South Dakota Tribes Form Alliance To Battle Keystone XL Plan

South Dakota tribes are working with non-Indians in an effort to stop the controversial Keystone XL Pipeline from crossing their state.

TransCanada, the company behind the project, received a conditional permit from the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission in February 2010. But since construction did not begin within four years, the 313-mile route must be re-certified.

That’s when tribes and their allies stepped in. They are fighting the re-certification out of concern for their water, the environment and treaty lands.

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300 Indigenous Protesters Stage Brisbane City Hall Sit-In

Around 300 people stormed into Brisbane’s City Hall on Saturday night and staged an old-fashioned sit-in to protest the forced closure of indigenous communities in Western and Southern Australia.

The surprise action followed a rally in King George Square on Saturday after indigenous groups under the banner SOS Blak Australia took to the streets of Melbourne and Sydney to protest problems in indigenous communities.

A person familiar with the protest groups said the protests were organised on Facebook and Twitter and attracted 10,000 people in Melbourne and 3000 in Brisbane. “It is indigenous groups around the country all based around the forced closure of indigenous communities in Western Australia and possibly Southern Australia,” the protester said.

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Apache Rally On McCain’s Home Turf Over Land Grab

Members of Arizona’s San Carlos Apache Tribe are not giving in to a giant conglomerate that wants to take its ancestral land so it can be mined. This past weekend, the tribe held the Save Oak Flat Street Fair in Tucson, Ariz. — named for its ancestral and sacred land — to bring more attention to the project it believes will forever contaminate and harm the pristine and hallowed environment of the Tonto National Forest, about 90 miles northeast of Phoenix.

“It was [Sen. John] McCain’s home turf there,” Tribal Elder Sandra Rambler said in a phone interview with TheBlot Magazine. “He was really blasted. It’s bringing more awareness. We’re not going away.”

The campaign is called “Apache Stronghold” and provided information in pamphlets, posters, newsletters and other formats to residents. Members of San Carlos Apache and other tribes from Arizona and other states joined in the street fair event.

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Indigenous Camp Outside Brazil Congress For Land Rights

Almost 1,500 indigenous people from about 200 different tribes have been protesting in Brazil’s capital as part of a National Week of Indigenous Mobilization. These actions coincide with Brazil’s Day of the Indian on April 19.

The protests are aimed mostly at a new bill, known as PEC 215, that would amend the Constitution and give Brazil’s legislative body, the National Congress, the power to decide the borders of indigenous territories. Currently, the mapping out of indigenous territories is handled by the National Indian Foundation, or FUNAI, a government agency set up to protect indigenous interests.

“A hundred groups from across the country are here to express their dissatisfaction and denounce attacks against their rights, which are happening in Congress,” Cleber Buzzato, executive secretary of the Indigenous Missionary Council, told AFP.

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Protesters Gatecrash Exhibition Launch Over ‘Stolen Culture’

At 10.30am this morning the official media launch of the British Museum’s new BP-sponsored exhibition, “Indigenous Australia: Enduring Civilisation”, was interrupted by an unexpected theatrical protest. A group of “actorvists” from BP or not BP?, dressed as robbers in striped T-shirts and eyemasks, temporarily blocked the exhibition entrance with a banner reading “Stolen Land, Stolen Culture, Stolen Climate”and read out quotes from Aboriginal leaders and activists, in front of a crowd of journalists waiting to get in. The protest highlighted concerns that the British legacy of taking Aboriginal land, objects and resources without permission continues today and is perpetuated by elements of the exhibition and by its sponsor, BP.

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Victory! Saskatchewan To Remain Nuclear Waste Free

Residents of northern Saskatchewan are celebrating an important victory this month after a four-year, hard-fought campaign to keep the province free of nuclear waste.

On March 3, the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) announcedthat Creighton was no longer a contender in the organization’s siting process. It was the last of three Saskatchewan communities in the running to host a deep geological repository for the long term storage of spent fuel bundles from Canada’s nuclear reactors in Ontario, Québec and New Brunswick.

“This announcement is the culmination of four years of research, sacrifice, networking and hard work by a group of dedicated people with one goal: to keep nuclear waste out of Saskatchewan,” said Candyce Paul, a founding member of the Committee for Future Generations.

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Video: Fighting The Amazon’s Illegal Loggers

On the Alto Rio Guamá reserve in Brazil, the Tembe tribe has been battling for decades to save its land from illegal loggers and settlers. As tension escalates, the Tembe people have now been forced to take up arms and confront the loggers, sparking violent clashes deep within the jungle.

With the odds stacked against the tribe, VICE News traveled to the northern Brazilian state of Para to meet the Tembe and witness the tribe’s struggle to protect its land.

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Voices & Images From The People’s Summit In Panama

The Summit of the Americas, beginning Friday in Panama City, has incorporated parallel meetings. The Youth forum, the Academic forum, the Business forum and the Civil Society and Social Actors forum were organized after a process of selection by the Organization of American States, which also organizes the presidential summit.

However, more than 2,000 social movements and progressive organizations have organized the People’s Summit, an event that seeks to express backing for the policies advanced in the region in recent years, following the election of numerous left-wing governments. The social movements that will participate in the parallel summit include small farmers, indigenous groups, human rights activists, political movements, worker unions and environmentalist organizations.

With such a diverse array of different issues the organizations agreed on an extensive agenda to discuss the most important problems which they believe will not be present in the official presidential event.

“We are not an anti-(Americas) Summit. We are a summit that aims at giving voice to the popular movements that are not part of the Summit of the Americas. Our objective is to raise the issue of fighting poverty, for social equality and the sovereignty and right to self determination of the people. We are discussing things completely different to the Americas Summit agenda,” explained Dr. Fernando Cebamanos, organizer of the People’s Summit and President of the Broad Front for Democracy party in Panama.

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Indigenous Fight KXL With Spirit Camp

If you head south on route 183 in central South Dakota, you’ll see sprawling farmland all around you. Bald eagles, some as tall as children, will stand guard at the side of the road and swoop low over your car.

And if you look to the left at the right moment, you’ll see a circle of five giant, white teepees standing in the center of one of the fields. You may wonder what they’re doing there, and if you’re inclined to take a detour off the highway, the people living in the teepees will welcome you with food and stories of why they’re there.

Since March, Keith Fielder has been one of the people living in those teepees. The teepees make up a Spirit Camp, built in opposition to TransCanada Corporation’s proposed Keystone XL pipeline.

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Indigenous People In Peru Shut Down Oil Production

Indigenous people have forced a production stoppage at 14 oil wells, adding up to some 3100 barrels of oil per day.

Close to 400 Achuar indigenous people intensified their actions Thursday, blockading production of 14 oil wells from the multinational, PlusPetrol.

Since last Monday, Protestors had taken over territories that the company started exploiting, however the actions escalated to blockading the circulation of any ships through the river Tigre. Achuar activists are currently in possession of 8 company ships and have declared that they will not back down until State officials and company executives meet with them.

Multimillion dollar oil extractions have been in place in the region for the last 43 years, but poverty among the population in the area are high and environmental contamination common.

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Newsletter: What Would Zinn Do?

This week marks the fifth anniversary of the death of Howard Zinn who is best known for his “People’s History of the United States” which looks at history from the bottom up, through the lenses of classism, racism and sexism. We remember Zinn for the advice he gave activists a year before his death. When he was asked what should people be doing, he gave advice that is good no matter what the era:

Go where you are not supposed to go;
Say what you are not supposed to say; and
Stay when they tell you to leave.
We are pleased to see people around the world instinctively following the advice that Howard Zinn gave to US activists. The world over we are facing governments corrupted by money and not representing the people. Zinn’s recipe for change – Go, Say and Stay – one we should be consciously following.

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Tribes In Three States Ask Obama Veto KXL

An association representing 16 American Indian tribes in three states along the Keystone XL pipeline route sent a letter to President Barack Obama this week urging him to reject the pipeline permit application.

The association represents tribes in South Dakota, North Dakota and Nebraska, and is also seeking a meeting with Department of Interior Secretary Sally Jewell to discuss their concerns about the pipeline.

John Steele, chairman of the Great Plains Tribal Chairman’s Association and the president of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, notes in the letter that TransCanada, the company seeking to build the pipeline, is still awaiting recertification from the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission. The company received certification for the pipeline from the PUC in June 2010, but because construction did not begin within four years of obtaining that permit, TransCanada had to file for recertification.

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Protests Stop Drilling & Pipeline In Pennsylvania

Dozens of people in Pennsylvania’s Lancaster County brought work towards a natural gas pipeline to a halt on Monday, charging that the project threatens a Native American cultural site and their rural way of life.

The protesters, who include area residents and a local chapter of the American Indian Movement, gathered along the Conestoga River and encircled a rig which was drilling for core samples at the site of a proposed pipeline, according to a statement from the group.

The drilling was for part of the Oklahoma-based Williams Partners’ proposed $3 billion Atlantic Sunrise Project, a pipeline network that would pass through ten Pennsylvania counties, bringing gas from the Marcellus Shale to as far south as Georgia. It is slated to be in service in 2017.

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First Nations Alliance Stand Firm In 2015 Saying #VetoKXL

Several First Nations tribal members were joined by allies at the White House to deliver a clear message to President Obama on January 3rd, 2015.

The Indigenous activists want President Obama to veto the TransCanada Keystone XL pipeline bill if the new Congress passes it. Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY), the incoming Majority Leader of the Senate, has said that passage of a bill allowing construction of the KXL is one of his top priorities.

Republicans not only have a majority in the Senate but a bigger majority in the US House of Representatives as a result of the midterm elections.

The GOP vow to take up the KXL legislation as soon as they return from their Winter break.

#VetoKXL #NoKXL #IdleNoMore

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Dick Gregory Fights Ignorance, Arrogance & Dan Snyder

Dick Gregory manages to be soft-spoken yet incendiary.

The satirist and activist was in the metro for the national rally protesting the name of the DC-area NFL team when it was here to play the Vikings in November. If you’re not comfortable seeing the words “white folks,” “black folks” and references to the N-bomb, this interview with the man whose autobiography title is the N-word is not for you. It’s also not for blacks who expect Gregory to go easy on them, especially on the subject of how American Indians have been treated.

Gregory has an insouciance that suggests that he’s not impressed by much. However, one accolade has resonated with him. “I’m stunned there is a book out by National Geographic that lists 1,001 people who made America and I’m listed. I said, ‘Wow.’ ”

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