Listen to a new collection of spontaneous folk music by myself and artist Reid Lee Urban. Ten songs: Work From Home by Anthony & Reid
this is such a satisfying experience.
so much time compressed
Leonard Peltier on the passing of Nelson Mandela: Apartheid still exists in America
December 7, 2013
Leonard Peltier, Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians, who has been imprisoned for the past 37 years, issued statement on the passing of former South Africa President Nelson Mandela.
Peltier is serving a life sentence in the U.S. Penitentiary in Coleman, Florida. He was accused of the 1975 murders of two FBI agents on the Pine Ridge Reservation. He was convicted in 1977.
Many people consider Leonard Peltier a political prisoner of war, as was Mr. Mandela, who was imprisoned for 27 years.
Here is Peltier’s statement released shortly after Mr. Mandela’s death was announced:
Greeting my relatives, friends, and supporters:
It saddens me to hear that a great man like Nelson Mandela has departed from this lifetime. He was a man who was truly inspirational and showed us the possibilities of how a continued struggle by indigenous people could manifest itself in levels of freedom that have been marred by centuries of oppression.
Our Native people suffered the same types of oppression many times. It is not as overt and as easily distinguished as in some places; however, if you are dead because a policeman shot you, or dead because you could not stand the racial and cultural genocide, so you committed suicide– you are just as dead either away.
Nelson Mandela is known for leading the struggle against apartheid in South Africa. America talked about ending apartheid and put sanctions on South Africa. Not being all that adept at the English language, it is my understanding that (apartheid) means to keep someone apart from something; my people have been kept apart purposely from the sacred Black Hills of South Dakota. There was, and still are, measures that keep us apart from our true history, perpetrated by an education system that limits the truth of our being.
Right now in Canada Native people are struggling to protect their aboriginal lands from fracking which destroys the water tables and disturbs the natural balance of the Earth. Right now with an apartheid mentality, they seek to build pipelines across Native lands that have the potential of great ecological destruction. Right now there is an apartheid that seeks to separate us from the protection of the constitution of the United States which says treaty law is the supreme law of the land; which also says you have a right to an unbiased fair trial; which also says you have a right to a jury of your peers. Right now our young Native people are tried as adults THREE times more than other groups and kept apartheid from their families and kept apartheid from competent legal representation.
I could go on and on, but you can see where I am heading with this. The struggle from apartheid, I am sure, is not over in South Africa, nor is the struggle against apartheid and slavery over in America.
We have lost a lot of our people in their last years, and again I remember my brother Russell Means who was also tireless in his efforts in trying to bring about an end to this American version of apartheid that faces Native people. We must all consider Nelson Mandela an inspiration, but I am also inspired by the least of our people who stand up for what is right, like the young man or young woman who peacefully mans a roadblock against developers or fracking companies or some factory that hurts our air. While I am at it, in all this chaos, I also want to remember a brother by the name of Wanbli Tate who tirelessly championed the rights of indigenous people through radio programs, writings, and the internet, to bring attention to the wrongdoers represented in government and corporations.
In the spirit of all those who have gone before us in this struggle, I would like to say stay strong and NEVER, NEVER give up.
Your friend always,
In the spirit of Crazy Horse,
Dear President Obama,
I am Ju Hong, the “heckler” that interrupted your speech at the Betty Ong Center in San Francisco last week. I spoke up not out of disrespect, however, either for you or our country. No, I spoke up — and am writing to you now — to ask that you use your executive order to halt deportations for 11.5 million undocumented immigrant families.
My family came to the United States from South Korea when I was 11 years old. Like many immigrants, my mother brought me to this country to seek a better life for her children.
I graduated from UC Berkeley, and am now pursuing a Master’s degree in Public Administration at San Francisco State University. I have lived in America now for 13 years. I consider this country as my home. During my senior year in high school, however, I learned that my family had overstayed a tourist visa. We are undocumented immigrants.
As an American without papers, I was not able to get a job, obtain a driver’s license, or receive governmental financial aid. When my mother was sick and in severe pain, she did not visit a doctor because she cannot procure medical insurance. And when my family’s home was burglarized, she refused to call the police because she was afraid that our family would be turned over to immigration officials and deported.
Like many other undocumented immigrants, I was living in the shadows and living in fear of deportation. However, I have decided to speak out and stand up.
Immigration reform is not only a Latino issue, it’s also an Asian and Pacific Islander issue — in fact, it is a human rights issue. Currently, two million of the estimated 11.5 million undocumented immigrants in our country come from Asia. Under your administration, 250,000 undocumented Asian/Pacific Islander immigrants have been deported. While we only make up five percent of the country, we are disproportionately impacted by your immigration policies.
Last week, I was formally invited by White House staff to hear your remarks on immigration reform in San Francisco. As I stood in the stands behind you, I was hoping to hear about your plan to address the lives of 11 million undocumented people living in this country, like my family. And while you expressed your support for comprehensive immigration reform, you did not address how an average of 1,100 immigrants are deported every single day under your administration. You did not address how you deported 205,000 parents of U.S. citizens in the last two years. You did not address how, because of your administration’s record number of deportations—nearly two million immigrants in five years, a record—families are being torn apart: spouses are being separated from each other, parents are being separated from their children, and our brothers and sisters are being separated from one another. You did not to address how your administration would end the anti-immigration deportation programs like “Secure Communities." You’ve deported more people than any other president in the U.S. history.
Interestingly, you talked about Angel Island during your speech. What you did not mention, however, is that more people are detained every single day in detention today than were detained yearly at Angel Island. You recognized Angel Island as a dark period in Chinatown’s history, but you failed to recognize that more Asians and Pacific Islanders are in detention today than were in detention under the Chinese Exclusion Act. In fact, your administration detains up to 34,000 people per day, a record number of detainees in U.S. history.
Because you failed to address these issues, I was compelled to address the concerns of our community.
You claim that the President of the United States has no authority to stop the deportations. And yet, in June 2012, before the 2012 election, which you won with the help of Latino and Asian voters, you implemented Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. With the stroke of a pen, you dramatically changed the lives of hundreds of thousands of young people like me who can now live without the daily threat of deportation, and can legally work in this country for the first time in our lives.
I know that you support comprehensive immigration reform. But I also know that you have the power to stop the deportations, and that you have the power to stop the suffering, fear, and intimidation facing millions of immigrants like my family.
Your fellow American,
our own wild remembering
"there should be stamps and unlimited envelopes."
institutions in calf muscles
was it a chemical reaction or a memory, in spite of pictures?
the tool that was given
the way it was explained
the fictional place it came from
the broken phone used to call for help
the phone that wouldn’t dial
this to hold onto
schools with a millions zeros until the door opens
the o is a 0
so broken is ok. leaves blowing about.