Archive | March 12, 2017

Americans aren’t Filling their Taxes this Year says IRS*

Americans aren’t Filling their Taxes this Year says IRS*

Millions of Americans have not filed their income taxes with just one month left in the tax filing season, according to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS), an issue that some experts blame on President Donald Trump’s political rhetoric.

The IRS has received 5.7 million fewer individual tax returns as of February 17 compared to the same period last year, an 8.5-percent drop.

The annual deadline to file one’s individual income tax return is April 15.

Experts believe that the trend can largely be blamed on Trump’s immigration policies, which have targeted millions of undocumented immigrants.

According to a report by Bloomberg, with the Trump administration’s promise to crack down on immigration, “undocumented immigrants may be afraid to create a paper trail with the government by claiming tax refunds.”

John Hewitt, chairman and chief executive of Liberty Tax, said earlier this month that there has been less individual taxpayer identification numbers (ITINs) filed this year.

The ITINs are generally used by undocumented immigrants instead of Social Security numbers.

They’re “probably fearful of the Trump initiatives,” Hewitt said in a call with analysts on March 8.

Trump’s promise to introduce major tax cuts, coupled with the Republican plans to replace the Affordable Care Act, or ObamaCare, have also been cited as other reasons.

Meanwhile, Sanjay Baskaran, president of online tax preparer TaxAct, argued that the reason is much simpler: Procrastination.

“Customers waiting longer to file their returns is a trend we have observed for the last four years, although it’s more pronounced this year,” he said.

Data by the IRS shows that the closer its gets to the deadline, the more tax returns come in.

Last year, for example, a whopping 12 million tax returns were filed during the week leading to the April 16 deadline.

Delayed refunds due to the federal government’s crackdown on tax fraud is also blamed by some analysts as the reason.


Related Topics:

U.S. Now Taxing Collection of Rainwater*

IRS Agent Admits Income Tax is Unconstitutional and Illegal*

Rothschild Establishes Billionaire Tax Haven Inside America*

A Call for National Tax Disobedience*

Former Head of Morgan Stanley Indicted for Evading $45mn in Taxes*

U.S. Taxpayers Funded Clinton’s Private Email Servers through ‘Former Presidents Act’*

U.S. Sued over $280bn Tax-deductible Aid Sent to Israel*

1980 Interview: How the Tax Exempt Foundation has brought about the Destruction of U.S.*

U.S. Taxation Deadline Looms for Trinidad and Tobago*

E.U. Desperate to Raises Taxes Starts Cashless Society Project November 2017*

E.U. Passed Tax ID Numbers for Everyone*

U.K. Taxpayers Subsidising World’s Largest Oil Companies to Exploit Its Own Natural Resources*

Everyone Who Can Now See Your Entire Internet History, Including the Taxman…*

U.K’s New PM’s Husband is a Senior Executive to an Investment Fund that Profits from Tax Avoiding Companies*

Welsh Town Tax Rebellion Uses Big Corporations ‘offshore’ to Avoid Tax on Local Business*

Antarctica, and It’s Deceptions*

Antarctica, and It’s Deceptions*

Russian Scientists in Antarctica battle Organism 46b, Antarctic Creature, Lake Vostok Octopus

Organism 46b hunts by first paralyzing its prey with venom. The strange creature seizes and dismembers prey using a powerful beak, breaking the food source into pieces.

The ancients believed in monsters of the deep, serpents hiding under the waves, threatening to capsize the heavy crawling ships of men. Today there is no ocean or lake that has not been probed and found wanting for sea monsters. Except for the freshwater lakes buried beneath the ice of Antarctica.

There is a hidden continent under the ice cap of Antarctica. Ground penetrating radar established the existence of hundreds of lakes on this continent. Because of pressure exerted by the ice, these lakes are not frozen. They are liquid, containing fresh water that has been isolated for at least 15 million years.

The largest of these is Lake Vostok, covered by a glacier two miles thick. On top of the ice sits the Russian Vostok Research Station. It took ten years for the Soviets to drill a vertical tunnel in the ice in which a special elevator was built, designed to hold a single man. In 2012 the eliptical drill bit finally reached, down the eastern shore of the lake. A team of eight men was lowered to the original surface of the continent, one man at a time. What followed was a closely guarded state secret, until a Russian scientist defected to the West.

Dr. Anton Padalka was a member of the Soviet research team. He became a defector after learning his government had military plans for a discovery made in Antarctica. Granted sanctuary in Switzerland, Dr. Padalka disclosed the existence of a life form native to Lake Vostok… a strange and lethal creature designated as Organism 46-B. During a scuba dive for which they required low-temperature wetsuits, the creature was encountered on day one of the expedition.

Organism 46b is a species of giant octopus, but with 14 arms rather than eight. It shares traits of its nearest known relative, “vitreledonella richardi”, the glass octopus. But 46b can do one thing that its smaller cousin cannot. It can paralyze from a distance of 150 feet because its venom is contained in the sac that is normally used for expelling ink. Expedition member Alexis Vindogradov, the radio operator, was dispatched in this way, and the radio was lost.

Like the Mimic Octopus of the Indo-Pacific, 46-B has remarkable powers of camouflage. The Mimic physically changes its form to resemble one of fifteen other aquatic species, such as a lion fish, or a sea snake, or a jellyfish. Again organism 46-B takes this ability one step further. Dr. Padalka witnessed the creature in the shape of a human diver. They thought it was a member of the team swimming toward them. The scientist nearest to the creature, a marine biologist, became the second researcher to lose his life when the organism resumed its shape and ripped him to pieces.

At this point the expedition chief, A.M. Yelagin, decided to use a specimen tank to capture the organism. The only female member of the team, Dr. Marta Kalashnik, was used to lure 46b, not because she was attractive, but because as a former professional athlete, she was judged best able to defend herself. The trap was a success, but one of the sea creature’s arms threatened her. Kalashnik was forced to use her axeto defend herself.

According to Dr. Padalka, when the man-eater was brought to the surface it was confiscated immediately by Soviet security. The international press was told nothing was found. The entrance to the hole was plugged. Russian President Vladimir Putin now intends to weaponize the venom of the prehistoric beast.




Related Topics:

The Elite on Retreat in Antarctica!?*

Russian Scientists Find New Life Form in Antarctica, only 86% Genetically Similar to all Known Living Organisms*

Who owns Antarctica?*

Global Warming! The Coldest June in Antarctica, and Australia*

What Happened to the Refugees Who Helped Snowden Escape Hong Kong (And It’s Not Good)*

What Happened to the Refugees Who Helped Snowden Escape Hong Kong (And It’s Not Good)*

By Alexa Erickson

In May 2013, Edward Snowden left Hawaii for Hong Kong to leak thousands of classified documents about the U.S.’s National Security Agency spy program. The former contractor for the CIA, who was the U.S.’s most wanted fugitive at the time, took shelter in the homes of Hong Kong’s impoverished refugees for twelve days before landing in Russia.

The former contractor for the CIA was hiding in a hotel room in the Kowloon district when he revealed the U.S.’s mass cyber surveillance of its allies to two Guardian journalists, and documentary-maker Laura Poitras. Where he went after that remained unknown for quite some time, but it was eventually revealed that he was taken in by at least three refugee families residing among thousands of refugees living in the wealthy city, who were, and are, unable to leave, work, or send their children to school.

Snowden’s lead lawyer during this time, Robert Tibbo, said he put Snowden in the hands of the refugees to avoid arrest.

“Nobody would dream that a man of such high profile would be placed among the most reviled people in Hong Kong,” he said. “We put him in a place where no one would look.”

For two weeks, Snowden’s whereabouts were known only by his lawyer and the refugees Ajith, Vanessa, Supun, Nadeeka, and their three kids. It is their help that allowed Snowden to get through that time in June.

And while those two weeks came and went, the livelihood of the refugees has largely gone unacknowledged. So where are they now?

For years now, the men, women, and children who housed Snowden have increasingly suffered at the hands of the authorities.

Care for the refugees is now in the hands of International Social Services, a Geneva-based organization, with the local branch called International Social Services Hong Kong Branch (ISSHK). But the organization and its officials have allegedly failed to provide the refugees with proper care or economic opportunities.

As of January, the family who helped Snowden has been away from their home, due to pressure from Sri Lankan investigators trying to track down the two migrants.

The refugees revealed just how dire their situation continues to be in a new interview with Motherboard.

Supun revealed:

“I do not feel safe. We need to see from day to day how to get by. My girlfriend Nadeeka is very scared. We were threatened and our attorney told us that we need to leave our home immediately. Now we move from place to place. My daughter asks when we can finally get home, and she is afraid. Also she does not understand why she is not allowed to go to school. She sees other children in school uniform on the street and would like to join them.

The authorities have no respect for the people from the slum. It was only after the [Snowden] film release that they understood that the world is watching, and so they had to look after us too. Of course I am scared that we will be framed and that our asylum application will be dismissed. But I am a human and I have rights—that’s what I learned from Snowden and my lawyer. I do not fight with my hands, but with my rights and my words.”

Supun urged that all refugees should be getting the help they need, not just the ones capable of being heard because they speak English or Cantonese.

“I want that we stay in solidarity and that no hostility arises between us. We fight for the rights of refugees worldwide. I want a good future for all of them, not just us.”

Hong Kong has a bad track record when it comes to accepting refugees: 0.56% in 2016. Refugees typically wait several years to decades to hear a decision on their acceptance.

“The system is incredibly unjust,” Tibbo explained. During this waiting time, refugees fight for survival daily, while also being portrayed as ‘the problem’ in the media.

Though ISSHK claims to hold the protection of refugees in Hong Kong to high standards, there are far too many reports from refugees that suggest otherwise. Their electricity has been turned off; their financial support has been cut off; they have nothing to eat.

“The ISSHK is obliged to cover the basic needs of the asylum seekers. But the authorities have shown that it is okay for them if refugees starve to death,” concludes Tibbo.

With so many words to be said about Snowden, there are many, many more to say about the livelihoods of the refugees that helped him in those two weeks in 2013.


Related Topics:

The Phone Case to Protect You from Prying Eyes, Designed By Edward Snowden*

Europe Drops Charges Against Edward Snowden, Offers Asylum And Protection*

Mass Sexual Assault by Refugees in Germany was Fake News*

Refugee Children from Calais Camp Forced to Work on Farms in France*

Men tired of Gang Stereotypes Launch and cook for refugees Campaign*

Refugees Donate Time and Money to Help Italian Earthquake Victims*

Some Refugees Are Being Sold For Organs*

Saudi Airstrikes on Market Kills Civilians in Yemen*

Saudi Airstrikes on Market Kills Civilians in Yemen*

People inspect the aftermath of a Saudi-led coalition airstrike on a busy funeral hall in Sanaa, Yemen, Saturday, Oct. 8, 2016.


An air strike by a Saudi-led coalition on a market in Yemen killed 20 civilians and six rebels on Friday, medical and military sources said.

The aircraft tried to target Houthi rebels at a roadblock on the southern outskirts of the Red Sea port of Khoukha, but the fighters fled to a market where they were attacked, the sources claimed.

The attack took place at the entrance to a market selling the mild narcotic leaf qat, which is popular among Yemenis.

A military source close to Saudi-backed President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi said that by fleeing to the market, the rebels had used civilians as “human shields”.

The Houthi television channel Al-Masirah also reported the air strike, but give a slightly higher toll of 27 killed and said dozens more were wounded.

The Saudi-led coalition, which has been battling Houthi and troops loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh opposed to Hadi, was not immediately available for comment.

The Saudi-led forces have come under repeated criticism over civilian casualties in Yemen.

In October 2016 a Saudi air strike killed more than 150 people at a funeral in Sanaa, leading Washington to limit its military support for the coalition.

In December, the coalition acknowledged that it had made “limited use” of British-made cluster bombs, but said it had stopped using them.

On Thursday, however, Amnesty International said the Saudi-led forces were still using banned Brazilian-manufactured cluster munitions in raids on residential areas in northern Saada province, a Houthi stronghold.

The conflict in Yemen has left about 10,000 people dead and 40,000 wounded since the coalition intervened on the government’s side in March 2015, according to the United Nations.

The violence and Saudi-led naval blockade have also brought the country to the brink of famine.


Related Topics:

The Shaharah Bridge in Yemen, a Bridge of Sighs*

Nine Young Children Killed: The Full Details of the Botched U.S. Raid in Yemen*

Idlib Raid Hits CIA/Saudi Backed Rebels as “President Banner” Tries to Bury Yemen Blunder*

Obama Killed a 16-Year-Old American in Yemen. 8-Year-Old Sister Killed in Raid Ordered by Trump *

Britain Confirms U.K-Made Cluster Bombs Used by Saudi-led Forces in Yemen*

‘No Food, No Medicine, No Money’ in Yemeni Town Just Death by Starvation*

Plane from Turkey Transfers Daesh terrorists from Aleppo to Yemen*

WikiLeaks Releases 500 Documents Showing U.S. ‘arming and funding’ Yemeni Forces*

Three Secret Trump Picks to Take Down Latin America’s Left*

Three Secret Trump Picks to Take Down Latin America’s Left*

A government supporter holds a sign showing a picture of Venezuela’s late President Hugo Chavez during an anti-imperialist rally at Miraflores presidential palace in Caracas, Venezuela, Wednesday, March 18, 2015.

A Hugo Chavez alarmist and two ambassadors to El Salvador: the three men promising to take down the left in Latin America are now working for the state.

Of the 400 hires secretly made by Donald Trump to various major state agencies published by ProPublica on Wednesday, several already have a record of messing with Latin American affairs.

Trump has filled about 520 seats in every major federal agency through a process that avoids Senate confirmation and keeps their names confidential.

According to the names obtained and published by ProPublica and DiploPundit, the majority of picks have no previous experience in their roles — some just graduated from high school or college — but were likely picked for working on the Trump campaign.

Three names, though, are worrying for Latin Americans.

Jon Perdue

Trump’s choice for a special assistant to the Treasury Department, Jon Perdue, wrote a book — called “The War of All the People: The Nexus of Latin American Radicalism and Middle Eastern Terrorism” — which according to its description is about how Hugo Chavez and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad “forged an active alliance hell-bent on destroying the established order in the developed world” through an “ideological and political war against the United States, capitalism, and the widely accepted tenets of modernity.” He also wrote the foreword to a book by Evgueni Novikov, an outspoken Soviet defector.

He also suggested a new method for implementing regime change in what he calls “slow tyrannies” without orchestrating a military coup. His technique “focuses on a combination of aggressive diplomacy and economic engagement as a first and necessary step, along with a capability for small-unit operations that can be conducted with a much smaller footprint when necessary,” he wrote in an article for the Jewish Policy Center.

Perdue has also traveled throughout Latin America to put his reasoning into practice, from closely studying Cuban dissidents, to observing the 2009 elections in Honduras which legitimized the coup of a left-wing president, to decrying freedom of speech in Ecuador after President Rafael Correa took action against a conservative paper which called him a dictator.

In 2010 Perdue helped prevent the extradition to Argentina from the U.S. of Roberto Bravo, one of the architects of the 1972 Trelew massacre in Argentina where 16 leftist political prisoners will killed in jail as part of that country’s Dirty War.

Charles Glazer

George W. Bush’s former ambassador to El Salvador will now be a senior advisor at the Department of State. Charles Glazer spent most of his career in investment banking and international brokerage, only serving a two-year stint as a diplomat before being deposed by Barack Obama.

In his short stint, he overlooked the tiny Central American nation right before it shifted from the U.S.-friendly administration to the FMLN, a left-wing party formed from five guerilla groups.

Glazer had actively tried to prevent a win by the “communist-dominated and Chavez-supported” FMLN, according to a cable leaked by WikiLeaks. Besides accelerating economic and anti-gang cooperation through agreements like CAFTA and USAID programs, Glazer urged the U.S. respond to election rhetoric in order to help skew the results, such as keeping Temporary Protected Status for Salvadorans in the U.S.

“A decision to cancel TPS during the current electoral cycle would likely be played up by the FMLN in the press and in the campaign as a loss of U.S. support for the country and current administration — an unearned political windfall benefiting the FMLN and influencing the outcome of 2009 elections,” he wrote months before the vote. “Terminating TPS could also dramatically undermine this administration’s ability to support us in Iraq, other peacekeeping missions, and other global and hemispheric issues where we depend on the proactive leadership of the Saca administration.”

El Salvador was the first in the hemisphere after the U.S. to send troops to Iraq — “an expression of gratitude for the U.S. ‘standing by’ the GOES (government of El Salvador) during the Salvadoran civil war” — making the ruling conservative coalition “one of our most important allies in the Western Hemisphere, during a major rise of leftist populist regimes unfriendly to USG (U.S. government) interests,” he added.

Glazer ended his memo assuring the State Department that he would “continue to monitor and report on” any electoral developments that could end up impacting U.S. interests.

Robert Blau

When the Salvadoran embassy was emptied after Glazer’s leave, Robert Blau filled in as a charge d’affaires ad interim from Jan. 2009 to Sept. 2010, following the FLMN’s win. After he retired he was chosen to serve on Trump’s landing team at the State Department.

Blau, according to WikiLeaks, praised “the outgoing (Antonio) Saca Administration (for working) to promote the advancement of democracy and human rights in Cuba. For example, when Fidel Castro resigned as Cuba’s leader in February 2008, President Saca publicly expressed hope for a real democratic transition in Cuba and emphasized the importance of freedom of expression and multiparty elections.”

He also panicked when the FMLN came to power and reformed the prison system, a “backwards” move that involved “loosening of security controls at El Salvador” maximum security prison at Zacatecoluca, granting greater access to family members and other visitors throughout the system, and eliminating vestiges of regimentation such as prisoner uniforms,” halting construction of expanded prisons and increasing the number of those eligible for conditional release in an overcrowded prison system.

“The course changes so far at DGCP (Directorate General of Prisons) are troubling. Whether intentional or not, the reforms Moreno has already implemented will go a long way towards unraveling the significant progress INL (International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs) has achieved in partnership with Caceres and company over the last two years,” he wrote in a 2009 cable, adding it would impact implementation of the Merida Initiative.


Related Topics:

South America and another U.S Invasion*

World Bank to Reduce Venezuela Payout in Exxon Case*

The Caribbean Supports Venezuela against U.S. Interventionism*

Occupy World: Chilean Farmer Wins Case against Monsanto*

U.S. University Sues the CIA over War Crimes in El Salvador*

Guatemala Suspends U.S. Monsanto Law*

Washington Rape of Brazil Begins*

What I’ve Learnt About US Foreign Policy*

Eight Ex-Military Behind Operation Condor Sentenced to Life*

Protests against U.S. Military Sending 3000 Troops to Peru*

U.S. Tried to Blackmail Morales against Nationalizing Bolivian Oil*

Burkina Faso Settles Dispute with Monsanto over GM Cotton*

Burkina Faso Settles Dispute with Monsanto over GM Cotton*

Burkina Faso’s cotton sector has settled a dispute with Monsanto over what it said were revenue losses caused by the introduction of GM cotton

EXCERPT: The Inter-professional Cotton Association of Burkina (AICB), which groups together the three cotton companies and the national farmers union, said that quality was damaged when Monsanto introduced the gene into its cotton. In particular, they said fibre length, one of the chief measures of quality, was reduced, causing Burkina Faso’s cotton to fetch lower prices on the world market.

By Joe Bavier

Burkina Faso’s cotton sector has settled a dispute with U.S. seed maker Monsanto over what it said were revenue losses caused by the introduction of genetically modified cotton, the head of the country’s main cotton company told Reuters.

The agreement, which includes the dividing up of royalties withheld by Monsanto’s Burkina Faso partners, brings definitive closure to a collaboration that had promised to offer the company a foothold in Africa but ended in dispute.

“In doing this, we think that a bad deal is better than a bad court case. We have closed the Monsanto dossier. There is no longer a demand for compensation,” Wilfried Yameogo, managing director of SOFITEX, told Reuters in an interview on Tuesday.

SOFITEX is part owned by the Burkinabe state and accounts for over 80% of national cotton output.

Burkina Faso is Africa’s top cotton producer but among the world’s poorest countries. It began the nationwide introduction of a variety of cotton containing Monsanto’s Bollgard II trait in 2008 to fight against pests.

However, the Inter-professional Cotton Association of Burkina (AICB), which groups together the three cotton companies and the national farmers union, said that quality was damaged when Monsanto introduced the gene into its cotton.

In particular, they said fibRE length, one of the chief measures of quality, was reduced, causing Burkina Faso’s cotton to fetch lower prices on the world market.

The AICB demanded over 48 billion CFA francs ($76 million) in compensation from Monsanto last year. It had meanwhile withheld royalties worth around 15 billion CFA francs owed to Monsanto for the 2014/15 and 2015/16 harvests.

“We reached an agreement on the division of the royalties with the Burkinabe side retaining 75% of the royalties and Monsanto accepting 25% of royalties,” Yameogo said.

That represents 3.7 billion CFA francs for Monsanto and 11.3 billion for the Burkina Faso partners, he added.

The head of Monsanto’s Africa division Gyanendra Shukla said he was not immediately able to comment on the settlement but said the company would issue a response.

Monsanto had previously acknowledged that changes in fiber length had been observed, but stated fiber quality is influenced by both environmental conditions and genetic background.

Monsanto is currently the subject of a $66 billion takeover by Germany’s Bayer AG.

Cotton production represents around 4% of Burkina Faso’s GDP and is the second-biggest source of state revenue after gold.

Burkina Faso did not renew its contract with Monsanto last year and this season it abandoned the use of the GM variety in favoUr of a return to its conventional cotton strain.

Agriculture Minister Jacob Ouedraogo told Reuters this week that the country was expected to produce around 600,000 tonnes of cotton in the 2016/2017 season, roughly on a par with the previous harvest.

Yameogo said quality controls indicated that the reintroduction of Burkina Faso’s conventional cotton had eliminated the quality issues.


Related Topics:

Burkina Faso Association Seeks $ 83mn from Monsanto over GMO Cotton Failure*

Insects Ravages Monsanto GMO Cotton*

Genetically Engineered Bt Cotton in Ghana: The hidden Agenda Exposed

Monsanto Has Lost $11 Million As Indian Cotton Farmers Begin To Use Indigenous Seed*

A Powerful, Emotional Uprising for Indigenous Rights*

A Powerful, Emotional Uprising for Indigenous Rights*

Dave Archambault II: “The United States government claims the ‘right of Christian Discovery’ to dominate our nations, lands, and waters.”

Indigenous people from around the world gathered to promote sovereignty, resistance, respect, justice and love at the Native Nations Rise March

By Renae Ditmer

If rain on your wedding day is good luck, then snow on the day of the Native Nations Rise march in Washington, D.C. on March 10, served as a sign of hope in the fight for indigenous rights across the United States and around the world—especially when the battle at stake stems on the sanctity of water.

Under heavy wet clumps of snow falling from gray skies, a hearty and determined group of thousands of indigenous people from tribal nations as far away as Bolivia and Tibet sloshed through soggy streets. Sounds of drums, whoops, and the tinkling from jingle dresses filled the air. Some dressed in traditional tribal dress; others wore turquoise handkerchiefs, while many showed up in dark colors to symbolize their mood at a time of intense challenge.

Starting at the United States Army Corps of Engineers and moving on past the Trump International Hotel to the White House, the marchers had a unified message to send to President Donald Trump and his administration: Mni Wiconi, “Water is Life!” The chant has quickly become a shorthand for tribes’ struggle to reassert tribal sovereignty and self-determination over their physical and spiritual spheres. The phrase was joined by many other expressions aimed at attracting the attention of the federal government:

“We stand with Standing Rock!” – “Keep the oil in the soil, you can’t drink oil!” –

“Hey, hey! Ho, ho! Donald Trump has got to go!” – And,

“Shame, shame, shame!”

The Native Nations Rise march was organized by Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, Native Organizers Alliance and Indigenous Environmental Network to support the Standing Rock fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline and raise awareness to other indigenous issues. Thanks to the participation of protesters the march generated headlines and raised the spirits of Native activists and their allies.


Water is life, and we’re going to fight for what’s rightfully ours,” said Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians Chairman Aaron Payment.

“We’re going to keep bringing information so that they’re going to have to do something. We’re going to remind them of their trust responsibilities, and our treaty rights to protect our natural resources, and sacred sites.”

A major issue that percolated to the forefront of the day was a goal to get a 500-year-old relic – The Doctrine of Discovery – revoked.

“The Dakota Access Pipeline crisis is a direct result of the United States government using the religious underpinnings of U.S. federal law against our nations,” Chairman JoDe Goudy of the Yakama Nation explained regarding the doctrine in a press statement issued during the Native Nations Rise march.

“These religious underpinnings are traced to Vatican papal decrees from the fifteenth century that called for the subjugation of non-Christian nations, and they are being utilized against our Native nations and peoples to this day. This is the precedent that is relied upon for the continuous failed attempts to protect our resources in the federal courts.”

The United States government claims the ‘right of Christian Discovery’ to dominate our nations, lands, and waters,” added Chairman Dave Archambault II of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.

“This claimed ‘right’ is stated in U.S. Supreme Court decisions—starting with Johnson v. M’Intosh in 1823, and reaffirmed by Tee-Hit-Ton v. U.S. in 1955, City of Sherrill, N.Y. v. Oneida Indian Nation of New York in 2005, and many others.”


Revocation of the doctrine will obviously be a difficult goal to achieve, but the key is getting the stakeholders to listen, said many of the day’s participants.

Beyond that challenge, the most prominent message shared throughout the day was that the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe is not alone. Solidarity knit the large, diverse group together, regardless of race.

Like Alana from the Haliwa-Saponi Tribe, many were, as she said, “proud and happy to be here today, and finally making a statement,” as was her friend, Cher, who added that

“it is powerful here and people gathered together.”

“It’s an honor to be here in Washington, D.C., to stand for all nations. I’m just unbelievably moved by the amount of amazing people here,” shared Sheridan, a Standing Rock Sioux tribal member and rancher with a 2,000-acre plot she and her family have worked on the reservation for nearly two centuries.

Another common feeling was empowerment. A participant from Ponka Tribe of Oklahoma with several generations in tow – her daughters, granddaughter, niece along with several friends – said that “they were all coming together again for the generations to come and feeling empowered and strong.”



Related Topics:

How to Resist From a Place of Love: Self-Care for the Long Haul*

Standing Rock Sioux and Yakama Nation Sign Proclamation Calling upon the United States to revoke the “Doctrine of Christian Discovery”*

Indonesian Rainforests Returned to Indigenous Control*

“Deadly Facts”: How So-Called “Objectivity” Created a Culture of Conformity*

Monsanto Has Lost $11 Million As Indian Cotton Farmers Begin To Use Indigenous Seed*

Tribal Chairman Responds to White House after 46 Arrested During DAPL Camp Evacuation*

Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Challenges Latest DAPL Move in Court*

Company Behind DAPL Reported 69 Accidents, Polluted Rivers in 4 States in Only 2 Years*

How to Resist From a Place of Love: Self-Care for the Long Haul*

How to Resist From a Place of Love: Self-Care for the Long Haul*

By Colin Beavan

There is a heated conversation in some activist circles that goes like this: Should our work draw strength from fear and anger or from a place of love and compassion? I have heard people say that if we stop being angry and start being loving, we would be letting the culprits off the hook. We would be blinding ourselves to the bad things happening and—in indulging our nice feelings—forget to help those endangered.

In workshops I give to help activists and concerned citizens cope, there’s an experiment I use that addresses this. It goes like this:

Conjure up all the fear and anger you have about the world and the politicians from the other side and the scandals and the targeting of those least able to defend themselves. Probably you’ll get a physical sensation. Where is that sensation? For most people it is in the throat and top of the chest. Now, imagine that you are powering your voice from there and that you are shouting at a march or speaking to an elected official. Try speaking from there right now, out loud. How long could you sustain it? Do you get the sense that before long you would go hoarse?

Next, imagine the love you feel for nature and the compassion you feel for those who need help. Now ask yourself where in your body the physical sensation is. For many, the feeling is located just below the naval. Now try to power your voice from that place, speaking out loud again. How long could that energy last?

If you are anything like me, you might get the feeling you could go forever.

And that is the thing about fear and anger versus love. Regardless whether the other side “deserves” anger, we must sustain ourselves for the work ahead. Can we actually go on forever with a blaming mentality, or will our work be better served by love? Our vision for the world is more likely to be achieved if it is grounded in compassion and love.

Recently, because so many people in my community were anxious and exhausted after the election, I held a workshop called “The Long Haul: Wisdom for Activists and Concerned Citizens.” The goal was to search for an attitude that would help us continue to work steadfastly toward a fair, compassionate, just, safe world without burning out.

There were nearly 40 of us. Some were seasoned activists alarmed by the bottom dropping out of all they thought they had achieved. Others were formerly disengaged citizens woken up by the election. Others were just concerned citizens, tired of being isolated behind their computer screens with all that worried them.

Here are three exercises we did.

Witnessing each other’s good work and giving thanks

We walked around the room introducing ourselves to each other, briefly recounting actions we had taken, like visiting elected officials or going on marches. Each of us attempted to really listen, then offered heartfelt thanks and hugged or touched each other’s shoulders or squeezed each other’s hands. This exercise helps change our view of the world from a dangerous, hate-filled place to a loving, hope-filled place. Keeping our focus on the good in the world helps many of us sustain our work.

Owning our complicity in the world’s problems

In groups of four, we each owned aspects of our own personal responsibility for the problems in the world. We talked about how we used fossil fuels even as we condemned the fossil fuel industry. We talked about how we had never bothered to take note of the 3 million to 4 million deportations that happened each year prior to Trump.

Bringing the world’s problems home and owning our part in them allows us to dissolve the imaginary monsters we see in Trump voters and people whose ideas differ from ours. Owning our complicity allows us to see ourselves in and have compassion for those we blame. We get to see that all of us—all of us—get caught up in deluded thinking and actions.

Create a positive vision rather than react to negative events

Next, we took turns in pairs telling each other our visions for the world. We each talked not about what we wanted to resist but about what we wanted to create. We talked about the clean air and water that comes with renewable energy. We talked about the resilient communities that come with racial and economic justice. We talked about the capable children that come with good schools. This provided us with a sense of agency and defined the good things we wanted for the world.

After the workshop, I was heartened to see how the energy in the room had lightened. People seemed inspired to carry on.

“I realize I have been clinging to my anger and my need to make someone else wrong with more energy than I have been trying to figure out how I can do what’s right,” someone said.

The point of this kind of work is simply not to let ourselves sink so deeply into our own despair that we can no longer act to combat the suffering of others. Caring people need to take care. We may have to find ways to put aside our unsustainable anger and fear in favor of our endless reserves of love and compassion.


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