Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Monday, May 24, 2010


Video by O'odham Solidarity: Occupation & Lockdown of Tucson Border Patrol HQ


Friday, May 21, 2010 Leilani Clark (520)982-5687
“The militarized border imposed by the U.S. has lead only to cultural and environmental destruction of the indigenous peoples whose land is on or near the border. This militarization brings death and terror for indigenous peoples from other parts of the continent migrating to this land.”

Press statement
TUCSON – More than a dozen people occupied Border Patrol headquarters at Davis-Monthan Airforce Base today in an act of peaceful resistance. The group includes members of Indigenous Nations of Arizona, migrants, people of color and white allies. Six people used chains and other devices to lock themselves in the building. These Arizona residents disrupted the Border Patrol operations 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 tears families apart through increasing numbers of raids and deportations.

The protesters also call 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. This act of civil disobedience was only the latest in an increasing wave of direct action targeting the federal government’s terrorist immigration policies.

Border militarization destroys Indigenous communities.

The development of the border wall has lead to desecration of our ancestors graves, it has divided our communities and prevents us from accessing sacred places.

Troops and paramilitary law enforcement, detention camps, check points, and citizenship verification are not a solution to migration. We have existed here long before these imposed borders, my elders inform us that we always honored freedom of movement. Why are our communities and the daily deaths at the border ignored? The impacts of border militarization are constantly made invisible in the media, the popular culture of this country and even the mainstream immigrants rights movement which has often pushed for “reform” that means further militarization of the border, which means increased suffering for our communities.

Indigenous communities such as the O’odham, the Pascua Yaqui, Lipan Apache, Kickapoo, and Cocopah along the US/Mexico border have been terrorized with laws and practices like SB1070 for decades. Indigenous people along the border have been forced by border patrol to carry and provide proof of tribal membership when moving across their traditional lands that have been bisected by this imposed border; a border that has been extremely damaging to the cultural and spiritual practices of these communities. Many people are not able to journey to sacred sites because the communities where people live are on the opposite side of the border from these sites. Since the creation of the current U.S./Mexico border, 45 O’odham villages on or near the border have been completely depopulated.

On this day people who are indigenous to Arizona join with migrants who are indigenous to other parts of the Western Hemisphere in demanding a return to traditional indigenous value of freedom of movement for all people. Prior to the colonization by European nations (spaniards, english, french) and the establishment of the european settler state known as the United States and the artificial borders it and other european inspired nation states have imposed; indigenous people migrated, traveled and traded with each other without regard to artificial black lines drawn on maps. U.S. immigration policies dehumanize and criminalize people simply because which side of these artificial lines they were born on. White settlers whose ancestors have only been here at most for a few hundred years have imposed these policies of terror and death on “immigrants” whose ancestors have lived in this hemisphere for tens of thousands of years, for time immemorial.

In addition, the migration that the U.S. government is attempting to stop is driven more than anything else by the economic policies of the U.S. Free trade agreements such as NAFTA have severely reduced the ability of Mexicans and others from the global south to sustain themselves by permitting corporations to extract huge amounts of wealth and resources from these countries into the U.S. This has led to millions of people risking the terror and death that so many face to cross into the U.S. looking for ways to better support their families. Thousand of women, men, children and elders have died crossing just in the last decade. If the U.S. really wants to reduce migration it should end its policies of exploitation and wealth extraction targeted at the global south and instead pursue policies of economic, environmental and social justice for all human beings on the planet, thus reducing the drive to immigrate.

The protesters are demanding:
-An end to border militarization
-The immediate repeal of SB1070 and 287g
-An end to all racial profiling and the criminalization of our communities
-No ethnic cleansing or cultural genocide
-No border patrol encroachment/sweeps on sovereign native land
-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

-thanks to Brenda Norrell at Censored News

more at:

Thursday, May 20, 2010


Support Jailed objector, Nicole Mitchell -URGENT ACTION REQUESTED!

By Attorney James Branum. May 20, 2010
I am writing on behalf of a pro-bono client of mine, SPC Nicole Mitchell.

SPC Mitchell was sentenced to 30 days in jail today in a Summary Court-Martial proceeding at Joint Base Lewis-McChord for the offense of AWOL. But this is not your typical AWOL case. It began some time ago. SPC Mitchell was an M.P. in the US Army. She served well until she went on a deployment to Iraq, where she began to have serious issues of conscience. After significant reflection and inner turmoil, she applied for C.O. (conscientious objector) status. The coming months were hard, in that she faced significant harasment for applying, but she prevailed. She was granted 1-A-0 conscientious objector status, which meant that she would continue to serve in the military but in a non-combatant status.

Living as a conscientious objector in the U.S. Army proved to be nearly impossible. SPC Mitchell was not assigned to a new M.O.S. (military occupational specialty), but instead remained as an M.P. She no longer carried a weapon but otherwise had to function as an M.P. So when personal problems arose in her life (something that happens to many soldiers), the emotional strain and stress became too much and she went AWOL.

Upon return to her unit, SPC Mitchell did her best to be a good soldier. In many cases, combat veterans who go AWOL and return voluntarily are not prosecuted, but this did not happen to SPC Mitchell. Her command rejected our request for her to be given a chapter 10 discharge in lieu of court-martial, and instead she was given a summary court-martial.

How you can help SPC Mitchell get an early release from the stockade:

Over the next few days I will be preparing a 1105 clemency application for SPC Mitchell. In this clemency application, I will be asking the convening authority (a high-level officer in her command chain) to suspend the remainder of Nicole’s sentence.

As part of this 1105 clemency application we are asking supporters and friends of Nicole Mitchell to write letters urging the convening authority to act on Nicole’s behalf.

Here is a sample of what a supporting letter could look like (but please reword it as you see fit so it will be in your own words):
To whom it may concern:

I am writing on behalf of SPC Nicole Mitchell, who was sentenced to 30 days in jail on May 19, 2010 for the offense of AWOL.

I understand that you have the power to suspend the remainder of her sentence. I would ask you to do this because.
1. Character - SPC Mitchell took the courageous step of applying for conscientious objector status while in Iraq. She suffered harassment and derision for doing this, but she held her ground. And after receiving C.O. status, she did her best to do her duties within the boundaries of her conscience and the regulations for as long as she was able to.

2. Fairness - Most soldiers who go AWOL do not receive jail time, but rather are either given non-judicial punishment (article 15) or are chaptered out of the Army.

3. Rehabilitation - SPC Mitchell is a gifted musician who will do her best to make the world a better place. The sooner she is released from the prison, the sooner she can be about her life’s work.

Also if you know Nicole personally and/or are a US military veteran, please be sure to mention that in your letter.

Due to time constraints, your letter will need to be either faxed or emailed to me.
Faxes can be sent to me at 1-866-757-8785.
Emails can be sent to girightslawyer(at)gmail(dot)com (but please put NICOLE MITCHELL in the subject line, so your email won’t get lost in the shuffle).

All letters must be received no later than Sunday, May 23rd.

Other ways you can help:

We do not know yet what jail Nicole is being sent to, but as soon we do I’ll post her mailing address here.

We trust that Nicole will be treated well while in jail, but if she is not I may ask for you letters to be sent to the jail by the public. I’ll keep folks advised if this is necessary. More information on the situation will soon also be posted at CoffeeStrong.org
-thanks to Courage To Resist

videos of BP oil leak

Sen. Nelson's release of BP oil leak videos