#IdleNoMore torches still burning : : Sovereignty Summer events planned

by Stephen Petrina on July 18, 2013

Jonathan Charlton, The StarPhoeinix, June 17, 2013–  The Idle No More movement may have slipped off the front pages, but there is still support below the surface.

“I think we’re at a place where we’ve generated momentum, got people around the world excited, have people active in their own communities and on a global level,” said Alex Wilson, an education professor at the University of Saskatchewan.

Wilson, Sheelah McLean, Erica Lee and Sylvia McAdam, leaders of Idle No More, gave a seminar about the movement and their personal experiences at the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association (NAISA) conference Saturday.

It was one of the best-attended talks of the week and they received a standing ovation. Other academics posed for pictures with them, bought Idle No More T-shirts and asked the women to sign them.

The movement is ambitious and wide in scope, but the women said it focuses on environmental, democratic and social justice issues.

“The end goal will be the day after there is no racism, the day after there’s no sexism, the day after there’s no homophobia, the day after there’s no systemic inequalities in society. It’s ongoing and ever changing,” Wilson said.

Idle No More has more events planned for what’s being called Sovereignty Summer.

“Really Sovereignty Summer is about encouraging people to do events in their own communities in their own way,” said Lee, a 23-year old youth representative, “because part of Idle No More is about encouraging people to break out of this idea of pan-Indianism, like we’re all the same monolithic tribe.”

But they also want to educate the Canadian public about aboriginal issues and improve relations between the two groups.

“For so long, we’ve only been told one side of Canadian history – so it’s not people’s fault for being ignorant of indigenous issues, because they’re not taught in school,” Lee said.


Read More: The StarPhoenix


caller dov 07.18.13 at 9:17 pm

please notice the indigenous bedouin tribes situation in israel:
Residents of the Ramiya Neighborhood in Karmiel demand:
Connect us to electricity, before the coming winter!

At the heart of the Israeli city of Karmiel in the Galilee is the neighborhood of Ramiya, near the Rabin neighborhood and the Makosh neighborhoods of this the city. The Ramiya neighborhood is different and unique among all neighborhoods in the city of Karmiel. First, it is by far the oldest neighborhood in Karmiel; in fact. It existed long before the city of Karmiel was founded and before the creation of the State of Israel itself. Second, Ramiya is the only neighborhood in Karmiel whose houses are not connected to electricity – every evening, residents of Ramiya can see the electric lights come on in their neighbors’ homes, but not in their own.
And third – the Ramiya residents are Arab citizens of Israel, members of the Sawad Tribe whose ancestors had lived in this location for centuries. There seems to be some causal relationship between their being Arabs and the lack of electricity in their homes.

Already in 1995, during the tenure of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin for whom the neighborhood next door to Ramiya is called, an agreement was signed between the residents of Ramiya and the government of Israel, which was supposed to regulate their status. But this intended arrangement had not been carried out up to the present. In the meantime, another generation of Ramiya residents have grown up under conditions of appalling poverty, a mark of infamy for the State of Israel – specifically, with no electricity in their homes.

The Ramiya residents sent a letter to the Prime Minister and his ministers, demanding that their homes be connected to electricity here and now, without further delay, before the coming winter. Following is the full text of the letter, for your attention. The letter also included a reference to the current cabinet’s official program, the background of Ramiya’s history, and an expression of hope – a hope to become connected to electricity.

On behalf of the action committee
Dov Caller
60 Hadas St, Karmiel 21 661
Mobile +972-(0)54-3921272

Yusef Sawad
Ramiya Neighborhood, Karmiel
Mobile +972-(0)54-6626818


To: Mr. Binyamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister, and the ministers of his cabinet

From: 150 residents of Ramiya, living next door to the Rabin and Makosh neighborhoods

We are citizens of the democratic State of Israel, descendants of the tribe of Sawad, who have lived on the mountain of Karmiel for centuries. Here we were born, our dead are buried here, here is our land, here er have our rights, and here we live and shall live. Our ownership of this land was recognized by the courts of the State of Israel and registered in the land registration.

We urge you to understand. Our troubles are not “rich people’s problems.” Ever since the city of Karmiel grew and extended itself up to the hill where we live, we are suffering harassment, exclusion, repression, disregard, contempt, and dispossession from our land – this being the attitude of the Karmiel municipality, the Israel Lands Administration, as well as the government agencies. They all regard us as “invisible citizens” and deny to us the basic Human Rights which are recognized in the 1992 Basic Law on Human Dignity and Liberty.

We are denied a link to electricity. Who would have thought that in the Israel of 2012 there are still people whose homes are not yet linked to electricity?. The Karmiel Municipality and Electricity Company refuse to provide us with electricity, though they could have done so according to the procedure known as “Temporary connection to electricity 2”. They withhold such approval pending the signature of or a “Removal-Compensation-Relocation Deal” – though it is not us who are holding up the conclusion of such a deal.
The denial of electricity is part of an abusive and inhuman campaign to which we are exposed. It is a means of psychological and physical pressure aimed to force our removal without any deal. The Israel Land Administration is pressing us to sign away our claims, while the Karmiel municipality acts to pressure and harass us through police, courts, fines, arbitrary fencing, demolitions, confiscation and suffocation – in short, a virtual war of attrition.

Successive governments, as well as the city of Karmiel, ignored and continue to ignore our demand for electricity, ever since the 1995 agreement with us was signed in 1995, under auspices of the late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. We remember, we feel humiliated, we do not forgive, and we are asking you again, as the sovereign government of Israel, which is committed to all the country’s citizens –

Are you going to respect your own Government Program, officially presented to the Knesset and approved when the present cabinet was inaugurated, the 32ed cabinet in Israel’s history? Are you going to link us to electricity, with no further delay, as clearly implied by many articles in your own Program?

1. In adopting the Government Program you made the commitment that:
“The Government will work actively to strengthen national security and provide personal security to all citizens …”

– But how can we have personal security without being connected to electricity?

2. In adopting the Government Program you made the commitment that:
“The government will promote a diplomatic process and act for peace with all our neighbors …” –
– But how can real peace be achieved without your connecting us, your internal neighbors – to electricity?

3. In adopting the Government Program you made the commitment that:
“The government will promote a plan for dealing with the economic crisis and will work to create the economic conditions that will enable sustainable growth …” –
– But how can we overcome the crisis and move towards economic growth without being connected to electricity?

4. In adopting the Government Program you made the commitment that:
“The government will strive for social justice by reducing social gaps and waging an uncompromising struggle against poverty, through education, employment, and increasing support for the disadvantaged part of the population.”

– Is it possible that you would bring us light, and that justice will make its appearance, when you finally connect us to electricity?

5. In adopting the Government Program you made the commitment that:
“The government will place education at the focus of national priorities.”

– Would it be possible, at last, for our children to make use of computer in their studies – when you link us to electricity?

6. In adopting the Government Program you made the commitment that:
“The government … will respect the religions and traditions of the all communities in the country, on the basis of the values of the Declaration of Independence.”

– Could it be that the promise of this country’s Founding Fathers for equality and justice will at last come true, and that you link us to electricity?

7. In adopting the Government Program you made the commitment that:
“The Government will uphold the Rule of Law.”

– Could it be, then, that besides the legal procedure for confiscation of lands we will also get applied to us the legal procedure for linking homes to electricity?

8. In adopting the Government Program you made the commitment that:
“The Government will … improve the quality of life for all who reside in the of the country”

– Could it be that in the new Jewish Year you will wish us what we wish you, Mr. Prime Minister, to your ministers and to your families?
– A year of full electricity – with equal opportunity to all
– A year of good health – without freezing in winter and stewing in summer
– A year of equality and social justice – of equality between residents of the luxury neighborhoods which were built on our land, and the residents Ramiya, their very close neighbors.

We, residents of Ramiya in Karmiel would like to believe and hope that the government of Israel would stand by its country’s Arab-Bedouin citizens and make a significant step to advance our legitimate rights as human beings.
We hope that already now, immediately, before the advent of winter, you will link us to electricity – not out of compass, but as our right,.

Yours Reservedly (corresponding to the situation of the Ramiya residents)
Yusef Sawad – Ramiya Residents’ Committee
Dov Caller – Jewish-Arab Action Forum for the Residents of Ramiya
Mobile +972-(0)54-3921272

Garden Torches 07.20.13 at 10:50 pm

May be besides the legal procedure for confiscation of lands we will also get applied to us the legal procedure for linking homes to electricity?

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