Food Not Bombs


Abolish Profit Farming & the Importance of Autonomous Agriculture
Facilitated by FARM
Come learn about decentralized urban-agricultre and the importance of
abolish-profit farming models. This workshop will cover local
agricultural plans and how FARM is taking a proactive step to address
insatiable consumerism and food dependency. After a short discussion,
we will work in the Infoshop backyard; planting seed starts, preparing
and planting raised beds, and more!

Flagstaff Agricultural Revitalization Movement (FARM) is a
non-hierarchal, volunteer collective committed to the cultivation of a
decentralized, urban-farm network. We believe in food-autonomous
communities, knowledge revitalization, profit abolition, and the
transformation of urban space.

Facilitated by Carly Long, Katie Curran, & Margo Nelson

Green Consumerism: The Misguided Discourse on Sustainability
Facilitated by Kyle Boggs

This workshop will take a critical look at advertising that uses
terminology we’re all used to by now: green, eco-friendly, sustainability,
MORE eco-friendly…it goes on and on. But the truth is, these words have no
working standard industry definition. The bottom line is their bottom line
– to keep us buying rather than asking meaningful questions. By taking
advantage of a growing concern about the dominant culture’s effect on the
planet, green consumerism actually promotes a mindset that is harmful,
while at the same time reinforces false virtues of capitalism.

This mindset is harmful because not only does it undermine the scope of
the problems we face, but it promotes an immature, and frankly,
irresponsible fantasy that everything can be made sustainable, that
nothing fundamental about the way we live on the planet has to change as
long as we “green up” everything we buy. This also places the focus on
sustainable production and development, rather than de-development and
de-industrialism through dismantling inherently unsustainable and
oppressive systems.

Derrick Jensen: The Problem of Civilization and Resistance
An online discussion with Derrick Jensen on the problem of
civilization, rethinking pacifism, and
meaningful environmental activism.

Defending Sacred Lands: Intersections of Environmental & Social Justice
Facilitated by Dr. Jennefifer Dennetdale (Diné historian), Alex Soto
(O'odham Solidarity Across Borders), Supai Waters (Grand Canyon
uranium mining), Francis Tso (Big Mountain), Snowbowl issue (TBD).

Direct Action: Tactical training and discussion
Facilitated by Garrick Ruiz

Strikes, bus boycotts, street protests, defying eviction. Direct
action has been used in countless struggles to create change and
improve people's lives. This workshop will explore direct action and
the possibilities of its application today. The training will include
practical skills such as action planning, de-escalation techniques and
blockades. Folks with or without direct action experience are

Garrick Ruiz has been involved in a wide variety of social justice
organizing over the last 15 years. He's been involved in many
different types of direct action both in the U.S. and internationally
through work with the anti-corporate globalization movement, the
environmental justice movement and international and local solidarity


Taala Hooghan - Infoshop & Youth Media Arts Center


Julio Freed!

Today Julio Rodriguez, the activist who was arrested combating white supremacists on 4/17/10 in downtown Los Angeles, was freed from the Central Arraignment Jail located at 429 Bauchet St. After many hours of waiting we finally saw Julio go before the judge and through his public defender his charges were dropped. Julio can speak more about this on his behalf, its slightly more complex than this but be assured that he is not going to do any time. We would like to thank anyone and everyone who contributed to the liberation, support, and solidarity efforts surrounding Julio's case.

Thank you all who supported and helped to form this coalition to liberate our loved one, friend, brother, son, and comrade.
Free all political prisoners!

=Coalition to Free Julio Rodriguez=

Rodriguez Family
Anarchist Black Cross Federation
Anti-Racist Action
Communities for a Better Environment
Youth Justice Coalition
Copwatch LA
Mexico City ABC
Chicago ABC
Revolutionary Autonomous Communities
Guillermo Suarez
Citizens In Action
And everyone else who contributed on an individual basis.


No Yocoyani nechmaca in
Yolic quena nicuiz ina cequin toni amo nihueli nimopataz
Yolcahuana quena nimopataz nenqueh toni nihueli uan
Tamatiliz quena niquixmatiz in taman

Monday, April 19, 2010


The homies are putting in work and smashed on two fascists/racists :)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Free Julio!

Date: Sunday, April 18, 2010, 11:39 AM


Sisters and brothers,

Our beloved friend and comrade Julio Rodriguez was arrested today 4/17/10 in Downtown Los Angeles, while protesting against white supremacy, by the LAPD. For those of you who do not know Julio he has been involved with Communities For A Better Environment Huntington Park, Anarchist Black Cross Guadalajara, Nahuatl education in Brown communities, and most recently helped organize the April 10th event to raise funds for Oso Blanco and the children of Chiapas. He is being held on the trumped up charge of “Assault with a deadly weapon on a police officer or fireman,” which is a felony. His court date is Tuesday 4/20/10; his bail is 50,000 dollars, and he is currently in the LAPD Parker Center, located at 150 N. Los Angeles Street, Los Angeles, CA. His booking number is #2301368. Tomorrow, Sunday, 4/18/10, visiting hours are from 10-12 and 1-3 pm. I will be able to make at least two trips to visit him tomorrow and one on Monday, if anyone has a government issued ID and wants to carpool, please contact me at MapachinABC@ . I will post the court time, address, and room number as soon as the information becomes available to me. It is crucial that as Anarchists, anti-imperialists, anti-racists, and anti-fascists we support our friend behind enemy lines, as well as his family, offering our aid in any way possible. Please circulate this message.



Los Angeles Anarchist Black Cross

No Yocoyani nechmaca in
Yolic quena nicuiz ina cequin toni amo nihueli nimopataz
Yolcahuana quena nimopataz nenqueh toni nihueli uan
Tamatiliz quena niquixmatiz in taman