Wednesday, June 29, 2016

7 Years Since Honduras Coup - Forced Migration & Solidarity

Today, Tuesday, June 28th marked 7 years since the U.S.-backed military coup in Honduras.
It's been nearly four months since Berta Cáceres was assassinated in her home for the powerful organizing she carried out with COPINH to protect Indigenous territories. But two weeks ago, H.R.5474, the “Berta Cáceres Human Rights in Honduras Act,” was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives.

TAKE ACTION TODAY! Click here to ask your member of Congress to support H.R.5474, which calls for an immediate suspension of U.S. security assistance to Honduras "until such time as human rights violations by Honduran security forces cease and their perpetrators are brought to justice."

On the Road to the Convergence at the Border

Arturo, Kat and Maria Luisa from the SOA Watch staff are on the road from Washington, DC to Nogales, Arizona/ Sonora, to prepare for the SOA Watch Encuentro at the Border, which will take place from October 7-10, 2016. They are currently in Nashville, Tennessee, where today June 28, they gathered with allies and partners at the headquarters of the Correctional Corporation of America (CCA)
to protest the inhumane detention of asylum-seekers, to remember the coup, and honor those impacted by militarized violence in Central America. CCA is the largest for-profit private prison corporation in the U.S., making profits from both the mass incarceration of citizens and the detention refugees & migrants. Many of the people detained in CCA and other private and public detention centers across the country are people who have fled the violence created by the U.S.'s militarized foreign and immigration policies. The 2009 Honduran coup and the recent immigration raids against asylum-seekers are but two policies that place geopolitical interests and racist fears above the lives of Central Americans.

Since 2009, Honduras has gone through an incredible amount of turmoil and violence as a direct result of the military coup, which was implicitly and explicitly supported by the U.S. government. The coup regime remains in power to this day through undemocratic elections and a blatant disregard for human rights and the rule of law. Hondurans are forced to flee their country, oftentimes braving a gauntlet in Mexico (where U.S. taxpayer money funds their persecution, detention, and deportation through Plan Frontera Sur) only to have their international rights as refugees and asylum-seekers violated once again when imprisoned in the U.S. CCA is one profiteer of militarization, even cynically attempting to obtain a "child care license" for their Dilley Texas Family Detention Center.
U.S. support for military coups must end! The profiting from refugee imprisonment must end! One action we can take is to support the Berta Cáceres Human Rights in Honduras Act, which would suspend security aid and training "until such time as human rights violations by Honduran security forces cease and their perpetrators are brought to justice".
As we saw, yesterday's decision against the SOA-trained killer of Victor Jara, Pedro Barrientos, the constant struggle for accountability is long, but necessary to achieve justice. 
Click here to ask your member of Congress to support H.R.5474 , the Berta Cáceres Human Rights in Honduras Act

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Friday, June 10, 2016

Cambridge MA declares Indigenous Peoples Day

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Advancing Indigenous Peoples' 
rights and cultures worldwide

June 2016

Cambridge, MA Declares Indigenous Peoples' Day

The second Monday in October will now be recognized as Indigenous Peoples' Day in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
On Monday, June 6th, 2016, Cambridge City Council voted unanimously in favor of a resolution to change Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples Day in the city of Cambridge, making it the first major city in the northeastern United States to enact this change.
Cambridge joins Berkley, California; Seattle, Washington; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Portland, Oregon; Carrboro, North Carolina;  Albuquerque, New Mexico, and the state of Alaska in celebrating Indigenous Peoples' Day.   

The effort to make this transition has been underway since 1992, which marked the 500th anniversary of Columbus's first voyage.
Monday's council meeting heard comments from dozens of supporters, including Indigenous representatives from the Wampanoag tribe, native to Massachusetts, as well as the Lakota tribe. Additional comments were made by activist organizations including the Harvard University Native American Program, the North American Indian Center of Boston, and Cultural Survival, as well as a group of 8th grade students from the Putnam Upper school in Cambridge, who after studying the history of Columbus's arrival, were inspired to make a change.  Read more.

Colombian Indigenous Communities Hold National Strike

On May 30th, 2016, environmental and social activists from Indigenous Communities across Colombia came together to take part in the National Agrarian, Peasant, Ethnic and Grassroots Mobilization (Minga). Indigenous Communities from 27 different departments and 100 towns and villages took part in a national strike organized by the National Indigenous Organization of Colombia (ONIC). Participating communities are demanding that the government respond to theirdemands  to defend the lands and rights of the Indigenous Peoples across Colombia. Colombia's Indigenous population currently is one million five hundred thousand, according to the National Statistics Department.

Demanding Justice for the Murder of Berta Cáceres

It has been three months since Berta Cáceres, a Honduran Lenca leader and coordinator of the National Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH) was assassinated  in her home on March 3, 2016. A long time activist, Cáceres was dedicated to working in defense of  the sacred Gualcarque River against the construction of the Agua Zarca hydroelectric dam. Her noteworthy work as an Indigenous and environmental activist is recognized internationally. In 2015, she won the Goldman Environmental Prize for her work in defending Gualcarque River from the construction of the Agua Zarca hydroelectric dam. Prior to her death, Cáceres had spent several months in hiding due to death threats, as well as political persecution with multiple calls for her arrest. Shortly after her assassination, another COPINH member was killed on March 15, 2016. Nelson Garcia was murdered by four gunshots to the face in the Rio Chiquito community. Read more.  

Listen to NEW Indigenous Rights Radio Programs! 

Our Indigenous Rights Radio program has been busy producing new radio series on Indigenous Peoples' rights and how they are being implemented around the world. Our programs, designed for broadcast on community radio stations, including Public Service Announcements, interviews, and documentaries about internationally recognized rights and the strategies communities are using to make those rights a reality. Listen and share today!


CS Bazaars Have a New Facebook Page!

It's about time the Cultural Survival Bazaars get their own page on Facebook! Not only will the page be a center for info about and promotion of our Bazaars; it will also be a hub for news and information about Indigenous arts and artists in the world. You'll get notified of new posts and can share them on your page and with friends.

When you "Like" us on Facebook and share the page with your friends, you're helping get the word out about our events and bringing more people to the Bazaars. You will be supporting Indigenous artists by bringing more business to the events and by raising awareness of Indigenous artists, their work, and the issues they face.

If you have a Facebook account, it's easy!
  • Just go to Cultural Survival Bazaars and on the lower right of the picture, click "Like"
  • Then, if you're willing, click the elipsis (...) to the right of "Message" and click "Invite Friends"
  • Under "Invite Friends," you can click "Share" to share on your own Facebook page
  • Back on the main page, you'll see "Events," where you can get info about each Bazaar and let us know if you want to attend! You can invite friends to these too, if you'd like. Go straight to the events here:

Cultural Survival advocates for Indigenous Peoples' rights and supports Indigenous communities' self-determination, cultures and political resilience since 1972. We envision a future that respects and honors Indigenous Peoples' inherent rights and dynamic cultures, deeply and richly interwoven in lands, languages, spiritual traditions, and artistic expression, rooted in self-determination and self-governance.

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To read about Cultural Survival's work around the world, click here. To explore 43 years of information on Indigenous issues use our Search function.

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For ways to take action to support Indigenous communities, click here.

We take on governments and multinational corporations -- and they always have more resources than we do -- but with the support of people like you, we do win. Your contribution is crucial to that effort. Click here to do your part.

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Cultural Survival, PO BOX 381569  , Cambridge, MA 02238