Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Grand Chief warns of confrontation between RCMP and Unist'ot'en


Sept. 2, 2015 News Update from APTN:
Unist'ot'en remain on high alert:

Obama's Grand Alaskan Holiday: Epic Fail in PR

Photo Alaska Rising Tide
Obama's Grand Alaskan Holiday: Epic Fail in PR

Obama’s Grand Alaskan Holiday: Epic Fail in PR
By Brenda Norrell
President Obama’s holiday public relations spree in Alaska could be broadcast with Chevy Chase’s Holiday Road theme song from the National Lampoon Vacation -- if it were not so tragic. Behind all the smiles and jubilee, it is the pristine Arctic that will suffer from Obama’s Shell drilling in the Arctic.
The Alaskan holiday public relations extravaganza begins with Obama approving Shell's drilling the Arctic, and continues with Obama presenting himself as a climate hero.
This duplicates Obama pushing the War in Afghanistan and carrying out targeted assassinations with drones -- while accepting the Nobel Peace Prize.

For an extra touch of Hollywood, Obama plans to be on Running Wild with Bear Grylls while in Alaska.
Maybe while Obama and Grylls are keeping it real, they can remember the Beluga whales in the Chukchi Sea who are the victims of Obama's Shell drilling in the Arctic.
Meanwhile, down in Arizona, Arizona Senator John McCain has a similar public relations scam underway. It comes after McCain sneaked through a land exchange in the defense bill to desecrate sacred Apaches Oak Flat with copper mining. McCain was then chased off the Navajo Nation by angry Navajo protesters.
McCain’s public relations babble goes something like this: “'I was not, I repeat I was not chased off the Navajo Nation by angry Navajo protesters. And besides, when me and my corporate bedfellows destroy Oak Flat and poison the land and water with copper mining, Apaches and everyone else will thank me for those jobs from their hospital beds.”
Sorry McCain, but Navajos have videos of chasing your car to the airport in Window Rock. That’s an epic fail in PR.
Obama’s spin to the United Nations Human Rights Council in May was a global epic PR fail. Thanks to video livestreaming, the lies and deceptions bombarded viewers around the world. While the US delegation was spinning the facts before the UN Human Rights Council, on the same day, Obama approved Shell's drilling in the Arctic.
Obama's delegation to the UN Human Rights Council, led by Keith Harper, Cherokee, concealed the facts and outright lied about US spying, torture, imprisoning migrant children, failed services to veterans, and much more.
With CNN's bombardment of manufactured news, and stay-at-home plagiarizers in the print media copying the web for proft, instead of actually going out and covering the news, deception is now the cornerstone of the US news industry.
Away from the Holiday Road blitz, there are real people, and the real natural world, that will suffer from Obama's oil drilling in the Arctic.
Photo Shell No Alaska
In Anchorage, Alaska's Big Village Network held a public demonstration to demand that Obama "Save the Arctic" from offshore Arctic drilling operations currently underway by Shell Oil.
“The Arctic is a vital and critical food security source for Arctic indigenous peoples inhabiting the entire Arctic Region. The Arctic is an international migratory pathway for many animals, birds, fish, and marine mammals,” Alaska’s Big Village Network said.
"Salmon is the backbone our subsistence economy," says Ole Lake, Yupik advisor for Alaska's Big Village Network. "The high probability of an oil spill in the Chukchi Sea drilling operation by Shell Oil directly affects our salmon habitat. The salmon feed of the rich biological ecosystems under the sea ice in the Arctic. All Alaskan Native peoples are impacted and threatened by offshore drilling in the Arctic."
Shell No Alaska has three demands of President Obama: Cessation of exploratory drilling in the Arctic; protection of Indigenous Peoples human rights and Alaska's communities, a rapid and just transition to renewable energy; binding agreements at the 2015 UN Climate Change Conference that are on par with what science has shown is necessary for a livable future.
Carl Wassilie of Shell No Alaska said, "We have to represent the voices of those who can't speak, including future generations and the animals. Arctic drilling is a violation of the human rights of the indigenous peoples of the Arctic. Obama and Shell are bypassing many laws designed to protect our coast and our communities. Obama needs to start listening to the peoples of the Arctic who oppose Arctic drilling."
Photo Alaska Rising Tide

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Monday, August 31, 2015

MINNEAPOLIS 'Women of Wellbriety' nDigiFest Festival

Brenda Manuelito, Dine', and Carmella Rodriguez of Laguna, N.M. created nDigiDreams for sharing stories in a digital format. Storytelling becomes an act of healing, reconnecting and restoring.

About nDigiDreams:
Our stories are rooted in the earth and lie within our hearts.  Our stories tell about our interrelationship with all that surrounds us—our four directions, elements, seasons, generations, and Holy Beings.
Our stories describe the events, beliefs, and values that make us who we are and bring meaning and clarity to ourselves, our families, our communities, and our cultures.
Threads from all our stories bind us together as Bilá ashdláí “five-fingered people” and can help us remember our shared histories, explain our present circumstances, and imagine our futures.  Together, by making and sharing our stories with each other, we can heal our communities one story at a time.
nDigiDreams performs media production and conducts community-based digital storytelling training workshops. We believe our diverse cultures, identities, histories and stories hold enormous strength and beauty and we seek to train and empower indigenous individuals and communities with new media tools to realize optimal health and wellness.
Read more about nDigiDreams:

Censored News congratulations Brenda Manuelito and Carmella Rodriguez, creators of nDigi Dreams, who both recently completed their PhDs at Antioch University in Yellow Springs, Ohio. Congratulations!

Sunday, August 30, 2015

John Frazier's Photos Black Hills Unity Concert

Keith Secola, Pura Fe, Jennifer Elizabeth Kreisberg and Cody Thomas Blackbird. Photo copyright John Frazier 

Pura Fe and photographer John Frazier

Dawn Littlethunder and Shawn Lynn Littlethunder/copyright John Frazier
Cody Blackbird Band Photo copyright John Frazier

Thank you John Frazier for allowing Censored News to share your great photos of the Black Hills Unity Concert.

Photos copyright John Frazier

Live at Black Hills Unity Concert


John Frazier's photos at Censored News, thank you!

Govinda of Earthcycles is live at the Unity Concert in the Black Hills. The Crow Voices mobile radio station of Center Pole is broadcasting Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 28 -- 30, 2015.
Listen to shows live and restreaming of performers beginning on Friday night. Three days of performers, including Frank Valn, Ulali and Keith Secola. Rally for the protection of the land, water and air.
Free admission.

A Family’s 20 Year Quest for Truth, Justice and the Border Dream

.FNS Feature

A Family’s 20 Year Quest for Truth, Justice and the Border Dream

By Kent Paterson
Frontera NorteSur

Paula Flores Bonilla, Ciudad Juarez mother, community leader and human rights defender Photo Credit: Marisela Ortega
Paula Flores Bonilla, Ciudad Juarez mother, community leader and human rights defender
Photo Credit: Marisela Ortega
At the center of Paula Flores Bonilla’s tidy living room hangs a picture of daughter Maria Sagrario Gonzalez Flores. Taken in front of the border factory in Ciudad Juarez where Sagrario worked, the photo portrays a young woman with the look of someone who was headed for big things in life. Dressed in smart attire and showing a dignified beauty, Sagrario projects a serious and stately presence, almost as if she were a border ambassador.
Snapped by one of the photographers who roamed the export-oriented manufacturing plants, or maquiladoras, offering to take pictures of female workers, the photo was shot shortly before 17-year-old Sagrario was abducted and murdered back in April 1998.
Inevitably moved to tears when she talks about Sagrario, Flores described her daughter as “friendly with many people,” but possessing a quiet personality and a preference for socializing within the family or among the girls in the church choir in which she performed. Besides chorus, Sagrario liked to play guitar and teach Sunday school to kids, her mother recalled.
A member of a financially struggling but hardworking family, Sagrario began working in the maquiladora industry at age 16. To celebrate the teen’s quinceanera, or 15th birthday party, the family bought Sagrario a small cake and adorned her with an older sister’s ceremonial dress because of the lack of money.
“She was happy with it, in spite of the fact that it wasn’t bought for her,” Flores said.
In interviews with Frontera NorteSur, Flores and two of her other daughters, Guillermina and Juana, remembered Sagrario, spoke about efforts to preserve her memory and curb similar violence, and traced back their lives in a tough Mexico-U.S. border city.
In so many ways the story of the Gonzalez Flores family is the story of Juarez.
Originally inhabitants of Durango state, the hopeful newcomers arrived in Juarez searching  for a better life in 1995. Once on the border, the Gonzalez Flores clan joined hundreds of thousands of other internal migrants who had gravitated to the border city in a bid to escape economic deprivation and get ahead in life.
Bursting at the seams after the passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement, the foreign-owned maquiladoras clamored for workers. Though the wages were low, work was plentiful.
Son Chuy planned to attend a university while Sagrario dreamed of studying computing, Flores said. The close-night family found a plot of land on a wind-swept strip of land on the northwestern edge of Juarez called Lomas de Poleo. Situated at the tri-state junction of Chihuahua, New Mexico and Texas, the neighborhood overlooks Sunland Park, New Mexico, and El Paso, Texas.
Together with her father Jesus and sister Juana, Sagrario found employment in a maquiladora at the Bermudez Industrial Park. Their hands joined hundreds of thousands of others in cranking out products for the voracious consumer society just across the Rio Grande that nibbles the highway winding up to Lomas de Poleo.
Despite family members’ busy schedules, Flores insisted that they all sit down together to eat every day.
Digging into her belongings, Flores pulled out Sagrario’s old employee identification card. For the CAPCON company, Sagrario was Employee #11168. On the back side of the card, a message defined CAPCON’s commercial mission: “to deliver products and services free of defects, on time, all the time.”
Sagrario and Juana, who was only a year older than her sister, were especially close. Almost two decades later, Juana recalled Sagrario as a generous sweet tooth who always had gum to share.
“If she had a piece of gun, she’d give me half of it.” Based on her recollections, Juana calculated that she and her sister earned about $50 each every week making electrical capacitors for refrigerators and air conditioning systems.
The two sisters worked the same swing shift but were separated after the company decided to move all the employees under the age of 18 like Sagrario to the day shift, according to Juana. Shortly thereafter, in April 1998, Sagrario disappeared after leaving work one day.
Flores, who was accustomed to meeting her daughter at the bus stop down the street after returning home from CAPCON, became alarmed when Sagrario was more than ten minutes late that fateful spring day.
To get home to Lomas de Poleo, Sagrario had to take a bus to downtown Juarez and then transfer to the Number 10 service for the final and lengthy excursion home. Both routes passed through sketchy zones.
Almost three weeks after she vanished, Sagrario’s body was discovered in the rural Juarez Valley, an area far from the opposite side of the city where she lived. In subsequent years, many other murdered women with signs of sexual violence would be recovered from the Juarez Valley, a hotbed of organized crime and a zone of militarization opposite the border from the Texas.
Sagrario was a “simple person with very beautiful feelings,” her older sister Guillermina said. “It’s not right that so much harm should have been done to her. This shouldn’t have happened, and it shouldn’t continue happening.”
Sagrario’s violent death would not go forgotten. Flores and family banded together with Irma Perez, Bertha Marquez and other relatives of victims of  feminicide, to form Voces sin Eco ( Voices without Echo).
A pioneering relatives’ activist group that was active from 1998 to 2001, the scrappy organization demanded justice, pressured for better public safety and raised hell with state authorities over the growing toll of unsolved, violent crimes against women and the impunity that accompanied them.
As part of its justice campaign, Voces sin Eco introduced the black crosses on pink backgrounds that have since become icons of the international anti-feminicide movement and continue to cover utility posts and other public surfaces in Juarez to this day. Flores credits Guillermina, who served as the spokesperson for Voces sin Eco, for the pink cross idea.
Periodically, whenever the paint on the crosses fade, Flores and other Juarez activists take to the streets brush in hand to touch up the symbols that honor their loved ones and cry out for an end to gender violence.
The story of Sagrario and Voces sin Eco was depicted in “Senorita Extraviada”  (“Missing Young Woman”), Lourdes Portillo’s landmark 2001 documentary about the Juarez feminicides.
In 2015 the iconic pink and black crosses still stand in Juarez. This cross is painted on a pole for the 060 Emergency line. Coincidentally, a bus from the Number 10 line that passes  by Sagrario's house was parked nearby.   Photo Credit: Bob Chessey
In 2015 the iconic pink and black crosses still stand in Juarez. This cross is painted on a pole for the 060 Emergency line. Coincidentally, a bus from the Number 10 line that passes
by Sagrario’s house was parked nearby.
Photo Credit: Bob Chessey
In the aftermath of Sagrario’s disappearance and murder a fire of activism gripped Flores, forging a grassroots community leader who also got involved in improving the quality of life in her neighborhood.
The mother of seven children (six girls and a boy) served two terms as neighborhood association president, helping bring electricity in 2002 and 2003 to Lomas de Poleo, a settlement that developed along the classic lines of similar colonias in Mexico, Latin America and the U.S. Southwest, where low-income people with dreams of a patrimony settle undeveloped lands and then struggle for basic services.
A resident of the lower portion of Lomas de Poleo, Flores supported neighbors in the upper section of the desert settlement who were locked in an explosive land dispute with members of the Zaragoza family, one of the most powerful in Juarez and Mexico.
By the middle of the last decade, violence rippled through upper Lomas de Poleo, with residents’ buildings burned or bulldozed and homeowners and their guests beaten and harassed. Two people were killed. Residents pinned the violence on security guards for the Zaragozas, whom they charged were drawn from gangs and criminal elements. Flores called upper Lomas de Poleo at the time a “concentration camp.”
She added, “We saw how the authorities allowed this to go on.”
Flores fondly remembered one protest when she was arrested, put in different police campers to confuse the protesters and nearly rescued by her comrades. “This was a bitter but beautiful experience,” she said. “I saw how the people responded by running after us.”
Her twinkling eyes bursting with a young and contagious energy, Flores conveys a genuine warmth that touches many people the world over. Fetching her archives, Flores retrieved a photo of herself with Salma Hayek.
For Flores, however, the justice movement is not a one-way street of outsiders coming to Juarez to express sympathy and lend a hand to victims’ mothers like herself.
She’s hit the road in Mexico and abroad to support others demanding justice in their own lands. Flores was struck by the parallels to Juarez she encountered on trips to New Mexico and Canada, where she met family members of some of the hundreds of indigenous women who have disappeared or been murdered in recent years.
“They are humble, poor girls and live on reservations,” Flores said. “They have families that can’t struggle. (Relatives) complained about the same negligence and lack of justice.”
Four hours up the old Camino Real from her own home, Flores met women with missing or murdered relatives in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She compared the 2009 West Mesa case, in which the remains of 11 murdered girls and young women of color, who were also from working-class backgrounds, were recovered from a clandestine burial ground on the outskirts of the city, to similar finds in Juarez.
“It’s the same thing. I saw many similarities to the Juarez cases,” Flores said. “(Victims) were found in empty lots and (police) hauled out (earth moving) machines and erased evidence…just like here.”
The Juarez activist added, “I asked (relatives) what can we do to make known the voices of the 11 murdered women. We can do something in Juarez.”
Back at home, Flores doggedly pursued Sagrario’s suspected killers, forcing the authorities to arrest and finally convict in 2007 one man, Jose Luis Hernandez, for the crime, while still pressing officials to go after additional suspects. Hernandez, she said, set up Sagrario for a gang of drug smugglers and human traffickers in return for a payment of $500.
“The day I shut up I will turn into an accomplice,” Flores said. “Sagrario is dead but as long as I speak out, she is alive.”
Dr. Patricia Ravelo Blancas, professor of sociology and gender violence researcher for the Center for Research and Higher Education in Social Anthropology (CIESAS) in Mexico City, produced a 2010 documentary about Flores entitled “La Carta.” “We’ve learned a lot from her,” Ravelo told FNS.  “She’s been a first class investigator.”
Paula Flores and her family have delivered important lessons, Ravelo said. “It’s a story that has taught us a lot, and to not stop struggling for social justice,” she added.
The face of  Maria Sagrario Gonzalez Flores gazes out into downtown Juarez in 2015.  Photo Credit: Marisela Ortega
The face of Maria Sagrario Gonzalez Flores gazes out into downtown Juarez in 2015.
Photo Credit: Marisela Ortega
A lot has changed and a lot hasn’t in Lomas de Poleo and Juarez 20 years after the Gonzalez Flores family found a new place to call home. In 2015 modest homes of cement, block and wood homes have running water, electricity and sewage hook-ups; commercial chains such as S-Mart and Oxxo are opening up for business.
Down the street from the Flores homestead, the neighborhood kindergarten is now called Maria Sagrario Gonzalez Flores Kindergarten.
Yet Lomas de Poleo remains an underdeveloped place, bearing more than a passing resemblance to a poor Mexican country town, with rutted thoroughfares that spawn pools after the summer rains and unpaved roads that kick up dust and impair air quality in a tri-state region. Five years ago Flores shut down a small family store after suffering a half-dozen robberies.
Once again, the maquiladoras beckon thousands of new workers. And once again, the wages are rock bottom.
Now a mother of two children, Guillermina is disturbed by ongoing acts of violence in Juarez. “It’s sad that 15 years later girls keep disappearing and getting killed in Juarez, “ she sighed. “(Authorities) don’t want to stop the problem, or nobody can stop it and it just continues.”
Nowadays, a statute-like pink cross is plopped in front of Paula Flores’ home. Since April 2015, a mural of Sagrario covers the front of the abode. Painted by Juarez muralist Maclovio and friends, the art work is among dozens of similar projects dedicated to victims of gender violence springing up across Juarez.
“This is a memory of my sister,” Guillermina said. “It’s important for us as a family and as a society.”
Splashed with contrasting scenery, the mural alludes to the Gonzalez Flores family’s migration from their pine-rich, mountainous homeland of Durango to the high and hot desert of Juarez. Indeed, Sagrario missed the cool days of Durango, her mother said.
“They detained your flight but your memory echoes,” read words written on Sagrario’s mural from the Juarez poet Armine Arjona.
Behind the mural, two parakeets chirp from a small cage on the house’s patio. Flores explained she has kept such birds ever since Sagrario had a pair of them. Two big and beautiful parakeets figure prominently in the mural.
Strangely, one  of the pet birds died the day Sagrario disappeared. The second one, “Luis,” suddenly flew away to never came back on the very same day Sagrario’s remains were found in the Juarez Valley, according to Flores.
“(Sagrario) hasn’t gone. She is here,” the mother said. “She’s on the mural, in the Maria Sagrario kindergarten, in the community, and on the pink crosses.”
-Kent Paterson

Frontera NorteSur 'In Search of the Great New Mexico Chile Pepper'

The border's great Frontera NorteSur has lost its funding. This article by Kent Paterson, one of its current swan songs, shows the wealth of knowledge of seasoned reporters, and the great loss for us all  when they are left without funding. 
-- Censored News

August 27, 2015

FNS Feature

In Search of the Great New Mexico Chile Pepper

By Kent Paterson

Frontera NorteSur

It was one of those splendid cruises up Highway 26 and around the Mesilla Valley south of Las Cruces, New Mexico. A hot summer day and Mexican radio 106.7 FM from Ciudad Juarez was jumping with classic rock and ska-Panteon Rococo, Lynyrd Skynyrd and CCR’s “Green River.”

The music crackled and the acequias flowed in a lazy sweet rhythm as the car glided by tall rows of corn, clipped clumps of hay, sleek horses, dark pecan forests and sprouting bundles of cotton, in and around Anthony, Berino, La Mesa, San Miguel, San Pablo, and Mesilla.

But something was missing, something was very odd that summer day of 2015. Not a single field of chile was readily observed.

Decades ago, when this reporter began covering the Paso del Norte borderland, this patch of Dona Ana County was Chile Country. Hundreds of acres of the hot stuff stretched far and wide under the New Mexican sun, filling buckets lugged by seasonal and immigrant workers that soothed the palates of consumers in the Land of Enchantment and far beyond.

Censored News PayPal: Please donate for live coverage!

Censored News rarely receives donations. It is reader supported news, with no advertising, grants or salaries. Please donate so we can continue live coverage in 2015! Censored News is in its 9th year! Thank you!