Deplorable Trump Supporters (An open letter)

Dear Deplorable Trump Supporters,

If you don’t like long reads  or if you want to defend the right to your short attention span, you should stop reading NOW and just admit you are deplorable.  Wear those self-loathing T-shirts that boast of your deplorableness and eagerness to remain so.

During the housing discrimination lawsuit against Donald Trump, where he refused black people into his buildings, he had a mentor and lawyer named Roy Cohn.  

During the “Red Scare” when the United States government placed Hollywood actors, writers, homosexuals, Jewish people, and United States citizens on trial as “suspected” communists, leading fear-monger Senator Joe McCarthy had a lawyer named Roy Cohn.  

Roy Cohn was a closeted gay Jewish man who put homosexuals and Jews in jail to deflect from his own homosexuality, which he failed to stand up for due to deplorable self-hatred.

Donald Trump and Roy Cohn
Donald Trump and Roy Cohn

Deplorable People Here’s Your President Elect Trump:

It was the fall of 1984, Trump Tower was new, and this was unusual territory for the 38-year-old real estate developer. He was three years away from his first semi-serious dalliance with presidential politics, more than 30 years before the beginning of his current campaign—but he had gotten the idea to bring this up, he said, from his attorney, his good friend and his closest adviser, Roy Cohn.
That Roy Cohn.
Roy Cohn, the lurking legal hit man for red-baiting Sen. Joe McCarthy, whose reign of televised intimidation in the 1950s has become synonymous with demagoguery, fear-mongering and character assassination. In the formative years of Donald Trump’s career, when he went from a rich kid working for his real estate-developing father to a top-line dealmaker in his own right, Cohn was one of the most powerful influences and helpful contacts in Trump’s life.
Over a 13-year-period, ending shortly before Cohn’s death in 1986, Cohn brought his say-anything, win-at-all-costs style to all of Trump’s most notable legal and business deals. Interviews with people who knew both men at the time say the relationship ran deeper than that—that Cohn’s philosophy shaped the real estate mogul’s worldview and the belligerent public persona visible in Trump’s presidential campaign.
“Something Cohn had, Donald liked,” Susan Bell, Cohn’s longtime secretary, said this week when I asked her about the relationship between her old boss and Trump.
By the 1970s, when Trump was looking to establish his reputation in Manhattan, the elder Cohn had long before remade himself as the ultimate New York power lawyer, whose clientele included politicians, financiers and mob bosses. Cohn engineered the combative response to the Department of Justice’s suit alleging racial discrimination at the Trumps’ many rental properties in Brooklyn and Queens. He brokered the gargantuan tax abatements and the mob-tied concrete work that made the Grand Hyatt hotel and Trump Tower projects. He wrote the cold-hearted prenuptial agreement before the first of his three marriages and filed the headline-generating antitrust suit against the National Football League. To all of these deals, Cohn brought his political connections, his public posturing and a simple credo: Always attack, never apologize.
“Cohn just pushed through things—if he wanted something, he got it. I think Donald had a lot of that in him, but he picked up a lot of that from Cohn,” Bell said.

“Roy was a powerful force, recognized as a person with deep and varied contacts, politically as well as legally,” Michael Rosen, who worked as an attorney in Cohn’s firm for 17 years, told me. “The movers and shakers of New York, he was very tight with these people—they admired him, they sought his advice. His persona, going back to McCarthy … and his battles with the government certainly attracted clients.”  It was a long, formidable list that included the executives of media empires, the Archbishop of New York and mafia kingpin Fat Tony Salerno, and there, too, near the top, was budding, grasping Donald John Trump.
“He considered Cohn a mentor,” Mike Gentile, the lead prosecutor who got Cohn disbarred for fraud and deceit not long before he died, said in a recent interview.
People who knew Cohn and know Trump—people who have watched and studied both men—say they see in Trump today unmistakable signs of the enduring influence of Cohn. The frank belligerence. The undisguised disregard for niceties and convention. The media manipulation clotted with an abiding belief in the potent currency of celebrity.

Trump did not respond to a request from Politico to talk about Cohn. In the past, though, when he has talked about Cohn, Trump has been clear about why he collaborated with him, and admired him.
“If you need someone to get vicious toward an opponent, you get Roy,” he told Newsweek in 1979.

A year later, pressed by a reporter from New York magazine to justify his association with Cohn, he was characteristically blunt: “All I can tell you is he’s been vicious to others in his protection of me.”
He elaborated in an interview in 2005. “Roy was brutal, but he was a very loyal guy,” Trump told author Tim O’Brien. “He brutalized for you.”
Trump, in the end, turned some of that cold calculation on his teacher, severing his professional ties to Cohn when he learned his lawyer was dying of AIDS.
***
Cohn and Trump, according to Trump, met in 1973 at Le Club, a members-only East Side hangout for social-scene somebodies and those who weren’t but wanted to be.  By then Cohn had been in the public eye for 20 years. As chief counsel to McCarthy, he led secretive investigations of people inside and outside the federal government whom he and McCarthy suspected of Communist sympathies, homosexuality or espionage. Over a period of several years, McCarthy’s crusade destroyed dozens of careers before a final 36-day, televised hearing brought his and Cohn’s often unsubstantiated allegations into the open, leading to McCarthy’s censure in the Senate. Cohn, disgraced by association, retreated to his native New York.  There, through the ‘60s and into the ‘70s, Cohn embraced an unabashedly conspicuous lifestyle. He had a Rolls-Royce with his initials on a vanity plate and a yacht called Defiance. He was a singular nexus of New York power, trafficking in influence and reveling in gossip. He hung on the walls of the East 68th Street townhouse, that doubled as the office of his law firm, pictures of himself with politicians, entertainers and other bold-face names. He was a tangle of contradictions, a Jewish anti-Semite and a homosexual homophobe, vehemently closeted but insatiably promiscuous. In 1964, ’69 and ’71, he had been tried and acquitted of federal charges of conspiracy, bribery and fraud, giving him—at least in the eyes of a certain sort—an aura of battle-tested toughness, the perception of invincibility. “If you can get Machiavelli as a lawyer,” he would write in The Autobiography of Roy Cohn, “you’re certainly no fool of a client.”

Trump was 27. He had just moved to Manhattan but was still driving back to his father’s company offices in Brooklyn for work. He hadn’t bought anything. He hadn’t built anything. But he had badgered the owners of Le Club to let him join, precisely to get to know older, connected, power-wielding men like Cohn. He knew who he was. And now he wanted to talk.

He and his father had just been slapped with Department of Justice charges that they weren’t renting to blacks because of racial discrimination. Attorneys had urged them to settle. Trump didn’t want to do that. He quizzed Cohn at Le Club. What should they do?
He became Donald’s mentor, his constant adviser on every significant aspect of his business and personal life.”

“Tell them to go to hell,” Cohn told Trump, according to Trump’s account in his book The Art of the Deal, “and fight the thing in court.”
That December, representing the Trumps in United States v. Fred C. Trump, Donald Trump and Trump Management, Inc., Cohn filed a $100-million countersuit against the federal government, deriding the charges as “irresponsible” and “baseless.”

The judge dismissed it quickly as “wasting time and paper.”
The back-and-forth launched more than a year and a half of bluster and stalling and bullying—and ultimately settling. But in affidavits, motions and hearings in court, Cohn accused the DOJ and the assisting FBI of “Gestapo-like tactics.” He labeled their investigators “undercover agents” and “storm troopers.” Cohn called the head of DOJ down in Washington and attempted to get him to censure one of the lead staffers.

The judge called all of it “totally unfounded.”

By June of 1975, the judge had had it with the Trumps’ attorney. “I must say, Mr. Cohn,” he said in a hearing, “that this case seems to be plagued with unnecessary problems, and I think the time has come when we have to bite the bullet.”
They hashed out the details of a consent decree. The Trumps were going to have to rent to more blacks and other minorities and they were going to have to put ads in newspapers—including those targeted specifically to minority communities—saying they were an “equal housing opportunity” company. Trump and his father, emboldened by Cohn, bristled at the implication of wrongdoing—even, too, at the cost of the ads.
“It is really onerous,” Trump complained.
At one point, flouting the formality of the court, Trump addressed one of the opposing attorneys by her first name: “Will you pay for the expense, Donna?”
Trump and Cohn seemed most concerned with managing the media. They squabbled with the government attorneys over the press release about the disposition. First they wanted no release. Impossible, said the government. Then they wanted “a joint release.” A what? A public agency, it was explained to them, had a public information office, on account of the public’s right to know.
Cohn didn’t want to hear it.  “They will say what they want,” he told the judge, and everybody else in the courtroom, “and we will say what we want.”
The government called the consent decree “one of the most far reaching ever negotiated.”
Cohn and Trump? They called it a victory.
Case 73 C 1529 was over. The relationship between Cohn and Trump had just begun.
“Though Cohn had ostensibly been retained by Donald to handle a single piece of litigation,” Wayne Barrett, an investigative journalist for New York’s Village Voice, would write in his 1992 book about Trump, “he began in the mid-‘70s to assume a role in Donald’s life far transcending that of a lawyer. He became Donald’s mentor, his constant adviser on every significant aspect of his business and personal life.”

Read more: http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/04/donald-trump-roy-cohn-mentor-joseph-mccarthy-213799#ixzz4JyUx3Buj

Dear Deplorable Trump Supporters,

Are you still confused why you are deplorable?  Need more reasons than being anti-semitic, anti-islam, anti-immigrant, homophobic, vicious, brutal, racist, white supremacist, tolerant of rape culture, complacent and GREEDY?

OK . . .

PUTIN can flatter and Puppet a weak, pandering United States, mafia-dealing,  PIMP like Donald Trump.  

Do you recall when former President George W. Bush held up the plastic turkey for a picture with the troops during a Thanksgiving “visit” where he didn’t even stay to dine with them?  Laura Bush defended her husband’s shameless selfie as:  but that’s what politicians do, they “present.”  It’s “acting.”  

Paul Manafort (former Trump campaign manager) with ties to Russia
Paul Manafort (former Trump campaign manager) with ties to Russia

Well, Donald Trump is in FACT qualified to be Putin’s “Top Dawg.”  He’ll be serving Putin his red meat.  At best you will be Putin’s meat packers.

So hey you bitches, stop asking why PUTIN would be interested in hacking the democratic elections of the United States.  

When Rudy Guilliani says Trump is best for President, he’s just saying to vote for the NRA.  He’s an arms dealer.  He’s just saying vote for the gun-packing-super-pac.  And you know this does not make you safer.  You know the “Law and Order” president is just another word for KKK sponsored Police Brutality. Rudy likes to minimize and dismiss rape-culture because he wants to keep using rape as a form of torture.  He knows rape is profitable. 

What makes YOU part of the Deplorable Category you ask, fearing your own unredeemable glance into the mirror of truth?  

YOU are a bigoted, racist, homophobic, sexist, misogynistic, climate-change denying,  greedy, bullying, spin-doctoring, hate-speaking, white supremacist, slandering, dumbed-down and proud of it, hater.

Wait, I don’t sound warm and forgiving enough to the racists? Really? Awww… I’m not being inclusive enough to the bigots? You think deplorable people deserve a chance at redemption?

If you don’t believe you fall into this category or if you don’t want to be Deplorable ANY longer or help play a part in sending the world into worse Hell, get the fuck out of the DEPLORABLE basket and demand that the Emoluments Clause prohibit Donald Trump the tyrant from taking office.

It’s not time to make peace with YOU Deplorables.  It’s time to let you know you are corrupt.

***

The Pussy Riot “Make America Great Again” (music video) is being posted here for NO COMMERCIAL PURPOSES. Oct 27, 2016
#PussyGrabsBack #NastyWoman (!) Because YOU decide elections and if we get together, we could blow this shit up, take action and reverse this erosion of rights. Because fuck it.

– – – –
Written passionately by Ricky Reed, Nadya, Tom Peyton

– – – –
Music video is directed by Jonas Akerlund
Style: B Akerlund
Make up : Ozzy Salvatierra
Hair : Patricia Morales
Special effects make up : Jerry Constantine

– – – –
Be Pussy Riot. It’s fun.
Join Lady Parts Justice: http://www.ladypartsjustice.com/

– – – -LYRICS- – – –
What do you want your world to look like?
What do you want it to be?
Do you know that a wall has two sides?
And nobody is free?
Did your mama come from Mexico
Papa come from Palestine
Sneaking all through Syria
Crossing all the border lines

Let other people in
Listen to your women
Stop killing black children
Make America Great Again

Could you imagine a politician
calling a woman a dog?
Do you wanna stay in the kitchen?
Is that where you belong?
How do you picture the perfect leader
Who do you want him to be
Has he promoted the use of torture and killing families

Let other people in
Listen to your women
Stop killing black children
Make America Great Again

***

The Pussy Riot “I Can’t Breathe” (music video) is being posted here for NO COMMERCIAL PURPOSES.  (Feb 18, 2015)
Pussy Riot’s first song in English is dedicated to Eric Garner and the words he repeated eleven times before his death. This song is for Eric and for all those from Russia to America and around the globe who suffer from state terror – killed, choked, perished because of war and state sponsored violence of all kinds – for political prisoners and those on the streets fighting for change. We stand in solidarity.

22pussy-riot22-photo-by-igor-mukhinPussy Riot’s Masha and Nadya are being buried alive in the Russian riot police uniforms that are worn during the violent clashes of police and the protesters fighting for change in Russia. A pack of “Russian Spring” brand cigarettes is on the ground at the beginning. “Russian Spring” is a term used by those who are in love with Russia’s aggressive militant actions in Ukraine, and the cigarettes are a real thing.

“I Can’t Breathe” was recorded in New York in December 2014 during the protests against police brutality together with Pussy Riot, Richard Hell, Nick Zinner, Andrew Wyatt, Shahzad Ismaily (The Ceramic Dog) and Russian bands Jack Wood and Scofferlane.

MUSIC VIDEO:
Concept, directed and produced: Pussy Riot
Video directors – Gogol Wives
Director of Photography and editor: Mikhail Vikhrov.

MUSIC:
Concept, produced: Pussy Riot
Vocals: Sasha Klokova (Jack Wood), Matt Kulakov (Scofferlane), Richard Hell
Lyrics: Matt Kulakov (Scofferlane)
Monologe of Eric Garner: Richard Hell
Bit: Andrew Wyatt
Piano, Bass: Nick Zinner
Drums: Shahzad Ismaily
Engineered and mixed by Philip Weinrobe at Figure Eight Studios in Brooklyn, NY

– – – – LYRICS- – – –
He’s become his death
The spark of the riots
That’s the way he’s blessed
To stay alive.

It never leads to an end
It’s never getting quiet
If it’s unfair, my friend,
Make up your mind

It’s getting dark in New York city
It’s getting dark in New York city
It’s getting tight in New York city
I need to catch my breath

You know this world of hate
You know this stubborn light
They’re in the prayers you pray
Late at night

We’re only half way down
Who dares to take a breath?
Some fairness might be found
From ashes of his death.
Eric Garner’s last words (read by Richard Hell):

Get away [garbled] for what? Every time you see me, you want to mess with me. I’m tired of it. It stops today. Why would you…? Everyone standing here will tell you I didn’t do nothing. I did not sell nothing. Because everytime you see me, you want to harass me. You want to stop me [garbled] Selling cigarettes. I’m minding my business, officer, I’m minding my business. Please just leave me alone. I told you the last time, please just leave me alone. please please, don’t touch me. Do not touch me. [garbled] I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe.

***

Pussy Riot is a Russian feminist punk rock protest group based in Moscow. Founded in August 2011, it had a variable membership of approximately 11 women ranging in age from about 20 to 33 (as of 2012). The group staged unauthorised provocative guerrilla performances in public places, which were made into music videos and posted on the Internet.  The collective’s lyrical themes included feminism, LGBT rights, and opposition to Russian President Vladimir Putin, the dictator. These themes also encompassed Putin’s links to the leadership of the Russian Orthodox Church.

On February 21, 2012, five members of the group staged a performance in Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Savior.  The group’s actions were eventually stopped by church security officials. The women said their protest was directed at the Orthodox Church leaders’ support for Putin during his election campaign. On March 3, 2012, two of the group members, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina, were arrested and charged with hooliganism. A third member, Yekaterina Samutsevich, was arrested on March 16. Denied bail, they were held in custody until their trial began in late July. On August 17, 2012, the three members were convicted of “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred”, and each was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment. On October 10, following an appeal, Samutsevich was freed on probation and her sentence suspended. The sentences of the other two women were upheld.

The trial and sentence attracted considerable criticism, particularly in the West. The case was adopted by human-rights groups, including Amnesty International, which designated the women as prisoners of conscience, and by a number of prominent entertainers. Public opinion in Russia was generally less sympathetic towards the women. Having served 21 months, Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina were released on December 23, 2013, after the State Duma approved an amnesty.

In February 2014, a statement was made anonymously on behalf of some Pussy Riot members that both Alyokhina and Tolokonnikova were no longer members. However, both were among the group that performed as Pussy Riot during the Winter Olympics in Sochi, where group members were attacked with whips and pepper spray by Cossacks who were employed as security guards. On 6 March 2014, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina were assaulted and sprayed with green paint by local youths in Nizhny Novgorod. (sourced and paraphrased from wikipedia December 2016)

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Standoff at Standing Rock: Even Attack Dogs Can’t Stop the Native American Resistance & a Top story (Update) Success: Pipeline Construction Halts: Dec 4, 2016

Stand with Standing Rock.  Go to: http://us10.campaign-archive1.com/?u=a9af8670090f134f6168ccfdc&id=9712ff076c&e=3fe4bb48db

Army Halts Construction of Dakota Access Pipeline
In a big win for the Standing Rock tribe, the Corps of Engineers says other routes should be explored.

Report from Mother Jones written by MONIKA BAUERLEIN

DEC. 4, 2016

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will not grant a permit for the controversial Dakota Access pipeline to cross under Lake Oahu in South Dakota, a decision that could halt construction of the last link of the controversial pipeline that has been the subject of protests for the better part of this year. The water protectors, as they refer to themselves, have set up camps in the path of the pipeline in solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, which opposes the project. This weekend, veterans from around the country converged on the region to show their support.

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe issued a statement commending “the courage that it took for Barack Obama, the Army Corps, the Department of Justice and the Department of Interior to take steps to correct the course of history and do the right thing.” Tribal chairman David Archambault also expressed hope that the incoming Trump administration would “respect this decision.”

In its statement, the Army said it believes the pipeline route should be subject to a full environmental impact statement “with full public input and analysis.” That process typically takes multiple months, often years.

(Mother Jones’ Wes Enzinna is currently enroute to the area and will continue covering this developing story.)

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Statement:

By U.S. Army

December 4, 2016
Army POC: Moira Kelley (703) 614-3992, moira.l.kelley.civ@mail.mil

The Department of the Army will not approve an easement that would allow the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline to cross under Lake Oahe in North Dakota, the Army’s Assistant Secretary for Civil Works announced today.
Jo-Ellen Darcy said she based her decision on a need to explore alternate routes for the Dakota Access Pipeline crossing. Her office had announced on November 14, 2016 that it was delaying the decision on the easement to allow for discussions with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, whose reservation lies 0.5 miles south of the proposed crossing. Tribal officials have expressed repeated concerns over the risk that a pipeline rupture or spill could pose to its water supply and treaty rights.
“Although we have had continuing discussion and exchanges of new information with the Standing Rock Sioux and Dakota Access, it’s clear that there’s more work to do,” Darcy said. “The best way to complete that work responsibly and expeditiously is to explore alternate routes for the pipeline crossing.”
Darcy said that the consideration of alternative routes would be best accomplished through an Environmental Impact Statement with full public input and analysis.
The Dakota Access Pipeline is an approximately 1,172 mile pipeline that would connect the Bakken and Three Forks oil production areas in North Dakota to an existing crude oil terminal near Pakota, Illinois. The pipeline is 30 inches in diameter and is projected to transport approximately 470,000 barrels of oil per day, with a capacity as high as 570,000 barrels. The current proposed pipeline route would cross Lake Oahe, an Army Corps of Engineers project on the Missouri River.

Cannon Ball, N.D.— The department of the Army will not approve an easement that will allow the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline to cross under Lake Oahe.

The following statement was released by Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault II. :

“Today, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced that it will not be granting the easement to cross Lake Oahe for the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline. Instead, the Corps will be undertaking an environmental impact statement to look at possible alternative routes. We wholeheartedly support the decision of the administration and commend with the utmost gratitude the courage it took on the part of President Obama, the Army Corps, the Department of Justice and the Department of the Interior to take steps to correct the course of history and to do the right thing.

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and all of Indian Country will be forever grateful to the Obama Administration for this historic decision.

We want to thank everyone who played a role in advocating for this cause. We thank the tribal youth who initiated this movement. We thank the millions of people around the globe who expressed support for our cause. We thank the thousands of people who came to the camps to support us, and the tens of thousands who donated time, talent, and money to our efforts to stand against this pipeline in the name of protecting our water. We especially thank all of the other tribal nations and jurisdictions who stood in solidarity with us, and we stand ready to stand with you if and when your people are in need.

Throughout this effort I have stressed the importance of acting at all times in a peaceful and prayerful manner – and that is how we will respond to this decision. With this decision we look forward to being able to return home and spend the winter with our families and loved ones, many of whom have sacrificed as well. We look forward to celebrating in wopila, in thanks, in the coming days.

We hope that Kelcey Warren, Governor Dalrymple, and the incoming Trump administration respect this decision and understand the complex process that led us to this point. When it comes to infrastructure development in Indian Country and with respect to treaty lands, we must strive to work together to reach decisions that reflect the multifaceted considerations of tribes.

Treaties are paramount law and must be respected, and we welcome dialogue on how to continue to honor that moving forward. We are not opposed to energy independence, economic development, or national security concerns but we must ensure that these decisions are made with the considerations of our Indigenous peoples.

To our local law enforcement, I hope that we can work together to heal our relationship as we all work to protect the lives and safety of our people. I recognize the extreme stress that the situation caused and look forward to a future that reflects more mutual understanding and respect.

Again, we are deeply appreciative that the Obama Administration took the time and effort to genuinely consider the broad spectrum of tribal concerns. In a system that has continuously been stacked against us from every angle, it took tremendous courage to take a new approach to our nation-to-nation relationship, and we will be forever grateful.

(Learn more about the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe at standwithstandingrock.net. For incremental updates please follow our Facebook page at Standing Rock Sioux Tribe or follow us on Twitter @standingrockst.)

***

standingrock_waterStandoff at Standing Rock: Even Attack Dogs Can’t Stop the Native American Resistance
SEPTEMBER 08, 2016
By Amy Goodman & Denis Moynihan

The Missouri River, the longest river in North America, has for thousands of years provided the water necessary for life to the region’s original inhabitants. To this day, millions of people rely on the Missouri for clean drinking water. Now, a petroleum pipeline, called the Dakota Access Pipeline, is being built, threatening the river. A movement has grown to block the pipeline, led by Native American tribes that have lived along the banks of the Missouri from time immemorial. Members of the Dakota and Lakota nations from the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation established a camp at the confluence of the Missouri and Cannonball rivers, about 50 miles south of Bismarck, North Dakota. They declare themselves “protectors, not protesters.” Last Saturday, as they attempted to face down massive bulldozers on their ancient burial sites, the pipeline security guards attacked the mostly Native American protectors with dogs and pepper spray as they resisted the $3.8 billion pipeline’s construction, fighting for clean water, protection of sacred ground and an end to our fossil-fuel economy.

dakota-access-pipeline-route-map-sacred-stone-campStanding Rock Sioux set up the first resistance encampment in April, calling it Sacred Stone. Now there are four camps with more than 1,000 people, mostly from Native American tribes in the U.S. and Canada. “Water is Life” is the mantra of this nonviolent struggle against the pipeline that is being built to carry crude oil from the Bakken oil fields of North Dakota to Illinois.

Saturday was a beautiful, sunny day. Together with Laura Gottesdiener and John Hamilton of “Democracy Now!,” we spent the morning filming interviews. That afternoon, delegations walked down the road to plant their tribal flags in the path of the proposed pipeline. Many were shocked to see large bulldozers actively carving up the land on Labor Day weekend.

14138842_10105656477216123_7554000515400216916_oHundreds of people, mostly Native Americans, lined the route, yelling for the destruction to stop. A group of women began shaking the ranch fencing, and without much effort it fell over. The land defenders began pouring through. Several young men from the camp arrived on horseback.

The bulldozers retreated, but the security guards attempted to repel the land defenders, unleashing at least half a dozen vicious dogs, who bit both people and horses. One dog had blood dripping from its mouth and nose. Undeterred, the dog’s handler continued to push the dog into the crowd. The guards pepper-sprayed the protesters, punched and tackled them. Vicious dogs like mastiffs have been used to attack indigenous peoples in the Americas since the time of Christopher Columbus and the Spanish conquistadors who followed him. In the end, the violent Dakota Access guards were forced back.

13090843_1544189122544651_7256779_o-1038x576This section of the pipeline path contained archeological sites, including Lakota/Dakota burial grounds. The tribe had supplied the locations of the sites in a court filing just the day before, seeking a temporary halt to construction to fully investigate them. With those locations in hand, the Dakota Access Pipeline crew literally plowed ahead. Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chairman David Archambault told us on the “Democracy Now!” news hour: “They were using the dogs as a deadly weapon. … They knew something was going to happen when they leapfrogged over 15 miles of undisturbed land to destroy our sacred sites … they were prepared. They hired a company that had guard dogs, and then they came in, and then they waited. And it was —by the time we saw what was going on, it was too late. Everything was destroyed. They desecrated our ancestral gravesites. They just destroyed prayer sites.”

At the camp, we interviewed Winona LaDuke, an Ojibwe leader from the White Earth Nation in northern Minnesota. She recently led a campaign that succeeded in blocking another pipeline that threatened the White Earth’s territory. She commented on North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple’s support of suppression of the Standing Rock protests: “You are not George Wallace, and this is not Alabama. This is 2016, and you don’t get to treat Indians like you have for those last hundred years. We’re done.”

lakota-keystone-pipelineThe battle against the Dakota Access Pipeline is being waged as a renewed assertion of indigenous rights and sovereignty, as a fight to protect clean water, but, most importantly, as part of the global struggle to combat climate change and break from dependence on fossil fuels. At the Sacred Stone, Red Warrior and other camps at the confluence of the Missouri and Cannonball rivers, the protectors are there to stay, and their numbers are growing daily.

The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to democracynow.org. Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us:

http://www.democracynow.org/2016/9/8/standoff_at_standing_rock_even_attack

***

The John Trudell “We Are Power” (spoken word) is being posted here in Loving Memory of John Trudell and in support of the Dakota and Lakota nations from the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation and for CLEAN WATER and for NO COMMERCIAL PURPOSES.

500_water_protectors_courtesy_ien-1

Fossil Fuel Industry Granted Defendant Status in Youths’ Landmark Climate Lawsuit

Girl Jump Roping and Determined to Win the Fight for Fresh Air (from Girl Soda Atlas) illustrated by K. J. Legry (featured by Girl Power Academy)
Girl Jump Roping and Determined to Win the Fight for Fresh Air (from Girl Soda Atlas) illustrated by K. J. Legry (featured by Girl Power Academy)

Fossil Fuel Industry Granted Defendant Status in Youths’ Landmark Climate Lawsuit

The newly named trade association defendants are the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM)—representing ExxonMobil, BP, Shell, Koch Industries, and virtually all other U.S. refiners and petrochemical manufacturers, American Petroleum Institute (API)—representing 625 oil and natural gas companies, and the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM).

This litigation is a momentous threat to fossil fuel companies. They are determined to join the federal government to defeat the constitutional claims asserted by these youth plaintiffs. The fossil fuel industry and the federal government lining up against 21 young citizens. That shows you what is at stake here.”

The fossil fuel powerhouses call the youth’s case “extraordinary” and “a direct, substantial threat to [their] businesses.” During Wednesday’s hearing, the industry argued that a decision in favor of plaintiffs on their legal claims will require a significant restructuring of the fossil fuel business model, such as potentially invalidating thousands of leases for fossil fuel extraction and development.
In their lawsuit, the young plaintiffs assert the federal government violated their constitutional rights to life, liberty and property by allowing and facilitating the exploitation of fossil fuels. The youth have asked the court to order the federal government to prepare and implement a science-based national climate recovery plan. ~ Source: http://ecowatch.com/2016/01/14/youth-climate-change-lawsuit/

Mother Nature Character (moth and bluebell woman) illustration from Girl Soda Atlas by K. J. Legry (featured on Girl Power Academy)
Mother Nature Character (moth and bluebell woman) illustration from Girl Soda Atlas by K. J. Legry (featured on Girl Power Academy)

Earth Guardians is a Colorado-based nonprofit organization with youth chapters on five continents, and multiple groups in the United States with thousands of members working together to protect the Earth, the water, the air, and the atmosphere, creating healthy sustainable communities globally. We inspire and empower young leaders, families, schools, organizations, cities, and government officials to make positive change locally, nationally, and globally to address the critical state of the Earth. www.earthguardians.org

Our Children’s Trust is a nonprofit organization, elevating the voice of youth, those with most to lose, to secure the legal right to a healthy atmosphere and stable climate on behalf of present and future generations. We lead a global human rights and environmental justice campaign to implement enforceable science-based Climate Recovery Plans that will return atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration to levels below 350 ppm. www.ourchildrenstrust.org/

News updates: http://ourchildrenstrust.org/news

Related Girl Power Academy Post with Mary Christina Wood  interviewed by Bill Moyers:

https://girlpoweracademy.wordpress.com/2016/01/06/mary-christina-wood-natures-trust-a-new-approach-to-environmental-law/

The Peaceful Burns Paiute Tribe Protests the Militant Mormons Taking Over Their Lands

Burns Paiute Tribe: Militants need to get off ‘our land’

by Ian K. Kullgren

http://www.oregonlive.com/pacific-northwest-news/index.ssf/2016/01/burns_piaute_tribe_militants_s.html

“They just need to get the hell out of here,” said Jarvis Kennedy, a member of the tribal council. “They didn’t ask anybody, we don’t want them here…our little kids are sitting at home when they should be in school.”

The group of 20 or so militants, led by right-wing activists Ammon Bundy and his two brothers, seized the refuge headquarters on Saturday.

The Paiute Tribe once occupied a large swath of land that includes the Malheur National Wildlife refuge — archaeological evidence dates back 6,000 years — but they were forced out in the late 1870s. Before settlers arrived, the tribe used it as a wintering ground, said Charlotte Rodrique, the tribal chair.

“We as a tribe view that this is still our land no matter who’s living on it,” Rodrique said.

In 1868, the tribe signed a treaty with the federal government that requires the government to protect natives’ safety. According to the tribe, the federal government promised to prosecute “any crime or injury perpetrated by any white man upon the Indians.”

Rodrique said the tribe never ceded its rights to the land. It works with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to preserve archaeological sites.

“We feel strongly because we have had a good working relationship with the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge,” she said. “We view them as a protector of our cultural rights in that area.”

About 200 people live in the Burns Paiute Reservation, located 30 miles from the refuge headquarters. The tribe owns 11,000 acres of land nationwide, Rodrique said.

The tribal council met with archaeologists at the refuge Tuesday. Tribal leaders said they’re worried the militants could damage archaeological sites.

Although the tribe says it’s pleased with the federal government’s response so far, some wondered aloud whether nonwhite militants would be given such passive treatment.

“I wonder if it was bunch of natives that went out there and overtook that, or any federal land,” Kennedy said. “Would they let us come into town and get supplies and re-up?”

— Ian K. Kullgren (ikullgren@oregonian.com)

US | Wed Jan 6, 2016 3:21pm ESTRelated: U.S.

Oregon native tribe uneasy with armed standoff over land rights

BURNS, ORE. | BY JONATHAN ALLEN

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-oregon-militia-tribe-idUSKBN0UK1FS20160106
The reservation is not far from the wildlife refuge, and the tribe has been living in the arid western Oregon mountains since long before Europeans arrived in North America.

“There was never an agreement that we were giving up this land,” Rodrique said. “We were dragged out of here.”

The tribe’s approach has typically been less provocative than the protesters who brought guns to further their anti-government cause.

“I’m, like, hold on a minute, if you want to get technical about it … the land belongs to the Paiute here,” said Selena Sam, a member of the tribe’s council who works as a waitress at a local diner.

At an emotional news conference in Burns on Wednesday, tribal leaders denounced the occupiers’ claims of wanting to help local residents, and said the protesters’ ignorance of the region’s real history was offensive.

Native Americans React To Oregon Armed Occupation: Burns Paiute Tribe Says,

‘We Were Here First’

BY MORGAN WINSOR

http://www.ibtimes.com/native-americans-react-oregon-armed-occupation-burns-paiute-tribe-says-we-were-here-2252872

 

As armed ranchers continued to occupy federal land in eastern Oregon for a fifth consecutive day, the leader of the area’s Native American tribal council spoke out in anger and frustration. “We were here first,” Charlotte Rodrique, chairwoman of the federal recognized Burns Paiute Tribe, said at a press conference Wednesday.

The protesters want the government to relinquish the federal land to local ranchers, loggers and miners. But the area in question, the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, is actually native Paiute land that was ceded to white settlers over a hundred years ago. And while the native people can relate to the protesters’ dispute, they don’t appreciate their guns and they want to make clear whose land it really is.
“Armed protesters don’t belong here,” Rodrique said at the press conference in the sleepy town of Burns, saying they were “desecrating one of our sacred sites.”

Armed anti-government protesters took over the headquarters building at the federal wildlife preserve Saturday, accusing federal officials of unfairly punishing ranchers who refused to sell their property. The gun-toting protesters, led by Ammon Bundy, are also demonstrating in support of two local ranchers who were charged with arson after starting a prescribed fire on their private property that spread onto public land. The group said they have no intentions of vacating the premises, despite requests from the Burns Paiute Tribe leaders.

Mary Christina Wood: Nature’s Trust a New Approach to Environmental Law

For Full Transcript please go directly to:

http://billmoyers.com/episode/full-show-climate-crusade/

Selected Transcript Excerpts:

MARY CHRISTINA WOOD: Every suit and every administrative petition filed in every state in the country and against the federal government asks for the same relief. And that is for the government, whether it’s the state of Tennessee or the state of Oregon or the federal government to bring down carbon emissions in compliance with what scientists say is necessary to avert catastrophic climate change.

And so the remedy in the suits pending is for the courts to order a plan, simply order the legislatures and the agencies to do their job in figuring out how to lower carbon emissions. So the courts would not actually figure out how to do that. That’s the other branch’s job. It’s just that they’re not doing it. And they probably won’t without pressure before we pass crucial tipping points.

BILL MOYERS: A plaintiff in one of the early suits, 16 years old at the time, sued the federal government, quote, “…for making decisions that threaten our right to a safe and healthy planet.” Now, where does it say anywhere in law that the government serves as the trustee of the atmosphere and that it’s violating its most compelling duties by failing, in the words of this young man, to protect the atmosphere from climate change? Where do you find that?

MARY CHRISTINA WOOD: You find that in case law, going back to the beginning years of this country. The Supreme Court, the US Supreme Court, has announced the public trust doctrine in multiple cases over the years. And again, it’s in every state jurisprudence as well. And so this is not statutory law.

I think people are so accustomed to our statutory system, they always say, as you just did, where can we find it written down in a statute? Well, this is actually the foundation of all laws. Professor Gerald Torres has a wonderful quote in his writings, saying this is the slate upon which all constitutions and laws are written. And that is the approach most courts (in this country and other countries) take in describing the public trust.

BILL MOYERS: It’s clear that you consider the courts the alternative to the streets. That this is the way people, including your 16-year-olds and 17-year-olds who are filing these suits, can seek to redress their concerns about the climate and survival through the democratic process as opposed to taking to the streets.

MARY CHRISTINA WOOD: No. I would never say the two are mutually exclusive. The court is just one– it’s an important branch of government; it’s the third branch of government. It’s crucial to our checks and balances. And so of course you would think that the courts have a role to play.

But street democracy is so powerful. I don’t know of any major movement that has succeeded without street democracy. When hundreds of thousands of people take to the streets, as they did in New York City, exercise their constitutional rights of free assembly; and then when you see, also, almost 100,000 people signing up and pledging to risk arrest if Keystone, the Keystone Pipeline, that would transport tar sands from Canada, those people are pledging to risk arrest if Obama or Congress approves the Keystone Pipeline.

When you see this kind of uprising, that only reinforces the more formal legal approaches that are put forth in the atmospheric trust litigation. The two go very much hand in hand because what is very important for judges is to sense the moral authority of the people. Judges have a finger on the pulse of the American people in a way that I think we don’t really understand that well. Judges can, if they sense the need, move very rapidly and order swift injunctions to force the legislatures or agencies, or both, to create a carbon reduction plan. And as that awareness becomes more acute, as demonstrated in the streets, courts, I believe, will become more receptive to coming in and ordering the legislatures to do their job.

BILL MOYERS: What’s the one thing you want the reader to take away from “Nature’s Trust”?

MARY CHRISTINA WOOD: Most important thing is for citizens to understand that they are needed to promote environmental democracy at this crucial moment in time, that environmental law held a lot of promise but that it’s not working, and that agencies have basically used it to allow almost unfettered destruction of our natural resources.

BILL MOYERS: What agencies are you talking about?

MARY CHRISTINA WOOD: Agencies that span the full realm of natural resources. So the US EPA, the Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the Corps of Engineers, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Marine Fisheries Service; you name it. There are dozens of agencies at the federal and state levels that control environmental resources. And they are supposed to represent the public interest and not corporations or moneyed interests in making those decisions. And we the public assume that the agencies are doing the right thing when they’re implementing environmental laws. Whereas in fact, nothing could be further from the truth. Agencies have become politicized creatures that largely serve industry.

BILL MOYERS: You’re talking about agencies at the federal government, but also at the state level.

MARY CHRISTINA WOOD: And the local level. Local, state, and federal level, across all natural resource regulatory areas. And I would never say that environmental law has done nothing. It has stopped a few things. Lead was taken out of gasoline, PCBs were banned, those things. But industry would like no regulation at all. It would like a free-for-all across all resource systems. So we are at a very dangerous situation in this country where the very life systems that support us are now imperiled and in jeopardy.

BILL MOYERS: What has happened to all those great laws passed in the 1970s? I mean, I was around for the first Earth Day in 1970. And then there came all of those promising laws out of Congress, which even President Nixon supported. There was so much optimism, so much promise.

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MARY CHRISTINA WOOD: It’s a huge disappointment. There was a lot of promise. The Americans thought they had solved the problem by getting these laws passed. What they didn’t realize was that industries got inside the agencies through various means, through campaign contributions, through pressure on the system over and over again. And so one thing we have to keep in mind is we’re nearing the end of our resources. And there are laws of nature that we have to comply with.

And those laws are supreme. And they determine whether we will survive on this planet. And they will determine the future conditions for our children. And so right now, our environmental laws are out of whack with the laws of nature. They are allowing destruction, whereas they should be structuring society to create a balance with the natural systems that support our lives.

BILL MOYERS: This paragraph leaped out at me, I’m quoting directly: “…it matters little what new laws emerge, for they will develop the same bureaucratic sinkholes that consumed the 1970s laws. Only a transformative approach can address sources of legal decay.” What’s the heart of this transformational approach?

MARY CHRISTINA WOOD: Well, the heart of the approach is the public trust doctrine. And it says that government is a trustee of the resources that support our public welfare and survival. And so a trust means that one entity or person manages a certain wealth, an endowment, so to speak, for the benefit of others. And in the case of the public trust, the beneficiaries are the present and future generations of citizens. So it is a statement of, in essence, public property rights that have been known since Roman times.

In fact, this was articulated by the Chief Justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in a landmark public trust decision last year. And the decision basically overturned a statute that the Pennsylvania Legislature had passed to promote fracking. And the Chief Justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, Chief Justice Castille, said this violates the public trust. And he began his opinion by saying that citizens hold inalienable environmental rights to assure the habitability of their communities.

And that these are ensconced in the social contract that citizens make with government. They cannot be alienated. They are inherent and reserved. So they are of a constitutional nature. And the point of the public trust is that the citizens hold these constitutional rights in an enduring natural endowment that is supposed to support all future generations of citizens in this country. It is so basic to democracy; in fact, the late Joseph Sax said the trust distinguishes a society of citizens from serfs.

BILL MOYERS: Well, that will strike some people as socialist.

MARY CHRISTINA WOOD: It inures in democracy. Now, if they believe that is socialism, then we have quite a conversation ahead, because this has been a part of our legal system since the very earliest years of our country. The Supreme Court of the United States in a landmark case called Illinois Central Railroad in 1892 said that the Illinois Legislature couldn’t just give away the shoreline of Chicago, the shoreline along Lake Michigan, to a private railroad company, because the citizens needed that shoreline for fishing and navigation and commerce. This is really nothing new. It’s certainly not socialism. It is the heart of popular sovereignty to expect that the citizens have enduring rights to the resources that support their very survival.

"penguin and ice cube" photo by K. J. Legry
“penguin and ice cube” photo by K. J. Legry

MARY CHRISTINA WOOD: Climate is not just an environmental issue. This is a civilizational issue. This is the biggest case that courts will get in terms of the potential harm in front of them, the population affected by that harm, and in terms of the urgency. Climate is mind-blowing. It can’t be categorized any longer as an environmental issue.

Legislators are trustees with constitutional obligations to the citizens. So just to put it out there, the public trust is designed for precisely the situation we have today. Now, whether or not I expect political reinforcement, I would say absolutely at the local level. These cases are finding reinforcement at the local level. In fact, in Eugene, Oregon, Our Children’s Trust organized a group of youth and they went before city council, month after month after month, and testified, asking the city council to really take action on climate and to make Eugene, Oregon a carbon-neutral place.

And after month after month after month, when the city councilors looked those children in the eyes and saw what I describe as just the moral authority of these youth, they passed the most aggressive climate ordinance in the country. And I think that is the power of the youth. The youth have to now step up, come before their legislators, pack the courtrooms in these atmospheric trust cases, meet with the agency people.

The youth have to come forward because they have no money. They have no voting rights. But they have got something that no one else has, and that is the moral authority. That is the future. And the obligations we naturally feel towards our own children, towards children we love, they all come to the surface when we can– when we actually speak to youth about the future they face.

"penguin and no ice cube" photo by K. J. Legry
“penguin and no ice cube” photo by K. J. Legry

MARY CHRISTINA WOOD: If we love our children and nieces and nephews and grandchildren, we cannot be pessimistic. We have to do everything possible at this moment in time. And we have to forge ahead with courage and optimism. And ultimately, we have to be guided by the moral principles that were responsible for the founding of this nation. So no, I’m not a pessimist.

BILL MOYERS: The book is “Nature’s Trust: Environmental Law for a New Ecological Age”.

natures-trust-book-cover-201x300Mary Christina Wood is the Philip H. Knight Professor of Law and Faculty Director of the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Center at the University of Oregon School of Law. She has taught law for more than twenty years, specializing in property law, environmental law and federal Indian law. She founded the school’s top-ranked Environmental and Natural Resources Law Program. Wood is the co-author of a textbook on natural resources law and another on public trust law.
The following is an an excerpt from Mary Christina Wood’s book Nature’s Trust: Environmental Law For a New Ecological Age.

Arising primarily from statutes passed in the 1970s, the field of environmental law stands as a failed legal experiment. The administrative state vests agencies with breathtaking power that came justified by one simple assumption: officials will deploy public resources and invoke their technical expertise on behalf of the public interest. Instead, too many environmental agencies today use their power to carry out profit agendas set by corporations and singular interests. As Part I of this book explained, environmental agencies have fallen captive to the industries they regulate. Consequently, they use the laws’ permit provisions to legalize the very damage the statutes were designed to prevent. Nearly across the board, environmental statutory processes do not prohibit harm: they permit it.

The problem lies not in the statutes themselves but in the frame governing environmental law. As a political frame, it continually bends agencies into serving those parties holding the most political power, which in today’s world often means corporations rather than the general public. In many US agencies, decisions flow from what the politics will allow, not what the statutes say. High-ranking political operatives use their discretion to favor the industries they continue to serve from inside the agency. Staff scientists and permit writers operating within highly charged political cultures suffer varying degrees of pressure to fall in line with the agency’s political agenda. These pressures remain obscured from the public, taking place in procedural fortresses made nearly impenetrable by their sheer complexity.

In a three-branch system of government, courts and legislatures should provide meaningful checks and balances to rein in the executive branch and its agencies. But Congress, more susceptible to corporate influence than ever before, deadlocks over environmental policy. Its minimal involvement typically consists of appropriations riders passed to legalize industry behavior that would otherwise violate statutory mandates. Courts, while positioned to force agency compliance with statutory mandates, play a weak role because of a deference doctrine, which accords agency technical decisions a presumption of validity. Absent effective oversight by the other two branches of government, a dangerous amount of power accumulates in the executive branch, both on the federal and state levels. While legal structures vary considerably among different nations, the untrammeled power of agencies, wherever located, can create an administrative tyranny over nature and a menace to environmental democracy .

Any trust relies on strong judicial enforcement of fiduciary duties. Without a robust judiciary, there exists no trust – only tyranny. This book devoted a chapter to judicial enforcement, outlining steps that judges could take immediately, within their realm of authority and judicial tradition, to restore integrity to environmental law and enforce the property rights of citizen beneficiaries. It argued for judicial review of legislative action under fiduciary standards of loyalty to the public. It underscored the need for judicial remedies to address the institutional dysfunction of agencies in their management of resources. When faced with long-standing agency incompetence, corruption and dereliction of duty, courts prove effective only by intervening (either temporarily or for protracted periods) directly into the agency’s processes. We also detailed the elements of structural injunctions and described institutional remedies that could promote effective judicial supervision. While these types of remedies have ample precedent and remain well within the realm of equitable authority, courts have not yet used them widely in environmental law.

Link to the full: Bill Moyers book review for Mary Christina Wood: Natures Trust New Approach Environmental Law

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