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Old 01-03-2013, 09:21 AM   #1
Despanan
 
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Idle No More

Has anyone heard of Idle No More?

It's a mass anti-capitalist, pro environment native-people's movement, in the vein of the Arab Spring picking up steam in the US and Canada:

Idle No More

Quote:
Originally Posted by Huffpost
What started as a murmur in early October from First Nations People in Canada in response to Bill C45 has become a movement that echoes the sentiments of people all over the world, a battle cry of love for the planet, "Idle No More." At first glance it might appear that this movement is isolated and doesn't effect you if you are not native or if you don't live in Canada, yet it does. It may appear that this resistance is not related to The Occupy Movement, The Arab Spring, The Unify Movement, Anonymous, or any of the other popular uprisings sparked by social unrest, but it is.

At its very core, all of these movements have very common threads and are born from common issues facing people everywhere. Those who represent financial interests that value money over life itself, that are devoid of basic respect for human decency, and for nature have dictated the future for too long and people everywhere are standing up to say, "No more." This non-violent social uprising is viral in the minds and hearts of everyone across the planet determined to bring healing to our troubled communities, our planet, and the corruption that is eroding the highest places of governments around the world.

Flashmobs with dancing and drumming at a malls in Olympia, Wash. Tempe, Ariz., Denver, Colo., a giant circle dance blocking a large intersection in Winnipeg, rail blockades in Quebec, this movement is using cultural expression combined with modern activism to get attention, and it is working. From their website, "Idle No More calls on all people to join in a revolution which honors and fulfills Indigenous sovereignty which protects the land and water. Colonization continues through attacks to Indigenous rights and damage to the land and water."

Idle No More was started in October by four ladies; Nina Wilson, Sylvia McAdam, Jessica Gordon & Sheelah McLean who felt it was "urgent to act on current and upcoming legislation that not only affects First Nations people but the rest of Canada's citizens, lands and waters." On December 11 Attawapiskat Chief, Theresa Spence, launched a hunger strike requesting a face-to-face meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper to discuss broken treaties and protection of natural resources. Spence is staying in a tipi on the frozen Ottawa River facing Parliament Hill and has gained the support from many natives and non-natives who are in solidarity with this movement.

Chief Arvol Lookinghorse from South Dakota recently expressed his support in a letter posted on Facebook that states, "As Keeper of our Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe, I would like to send out support for the efforts of Chief Theresa Spence of the Attawapiskat First Nation, for giving of herself through fasting with prayers for the protection of Mother Earth." He goes on to say,

Quote:
This effort to protect Mother Earth is all Humanity's responsibility, not just Aboriginal People. Every human being has had Ancestors in their lineage that understood their umbilical cord to the Earth, understanding the need to always protect and thank her. Therefore, all Humanity has to re-connect to their own Indigenous Roots of their lineage -- to heal their connection and responsibility with Mother Earth and become a united voice... All Nations, All Faiths, One Prayer.
Society and nature work in similar ways to our own body's immune system. We are given a symptom that causes us to be aware that there is an illness that needs to be addressed. We can try to suppress the symptom, but that does not heal the illness. Popular uprisings with very core commonalities are spreading all over the planet. Exploitation of our environment, as well as the exploitation of people and cultures for the sake of financial gain is immoral and must be stopped at the highest levels of our governments. It is possible to have a thriving economy and environmental ethics.

Here in America, the response to Occupy is tucked into NDAA as Washington prepares ways to suppress the symptoms of social discord. Without addressing the illness at its root nothing will change. It is like the mythical Many-Headed Hydra, if you cut one head off, two more will grow back. Popular uprisings will continue here and all over the world until leaders understand that people want real fundamental change in policy. Governments should lead by example if they want to be respected.

With Twitter, Facebook and the internet, these separate movements are finding solidarity with each other and converging as a global super-movement for the planet and all people. The quote used at Unify is, "Everyone, Everywhere, Together" and it is beginning to resonate more than ever.

Each of these movements share a commitment to non-violent revolution in their call to end the exploitation of people and the exploitation of natural resources. Sustainability can be applied to all aspects of social rights, economics and the environment. Social, economic, cultural, and environmental movements, resistance, civil disobedience, flash mobs and more will continue until this is addressed at home and abroad. Whether it is Anonymous and Wikileaks exposing the corruption of governments, or Indians with drums dancing and chanting in a local mall, people everywhere are awakening, speaking up, and acting for the needed changes. It's time for politicians and religious leaders to get the message everywhere.

It is a simple choice: continue to be part of the cancer that slowly destroys our water, our air and the resources that are the fabric of life by staying unconscious, or become the conscious antidote that slowly kills the cancerous disease which threatens the existence of life on the planet? Is the disease capitalism, corruption, ignorance, greed, The Illuminati, or some combination of all of these things spiralling out of control? It doesn't matter because it is becoming obvious that there are people from all nationalities, religions, and cultural backgrounds who are determined to resist the progression of imminent destruction. A factory producing monkey wrenches for the gears of the machine which is at the center of our collective demise.

Will the leaders wake up to this in order to play the roles they have sworn to uphold or will they further discredit their position, their institutions, and help to destroy the very systems that they have been entrusted to maintain? Every time Congress represents the will of a few wealthy people over the interests and the well-being of the planet and the people, they do more to subvert and destroy the state than ten thousand people protesting in the streets. When leaders fail, they destroy the trust that holds society together.

Is Harper cold and callous enough to ignore a constituent on hunger strike a short distance from his office? Can he afford to ignore these issues? Can any of us afford to ignore this call to be idle no more?

Take a moment and listen to the eloquent words of an 11-year-old girl in the video below. If a child can understand this, how come world leaders are still silent on making real changes to address these urgent issues?

Please support Idle No More, learn more about the movement, how it effects all of us and get involved. All of our futures depend on it.
Video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tH5Er9y4A4U

Their website:

http://idlenomore1.blogspot.com/
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Old 01-03-2013, 11:32 AM   #2
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I've been looking into getting something organized here, although admittedly it's going to be much easier when class starts again next week, most activists I know are students and I don't think it will be hard at all to get our student union to act in solidarity. At the very least, there's the Sisters In Spirit chapter to get in touch with.

Otherwise, its very depressing talking about this with other people. I don't know what its like down in the states but the situation of the First Nations, status and non-status aboriginal is abysmal here. So many comments about how Chief Spence is obese and needs to lose the weight anyway, "Idle No More? So they're going to get jobs?", and various other comments about how the indigenous people are always looking for handouts for the poor hapless white person.

If Chief Spence dies, I don't know whats going to happen, and I'm surprised Harper is willing to risk that so far. Even if he meets with her soon, he's allowed a woman to starve for a month.
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Old 01-03-2013, 11:40 AM   #3
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If anyone is wondering, the bill in question allows the sale of native land to non-natives, threatening the preservation of reserve lands. I got issues with how the reserves are managed (see Indian Act) but the loss of the land would be the worst thing we could do. The bill also removes most protected lands and rivers from protected status, and Harper also recently agreed to a free trade deal with China that will allow China to sue Canada should Canada pass environmental laws that would cut into Chinese profit.
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Old 01-03-2013, 01:40 PM   #4
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Whoa, really?

The American attitude towards natives is very different: to the point where we kinda think they're magic or something. Many Americans see it as a mark of pride to have native Americans in their family, and most ten year old boys will claim it whether it's true or not.

Of course, that may be just the east coast, where there aren't any natives. I hear there's more racism out west, where some tribes still live, but I'm not sure, having never been there myself.

In any case, that law is fuckin' crazy yo.
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Old 01-03-2013, 04:48 PM   #5
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Quote:
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Whoa, really?

The American attitude towards natives is very different: to the point where we kinda think they're magic or something. Many Americans see it as a mark of pride to have native Americans in their family, and most ten year old boys will claim it whether it's true or not.
That's pretty much a white thing to do, I think. It's racist to fetishize a culture like that and people do that everywhere, from my experience.

Quote:
Of course, that may be just the east coast, where there aren't any natives. I hear there's more racism out west, where some tribes still live, but I'm not sure, having never been there myself.
What do you mean?
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Old 01-03-2013, 07:56 PM   #6
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Whoa, really?

The American attitude towards natives is very different: to the point where we kinda think they're magic or something. Many Americans see it as a mark of pride to have native Americans in their family, and most ten year old boys will claim it whether it's true or not.

Of course, that may be just the east coast, where there aren't any natives. I hear there's more racism out west, where some tribes still live, but I'm not sure, having never been there myself.

In any case, that law is fuckin' crazy yo.

There are still indigenous folk on the east coast. They suffered longer under colonialism, but they are still there.

That sentiment is in Canada as well, but as Versus said, it is a racist fetish. This also works to place them as anachronisms, people of the past and traditional ways long dead. There's a museum here where white settlers have their own room where you look for your family name to see when they might have arrived, and the aboriginal exhibits are in the same room as all the taxidermy animals and all the information says they are all dead.
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Old 01-03-2013, 08:01 PM   #7
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For full details on all the laws that this bill represents, this document is helpful: http://www.scribd.com/doc/117686499/...re-Webdocument
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Old 01-03-2013, 08:13 PM   #8
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There are still indigenous folk on the east coast. They suffered longer under colonialism, but they are still there.

That sentiment is in Canada as well, but as Versus said, it is a racist fetish. This also works to place them as anachronisms, people of the past and traditional ways long dead. There's a museum here where white settlers have their own room where you look for your family name to see when they might have arrived, and the aboriginal exhibits are in the same room as all the taxidermy animals and all the information says they are all dead.
Additionally, segregation is typically much worse then co-location as far as fostering racist attitudes.

But anyway. I went to that museum with Saya and hadn't noticed until she pointed it out.
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Old 01-03-2013, 08:15 PM   #9
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No, I realize that there are tribes still on the east coast, a radio show I'm on is trying to get a local tribe to come by the station to talk about Idle No More (that's how I first heard about it) but the general perception is that they aren't here - as they don't have the same kind of presence they do on the west coast.

But yeah, shit's fucked up and bullshit yo.
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Old 01-03-2013, 08:34 PM   #10
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Quote:
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That's pretty much a white thing to do, I think. It's racist to fetishize a culture like that and people do that everywhere, from my experience.
Yes I realize that. Still racist "fetishism" stereotypes are different from racist "layabout" stereotypes. It sounds like what Saya is describing in Canada is closer to the US's stereotypes about migrant workers than native Americans. It doesn't make it less fucked up, but it's still different.

Quote:
What do you mean?
As I said, I'm more remarking on the general cultural perception, rather than the fact that there are still tribes and reservations here on the east coast.

Sorry, should have specified. I'm mobile and typing quickly as I walk from one job to another. I don't really have time to proofread, and even if I did, I'd probably still miss stuff.
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Old 01-03-2013, 10:49 PM   #11
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Yes I realize that. Still racist "fetishism" stereotypes are different from racist "layabout" stereotypes. It sounds like what Saya is describing in Canada is closer to the US's stereotypes about migrant workers than native Americans. It doesn't make it less fucked up, but it's still different.
I'm not really sure that's for us to determine. I was watching some of the video footage, and while I thought to use a cultural symbol as a protest was really powerful, I would feel really uncomfortable participating in them for that reason.
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Old 01-03-2013, 10:54 PM   #12
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From my experiences on both coasts (and various places in between) is that expressions of racism are extremely regional but the underlying racism is pretty uniform. Plenty of people back in Virginia thought that Natives were essentially less hairy Mexicans (a lot of Virginians also think all Hispanics are Mexican) and there are plenty of people here in Cali that fetishize native cultures. Also hipster kids everywhere really love all things Navajo, whether or not those things have anything to do with the Navajo people (who have a copyright on that name and as such anything that isn't produced by them is not legally allowed to use the term Navajo in any way but major retailers keep doing it because hey that shit sells and the Navajo don't have the ability to really do much of anything about it).
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Old 01-03-2013, 11:02 PM   #13
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Gah. Forgot to add this.

Regardless of how synonymous our ideas could be, I couldn't understand it the same; The environment may be important to me, and cultural appropriation may be something that I have to deal with, but they are separate things to me. There is a distinction. I don't think it's for us to determine where their cultural destruction begins and their environmental destruction ends, because for a lot of natives, they're the same thing.
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Old 01-04-2013, 01:18 PM   #14
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I'm 1/16th Cherokee.

...
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Old 01-04-2013, 05:21 PM   #15
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I think another reason white people do the above to prove they aren't totally white is so they get to criticize other races without experiencing racism.

Like one comment on a news article was like "I'm 1/4th aboriginal and I'm so sick of how other aboriginals expect free shit all the time". And its like, really? I'm 1/4th and you'd never know. I have no personal experience of being aboriginal, of being discriminated against, or much exposure to aboriginal culture period.

I think the Canadian government also does a really good job at divide and conquer techniques. My sister is racist against natives because she thinks they get free education. That may be true for some, but its a flat sum they receive so only those who live on the island (which is basically restricted to the Mi'kmaq here) can actually utilize that, the far more numerous Inuit up north wouldn't get enough to cover a plane ticket down to the schools. As tuition rates go up, the grants for the aboriginal has remained the same. When we learned my grandmother is Metis, she was mad she never knew because she just assumed we would have been able to get free tuition if we knew (we would not).

This morning when I was making breakfast she came out and was like "So what do you think of the Chief on the hunger strike?" and I said, "Good for her." she said "Well, I'm of two minds about it." I had to just give her the evil eye until she went away because I really can't with her sometimes.
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Old 01-04-2013, 05:33 PM   #16
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Gah. Forgot to add this.

Regardless of how synonymous our ideas could be, I couldn't understand it the same; The environment may be important to me, and cultural appropriation may be something that I have to deal with, but they are separate things to me. There is a distinction. I don't think it's for us to determine where their cultural destruction begins and their environmental destruction ends, because for a lot of natives, they're the same thing.


A friend of mine explained to me once that she's an environmentalist because taking someone's environment away from them is one of the worst things you can do to a people. I think environmentalism is well part of anti-oppression, but for aboriginal people its particularly prominent, especially those on reserves live on the front lines so to speak.
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Old 01-07-2013, 06:55 PM   #17
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There's some Occupy and IdleNoMore solidarity actions planned in NYC for Jan 11th.

Until then:

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Old 01-09-2013, 09:37 PM   #18
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Interestingly, the federal court FINALLY after twelve years determined that it is discriminatory for the federal government to define Metis and non-status aboriginal as "non-Indians." I still hate how the official term is Indian. http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/stor...challenge.html

In other news, Chief Spence is invited to a meeting with Harper but won't go unless the Governor General is there too. Since we're technically still a monarchy, the Governor General acts as a representative of the Queen of England in Canada and is also who treaties deal with. She has made up her will and made sure there is no intervention when she's dying. http://aptn.ca/pages/news/2013/01/09...r-death-aides/

Also, note to self: Read APTN from now on, when racist trolls have shown up, there's already lots of people tearing them down. The comments being liked on CBC are horrifying.
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Old 01-10-2013, 12:42 AM   #19
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Quote:
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I think another reason white people do the above to prove they aren't totally white is so they get to criticize other races without experiencing racism.

Like one comment on a news article was like "I'm 1/4th aboriginal and I'm so sick of how other aboriginals expect free shit all the time". And its like, really? I'm 1/4th and you'd never know. I have no personal experience of being aboriginal, of being discriminated against, or much exposure to aboriginal culture period.

I think the Canadian government also does a really good job at divide and conquer techniques. My sister is racist against natives because she thinks they get free education. That may be true for some, but its a flat sum they receive so only those who live on the island (which is basically restricted to the Mi'kmaq here) can actually utilize that, the far more numerous Inuit up north wouldn't get enough to cover a plane ticket down to the schools. As tuition rates go up, the grants for the aboriginal has remained the same. When we learned my grandmother is Metis, she was mad she never knew because she just assumed we would have been able to get free tuition if we knew (we would not).

This morning when I was making breakfast she came out and was like "So what do you think of the Chief on the hunger strike?" and I said, "Good for her." she said "Well, I'm of two minds about it." I had to just give her the evil eye until she went away because I really can't with her sometimes.
You ever thought about learning Krav Maga?
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Old 01-10-2013, 01:06 AM   #20
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You ever thought about learning Krav Maga?
That would be so hot.
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