Tag Archives: american

O’odham Pepper Sprayed in Phoenix ALEC Protest

30 Nov

David Ortega, Tohono O’odham native elder, suffered a stroke after being pepper sprayed by police and is now at the hospital. SCOTTSDALE, Arizona—

Photo by Dixie

Tohono O’odham David Ortega, veteran and elder, suffered a stroke today after being pepper sprayed by police at the ALEC protest. Ortega was peacefully protesting when police pepper sprayed a delegation of O’odham. He was taken to a nearby hospital. Alex Soto, O’odham youth shown on the right in the photo, was also pepper sprayed in the face.

  Tohono O’odham protesters at the ALEC protest in Scottsdale, Ariz., in the Phoenix Valley, were peaceful and apparently singled out because police viewed them as key to the protest. Ofelia Rivas, Tohono O’odham and founder of O’odham VOICE against the Wall, said, “There is a lot of unnecessary police brutality.”

  O’odham from Tohono O’odham, Salt River and Gila River have joined Navajos resisting relocation from Big Mountain on the Navajo Nation at the protest to battle the corporate influences underway of legislators and lobbyists.

  Police helicopters are hovering overhead.

  Native American protesters are battling mining interests, the theft of water and land rights, abuse by US Border Patrol agents, desecration of sacred lands and the militarization of the border. On the Navajo Nation, Peabody Coal, responsible for orchestrating the so-called Navajo Hopi land dispute, continues to poison the land, water and air with coal mining for power plants. On the US/Mexico border, the US Border Patrol continues to beat and abuse O’odham and other Indigenous Peoples in their homelands. Uranium mining continues to target the Grand Canyon and Indian lands, while radioactive tailings from the Cold War remain.

  In Arizona, corporate profiteers continue to push copper, coal and uranium mining, devastating the land, water and air, and resulting in widespread health problems for the people.

  Native Americans are battling widespread human rights abuses in Arizona, where white supremacy has spread within the elected Arizona government, fueled by corporate donations. Private prison profiteers continue to fund and work behind closed doors with Arizona legislators.

  The US/Mexico border wall, and its non-functioning spy towers, has been a source of corporate profiteering for US corporations including Boeing, who entered into a contract with the Israeli Apartheid defense contractor Elbit Systems for the border wall and security systems.

  The US is now asking Tohono O’odham to approve new US spy towers on their lands, after the last billion dollar boondoggle of the US, failed spy towers on the Arizona border which did not function. Further, as the media fans racism which aids border profiteers, G4S based in London, profiteers from transportation contracts for the Wackenhut buses transporting detained migrants from the Arizona border.

  Decades of mining has poisoned the water throughout Indian country in Arizona, while many American Indians do not have any safe water to drink. Meanwhile, corporate interests scheme behind closed doors to seize Indian water rights, working in collusion with the US and state governments.

Background: The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) begins their meeting today in Scottsdale, in the Phoenix Valley, for their annual State and National Policy Summit from November 30-December 2 2011. Indigenous Peoples, including O’odham, are part of the movement to shut down ALEC. Protesters in the ALEC march were reported pepper sprayed by police and two arrests made.

Please check for updates at www.bsnorrell.blogspot.com  and azresistsalec.wordpress.com

“ALEC itself is a tool for hundreds of corporations to use for the sole purpose of obtaining access to thousands of legislators and then exploiting that access to pass profit-making legislation. ALEC works like a think tank, devising legislation that benefits the corporate elite at the cost of the masses and then putting that model legislation in the hands of legislators along with gifts and incentives to urge their passing and now more than 200 of ALEC’s model bills have become actual laws throughout the country over the past year,” protest organizers said in a statement. “The links between corporate greed, state oppression, and you have never been clearer. This website is dedicated to the rising resistance against ALEC, their planned summit, and all corporate greed that would serve to perpetuate state oppression in already impoverished communities on already occupied land.”

Posted by brendanorrell@gmail.com

cross-posted from here

Geronimo’s Name Used in bin Laden Operation an Insult to Indigenous Resistance

6 May

The code name “Geronimo”, used during the US navy seals special operation that resulted in the reported death of Usama bin Laden, references the 19th-century Chiracahua Apache who spent his life fighting the encroachment of the states of Mexico and the US. into indigenous territory.

Geronimo (right) with a group of Apache in northern Mexico in 1886

Despite valiant bravery against the well armed militarys’ of the two imperialist nations, Geronimo was eventually captured by US forces in 1886. He and other Apache captives were transported as prisoners to Fort Pickens, in Pensacola, Florida, and his family was sent to Fort Marion in St. Augustine, Florida. Geronimo died, unable to return to his homeland, in 1909.

Upon hearing the use of Geronimo’s name as the code word for Usama bin Laden, several Native American activist groups have voiced their outrage.

The Navy Seals who killed bin Laden dispatched this message soon after: “Geronimo E-KIA.” E stands for enemy.

Time magazine reported the use of Geronimo’s name in the operation as follows:

The President sat stone-faced through much of the events. Several of his aides, however, were pacing. For long periods of time, nobody said a thing, as everyone waited for the next update. … So when word came that a helicopter had been grounded, a sign that the plan was already off course, the tension increased.

Minutes later, more word came over the transom. “Visual on Geronimo,” said a disembodied voice, using the agreed-upon code name for America’s most wanted enemy, Osama bin Laden. Word then came that Geronimo had been killed. Only when the last helicopter lifted off some minutes later did the President know that his forces had sustained no casualties.

According to CIA Director Leon Panetta:

Once those teams went into the compound, I can tell you that there was a time period of almost 20 or 25 minutes where we — you know, we really didn’t know just exactly what was going on. And there were some very tense moments as we were waiting for information. But finally, Adm. McRaven came back and said that he had picked up the word “Geronimo,” which was the code word that represented that they got bin Laden.

Comparing the legendary Apache leader to a terrorist and enemy of the United States was deeply insulting and did real damage to Native Americans of all ages, said Suzan Shown Harjo to the Associated Press. She is president of the Morning Star Institute, a Washington-based Native rights organization.

“It is shocking, really shocking, that this happened,” said Harjo, a member of the Cheyenne & Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma.

“Our names are stolen and then we’re renamed in order to control us, frankly,” she told the Senate Indian Affairs Committee.

In a post in Indian Country Lise Baik King described the use of the name Geronimo as an attack on Native America.

Geronimo as a U.S. prisoner in 1905

The “bin Laden is dead” news story will make thousands of impressions on the minds of people around the globe, and the name Geronimo will now be irrevocably linked with the world’s most reviled terrorist.

Potentially the most disturbing fact is what this says to American Indian children. It equates being Native American with being hated, an enemy to the world, and someone to be hunted down and killed, and re-casts one of their heroes into a villainous role.

Time Magazine’s Swampland blog first reported the details yesterday that the target, Osama bin Laden, was code-named Geronimo, in keeping with The White House’s afternoon press conference.

But the story coming from the White House evolved by evening, with what appears to be a “re-tooling” of the message, which now states that the “mission” was code-named Geronimo.

The CNN White House blog featured a historic black and white photo of Geronimo and the headline, “Osama bin Laden codename “Geronimo”, for the duration of the afternoon at whitehouse.blogs.cnn.com. There is currently a post with the title “Osama bin Laden mission codename ‘Geronimo” (emphasis added) with a timestamp of 4:46 PM, though some commenters express outrage over the earlier title.

Tribal members from around the country are turning to social networking sites Facebook and Twitter as an outlet to express their anger and sadness at the unwelcome association. “This sucks,” said Harold Monteau, an attorney and tribal member from Rocky Boy, Montana, “A lot of people are angry about the obvious stereotypes it implies.”

“It’s another attempt to label Native Americans as terrorists,” said Paula Antoine from the Rosebud Sioux Tribe in South Dakota. Beaver North Cloud, a JemezPueblo tribal member from Albuquerque, New Mexico expressed her frustration, saying “Damn it!!!!! Why am I not surprised, yet so disappointed beyond words.”

And someone is already selling the stupid t-shirts: