From Gaza to Oaxaca, End the Blockade of Indigenous People

9 06 2010

As some of you may have heard humanitarian activist attempting to deliver supplies to the Palestinian people were killed by the Israeli Military.  They attempted to deliver this relief aid by boat, since there is a blockade on the ground from all supplies entering and leaving Palestine.

The ANSWER Coalition has published a list of Ten Facts to combat the lies the mainstream media is saying about this attack.  These are just a few of those facts:

1. The Gaza Freedom Flotilla is an international aid project whose objective is to end the three-year-long Israeli blockade that has created a vast humanitarian crisis in Gaza, Palestine. It is made up of 750 individuals from more than 40 countries traveling on 7 ships and carrying 10,000 tons of relief supplies.

2. In the early morning hours of May 31, a coordinated naval and air attack by Israeli military forces killed 9 international aid activists and wounded as many as 50 others.

3. The main attack was on the lead ship, the Mavi Marmara, a Turkish ship carrying 600 people.

4. The attack was an act of piracy that took place in international waters in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, 40 miles off the coast of Gaza, in clear violation of international law.

On Friday June 4, in San Diego the Palestinian community along with it’s supporters protested near the Federal building to denounce this attack.

It has just come to my attention that a similar state attack on humanitarian activist occured in the state of Oaxaca, Mexico.

A autonomous indigenous community known as San Juan Copala is being blockaded by paramilitary groups supported by the Mexican government.  This paramilitary group is already responsible for killing several people including the recent murder of Timoteo Ramirez behind the indigenous autonomous movement of San Juan Copala.

On June 8th a caravan of activist attempted to deliver relief aid and break the blockade imposed by the paramilitary and were forced to turn around.  There is no update at this moment as to when the next attempt will be made to deliver the supplies.

For more on this story check out the blog posting on  Autonomia en San Juan Copala from  May 22 concerning the press conference that took place, it is translated into English.

The May 1st Coalition, here is San Diego is planning in action concerning these recent murders.  Please check back here for updates on these local actions.  You may also try our facebook page





Palestine, Struggle for Liberation

11 12 2009





Indigenous Youth Delegation to Palestine

12 08 2009

Just wanted to pass on this news that was sent to me.  It is from Native youth from the SF Bay Area that traveled to Palestine to build a bridge between Native people from across the world.  Here is there latest update and also look for the Links I just added for their blog and SNAG magazine.

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From the Ibdaa Cultural Center in the Dheisheh Refugee Camp, to the Aida Refugee Camp in Bethlehem, to Hebron, the Old City, Beit Ummar, the Shufat Refugee Camp and remnants of the Lifta village in Jerusalem, to Qalandia and Qalqilia, to the Al r’ad Center and the Balata Camp – we have been immersed in the sights and smells of Palestine and Israel over the past week. Check out the Connections and Journey sections of our blog. We have made many connections already – deep and intense between Palestine and Turtle Island/Aztlan; bringing together youth in refugee camps together who don’t have the opportunities to travel much; serendipitously introducing our bus driver/olive farmer to a Palestinian fair trade organization that could export his product; and much more that you will learn about upon our return home.

For now, we have noted the similarities between the Palestinian indigenous experience and ours in the United States and Mexico – the massive agricultural destruction; settler tactics; the burning of lands, wreckage and deaths that precede occupation; land disputes; court entanglement; settlements; people having to work in settlements because roads/walls have cut through their lands and intentionally destroyed communities, families, infrastructure, agriculture, businesses…This week has been about learning and connecting. The week that follows will be about strategies for how to survive and thrive. We worked with the youth in the Balata camp to set up a blog to share their stories in Arabic: www.balatacamp1948.wordpress.com. More to come!

The journey is just the beginning of a 100% grassroots effort to connect struggles and strategies of resistance. We plan to create a documentary film about the experience; a tri-lingual magazine (English, Spanish; Arabic); a music CD with Native and Palestinian artists; bring Palestinian youth to the United States to visit and stay on Native reservations and work with the youth; and much more. You can support these efforts in any of these ways:

MAILING DONATIONS: You can send contributions directly to Delegation – P.O. Box 40597, San Francisco CA 94140.
ONLINE DONATIONS: We have also set up a Facebook Causes page where you can donate: Help Send Native Youth to Palestine! Or, if you are logged in to Paypal, you can also click here to donate safely online.
You can help organize or help promote a Report Back! When the delegates return to the U.S at the end of August, we will be carrying with us stories, images, music, and ideas generated during our time in Palestine.  We are committed to using these to do organizing and education back home and we need your help! Invite us to come into your classrooms, youth groups, and homes. We hope that each report back can also be a fundraiser so that we can begin immediately collecting the funds we need to bring a delegation of youth from our partner organizations in Palestine to visit and work with us in our communities here in the U.S.
Help us produce our film! With the footage, images, and music we have been creating and collecting as we travel, we are producing our own film as a tool for our ongoing education and organizing. We need your help to make it happen and make it quality.  We need funds for translation, sound and color correction, graphics, dvd production, and distribution.
Help produce and distribute SNAG Magazine! The next issue of SNAG Magazine is dedicated entirely to the images, art, and writing that the Native, Xicana, and Palestinian youth are creating. The issue will be published in three languages- Arabic, English, and Spanish!  If you can use this as a tool in your classrooms, community organizations, libraries, or youth groups, contact us to pre-order copies that should be available by WInter 2009:  indigenousdelegation@gmail.com. We are also collecting funds to translate, produce and mail the magazine out.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!





Indigenous Struggle in Palestine..!!

28 05 2009

It’s been awhile since my last post, I’ve been working on keeping my head above water.  This last weekend I attended a conference on Palestine.  Hosted by Al-Awda (until return).  The focus of this conference was to discuss the current situation in Palestine and how they are addressing this human rights issue here in the U.S.

Historic Palestine

Historic Palestine

The Palestinian people are descendants of the original people from this region.  In other words they are an indigenous population.  Currently and for the past approximately 60 years they have been intensely fighting to maintain their homeland.  They have been facing extreme political and military pressure from the Israeli government to leave the area.

Thousands of Palestinian people are currently living as refugees in surrounding countries including the U.S.  It is really a challenging issue to deal with in the U.S.  If Americans Knew the truth concerning the situation much more people would be outraged.

I really began my journey concerning this issue about eight years ago when I first moved to the SF Bay Area.  I really knew nothing about this issue prior to this.  My impression of this topic was that it was just two ethnic or religious groups that have been fighting for centuries and nothing was ever going to change.

This could be the furthest from the truth.  I attended a presentation by  UC Berkeley professor Dr. Hatem Bazian at the Islamic Center in San Diego I learned that Jews and Muslims have not always been at odds with each other in the region.  The conflict really started when Zionist began to instigate a conflict and promote the occupation of Palestinian land.

Today the people need our support as indigenous people fighting to stay in their traditional territory.  The story really rings true in it’s relation to native people of this hemisphere.  Many of our ancestors and those of our relatives faced systematic extermination and relocation here in the U.S.  This is well documented by many scholars and other first hand sources.

Please take the time to learn more about this issue.  Solidarity among oppressed nations really builds strength for all of us.  Also see a current campaign by British Member of Parliment, George Galloway called VIVA PALESTINA.