Friday, November 1, 2013

underreported struggles 76, 77,and 78

More essential underreported struggles from Ahni at Intercontinental Cry.

Underreported struggles 76

The Belize Court of Appeal re-affirmed the Maya people’s rights to collective land ownership throughout southern Belize. This decision came just days after the Government gave US Capital Energy permission to conduct oil drilling inside the Sarstoon Temash National Park, the entirety of which is Maya ancestral land. The government of Belize is now being urged to end its persistent denial of the Maya's land rights and to implement the court decisions.

In a precedent-setting ruling that has national and international implications, Ontario Superior Court Justice Carole Brown ruled that a group of lawsuits against the Canadian mining company HudBay Minerals can proceed to trial even though the plaintiffs are from another country. The Maya Qeqchi turned to Canada’s court system over three separate injustices including the gang rape of 11 Maya Qeqchi women.

Yaqui Traditional Authorities initiated a road block on international highway 15 near the community of Vícam, in Sonora, Mexico. The action was in response to the state government’s refusal to stop the operation of the Independence Aqueduct which began to illegally extract water from the Yaqui River in March. The Yaqui are heavily dependent on the water from the Yaqui River, a fact that was identified in a Supreme Court (SCJN) resolution which ratified protection for the tribe pending an Environmental Impact Assessment (MIA), which is required to legally begin taking the water.

Underreported struggles 77

India's Dongria Kondh tribe overwhelmingly rejected plans by British mining giant Vedanta Resources for an open-pit bauxite mine on their sacred lands. A total of twelve Kondh villages unanimously voted against Vedanta's mine during a consultation process that was ordered by India's Supreme Court last April. The results of the consultations will now be considered by India's Ministry of Environment and Forests, who will have the final say on the mine—but few still believe the project will be given the green light.

In British Colombia, Canada, members of the well-known Klabona Keepers served Fortune Minerals Limited with a "24-hour eviction notice" informing the company that it must vacate the Tahltan's unceded traditional territory. Fortune Minerals ignored the deadline, leading the Tahltan activists to block the road leading to the site of the company's proposed open pit coal mine. The protesters then proceeded to occupy some of the company's drills.

In Sapmi--the traditional territory of the Saami Peoples--a group of indigenous and non-indigenous activists set up a roadblock to stop the UK-based mining company, Beowulf, from carrying out another drilling program in Kallak (Saami: Gállok), an area of great spiritual and cultural importance to the Saami Peoples. The blockade has been dismantled on several occasions; however, that hasn't deterred the activists from continuing to defend Sapmi.

Underreported struggles 78

The Wixarika People of Mexico and all others who hold Wirikuta to be sacred celebrated a major legal victory with the announcement that the federal court granted the suspension of all work on mining projects in the territory, including the projects of Canada's Revolution Resources and Frisco Mining Group, owned by Mexican tycoon, Carlos Slim. Under the court ruling, no further mining-related work may take place in the Wirikuta Natural Protected Area in San Luis Potosi until the legal case requesting an injunction against the concessions is resolved.

Evading the Indonesian navy, two tiny boats met near the Australia-Indonesia border to ceremonially reconnect the indigenous peoples of Australia and West Papua. The ceremony was the pinnacle of a 5000km journey beginning in Lake Eyre, in which sacred water and ashes were carried and presented to West Papuan leaders. The cultural exchange of Indigenous elders was held in secret, due to threats made by Indonesian government ministers and military officials who had stated that the navy and air-force would “take measures” against the peaceful meeting.

BriBri communities rejected a new government proposal to permit U.S. military incursions onto their lands in the remote area of Alto Telire in the county of Talamanca, Costa Rica. A Bribri leader condemned the proposal, arguing that such an action would threaten public safety and serve to militarize Bribri territory. According to the proposal, SOUTHCOM would enter and move throughout Bribri lands without prior consultation or consent in order to provide various Costa Rican agencies with direct access to communities in the region. Based in Miami, Florida, SOUTHCOM is the arm of the U.S. Department of Defense responsible for all U.S. military activities throughout Central and South America and the Caribbean.

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

Monday, October 28, 2013


I grew up on the music of Lou Reed and The Velvet Underground.

RIP Lou - I've chosen this song because it was so anti-establishment and it inspired many many songs from other bands that I grew to love too.

... and I guess that I just don't know...

Friday, October 25, 2013

the truth from Russell

This is spinning through social media at the moment and it is brilliant - thanks for being so articulate Russell

Thursday, October 24, 2013

our stories our way

Karol has written a good piece on The Standard about the plight of our movie industry - well worth a read. 

My comment was
personally I’d like to see more stories from our deep heritage. The stories of the land, of the people on the land – the heroes, the sacrifices, the naming of everything – I really can’t see why people wouldn’t be into it. But I’m not thinking doco’s I’m thinking ‘crouching tiger’ – action. Forget the America’s Cup and put the money into scriptwriting with tangata whenua.
It is worthwhile considering this and it's not so far fetched - it would take faith and generosity but our society as a whole would benefit. Tangata whenua would benefit, the film industry would benefit, we would have more mutual understanding and knowledge and fun. Actors, scriptwriters, extras, locals - it is hard to think of a group that wouldn't benefit really. Even discussing the idea might help us.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

ANG Press release


A Communiqué from the ANG Public Information Bureau:

To the Sovereign People of the Independent Mi'kmaq Nation
To all Colonialised Peoples of the Fourth World

The Aboriginal News Group (ANG) wishes to extend its support and solidarity to the Indigenous warriors standing strong  in defence of Mi'kmaq / Elsipogtog territorial and human rights under Canadian occupation and against the unwanted exploitation of their lands. We recognise their peaceful protest as part of the international struggle in defiance of intentional acts of genocide undertaken against Indigenous / First Nations Peoples throughout the Fourth World and within the occupied territories of North America.

Clearly, the 'Indian Wars' are not over.

Aboriginal rights defenders and concerned residents who have taken non-violent, community control over a roadway that crosses through their Nation in protest of an environmental wipeout of Indigenous land were viciously attacked by Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) state security forces employing fear tactics; rubber bullets and tear gas aimed against unarmed Indigenous Peoples on their own territory. Unnecessary mass arrests of prominent protesters and and the seizing of personal computers and recording devices against (seemingly) targeted members of the independent media has also occurred.

This is not democracy. Nor is it benevolent colonialism.

This is genocide under the provisions of the 'Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide' : (Resolution 260 (III) A of the U.N. General Assembly on 9 December 1948)

And Canada (the 'Peaceful Country') is in blatant violation of these very basic human rights.

We have all watched (mostly in silence) how the Canadian tradition of colonialist exploitation and xenophobic self-centred  importance has resulted in the mass liquidation of millions of First Nations Peoples, legal and extra-legal racial segregation; punishing residential 'de-Indianising' schools; mass incarceration; widespread communal depression and the institution of socio-politically isolated Bantustans designed to rob Indigenous Peoples of our lands, our rights and our very dignity.

This is the basic formula of genocide.

The unapologetic use of state-sponsored violence, social coercion and subvert; psychological repression of speech; cultural and political expression in order to prevent the development of a viable, pan-Indigenous consciousness. In other words, the actions undertaken at Elsipogtog by state authorities is intended to marginalise the autochthonous Mi'kmaq Nation as a sociopolitical entity within Canada by way of force.

This is genocide.

The destruction of the Indigenous population of North America is not new news to the people of the First Nations. We continue to wage the struggle for Indigenous survival through the persistence of our resistance. The racist, enforced displacement and economic exploitation of modern First Nations Peoples, the unpeaceful dispossession of Indigenous lands and the right to protest colonialism are critical issues for all Original Peoples of the Fourth World facing extinction in the name of European and capitalist expansion.

Respect Indigenous Mi’kmaq Human and Territorial Rights!

We applaud the Mi’kmaq Warrior Society and all Original Peoples of the Fourth World courageously and intelligently resisting colonialism and Indigenous genocide.

- Editors of the Aboriginal News Group.

Friday, October 18, 2013

spider webs and choices

spider webs, political games - so similar. We have Banks resigning his portfolios and going to court and I have to say that I quite like the photos of him in the dock - bad I know. We have the brownsexscandal in Auckland - the spiders have woven difficult webs around the truth of what has happened there and what the end games of the participants are. Labour are surging up the polls and it has been so good to hear Cunliffe lead - he is really shining and doing well and this bodes well for the left and Mana. We had the simon bridges clown act on Campbell's show - and bridges made a fool of himself by defending the indefensible and fully aligning himself with the exploiters who are and will be fracking and drilling as soon as they can - if we let them that is. I'm afraid we are coming to a crossroads where will have to make some hard choices - choices about who we are and what we believe in. We can't let their drilling plans go ahead - it's as simple as that really. We will have to do what people like this are doing, we will have to set up barricades and lay our bodies on the line a bit. We have done it before during the Tour and we can do it again.

Hattips : The Standard

Friday, September 13, 2013

remembering Steve Biko

This is a revised repost from the blog but on this day, 36 years after Steve was murdered, I thought it timely to update and  post again.

One of the most influencial people in my life was a man called Steve Biko. I found this book when I was young and it affected me greatly. Then along came the tour and I carried a handmade sign saying, 'Remember Steve Biko' throughout all the protest marches.

This is a quote from a paragragh of an article Steve Biko wrote in 1970

"Does this mean I am against intergration? If by integration you understand a breakthrough into white society by blacks, an assimilation and acceptance of blacks into an already established set of norms and code of behaviour set up and maintained by whites, then YES I am against it. I am against the superior-inferior white-black stratification that makes the white a perpetual teacher and the black a perpetual pupil (and a poor one at that). I am against the intellectual arrogance of white people that makes them believe that white leadership is a sine qua non in this country and that whites are the divinely appointed pace-setters in progress. I am against the fact that a settler minority should impose an entire system of values on an indigenous people".

That was written in a different time, place and context I agree, but once you get over the fact that we are not black south africans, and allow your mind to slide over the black/white terminology, the message still resonates.

We must do things our way.

What does that mean for Māori? Many still have an inferiority complex. Many still believe that the consumerist, western model is our model. Many think they are right and we are wrong. Colonisation is insidious, it is designed to make people change their values, it erodes a peoples confidence in themselves so that they believe the lies that they cannot do it, or that they don't have the skills or that the pursuit of money is the be all and end all. It's all rubbish.

As more and more people suffer under this government and their exploitative philosophy, more and more people are looking for values and truth that can provide a base to move into the future. We must walk backwards to the future. We must listen to the lessons from our past because that is where the answers for the future lie. The time to reconnect to this land and the heritage we all have is now because that is the best, and imo only, way to safeguard our future, and the future for our children. How do we do it? One step at a time, one sentence at a time, one feeling at a time. Each step is worthwhile and each step is essential - take your step.

Perhaps another quote from Steve Biko

"The blacks are tired of standing at the touchlines to witness a game that they should be playing. They want to do things for themselves and all by themselves."

Letter to SRC Presidents, I Write What I Like, 1978.

Steve Biko died on the floor of a empty Pretoria Central Prison cell on 12 September 1977, aged 30.

Friday, September 6, 2013

small update

A small update - I haven't died and gone to heaven and I'll be back posting soon. I did break my ribs and I have to say it has been painful and a pain plus I'm getting married soon so lots of organising. Kia kaha!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

king's hundred straws

On a regular basis someone has a go at some aspect of Māoridom that they can't get their heads around. Unsurprisingly it is often the same areas that get criticized and pōwhiri is one of the regulars. Many, many pōwhiri have been performed over all of the years yet the meaning and understanding of this is still lost to most. Why is that? Simple - the Government has a responsibility to help all citizens understand and comprehend aspects of Māoridom as guaranteed within The Treaty of Waitangi via equality, but like everything about that agreement, they have not performed their duty and have deliberately not helped their citizens to understand and comprehend even the most basic aspects of their treaty partner. They haven't done it because they have preferred division within society and the othering of Māori. Why? Just makes business easier I suspect

Onto today's example, Labour MP Annette King is not happy , why?

While Youth MPs were sworn into parliament today, Labour’s Annette King showed outrage over a gender segregated Powhiri. 
Labour MP Annette King said she was not comfortable with the “segregated nature” of the welcoming.
“In no way would this have happened during Helen Clark’s day,” she said.
Ms King said she would strive for gender equality for future Powhiri’s so that they could “accurately reflect” the House of Representatives.
“A change is long overdue, in my opinion,” she said.
Pathetic from that long standing member of Parliament and rubbish too - how many pōwhiri have been done whilst she has been in Parliament do you think? Well she got elected in 1984, had a term out of Parliament and came back in in 1993 - so let's be generous and say over 25 years in Parliament and now she is suddenly 'not comfortable' after hundreds of pōwhiri - and just how many pōwhiri during the Helen Clark 9 years in Government, by the same iwi? Still hundreds imo.

The fact that this person is now telling Māori what to do and what is acceptable in cultural activities is disgusting and shows what a waste of space King is. This Member of Parliament had ample opportunity to positively work to support a greater understanding of Māori culture for all people in this land - what did she do? The answer via her own dim comments is nothing - like just about every other colleague she has had on both sides of the house.

Update - this is a comment I put on The Standard regarding the 'gender segregation' in response to pops - it covers a bit of ground.

But it sounds like you’re saying Maori tikanga is dead and static. I always understood it to be adaptive and evolving – you know, a living culture. I don’t know many Maori under the age of 35-40 who would still buy into that gender segregation crap.
Of course it is a living culture and continually evolving – you know that and you know I think that. It isn’t gender segregation – bloody hell why does everything have to be filtered through your particular worldview. The debate is there within Māoridom with strong advocates on all sides. Have you actually considered any of those views? Have you considered for instance that, as some argue, the whole debate about who gets to speak is based on a context where male behaviour is used as the norm against which female behaviour is judged. Or how about the idea that within an oral culture there are many ways to speak not just the obvious one and that women speak in many ways throughout pōwhiri and within a Māori cultural context – but oh it doesn’t fit the ‘right’ way to speak which is based upon an imposed western cultural system which is assumed to be the best way. Anyway there are many other angles and points around this other than the knee-jerk – oh look at the gender segregation. A living culture is able, entitled and obligated to evolve within its own parameters and worldview without interference from those who assume a superiority that isn’t deserved or matched with the realities they create in the world they dominate.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

dim distraction

Racists are generally not very bright. They hide their dimness sometimes in flowery language like 1law4all and at other times they let it all hang out like the recently launched Pakeha Party. It is funny to watch them and these types don't bother me too much because they are so dim they don't realise how dim they are.

So I'm not worried about The Pakeha Party - much mirth has been made about them using te reo Māori and not being able to spell and  their silly slogans, such as Toby Manhire outlines
“If the Maori get it, we want it to!” Yeah! But want it to what? The missing word, almost certainly, is “thrive”.
Zet covers it well on The Standard where he lists the things this Party can get

The whole Party is a joke and the joke is that they meant party as in party not political party. So as I say it is not worth taking seriously even though they have received more than 34,000 likes on facebook - much more serious is 1law4all because they are actively trying to change our constitution to disadvantage Māori - they want to solidify their racism in the very fabric of our country. Both groups are interrelated and recently I found a nice explanation for their idiocy in an explanation of another idiocy

Usage of the term heterophobic or heterophobia by anti-gay groups falls into the wider pattern of the persecution complex, in which groups criticized for their tendency to create hate and discrimination react by reframing their discriminatory tendencies as some value-neutral idea, and then suggesting that criticism of this reframed idea constitutes discrimination.
Thus, racism becomes white pride, and the marginalized racist claims that his “heritage” is being sidelined unjustly through “reverse racism”.
You see the people that are racist feel persecuted and through disjointed logic they reframe their problem and make it someone else's. So don't get worked up about this - just enjoy the laughs and also enjoy the very dim joining up on facebook and then keep working for equality and keep fighting the real dirty racists - those like 1law4all and their moneyed mates - that is where the real battle is.

Underreported struggles 75

More essential underreported struggles from Ahni at Intercontinental Cry.

underreported struggles 75

Santa Ysabel Tribe of Kumeyaay Indians became the first Indigenous Nation in California and the fifth Nation in the United States to affirm marriage equality for its citizens. Santa Ysabel Tribe joins the Coquille Tribe of Oregon (2008), Suquamish Tribe of Washington (2011), Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians in Michigan (2013), and Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians in Michigan (2013) in supporting marriage equality.

The Council of Yukon First Nations (CYFN) passed a resolution declaring their traditional lands to be “frack free” and calling on the Yukon government to prohibit all fracking in the territory. The CYFN represents eleven of the fourteen First Nation governments in the Yukon Territory.

Pressed by two months of resistance, the Brazilian Government finally suspended the construction of hydro dams in Tapajós River region. The Munduruku Peoples organized a multitude of actions including two occupations that paralyzed construction of the Belo Monte hydroelectric power plant for a total of 17 days. They also halted the Tapajós study group which intended to carry out unsanctioned studies on rivers Tapajós and Teles Pires, where 13 thousand Munduruku people live. While the Munduruku welcomed the government’s decision, they are considering it as nothing more that a partial victory. States the head of the Munduruku Paygomuyatpu, “We will continue in our struggle… We want the studies and works to be cancelled.”

The EZLN, in honor of a highly-respected Purépecha leader, announced the creation of a traveling Indigenous seminar that will provide a forum “in which the Indigenous Peoples of the continent can be heard by those who have an attentive and respectful ear for their word, their history, and their resistance.” The announcement was support by more than 30 Indigenous organizations and governments.

Indigenous Peoples in the Province of Kalinga, Philippines, blocked a mining company, Carrascal Nickel Corporation (CNC), from entering their ancestral lands. Discussing the action with Northern Dispatch, a Balatoc woman said that the company failed to obtain the necessary FPIC before commencing with any mining in the area. Instead, the woman explained, CNC acquired signatures of several community members during routine medical missions before entering into an agreement with two individuals claiming to be Tribal leaders.

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

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

translations of funny

You've got to laugh - I've never looked up policeman on the excellent Māori Dictionary but it has all changed now into a more 'accurate' description lol.

Lee Baker, who moved to New Zealand from Britain 11 years ago, said the sentence showed a disdain for authority and could be misconstrued as police-bashing.
(loan) (noun) policeman, police.
Ki te kitea te pirihi, he kawe tamana mai, warena hopu tangata ranei, ka kikia atu te kumu, ka pakarutia te warena, ka panaia atu ia.
If a policeman is seen bringing a summons or an arrest warrant, he'll be kicked in the backside, the warrant screwed up and he'll be thrown out. See also pirihimana.
(loan) (noun) policeman, police - word now obsolete.
Ka mau aua tangata i nga pirihi, a kei roto aua tangata i te herehere i naianei.
Those men were caught by the police and they are in prison now. See also pirihimana.
It is great Lee that you are teaching your children te reo Māori, well done! But the original was funny and the response from the police to this is also very funny
A spokesman said, "While such comments are unhelpful, the police strongly value their relationship with Maori and our focus continues to be on building positive relationships with tangata whenua through our work in communities across the country."
That's a real "yeah, nah" on that one police spokesperson.

Friday, June 21, 2013

white and black trash

Some people are horrible and their views are so distasteful I wonder if they have any humanity at all. A case in point is John Hamilton in Arrowtown. They are thinking of building affordable housing in that town

The Queenstown Lakes Community Housing Trust wants to build 10 rental houses on the council-owned Suffolk St site, which currently houses dilapidated cabins and the Arrowtown Rugby Club rooms. 
Over 250 people have made submissions on that and John Hamilton says
"We don't need white or black trash renting cheap houses in Arrowtown," he said.
"Arrowtown has a very low crime rate because poor people can't afford to live here."
People are trash in hamilton's view but don't worry he's not racist because both 'white' and 'black' people are equally trash, rubbish, thrown away and discarded. What a sad, sick individual hamilton is to have a view of people like that. He is the type that would let poor people die in the street and then complain they are making the place untidy. Personally I'd be quite happy if the hamiltons of this world left this country and never came back.

Luckily some good people live in Arrowtown too and their views are welcome
Jane Peasey said: "We all work extremely hard to live in this amazing place and I can't understand how people would want to take that opportunity away from equally hard working, though lesser paid, families."
Isn't that a contrast to the views of hamilton and doesn't his view contrast with the views and policy of the Mana Movement - a political group that cares about those who need help.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Mana in the house

The Mana Movement have released their housing policy to help Māori get into their own homes and it is a beauty. Only 45% of Māori own their own homes compared to 70% for pākehā and that inequity must be addressed. In an awesome speech, Mana candidate for the Ikaroa Rāwhiti by-election, Te Hamua Nikora outlined the reasons why this new initiative is needed and those reasons include the unaffordbility of current housing, the shortage of state housing and the fact of currently empty state houses. He talks about a new warrant of fitness for all state houses and the reasons why this is important - the major one being the health of occupants, as he says

It was actually the tuberculosis crisis in East Coast communities in 1935 that gave rise to the original Maori Affairs Housing scheme; it’s an absolute bloody disgrace that 80 years later Maori are facing another health crisis, rheumatic fever.
It is disgrace! So how does the new initiative work?
MANA wants to build 10,000 state houses a year, 500 immediately in Ikaroa Rawhiti, as a first step to ensuring that every whanau that needs a home can get one, either to rent or to own. 
MANA would run the scheme through a restructured Te Puni Kokiri, in the same way that Maori Affairs ran the scheme in the past. 
Government finance would come through Te Puni Kokiri, effectively cutting out banks and their mean-spirited attitude to Maori homeowners.
Only Maori first home owners would be able to apply.
There would be no deposit.
Interest rates would be no higher than the rates government pays on money it borrows.
Applicants can either build new or buy an existing property
Applicants will be able to negotiate mortgage arrangements that suit their circumstances.
MANA’s policy would fully restart Maori Trade Training in all the housing apprenticeships – carpentry, electrician, plumber, glazier, painting, roofing and drain-laying – and provide direct employment to hundreds of young Maori, reversing unemployment of 5,000 in Ikaroa Rawhiti and sending a positive message to those in Australia as well.
It is a win-win – our people get jobs building decent homes for our whanau.
This is a great policy and it is important that it is tied into Trade Training for Māori. Te Hamua then discusses the Labour policy and he doesn’t pull any punches on that one.
Labour’s plan to build 100,000 houses, mainly in Auckland, for $500,000, will do nothing for Maori home buyers in Ikaroa-Rawhiti.
But in truth, that has always been Labour’s way – to talk big about things Maori but to deliver little.
Labour talks about trade training, but it was Labour that ended the country’s most successful apprenticeship programme, the Maori Trade Training Scheme.
It was Labour that killed off the Maori Affairs Housing Scheme that had successfully housed tens of thousands of Maori families.
It was Labour that stole our rights to the foreshore and seabed. 
It was Labour that got rid of targeted funding for Maori.
It was Labour that launched the terrorist raids on the people of Tuhoe.
It was Labour who said that Maori don’t own the water.
The sad fact is that Labour has held the seat of Ikaroa-Rawhiti for 62 years and yet Maori employment, health, education, justice and housing have all suffered under their watch.
That is the truth about Labour – big talk but when you actually look at what they do sadly they are similar to National in outcomes for Māori. I have hope that Mana and Te Hamua will win the by-election and show Labour that words are worthless without action. This speech really showed that Te Hamua is a very very good candidate and deserves the seat.

Mana care about all people in this country and the final statement from Te Hamua confirms this
We know that housing is not just an issue that affects Maori; it affects every family on a low income. That’s why John Minto, will be announcing MANA’s wider housing policy on 23 July as a part of our MINTO FOR MAYOR Campaign.
The Mana Movement is growing - if you haven't joined get on board now and enjoy the ride from the beginning!!!
It was actually the tuberculosis crisis in East Coast communities in 1935 that gave rise to the original Maori Affairs Housing scheme; it’s an absolute bloody disgrace that 80 years later Maori are facing another health crisis, rheumatic fever. - See more at:
It was actually the tuberculosis crisis in East Coast communities in 1935 that gave rise to the original Maori Affairs Housing scheme; it’s an absolute bloody disgrace that 80 years later Maori are facing another health crisis, rheumatic fever. - See more at:
It was actually the tuberculosis crisis in East Coast communities in 1935 that gave rise to the original Maori Affairs Housing scheme; it’s an absolute bloody disgrace that 80 years later Maori are facing another health crisis, rheumatic fever. - See more at:
Te Hamua Nikora
Te Hamua Nikora
Te Hamua Nikora

Monday, June 10, 2013

underreported struggles 74

More essential underreported struggles from Ahni at Intercontinental Cry

underreported struggles 74

Indigenous Peoples in southern Botswana breathed a sigh of relief after Botswana’s High Court suspended a planned community eviction by local authorities. The government alleged that the community, which lives in a so-called ‘Wildlife Corridor,’ is blocking the free movement of animals in the region. The High Court ruled that the eviction be suspended until at least mid-June, when the “San” Bushmen will be forced to return to court to defend their land.

The U.S. company Herakles Farms finally succumbed to local and international pressure, halting development of its 60,000 hectare palm oil plantation in the middle of the Cameroon rainforest. The move came just weeks after an order from the Forestry Ministry to cease ‘preparing land’ near its Talangaye palm oil nursery pending an assessment of the public usefulness of the project to the region. As noted on IC in 2011, the project threatened the ancestral lands and livelihoods of the Baka, Bakola, Bedzang and Bagyeli peoples.

The SAVE Rivers network along with 300 indigenous people from around Sarawak gathered in protest outside the Borneo Convention Center Kuching where the International Hydropower Association’s biennial congress was being held. The protesters–which included several community members affected by the Bengoh, Murum and Bakun dams–left peacefully after they managed to reach the main entrance of the BCCK and get their message across to IHA, Sarawak Energy and the Sarawak Government: that they are open to development, but not at the expense of their ancestral lands and their ways of life.

The Gwich’in Nation spoke out against Alaska’s Governor Parnell’s $50 million dollar drilling proposal on the Coastal Plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. In a public statement, the Gwich’in explained that their way of life is “dependent upon the Porcupine (River) Caribou Herd whose birthing and nursery grounds are on the Coastal Plain.” The Gwich’in also observed that the Refuge is presently closed to any and all drilling “and it would take an act of Congress to open it.”

The Supreme Court of Canada, meanwhile, ruled that individual members of an Aboriginal community cannot use blockades or other so-called “self-help” remedies to address government breaches of law, specifically its duty to consult. The court was addressing a camp blockade that was set up in 2006 to interfere with a logging operation on Treaty 8 territory that was authorized by the Crown. According to the judge, the protesters, who claimed (but failed to “prove”) that there was no prior consultation, “should have” sought to address the license issued by the Crown, not the license holder (ie, the company benefiting from the Crown’s allegedly illegally issue of consent to harvest the traditional territory of Fort Nelson First Nation).

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

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

the terror of shearer

I have refrained from giving david shearer the leader of the Labour Party a hard time on this blog mainly because I figured labour would sort out the issues relating to him and his leadership of that political party. But his latest utterances leave me no choice. There is a by-election in the Māori electorate of Ikaroa-Rawhiti after well respected, Labour stalwart, Parekura Horomia died recently. The political parties contesting that seat are Labour, The Maori Party, The Green Party and The Mana Party. David shearer, on behalf of Labour, said on the opening of the campaign that they will make

a promise that the party will use the next four weeks to honour the legacy of Parekura Horomia, and retain the seat he held for 14 years.
That is a good thing to say - to honour the legacy, but unfortunately shearer has not done that because within the same press release he also said
We will organise, mobilise and terrorise our political opponents.
Yep The Greens and Mana are political opponents that will be terrorised - forget that the main enemy is john key's national party, oh no for shearer The Greens and Mana are the enemies.

This word terrorise was deliberate and designed to send a message and that message was not lost on the Mana candidate for the seat, Te Hamua Nikora

Te Hamua Nikora is stunned by Labour’s plan to win the electorate.
And why was this such a shocker by shearer
Nikora said that to hear that message from Labour on a day like today when Tuhoe are settling with the Crown is in extremely poor taste. “Tuhoe haven’t forgotten that it was a Labour Government that raided their homes in Taneatua and Ruatoki in 2007. Tuhoe know that the call to raid their homes by our police came from Labour. It’s another sad legacy on the part of the Labour Party when it comes to Maori rights”.
Yep Tuhoe settled officially with the Crown yesterday, the same day shearer made his statement. Tuhoe receive putea of 170M and most importantly an apology for the following

Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson said the "past breaches against Tuhoe are some of the worst in the story of our nation".
"Land was confiscated; villages and crops burned; families killed and men executed," said Finlayson.
"The relationship with their homeland whittled away despite promises. These sorry events have left a stain on the history of Te Urewera region, and on the history of the Crown in New Zealand.
"Today we address squarely that history, which has remained ever present in Te Urewera to this day."
The Crown admitted that over a hundred year period it:
- Confiscated the best land
- Carried out "unjust" land sales
- Undertook a brutal military campaign that has been described in a contemporary account as "extermination"
 Tuhoe also have negotiated some awesome concessions

The settlement will see iwi co-manage Te Urewera National Park with the Government, and in five years it will negotiate to have Mana Motuhake, or self-rule, which means more control over education, health and housing services in the area.
A great day for Tuhoe and it is such a pity that people like shearer have zero idea of the significance of what has occurred for that Iwi and what this settlement means to them. That is why this call to terrorise opponents is so distasteful and so wrong - it is a slap in the face to all Māori and a disgraceful way to honour the memory of Parekura Horomia. The use of the word terrorise is another example of why david shearer is not fit to be in parliament let alone lead a political party - he is the weakest link in our struggle to remove the government of john key and all of their destructive practices.