Monday, March 18, 2013

underreported struggles 70 and 71

More essential underreported struggles from Ahni at Intercontinental Cry

Underreported struggles 70

The Triqui people of San Juan Copala reclaimed their long-held position in front of the Government Palace in Oaxaca City after being forcibly evicted by state and municipal police in December. The plantón (protest camp) was cleared, for the second time since 2011, to make way for the many tourists that would descend on Oaxaca during the Christmas period.

The Khoisan, Indigenous Peoples in South Africa, are opposing the government’s plan to build the country’s first nuclear power station on land that is culturally sensitive to the Khoisan. Eskom, an electricity public utility in South Africa that would build the power station, says that, as long as they build away from the coastline it won’t damage anything.

India’s Supreme Court finally banned all tourists from traveling along the Andaman Nicobar Trunk Road, a controversial highway that was used for over a decade to conduct “human safaris” on the Andaman and Nicobar Islands Union Territory of India. The welcomed decision arrived one year after a reporter working for the Observer released a shocking video in which a group of Jarawa women and children were being forced to dance for tourists.

The Aotearoa Ainumosir Exchange successfully carried out a major online fundraiser, ensuring that a group of 7 Ainu youth, accompanied by 3 Ainu committee members and 3 interpreters, can study the various ambitious endeavors of the Maori people who have successfully revitalized their rights as indigenous people while living with strength in the society of New Zealand.

The Bribri recovered some 40 hectares of land in the community of Santa Elena de las Brisas in Costa Rica. According to National Indigenous Mesa Costa Rica (MNICR), the land was held illegally by non-Indians, who used it as pasture.

Underreported struggles 71

The Pit River Tribe unanimously affirmed a resolution opposing geothermal and other industrial developments in the sacred Medicine Lake Highlands of northeastern California . The resolution affirms that geothermal development would threaten the underlying aquifer and would result in the injection of toxins into the atmosphere and waters. The Tribal resolution calls upon the Bureau of Land Management and the United States Forest Service to reject all proposed geothermal development in the sacred Medicine Lake Highlands.

Hickory Ground Tribal Town member, Wayland Gray, Muscogee-Creek, was arrested and charged with making a terrorist threat for entering the construction site of the expansion of the Wind Creek Wetumpka Casino. Wayland, who was arrested with three others, entered the site to pray over the desecration of the grounds because it is where 57 ancestral remains were unceremoniously moved to make room for the casino expansion. Wayland has since been released form jail, however, the charge of uttering a terrorist threat remains.

Australia’s Federal Court affirmed that Fortescue Metals Group has an obligation to negotiate with the Yindjibarndi Peoples on matters concerning Yindjibarndi Country. The Mining company has continuously dismissed and attempted to undermine the credibility of the Yindjibarndi, even going so far as to manufacture consent for their Firetail mine by creating and funding a fake Yindjibarndi representative organization. The company have also surreptitiously destroyed Yindjibarndi sacred sites.

In an “unprecedented” ruling, all mining and exploration activities in 49,421 acres of territory belonging to indigenous Embera Katio communities were suspended for up to six months due to a failure to consult and protect the communities in the area. According to the presiding Judge, the six month period will give
the Embera some desperately needed security after being repeatedly attacked by outsiders, employees of the mining companies in the area. The six month term will also give the courts enough time to determine the legality of the Embera’s land titles.

A Malaysian state minister announced that the government will no longer pursue a set of twelve new hydro dams in Sarawak The Minister stated unequivocally that the government was backing off in response to widespread criticism, which has included several protests over the years by the Indigenous Peoples of Sarawak as well as environmentalists.

Approximately 450 Ch’ol women and men initiated a highway blockade to demonstrate that nearly two months into the administration of the new state government, “the communities and peoples continue to experience abandonment, misery, and looting.” They also denounced the government’s “National Crusade against hunger” as “a farce that seeks merely to share crumbs to our communities that experience poverty, while our natural resources are handed over to foreign firms for exploitation.”

Traditional Maya leaders in Belize reported that Texas-based US Capital Energy made numerous attempts to buy support for their oil drilling project on Maya lands including those inside the Sarstoon-Temash National Park in Southern Belize by infiltrating the Maya leaders’ traditional forms of governance. They declared that the company is blatantly undermining and disrespecting Indigenous governance, in violation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Visit Intercontinental Cry to read about these issues and many others.

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