Showing posts with label San Francisco. Show all posts
Showing posts with label San Francisco. Show all posts

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Idle No More Supporters Protest Keystone XL Pipeline in San Francisco

On March 23, Idle No More supporters gathered for prayers, songs, speeches, and round dances in front of the Federal Building in San Francisco as part of the "Next Step to Stop Keystone XL."

Wicahpiluta Candelaria, a Rumsen Ohlone cultural presenter, sang and gave the opening prayer. 

Speakers included Pennie Opal Plant, Norman "Wounded Knee" DeOcampo, and Paul Flores, who all picked up on the theme of "water" and its relation to The Keystone XL pipeline. 

Following the round dances, community members joined together for a singing of the American Indian Movement anthem. 

Shortly after the Idle No More event, bay area activists gathered in front of the San Francisco Federal Building for nonviolent direct action training in preparation for a yet to be announced action to stop the Keystone XL pipeline. 

Bay Area Activists Prepare for Direct Action to Stop Keystone XL Pipeline

On March 23, activists from across the Bay Area who want to stop the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline converged on the Federal Building in San Francisco to hold group civil disobedience training exercises.

The day began with an Idle No More Round Dance. Activists acknowledged they were on Ohlone land, and offered prayers, then individuals spoke about Idle No More and began the dance, which was followed by a singing of the American Indian Movement anthem. 

Later, approximately 200-300 people were in attendance for the direct action training. The large group broke into four smaller groups, with each essentially conducting the same training exercises. 

Individuals practiced interlocking arms as a method of holding physical ground, and role-playing exercises were held in preparation for close contact with the police. 

Activists with previous experience in nonviolent direct action led the training exercises and were available to answer questions from those who had not participated in such actions before. 

For example, trainers suggested appealing to police officers on a human level when contacted, to communicate directly about the purpose of the action and how it affects all of humanity, and to look the authorities straight in the eyes. 

At the same time, trainers explained that police are often heavily outfitted with gear, and when one woman asked what to do if officers were wearing helmets with shields that covered their faces, one trainer said, "look to where their eyes should be," in order to speak directly to them. 

Where and when the direct action aimed at stopping the completion of the XL Keystone pipeline project will occur has yet to be announced, but San Francisco Police weren't taking any chances with the large crowd; there were at least two to three dozen officers on hand at the federal building, and nearby, for the training exercises. 

Organizers were listed as Bay Area, Tar Sands Blockade, Idle No More, and Rising Tide S.F., and together they released the following statement, which explains why they think direct action is necessary at this point: 

"We have written letters, made phone calls, educated ourselves and others, demonstrated in the tens of thousands, participated in Idle No More flash mobs, and been arrested at the White House as we push President Obama to stop the Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline. Yet we have no sign that Obama will walk his climate talk and reject the pipeline. Additionally a 'deeply flawed' State Department environmental report indicates approval may be likely. It's time to organize ourselves to take nonviolent direct action where we live and to raise the social and political cost for approving what James Hansen calls "Game Over" for the climate. This training is part of the Tar Sands Blockade week of Action." 

S.F. Federal Building

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Ohlone Support Idle No More with Flash Mob at San Francisco Mall

On January 27, In solidarity with First Nations and Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence, Ohlone and other individuals of Californian Native American ancestry held a flash mob in San Francisco at the Westfield Mall to show support for the Idle No More movement.

About 100-150 people joined Ohlone activists at the Westfield Mall on a busy Sunday afternoon. At the flash mob, people prayed and shared the songs and dances of, "the People of the Roundhouse, Earthlodge, and Dance Pit," and the Yelamu were honored.

The Yelamu were the tribe of Ohlone Indians that inhabited a variety of locations within the SF area before the Spanish mission system was established.

The singing and dancing inside of the mall lasted for 10-15 minutes. To clear people out, security used a bullhorn, at which time the group moved outside to the front entrance and then across Market Street to the small square near Powell Street, where they continued to sing and dance.

Speakers in support of Idle No More, after the flash mob, included Corinna Gould and Norman "Wounded Knee" DeOcampo.

Gould, who is of Chochenyo and Karkin Ohlone ancestry, spoke about how it is not only important to support the efforts of First Nations in Canada, but to also bring that energy a efforts to Ohlone struggles here in their own communities, where most tribes are not recognized by the government.

"We come and stand together, and we dance our songs, and we sing our prayers, and we stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters, but I ask you this question, 'What are you going to do, not to idle anymore?' How are we going to stand together not just for their treaty rights, but for ours as well. How do we become people that are recognized on our own land? How do we become those people that are standing up for the next generation? I am so thankful that young people are coming out in all sizes and shapes. I am so thankful that the women are coming forward to Idle No More. It is time that we took our rightful place as women of these Nations, to remind us what our jobs are, who we are supposed to be, and what our original peoples have been. It is time for us not to 'Idle No More.' It is great that we show up and we stand together in solidarity, but is is even greater that we go to our community and we remember that we cannot be idle there either."

"We can't let this be another 'Occupy.' We have to continue this on.We have to make sure that this movement continues to move forward, and that we really take it to heart that we are idling no more. Not only do we require it, but our children require it, and not only does the future require it, but our past requires it. Our ancestors did not stand idle for us, so we cannot stand idle for the future generations."

Solidarity actions to coincide with the Canadian governments return to parliament were called for January 28 by the founders of the Idle No More movement in Canada, who also, according to their website, "support and encourage grassroots to create their own forums to learn more about Indigenous rights and our responsibilities to our Nationhood via teach-ins, rallies and social media."

The Idle No More plan of action, "calls on all people to join in a revolution which honors and fulfills Indigenous sovereignty which protects the land and water," and further explains that, "Colonization continues through attacks to Indigenous rights and damage to the land and water. We must repair these violations, live the spirit and intent of the treaty relationship, work towards justice in action, and protect Mother Earth."

The Idle No More movement was founded in November of 2012 in Canada when the government there introduced Bill C-45, which severely reduced environmental protections to waterways on indigenous lands, and was accelerated when a hunger strike was undertaken by Chief Theresa Spence.