Act / Indigenous + Food
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Act for Indigenous and Food :)
Deadline Tuesday: Stop Monsanto's GMO contamination :)
Keep organics safe from GMOs.
Tell the USDA to reject Monsanto's application to market its genetically modified alfalfa - a threat to organic crops.
During the Bush administration, Monsanto illegally won USDA approval for its genetically engineered (GE) alfalfa by convincing regulators to bypass a mandatory environmental review. In response to a lawsuit by consumer groups, the courts then stepped in and banned GE alfalfa until the USDA followed the law.
In December, the USDA released its belated review of Monsanto's GE alfalfa seed and determined that Monsanto's alfalfa met the Obama Administration's standards, despite the risk of organic contamination.
This conclusion came despite the acknowledgment by USDA researchers that GE alfalfa is virtually certain to "contaminate" normal seeds. Cross-contamination is the number one concern with genetically engineered crops.
Organic contamination is devastating for organic farmers, especially organic dairy farmers, most of whom use organic alfalfa for feed. The presence of even the smallest amount of GE material can cause a farm to lose its organic certification. And court documents indicate that early plantings of GE alfalfa did contaminate conventional alfalfa. Yet the USDA maintains that Monsanto's existing safety protocols are good enough. This is ridiculous!
Even worse, the USDA concluded that the possibility of contamination of organic fields is of no concern, since consumers won't care if their organic food or milk contains genetically engineered components. Yet central to the definition of the USDA Organic label is the total absence of genetically modified ingredients. An overwhelming majority of consumers buy organic to avoid GE products and would be shocked to learn the USDA is so cavalier about the risks of transgenic contamination.
Thank you for working to build a better world.
Adam Klaus, Campaign Manager
CREDO Action from Working Assets
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SPECIAL ALERT: TRIBAL LAW AND ORDER ACT MAY MOVE SOON :)
Friends Committee on National Legislation - A Quaker Lobby in the Public Interest
Native American Legislative Update Email List
Native American Legislative Update: February 12, 2009
TRIBAL LAW AND ORDER ACT TO MOVE IN THE SENATE?
Indian Country, as has been noted by tribal members, Congress, and the administration, is experiencing a public safety crisis. A deficient justice system, insufficient funding and support from the federal government, as well as high crime rates and high rates of domestic and sexual violence are some of the factors which combine to result in a sense of lawlessness in many reservations. The Tribal Law and Order Act would take some steps to address these problems by (among other things) increasing communication and cooperation between federal, state, local and tribal authorities; increasing funding, training and authority of tribal governments and law enforcement agencies; and taking steps to reduce violent crime and violence against women.
There is a good chance that the Tribal Law and Order Act will come up for a vote in the Senate very soon, either on its own or as a rider on another bill.Because of this, it is more important than ever that you contact your senators to express your support for the bill, and to encourage them to cosponsor the bill. See our sample letter for some talking points at:
Here is an overview of the major public safety problems in Indian Country, and what the Tribal Law and Order Act would do to address these problems. This summary appears in the most recent Indian Report, where you can find more information on the bill. The full Report is available on our website at:
Alcohol and Drug Abuse
These play a role in more than 80 percent of crimes in Indian Country. The legislation would fund alcohol and substance abuse-related programs for tribal youth.
Domestic and Sexual Violence
American Indians (and especially Alaska Natives) experience extremely high rates of domestic and sexual violence against women: 34 percent of American Indian or Alaska Native women will be raped in their lifetime, and 39 percent will be subject to domestic violence. The legislation would require notification of tribal justice officials when sexual predators move to tribal land. It would expand and improve training of Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) staff and tribal police officers to respond to domestic and sexual violence.
Lack of Law Enforcement
The bill would require the Interior Department's Office of Justice Services and the BIA to submit reports on spending and unmet needs and on plans to fill police vacancies on tribal land. The bill would also increase and streamline funding for tribal law enforcement officers and agencies and increase training opportunities of police officers serving Indian Country.
Complicated Jurisdictional Issues
The jurisdictional maze in Indian Country hinders the ability of law enforcement agencies to protect the public. The legislation would increase communication and data-sharing among tribal, local, state, and federal agencies, for example, giving tribal law enforcement access to federal criminal databases. It would give tribal officers wider authority over crimes committed on the reservation, once they met certain training requirements. It would allow tribes to request federal assistance in investigating and prosecuting cases and encourage cooperative law enforcement agreements. These agreements have proved to be very effective in the few instances of their enactment.
Lack of Appropriate Consequences for Minor Crimes
The bill would allow tribal courts to sentence offenders to tribal, federal, or state facilities or to a tribe's "alternative rehabilitation center or an alternative form of sentencing." This authority acknowledges and respects the work that a number of tribes have done to develop alternative justice models within their own communities. The bill would also permit tribal courts to sentence defendants to three years (increased from one year) if the court provides licensed defense counsel and publishes criminal laws.
Overcrowded Detention Facilities
The bill would increase funding for the maintenance of existing detention facilities and construction of new facilities. Federal attorneys often decline to prosecute Indian cases. The legislation would require reports when a case is declined and establish federal positions responsible for maintaining a relationship with tribal nations.
Learn more about any of the bills mentioned in this or other Native American Legislative Updates at the Library of Congress web site. Just type in the bill number or name to see the bill's text, co-sponsors, and schedule for hearings.
Friends Committee on National Legislation | 245 2nd Street NE Washington, DC 20002 |
Celebrate Our 40 Years of Impact :)
John Echohawk recaps 40 years of trust responsibility in Indian education since Kennedy Report in National Indian Education Association's (NIEA)Winter 2009/2010 NIEA News.
Heather Kendall-Miller, NARF Attorney in Alaska office, is profiled in First Alaskan magazine's cover story, Personal Ambition for Public Good.
NARF Attorney's Keynote Address for Library of Congress
Dawn Sturdevant Baum, Native American Rights
Fund Attorney, delivered Native American Heritage Month keynote address for the Library of Congress's 2009 celebration of Native American Heritage Month on Nov. 18. This year's national theme is "Pride in Our Heritage. Honor to Our Ancestors."
40 Years of Impact
Throughout 2010, we will provide a timeline of the growth and impact of the Native American Rights Fund. We will chronicle NARF events, important cases that set precedence and the cases that challenged sovereignty. Each E-Action Newsletter we will continue this story from our initial work through the cases and issues we are working on today.
Since 1970, the board members, staff, volunteers, and donors of the Native American Rights Fund have worked on behalf of our Native clients. Our mission
has been to achieve justice. The work was gone on in laces ranging from humble dwellings on dusty reservations to the hallowed halls of the United States Supreme Court and Congress. There are the major accomplishments of the past four decades.
John Echohawk recaps 40 years of trust responsibility in Indian education since
Heather Kendall-Miller, NARF Attorney, Cover Story in First Alaskan Magazine
NARF Attorney's Keynote Address for Library of Congress's 2009 Celebration of
Native American Heritage
©2009 Native American Rights Fund
SOA Terror in Honduras Continues... :)
After the SOA Coup and the Illegitimate Elections
ANOTHER UNIONIST MURDERED IN HONDURAS - Vanessa Yamileth Zepeda - Presente!
Tomorrow, the people of Honduras will march in the streets of Tegucigalpa to honor the life of the most recent victim in a spate of selective murders against activists from the resistance movement. Vanessa Yamileth Zepeda, a 29- year old nurse, was abducted last Wednesday after leaving a meeting of the SITRAIHSS labor union. She was murdered and her body was dumped in a neighborhood with ties to the Resistance movement. Vanessa leaves behind 3 small children, and a country where fear is a growing commodity.
Since the "election" of President Porfidio Lobo in late November, in a balloting process boycotted by the majority of Hondurans, over 10 leaders of the resistance movement have been murdered. Those who dare to raise their voices about this situation are also targeted. Last week two cameramen from media programs opposing the government were kidnapped and tortured. After filing reports on these and other situations, members of the COFADEH human rights team received death threats.
Instead of denouncing this critical situation, the Obama Administration is doing the opposite: attempting to rally international support for an illegitimate regime that almost no other government recognizes. This is part of a complete turnaround by the administration. When SOA graduates orchestrated a coup against President Manuel Zelaya last June, President Obama lent his voice to the chorus of rejection coming from all corners of Latin America. In the following months, however, that position shifted from rejection to complacency to acceptance to promotion. While most Latin American nations view the recent Honduran elections as an illegal effort to whitewash a coup, the U.S. insists that they are legitimate, and the resulting change has been positive. The death of Vanessa and other resistance leaders tells a different story.
We urge you to send a message to your Member of Congress to share your concerns for the deteriorating human rights situation in Honduras and to insist that the United States stop their efforts to push for international recognition of the Lobo government. In addition, please ask your Member of Congress to call for an end to the training of the Honduran military at the School of the Americas, now referred to as WHINSEC. Indeed, it is distressing that even in the months that the Obama administration was condemning the coup, the training of the Honduran military at the SOA/ WHINSEC continued.
As the people of Honduras take to the streets tomorrow to risk their lives to honor Vanessa and to insist that her life was not in vain, we ask that you take a few minutes to contact your member of Congress. Our combined efforts are necessary to help bring justice a step closer to the people of Honduras.
GRAPHIC HISTORY OF THE HONDURAN COUP
Read the final part of the graphic history of the Honduran coup. The comic is piecing together the evidence of repression, violence and threats against resistance members that went mostly undocumented in the wake of the November 29, 2010 Honduran elections. It also looks at the United States' involvement.
View the comic online:
We appreciate your interest!
Our postal address is SOA Watch, PO Box 4566, Washington, DC 20017
[Friends of Peltier] Support Parole for Leonard Peltier :)
Forwarded by Friends of Peltier on behalf of the Leonard Peltier
Defense Offense Committee
A Call to Action
February 8, 2010
Attention, Supporters! February 6 has come and gone. We've had
a day of rest, too. It's time to get busy once again.
As you know, Leonard's application for parole was denied in August
2009. Leonard has appealed that decision and needs our
support. Leonard has not given up. We can't give up, either.
In fact, let's intensify our efforts on Leonard's behalf.
Actively support the parole of Leonard Peltier as you did last
summer. Insist on a fair reconsideration of Leonard's application
Write a brief and to-the-point letter to the U.S. Parole Commission
at 5550 Friendship Boulevard, Suite 420, Chevy Chase, Maryland
20815-7286, Re: Leonard Peltier #89637-132.
You can fax your letter to (301) 492-6694, if you wish.
The Commission has no public e-mail.
Once you've sent off your letter to the Commission, please also
call President Obama's comment line at (202) 456-1111 or (202)
456-1112. Tell the President to support the parole of Leonard
There was a crippling snow storm in the Washington metropolitan
area this past weekend. Service at the White House may be disrupted
as a result. Be patient and keep calling until you get through to
the comment line. Generally, the White House comment line is open
Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., EST.
Remember also that if the lines are busy, you can call the
switchboard at (202) 456-1414. Ask for the comment line. You may be
placed on hold until the next available staffer can take your call.
We thank you in advance for your attention to this urgent matter
--as well as your time, effort, and commitment.
In the Spirit of Crazy Horse,
The Leonard Peltier Defense Offense Committee
LP-DOC - PO Box 7488 - Fargo, ND 58106
(701) 235-2206 (Phone); (701) 235-5045 (Fax)
Time to set him free... Because it is the RIGHT thing to do.
Friends of Peltier :)
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