The Voice of the Anti-Imperialist Movement from

Under Lock & Key

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[First Nations] [Aztlan/Chicano] [U.S. Imperialism] [ULK Issue 57]
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Plan de San Diego Commemoration Starts with 1492 Invasion of the Americas

Brown Berets marching

In 1492, the European colonization of Turtle Island, which they'd call the Americas, began with the voyage of Christopher Columbus, in command of the Niña, Pinta, and the Santa Maria. This recon expedition arrived in the Caribbean and landed on the island of present-day Haiti and the Dominican Republic, which they named Hispaniola. In 1492, Columbus returned with a second, larger force, comprised of 17 ships and 1,200 soldiers, sailors, and colonists.

By 1535, Spanish conquistadors had launched military operations into Mexico, Central America, and Peru. Using guns, armor, and metal-edged weapons as well as horses, siege catapults, war dogs, and biological warfare, the Spanish left a trail of destruction, massacres, torture and rape. Tens of millions of indigenous peoples were killed within the first century. The Mexica (or Aztec) alone were reduced from 25-million to just 3-million. Everywhere the death rate was between 90-95% of the population.

For all native Americans, the coming of Europeans to the New World marked the beginning of a long, drawn-out disaster. Their cannons and rifles gave them the ultimate power to inflict their will on the indigenous people. Even as they learned from the indigenous people how to survive in their new environment, Europeans saw their own way of life as the only "true" civilization. Indeed, so powerful did the notion of European superiority become that today they celebrate the "Discovery" of the New World by European explorers. Too often, we forget that what happened in 1492 was not the discovery of a New World but the establishment of contact between two worlds, both already old.

Was the European, or "Western" way of life really superior? This question remains a subject of stormy controversy throughout the world. Much of the resentment against Europeans and North Amerikans expressed by people in the Muslim world, for example, is based on the history of invasion, conquest, and domination by Western powers, a subject to which our RAZA and ALL indigenous people in the Western Hemisphere are familiar. European invasion and settlement spelled the doom of indigenous societies.

Amerikkka has always been a hegemony, a term which refers to dominance or undue power or influence. A hegemonic culture is one that dominates other cultures, just as a hegemonic society is one that exerts undue power over another society.(Gramsci, 1992/1965, 1995)

Ideologies

A classic study of the emergence of an ideology was Max Weber's analysis of the link between Protestantism and Capitalism, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (1974/1904). Weber noticed that the rise of Protestantism in Europe coincided with the rise of private enterprise, banking, and other aspects of capitalism. Weber hypothesized that their religious values taught them that salvation depended not on good deeds or piety but on how they lived their entire lives and particularly on how well they adhered to the norms of their "callings" (occupations).

The most important norms in Western civilizations are taught as absolutes. The Ten Commandments for example, are absolutes: "Thou shalt not kill," "Thou shalt not steal," and so on. UNFORTUNATELY, people do not always extend those norms to members of another culture. For example, the same "explorers" who swore to bring the values of Western civilization (including the Ten Commandments) to the New World thought nothing of taking Indians' land by force. Queen Elizabeth I of England could authorize agents like Sir Walter Raleigh to seize remote "heathen and barbarous" lands without viewing this act as a violation of the strongest norms of her own society.(Jennings, 1975; Snipp, 1991) Protest by the indigenous people often resulted in violent death. But the murder of indigenous people and the theft of their land were rationalized by the notion that the indigenous people were inferior people who would ultimately benefit from European influence (the same ideology that justifies in their minds the wholesale murder of our Raza throughout the barrios of Aztlán by the police). In the ideology of the conquest and colonial rule, the Ten Commandments DID NOT APPLY (then or now).

So when you hear Trump making statements like, "Make Amerikkka Great Again!", make no mistake about it, what he is in fact saying is, "Make Amerikkka White Again!"

So in commemorating the Plan de San Diego, when asked the question, "What's this gotta do with me?" "Everything you're talking about happened a long time ago." RAZA, it has everything to do with YOU! It's time for the sleeping Giant to WAKE-UP! And say YA-BASTA! We have a rendezvous with destiny!

In this New Katun! This is OUR SIXTH SUN! As [email protected] growing up in occupied Aztlán. This is why [email protected] and Raza are discriminated against, marginalized and imprisoned at higher rates than Amerikkkans.

We must build for the Reunification and Liberation of Aztlán!!!

We have been plagued with this Amerikkkan disease LONG ENOUGH!!!

VIVA LA CAUSA VIVA LA RECONQUISTA!!!

VIVA MIM!!!

MIM(Prisons) adds: By the time this issue of Under Lock & Key hits the cell blocks across the United $tates, August will be upon us. In addition to the 38th annual Black August, commemorating the New Afrikan prison struggle, this August we mark the beginning of a campaign to commemorate the Plan de San Diego. This Plan called for a united front of oppressed nations living on occupied Turtle Island to take up arms against the settlers and reclaim land for the oppressed. If you haven't already, write to MIM(Prisons) to get Plan de San Diego fliers to distribute. The flier calls on [email protected] comrades to study, build with others, write articles, make art and develop [email protected] consciousness inside prison.

The building of consciousness and unity this August should lead up to the 9th of September when all prisoners are encouraged to mark the United Front for Peace in Prisons Day of Peace and Solidarity. Last year, September 9 was marked with many actions across U.$. prisons to commemorate the Attica uprising. Let's build on that momentum! Keep us updated by sending in your reports on what you achieved during Black August, Commemoration the Plan de San Diego and on the September 9 Day of Peace and Solidarity.
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[Spanish] [First Nations]
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Lakotah Reclama Tierra de Colonos Estadounidense$

En semanas recientes hemos visto los vídeos ofensivos de colonizadores atacando a gente Indígena que están tratando de proteger sus tierras de la invasión y destrucción en su tierra natal de la Nación Lakotah. La resistencia ha unido a muchas personas de "First Nation" (Primera Nación) así como también muchos partidarios alrededor del campo Piedra Sagrada en la punta norte de la reserva Standing Rock. Este es el punto donde la Tubería de Acceso Dakota (DAPL por sus siglas en inglés), actualmente en construcción, se acerca a las actuales fronteras de la reserva. Esta semana, 200 personas se mudaron, a la isla que Energy Transfer Partners (Compañeros de Transferencia de Energía) reclama, colocando su campamento de invierno en el camino a la tubería.

En respuesta, Energy Transfer Partners le dijeron a la gente que estaban entrando sin derecho, que "el comportamiento ilegal no será tolerado." (1) No hay mejor ejemplo de cómo la "ley" puede ser una institución utilizada por el opresor para legitimar su poder. Cuando los colonos vinieron por primera vez a matar indígenas y a robar sus tierras, ellos declararon esta tierra "ilegal."

Los Lakotah Sioux están usando un dominio eminente para reclamar la tierra en cuestión como se establece legalmente en su tratado de 1851 con el gobierno de los Estados Unidos. El presidente de Cheyenne River Sioux Harold Frazier se reunió con el Presidente Obama, y con el Abogado de la Oficina de Gobierno para discutir su campaña y la represión policial desatada sobre protestantes pacíficos. Frazier relató una conversación que tuvieron:

Frazier: ¿cómo puede un Indigena asaltar físicamente a un Indigena y salirse con la suya?"
Abogado U.S.: "Bueno, esto esta en tierra del Estado.
Frazier: "¿Entonces eso significa que si un no-indígena viene a la tierra de un Indígena, el Indígena puede hacer lo mismo?"
Abogado U.S.: "Oh no, iría a la cárcel."(1)

De nuevo, la farsa de lo que es la ley de los colonos Amerikanos se presenta ante nosotros. La Tribu de Standing Rock Sioux organizó el Primer consejo de Tratado Internacional del Hemisferio Occidental del 8-6 de Junio de 1974. Esta reunión fue honrada en 2007 en otra reunión donde la República de Lakotah declaró soberanía, reclamando mucha de la tierra a través de la cual la construcción de la DAPL está ocurriendo hoy.(2)

Las personas indígenas en Norteamérica siempre han estado en las líneas del frente del movimiento anti imperialista. Ellos fueron las primeras víctimas del colonialismo y del capitalismo/imperialismo emergente en esta tierra. Su lucha constante para reclamar su tierra es central para la re-civilización de la brutal nación colonizadora de Amerikkka.

notes: 1. 26 October 2016. KPFA Evening News. 2. Under Lock & Key Issue 2.
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[First Nations] [ULK Issue 53]
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Lakotah Reclaim Land from Settler U.$.

sacred stone camp map
The latest camp has moved into land just north of the Sacred Stone Camp
on the map. Also see map below for historic land claims of the Republic of Lakotah.

In recent weeks we have seen the offensive videos of settlers attacking indigenous people who are trying to protect their land from invasion and destruction in the homeland of the Lakotah Nation. The resistance has brought together many First Nation people as well as many supporters around the Sacred Stone Camp in the northern tip of the Standing Rock reservation. This is the point where the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), currently under construction, comes closest to current reservation borders. This week 200 people moved onto the land claimed by Energy Transfer Partners, setting up their winter camp in the path of the planned pipeline.

In response, Energy Transfer Partners said the people were trespassing, saying "lawless behavior will not be tolerated."(1) There is no better example of how the "law" can be an institution utilized by the oppressor to legitimize their power. When the settlers first came to kill Indigenous people and steal their land, they declared this land to be "lawless."

The Lakotah Sioux are using eminent domain to claim the land in question as rightfully theirs based on their 1851 treaty with the United $tates government. Cheyenne River Sioux Chair Harold Frazier met with President Obama, as well as the U.$. Attorney's Office to discuss their campaign and the police repression being unleashed on peaceful protestors. Frazier retold one conversation ey had:

Frazier: "How can a non-Indian physically assault an Indian and get away with it?"
U.S. Attorney's office: "Well, that's on state land."
Frazier: "So does that mean if a non-Indian comes to an Indian on Indian land that the Indian could do it back?"
U.S. Attorney's office: "Oh no, you'd go to jail."(1)

Again, the farce that is Amerikan settler law is laid bare before us.

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe hosted the First International Treaty Council of the Western Hemisphere from 8-16 June 1974. This meeting was honored in 2007 at another meeting where the Republic of Lakotah declared sovereignty, claiming much of the land through which DAPL construction is occurring today.(2)

Lakotah Republic map
Map of Republic of Lakotah from www.republicoflakotah.com

Indigenous people in North America have always been at the front lines of the anti-imperialist movement. They were the first victims of colonialism and emerging capitalist/imperialism on this land. Their continued struggle to reclaim this land is central to a re-civilization of the brutal settler nation of Amerikkka.

Notes:
1. 26 October 2016. KPFA Evening News.
2. Under Lock & Key Issue No. 2 (January/February 2008).
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[Spanish] [First Nations] [ULK Issue 55]
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Explorando el Resultado de la Tubería XL Keystone

"America no puede existir sin separarnos a nosotros mismos de nuestras identidades."

La lucha comenzó en 2011, con una lucrativa propuesta de una compañía Canadiense para acceder a tierras tribales y transportar petróleo crudo al Golfo de Texas. Dicen que la construcción ayudará a crear trabajos permanentes, que el dinero dado a los consejos tribales ayudará a satisfacer las necesidades de las personas. En realidad, esta tubería creará un desastre ambiental. América nunca puede financiar su propia estructura, ¿cómo se puede esperar el mantenimiento de una tubería en las tierras tribales soberanas?

El problema no es sólo la tubería y toda la inmundicia que viene con ella. El problema es la total violación de nuestros tratados, y la falta de tratamiento de la auto-determinación y la Declaración de las Naciones Unidos sobre los Derechos de los Pueblos Indígenas. Esta tubería pisotea a los derechos humanos y prueba la ciudadanía de segunda clase que se les da a todas las naciones tribales, y personas.

Tomen en consideración como todos los portavoces del gobierno se enfurecen con cualquier violación de cualquier tratado otorgado a gobiernos extranjeros por el gobierno de Estados Unidos, ¿porqué son tan rápidos al descartar los derechos que se otorgaron a las naciones tribales?

Fuimos a la guerra por esos tratados. Si, es 2016 y todos los "indios" deberían funcionar como Amerikanos regulares, al menos esa es la retórico. Pero al iniciar un tratado se nos provee reconocimiento, y estipula acuerdos bilaterales que todas las partes deben honrar. Al menos, de hecho, que nuestros tratados sean sólo "pedazos de papel", y si ese es el caso, Rusia debería pasar por alto las resoluciones de la ONU con los Estados Unidos y bombear Israel. No es igual? El Artículo 6 de la constitución de los Estados Unidos y la cláusula piloto de 1888 dice lo contrario. Ambos reconocen el poder permanente de todos los tratados Indígenas y todas las Naciones Indígenas. Sólo porque los tiempos han cambiado no significa que las palabras también.

El gobierno de los Estados Unidos ha estado empujando a todas las naciones tribales al genocidio por los últimos 298 años. La pobreza, agua mala, aire contaminado, desperdicio nuclear, minas abiertas de uranio, alcoholismo, ninguna infraestructura de trabajo para empezar.

El suicidio entre hombres jóvenes se ha convertido en una epidemia. Solamente somos endulzados con palabras cuando los trabajadores del gobierno quieren sentirse bien, luego nos quitan a nuestros hijos, los llevan al lado del estado y los tiran a la "gente blanca" para que los civilicen — violando así otra ley federal, la Ley para el Bienestar del Niño Indígena.

Esta tierra significa más para nosotros que sólo una terreno para todo el pueblo tribal, igual que en 1848 cuando los Estados Unidos se unieron a todo Aztlán desde México y construyeron la frontera paramilitar más grande en el mundo, se esta haciendo mucho para separar a las naciones tribales de nuestras tierras. En 1973 peleamos y morimos por nuestra tierra. Si es necesario, marquen mis palabras, nos levantaremos y pelearemos de nuevo. Esta tierra es nuestra identidad. Tiene la sangre de nuestros ancestros, y la tubería matará a nuestra gente.

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[First Nations] [National Oppression] [ULK Issue 53]
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Exploring the Outcome of the Keystone XL Pipeline

keystone XL pipeline over tribal lands
"America cannot exist without separating ourselves from our identities."

The fight began in 2011, with a lucrative proposal from a Canadian company to access tribal lands to transport crude oil to the Gulf of Texas. The construction they say will help create permanent jobs, the money given to the tribal councils will help meet the needs of the people. In reality, this pipeline will create an environmental disaster. America can't even fund its own infrastructure, how can anyone expect maintenance of a pipeline on sovereign tribal lands?

The problem isn't just the pipeline and all the filth that comes with it. The problem is the outright violations of our treaties, and the lack of treatment of the self-determination and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. This pipeline steps on human rights and proves the second class citizenship bestowed to all tribal nations, and people.

Take into consideration how all of the government spokespeople go ballistic at any violations of any treaties bestowed upon foreign governments by the U.S. government, why are they quick to dismiss the rights that tribal nations have been granted?

We went to war for those treaties. Yes it's 2016 and the rhetoric is that all "indians" should function like regular Americans. But by initiating a treaty it provides us recognition, and stipulates bilateral agreements that all parties must honor. Unless, in fact, our treaties are just "pieces of paper," and if that is the case, Russia should overlook the United Nations resolutions with the United States and just bomb Israel. Is this not the same? Article 6 of the U.S. constitution and the rider clause of 1888 say different. Both recognize the permanent power of all Indian treaties and all Indian nations. Just because the times have changed doesn't mean the words have.

The U.S. government has been pushing all tribal nations to genocide for the last 298 years. Poverty, bad water, polluted air, nuclear waste, uranium mines opened, alcoholism, no job infrastructure for starters. Suicide among young men has grown to an epidemic. We are just pandered to in words when government officials want to feel good, then they rip our children from us, take them state-side and throw them to "white people" to be civilized — violating yet another federal law, the Indian Child Welfare Act.

This land is more to us than just land for all tribal people, just as in 1848 when the United States annexed all of Aztlán from Mexico and erected the largest paramilitary border in the world, much is being done to separate tribal nations from our lands. In 1973 we fought and died for our land. If need be, mark my words, we will rise up and fight again. This land is our identity. It holds the blood of our ancestors, and the pipeline will kill our people.

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[First Nations] [ULK Issue 53]
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Standing Rock Sioux nation appeals to UN Human Rights Council to stop Dakota Access Pipeline

[transcribed on October 1, 2016, reprinted from https://github.com/pinotes/pinotes.github.io/blob/master/_posts/2016-10-01-news-black-snake-Sioux-UNHRC-statement.md]
Sioux honor treaty land

The below transcript is provided because this writer wasn't able to find a good transcript of the whole address. The address(1) is itself considered a historic moment for indigenous nations of North America.

The proposed pipeline, almost two thousand kilometers long, impacts or potentially impacts many First Nations. It doesn't affect just the Standing Rock Sioux and other nations/groups of Sioux people belonging to the larger Sioux nation, which along with other nations is still owed land illegally taken by the U.$. government. For many First Nations people, the anti-DAPL struggle is about land and sovereignty, to which they have a right regardless of Amerikans' economic, energy and environmental concerns.

There is a long history of amerikans' violating First Nations' sovereignty even by breaking agreements they themselves imposed and signed. The First Nations' struggle against the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) is one of the biggest in living memory. As it gets more publicity, there is a chance to change public opinion — or reinforce it in an undesirable way — regarding such violations of law and sovereignty. That is in addition to stopping the pipeline project, which has already destroyed some burial and prayer sites.

Like Palestine, the Great Sioux Nation is a nation containing aspirations of greater unity/wholeness, independent statehood, and full sovereignty. And like Palestine, the Great Sioux Nation is experiencing ongoing settlement and colonialism, internal governmental issues related to partitioning, and results of other nations' failure to honor/obey and enforce treaties and other international law. The majority-exploiter imperialist settler entity called "the United States" subjects nations both inside and outside u.$. borders — and Palestinians both inside and outside the Green Line — to colonialism and even opposes the two-state solution in Palestine despite verbal agreements. It happened that the Standing Rock Sioux Chairman spoke to the Human Rights Council in Geneva just a day before the International Day of Peace and two days before Mahmoud Abbas(2) spoke to the General Assembly in New York.

With a global, long-term perspective and the world's help, the Sioux nation will get their land back and full sovereignty one day. Some in denial about this are attempting to subsume the anti-DAPL struggle under some anti-capitalist or environmental struggle including the ameriKKKan petty-bourgeoisie and/or opposing nationalism of oppressed nations. Some others talking about colonialism and sovereignty nonetheless openly say their real concern is climate change. Hopefully they can still contribute something to the struggle. Apparently, it is too much to ask more amerikkkans to just abide by their own treaties and other laws. If First Nations people weren't facing staggering state power, a numerically large enemy and dog attacks, like Palestinians also have, there would be less compulsion to tolerate certain outsider activists who seemingly may undermine the anti-DAPL struggle or larger struggles by making their own priorities central.

Overall, it looks like the struggle of the Standing Rock Sioux as a nation was well-represented in this brief spoken statement in Geneva.

Transcript of Standing Rock Sioux nation address to the UN Human Rights Council on September 20, at the 33rd Regular Session

Human Rights Council President Choi Kyong-lim: I give the floor to the distinguished representative of Indian Law Resource Center.

Chairman Dave Archambault II: Thank you, Mr. President.

My name is Dave Archambault. I am the Chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. Our tribal nation is a sovereign nation located in the United States. Our sovereignty is recognized by the United States through the legally binding treaties of 1851 and 1868, signed by our traditional Lakota government, Oceti Sakowin (Oceti Šakowin, the Seven Council Fires), then passed by the United States Senate, and proclaimed by the President of the United States.

I am here because oil companies are causing the deliberate destruction of our sacred places and burials. Dakota Access Pipeline [Dakota Access, LLC, a subsidiary of Energy Transfer Partners; a.k.a. "Dakota Access"] wants to build an oil pipeline under the river that is the source of our nation's drinking water. This pipeline threatens our communities, the river, and the earth.

Our nation is working to protect our waters and our sacred places for the benefit of our children not yet born. But the oil companies and the government of the United States have failed to respect our sovereign rights. Today, the pipeline construction continues. Although it has temporarily stopped near our nation, this company has knowingly destroyed sacred sites and our ancestral graves with bulldozers. This company has also used attack dogs to harm individuals who tried to protect our water and our sacred sites.

I condemn all violence, including the use of guard dogs.

While we have gone to the court in the United States, our courts have failed to protect our sovereign rights, our sacred places, and our water. We call upon the Human Rights Council and all Member States to condemn the destruction of our sacred places and to support our nation's efforts to ensure that our sovereign rights are respected. We ask that you call upon all parties to stop the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline and to protect the environment, our nation's future, our culture, and our way of life.

Thank you, Mr. President.

Notes:
1. "Standing Rock Sioux Chairman takes #NODAPL to the United Nations," 2016 September 20. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dW0d_WsuL0Y
See: "UN body says Sioux must have say in pipeline project," 2016 August 31. http://bigstory.ap.org/article/635d13d28ee64f1c8421596e02d4f4f5/un-body-says-sioux-should-have-say-pipeline-project
2. "Sending the right signal: Abbas, BDS, and diplomacy," 2016 September. https://github.com/pinotes/pinotes.github.io/blob/master/_posts/2016-09-29-news-Abbas-BDS-diplomacy.md

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[National Oppression] [First Nations] [ULK Issue 50]
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Commemorating Mary Crow Dog, AIM and the BPP

The Black Panther cover
Cover of The Black Panther Vol. 3 No. 5, May 1969

This month the Brown Berets - Prison Chapter (BB-PC) honors Mary Crow Dog, born Mary Blue Bird. She was a resident of a town called Saint Francis on the reservation of Rosebud during 1973 at the siege of Wounded Knee.

In 1971 Mary joined the American Indian Movement (AIM). During the siege at Wounded Knee Mary was tasked with organizing the women to do the cooking, cleaning and communications. She organized food running and getting in and out of Wounded Knee to get much-needed supplies. The siege lasted 73 days, with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) using armored personnel carriers and Huey helicopters. Mary helped keep morale up among everyone at the camp. Her bravery and courage is why my family in Pine Ridge and Rosebud have the freedoms we do today.(1)


MIM(Prisons) responds: The BB-PC sent us these words on Mary Crow Dog, along with some notes on the documentary on the Black Panthers that we reviewed in ULK 49. We thought it appropriate to print something on the AIM in this issue, as they are very relevant to understanding the conditions in the United $tates during the time of the Black Panther Party. While the BPP can brag of having most of the FBI actions of the time targeting them, this is probably due mostly to the size of the New Afrikan nation and their mass base, compared to the First Nations who have been decimated by genocide. And while Panthers engaged in long shoot outs with police, nothing compared to the U.S. Army invasion of Wounded Knee:

"In the first instance since the Civil War that the U.S. Army had been dispatched in a domestic operation, the Pentagon invaded Wounded Knee with 17 armored personnel carriers, 130,000 rounds of M-16 ammunition, 41,000 rounds of M-1 ammunition, 24,000 flares, 12 M-79 grenade launchers, 600 cases of C-S gas, 100 rounds of M-40 explosives, helicopters, Phantom jets, and personnel..."(2)

Churchill and Vander Wall document the details of the intensive war the FBI led against AIM. They write about the pursuit of AIM founder Dennis Banks as having "garnered the dubious distinction of becoming the most sustained attempt at a federal prosecution in the history of American jurisprudence."(3) While on the run from the state in 1976, Banks is reported to have been hidden by [email protected] leader Corky Gonzalez, and members of the Crusade for Justice working with local AIM members. Later that year, Corky Gonzalez was falsely accused by the FBI of possessing "a rocket launcher, rockets, M-16 automatic rifles, and hand grenades," intended to use in combination with AIM and others to kill police.(4) Such rumors were part of the FBI's public relations war against liberation movements, attempting to distract from the fact that the U.$. government is the real perpetrator of violence.

The American Indian Movement was formed in 1968, in a rising movement for national liberation among First Nations that paralleled that in New Afrika. Forming two years after the Black Panther Party, like many, they were inspired by and modeled themselves after the BPP, though not taking up the explicit Maoism of the BPP or the Young Lords Party. Like the Panthers, AIM saw chapters pop up across the country soon after its founding. And like the Panthers, AIM promoted armed self-defense of its people and territory.

It is worth noting the different conditions faced by First Nations compared to other internal semi-colonies. The threat of annihilation, and the clear recognition of territory rights, lead to a more advanced national consciousness and more advanced conditions for national struggle. While we take lessons from the BPP's ultra-left tendency to pick up the gun too soon, the conditions of the time — from the First Nation reservations in the United $tates to Vietnam to China — makes their decision much more understandable than it would be today. Even today, we recognize the objective conditions among First Nations overall to be more advanced and armed struggle to be a correct path for them before it would be in other parts of the United $tates.

Notes:
  1. Mary Crow Dog, 1991, Lakota Woman. recommended by BB-PC, Colorado.
  2. Ward Churchill and Jim Vander Wall, 1990, Agents of Repression: The FBI's Secret Wars Against the Black Panther Party and the American Indian Movement, South End Press:Boston, p. 144.
  3. Churchill, p. 343.
  4. Churchill, p. 281.
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[First Nations] [National Oppression] [United Front] [ULK Issue 45]
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Amerikan Land Must Be Redistributed to First Nations

I would like to give props to Loco1 of USW for the article in ULK 38, "Lasting Impressions." It eloquently expressed the realistic truth of non-whites rising into Amerikkkan political poverty and oppression, but ultimately becoming part of the Amerikkkan imperialist machine, and therefore part of the problem. They undeniably dance to the same tune as the kapitalist oppressors, which is the only way they can get elected into office in the first place. The oppression they become co-conspirators of far outweighs any good they may be trying to contribute to cultural progress, the revolutionary movement, or even reformism. President Obama's black face on the white-Amerikkkan agenda does very little to counter the injustices he inflicts upon the less fortunate. His priority is to please white-Amerikkka and contribute to kapitalism. Everything else is secondary.

Revolutionary minds can learn from Loco1's political view. However, it draws concern when Loco1 talks of redistributing the lands fairly: "you get what you need. Nothing more, nothing less." Subsequently following a successful revolution this act alone would shift the possession of land for one colonizer to another at the expense and exploitation of the indigenous peoples. Very little of what I've read from the MIM organization has ever gotten to the heart of land claims, which should first and foremost be redistributed back to the First Nation original owners. Many indigenous will be part of the revolution. Non-natives seem to think they are entitled to this land as spoils of war, with complete disregard to the First Nations' claims. Communism is supposed to eliminate oppression. This act would contribute to it, but with power shifting to the hands of a different ethnic and political class.

A complete overthrow of Amerikkkan power should give the land back to those it's belonged to since the beginning of time. This soil is the Redman's tribal ancestral roots and the creator's gift to our people. This includes Mexicanos. Whatever land, if any, is eventually "redistributed fairly" should be at the sole discretion of its tribal owners. Period. (And it's important that non-natives understand this.) Land would be distributed considerately and compassionately as they feel necessary and see fit. Unless, of course, the communist victors then choose to redirect their war towards the First Nation peoples with the intent of keeping them on reservations and stealing the land by force. That would make them no different than this current Amerikkkan imperialist swine.

In the article Loco1 spoke with the voice of New Afrikans but I think he should rethink his ideas for land grab from the indigenous point of view, who have suffered the biggest atrocities and injustices in history.


MIM(Prisons) responds: This is a letter that we forwarded to Loco1 for comment. Having not received a response we will address this question now. It seems we have great unity with the writer above, and we appreciate this point and inquiry. While Loco1's original point was more about combatting Amerikkkan exceptionalism, which justifies Amerikans having more than everyone else, the lack of mention of First Nations land claims is certainly a valid critique. It is an ultra-left error in that it is looking towards the ideal future of communism (from each according to their ability, to each according to their need), before addressing the more immediate task of national liberation.

This is an issue that comrades address in our new book, [email protected] Power and the Struggle for Aztlán. Though [email protected] themselves are indigenous to this land, claiming all of the southwest United $tates could be seen as a threat to First Nations, including the largest reservation in the United $tates of the Navajo nation. MIM has long been friendly to the Blackbelt Thesis as well, and has printed maps showing both of these territories. We agree with revolutionary [email protected] and New Afrikan movements that land is central to the question of national liberation. As nations within what is today the United $tates, a failure to claim and liberate their own territory is a failure to liberate these oppressed nations. The same is true for all First Nations.

The drawing of new boundaries today is more of an agitational exercise than an actual political reality, except for most First Nations. So we expect First Nations to continue to be at the forefront of determining future border issues. Their weakness, of course, is in their numbers. So it is an important warning that the comrade above issues to ensure that a national program of one oppressed nation does not impose itself onto that of another. Not only is this necessary for building a just world, it will be necessary for a successful anti-imperialist project. Any efforts by an internal semi-colony to liberate itself without regard for and cooperation with the efforts of the others will lead to no true liberation and will end in it being a puppet to the imperialists rather than being free of them.

There must be a united front of the internal semi-colonies against U.$. imperialism. And once imperialism is overthrown, in imperialist nations there will need to be a joint dictatorship of the proletariat of the oppressed nations to take power and determine how society can best be run in the interests of the formerly oppressed of the world. Exactly how they address the land question between themselves, as well as with the existing oppressor nation on this land, will be determined in the evolution of that struggle, which will certainly bring about many more changes in the process.


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[First Nations] [National Oppression] [Environmentalism] [ULK Issue 39]
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Settlers Instigate Violence in First Nation Village

On May 1, in the northern Alaska village of Tanana, two state troopers were shot to death after being sent to the remote Alaska Native village to arrest a resident for misdemeanor violations including driving without a license and threatening a village public safety officer. The man's son shot the troopers as they entered into a physical altercation to arrest him.

The issue has been sensationalized in the bourgeois press as an extreme tragedy involving the deaths of the officers who were killed "in the line of duty." The young man who fired the shots is being vilified by the media as a murderer and arch-villain guilty of killing two cops who are painted as heroes and outstanding individuals. As droves of white settlers attended the long procession of police cars carrying and escorting the bodies of the troopers from the medical examiner to the airport in Anchorage, hands over hearts and tears in eyes, nary a word is to be heard in lament of the destruction of a young First Nation life and family. Upon further, deeper examination however, a picture emerges which places the emphasis on First Nation repression, police-state tactics, and a long history of neglect by the white ruling class of its oppressed, dependent and dominated rural native population.

It was not native or even just local law enforcement which came to intervene and attempt to take into custody the alleged offender, it was white outsiders who needed to be flown in from a far distant regional hub in the tradition of the imperialist colonial model. These intruders have no personal ties to such communities and they naturally are viewed with resentment and suspicion. This sort of "law enforcement" is seen as arbitrary, external, and illegitimate by many who are forced to recognize its jurisdiction at the barrel of a gun. It is also increasingly being challenged.(1)

At first glance, what would appear to have happened in this particular situation is that a local individual who was transgressing some relatively petty ordinances or laws (which, by the way, are mostly foisted upon the First Nation people by white settlerism from far-off white legislatures and courts) was confronted by what passes for law enforcement in most rural villages - a VPSO, or "village public safety officer." The alleged offender did not want to cooperate with the VPSO and threatened him. The VPSO then contacted state troopers. The troopers were eventually flown in, attempted to arrest said individual and a struggle ensued after the man resisted arrest. The man's son, upon witnessing this altercation, grabbed a firearm and shot the troopers in defense of his father. The media is portraying the son as a "cowardly and selfish" criminal who killed two of Alaska's finest. But let's now dig more below the surface to understand the real elements behind this unfortunate circumstance.

The father and son are connected with a group called the Athabascan Nation (Athabascan being their particular native tribe). This group denies the authority of the state over native lands. They have also questioned and challenged the authority of the VPSOs.(2)

The position of VPSO was created by the state legislature. Instead of allowing First Nation sovereignty, and also even allotting appropriate funding for tribes to create their own, this was the state's way of providing a law enforcement presence in villages.

Most VPSOs are the equivalent of a native "Uncle Tom," a puppet of the "man." Though it is only the equivalent of putting a band aid over a gaping wound, many tribes in the south have been granted a form of limited sovereignty under a set of laws incongruously titled "Indian Country." The Navajo Reservation in New Mexico is an example. However, in Alaska, a clever piece of settler legislation called the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act killed "Indian Country" sovereignty in Alaska and instead regional "corporations" were set up, which in turn were given lucrative contracts on oil and mineral exploitation (most of which is still dominated by Euro-Amerikan multinationals like BP and Exxon anyway). These corporations make considerable amounts of money for a relatively few shareholders while providing limited health care and other services but little else. In other words, it was and is the Euro-Amerikan exploiter class's way of bribing a significant enough portion of Alaska natives to be content with being an otherwise plundered and oppressed colonial, subjected people. This has effectively kept most pacified, while corporations appropriate natural resources, including oil, gas, minerals, timber, fish, etc, worth billions of dollars to the ruling class exploiters.

In order to maintain complete control over these lands, the white plunderer ruling class has even imposed their own arbitrary laws and regulations on the First Nation peoples' way of life — their traditional and time-honored means of subsistence. As an example, state fish and game officers forcefully prevent indigenous peoples from harvesting food resources that they have for thousands of years, in the name of preserving stocks and preventing depletion (so that great white hunters won't run short on sport-hunting). They are then forced onto the rolls of social welfare programs such as food stamps, thereby making them into a totally dependent population. The social evils this has produced are numerous and horrendous, including creating feelings of inadequacy and worthlessness amongst a formerly proud and self-sustaining, independent people and therefore contributing in large part to the extremely high rates of suicide and drug/alcohol dependency and in effect inflicting another indirect genocide on the First Nation peoples.

There is, of course, something patently obscene with a nation who have historically been the biggest polluters and foulers of the earth imaginable telling those engaged in indigenous practices that have proved sustainable over generations what they can and can't do on their land. From over-fishing by commmercial fisheries, mines like Pebble Copper and Usibelli Coal and, of course, fossil fuel extraction, Amerikan dominance of the Alaskan territories has brought ecological disaster. This March was the 25th anniversary of the Exxon Valdez oil spill, which dumped 11 million gallons of crude oil into Prince William Sound, killing hundreds of thousands of shorebirds. While bird populations are recovering, others have not, including the local Orca populations that have continued to decline since the spill.(3) And that's only beginning to scratch at the surface of the farcical nature of white colonial rule.

Returning to the VPSO issue, it can be seen they are only a quisling representative of white colonial rule and are additionally so powerless that they all are even unarmed, making them completely dependent on state enforcement. Tribal councils themselves are little more than puppet shows. Tribal authorities rarely challenge state rule or push for sovereignty because they are, for the most part, bought-off. They don't want to lose state funding and corporate backing or jeopardize their own salaries and positions. Members of the Athabascan Nation and other similar groups recognize this and fight against their treachery and hypocrisy. Unfortunately, the latest action against the troopers by an over-idealistic and perhaps protective young man amounts to focoism that has destroyed his life, but this has shed a lot more light on the need for natives to assert far more control and autonomy over their own affairs separate from state interference.

Showing their complete disregard for their own and their status as lapdogs of state authority, the tribal council of Tanana moved to banish the man troopers came to arrest as well as another "aggressive" member of the Athabascan Nation, calling them "intolerant." Why not also banish outside, militant and aggressive officers of an oppressive regime bent on stealing and keeping your land? They'd rather banish two of their own? This speaks volumes.

In contrast, even the young man who is accused of shooting the cops seems to have had a better grip on who his real friends and enemies were, as, even though he also drew a bead on the native VPSO who was present, he lowered his gun and declined to harm him. This in itself speaks loudly for the need for tribes to govern and police themselves. It is far harder to harm someone you identify with or know, than it is someone you have had no interaction with and view as a foreign aggressor. It is also interesting that after the shootings, the local VPSO was able to take the young man into custody with the help of a few community members without further incident. So clearly, this was not, contrary to most media reports, a case of an out-of-control, criminally minded and dangerous coward, but a young First Nation man coming to the defense of his father who was being accosted and assaulted without due cause by an aggressive, militant and foreign force he did not recognize and rightfully viewed with hostility and distrust.

Not very surprisingly, even reformist measures such as the concept of "Indian Country" are vehemently opposed by the state government. If enacted, this would take away state authority and create a dual-legal system on the small amount of tribal (vs. corporate) lands that would become "Indian country."(4) In other words, the white settler state might lose its ability to fully plunder and loot the First Nation people and their land, and lose its ability to legally impose its will on the people by force.

We must fight for the national self-determination of First Nations. The imperialists must be forced to end their absolute hegemony and domination over the indigenous populations and the vast wealth of their country. The First Nation people must not be subjected to a cruel, indirect genocide and forced assimilation into white Euro-Amerikan "culture," with all its comparatively decadent values, fetishization of money, and inherent corruption.

The only solution is the revolutionary one - to support and accept nothing less than full First Nation sovereignty for all indigenous peoples.

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