Thursday, May 27, 2010

Warrior Societies (the legitimacy of fighting back)

Excerpt from "Warrior Societies in Contemporary Indigenous Communities" by Taiaiake Alfred

a. Membership
Membership in a warrior society is fluid and situational. The size of the membership varies with the degree of interest the core group or an issue can arouse. Some warrior societies consist of only one or two core members, with its ranks swelling in response to
an external threat or crisis, such as that experienced at Esgenoopetitj in 1999-2000, only
to contract once the crisis is over. The core membership of the warrior society usually
consists of a handful of young men at a local level. These warriors are often distanced from the colonial power structures within and outside of their community.

b. Strategies and Tactics
The strategy and tactics employed by warrior societies are generally community and/or
land based. That is, they are bound to the territory and community from which they originate and which they exist to protect. Only in times of intense crisis will a warrior
society conduct its actions outside of its territory (the various warrior societies’ presence
at Esgenoopetitj for example). Once outside of their territory, members will defer to the
warrior society or community in which they are working. A warrior society’s primary
concern remains its own territory and any outside involvement is contingent upon peace
in its own territory.

The overall strategy of a warrior society is to act as a security force at the blockade or frontline and use any means necessary to protect the lands and people. A warrior society will take an offensive or a defensive position, as the situation warrants. For example, a warrior society might take offensive action to repossess and re-assert jurisdiction over their territory, or it may erect a barricade to defend the territory from invasion. Both strategies are carried out with the intention of protecting the land and its people from external threats.

The tactics usually employed by a warrior society include: 1) barricades and roadblocks to prevent non-indigenous people from entering their territories 2) evictions or removal of unwanted people living within their territories 3) occupations to repossess territory and/or prevent others from use or access 4) physical engagement to protect indigenous people from state repression or other physical threats.

Insight into the strategic vision of contemporary warrior societies can be gained through the following conversation with Sakej Ward, the head of the East Coast Warrior Society.

TA: How are you preparing yourself for confrontation?

S: We are rebuilding and re-empowering warrior societies. We know what the threat is, and based on that knowledge, it’s clear that we have to redevelop warrior societies--build them, recruit, train, organize--so that they can be capable of conducting physical resistance against the colonizing state. That’s the process we’re in now.

TA: The kind of “empowerment” you’re talking about is, well… illegal. Does this cause you difficulties in your life?

S: Sure it does. Almost everything we do is on the run. What happens is that our activities become like shadow activity--almost like a guerrilla movement. The Canadian state sees us as a threat and rightly so: we contest their sovereignty and dominion. Think about it: Is organized crime really a threat to national security? It’s a threat to the social environment, for sure, but not national security. Whereas we have far less resources than the Hell’s Angels, for example, but we’re even more of a threat. It’s not our resources that make us powerful--we don’t have any--it’s the cause that we’re fighting for. We’re talking about immorality and injustices at the very foundation of the Canadian state’s legitimacy, and we can bring these truths out in the open. That’s more threatening to the Canadian government than the Hell’s Angels ever will be.

TA: When you use the word “fighting,” what exactly do you mean?

S: An actual physical fight. At Burnt Church, we were in the middle of a firefight with non-native fishermen. They came into our area with the intent of cutting our traps. There were 55 of their large 50-foot boats, and we responded with seven dories--little home-made wooden boats. They immediately shot at us when we got within 100 meters of their flotilla. There were eight shots taken at the boat I was on, and the other boats were being shot at also. So we said to ourselves, “Our people are in danger here, we’re being shot at, and this is going to change.” So there was returned fire, and about an hour of fire exchanged back and forth--the RCMP emergency response team just sat around and watched the whole thing. Before the night was over, one of their boats had chased one of our little boats, and their boat grounded on shore. The occupants were removed from that boat, and, somehow, it ended up in flames. That type of consequence was exactly what was needed at that time.

TA: So it seems obvious from that example that there’s a direct connection between taking action and the preservation of your rights, something that’s just not there in conventional forms of protest?

S: You know, there was a plea from some of our people that we should just pursue the politics of pity and try to get Canadian society to somehow identify with our issues so much so that they would put a stop to their government’s actions against us. Obviously, it didn’t work. In fact, the reason we made such a huge stand against the non-native fishermen was because on every Sunday, right after Mass, they’d come in to try to destroy our traps. There would be no consequence for them. The idea of appealing to their morality just did not work. We tried civil disobedience and protest and arguing with them, but that didn’t work. They did not stop until the day there was a consequence imposed on their actions, the day we shot back, and the day their boat ended up in flames. From that day on, there were never any non-native boats trying to come in and cut our traps again.

TA: Do you see any limitations that may constrain your strategy? I’m thinking that it’s one thing to take on some fishermen, and a whole other game to confront the force of the Canadian military.

S: Yeah, it’s easy to take on a small, untrained, and not very well equipped force. And it’s easy to create fear amongst them too. Taking on police forces and the Canadian military is a much harder task.

TA: Are you addressing this problem?

S: Obviously we’re not going to have 60,000 warriors ready to go any time soon. I’m recruiting, but I just don’t see it happening in the near future! So, we’re looking at quality, and we’re looking at training our guys to be better than the average Canadian soldier coming out of boot camp. We can never let ourselves become psychologically defeated, no matter how small our numbers are. It’s all a question of strategy and the best way to fight.

TA: So, it’s your belief that indigenous people can train and equip a fighting force to physically confront the state as a means of advancing our cause, which is forcing the colonials to recognize our nationhood and to respect our rights?

S: Yes it is. And to dispel the fear-mongering and the delusion that we can’t take on the military, all you have to do is conduct a simple analysis of the Canadian Forces as an actual fighting force. Right now, there are 57,000 soldiers in the Canadian military, of which there are 24,000 in the army, and only 4,500 of those are infantry soldiers. At any one time, many of those infantry soldiers, roughly one-third, are deployed overseas. Another one-third is always on the rest-refit-recovery cycle. That leaves only 1,500 soldiers, a brigade size element…

TA: That’s what the Canadians used against the Mohawk Nation in 1990.

S: That’s right. Now, think about it, if we had multiple “Okas” happening simultaneously, how are they going to handle that? That would be military overstretch. They couldn’t handle it.

TA: What’s your sense of the potential for building an effective resistance movement that draws in large enough numbers of people not only to stand up to, but in the longer term take advantage of liberated spaces to transform our relationship to society as a whole, socially, politically, and culturally?

S: I definitely see some potential in this new generation. They’ve seen that all the cooperative avenues have been tried and that’s it’s led us nowhere. They’re all starting to realize that we have a connection to each other and that we have obligations to each other and to our ancestors. You see among them an unconscious rejection of the colonial reality. I have a lot of faith in the youth. The question is how do we direct and shape all of that to create the force we need to stand as a deterrent to the colonial enterprise. I don’t see us having a strong enough military power to conquer Canada, but I do see us having the strength to create a condition of deterrence where colonial domination becomes very difficult for Canada to continue. This will create the physical and political space for us to pursue our own definition of our rights and our ways of life.

TA: So what is it going to take to organize the youth into this kind of movement?

S: It’s just a matter of time. It’s happening as we speak. We’re going through a process right now of growing political awareness, of social and political organization, of making people realize that they have obligations and duties as warriors. Our ancestors are just waiting to see us retake these roles and revitalize these obligations. The youth understand that completely. They want to take their place of honour beside their ancestors.
Warriors at Six Nations
Warrior security team in Saanich, Salish Territory
Warrior team in Six Nations

END BORDER MILITARIZATION CONTINGENT @ 05.29.10 National Day of Action Against SB1070 in PHX

National Day of Action Against SB1070
May 29, 2010

O'odham Solidarity Across Borders Collective sends you greetings from occupied O'odham lands,

We urge all who support indigenous nations and migrant communities to join us on Saturday May 29th at the National Day of Action Against SB1070 to demand that Border Patrol (BP), Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE), their parent entity, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and the Obama administration end militarization of the border, end the criminalization of immigrant communities, and end their campaign of terror which tear families apart through increasing numbers of raids and deportations.

This contingent is in support of the O'odham elders, and other indigenous elders that will be leading the march. It is a follow-up to last Friday’s (May 21st) Peaceful Occupation of the US Border Patrol Headquarters in Tucson, AZ. We hope to use this formation to voice the end of border militarization and racist, colonial laws that attack not just indigenous communities, but migrant ones too. We hope to project true Indigenous/Migrant solidarity in the face of the state's police oppression, and the immigration reform movement’s suppressive tactics to further marginalize the indigenous voice in border policies and colonial laws that affect us all.

The contingent also calls on the State of Arizona to repeal the racist Senate Bill 1070 that criminalizes immigrant communities on the state level, makes it illegal to transport or harbor an undocumented person regardless of family relationship, requires police agencies to engage in racial profiling, and ultimately is an attempt to ethnically cleanse Arizona of those with brown skin.

The contingent demands:
• An end to border militarization
• The immediate repeal of SB1070 and 287g
• An end to all racial profiling and the criminalization of communities of color
• No ethnic cleansing or cultural genocide
• No border patrol encroachment/sweeps on sovereign native land
• No to comprehensive immigration reform that further militarizes the border or exploits migrant labor
• No Deportations
• No Raids
• No ID-verification
• No Checkpoints

• Yes to immediate and unconditional regularization (“legalization”) of all people
• Yes to human rights
• Yes to dignity
• Yes to respect
• Yes to respecting Indigenous Peoples inherent right of migration

Support looks like:
• Banners calling for an end to border militarization,for migrant/indigenous solidarity, and drawing the connection between racist laws like SB1070/287g/HB2281, immigration reform and the destruction of indigenous and migrant communities.
• Noise makers, puppets and other visuals, etc.
•Cop Watching, video documentation, legal observation of the contingent and the march to ensure safety in light of police repression
•Medics prepared for sun exposure, dehydration, police attacks
•Our own “security” – not to police our people, but to deescalate the police, step-in as a barrier in case of a police attack, help people cross the street, etc.
•People who can flyer/lecture expressing our message.

Join us on Friday, May 28th to help prepare for the following day. Bring materials to finish making signs, banners, noise makers, etc. To connect, let us know you're down, meet up with us on Friday, if you have any questions or for more information, contact Alex Soto @ 602.881.6027 or Ned @323.541.2352 or stopbordermilitarization@g

Please check out for more info.

Immigration Check Point

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Raul Alcaraz- Voices From The AZ Struggle STOP SB1070

Activists Lockdown & Occupy US Border Patrol Headquarters Demanding End to Border Militarization, Protesters Cited and Released

High resolution pictures and B-roll available at: www.oodhamsolidarity.blogs

Tucson, AZ – At approximately 1:00PM Friday, May 21, 2010 more than a dozen people occupied the Tucson Headquarters of the US Border Patrol to draw attention to impacts of border militarization in Indigenous Communities. Six people, including Alex Soto a member of the Tohono O'odham Nation and a volunteer with the group O’odham Solidarity Across Borders, locked themselves together for up to 3 and 1/2 hours. “Indigenous voices have been ignored. In our action today we say NO MORE!” Said Soto.

Banners were hung, including one placed over the reception window that read, “Stop Militarization of Indigenous Lands Now”, traditional songs were sung and the group chanted, “Border militarization destroys Indigenous communities!” and “No raids, no deportations! No SB1070, no racist laws!” Approximately 30 Border Patrol agents flooded the lobby of the headquarters and scrambled to react. Roads to the headquarters and adjacent air force base were shut down. Tucson City Police were eventually called and began preparing an extraction of the peaceful resisters.

A diverse crowd of up to 70 people quickly gathered outside the Border Patrol headquarters to support those locked down inside. Ofelia Rivas of O’odham Voices Against The Wall, an elder in support of the action stated, “It was a historical and powerful moment for people of all color to unite with O’odham to stand in solidarity for human rights and to see the next generation take a stand”.

At approximately 4 o’clock the peaceful resisters negotiated the conditions of their release on their terms. Their requests to consult with Tohono O’odham elders to negotiate terms of release were denied by Tucson Police. The protesters decided to unlock and were cited for two misdemeanors each of trespassing and disorderly conduct. The resisters were released just outside the premises to join supporters where they gathered in traditional prayer and rallied against border militarization for another hour. Community members including members of the Pasqual Yaqui, Tohono O'odham, and Dine' Nations reacted emotionally when two Wackenhut Corp. buses left the Border Patrol compound filled with undocumented people. The detainees responded with returning the symbol of resistance - a raised fist.

“This is just one action of many that makes visible the invisible crimes against humanity that occur every day on the colonial border,” stated one of the peaceful resisters. “We commit to honoring the prayers and call for support of the people most impacted by border militarization, the Indigenous Peoples who’s lands we are on and migrants who seek a better life for their families. We cannot not allow government agencies, border patrol, ICE or reformist agendas to further their suffering. We will continue our actions of peaceful resistance for human dignity and respect for all peoples.”

The action also denounced SB1070 and HB2281 as racist laws that are a part of an ongoing system of genocidal policies against Indigenous Peoples and migrant communities.

For previous Press Statement, please see attachment.
Note to editors, high resolution photos attached; Photo credits: O'odham Solidarity Across Borders Collective

Media Contacts:
Alex Soto (602) 881-6027
Leilani Clark (520) 982-5687

New Rule

New Rule: You're not cool just because you add "industrial-complex" at the end of everything.


Friday, May 21, 2010

Magonismo. Utopía y Revolución 1910-1913

En este año 2010 se cumple el centenario de la revolución mexicana. Aldarull Edicions quiere celebrarlo lanzando este libro.

Magonismo. Utopía y Revolución 1910-1913
Rubén Trejo
Aldarull Edicions
277 pág. 20x14 cm. Fresado

Utopía y Revolución 1910-1913. Este libro está dedicado a recordar y analizar la historia del movimiento magonista, o más bien, del Partido Liberal Mexicano
(PLM) y su imprescindible papel en el comienzo de la Revolución de 1910. El PLM, liderado por los hermanos Flores Magón, se dedicó incansablemente a organizar huelgas e insurrecciones en México en la etapa final de la dictadura de Porfirio Díaz. Cuando, en 1910, el régimen llegó a una decadencia generalizada y se cumplieron las condiciones adecuadas para lanzar un levantamiento a escala nacional, no dudaron los revolucionarios del PLM en lanzar una insurrección a gran escala. Durante dos años estuvo el PLM y sus partidarios luchando por una revolución social libertaria totalmente diferente a la propuesta por Madero, de carácter liberal-burguesa, resultando esta opción, finalmente, triunfadora.
Casi desconocida en España, la historia de este particular movimiento libertario y socialista de exiliados mexicanos en los Estados Unidos de América, que trabajaron codo a codo con sus colegas estadounidenses. Esta obra exhaustiva de Rubén Trejo nos rescata unos hechos insurreccionales que tras derribar un dictador encendieron en todo el país mexicano la llama de la Revolución social. Revolución, que de haber contado con más apoyos iniciales y de no haber tenido que estar tan pendientes de las reacciones del poderoso gobierno yanqui, sin duda habría cambiado la historia, para bien o para mal.

Lo podréis encontrar ya en:

O bien en nuestro local:

Llibrería Aldarull
C/ Martínez de la rosa, 57
08012 Barcelona
Telf: 935008564

Thursday, May 20, 2010

FFFC fire bombing in Ottawa

A militant aboriginal group calling itself the FFFC recorded this video fire bombing a Royal Bank location in Ottawa. The group blames RBC, as a sponsor of the last Olympic games in Vancouver, for increasing homelessness in that city and for supporting tar sands projects throughout, as the group calls it, "Kanada".

The group says that it'll be very active in Toronto during the upcoming G20 summit.

Call for Papers - Critical Ethnic Studies Conference: Settler Colonialism/Heteropatriarchy/White Supremacy UC Riverside - March 10-12 2011

Critical Ethnic Studies and the Future of Genocide:

Settler Colonialism/Heteropatriarchy/White Supremacy

A Major Conference

March 10-12, 2011 (NOT 2010)

University of California, Riverside

Plenary Speakers:

Jacqui Alexander·Keith Camacho·Cathy Cohen·Glen Coulthard·Angela Davis·Gina Dent·Vicente Diaz

Roderick Ferguson·Ruth Wilson Gilmore·Gayatri Gopinath·Avery Gordon·Herman Gray·Judith Halberstam

Sora Han·Cheryl Harris·David Lloyd·Lisa Lowe·Wahneema Lubiano·Manning Marable·Fred Moten

José Muñoz·Nadine Naber·Hiram Pérez·Michelle Raheja·Dylan Rodríguez·David Roediger·Luana Ross

Josie Saldaña-Portillo·Ella Shohat·Denise da Silva·Audra Simpson·Nikhil Singh·Andrea Smith·Neferti Tadiar

João Costa Vargas·Waziyatawin


Ethnic studies scholarship has laid the crucial foundation for analyzing the intersections of racism, colonialism, immigration, and slavery within the context of the United States. Yet it has become clear that ethnic studies paradigms have become entrapped within, and sometimes indistinguishable from, the discourse and mandate of liberal multiculturalism, which relies on a politics of identity representation diluted and domesticated by nation-building and capitalist imperatives. Interrogating the strictures in which ethnic studies finds itself today, this conference calls for the development of critical ethnic studies. Far from advocating the peremptory dismissal of identity, this conference seeks to structure inquiry around the logics of white supremacy, settler colonialism, capitalism, and heteropatriarchy in order to expand the scope of ethnic studies. An interdisciplinary or even un-disciplinary formation, critical ethnic studies engages with the logics that structure society in its entirety.

As ethnic studies has become more legitimized within the academy, it has frequently done so by distancing itself from the very social movements that helped to launch the field in the first place. Irrefutable as the evidence is of the university's enmeshment with governmental and corporate structures, the trend in ethnic studies has been to neutralize the university rather than to interrogate it as a site that transforms ideas into ideology. While this conference does not propose to romanticize these movements or to prescribe a specific relationship that academics should have with them, we seek to call into question the emphasis on professionalization within ethnic studies and the concomitant refusal to interrogate the politics of the academic industrial complex or to engage with larger movements for social transformation.

We invite panel and individual paper submissions on a wide range of topics that may include but are not limited to the following:

  • Settler colonialism and white supremacy
  • Critical genocide studies
  • Queering ethnic studies
  • Heteropatriarchy
  • Ethnic studies and un-disciplinarity
  • Professionalization, praxis, and the academic industrial complex
  • Decolonization and empire
  • Social movements and activism
  • Multiculturalism and colorblindness
  • Critical race studies
  • Liberationist epistemologies
  • Critical ethnic studies and its relationship to other fields

We encourage submissions of traditional academic conference paper and panel formats, as well as alternative, creative, collaborative, and site-specific presentations, workshops, roundtables, etc. from academics, independent scholars, artists, cultural producers, activists, community workers, and others.

Please submit individual paper abstracts (250 words) along with a 1-page CV that includes contact information. If submitting a panel proposal, a panel abstract (250 words) should also be included.

Deadline for submissions: June 1, 2010

Email submissions to:

All conference participants will need to register at:

Tucson, AZ: Join Indigenous Peoples to Protest SB1070 & HB2281 - TOMORROW!

Tucson, AZ: Indigenous Peoples Protest SB1070 & HB2281

Anti-immigration bills such as SB 1070 rest on the "securing" of the borders in order to manage the flow of migration. This securing includes and is not limited to a physical wall to be made on Indigenous land (Tohono O'odham/Lipan Apache to name a few). The state's power to waive pre-existing laws (such as NEPA, NAGPRA) in the name of security, directly attacks Indigenous autonomy/sovereignty. The "political" solution will bring forced removal and relocation of the many Indigenous nations that span "their" borders by means of a reinforced physical barrier. In addition, the peoples who will be primarily targeted for racial profiling will be Indigenous peoples on both sides of the U.S/Mexico border. The passage of HB 2281 further contributes to the cultural genocide of Indigenous peoples by criminalizing the histories of Indigenous peoples in our own lands within the Arizona public school system. The immigration struggle is also an Indigenous struggle.


US Immigration Court

160 North Stone Avenue

Tucson, AZ 85701-1584

Friday, 5/21

11am - 1pm.

For those attending the NAISA conference, please gather in the lobby of Westin at 10:15am.

For more information on the protest, contact:

NAISA members: contact Mishuana Goeman, Southern California Native Feminist Group, at
Support the following Indigenous groups organizing against SB 1070:

O’odham Solidarity Against Borders Collective

Lipan Apache Women’s Defense

O'odham Voices Against the Wall,

Council Advocating an Indigenous Manifesto

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Introduciendo la Pagina de Internet en espanol del NYM - Movimiento de la Juventud Indigena

Introduciendo la Pagina de Internet en espanol del NYM - Movimiento de la Juventud Indigena

Movimiento de la Juventud Indigena
Native Youth Movement
El Movimiento de la Juventude Indígena (NYM) es un Movimiento para la Liberación de los Pueblos Indigenas, luchamos por nuestro pueblo, nuestra tierra, y nuestra forma de vida.El Movimiento de la Juventud Indigena se encuentra en medio de convertirse en un Gran Consejo de jovenes y adultos (Veteranos / probados en combate) guerreros por igual. Una sociedad guerrera con los jóvenes guerreros sirviendo como los protectores fisicos, y los Veteranos (Guerrilleros Originales) como los guerreros consejeros, dando sentido a través de la experiencia, las enseñanzas de la vejez, las batallas anteriores, y de los espíritus y nuestros antepasados, que han pasado en este responsabilidad de defender nuestro estilo indio.

NYM es un punto de la Unidad de Jóvenes guerreros de muchas organizaciones, las Nacione, y las sociedades en toda la Isla Tortuga. Recibimos nuestra dirección de nuestros mayores, cierto, los que se fueron nuestras instrucciones en las rocas, las estrellas, canciones, historias de guerra y forma de vida que debemos asegurarnos continúa para siempre. NYM es una parte de la Profecía del Águila y el Cóndor, cuando todas nuestras naciones se unen una vez más y recuperan nuestra tierra, y de la Juventud será una vez más la mayoría de nuestras poblaciones, que el tiempo es ahora. Esta unidad y el verdadero poder de nuestro enemigo asusta tanto que no se detendrá hasta que siente que ya no seamos una amenaza para sus formas gringas malas y diabólicas.

Movimiento de la Juventud Indígena

Declaración: Nativos celebran fracaso olímpico

Native Youth Movement / Movimiento de la Juventud Indigena

Friday, May 14, 2010

Pictures and Videos from High School Student Walk-Out in Los Angeles against SB1070 May 7th, 2010

High School Students Walked Out on May 7th, 2010 against SB1070 in Los Angeles, CA. They were from Central High School. They took a stand and the Coalition for Justice for Oscar Grant united with the students and showed some solidarity with them and undocumented people getting attacked.

The message: "La Migra, La Policia, La Misma Porqueria" - (ICE and Police are the same pieces of trash)











Pictures and Videos from Action in Los Angeles against SB1070 May 6th, 2010

Pictures and Videos of Civil Disobedience Action in Los Angeles, CA on May 6th, 2010 that shut down the Metropolitan Detention Center for 6 hours.


















Tuesday, May 11, 2010

People get harassed by Lynwood Sheriffs for warning people of Police Checkpoint

5/7/10 9pm

People warned oncoming drivers of a checkpoint which deterred them from getting their cars "legally" stolen by the state for not having a license.

The police and sheriffs target communities of color for their "sobriety" checkpoints which is an excuse to attack the undocumented community.

The action that people took against it, took signs and warned oncoming drivers, was successful. Many people from that community were thankful. Even though they were harassed by the police, they remained out there for the whole night. The police tried to intimidate, but they even shut down early because of the people that took action.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Man Gets Arrested at gunpoint near Metropolitan Detenction Center May 6th, 2010

A man was attempting to make a right hand turn May 6th 2010, during a civil disobedience action against SB1070 and was pulled out of his truck at gun point.

Different law enforcement agencies attack him and hog tie him basically into arrest.

Urgent Action Today to Support Arrestees

Urgent: Rally, Support those arrested in Civil Disobedience. Today, Friday, 5:30pm at 77th Division. Broadway and 77th St.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Immigration protesters jam downtown L.A. streets; LAPD makes arrests

Immigration protesters jam downtown L.A. streets; LAPD makes arrests

Traffic in parts of downtown L.A. were jammed because of a demonstration by critics of Arizona's new law cracking down on illegal immigrants.

The LAPD said some of the protesters were blocking several streets, including Alameda and Commercial streets. KTLA News video showed police making arrests of demonstrators lying in the street.

Traffic at the civic center near L.A. City Hall was backed up.

The protest was outside the federal prison in downtown L.A. "This detention center symbolizes the incarceration and internment of so many immigrants and the separation of families," according to a statement on a website posted by the protesters.

Officials said the protest could cause traffic problems for several hours and might cause disruption for people trying to drive into the detention facility parking lot.

KTLA News video showed gridlock on some streets as motorists struggled through detours.

-- Shelby Grad

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Interview for High School Political Science Student

I did this interview for a comrade's student who is in a High School Political Science Class

Joaquin Cienfuegos

• How long have you been involved with Cop Watch LA (CWLA)?

I have been involved in Cop Watch L.A. since its inception on November 2006

• What made you want to join CWLA?

Since I was 13 years old the police have harassed me, they've arrested me, and brutalized me. I saw that there was a need to organize ourselves and our community, to stop police brutality from happening, not just react to it. Especially after the cases of police murder in Los Angeles of young children Susie Lopez Pena who was 19 months and Devin Brown who was 13 years old.

• What makes CWLA different than other Cop Watch organizations in California?

Cop Watch L.A. is different because we are an all people of color organization, we felt it was necessary to organize our own communities, since we are the ones who are targeted by the police. We felt we needed to create our own structure/organization, vision, and model for not only fighting police terrorism, but creating a new world in general free of an oppressive state apparatus (which includes: the police, the military, the courts, even their schools). We hold a position that we don't patrol in an area we do not live in, or we're not invited to.

• Why is it called the Guerilla Chapter (GC)?

It is called the Guerrilla Chapter because this chapter is made up of people from different communities from throughout L.A., and because they felt it was necessary to continue to build a popular movement against the police state. Which means providing training, support, any resources, to individuals and communities who want to build this type organization and take this type of direct action. The main idea of the Guerrilla Chapter was the fact that, we would go out on scheduled patrols, but in general, we are always on patrol. If we saw the police harassing youth of color, we would stop and observe, talk to the community and encourage them to participate in observation and in being part of the organization.

• Does CWLA work with any other organizations? If so which ones?

We work with different organizations who are doing similar work against police brutality, in example the Black Riders Liberation Party (a new Black Panther Party Organization), the October 22nd Coalition to Stop Police Brutality, and others.

• What are some of the local, state, or national policies and laws that Cop Watch has supported or opposed?

I don't think as an organization we support government policies or mobilize to change policies in particular. We are a grassroots community organization, and real change comes from the self-organization of our communities. We fight to make conditions better today but in general we feel a systemic change needs to happen.

• How is CWLA structured and what is the decision making process?

We are a horizontal network of communities and individuals (we are not top down). We communicate with each other first with the members of our particular chapter and then the rest of the chapters online.

• How does CWLA benefit the community?

CWLA is one tactic in taking back our communities from people who patrol our streets but do not live in our communities, so do not know how to relate to us, so they treat us all like criminals. It builds the fighting capacity of our community, so we won't live in fear from those who are supposed to "protect and serve." It serves as a deterrent to police murder, because when we observe them with cameras, it puts them on the defensive and in a big way can hold them accountable. We are building power, not just reacting to the power structure.

• How has your involvement in CLWA affected you as an individual?

It has changed my life, and has taught so much about how we all have a collective responsibility to stand up and fight back. It has made me even more so, commit my life to fighting for justice.

• Where would you like to see CWLA going in the future? What projects or areas do you think need to be worked on?

What I want to see in the future is a culture of Cop-Watching, where everyone is observing the police from the windows of their homes, stopping their cars to observe the police and being more combative. Where the police and the state in general has to ask the community before entering it.

After that, I want to live in a world where we won't need Cop Watch anymore, where we won't have a police department anymore, where the people have complete control of the community, and can decide for ourselves what is in our best interest.

There is so much more work that needs to be done. I live in South Central Los Angeles, and we need food programs, we need more jobs, we need popular education programs, we need to resist all the unjust laws coming down on our brothers and sisters who are undocumented and everyone else coming under attack. We also need to work with the indigenous communities to take back the land that was stolen.

Thank you

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Kindergarten Class vs Racist white Minutemen

Freedom Not Reform: Native Struggle from Margin to Center


Also Check-Out this New Project:

If I told you that the National Guard and Border Patrol were sent to the Phoenix area to enforce immigration law, that the NG or BP drew their guns on people at check points because they had brown skin, that the NG or BP would show up in the middle of the night in masks to interrogate families about drugs, what do you think would happen? (Okay, well the police might be doing this to some extent already, but what if this was happening on a mass scale in response to illegal immigration?) More copwatch patrols, forums, meetings, protests, boycotts? Or would we step it up?

This has already been happening along the border to the Tohono O'odham on the reservation.

As for the border patrol abuse, O’odham have no rights. An elderly couple while under interrogation was forced to show a shopping/groceries list to prove that their travel on the road was justified. The border patrol can drive their vehicle into your yard and hold you at gunpoint and can confiscate your tribal identification card and make a request for further proof of “American citizenship" (Source).

You didn't know? Well, this is not a time to just feel guilty, but to reconsider your myopic support for Comprehensive Immigration Reform (if you indeed support it without hesitation). Have you seen any proposals for Reform that don't include more border security? Border security means (more) militarization.

Not only are the politicians (Democrats and Republicans alike) proposing more border security, but this is also coming from seemingly grassroots sources. For example, the 1 Million People for Comprehensive Immigration Reform in 2010! Facebook page, of which over a tenth of my blog's facebook account's friends are fans of lists "Border Security" as one of their positions. Even if we only look at the situation of undocumented immigrants, we must realize that there will still be people considered illegal and will be just as many if not more people dying crossing the border!

I can hear the argument now: We need to include securing the border because that's the only way we can get so many undocumented immigrants legalized. I wouldn't be surprised if a number of CIR supporters even felt that the border needs to be secured for economic reasons or due to terrorism.

I also imagine a handful of CIR supporters want the federal government to find a solution to the economic problems in Mexico. Whether or not this is realistic is somewhat beside the point. The reason indigenous struggles and experiences are marginalized is partly because otherwise we would have to question the legitimacy of this nation in the first place. We would have to question our presence (those of us who are immigrants from Europe especially) here, and our sense of entitlement to the resources that the land provides, if we were to consider those who have been impacted by colonization. We have been made to believe that native people are mostly gone or content on their reservations, that they have mostly chosen to assimilate, choosing to believe what we've been taught rather than seeking out the truth about things like Indian Schools and the horrors that accompanied them.

On the situation of native people on the border, O'odham Solidarity Across Borders says it best:

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. (Read the rest!)

This is only one of the reasons I have seen for not supporting reform. I can't stress the importance of this. Even people who hear about it seem to sweep the issue aside. Especially if you live in Arizona, this needs to be brought out of the margins of your world. Even if you don't live in AZ, this is clearly happening in different ways to different people whether on the border or not. Forced relocations and control of movement as well as militarization have been used against indigenous people all over.

Clearly by bringing O'odham and other native struggles with border militarization out from the margins, we put the border itself to question- not just the wall, not just the border patrol. And by questioning the border's legitimacy, we also question the legitimacy of this nation- not just the wars it wages, not just the over-consumption, but even the founding fathers and the constitution.

What I have been arguing in reference to CIR is that if we do not demand freedom, it can't happen. If we downgrade the fight to reform, we are selling so many people short and continuing to leave people in the margins.

Word of the Day

Word of the Day: Chicano+Hipsters=Chipsters (Chicano Hipsters lol thanks to compas from UCSB)

Arundhati Roy

"Eventually--on a smaller scale but more insidiously--the capital available to NGOs (non profits) plays the same role in alternative politics as the speculative capital that flows in and out of the economies of poor countries. It begins to dictate the agenda. It turns confrontation into negotiation. It depoliticizes ... See Moreresistance. It interferes with local peoples' movements that have traditionally been self-reliant. NGOs have funds that can employ local people who might otherwise be activists in resistance movements, but now can feel they are doing some immediate, creative good (and earning a living while they're at it). Real political resistance offers no such short cuts. The NGO-ization of politics threatens to turn resistance into a well-mannered, reasonable, salaried, 9-to-5 job, with a few perks thrown in. Real resistance has real consequences. And no salary."

-Arundhati Roy

Saturday, May 1, 2010

First Nations United Statement Against SB 1070

First Nations United All Saints Church
Minneapolis, MN 55407

April 26, 2010

"While the power of the Europeans has continued, I see the other part of the Ghost Dance prophecy coming true today. So-called 'Hispanics,' with faces that sure look like Indians to me, are returning to repopulate North America. We cannot always speak to each other because we have learned the languages of different colonial powers. But these Indians have as much right to come and go on our land as the geese when they migrate north and south. No one would dare to ask them for their passports and visas as they cross man made borders.

Instead of seeing 'Hispanics' as outsiders who do not belong here, we need to start seeing them as ancestors of the original inhabitants of these lands. They are the living fulfillment of the Ghost Dance prophecy."

-Chief Billy Redwing Tayac, Piscataway Nation

First Nations United, an Indigenous organization largely made up of members of the Red Lake/Ojibwe and Dakota nations, would like to formally express its outrage and disagreement with the SB 1070 ("Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods") Bill passed last week by the state of Arizona. This bill is extremely detrimental to the indigenous communities (including indigenous peoples of Latin American origin), which reside in the state of Arizona as well as those who live throughout the country. The language of the bill states that if there is "reasonable suspicion" that a person is an illegal immigrant, a "reasonable attempt shall be made, when practicable" to check for documents. Such language purposefully promotes the racial profiling of brown-skinned people, and in particular, of people of American indigenous background. As an indigenous organization, which stands for the civil and human rights of indigenous peoples throughout the continent, we are concerned that this bill will promote the unfair and discriminatory arrests, prosecution, and deportation of people of American indigenous descent-not only of those who belong to federally recognized tribes, but also of the hundreds of thousands of indigenous people who have migrated from South/Central America and Mexico to what is now called "the United States." Indigenous peoples across the continent do not recognize the borders established by the settler colonialist state on our lands, and, we do not agree with the malicious and dehumanizing way in which the settler colonialist government wants to enforce them.

As an Indigenous organization, we recognize that indigenous peoples from Latin America have every right to migrate up and down the continent as they please and as they have done through trade and communication routes since time immemorial. The native peoples of the continent should be the ones establishing immigration laws and enforcing them. However, because we were disempowered through genocide and colonization, and because we have consistently treated "foreigners" in a more humane and hospitable way, we respect peoples' rights to migrate. If we did enforce such power, only tribal identifications from throughout the continent (including documentation identifying peoples from Latin American indigenous ancestry) would be recognized as legitimate, and we could very well racially profile people of Caucasian descent as the true and eternal foreigners.

As the first peoples of this continent, we pose this question to Governor Brewer, Senator Russell Pearce, and law enforcement in the state of Arizona, "Who are you to check for documents?" We remind them that the power they have taken to legislate was established by an immigrant and illegal settler colonialist government, which has consistently relied on the genocide and mistreatment of the original peoples of this continent.
First Nations United greatly objects to SB 1070 and denounces Governor Brewer, Senator Pearce, and the State of Arizona as anti-Indigenous, cruel, and racist. We call for an Indigenous boycott of the State of Arizona until this bill is repealed or found unconstitutional as it will gravely violate the civil and human rights of indigenous people in the state and throughout the country.