Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Hippies Were Right

It is more than ironic that those who came of age and consciousness in time for the first Earth Day in 1970, now find hope not in the leader of their own country, but rather in the leader of an Andean country of indigenous peoples. Maybe not so ironic, however, considering that the Hippie movement that launched the celebration of life and love at Woodstock and in San Francisco also catalyzed environmental awareness, based in part on indigenous philosophy.

Perhaps to the credit cartel's chagrin, it was also the Hippies who reintroduced the concept of communal ownership, establishing community gardens and cooperative schools and stores throughout the country. When one examines the Hippie philosophy in its entirety, it is hard to find fault with its substance, even if one is not inclined to adopt the style.

After enduring forty years of mockery by the mainstream, it is fair to say that the Hippies were, and are, right. Put that in Wall Street's pipe and smoke it.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Taking Control

Tribes must come to the realization that the federal government will never fully live up to its obligations to our peoples and that we must take control of our destinies through our own resourcefulness.

--W. Ron Allen, Chairman, Jamestown S'Klallam Tribe

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

One Thing Leads to Another

While racism and religious fundamentalism enabled slavery and genocide, racism per se is no longer a prerequisite for perpetuating such crimes against humanity in their modern forms. That said, by withholding acknowledgment of this wrongdoing by modern states and markets toward indigenous peoples of all colors, UN member states like the US hope to avoid not only reparations for the past, but also to continue theft of aboriginal nations' properties.

This is why the Obama Administration is appealing the federal court decision ordering the Department of Interior to pay American Indians funds embezzled by the department from mineral leasing trust accounts. That is why the carbon-market trading plan of the UN makes no reference to indigenous peoples' inherent interests in lands and resources supporting this World Bank Ponzi scheme.

Discussing racism leads to talking about colonialism, which leads to examining globalization and its impact on indigenous peoples. This is why Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United States were the only four countries in the world voting against the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in September 2007. That is why the UN denied the Indigenous Peoples' Forum delegate to climate change talks in December 2008 a voice in the discussion. One thing leads to another.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Higher Ground

Like the Irish before them, the indigenous Bolivians have found the fight to free themselves from enslavement by a colonial aristocracy does not end with the establishment of a democratic state, nor with international recognition of the rights of Indigenous Peoples. Freedom, they have found, is a condition of relationships that must constantly be fought for--in the streets, the media, and the institutions of power. When one stops fighting, one starts losing freedoms gained in earlier battles.

Now that the aristocracies of the world have banded together to impose their will on the rest of us through the UN World Bank, World Trade Organization, and International Monetary Fund, the autonomies gained by indigenous peoples like the Aymara and the Irish serve as a beach head in the global war of liberation. Those who fight for democracy, human rights, or environmental sanity in other venues, must now seek the higher ground of solidarity, or perish under the globalization tsunami.

Those who choose to remain slaves can suffer the consequences.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Three Lies

When government lies, it's called a report. When media lies, it's called news. When academia lies, it's called education.

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