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This Is What Indigenous Activism for Mother Earth Looks Like: The Shadow People’s Summit at Rio+20

Damn, I love all this; these folks are sincerely badass activists.  In the theme of ‘nothing left to lose’, they understand that they, and their values and solutions must prevail…or else. Last week I wrote about the People’s Summit that many said was being taken over by various eco-groups and other NGO’s that were far too allied with corporate green-washers, or Green Capitalists (you can read it here.)  Even though I followed  the stories, it’s still unclear to me which global Indigenous groups are participating in the People’s Summit or even different parallel Summits; but no matter: the actions will all be great.  Today is a big day for the Indigenous Peoples around the globe:

Media alert for Thursday June 21, 2012 Indigenous Peoples Set to Deliver Kari-Oca II Declaration to Rio+20 Leaders Indigenous Peoples will march to the United Nations Rio+20 Summit tomorrow to deliver the historic Kari-Oca II Declaration to the Rio+20 Secretary-General, Sha Zukang. Ratified by over five hundred Indigenous Peoples from Brazil and throughout the world, the Kari-Oca II declaration demands respect for Indigenous Peoples’ rights and the dignity of Mother Earth and condemns the Green Economy as the privatization of Life. PHOTOS AND VISUALS: Indigenous Peoples will be in ceremonial regalia.

Yesterday, Indigenous activists from North and South America held a march in Rio to protest ‘The Greed Economy’ the other Summit is promoting (I think you’ll love this video).

The Teotihuacan, Bolivians (bearing their Cochabamba document), The International Peasant Movement (La Via Campesina), and other global Indigenous groups are in attendance, fighting against “The Carbon Cowboys” and other multinationals posing as ‘Eco-friendly’ pushing false notions of ‘sustainability’.

It just knocks me out how well-organized, brilliant, wise and dedicated these folks are: they see right through these nefarious and false ‘solutions’ like bio-mass, bio-fuels, global hunger-by-transgenic crops, atmospheric carbon-trades that hide even worse eco-travesties, etc.  They know mainly because the 1992 UN Sustainability Summit showed them the evil being done to the planet and its inconvenient inhabitants in a second major wave of Colonization.  People have been caravanning to Rio all week, and some have constructed a Kara-Oca encampment, and are performing their prayer rituals and healing ceremonies, plus instructing people on their true eco-agricultural techniques and more.  From their document:

The institutionalization of Colonialism We see the goals of UNCSD Rio+20, the “Green Economy” and its premise that the world can only “save” nature by commodifying its life giving and life sustaining capacities as a continuation of the colonialism that Indigenous Peoples and our Mother Earth have faced and resisted for 520 years. The “Green Economy” promises to eradicate poverty but in fact will only favor and respond to multinational enterprises and capitalism. It is a continuation of a global economy based upon fossil fuels, the destruction of the environment by exploiting nature through extractive industries such as mining, oil exploration and production, intensive mono-culture agriculture, and other capitalist investments. All of these efforts are directed toward profit and the accumulation of capital by the few. Since Rio 1992, we as Indigenous Peoples see that colonization has become the very basis of the globalization of trade and the dominant capitalist global economy. The exploitation and plunder of the world’s ecosystems and biodiversity, as well as the violations of the inherent rights of Indigenous Peoples that depend on them, have intensified. Our rights to self determination, to our own governance and own self-determined development, our inherent rights to our lands, territories and resources are increasingly and alarmingly under attack by the collaboration of governments and transnational corporations. Indigenous activists and leaders defending their territories continue to suffer repression, militarization, including assassination, imprisonment, harassment and vilification as “terrorists.” The violation of our collective rights faces the same impunity. Forced relocation or assimilation assault our future generations, cultures, languages, spiritual ways and relationship to the earth, economically and politically. We, Indigenous Peoples from all regions of the world have defended our Mother Earth from the aggression of unsustainable development and the over exploitation of our natural resources by mining, logging, mega-dams, exploration and extraction of petroleum. Our forests suffer from the production of agro-fuels, bio-mass, plantations and other impositions of false solutions to climate change and unsustainable, damaging development. The Green Economy is nothing more than capitalism of nature; a perverse attempt by corporations, extractive industries and governments to cash in on Creation by privatizing, commodifying, and selling off the Sacred and all forms of life and the sky, including the air we breathe, the water we drink and all the genes, plants, traditional seeds, trees, animals, fish, biological and cultural diversity, ecosystems and traditional knowledge that make life on Earth possible and enjoyable.” You can read the entire text of the Kara-Oca 2 Declaration here; reading it gives me The Shivers.   It’s long, but worth reading, imo.

If you’ve a mind to, you can sign the ‘Stop the False Green Economy at Rio 20+1 petition to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton here.  It says:

To US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and US Rio+20 Lead Negotiator John Matuszak: At the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, I urge you to reject the false solutions of the “Green Economy” and instead invest in solutions to the root causes of the ecological and economic crises that put our communities to work, cool the planet, and transition environmental control back to local economies. Sincerely, ______.

Aside from the dangers they see inherent in the global Monsanto-ization of crops, transgenic eucalyptus trees being pushed by the UN and other institutions for biofuels, dams are as huge an issue for Indigenous Brazilians as they are for Africans and Chinese farmers.  This symbolic action against the Belo Monte Dam in Brazil is awesome. In very related news, Lakota Chief Arvol Looking Horse, the 19th generation keeper of the Sacred White Buffalo Pipe* (history of the pipe is below)  has been holding prayer ceremonies for the earth and her inhabitants all week in the Tetons.  Additionally he advises us:

“Once again I am sending my voice to all Nations upon Mother Earth, those who can hear my sincerity with their hearts – – unite together at our Sacred Sites creating an energy shift of a great healing on this June 21st. We need to see and listen to the wamakas’ka (the animals) who are more than ever now showing their sacred color of white, there are so many. This color represents the direction of when physical life now goes into the spirit journey. They are trying to warn us to pay attention to our responsibilities as a Global Nation. In order to protect the remaining sacredness that is trying to survive upon Mother Earth, which includes even our own children, we now have no choice but to unify and make positive decisions together. [snip] On June 21st I will pray with thousands of People at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development or Rio+20 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. As part of the various gatherings and celebrations that will be held as part of the Sacred Earth Gathering in Aldeia Nova Terra during the month of June parallel to the conference, there will be a very special ceremony to celebrate World Peace and Prayer Day/Honoring Sacred Sites along with various representatives of the Brazilian indigenous tribes and spiritual leaders from different nations. The intent is to honor this day not only in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil but to also invite the participation of other WPPD activities worldwide to join though simultaneous acts of prayer and song so as to be united spiritually on this June 21st to celebrate the 2012 World Peace and Prayer Day/Honoring Sacred Sites.” Onipikteca (that we shall live), Chief Arvol Looking Horse

* John Fire Lame Deer’s story of the Pipe is here. (Juliania, I hope you’re reading; I know you were looking forward to reading more about these events.  Know we love you, and will welcome you back if your sense of honor can manage it.  Meanwhile, I’ll imagine you’re reading; your comments never failed to class up my posts.)  ;o) goNPA has a post up: ‘Rio+20 Off to Disastrous Start

[Update]  Brenda Norell put up this hiphop version of the Kar-Oca II Declaration being delivered to the Summit this morning; so many things, almost all bad, came out of the Summit, so the ‘What’s Next?’ question will be being addressed in all corners of the world, among people who care mightily about all these issues.

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