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Promoting Interracial Discord

Public Good Project

By Jay Taber

 

Lummi Image 12

Photo: Canoe and Bulk Carrier at Cowichan Bay, B.C. © 2008 klahowya.ca

 

For readers who might wonder why I make a big deal of “the appalling disrespect of Pacific International Terminals and BNSF Railroad toward the citizens of Whatcom County and Lummi Nation over the last five years, as well as the reprehensible behavior of Gateway Pacific Terminal spokesman Craig Cole” in my op-ed at Cascadia Weekly (Apr. 13, 2016 issue), the short answer is my twenty years of experience dealing with violent white supremacy instigated by industrial developers, a.k.a. Wise Use terrorism.

While some might think that “the sinister desecration of the sacred Lummi burial ground at Cherry Point in the dark of night” or “the lavish funding of Tea Party-led PACs run by KGMI hate radio hosts” or “the repeated corruption of elections year after year through money-laundering with the Republican Party” or “the intimidation and libeling of journalists that exposed their ongoing nefarious deeds” or “promoting interracial discord and anti-Indian resentment” is no big deal, allow me to explain why I think it is.

As you can read in my comment on a March 12, 2016 news story at Northwest Citizen, Sandra Robson, a former correspondent to Whatcom Watch, was recently named the Paul de Armond Citizen Journalist of the year for outing Pacific International Terminals and BNSF Railroad, who financed a CERA-promoting, Tea Party led-PAC to attack Lummi Nation for its opposition to the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal coal-export facility. CERA, for those unfamiliar with the acronym, is Citizens Equal Rights Alliance, “the Ku Klux Klan of Indian country”.

Paul de Armond, former Public Good Project research director (who passed away in 2013), in the 1990s contributed to the apprehension of people engaged in violent intimidation of Indian treaty proponents and human rights activists. Seven of the white supremacist militia members Paul (and I) helped expose were, in 1997, convicted in U.S. District Court in Seattle for manufacturing bombs and machine guns to commit murder.

The militias had been hosted in Whatcom County by Wise Use organizer Skip Richards, a paid agent of the Building Industry Association of Whatcom County. More recently, Mr. Richards and Minuteman militia member Tom Williams of Lynden were the organizers of the April 6, 2013 CERA anti-Indian conference in Bellingham, Washington.

In February 2014, Sandra Robson was threatened with a SLAPP suit by Gateway Pacific Terminal spokesman, Craig Cole, over her January 2014 Whatcom Watchcover story. In October 2015, Robson came back fighting with an IC Magazinefeature story.

The full story of this injustice, perpetrated by some of the largest corporations in the United States, is told in my April 2016 Wrong Kind of Greenspecial report.

 

[Jay Thomas Taber is an associate scholar of the Center for World Indigenous Studies and communications director at Public Good Project, Email: tbarj [at] yahoo.com Website:www.jaytaber.com]

 

Further reading: Coast Salish Gathering briefing on treaty rights (2013): for-publication-april-2013-protecting-treaty-rights-sacred-places-and-lifeways

CONSTRUCTION OF A SITUATION

Wrong Kind of Green

January 31, 2016

By Jay Taber

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Darkfeather, Bibiana and Eckos Ancheta, Tulalip Tribes. Photographer Matika Wilbur

 

In April 2013, when I received an email from the editor of the Cascadia Weekly requesting background on CERA (“The Ku Klux Klan of Indian Country”) — which had just held an Anti-Indian conference in his city — I sent him a Letter to the Editor (LTE), which he published. My letter connected the organized racism to propaganda by coal terminal developers. Responding to my LTE, the PR guy for fossil fuel export developers next to the local Indian reservation phoned the editor, expressing his displeasure at his publishing my opinion.

Shortly after, the editor published a column titled A History of Violence, based on my exclusive feature story at IC Magazine a week earlier. Ten days later, the Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights in Seattle published a special report titled Take These Tribes Down, which cited two reports on the Public Good Project website.

Reading my LTE, a local researcher, Sandy Robson, contacted me, requesting historical background on the Anti-Indian Movement in the Pacific Northwest. By October 2013, she was ready to go, launching her first expose in Whatcom Watch–a local free community newsletter. In January 2014, Sandy published her detailed account of money-laundering by the export consortium into the hands of CERA-supporting, Tea Party-led PACs.

In February 2014, the PR guy threatened Whatcom Watch with a SLAPP suit, which led to online discussions on local blogs and Facebook about Sandy’s article, and eventually to organizing in local churches, in particular the Unitarians. At this point, a local Unitarian social justice committee contacted me, asking for reading materials they could use in adult education and community forums. In March 2014, Indian Country Today published a feature story on CERA, in which the reporter quoted me three times. (Her story was based on mine.)

The PR guy’s response to all this was to get the local corporate-friendly news monopoly to publish an article claiming the SLAPP suit issue had been amicably resolved, and that the racism charge was overstated by Robson and me, whom she quoted in her article. This article, in turn, propelled the incident into the Greater Seattle Earth Ministry milieu (progressive churches), which began hosting speakers from the targeted Indian tribes, culminating in a national conference of Unitarians in Portland, Oregon in the summer of 2015.

Video: American Indian Movement:

“This video is intended to raise awareness about the American Indian Movement. Often times educators are prepared and expected to educate students about the Civil Rights Movement. But, the American Indian Movement is often left out of the history curriculum. ”

 

 

[Jay Taber is an associate scholar of the Center for World Indigenous Studies, a correspondent to Forum for Global Exchange, and a contributing editor of Fourth World Journal. Since 1994, he has served as communications director at Public Good Project, a volunteer network of researchers, analysts and activists engaged in defending democracy. As a consultant, he has assisted indigenous peoples in the European Court of Human Rights and at the United Nations. Email: tbarj [at] yahoo.com Website: www.jaytaber.com]

Further reading:

Railroading Racism: Warren Buffett vs Northwest Indians

Intercontinental Cry

April 10, 2015

by Jay Taber

buffet-photo

 

Warren Buffett’s financial and political clout, from Wall Street to the White House, has created a hubris in the “bomb train” magnate matched only by his partner in crime, Bill Gates. As Buffett and Gates rake in millions from shipping Tar Sands bitumen and Bakken Shale crude, however, a storm is brewing in the Pacific Northwest, where the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians (ATNI) are fighting Buffett’s Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad (BNSF)–which hopes to cash in big on Crude Zones in Washington State.

In May 2013, ATNI adopted a resolution opposing transport and export of fossil fuels in the Pacific Northwest. On April 7, 2015, Swinomish Indian Tribal Community, an ATNI member tribe, filed suit in U.S. District Court in Seattle to stop Buffett’s oil trains from crossing their reservation at Padilla Bay. Meanwhile, another ATNI member tribe, Quinault Indian Nation, filed an appeal to stop a major oil train terminal on the Washington coast at Gray’s Harbor.

On January 8, 2015, Lummi Nation, also an ATNI member tribe, requested that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reject an application by BNSF and SSA Marine to develop a major coal export terminal at Cherry Point–home to an ancient Lummi village and burial ground, as well as prolific Salish Sea crab and salmon fishery, that benefits many Coast Salish First Nations in Washington and British Columbia. As Washington tribes fight Buffett and the fossil fuel exporters, sowers of interracial discord are already on the fossil-fueled payroll.

With the 2007 UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, indigenous cultural survival is now a matter of human rights. As noted at Earth Ministry in Seattle, whose Interfaith Earth Day on April 21 is devoted to discussing how indigenous rights have encountered indignant wrongs from the coal and oil exporters, the devastating impacts of fossil fuel megaprojects on Native American culture remind us of “our shared responsibility to protect Mother Earth”.

Given the convergence of fossil fuel exporters and white supremacists (i.e. Tea Party and CERA) seeking to terminate American Indian tribes, White Power on the Salish Sea could conceivably become a public safety issue, as it did twenty years ago. Hopefully, the intervention of moral authorities will help keep a lid on organized racism funded by fossil fuel. Alas, The Politics of Land and Bigotry.

 

 

[Jay Taber is an associate scholar of the Center for World Indigenous Studies, a correspondent to Forum for Global Exchange, and a contributing editor of Fourth World Journal. Since 1994, he has served as communications director at Public Good Project, a volunteer network of researchers, analysts and activists engaged in defending democracy. As a consultant, he has assisted indigenous peoples in the European Court of Human Rights and at the United Nations.]

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