Sunday, January 29, 2012

US Human Rights Network Statement of Solidarity



The US Human Rights Network (USHRN) stands in solidarity with TONATIERRA and Los Comités de Defensa del Barrio in the struggle against Arizona’s SB 1070 and other laws that seek to re-enshrine white supremacy and justify colonial conquest.

We will not compromise with the peddlers of racism and the promoters of colonialism. We defend the gains of the Indigenous, Chicano, and Black Liberation movements of the 1960’s and 70’s to dismantle dejure racism. However, the resurgence of racial discrimination and the persistence of racial inequity, clearly demonstrate that more needs to be done to fulfill the dreams and aspirations of these liberation movements. Conditions demand that progressive social movements press for the full recognition and fulfillment of the human rights of all, including the right of oppressed people to self-determination, to overcome these inequities and provide restitution for the centuries of crimes against humanity that Indigenous, Chicano, and Black peoples and communities have suffered at the hands of European settlers and the United States government.

We further applaud TONATIERRA and Los Comités de Defensa del Barrio for taking the bold step of adopting the Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth. Adoption of this declaration is a fundamental and necessary step towards implementing restorative justice for oppressed peoples throughout the world and the beginning of the journey towards creating social systems that will enable the restoration of ecological equilibrium between humanity and “all its relations”.

We applaud your foresight and your courage. And look forward to supporting your ongoing efforts in the struggle for justice, human rights, and liberation.

Kali Akuno
Acting Co-Director, US Human Rights Network

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Bruce Boynton speaks out Against AZ SB1070 in Phoenix

Activist Bruce Boynton speaks against SB 1070

Civil-rights pioneer tells of 1950s efforts

One of the nation's eminent civil-rights activists was in Phoenix this week, lending his name to an old cause with a new cast: human rights.

Bruce Boynton, 74, an African-American attorney, became a national symbol in the fight for equality when he was arrested in 1958 for refusing to leave the Whites-only section of a restaurant in an interstate bus terminal in Virginia.

His case, Boynton vs. Virginia, led to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that his arrest violated the Interstate Commerce Act, effectively desegregating interstate transportation facilities. That inspired a group of men and women known as Freedom Riders to ride buses from Washington, D.C., into the Deep South to test the enforcement of desegregation in interstate-travel facilities.
 
Boynton this week attended several events hosted by TONATIERRA, a Phoenix human-rights group, to show his support for activism and share his experiences fighting for civil rights and defiantly disobeying desegregation laws.

"It's consistent with my professional life since law school that I have been an advocate for human rights," Boynton, an Alabama resident, said in an interview explaining why he accepted the invitation to visit Phoenix.

At various events this week, Boynton spoke out against Senate Bill 1070, Arizona's immigration law, and encouraged activists to fight discrimination.

"I had an opportunity to look at the law," Boynton said. "Coming from Alabama, which just recently enacted a very strict anti-immigration law, both of the laws have one thing in common, and that is the dehumanization of people."

In 1958, Boynton was a 21-year-old Howard University law student traveling home to Selma, Ala., for winter break when he sat in the White section of a restaurant in the Richmond, Va., bus terminal in direct defiance of segregation laws. It took the civil-rights fight in a new direction: from litigating cases of racial discrimination and segregation in the courts to directly confronting segregation laws, he said.

"I refused to move, which I knew was against the law," Boynton told a crowd of about 100 at a Thursday screening in Phoenix of the movie "Freedom Riders."

"My arrest on December 18, 1958, occasioned something that had not been done in the history of fighting racial segregation, racial discrimination in America."

The Freedom Rides in 1961 began with a group of 13 men and women riding in two buses. They were attacked and jailed. The movement expanded, eventually involving hundreds of riders traveling in various parts of the South. The riders were White and Black, men and women, whose occupations ranged from jazz musicians to ministers.

Boynton's wife, Betty, told one Phoenix group about her participation in Bloody Sunday, the first of the 1965 civil-rights marches from Selma to Montgomery to urge voting rights in Alabama.

Betty, then 15 years old, was sent to check for potential attackers at the bridge before the group of about 600 people started their march. She saw nobody and told the group the coast was clear, she recalled.
The group did not get far. The marchers were attacked by people in hiding who beat and tear-gassed them, she said. Betty, 63, recalled being pummeled, along with Boynton's mother, also a civil-rights activist, who had a rib broken.

Boynton on Wednesday shared his and Betty's stories with the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors.

"The knowledge of oneself and one's history is important," Boynton told the board, explaining his family's history of fighting for civil rights. He presented to the supervisors with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, adopted in 2007, which prohibits discrimination against Indigenous Peoples.

Boynton was greeted with a standing ovation at Wednesday's board meeting, which drew various county officials and immigration activists.

"We've had this big immigration fight," said Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox, who invited Boynton to attend the meeting. "He so eloquently put in wonderful words that in America, anything can happen."
Links:
Nationhood and Sustainability
YouTube:
Bruce Boynton at the Carver Center 

  *******


Our Nations

Have been put on reservations,

Our Nations are in the hood,

It’s done by robbin’

It brings the throbbin’

Of my heart up to my brain


And the thought

Of what ought

To be done

Is what I say,

Is what I mean:

It’s not about

WHAT 

We want,

It's what

We WILL.



TupakHuhuecoyotl



Thursday, January 26, 2012

FREEDOM RIDERS: NATIONHOOD and SUSTAINABILITY

NATIONHOOD and SUSTAINABILITY
“Freedom is not a free ride, you got to get out and push.”
La Familia by Joaquín Chiñas

After Selma, Dr. Martin Luther King said: “We have emerged from the era of Civil Rights to the era of Human Rights”.  He said that in 1967 and in 1968 he was assassinated.  Five days before his death, in an intimate conversation with Harry Belafonte, he shared his concerns over the trajectory of the US civil rights movement, revealing, “I am afraid we are integrating into a burning house.”

Today we know it is not just the house that is burning, but due to global warming driven by industrial greenhouse gas emissions and the failure of the recent global UN Climate Change Conferences (Catastrophe of Copenhagen 2009, Collapse of Cancun 2010, and the Disaster of Durban 2011) we are plunging headlong past the brink of planetary Climate Chaos.  In this “we” there is no “they”.

Without meaningful mechanisms of control and elimination of industrial carbon emissions by human society into the atmosphere which we share with all life, the global environment and the continent of Africa especially is doomed to suffer from the devastating effects of global warming and extremes of environmental degradation.

Today we recall the lessons learned and know that lessons still have not been learned since that Bloody Sunday crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge over the Alabama River en route from Selma to Montgomery in 1965.  Today we know that we have overcome much, yet much remains to be done in our quest for liberation and self-determination. We know that the great strides of the US Civil Rights movement were steps in the longer journey of liberation and self-determination for All Peoples.  We also know by having lived the experiences of the Environmental Justice movement of the present generation, that we must make the connections to link our Civil and Human Rights campaigns to the global fight by Indigenous Peoples to defend the Rights of Mother Earth.

“Justice is always compelling, not always popular.”

As Nican Tlacah, as Indigenous Peoples of Abya Yala, Mother Earth we today we are speaking of TERRACIDE: the willful and premeditated crime against Humanity and the Rights of Mother Earth that results in the destruction of the capacity of Earth to be a Mother to the Future Generations.  

As Indigenous Peoples, we are called to engage human society at the planetary level in order to put in place the necessary communications platforms and strategic alliances to BRIDGE the MOVEMENTS of CLIMATE JUSTICE across cultures, continents, and Peoples.  There is only a single Sea, and the oceans of Mother Earth do not separate us, but instead unite us in Spiritual and Ecological responsibility to protect the Natural World for the Future Generations: World Water ONE (www.www.www)

The Bridge is before us.  We shall pass.  Here in Arizona, we shall pass through the gruesome and dehumanizing Nightmare of Manifest Destiny disguised as the “Rule of Law” and continue on our journey to achieve our global humanity.

Today we awake not in dream but in realities that command that the injustices of
Environmental Racism be addressed and responses from the grass roots communities most impacted be articulated and implemented as public policies of Sustainability, Environmental Justice, and Climate Justice

We have come a long way.  Yet, we have a long way still to go.  Let us begin once again, Building Understanding and Solidarity, let’s all GET ON THE BUS!

From Civil Rights to Human Rights, Indigenous Rights and the Rights of Mother Earth!
Local - Regional – Continental – Global

Black-Left Unity Network

*******
Nationhood and Sustainability



Our Nations

Have been put on reservations,

Our Nations are in the hood,

It’s done by robbin’

It brings the throbbin’

Of my heart up to my brain


And the thought

Of what ought

To be done

Is what I say,

Is what I mean:

It’s not about

WHAT

We want

It’s what we

WILL.



Tupak Huehuecoyotl

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Attorney Bruce Boynton Joins the Fight Against Racial Profiling in Maricopa County

TONATIERRA
Press Advisory
Date: Tuesday January 24, 2012
Contact: Tupac Enrique Acosta  (602) 466-8367
Email: chantlaca@tonatierra.org

1st Freedom Rider Arrives in Phoenix Today

Attorney Bruce Boynton

Phoenix, AZ – The battle for Civil Rights in the deep south in the 60’s and the fight in Maricopa County against racial profiling and discriminatory policing will link up this week here in Phoenix when Attorney Bruce Boynton arrives to take part in a series of community events organized by TONATIERRA and Los Comités de Defensa del Barrio.

Atty. Bruce Boynton is considered the 1st Freedom Rider when he was arrested in 1958 for refusing to leave a  "white only" lunch counter while traveling home on a break from law school. His case Boynton v. the Common Wealth of Virginia (1960) desegregated all interstate transportation facilities, including bus terminals. This case was the basis of the Freedom Rides of 1961 organized to test the enforcement of the Supreme Court Decision.

Speaking to the issue of AZ SB1070, Attorney Boynton stated today: “The law is an invasion of the jurisdiction of federal immigration powers and it dehumanizes and criminalizes anyone who is subjected to its enforcement, and that is ridiculous.”


Wednesday January 25, 2012
6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
COMMUNITY RECEPTION AND DINNER
Comités de Defensa del Barrio
NAHUACALLI
802 N. 7th Street
*******
Thursday January 26, 2012
PRESS CONFERENCE
10:00 AM
NAHUACALLI
802 N. 7th Street
Phoenix, AZ
*******
Free Community Screening of the PBS Documentary Film
Thursday January 26, 2012
6:00-8:00 PM
North High School Auditorium
1101 E. Thomas
Phoenix, AZ
###

From Civil Rights to Human Rights, Indigenous Rights and
the  Rights of Mother Earth!

Friday, January 20, 2012

RECOMMENDATIONS to the Native American Caucus of the Arizona State Legislature


NAHUACALLI
Embassy of Indigenous Peoples
RECOMMENDATIONS
to the
Native American Caucus of the Arizona State Legislature
March 2, 2011
EDUCATION:
Promote and advocate for the continued development of appreciation, knowledge and understanding of the Cultural Diversity of all Arizona residents by supporting educational programs that contribute to this goal;

Reinforce the need for programs of Cultural Competency to meet this goal, as a legal obligation binding the State of Arizona in terms of Civil Rights, Human Rights, and the Rights of Indigenous Peoples;

Promote and advocate for the implementation of a state wide Indigenous Peoples Studies curriculum, that addresses the ignorance and lack of historical perspective in the general public related to outdated public policies that are grounded in the concepts of racial profiling and illegal preferences to constituencies of Euro-American “white persons” such as “Manifest Destiny”;

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT:
Provide leadership in the development and implementation of a regional Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy that integrates recognition, respect, and protection for the Rights of Indigenous Peoples along with the Rights of Migratory Workers, Human Rights and the Rights of Mother Earth.

Assist and support the regeneration of emerging networks of Indigenous Trade and Commerce across the territory and regionally, with strategic linkages continentally and globally to address the economic imbalances and injustices which continue after more than 500 years of colonization to impact the Indigenous Nations and Pueblos of Abya Yala, and which persist as primary factor in the issues of displacement and migration, persecution and subjugation of Indigenous Peoples as migratory workers in Arizona and North America as a whole.

LEGAL:
Convene a formal hearing in the Arizona State Legislature to complement the United Nations Preliminary Study on the Impact of the Doctrine of Discovery on Indigenous Peoples, initiated by the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in 2010.
Immigration Enforcement:
Call for an end to the 287(g) Agreements with the Federal Government, and revocation of the AZ SB 1070 as a deliberate act of persecution of the non-white constituencies of Indigenous Peoples in the state of Arizona in violation of Civil Rights, Human Rights, Indigenous Rights and the rights of inhabitants in ceded territories as specified in articles 8, and 9 of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo (US-Mexico 1848);

CULTURE and SUSTAINABILTY:
Call for the integration of a criteria of evaluation, Seven Generations in span of time, to be formulated with the guidance of the Traditional Leadership of the Nations and Pueblos of Indigenous Peoples of the territory as an element of measurement in the planning process for the future of the state of Arizona as proposed in the above areas of recommendation.


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Freedom Riders: Boynton v. Virginia, 1960

Boynton v. Virginia, 1960

Come join us for a presentation of the movie Freedom Riders with special guest Mr. Bruce Boynton who will narrate the story of the fight for Civil Rights in the Deep South during the 1960's.
Background:
The Montgomery Bus Boycott

“We just don’t want a seat on the bus, we want to redesign the whole economic and transportation system from bottom to top, because we’re headed to Self Sustainability and Self Determination - and not back to the big house of the White Man’s corporate plantation.”
Thursday January 26, 2012
North High School Auditorium
1101 E Thomas Rd, Phoenix
6pm-8pm
! FREE COMMUNITY SCREENING !
Hosted by MEChA and the Black Student Union
TONATIERRA
For more information:
Email: tonal@tonatierra.org
###

The Road to Civil Rights

Bruce Boynton

Boynton v. Virginia, 1960

Appellant: Bruce Boynton.
Defendant: Commonwealth of Virginia
Appellant Claim: Unlawful arrest
Chief Defense Lawyer: Walter E. Rogers
Chief Lawyer for Appellant: Thurgood Marshall
Justices: Hugo L. Black, William J. Brennan, Jr., Tom C. Clark, William 0. Douglas, Felix Frankfurter, John Marshall Harlan, Potter Stewart, Earl Warren, Charles E. Whittaker.
Place: Washington, D.C.
Date of Decision: December 5, 1960
Decision: Court upheld appellant's claim

SIGNIFICANCE: In the often acrimonious battle between the federal government and individual states over racial segregation, Bruce Boynton's suit marked a major breakthrough. For the first time, Washington sent a clear message that interstate facilities were for the use of all citizens, irrespective of color.

In 1958, Bruce Boynton, a black student at Howard University Law School in Washington, D.C., took a Trailways bus from Washington to his home in Montgomery, Alabama. On a 40-minute layover at the Trailways Bus Terminal in Richmond, Virginia, the passengers went inside to eat. Boynton entered the segregated restaurant, sat in the white section and ordered a sandwich and tea. When asked to move to the colored section he refused, saying that as an interstate passenger he was protected by federal anti-segregation laws. 

Declining to leave, he was arrested by local police, charged with trespass, and fined $10.

The Commonwealth of Virginia conceded that the conviction could not stand if anything in federal law or the Constitution gave Boynton a right to service in the restaurant. But it found no such right. Lawyers for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) petitioned the Supreme Court on grounds that Boynton was entitled to such protection under the Constitution.
Pleading that case before the Supreme Court on October 12, 1960, was Thurgood Marshall, who later became the first black Supreme Court Justice. He maintained that Boynton's arrest placed an unreasonable burden on commerce and denied him the equal protection of the law, both points with far-reaching implications. 

However, the Supreme Court chose not to address this petition from a constitutional standpoint after the Justice Department, intervening as a friend of the court, raised the issue of the Interstate Commerce Act, which expressly forbade "unjust discrimination."

For the act to apply, the relationship between restaurant and terminal had to be clarified. When Trailways built the terminal in 1953 it contracted with Bus Terminal Restaurant of Richmond, Inc. for the latter to provide dining facilities for passengers on Trailways buses. The only interest that Trailways had in the restaurant came in the form of the annual rental, $30,000, plus a percentage of the gross profits. So was the restaurant subject to the same federal provisions as Trailways?

No, argued Walter E. Rogers, attorney for Virginia. He contended that the restaurant, as private property, fell outside the scope of the Interstate Commerce Act. Boynton, he said, had been justly convicted.

 

Court Splits, but for Boynton

On December 5, 1960, the Supreme Court decided 7-2 in favor of Boynton, the first time since 1946 it had divided on a matter of racial segregation. A strong factor in the Court's decision had been the earlier testimony of the restaurant manager who conceded that, although the restaurant received "quite a bit of business" from local people, it was primarily for the service of Trailways passengers. Describing this as "much of an understatement," Justice Hugo L. Black, in writing the majority verdict, added:
Interstate passengers have to eat, and they have a right to expect that this essential transportation food service would be rendered without discrimination prohibited by the Interstate Commerce Act. We are not holding that every time a bus stops at a wholly independent roadside restaurant the act applies [but] where circumstances show that the terminal and restaurant operate as an integral part of the bus carrier's transportation service an interstate passenger need not inquire into documents of title or contractual agreements in order to determine whether he has a right to be served without discrimination.
Anticipating the Supreme Court's decision, Bus Terminal Restaurants, Inc. of Raleigh, North Carolina announced that, as of August 1960, none of its establishments would be racially segregated.

The impact of this case was immense. For the first time a bridge was built between the federal government and the civil rights movement. While many obstacles remained to be conquered in the fight for racial equality, henceforth it would be a struggle fought together.
Colin Evans

 

Suggestions for Further Reading

The Negro History Bulletin Vol. 26, 15. New York: Associated Publishers, 1972.
Wasby, Stephen L., Anthony A. D'Amato, and Rosemary Metrailer. Desegregation From Brown To Alexander. Carbondale, Ill.: South Illinois University Press, 1977.
Witt, Elder. Guide To The Supreme Court. Washington: Congressional Quarterly, 1990.

Cite this article
Evans, Colin. "Boynton v. Virginia: 1960." Great American Trials. 2002. Encyclopedia.com. (January 18, 2012). http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-3498200215.html

*******
 Testing the Boynton v. Viginia Supreme Court Decision

Monday, January 16, 2012

Martin Luther King Day: Emancipation and Immigration


Tehuan Titlacah 

We, the Peoples : Nosotros, los Pueblos

Background: When the veterans of the social justice movement of the Mississippi Summer arrived in Phoenix the summer of 2010, in solidarity and continued commitment to the cause that united the massive march of 100,000 peoples that converged on the Arizona State Capitol on May 29, 2010 it was a great honor and privilege to sit down and break bread with the relatives and share the lessons of our collective struggle for social justice across the generations.

Especially relevant was the succinct and clear analysis that the folks expressed without a shadow of doubt, defining the perpetrator of the criminal regimes of racial profiling from Selma to Phoenix: European-American COLONIZATON as a tactic of COLONIALISM.
Today, nearly two years later, Arizona Senator R. Pearce has been recalled and the US Justice Department has finally gotten into the ring in the fight against the discriminatory policing practices of Maricopa County Sheriff J. Arpaio but the original sin of the crime of colonialism is not even on the radar in terms of the public discourse on historical injustices that have made manifest the regimes of white supremacy in Arizona since its formation as a state barely a century ago. 
We say barely, because we as Nican Tlacah – we the earth skinned Indigenous Peoples who are the targets of the “Mexican” racial profiling policies of Arpaio, and the victims of the “ethnic cleansing” tactics of AZ HB2281 in terms of education, we are a branch of the tree of Indigenous Nations of the Uto-Aztecan family that has been rooted in this part of the hemisphere of Abya Yala [the Americas] for more than four score and twenty centuries.
In 2010 we shared as well with our relatives, friends, and allies of the Mississippi Summer the geo-political analysis that were it not for the fact the continent of Africa was moving towards pan-African self determination and demanding decolonization, the US Civil Rights movement under the leadership of the African American constituencies of the US would not have had a chance for victory.  Clarification was also made that the African-American reference was NOT limited to the domesticated parameters of the "African-United Statesian” frame, but deliberately intended to invoke our own transcontinental strategy of self-determination with Humanity as a whole.

And so when Dr. Cornel West took the time to address the scenario of white supremacy and the Imperial Project of the Americas in Arizona on October 2, 2010 at North High School, it was also fitting and relevant that the testimony which follows, delivered to the US Commission on Immigration Reform on March 22, 1995 in Phoenix, Arizona chaired by Ms. Barbara Jordan, be read into the record of the community archive of the conversation and discussions now reactivated.
Excerpt:
"In closing, we issue this call to conscience especially to our brothers and sisters whose history and blood is joined with ours as victims of the forced removal through slavery from Africa.  The time has come to re-evaluate the gains and limitations of the civil rights movement for which we both have sacrificed much over the generations.  Do not abandon us.  The African continent is reaching for the completion of the long decolonization process.  We as Indigenous Peoples of this part of Mother Earth aspire to the same liberation.  Our solidarity with your struggle is written in deeds and sacrifices we have made in common, sacrifices which are ongoing today.

We must achieve what those who have had power over us have always had:  an intercontinental strategy.  Let us continue to give our first allegiance to our common humanity as our ancestors taught us and fight to preserve this sacred Mother Earth from those who would callously exploit and destroy what was never theirs to own."

“If we are to be free we must reach down to the roots of our soul and sign our own emancipation proclamation and in terms of immigration unless we address the origin of the issues beginning on October 12, 1492, what occurs is not a public debate on immigration policies in America, but a manipulation of the term to mask the final extermination of the Indigenous Nations of Abya Yala, not under the heels of the doctrine of the Divine Right of Kings as in 1492, but under the wheels of the multilateral trade agreements imposed under the doctrine of the Divine Right of States defined by the intercontinental political power of European-American white supremacy and justified by the Doctrine of Discovery.”

Embassy of Indigenous Peoples
www.nahuacalli.org

Friday, January 6, 2012



From Birmingham to Phoenix, from Civil Rights to Human Rights, Indigenous Rights and the Rights of Mother Earth!
FREEDOM RIDERS
Files of Maricopa County Sheriff J. Arpaio,
quoted on page 28 of US District Court Case 2:07-cv-02513-GMS
Document 494 12/23/11


Come join us for a presentation of the movie Freedom Riders with special guests who will narrate the story of the fight for Civil Rights in the Deep South during the 1960's.
Background:
The Montgomery Bus Boycott


“We just don’t want a seat on the bus, we want to redesign the whole economic and transportation system from bottom to top, because we’re headed to Self Sustainability and Self Determination - and not back to the big house of the White Man’s corporate plantation.”

Thursday January 26, 2012

North High School Auditorium

1101 E Thomas Rd, Phoenix

6pm-8pm

! FREE COMMUNITY SCREENING !
TONATIERRA

For more information:
La Familia
Charcoal and Pencil portrait by Joaquín Chiñas