Boricuas Seek Support for Protecting Indigenous Sites: Threats to Bateyes in Jayuya highlight need for community vigilance | Liliana Taboas Cruz

Commentary | February 13th, 2019

On the morning of Friday 18th of January 2019, a call on social media was made by visiting Boricua archaeologist Dr. Isabel Rivera-Collazo asking for urgent help in protecting an archaeological site in Jayuya. The site, known as Bateyes Sonadero and Muntaner, is located in the Barrio Jauca in Jayuya. According to records at the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture (ICP), is known to contain a batey (Caribbean ceremonial plaza and ball court, outlined with stones which include monoliths), remnants of a village, ceramics, and lithic material. Archeologist who reported the land movements on site, Adalberto Alvarado, told local press "Ese yacimiento era de uno de los yacimientos que tenia menos impacto en el pueblo" (This archaeological site was one of the less impacted sites in the area.). Alvarado had been inspecting the known batey sites following hurricane Maria. The owner of the property used heavy machinery to clear land for agricultural purposes. In Puerto Rico, land removal requires permits to protect archaeological sites. The owner did not have proper permits to comply with the 112 law.

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Palestinian-Chilean Solidarity: Transnational Meetings and Meals of Resistance | Devin G. Atallah

Commentary | November 2nd, 2017

I was invited to travel to Temuco and visit the top of the Ñielol hill to attend this historic initial meeting by several participants in one of my ongoing investigations on Indigenous resilience processes in Mapuche communities who are exposed to historical trauma, ongoing racism, and environmental challenges and disasters. I had met these research participants within my role as a consultant and psychology researcher with RUCADUNGUN - "El Centro de Documentacion e Investigacion Indigena" (English Translation: The Center for Indigenous Investigation and Documentation). These research participants invited me to attend the Constituent Assembly only a few days ago, and explained details of the encounter as a historic and official nonviolent indigenous decolonization process, with the goal of moving towards developing a strong proposal for self-determination with real support from diverse Mapuche social bases, in a context of increased political strife embedded in the long-lasting Mapuche-Chile conflict.

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Progress and Making the Native Disappear in South Africa | Richard Raber

Commentary | June 29th, 2017

We have seen this narrative countless times as manifest destiny, the empty-land myth and the like; gross human rights violations justified as the price of Progress. In this way, Progress is considered through the lens of the inevitability of capital. Some proponents of this notion of Progress may claim to lament the cultural, familial and economic attack on local communities. If taken at face value, such sentiments speak less to personal immorality but rather point to a crisis of imagination. Progress is bestowed with inevitability, simply pitted against Tradition, leaving little room for intellectual alternatives.

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Lying to Children About the California Missions and the Indian | Deborah A. Miranda

Commentary | June 22nd, 2016

In 1769, after missionizing much of Mexico, the Spaniards began to move up the west coast of North America in order to establish claims to rich resources and before other European nations could get a foothold. Together, the Franciscan priests and Spanish soldiers "built" a series of 21 missions along what is now coastal California. (California's Indigenous Peoples, numbering more than 1 million at the time, did most of the actual labor.) These missions, some rehabilitated from melting adobe, others in near-original state, are now one of the state's biggest tourist attractions; in the little town of Carmel, Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo isthebiggest attraction.

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The History of Education as Colonial Apologist: A Marxist Critique | Curry Malott

History | May 20th, 2016

Within capitalism the creation of new needs is driven by the capitalists' quest for expanding capital. The global expansion of capital was already presupposed by its emergence. The colonization of what would become the U.S., for example, represents one of capital's chief moments of primitive accumulation. This paper examines the way history of education texts have dealt with this fundamental aspect of the global expansion of capitalism. I argue that the genocide of America's Indigenous peoples and the theft of their lands have been downplayed in the history of education, even within Marxist approaches. This paper therefore argues that this shortcoming represents an unfortunate distortion of Marx who wrote extensively on how the European capitalist conquerors ruthlessly waged war on Native North America.

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Tearing Down Walls: An Interview with Guatemalan Feminist Rapper, Rebeca Lane | Heather Gies

Interview | March 16th, 2016

Somos Guerreras is a process through which some artists from Central America have successfully linked up the art that we do with activism. And this involves processes of knowledge transmission, processes of spreading the work we are doing, holding discussions, going on television and radio programs, etcetera. And it includes something really important for us which is events production, that is, creating spaces through which women in hip hop culture have a space to present the art that we make without being discriminated against or having less important spaces because of the fact that we're women.

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From Chiapas to Rojava: The Rise of a New Revolutionary Paradigm | CIC

Analysis | February 26th, 2016

The largely unknown until recently Kurdish city of Kobane managed to attract the attention of the world with its fierce resistance [i] against the invasion of the Islamic State and became an international symbol, compared to the defence of Madrid and Stalingrad. The bravery and heroism of the People's Defence Units and the Women's Defence Units (YPG and YPJ) were praised by a large spectrum of groups and individuals - anarchists, leftists, liberals and even right-wingers expressed sympathy and admiration for the men and women of Kobane in their historical battle against what was often seen as IS "fascism." The mainstream media was forced to break the silence over the Kurdish autonomy and soon numerous articles and news stories were broadcasted and published, often depicting the "toughness" and determination of the Kurdish fighters with a certain dose of exotisation, of course.

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The Blood of the Earth: Agriculture, Land Rights, and Haitian History | Ricot Jean-Pierre

Analysis | January 18th, 2016

Today we live in a crucial moment in which peasants are confronting challenges as they grapple with global warming, with the power of multinational companies over what they eat and how they live, and with an agricultural model that can't provide them livelihood. Among the risks and catastrophes the peasants confront are lack of quality and quantity in food production, and their right to live as human beings. They also face a challenge in accessing the basic resources they need to produce, especially seeds and water.

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The Thanksgiving Myth: Reflecting on Land Theft, Betrayal, and Genocide | Sarah Sunshine Manning

History | November 24th, 2015

While glossing over the very real consequences of colonialism, the mythical version of Thanksgiving creates a fairytale of land theft, betrayal, brutality, and genocide, virtually functioning to erase the very real and traumatic experiences of entire indigenous nations. This phenomena of whitewashing and outright erasure of indigenous history, in many instances, is not only inhumane and oppressive to the indigenous people, but it is also unfair to all Americans who stand to learn from rich and equally tragic history. Without question, colonialism is great for the colonizer, and disastrous for the colonized. Colonization reduces entire populations, and leaves generational wounds that linger stubbornly for centuries. This is a lesson that all Americans must heed.

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Beyond the Temples, Ancient Bones Reveal the Lives of the Mayan Working Class | Stephanie Livingston

History | November 10th, 2015

Most of what we know about Mayan civilization relates to kings, queens and their elaborate temples. To understand what life was like for the 99 percent, one researcher turned to ancient animal bones stored at the Florida Museum of Natural History. Ashley Sharpe, a doctoral student at the museum on the UF campus, says the picture researchers have painted of the Maya people isn't broad enough. "When you think about the Romans and the Greeks, we know a lot about all of the different social classes -- from the Caesars down to the commoners -- but although there were tens of thousands of middle-class and lower-income Maya in big cities, we still don't know much about the everyday lives of most people."

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A Global City, Emptied of Inconvenient Reality: The Remaking of Jerusalem | Haneen Naamnih

Commentary | October 22nd, 2015

In 2013, Jerusalem hosted an exhibition show of Formula One car racing, transforming itself into a gigantic racetrack that attracted thousands of people eager to watch the thrilling event. The holy city with its ancient neighborhoods and native people suddenly became the background décor for throngs of the elite. For its guests, the city offered summery or wintery resorts and various recreational and cultural spectacles, produced locally or internationally. All in all, they could feel that they were visiting a very tranquil corner of European civilization.

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Looking for Baluchistan: Indigenous Struggle and a "Slow-Moving Genocide" in Pakistan | Ali Ahmed

History | September 4th, 2015

In the 17 years of Pinochet's military dictatorship in Chile, more than 4,000 people were left either dead or missing. Thousands more were tortured. Similarly, from the Argentinean Dirty War between 1974 and '83, the official count of the number of "disappeared" persons is as high as 13,000 (though others claim it to be higher still). Perhaps the reason why we are aware of and remember such bleak moments from our collective history is because they present such an immediate affront to our attention. In other words, they happened so fast. And that is perhaps why so few of us are familiar with the current conflict in Baluchistan. This conflict has been ongoing for the past nearly 70 years, over the course of which more than 10,000 Baluch have disappeared, whether they be dead or locked up in detention centres. Countless others have been executed as a backlash of the conflict and several thousands have had to leave their homes behind. It is no wonder then that journalist Selig Harrison has called this treatment of the Baluch a "slow-motion genocide."

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Blood in the Hills: Leonard Peltier and the Pine Ridge Reservation Shoot Out, Forty Years Later | Mark Trecka

History | August 22nd, 2015

In the late morning of June 26th, 1975, two young FBI agents named Jack Coler and Robert Williams entered the property of Lakota Sioux elders Harry and Cecelia Jumping Bull while ostensibly investigating the theft of a pair of cowboy boots, and engaged in a firefight with several native activists who were camped there. Those two FBI agents and a young Native American named Joe Stuntz would be dead by mid-afternoon, slain in the South Dakota sun. Leonard Peltier, one of the activists camped at Jumping Bull that day, is currently serving back-to-back life sentences for the deaths of Coler and Williams. No investigation into the death of Stuntz was ever undertaken.

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Haiti and the Ghost of a Hundred Years | Alain Martin

History | July 30th, 2015

It is in the ominous year of 1915 that we begin tracing the historical roots of that ghost which haunts Haiti. That year, the people of Haiti learned that they were to be the subjects of an American Occupation "for their own good." They were to be ruled now by Admiral William Banks Caperton, a white man from the United States. To a black nation that had driven off the white men with their slavery one hundred years before, this did not sit well. But the Admiral was not like the other white men they had heard of: he put aside the customs of segregation that was the norm of his country and was jovial in the taking of companionship with those black men in Haiti.

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From Sugar to Monsanto: Today's Occupation of Hawaii by the Agrochemical Oligopoly | Andrea Brower

Analysis | July 8th, 2015

Hawai'i's year-round growing season is purportedly the main reason that the global agrochemical-seed industry has located itself in the islands. Monsanto, Dow, DuPont, Syngenta and BASF claim that they operate in Hawai'i solely because of its "natural resource competitive advantage," and that their "contributions … are at no cost to the State." It is certainly true that Hawai'i's climate is favorable for speeding up the cultivation of herbicide-resistant seeds and testing other agricultural technologies. But a lot more than sunshine makes Hawai'i's soils ideal to growing agrochemical industry products, and the social and political arrangements that facilitate the industry's occupation of the islands are neither "natural" nor without public costs.

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Sorry, We Didn't Hear You: On Owning up to History and Moving Forward | Debra Hocking

Commentary | May 5th, 2015

One could be forgiven if thinking that an Apology to the Native Americans has not happened. Well, apparently it has. Deceptively President Barack Obama signed off on the Native American Apology Resolution Dec. 19, 2009 as part of a defense appropriations spending bill. The resolution originated in Congress and had passed the Senate as stand-alone legislation. The House ended up adding the resolution to their version of the defense bill in conference. It was somewhat hidden in the 67-page Defense Appropriations Act of 2010 (H.R. 3326) on page 45 in between the sections which outlined how much money the U.S. military would spend on what.

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Facing Violence, Resistance Is Survival for Indigenous Women | Heather Gies

Analysis | April 22nd, 2015

The resistance of women, especially indigenous women, is key to fighting for alternatives to capitalism and colonialism. In their movements, women not only fight against gendered injustices, but also demand wider societal transformation to a system that doesn't work for them as women - even though as a system it is working exactly how it's supposed to. That is, the inequality and commodification that drives the system exploits woman (as reproductive laborers) to enable all other labor within capitalism, keeping women in a disadvantaged position. At the same time, women's participation in social struggle is also a way of asserting and vocalizing their own worth in a system that doesn't value and seeks to eradicate them.

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The Stolen Generations of Australia | Debra Hocking

History | March 12th, 2015

Perhaps one of the most brutal government policies to impact on the lives of Aboriginal Australians was the Child Removal Policy, which stemmed from the previous failed policy of Assimilation in the 1930s. The Assimilation Policy was clearly defined. It stated that all Aboriginal people should attain the same manner of living as other Australians, enjoying the same rights and privileges, accepting the same responsibilities, observing the same customs and being influenced by the same beliefs, hopes and loyalties. (Lippman, 1981) The policy of Assimilation was also promoted through a continuation of restrictive laws and paternalistic administration.

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What Do The New Immigration Rules Mean? | Julia Kann

Interview | February 26th, 2015

It's important to highlight that this whole concept of "coming out of the shadows" is something that comes from the grassroots; it doesn't come after a politician provides some sort of announcement. The concept of "coming out of the shadows" is something that people who are undocumented have been doing since about 2010. I can only speak to DACA, because that's the only one that has a process right now, but that might give us some insight into how people might react to DAPA. Individuals who have applied to DACA understand that it doesn't provide us a pathway to permanent legalization, but also understand that it does provide us with some new resources. Before, we weren't able to work legally, we didn't have the ability to consider different employment options because we didn't have a Social Security number.

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Rewarding the Criminals: How People are killed for 'Clean Development' | Jiwan Kshetry

Commentary | January 7th, 2015

Corporations wiping out large chunks of biodiversity and killing people with impunity in Honduras and Brazil, in collusion with the corrupt state machinery, are being rewarded for their contribution to 'clean development' as are those throwing hundreds into abject poverty and total unemployment in India. At the end, however, their projects are not 'clean,' which means no net gain for the environment in terms of carbon emission. In its march from one triumph to another, global capitalism brutally preys upon the poorest, weakest and the most vulnerable.

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Where is the Outrage over the Illegal Occupation of Haiti? | Max A. Joseph

Commentary | September 26th, 2014

For more than ten years, Haiti, a small and storied Caribbean nation, has been under a United Nations-mandated occupation that not only highlights the unjustly character of the present geo-political order, but also, its total indifference for the well-being of people of color. The brutal tactics used to implement the grotesque policy belie any good intentions of these self-described protectors of humanity. One troubling question that needs an unambiguous answer is, "Why are UN soldiers patrolling the cities of Haiti in armored personal carriers and pointing their machine guns on unarmed Haitians?" Presently, the debate in the U.S. over the increasing use of weapons of war by the nation's law enforcement agencies could not have come at a more opportune time. What prompted this soul-searching was the Aug. 9 shooting death of an unarmed African-American teenager by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri and the subsequent riots that unfolded after and the use of weapons of war to quell the unrest.

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Defending Apartheid: Then in South Africa, now in Palestine | Nima Shirazi

Analysis | September 11th, 2014

This past May, in a relatively banal column touting the necessity of an impossible "two-state solution" former Ha'aretz editor-in-chief David Landau commented on the "specious comparison" U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry made between a potential Israeli future and South African apartheid:

This resort to apartheid infuriates the majority of Israelis and Israel-lovers, including those in the peace camp, and one can readily understand why. Apartheid was based on racism; Israeli Jews are not racist. They may occupy, persecute and discriminate Palestinians, but they act out of misguided patriotism and a hundred years of bloody conflict. Not out of racism.

His claim that because "Israeli Jews are not racist," and therefore Israel can't possibly be deemed an "apartheid" state, not only misunderstands the actual definition of apartheid, which isn't merely race-based discrimination and oppression, but also mirrors precisely the arguments made by defenders of South African apartheid in opposition to calls for equal human and civil rights.

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America's Continuing Border Crisis: The Real Story Behind the "Invasion" of the Children | Aviva Chomsky

Analysis | August 27th, 2014

Since late June 2014, the "surge" of those thousands of desperate children entering this country has been in the news. Sensational stories were followed by fervent demonstrations and counter-demonstrations with emotions running high. And it's not a debate that stayed near the southern border either. In my home state, Massachusetts, Governor Deval Patrick tearfully offered to detain some of the children -- and that was somehow turned into a humanitarian gesture that liberals applauded and anti-immigrant activists decried. Meanwhile the mayor of Lynn, a city north of Boston, echoed nativists on the border, announcing that her town didn't want any more immigrants. The months of this sort of emotion, partisanship, and one-upmanship have, however, diverted attention from the real issues. As so often is the case, there is so much more to the story than what we've been hearing in the news.

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Direct Action Gets the Goods: Oregon Activists Force Local Sheriffs to Defy ICE (US Immigration and Customs Enforcement) | Andrew Willis Garces

Commentary | July 2nd, 2014

Nationally, over 120 cities, counties and states now limit collaboration between local police departments and the federal Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agency. More cities are joining each week; the majority of those have announced their new policies in the two months following this statewide victory in Oregon. Just last week, counties in Iowa, Kansas, New Mexico and California announced they would no longer honor ICE holds. This week, Orange County, Calif., declared it would end all immigration holds. Given that sheriffs in Colorado, Washington and other states have pointed to Oregon as the most influential precedent - the only time a state sheriffs' association has encouraged its members to ignore ICE holds -- it's a good time to ask, how did Oregon activists do it?

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Eternal Revolution: A Slain Zapatista Teacher's Words Live On

Dispatch from Chiapas | May 22nd, 2014

"We are a team of teachers participating at various levels in The Little School for Freedom according to the Zapatistas, like in the video conferences. We are all affiliated to the "Mother of the Caracols. Sea of our Dreams" caracol, located in the Frontier Jungle region. I come from the village of Nueva Victoria, in the municipality of San Pedro de Michoacán. For me, I see La Escuelita as a very important initiative, because it is a means for us to communicate with people from the city, so that we can share our experiences, our great achievements during these 19, almost 20 years of autonomy. So I say it's a means, a means for us to be able to share the progress we've made in building autonomy with people from outside, and a place where they have been able to come into our territories, to stay with indigenous families, to share and to learn.

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Entrance and Deportation as Social Control Mechanisms: A Look at U.S. Immigration Historiography | Derek Ide

Analysis | December 31st, 2013

As the hegemonic world system today, all social relations must be understood within the framework of global capitalism. This is particularly true for the transnational movement of migrants across borders and their experiences with modern state immigration systems. The experience of migrants vis-à-vis the US capitalist state is a subject of vital importance for understanding the leading role of the United States in securing and fostering a global capitalist network that extends to every corner of the world. These experiences, which are both shaped by and shape the US economic order, are deeply gendered, racialized, and stratified by class.

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Slavery, Labor Exploitation, and Poverty in India: An Interview with Jiwan Kshetry | Julisa Garcia

Interview | December 12th, 2013

Let me clarify one thing first: growth and inequality are not as mutually exclusive as is often portrayed; they often coexist and sometimes dangerously so. And the wealth gap resulting from such a coexistence is at the heart of a phenomenon that is present from time immemorial in the subcontinent, but is now suddenly popular by the name of 'slavery' thanks to a report by 'Walk Free Foundation'. As it becomes clear with close reading of the WFF report, this phenomenon is not unique to South Asia though here lies, as I have said earlier, an entrenched pocket of slavery. Now coming to India's case, yes, India is growing up despite the oscillating rates of GDP growth over the years. And as you imply, there is a certain price for this particular form of growth.

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