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Monday, October 31, 2016

Standing Rock Standoff Just Latest in Pipeline Crises

October 30, 2016
by Roberto Rodriguez

The historic battle over the 1170-mile Dakota Access Pipe Line (DAPL) has consequences far beyond the environmental danger posed by what is deep below the Earth’s surface — what is referred to as “zuzeca sape” or the black snake — or the millions of barrels of oil that are slated to move from North Dakota to Illinois. This includes Lakota, Dakota and Nakota lands.
While this black snake poses a danger to the Missouri River and to all its nearby residents, it is also part of a historic battle pitting unceded Dakota territory claimed by the Standing Rock Sioux Nation per the 1851 Treaty of Laramie versus claims to private property by Energy Transfer Partners. In one sense, that is what this is all about and it is one battle out of many hundreds in this country and on this continent, some of them going back literally to 1492.
For the rest of the column, please go to:

Monday, October 24, 2016

The 2016 Elections. Flirting with Fascism, Dancing with Apartheid:

by Roberto Rodriguez

As a lifelong writer, my journalist ethic has prevented me from ever endorsing anyone, yet, that has never stopped me from commenting on elections, especially ones in which a sizable portion of the electorate appears to be flirting with the twin evils of fascism and apartheid.
Having lived through the Nixon, Reagan and Bush eras, one could legitimately ask: is the current misogynistic and racial supremacist GOP nominee actually more dangerous than those previous warmongering presidents who caused the deaths of millions around the world? Arguably, the difference between him and his predecessors is that they limited their wars to proxy wars and against nations without nuclear weaponry. The reason people seem to fear this nominee is because he seems to be inconsistent, unstable and erratic, qualities no one wants in a leader at the controls of this nation’s nuclear arsenals.

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Friday, October 21, 2016

Rodriguez: Nightmare Looms for an Original DREAMER

by Roberto Rodriguez
This is the story of Lizbeth Mateo, a young, bright Indigenous woman from Oaxaca, Mexico, and a recent graduate from the Santa Clara University School of Law, who today finds herself under threat of imminent deportation.
There was a time when young brown peoples lived in the shadows, avoided the light of the day, and avoided all manner of authority and government officials.
And yet they dreamt. They always dreamt.
This wasn’t just any kind of young brown people. These were young brown students who had been brought into the country as either infants or as children, without, according to the U.S. government, the legal right to live in this country.
One day, they got tired of living in hiding, lost their fear, they stepped forward and began to assert their rights as full human beings and began to fight back guerilla-style; Zapatista style.
And then one day in 2010, after Congress again failed to pass the Development Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, they also got tired of fighting in the shadows and thus, one day, five of them made the decision to sit down and unmask themselves, proclaiming to the world that they were both “undocumented and unafraid.” This Act would have permitted students, who had grown up in this country and who had completed their schooling here, to go to college without the threat of deportation and at the same tuition rate as in-state college students.
Where they chose to sit down were the Tucson offices of Sen. John McCain (R). Lizbeth was one of the five. This historic action included telling the world, and demonstrating it, that they were also not afraid of the immigration authorities. And, sure enough, the authorities came, arrested them and took them away, though, in short order, they were released. That action was like that proverbial shot heard around the world.
For the rest of the column, go to: