Denver: Community Leaders Outraged by “Secure Communities Program”

From Colorado Indymedia, posted by Russell Bannan

DENVER, CO- Concerned community members, human rights advocates, journalists, clergy, business owners, authors, political activists, labor union leaders, and educators are outraged at Governor Bill Ritter’s Executive Order to introduce Colorado into the federal Secure Communities Program. This program authorizes law enforcement agencies to execute federal immigration laws, creating an environment conducive to racial profiling, harassment and discrimination targeting immigrants and Latinos residing or visiting the State of Colorado.

“This Executive Order is bad social and economic policy at a time when the Latino and immigrant community are besieged by anti-immigrant sentiment and additional funds necessary to implement this order will further strain limited state resources. The Executive Order is a wrongheaded approach to solve the immigration issue in Colorado. The implementation of these policies can hinder rather than attain public safety when it increases community mistrust of the police; the same people we should trust to protect us rather than racially profile us and separate us from our families.” stated Solomon Juarez, President of the Denver Metro Chapter of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA). “The impact of this policy will be felt not just by immigrants but also the broader Latino community.”

“Any legislation that will jeopardize the wellbeing of children and families in Colorado should not be implemented. Governor Ritter’s Executive Order will tear families apart and hurt the social fabric of communities in Colorado. Our communities deserve commonsense legislation that promotes public safety while ensuring the well-being of our children. We reap what we sow and we can do better than policies that leave households without breadwinners and children without their loved ones,” declared Bernadette Jiron, Denver Federation of Paraprofessionals and Nutrition Service Employees President.

Over 30 community leaders signed the Open Letter to Governor Ritter to address their concern of the Secure Communities Program. “We will not tolerate such an undemocratic order which incentivizes racial profiling, condones authoritarianism, and potentially divides our communities,” the letter continues by stating “Allowing the implementation of the Secure Communities Program would send a very troubling message and be viewed, by many, as a sign that state democracy and human rights are not valued or tolerated within Colorado. In our view, this would have negative consequences for the families directly affected, the state of Colorado itself, and the United States as a whole.”

Now more than ever, community leaders urge reversing the Executive Oorder that dishonors the rights and dignity of all people. The well-being and security of our nation depends on it.

Dakota radical scholar contacted by FBI after speech

St. Paul, Minn- A Minnesota American Indian scholar’s remarks that the Dakota people might have to reclaim lost tribal lands “by any means necessary” has drawn the scrutiny of federal authorities.

The Dakota historian who goes by the name Waziyatawin said she received a call this week from the FBI to discuss remarks she made in November at Winona State University.

Waziyatawin, a professor of indigenous history at the University of Victoria in British Columbia who used to go by the name Angela Cavender Wilson, told students that it’s time for American Indians to abandon symbolic demonstrations. Truth-telling efforts haven’t achieved anything, she said, according to a recording of the speech obtained by the Winona Post.

“We’re going to need to take a different kind of action,” said Waziyatawin, who grew up on the Upper Sioux Reservation in southwestern Minnesota. “All of you are going to have to figure out your role. For Dakota people, I know we’re going to need to recover our land base, by any means necessary.”
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Israel: Anarchists Against the Wall members arrested, houses raided

aatwIsraeli peace activists who participate in protests against their government’s illegal Land-Grab, Apartheid Wall came under state attack on Wednesday, with special forces entering homes in Tel Aviv.

Israeli occupation government special police forces showed up outside one home in central Tel Aviv, shared by a number of left-wing activists. After spending some time outside the residence, forces attempted to enter and conduct a search. Activists said that they were not shown a search permit and refused to submit to the search.

At 11 a.m., three policemen knocked on the door of a second home, the residence of an activist who had been detained at a protest against Israel’s Operation Cast Lead in 2009. The police “turned the house upside down,” a witness reported, confiscating computers, pictures, clothing, and other items from the premises.

A source with knowledge of the raids who preferred to remain unidentified said police forces intend to search at least eight more homes throughout the day.

The move comes amidst a general crackdown on left-wing activities. In recent weeks, the Shabak, Israel’s internal security service, has been calling protestors asking them to come in for “friendly chats.” All those who have reported receiving the calls have refused, since by law they are not required to comply with the requests unless they receive an official summons from the police.

Full story at Infoshop News

December 29: 120 year anniversary of Wounded Knee

Chile: Mapuche political prisoners call for international solidarity

Mapuche political prisoners located within the colonial borders of Chile are requesting international solidarity. There is a call for action on August 12. The prisoners are on a hunger strike, which has almost reached thirty days.

The Mapuche are an indigenous nation that successfully resisted spanish occupation. Wallmapu—or Mapuche country—extends across the nation-state borders of southern Chile and Argentina. Starting in 1861, their lands were usurped by the Chilean state during a violent process that was called the pacification. Mapuche community members were murdered and jailed by the military, and Mapuche conflict with the state continued throughout the 20 century.

After the military coup in 1973, Mapuche community members were targeted by the Pinochet dictatorship, including an attempt to erase Mapudungun, the Mapuche language. After the end of the dictatorship, there was a strong reemergence of the Mapuche conflict, and the movement became increasingly visible. The conflict seeks autonomy from the Chilean state; the state considers the conflict one of its largest threats. Mapuche communities often have local conflicts with multinational forestry plantations and large farm estates that usurped Mapuche territory.
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Colombia: OAS condemns murder of Indigenous leader

An Organization of American States commission condemned Monday the shooting death last week of a Colombian indigenous leader and human rights proponent.

Luis Alfredo Socarras Pimienta, a Wayuu indigenous leader, dentist and human rights activist, was killed July 27 in the city of Riohacha. The city is located on Colombia’s northern Caribbean Sea coast.

“The information available indicates that the crime was committed by a hit man who shot him in the doorway of his house and then fled,” The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights said in a release Monday.

Socarras Pimienta had led several demonstrations by the Wayuu people to protest in favor of better human rights and living conditions, the U.N. panel said. He also had run twice for the mayor’s office for the municipality of Manaure, somewhat akin to a county commission chairmanship in the United States.

The rights commission urged Colombian authorities to conduct a thorough investigation and bring the responsible parties to justice.

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights is an autonomous panel created by the OAS. The commission consists of seven independent members who act in a personal capacity, without representing a particular country. They are elected by the OAS General Assembly.

The OAS, with headquarters in Washington, is comprised of 35 independent nations in the Western Hemisphere.

Arizona: Community organizer arrested outside of anti SB1070 rally

From Detention Watch Network:

Today, Sheriff Arpaio responded to continued acts of non-compliance by targeting and arresting human rights organizer and leader of the Phoenix-based Puente Movement, Salvador Reza.

Reza was getting in his car outside a rally across the street from the Sheriff’s jail when several Sheriff deputies surrounded him and placed him in handcuffs without cause.

Previous and unrelated to Reza’s arrest, 10+ people of conscience placed themselves in front of a caravan of Sheriff vans to block them from carrying out another raid in the community. Protestors chanted “Arrest Arpaio, Not the People” and “Not One More.”

Action Steps:

* If you’re in the Phoenix area, join us outside the jail at 35th ave & Lower Buckeye.
* If you’re outside the area, text “Arizona” to 50555 to donate $5 to the bail fund or click, http://bit.ly/azdonate
* Sign the petition, “I Stand with Sal. Free Him Now.”

With the Sheriff overstepping bounds to the point that Human Rights organizers are becoming political prisoners, what more will it take for the Obama administration to actually intervene? Free Sal Now!

* Photos are available at http://flickr.com/photos/puenteaz
* Video is available at http://youtube.com/puenteaz