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Why We Must Save Dying Languages*

Why We Must Save Dying Languages*

By Max J Rosenthal

Is Common Language Killing off Ancient Ecological Knowledge?

You probably know that much of the world’s environment is under threat. But a new study says languages are disappearing alongside plants and animals.

The study, from the World Wildlife Fund, measured the threat to languages using a scale that tracks how threatened species are. Not only are many languages steadily losing speakers, says co-author Jonathan Loh, but “the rate of decline, globally, is actually very close to the rate of decline in populations of wild vertebrate species.”

There’s the obvious threat of in-demand languages, which many people start speaking more and more, as the speakers of smaller languages dwindle.

“Thousands of indigenous languages spoken around the world are being replaced by one of a dozen or so dominant world languages like English, Spanish, Mandarin Chinese,” he says.

But Loh, who’s also a research associate at the Zoological Society of London, says that languages are dying off due to many of the same issues that plants and animals face. He comments:

“Some of the drivers that are driving the extinction of biodiversity — such as increasing global population, increasing consumption of natural resources, increasing globalization and so on — are applicable to languages as well…”

And that’s no coincidence. Loh explains that languages have a lot of specific local knowledge built in.

The vertical axis represents the number of nearly extinct indigenous languages; the number in blue its relation (in percent) to the total number of native languages still spoken in same country. (Source: National Geographic, 2013)

The Knowledge Embedded in Languages

“The cultures have evolved in a particular environmental context, so they have an extraordinary amount of traditional ecological knowledge — knowledge of the local species, plants, animals, the medicinal uses of them, the migration patterns of animals behaviour,”

So when the languages die off, much of that knowledge goes with them.

Then children stop learning the language, they also stop acquiring that traditional knowledge,” Loh says.

There are plenty of linguists who are studying and trying to preserve native languages, but Loh wants to see them work with biologists to make sure that valuable ecological history isn’t missed.

 “Linguists often don’t have the knowledge of natural history that’s necessary in order to be able to record an endangered language because so much of the lexicon is tied up with names of species or types of ecosystems,” he says.

He argues that:

“…if we can recognize that culture and nature are inextricably interlinked, then working on a biocultural diversity as a whole, as a subject, would be a more fruitful way of looking at conservation.”

The Link Between Culture and Nature

“One of the interesting findings was that where a species goes extinct — because the population of the species declines away to nothing — a language doesn’t go extinct because the population of speakers declines away to nothing, but usually because the speakers shift from their mother tongue to a second language, usually a more dominant one.”

An Aboriginal man from Laura, QLD; part of a Northern Australian ‘hotspot’ of dying languages.

 

Loh says languages are disappearing most quickly in Australia and the Americas.

“About three-quarters of the languages of the Americas are under the threat of extinction,” he says, and “95% of the indigenous aboriginal Australian languages are … declining extremely rapidly.”

“And, as with species,” he warns, “when a language is lost, it’s gone forever. You can never get it back.”

“There’s this extraordinary wealth of traditional ecological knowledge that’s bound up with a lot of the world’s indigenous languages, and I think it would be really useful to biologists in understanding how to manage natural ecosystems.”

Integrating Language and Knowledge

Over the past century alone, around 400 languages – about one every three months – have gone extinct, and most linguists estimate that 50% of the world’s remaining 6,500 languages will be gone by the end of this century, with some putting the figure as high as 90%. Today, the top ten languages in the world are spoken by around half of the world’s population. We could even be facing a future world where only one language is spoken globally, but while it’s important for everyone to understand each other, perhaps there’s a way we can preserve the wisdom of ancient languages at the same time.

 

Source*

Related Topics:

My Language is the Window to My Soul

Amazonian Elders Conclude Completion of First Indigenous Medical Encyclopaedia*

Muslims Launch the World’s First Islamic Sign Language Book*

Four Year Old Russian Girl Speaks 7 Languages, including Chinese and Arabic*

Indigenous Australia MP Gives Maiden Speech in Native Language*

Battle On To Keep Ambiguous Language about Family Out of Major UN Agreement*

Turkey-Iran: An Ancient Language Rediscovered

Basque: A 7,000 Year Old European Language and a People Exist

 

Trump’s First Budget Not Looking Good for Citizens*

Trump’s First Budget Not Looking Good for Citizens*

The money goes to war, war, and more war…

By Tyler Durden

Here are some of the highlights from the latest batch of trial balloons:

 

  • Trump’s budget will include a massive nearly $200 billion cut to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, the modern version of food stamps, over the next 10 years – what amounts to a 25% reduction, according to The Washington Post.

 

 

  • The budget calls for about $800 billion in cuts to Medicaid for fiscal year 2018, WaPo reported.

 

  • The budget also calls for $2.6 billion in border security spending, $1.6 billion of which will be earmarked for Trump’s proposed wall along the U.S.’s southern border.

The budget is also expected to propose major domestic discretionary spending cuts – an earlier version of the budget called for $54 billion in such cuts next year alone.

Predictably, Democrats are already up in arms over the proposal, even though a formal draft isn’t expected until Tuesday.

In a statement cited by Bloomberg, New York Senator Senator Chuck Schumer clumsily compared Trump’s campaign rhetoric to a “Trojan Horse.”

“This budget continues to reveal President Trump’s true colours: His populist campaign rhetoric was just a Trojan horse to execute long-held, hard-right policies that benefit the ultra-wealthy at the expense of the middle class,” Bloomberg noted.

Well, at least Trump didn’t promise that if Americans liked their healthcare plan, they can keep it.

To be sure, Republicans have also expressed some discomfort with the cuts, particularly Trump’s plan to whack $54 billion in discretionary spending. Mitch McConnell even told Bloomberg that Congressional Republicans would ultimately end up writing their own budget, the same way Senate Republicans are rewriting Obamacare repeal.

Trump has promised to balance the federal government’s budget in 10 years, though, as Democrats have noted, the projection is dependent on economic growth accelerating to 3% following the passage of massive tax cuts, and no recession over the next decade, a rather bold assumption. Meanwhile, growth collapsed to an annualized rate of just 0.7% in the fist quarter, the slowest rate in three years, while loan demand has plunged to the lowest level in 6 years. Meanwhile, the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget claims that rather than reining it in our national debt, Trump’s tax cuts would make the debt much worse.

Source*

Belgian Analyst: U.S. Born out of Violence Needs War to Survive*

Related Topics:

The U.S. is Back in Recession with Interest Rates Already at Zero*

Chinese Billionaire Says U.S. Wasted Trillions on Wars and Wall Street and Forgot about their Citizens*

Is U.S. Deep State in Deep Trouble?*

Trump To Continue Bankrupting The U.S. Through Foreign Wars*

Trump Wastes over $94mn in Taxpayer’s Money on Ineffective Syrian Airstrikes*

World Rushes to De-Dollarize Oil Trade Before U.S. Economy Crashes*

Puerto Rico’s $123 Billion Bankruptcy Is the Cost of U.S. Colonialism*

Rapidly Declining U.S. Exports*

The U.S. Spent a Half Billion on Mining in Afghanistan with ‘Limited Progress’*

U.S. Has Spent $11.5 Million A Day for Past 542 Days Straight in Fight against ISIS*

U.S. Navy Just Spent $2.1bn on a Fancy Transport Fleet That Sinks*

U.S. has Already Spent Five Billion Dollars to Subvert Ukraine*

U.S. Military is Building a $100mn Drone Base in Africa*

U.S.-U.K. Paid “White Helmets” Help to Block Water to 5 Million Thirsty Syrians*

Tens of Thousands March Across U.S. Demanding Donald Trump Release His Tax Returns*

U.S. Tax Dollars and Companies Support Sex Traffickers in Iraq*

The U.S. Looking for War

U.S. Government Admits Social Security Going Bankrupt*

U.S. Wants to Imprison These Six Water Protectors*

U.S. Wants to Imprison These Six Water Protectors*

These cases likely mark the first time that United States authorities have pursued felonies against individuals involved in demonstrations against fossil fuel infrastructure

By Will Parish

An elderly woman is escorted to a transport van after being arrested by law enforcement at the Oceti Sakowin camp as part of the final sweep of the Dakota Access pipeline protesters in Morton County, Feb. 23, 2017, near Cannon Ball, N.D. (Mike McCleary/The Bismarck Tribune)

 

In February, a federal grand jury issued indictments of four Standing Rock water protectors on charges of Federal Civil Disorder and Use of Fire to Commit a Federal Crime.

The federal investigators accused the four men—James White, Brennan Nastacio, Dion Ortiz, and Brandon Miller-Castillo—of involvement in setting three highway barricades on fire, which obstructed police during a highly-militarized October 27 raid of the “Front Line Camp” just north of the Standing Rock Sioux reservation.

Another water protector, Michael Markus, was indicted on identical charges on January 24, and his case has been combined with those of the other four men. Prosecutors are also pursuing three federal felonies against a 38-year-old Oglala Sioux woman named Red Fawn Fallis. They accuse her of firing a gun during her arrest, even as multiple police officers had her pinned face-down on the ground. Fallis’ arrest also occurred on October 27.

These cases likely mark the first time that United States authorities have pursued felonies against individuals involved in demonstrations against fossil fuel infrastructure.

All six people facing the charges are indigenous. Under sentencing guidelines, Red Fawn Fallis faces 25 years or more in prison. The other federal defendants—Markus, White, Nastacio, Ortiz, and Miller-Castillo—face up to fifteen years.

Starting in August of last year, indigenous people and their allies devoted months to attempting to block the construction of the 1,172-mile Dakota Access Pipeline, which runs through four Midwestern states near North Dakota’s Standing Rock Sioux reservation and underneath their main water source, Lake Oahe.

The project sparked opposition in communities spanning the pipeline route, including in Iowa and Illinois. In North Dakota, police carried out over 700 arrests. State prosecutors have since brought felony charges against more than 100 people.

But the federal cases are arguably more serious, since they entail prosecutions by some of the U.S. government’s most elite attorneys and may result in lengthy prison sentences. The cases are also likely to exert a chilling effect on indigenous-led resistance to resource extraction and fossil fuel infrastructure.

In fact, in each case, the U.S. Attorneys for the District of North Dakota filed a most unusual charge: federal civil disorder.

“Nobody I’ve worked with previously has ever seen that charge,” the Water Protector Legal Collective’s Sandra Freeman, an attorney for Michael Markus, said in an interview.

“It comes from a law that is usually only invoked when the federal government decides to prosecute people involved in resistance.”

The National Lawyers Guild’s Bruce Ellison, the lead attorney for Red Fawn Fallis, agrees. He says he has only encountered federal civil disorder charges “a few times” before, including during federal prosecutions of American Indian Movement (AIM) activists who reclaimed Wounded Knee as part of an armed stand-off with federal and local police on the Pine Ridge Reservation in 1973.

Ellison is a long-time attorney for AIM political prisoner Leonard Peltier.

Records obtained via an open records request indicate high-level operatives within the U.S. domestic security state were involved in coordinating the enormous law enforcement mobilization against Standing Rock “water protectors” from last summer through early March of this year.

These records, which will be the subject of future stories, show officers from numerous federal agencies—the FBI, Bureau of Indian Affairs, U.S. Marshal’s Service, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for North Dakota—coordinated with state and local police as part of an inter-agency “intelligence group” that monitored Standing Rock protests in real-time, with a focus on ferreting out “instigators” and “leaders of the movement.”

Among those who helped orchestrate this multi-agency intelligence effort was National Security Intelligence Specialist Terry W. Van Horn of the U.S. Attorney’s Office—the same entity now prosecuting Fallis, Markus, White, Nastacio, Ortiz, and Miller-Castillo.

The intelligence-gathering operation in which Van Horn participated appears to have been coordinated by the State and Local Intelligence Center, one of numerous law enforcement “fusion” centers set up by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in the wake of the September 11th attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center.

Supporters of the six federal defendants, as well as others facing possible prison and jail sentence, say that their court cases are a major front in the struggle for indigenous self-determination and against resource extraction.

“The government is looking at how to deal with calls for indigenous self-determination and resistance to resource extraction nationally, and the people facing these charges could become symbols of their ability to carry out that repression,” Ellison contends.

The October 27 Raid on Front Line Camp

Dakota Access pipeline protesters face off with police who are trying to force them from a camp on land in the path of pipeline construction on Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016, near Cannon Ball, N.D.

 

The six federal prosecutions all stem from a highly-militarized October 27 raid of the “Front Line Camp,” or “1851 Treaty Camp,” which occupied some of the last remaining ground in the pipeline’s construction.

The camp was located on unceded Dakota territory, which was affirmed in the 1851 Ft. Laramie Treaty to be part of the Standing Rock Reservation. It was later stripped away under an 1889 statute from Congress.

Over 300 police officers—some carrying M16 rifles and clad in flak vests—advanced down North Dakota Highway 1806 toward Oceti Sakowin camp, the main nerve center of the water protectors’ resistance to the pipeline.

The police were flanked by a MaxxPro Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle (MRAP) designed to withstand bombing attacks in Iraq and Afghanistan. A Long-Range Acoustic Device (LRAD), an extremely loud device used for crowd control, was mounted atop the MRAP. Snipers occupied positions on surrounding hills.

In the course of the raid, the police fired tear gas and concussion grenades and peppered the water protectors with rubber-tipped bullets and bean bag pellets, causing dozens of injuries.

Watch footage from the October 27th raid:

Four officers broke from the line to tackle and arrest Red Fawn Fallis, a Denver resident and lifelong member of the Colorado chapter of the American Indian Movement, whose family hails from the Oglala Sioux reservation at Pine Ridge in South Dakota.

As Fallis struggled under the weight of her arresting officers, at least two gunshots went off alongside her. According to an affidavit filed by the Pennington County Sheriff’s Department in North Dakota, a deputy “saw a gun in Fallis’ left hand and wrestled it away from her.”

Native American activist Red Fawn Fallis.

 

The Pennington County Sheriff’s Department claims Fallis was arrested for “being an instigator” and “acting disorderly.”

According to attorneys for protesters, “instigator” and “camp leader” have emerged as keywords in both state and federal prosecutions.

Fallis was initially charged with attempted murder, but a state judge removed that charge from the docket, and she is now being accused of three federal felonies. They include “possession of a firearm by a convicted felon” and “discharge of a firearm in relation to a felony crime of violence.”

According to numerous accounts, Fallis was a widely-respected coordinator at the Sacred Stone Camp, another major gathering place for prayerful opposition to the pipeline, and had played an instrumental role in the movement as a whole.

“Red Fawn was the kind of person who was down to help with anything at any time,” says one camp participant who asked not to be identified.

“She was integral to the camp.”

Many water protectors and members of Fallis’s family have organized a support campaign for her. They stridently maintain her innocence.

Glenn Morris, a leader of the Colorado chapter of the American Indian Movement, released a statement on behalf of Fallis’s family this past November, saying she is “an intelligent, informed and determined Oglala Lakota woman, who has defended the rights of native peoples and nations, in multiple circumstances.”

Water Protector Facing Federal Felony Charges for Disarming DAPL Contractor

Brennan Nastacio has became a hero to water protectors for his role in disarming a DAPL security guard security guard, Kyle Thompson, who had entered Oceti Sakowin camp wielding an AR-15. (Photo: YouTube Screenshot)

One of the other people facing federal felony charges, Brennan Nastacio, became a hero to water protectors for his dramatic role in disarming a DAPL security worker, who had entered Oceti Sakowin camp—a base of prayer and opposition to DAPL—wielding an AR-15.

The security guard, Kyle Thompson, drove into the camp and claimed to be a water protector, according to a camp security guard. He had a long-nosed semi-automatic rifle and a 30-round clip seated in the passenger seat of his truck.

Nastacio spent nearly a half hour pleading with Thompson to abandon the weapon while also calming other “water protectors,” who were clamouring around him. Thompson, who works for Texas-based Leighton Security, finally handed the gun over to Bureau of Indian Affairs officers, who arrested him. Soon after, Thompson’s truck was driven to a barricade and set on fire.

North Dakota prosecutors declined to charge Thompson instead charging Nastacio with felony terrorizing of Thompson because he briefly walked toward him with a hunting knife during the incident.

In a January YouTube video, Nastacio noted his goal was “the protection of everybody at the camp,” and that he was concerned Thompson himself would be shot by the police. Thompson claims he came to the camp to investigate vandalism to a DAPL vehicle.

Ironically, on the same day as Nastacio helped disarm the Dakota Access security worker, a security firm hired by Dakota Access collected the aerial surveillance photos that now form a major basis for federal prosecution of him, as well as of Miller-Castillo, Ortiz, Markus, and White, court records show. (*Note: This public-private “fusion” model of law enforcement that played out at Standing Rock will be the subject of future stories.)

Ellison, Fallis’s attorney, is attempting to introduce evidence that demonstrates the dubious role the FBI has played in the charges against Fallis.

Terry VanHorn of the U.S. Attorney’s Office did not respond to a request for comment.

The Role of the FBI in Suppressing Opposition to the Pipeline

In this image provided by Morton County Sheriff’s Department, law enforcement and protesters clash near the site of the Dakota Access pipeline on Sunday, Nov. 20, 2016, in Cannon Ball, N.D. (Morton County Sheriff’s Department via AP)

 

Police in North Dakota went to enormous lengths to portray many anti-DAPL protesters as violent criminals for their role in the protests.

More recently, the allegations against Fallis, Nastacio, Markus, White, Ortiz, and Miller-Castillo have become fodder for domestic security agency warnings about potentially violent threat posed by protests against other fossil fuel infrastructure.

A Department of Homeland Security report, published by the conservative Washington Examiner on April 18, spells out the possibility that “environmental rights extremists” and “anti-government militia” may muster up attacks on the in-construction Diamond Pipeline extending from Oklahoma to Tennessee.

The report states that “[p]rotests surrounding the DAPL have resulted in the arrest of hundreds of individuals for allegedly committing criminal acts,” and that

“[o]ne individual was charged with attempted murder for allegedly discharging a firearm at officers during removal efforts.”

But water protectors and their advocates point out that the real criminals at Standing Rock were the police and the oil companies’ private security firms, who consistently used violent repression to sabotage constitutionally-protected political activity.

Meanwhile, the federal government has failed to hold the police accountable for a single act of violence.

On a single night in November, the police injured more than 300 unarmed and generally highly-restrained protesters by spraying water on them amid freezing temperatures and firing rubber bullets and concussion grenades.

A police officer struck 21-year-old Sophia Wilansky with a concussion grenade that nearly severed her forearm. A fellow water protector named Steve Martinez drove her to the hospital, where she underwent emergency surgeries in an effort to save her arm.

On the day after Wilansky nearly lost her arm, seven FBI agents—including two clad in Joint Terrorism Task Force jackets—came to her hospital room and collected articles of clothing and shrapnel freshly dislodged from her arm. They also subpoenaed hospital visitor logs and videos of her room.

The JTTF visit “created a chilling atmosphere where anyone who’s a protester is under suspicion of being a terrorist,” Sophia Wilansky’s father, Wayne Wilansky, says.

The same grand jury that has indicted Fallis, Markus, Nastacio, White, Ortiz, and Miller-Castillo on felony charges subpoenaed Steve Martinez soon afterward. The subpoena implied that a federal investigation of the extremely far-fetched claim that Wilansky’s injury was caused by an improvised explosive was underway, and that Martinez was a subject of that investigation simply because he had driven Wilansky to seek medical attention.

It ordered Martinez to produce, among other things, “photos and SD cards; written statements; and any other information in [his] possession.”

Martinez appeared before the grand jury on January 4th and was asked a single question: “When did you arrive in North Dakota?” He immediately invoked the Fifth Amendment and refused to testify.

In a written statement, Martinez, who is partly of Pueblo and Apache ancestry, called the grand jury “a fishing expedition to find out information about the water protector movement, and organizations and people related to it,” and asserted that “to comply with this subpoena would violate my spiritual duty to protect my loved ones.”

Martinez was expected to begin a jail sentence for contempt of court on March 1, but in late February, the U.S. Attorney’s office unexpectedly withdrew its subpoena of him, meaning he’s free for now. About 20 supporters nevertheless gathered in front of the courthouse on March 1 holding up banners with slogans, such as “The Frontlines Are in the Courtroom.”

The Water Protector Legal Collective, the Freshet Collective, and other volunteer-driven collectives have provided legal support and advice for the water protectors now slogging through various court cases.

Notwithstanding the temporary victory in Steve Martinez’ case, members of the collectives say they intend to continue support for those whose sacrifices made the water protector movement possible in their various courtroom-related struggles.

The History of the Federal Civil Disorder Charge

At a rally outside the U.S. Courthouse October 29, 1969, Dr. Benjamin Spock, background, listens to Fred Hampton, chairman of the Illinois Black Panther party. (AP Photo/stf)

 

The civil disorder statute used against the six federal defendants can be traced to Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination in 1968, which spurred Congress to pass the U.S. Civil Rights Act one week after his death.

It was passed in the aftermath of riots across the country in protest against substandard living conditions in segregated Black communities. The best known section of the act is Title VIII, known as the Fair Housing Act, which was designed to end residential segregation and promote racial integration. But a little-remembered section of the bill, Title X, is known as the Civil Obedience Act.

U.S. Senator Russell Long of Louisiana, an avowed segregationist, was the amendment’s main author and offered it as a quid pro quo for his support of the legislation as a whole.

The amendment created stiff penalties for such activities as “interfering with law enforcement officials during the course of civil disorder.”

Long previously offered up the Civil Obedience Act as an amendment to a bill that would have specified punishments for violence against civil rights workers in the Deep South.

Biographer Michael S. Martin recalled in his book, “Russell Long: A Life in Politics,” a speech Long made to the Senate floor, in which he described the pro-civil rights worker legislation as “a bill to aid and abet H. Rap Brown and Stokely Carmichael,” in reference to leaders of the Black Power movement. He also claimed the people the bill supported were “known to stir up hatred and ill will among people of their race and put cities to the torch.”

In response, Long proposed the Civil Obedience Act as a means to “strike the very thing which really concerns the people of this country: the rights and the safety of 200 million Americans whose property and whose very lives have been seriously endangered.”

Nearly a half-century later, the federal government is using this same racially-charged legislation to pursue felony charges against six indigenous people at Standing Rock.

Ellison recalled one of the few previous times he encountered Federal Civil Disorder charges was during prosecutions of AIM activists in the 1970s. He experienced first-hand the murderous FBI-coordinated counter-insurgency campaign against AIM at Pine Ridge, he noted, whereby a paramilitary organization known as the Guardians of the Oglala Nation (GOONs) went on a rampage of beatings and assassinations of AIM leaders and supporters.

Federal prosecutions are viewed as one aspect of an escalating effort by domestic security agencies, police, politicians, and fossil fuel industries to break the spirit of resistance movements nationwide.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said more than 30 separate anti-protest bills were introduced since November 8, representing “an unprecedented level of hostility towards protesters in the 21st century.”

“The government is looking at how to deal with protests nationally, and these federal prosecutions are certainly a part of that,” Ellison concluded.

Source*

Related Topics:

Trump’s Latest Executive Order Means More Criminalization of Protests*

Arrests and Protests Continue over DAPL*

Water Protectors Expose Moles in Their Ranks, Infiltrating DAPL Protests, Provoking Police*

The Dakota Access Pipeline Is Already Leaking*

The Company behind the Dakota Access Pipeline Just Had 2 Major Spills*

Pipeline Shut Down In North Dakota after Leaking into Little Mississippi River*

BNP Paribas Latest Bank to Dump Dakota Access Pipeline*

Journalist and Filmmaker Faces 45 Years for Reporting on Dakota Access Protests*

 

It Took a Nine-year-old Muslim Boy 35 Seconds to Rumble Theresa May*

It Took a Nine-year-old Muslim Boy 35 Seconds to Rumble Theresa May*

By James Wright

 

It looks like even nine-year-olds can see through Theresa May. On ITV News, Hasnain Nawaz questioned the sitting Prime Minister’s ‘strong and stable’ sloganeering and called on her to “actually do something”:

Weak and wobbly?

Nawaz specified that he is not “following” May. In a display of raw, childhood common sense, he pointed out that May’s rhetoric does not match her actions:

“She’s not really doing anything to be honest, all she’s saying is ‘oh, this, oh, that, I’m strong,’ and all of this.

Well she’s not really doing anything by saying all of that is she?”

ITV invited Nawaz on the show after he asked Jeremy Corbyn a question about “strong and stable leadership” in Peterborough. He also explained why he felt “inspired” by Corbyn:

“He helps the homeless. Everyone talks about needing to help the homeless, well Jeremy Corbyn does it. School education… he does it all for me”

By contrast, May wants to take away free school meals for primary school pupils like Nawaz. She will replace them with breakfast, which amounts to another cut of £650m per year. Meanwhile, the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) confirmed reports from teachers and parents that the Conservatives are bringing the  ‘deepest cuts’ to education for 30 years.

Joining Nawaz, a BBC Question Time audience member also hit out at the lack of substance in the Conservative campaign. The audience member said he’d bet his wife £10 that Work and Pensions Secretary Damian Green would say “coalition of chaos” and “strong and stable government” during his first contribution. It might be the easiest £10 he’s ever earned.

Robot rhetoric

The Conservative campaign indicates that his wife was up against terrible odds. During an interview with Radio Derby, Theresa May epitomised this. Host Chris Doidge asked the Prime Minister if she knew what a ‘mugwump’ was. Boris Johnson had used the word to personally attack Jeremy Corbyn earlier that day. Then, like a robot, May responded:

“What I recognise is that what we need in this country is strong and stable leadership.”

The collective face-palm was tangible. Journalists from The Sun and The Guardian alike expressed utter disbelief. The mindless catchphrase only highlights the Prime Minister’s inability to defend her party’s record:

Even nine-year-olds can see through May’s electioneering. From pretending opposition parties are blocking Brexit, to scapegoating E.U. interference in the election, almost all of the Conservatives’ movements amount to naked electioneering. Brexit is happening. It’s about what type of country we want to build outside the E.U. A civil meritocracy where everyone has the opportunity to succeed through universal education, healthcare and housing. Or a rigged economy where we rent our essential services from the already rich. Nawaz hasn’t reached double figures yet, but he gets it.

Source*

Related Topics:

U.K PM to Create New Internet that would be Controlled and Regulated by Government*

U.K. PM Bows to Pressure to Spell out ‘Brexit Plan’ Details*

U.K’s New PM a Very Jewish Coup*

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

Theresa May Alone in the Trump Debate U.K. Parliament Unites to Send its own Message*

Criminal Investigation Into U.K. Conservative Government*

Young Mothers are going Hungry so their Children can Eat in Theresa May’s Britain*

Jeremy Corbyn Accused of Being Russian “Collaborator” for Questioning NATO Troop Build-Up on Border*

The U.K. Establishment Toppling the Opposition, Jeremy Corbyn*

Corbyn Triumphs as Cameron Fears Failure to Achieve Mandate on Invading Syria*

Corbyn Keeps his Promises to his Constituents, even if it means keeping the Queen Waiting*

Reality of British Empire should be taught in Schools – Corbyn*

Corbyn Turns PMQs into the People’s Question Time, and Cameron Flounders*

Why Corbyn Gained the Unlikely Support of Business*

U.K. Brexit Election 08 June 2017*

 

Africa’s Auschwitz: The Concentration Camp the West Erased from History*

Africa’s Auschwitz: The Concentration Camp the West Erased from History*

 

By Johnny Liberty

 

 

Perhaps no atrocity has been more extensively covered than the Holocaust carried out by the Third Reich in Germany. Yet few Americans are aware that there was a holocaust committed by the Second Reich 40 years prior.

 

While Adolf Hitler is a household name, synonymous with evil, his predecessor, Kaiser Wilhelm II, is far less recognizable — although many of his crimes were just as bad, if not worse, than Hitler’s.

Wilhelm II was crowned in 1888 and launched a “New Course” in German foreign relations. His policies ultimately resulted in Germany’s involvement and eventual defeat in World War I. Despite his notable involvement in World War I, little else is taught about Wilhelm’s reign, in American schools.

 

The Beginning of the 1st German Holocaust:

Germany’s African reign of terror began in 1883, when they raised their flag in South West Africa, heralding the first conquest of the Second Reich’s African empire. Wilhelm II later used the land (now the country of Namibia) as a testing ground for his Lebensraum policy.

Wilhelm II’s Lebensraum, or “living space,” policy was advocated by 19th-century German geographer Friedrich Ratzel, who believed that a race’s survival was dependent on migration. Wilhelm II used this theory to advance a policy with the goal of creating a “New Germany” on African Soil.

The disastrous consequences of this policy led to the suffering of tens of thousands of indigenous African people. Similar to the Jew’s treatment during World War II, the native Herero and Nama people were labeled an “Inferior race” and watched as their human rights were repeatedly violated.

After two decades of mistreatment, the Herero people revolted. In 1904, Germany responded by dispatching 14,000 Soldiers to quell the insurgent colony. After the brutal campaign to defeat the Herero ended, German Lieutenant-General Lothar von Trotha announced a new disturbing policy, saying,

“I believe that the nation [the Herero] as such should be annihilated. Only following this cleansing can something new emerge, which will remain.”

Africa’s Auschwitz: Death Island, the ‘Original’ German Concentration Camp

“Death Island,” also known as Shark Island, served as an ideal location for a prison camp due to its low possibility of escape. General Trotha’s troops transported the defeated Herero and Nama people to the island and several other concentration camps within the German colony. Prisoners were transported in cattle cars and served as slave labour for the new colony’s railway system, along with a number of other construction and demolition projects.

Labor conditions on the island were extremely dangerous, resulting in a high number of fatalities. One German Technician noted that his 1,600-slave workforce had decreased to only 30-40 available labourers. By late 1906, at least seven slaves were dying daily due to the grisly working conditions.

Food and provisions on the island were also extremely scarce, as witnesses recalled, “prisoners fought like wild animals and killed each other to secure a share.” Conditions on the island continued to deteriorate and prisoners starved to death or committed suicide to escape the nightmarish conditions. Eventually, German soldiers began referring to it as a “Death Camp”.

One of the first civilians to visit the island briefly described the horrific scene he saw:

“A woman, who was so weak from illness that she could not stand, crawled to some of the other prisoners to beg for water. The overseer fired five shots at her. Two shots hit her: one in the thigh, the other smashing her forearm…in the night she died.”

 

During their imprisonment, captives were frequently whipped, forced into unsanitary living conditions where diseases such as typhoid rapidly spread, and received virtually no medical care. Herero women were photographed being raped and the images were sent back to Germany as “pornographic postcards.”

German scientists also used the island and its prisoners to conduct medical experiments. Shark Island camp physician, Dr. Bofinger injected prisoners with a toxic cocktail of arsenic and opium in attempts to determine if scurvy was a contagious disease.

As bodies continued to pile up, researchers began to perform autopsies on the dead to conduct further experiments. According to German medical statistics, 778 autopsies were conducted in just one year.

After they concluded their experiments, the Germans forced Herero women to boil the heads of their own people and clean them, so they could be sent back to Germany for further research. In all, Over 3,000 skulls of Herero people were sent to German Universities, which they used in an attempt to prove the similarity between the Herero people and apes.

The human cost of Germany’s African Holocaust.

In 1907, German officials finally relented to domestic and international pressure, and shut down “Death Island.” While there is no ‘official’ death toll of the prisoners held on Death Island, the German Imperial Colonial Office estimates 7,682 Herero and 2,000 Nama people died in colonial concentration camps in South West Africa. Historians estimate that, of these deaths, as many as 4,000 may have occurred at “Death Island.”

The consequences of German colonialization in Namibia are staggering. It is estimated that, in a matter of decades, the Herero population was reduced from 100,000 to less than 15,000, and the Nama population was cut in half.

A report released by the United Nations in 1985 listed the German holocaust in Africa as the first genocide of the 20th century.

While Germany’s outright murder of Africans in Namibia temporarily ceased, as any student of history can tell you, this would not be the last attempted genocide by a German ruler. In fact, many people would say Wilhelm II ‘perfected’ the development of concentration camps, a model later employed by Adolf Hitler’s Third Reich.

 

 

Source*

Related Topics:

At the World Economic Forum-Africa Germany Pitched a Dubious New G20 Corporate Strategy*

Namibian Indigenous Groups Sue Germany for Genocide*

Germany’s Legacy of Genocide in Namibia*

Stop E.U. from Hijacking Africa’s Clean Energy Future*

Europe and U.S. Dodging Demands for Slavery Reparations*

Sorry European racial “purists,” it turns out your ancestors were African and Middle Eastern*

Why Is Rosa Parks’ Former Detroit Home Being Shipped to Germany?*

‘Mein Kampf’ Now Part of Germany’s School Curriculum*

130,000 Refugees Vanished after Being Registered in Germany*

Somali Man Takes Legal Action against US, Germany Over Father’s Drone Killing*

Germany, where’s the Reparation for Greece?*

Bilderberg 2017 Meeting in U.S.*

Bilderberg 2017 Meeting in U.S.*

 

Luke Rudkowski of WeAreChange covers the breaking news of the Bilderberg Group’s location and date of this year’s secretive meeting. We go over correlation of Trump’s impeachment with the location of this year’s meeting in D.C, the lies in the official Bilderberg group press release, its contradictions, and its history.

Source*

Related Topics:

Bilderberg meets to decide US presidential election

Bilderberg 2015: Global Command & Control System‏*

Bilderberg 2014: Aiming to do what they’ve been Doing Derail Global Political Awakening*

Bilderberg Founder a former Member of the Nazi Party*

The Bilderberg Factor

We Don’t Believe in Words Anymore*

We Don’t Believe in Words Anymore*

Indigenous Peoples stand against Brazil’s Temer government

By Sue Branford, Maurício Torres

A Munduruku woman at the Transamazonian highway blockade talks with truck drivers. Despite the inconvenience of the roadblock, many truckers are expressing sympathy for the indigenous protest, citing their own disgruntlement with the policies of the Temer government. Photo by Mauricio Torres

 

Indigenous groups are making a defiant stand against the current wave of fiercely anti-Indian policies being rapidly implemented by Brazil’s Temer administration and Congress.

Protests blossomed last week in Brasilia where a four-day demonstration — the largest in the nation’s history — brought together over 4,000 indigenous leaders from more than 200 tribes seeking government redress of grievances. The protesters were met with teargas.

Likewise, a peaceful land occupation by members of the Gamela tribe in Maranhão state ended in violence when their camp was raided by ranchers and hired gunmen who beat the Indians brutally, even hacking off hands with machetes.

In the Amazon, members of the Munduruku tribe, armed with bows and arrows, set up a roadblock on the Transamazonian highway, creating a 40 kilometre (25 mile) backup of trucks loaded with this year’s soy harvest.

The blockade came in protest of the government’s refusal to demarcate the Indians’ lands as assured under the 1988 Brazilian Constitution. The commodities roadblock also sent a clear signal to the bancada ruralista, Brazil’s agribusiness lobby, which dominates Congress and the administration, and which pushed for the dramatic upsurge in federal initiatives rolling back indigenous land rights and protections.

A glimpse of the traffic backup at the Munduruku blockade. Video by Mauricio Torres

Violence in Maranhão

On 30 April gunmen and ranchers attacked an indigenous camp in Maranhão, an impoverished state in northeast Brazil, long dominated by powerful landowners led by the Sarney family (one of whom is Pres. Temer’s environment minister, José Sarney Filho).

The violence was triggered by events two days earlier, when several dozen Gamela Indians occupied disputed land near the town of Viana, 214 kilometers (133 miles) from the state capital of São Luis.

This land was traditionally occupied by the Gamela, but the military dictatorship (1964-1985) illegally ejected them from it. Ranchers then occupied the area, clearing the forest, planting pasture and raising cattle. As years passed, the ranchers began to see themselves as the legitimate owners.

About 300 Gamela families remained in the region, however, determined to regain their land despite the slight odds of doing so. Regardless of the legitimacy of their claim, the Indians received little help from authorities, with the federal Indian agency FUNAI, under pressure from the ranchers, refusing to begin the process of marking out the boundaries of the Gamela territory.

Three years ago the Indians went to court to force the ranchers to relinquish the land, but the case was stalled by bureaucratic delays. With their living conditions worsening year-by-year, the Gamela became convinced that they would only survive as a people if they took action. So they began a series of retomadas or re-occupations of their traditional land.

They timed the latest reoccupation to coincide with both the indigenous protest in Brasilia and a national one-day general strike, the first in 21 years, organized by Brazil’s trade unions in protest over the Temer government’s severe austerity measures.

It was a risky strategy, particularly in view of the strong anti-indigenous sentiment in Brasilia, and the local ranchers responded rapidly. According to one report, they sent out a WhatsApp message, calling on ranchers and their gunmen to gather near the indigenous camp.

Messages supporting the ranchers flooded the media. Federal deputy, Aluisio Guimarães Mendes Filho, (the state’s Public Security Secretary during the government of Roseana Sarney, another member of the Sarney clan), spoke out in a local radio interview, accusing the Gamela of being “troublemakers” and encouraging violence against them.

“He fanned the flames,” said one Indian later.

The ranchers had a barbecue, drank a lot of alcohol, and became increasingly abusive in their talk about the Indians. It was clear that an attack was being planned, but when it happened, the military police (who had arrived on site earlier) didn’t intervene.

The Indians were vastly out-numbered and could do little but flee into the forest when attacked by men wielding rifles and machetes.

According to Cimi (the Catholic Missionary Council), 13 Indians were injured. Two had both hands lopped off. Others were severely beaten; one had a fractured skull. One of the injured is Kum ‘Tum Gamela, a former priest, who has received numerous death threats in the past.

The Ministry of Justice issued a press statement in which it promised to investigate “the incident that involved small farmers and supposed Indians in the hamlet of Bahias.” The term “supposed” generated a wave of indigenous anger and was quickly deleted from the statement. Later the term “small farmers” was also removed, as it was widely criticized as being a euphemism for the gunmen employed by the ranchers. In the end, the statement merely said that that the ministry would investigate a “rural conflict.”

The Human Rights Commission of the prestigious Brazilian Bar Association (OAB) is to request help from the human rights body, Amnesty International, to resolve the dispute.

Munduruku roadblock

Another serious conflict is still underway, though it has not, as yet, resulted in violence. On 28 April, 130 Munduruku Indians and members of the Tapajós riverside communities of Montanha and Mongabal blockaded the Transamazonian highway, occupying a bridge about 25 kilometres (15 miles) east of the new port of Miritituba, a key transhipment point for the soy industry, where international trading giants, such as Bunge and ADM, have large terminals.

With the soy harvest in full swing, the road soon became highly congested, with at least a 40 kilometer (25 mile) backup of large trucks, carrying soybeans to Miritituba. The blockade was lifted during the night from 28 April forward, but was then re-imposed as a 24-hour blockade on the morning of 3 May.

A Mongabay contributor was accidentally caught up in the traffic, and on arriving at the road block he stayed to cover the showdown.

The Munduruku blocked the Transamazonian highway this week in protest of the failure of the Brazilian government to demarcate their traditional lands. The blockade is ongoing. Photo by Mauricio Torres.

 

Antonio Munduruku, a young Indian, offered two reasons why the blockade was imposed:

“We want the FUNAI employees who were working with us to be reinstated. We need them. They are our greatest tool in getting our lands marked out. And we won’t leave with empty hands. The FUNAI president told us on Friday that he’d sorted it out. But we don’t believe in words any more. We want their reinstatement published in the official gazette.”

He went on: “The second reason is to get the Sawré Muybu indigenous territory properly marked out. It’s our land but nothing is happening. Loggers are carrying on extracting timber.”

Vicente Saw, an old cacique, leader, said that stopping traffic on highways was effective: “The heart of the government is here on the road,” he said.

The will to resist

The Munduruku were shocked but not surprised by what happened to the Gamela:

“They’re a different ethnic group but they are our brothers, with the same blood,” said Jairo Saw Munduruku.

“We mustn’t let what’s happened to them happen to us. The government must mark out our land. If not, big loggers, big mining companies, will come in. And they will start conflicts, attacking us, assassinating leaders. That’s what the government wants but we must stop it happening. We don’t have anyone speaking for us in Congress. We have to defend ourselves.”

Attempts to reach the Brazilian government for comment in recent weeks have been met with no response.

The Munduruku feel no hostility toward the truck drivers. An old indigenous leader, Tomas Munduruku, said:

“We’re in favour of the truck drivers. They need our support too. It’s not right that the government is cutting their pensions.”

More surprisingly perhaps, many of the truck drivers are supportive of the Indians too. Trucker Mario de Nascimento said:

“This road is essential for Brazil and the protest must stop. But the Indians’ rights aren’t being respected, just like ours aren’t being respected. But we are carrying Brazil on our backs. We can’t stop. We need the government to sort it out. None of us deserves the way we’re being treated.”

Another trucker, who didn’t want to give his name, said:

“They [the Indians] are right. You can’t deny that. And if some of the people here want to lynch me for saying that, then let them lynch me.”

David and Goliath: One truck driver threatened to drive over the Indians, but other truckers found common ground with the Munduruku in their grievances against the repression and austerity measures of the current government. Photo by Mauricio Torres.

 

Time and again, the truckers, like the Indians, blamed the government for failing to listen, declaring flatly: “The biggest problem is the government.”

The concern is that the Amazonian heat, hunger and thirst will affect both Indians and truck drivers, and that tempers may begin to fray. One truck driver, who also didn’t give his name, threatened:

 “We’re going to drive our trucks over the Indians, pushing them all over, Indian after Indian. If our dreadful federal government doesn’t manage to get the blockade lifted soon, that’s what we’ll do.”

Another trucker said, in exasperated jest:

“It’s getting terrible for all of us. I haven’t had a shower for more than 24 hours, in this heat. I feel like throwing my underpants into the river. They’d kill the fish. So the Indians wouldn’t have fish to eat, nor any of us have fish either.”

With the drivers stretched over many miles, it’s difficult to assess the truckers’ overall mood, but there was a surprising development Wednesday afternoon. A substantial group of truckers and Indians held a meeting beside the highway, during which both sides expressed support for the other’s struggle, saying that their chief complaint is against the current government.

Although not all truckers share this opinion, a significant number do. That is an extraordinary new development because, in the past, Indian actions of this type caused huge resentment among affected parties, particularly truck drivers. It is indicative of the very high level of rejection in Brazil of the ruling government by voters of all kinds, with Pres. Temer’s support now standing at an unprecedented low of 9%.

The Munduruku possess a fierce warrior heritage and are standing up against the anti-indigenous policies of the administration and Congress. Photo by Mauricio Torres.

 

Growing dissent

Protests in Maranhão and Pará are not isolated cases. All over Brazil Indians are expressing grave fears about the future. Paulo Marubo, an Indian from the Javari Valley in the state of Amazonas, not far from the border with Peru, says that FUNAI, decimated by budget cuts, will have to close many of its offices for ethno-environmental protection (Bapes), which play a key role in monitoring the territory occupied by uncontacted tribes.

Marubo told Survival International: “If the protection teams are withdrawn, it will be like before, when many Indians were massacred and died as a result of disease… If the loggers come here, they will want to contact the uncontacted, they will spread diseases and even kill them.”

Instead, the federal government seems to be turning its back on indigenous demands. During his first 55 days in office, justice minister Osmar Serraglio didn’t have a single meeting with an Indian but found time to sit down behind closed doors with a 100 landowners plus businessmen accused of corruption in the Car-Wash scandal.

During the large protest in Brasilia, Serraglio and Eliseu Padilha, Temer’s chief-of-staff, belatedly offered to meet the Indians, but that offer was turned down. The two officials are known to have drawn up the government’s anti-indigenous strategy and, with no offer of compromise on the table, the indigenous leaders saw little point in meeting with them.

The current assault on indigenous rights is the most severe since the end of the military dictatorship in 1985. The NGO ISA (Socioenvironmental Institute) says there has been an “exponential increase in rural violence” since Temer took over. It comments:

“The fact that the ministry of justice is occupied by [Osmar Serraglio], an advocate of injustice reinforces the sinister omens of what lies ahead.”

Source*

Related Topics:

Brazil’s Temer Defies Calls to Step Down over Wiretap Scandal*

Brazil: Corporations Continue to Seize Indigenous Lands and Hire Hit Men to Murder Residents

Occupy World: Brazil’s Indigenous Occupy Congress*

Canadian Company to Construct Brazil’s Largest Open-Pit Gold Mine—in the Heart of the Amazon*

Brazil vs. the Indigenous Fight against the Belo Monte Dam*