Category Archives: Indigenous People

Gustavo Vazquez KEEPER OF CORN

Indigenous artisans, cooks and farmers tell us this story (in Spanish and in their own languages) about the origins of indigenous corn and how their ancestors have guided the evolution of seeds from the dawn of agriculture to the 21st century; a collective effort that spans more than 350 generations.

To their voices are added those of community leaders, scientists, cooks and many others whose knowledge and activism are committed not only to the defense of food sovereignty and genetic integrity, diversity and the collective property of indigenous seeds, but also for the defense of an enduring cultural legacy and way of life.

Filmmaker and Chair of the FIlm & Digital Media Department at UC Santa Cruz , Gustavo Vazquez, brings us to Oaxaca to experience the wisdom of various indigenous communities, as they explain that “Corn was not domesticated by man – Man was domesticated by corn.”

Professors Ignacio Chapela (UC Berkeley) and Alan Bennett (UC Davis) discuss the merits and dangers of genetically modified organisms, and the characteristics of different landraces of corn that have co-evolved with the people of Oaxaca – continuing co-evolution vs. exploitation for patenting and profit.

Susana Harp, Senator from Oaxaca, works to protect the heritage and health of her region, and to respect the validity of their approach. “Corn & its surrounding rituals are tied to the cosmology of the indigenous people – by extension, the essence of being Mexican, linking our lives to corn.”

Daniel Golding – CHASING VOICES: The Story of John Peabody Harrington

Ethnographer John Peabody Harrington spent 50 years recording and documenting over 150 different, dying Native American languages. He left between 1 to 3 million pages of notes and extensive recordings, all of which are now being used by California tribes to revitalize and restore their Native languages. 

As the dominant European American culture organized to destroy Indian language and culture, Harrington dedicated his life to recording and transcribing their languages before the elder native speakers died.

Dan Golding’s film, CHASING VOICES, chronicles Harrington’s work, and that of his long time assistant, Jack Marr, as well as those who seek to revive lost languages using his archived notations, such as UC Berkeley’s Breath of Life Worshop/Conferences.

Chasing Voices will be followed by Native Cinema Short Films and Conversation at the Mendocino Film Festival 2022.

You can join this series of shorts for Native perspectives and visionary discussion afterwards with the filmmakers and local Tribal Pomo Leaders.

The short films include AWAKEN, CHISHKALE: BLESSING OF THE ACORN, FOREST GRANDMOTHERS, and POMO LAND BACK: A PRAYER FROM THE FOREST.

Alex Pritz THE TERRITORY

The Indigenous Uru-eu-wau-wau people have seen their population dwindle and their culture threatened since coming into contact with non-Native Brazilians in the 1980s. Though promised dominion over their own rain forest territory, they have faced illegal incursions from environmentally destructive logging and mining, and, most recently, land-grabbing invasions spurred on by right-wing politicians like President Jair Bolsonaro. With deforestation escalating as a result, the stakes have become global.

Screen shots from THE TERRITORY of remaining Uru-eu-wau-wau territory surrounded on 3 sides by man made desert.

Filmmaker, Alex Pritz, gained incredible access to the Uru-eu-wau-wau people, and environmentalists dedicated to protecting them and their Amazonian rain forest, as well as Brazilian settlers, filming as the groups come into conflict. From stone age technology to e-technology in only a couple of generations, The Uru-eu-wau-wau understand that the struggle for their survival is also the struggle for humanity’s survival. Protecting the rain forest is crucial to minimizing the catastrophic effects of climate change.

eu-wau-wau people protect their land from invaders & illegal deforestation:

http://Invaded Uru-eu-wau-wau indigenous reserve awaits relief by Brazil’s new government

http://These women are fighting for their Indigenous land and the survival of the Amazon

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/19/world/americas/bolsonaro-brazil-amazon-indigenous.html

‘Record after record’: Brazil’s Amazon deforestation hits April high, nearly double previous peak https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/may/07/record-after-record-brazils-amazon-deforestation-hits-april-high-nearly-double-previous-peak

Land of Resistants—Threatened Indigenous People and Communities in the Brazilian Amazon https://pulitzercenter.org/projects/land-resistants-threatened-indigenous-people-and-communities-brazilian-amazon

Remembering Marla Ruzicka

Before she died on April 16, 2005, Marla Ruzicka succeeded in documenting civilian casualties in Afghanistan and Iraq, and persuading the U.S. Military and the U.S. Congress to assist victims and their families, as well as to create a fund to grant reparations for the harms done. It is believed to be the first time in history that this has been done.

This is an updated rebroadcast of a program originally aired on Easter Sunday, 2006. It was the first anniversary of her death at the age of 28. We spoke with her parents, Cliff and Nancy Ruzicka, and her twin brother, Mark, at their home on the shore of Clearlake, CA.

Equally at home with the military, the media, members of Congress of the people of the many countries she visited and came to know in her short life, she lived her belief that every life matters and deserves dignity, respect and justice.

Marla Ruzicka ¡PRESENTE!

The organization she founded, CAMPAIGN FOR INNOCENT VICTIMS IN CONFLICT (CIVIC) in 2003, can be accessed here: https://civiliansinconflict.org/about-us/

Jonathan Katz GANGSTERS OF CAPITALISM: Smedley Butler, The Marines, and the Making and Breaking of the American Empire

This interview was first broadcast as the sovereign nation of Ukraine was being invaded by the Russian Army. Terrible as this was, it was also an appropriate time to examine our own history, which Jonathan Katz has done in his most recent book, GANGSTERS OF CAPITALISM: Smedley Butler, The Marines, and the Making and Breaking of the American Empire, published in January 2022 by St. Martin’s Press.

He is an award winning journalist, whose earlier book, The Big Truck That Went By, chronicles his time in Haiti, where he was the only full-time American correspondent in Haiti, when the devastating earthquake struck on January 12, 2010 and the ensuing disasters brought on by the multiple failures of international aid projects. More than 230,000 people were killed.

As he describes in our interview, Smedley Butler was there from the very beginning of the United States’ imperialism, first as a 16 year old lieutenant in the Spanish-American War, when we secured Guantanamo Bay, then on to Puerto Rico, The Philippines, China, Honduras, Panama, Nicaragua, Mexico, the Dominican Republic and Haiti.

After a long career in the Marines, in which he pioneered counter-insurgency methods and the militarization of police forces to enforce the prerogatives of capitalist oligarchs, who he eventually came to understand were calling the shots, he retired with the rank of General, the most decorated Marine in history, as well as the first of only 19 Marines to have been awarded the Medal of Honor twice.

He became the Head of Public Safety for the City of Philadelphia, where he militarized that city’s police force. He eventually synthesized his experiences and understanding from his years subduing nationalist forces in those many countries – as well as battling gangsters in Prohibition era Philadelphia – to write his book, War Is a Racket, published in 1935.

He wrote, ”War is a racket. It always has been. It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small ‘inside’ group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes.”

He spent his final years promoting democracy here in the United States and fighting fascism here and abroad, as well as trying to prevent what became World War II. Smedley Butler died of cancer at the age of 59 on June 21, 1940.

This edition of Forthright Radio ends with a tribute to Dr. Paul Farmer, who died on on February 21, 2022 at the age of 62. It is followed by Paul Farmer’s own voice speaking of his work.

 

Links to articles pertinent to this interview:

Gorsuch Calls for Overruling ‘Shameful’ Cases on U.S. Territories https://www.nytimes.com/2022/05/02/us/politics/gorsuch-supreme-court-insular-cases.html?searchResultPosition=1

Civil Rights Groups To Biden DOJ: Stop Using 100-Year-Old Racist Precedents In Court https://www.huffpost.com/entry/biden-doj-insular-cases-racism_n_620bc80ae4b032302470eae8

As Honduras’s New President Seeks End to Narco-State, Will US Stand in Her Way? https://truthout.org/articles/as-hondurass-new-president-seeks-end-to-narco-state-will-us-stand-in-her-way/?eType=EmailBlastContent&eId=75f265c3-570c-48ec-a36c-8c3be3ffa4c4

Former Honduras President Detained After a U.S. Extradition Request https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/15/world/americas/honduras-president-juan-orlando-hernandez-detained.html?searchResultPosition=3

Dominican Republic begins building border wall with Haiti https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/2/21/dominican-republic-begins-building-border-wall-with-haiti

Paul Farmer, Pioneer of Global Health, Dies at 62 https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/21/obituaries/paul-farmer-dead.html?action=click&module=Well&pgtype=Homepage&section=Obituaries

A Moment in the Sun a novel by John Sayles

John Leshy OUR COMMON GROUND: A History of America’s Public Lands

John D. Leshy is Professor Emeritus at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco. He was Solicitor (General Counsel) of the Interior Department throughout the Clinton Administration. Earlier, he was counsel to the Chair of the Natural Resources Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives, Associate Solicitor of Interior for Energy and Resources in the Carter Administration, an attorney-advocate with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and a litigator in the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division. He led the Interior Department transition team for Clinton-Gore in 1992 and co-led it for Obama-Biden in 2008.

The U.S. government owns and manages more than six hundred million acres, which is about 30% of the nation’s land. These lands and the agencies that manage them—the National Forest Service, the National Park Service, the U. S. Fish & Wildlife Service, and the Bureau of Land Management—are a presence in our western communities.

John Leshy’s forthcoming book, OUR COMMON GROUND: A HISTORY OF AMERICA’S PUBLIC LANDS, soon to be published by Yale University Press. In 600+ pages, it chronicles this history of our public lands and suggests how Congress, the executive and the federal courts have responded to the numerous challenges facing these lands.

Articles pertinent to this interview:

Judge halts oil and gas leases in Gulf of Mexico; the largest offshore auction in U.S. history https://www.salon.com/2022/02/05/halts-oil-and-gas-leases-in-gulf-of-mexico-the-largest-offshore-auction-in-us-history_partner/

Guest column: The U.S. Forest Service’s access contradictions https://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/opinions/guest_columnists/guest-column-the-u-s-forest-services-access-contradictions/article_3564cf1a-adda-5beb-9593-1c1a51026bc7.html

Guest column: Making progress on access in the Crazy Mountains https://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/opinions/guest_columnists/guest-column-making-progress-on-access-in-the-crazy-mountains/article_5c773a1e-9456-53e9-9d7e-8f5206f0f3ac.html

Plan to Reduce Feral Cattle in New Mexico Draws Objections https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/08/us/feral-cattle-gila-national-forest.html

Activist Renew Push for Moratorium in Jackson State Forest – Six Arrested https://www.counterpunch.org/2022/01/11/activists-renew-push-for-moratorium-in-jackson-state-forest-six-arrested/

Native Americans are at the heart of Yellowstone. After 150 years, they are finally being heard https://www.theguardian.com/environment/commentisfree/2022/feb/28/native-americans-are-at-the-heart-of-yellowstone-after-150-years-they-are-finally-being-heard-aoe

Kehinde Andrews THE NEW AGE OF EMPIRE: How Racism & Colonialism Still Rule the World

Kehinde Andrews is Professor of Black Studies in the School of Social Sciences at Birmingham City University. He is the director of the Center for Critical Social Research, founder of the Harambee Organisation of Black Unity,
and co-chair of the UK Black Studies Association. In fact, he was the first black studies professor in the UK and led the establishment of the first black studies program in Europe at Birmingham City University.

Among his books are Resisting Racism: Race, Inequality, and the Black Supplementary School Movement and Back to Black: Retelling Black Radicalism for the 21st Century.

His most recent book is THE NEW AGE OF EMPIRE: HOW RACISM & COLONIALISM STILL RULE THE WORLD, published in the US by Bold Type Books.

“Where knowledge is duty, ignorance is a crime.” Thomas Paine
http://Public Good: Being an Examination Into the Claim of Virginia to the Vacant Western Territory and of the Right of the United States to the Same to Which Are Added, Proposals for Laying Off a New State, to Be Applied Asa Fund for Carrying on the War

Articles referred to or pertinent to this interview:

The Psychosis of Whiteness https://drive.google.com/file/d/16FAFidJPpee2RqEH4hcYAoWfZ0kTDR1o/view

His Name is George Floyd by Robert Samuels & Toluse Olorunnipa review – the murder that shamed the US https://www.theguardian.com/books/2022/may/22/his-name-is-george-floyd-by-robert-samuels-and-toluse-olorunnipa-review-the-that-shamed-the-us

THE RANSOM – The Root of Haiti’s Misery: Reparations to Enslavers https://www.nytimes.com/2022/05/20/world/americas/haiti-history-colonized-france.html

Jamaican Leaders Shun Prince William, Kate Middleton Visit, Demand Slavery Reparations https://www.huffpost.com/entry/royal-visit-jamaica_n_62396bc3e4b0c727d48265ab

As a historian of slavery, I know just how much the royal family has to answer for in Jamaica https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/mar/25/slavery-royal-family-jamaica-ducke-duchess-cambridge-caribbean-slave-trade

My family benefited from slavery. Why can’t we accept white people still owe a huge debt? https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/jan/11/slavery-enriched-family-accept-white-people-owe-huge-debt

A Bill Proposed to Teach History. It Got the History Wrong. https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/14/us/virginia-lincoln-douglas-debates-bill.html

Rich Countries Lure Health Workers From Low-Income Nations to Fight Shortages https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/24/health/covid-health-worker-immigration.html

We can afford to reverse poverty and climate breakdown. What we can’t afford is the alternative https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2022/jan/24/we-can-afford-to-reverse-poverty-and-climate-breakdown-what-we-cant-afford-is-the-alternative

When will Britain face up to its crimes against humanity? https://www.theguardian.com/news/2018/mar/29/slavery-abolition-compensation-when-will-britain-face-up-to-its-crimes-against-humanity

Built on the bodies of slaves: how Africa was erased from the history of the modern world https://www.theguardian.com/news/2021/oct/12/africa-slaves-erased-from-history-modern-world

Reparations to the Caribbean could break the cycle of corruption – and China’s grip https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2022/jan/25/reparations-caribbean-cycle-of-corruption-china

There was a time reparations were actually paid out – just not to formerly enslaved people https://caricomreparations.org/there-was-a-time-reparations-were-actually-paid-out-just-not-to-formerly-enslaved-people/

Why climate change is inherently racist https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20220125-why-climate-change-is-inherently-racist

80 Years Ago the Nazis Planned the ‘Final Solution.’ It Took 90 Minutes. https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/20/world/europe/lake-wannsee-conference-final-solution-holocaust.html

Lessons to remember this Holocaust Memorial Day https://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/opinions/guest_columnists/guest-column-lessons-to-remember-this-holocaust-memorial-day/article_cfc570ed-e546-5465-b990-8dc730b1b039.html

Our people will be mourning on 26 January, but it can still become a day of healing https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/jan/25/our-people-will-be-mourning-on-26-january-but-it-can-still-become-a-day-of-healing

The west was built on racism. It’s time we faced that – video https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/video/2017/jan/18/the-west-was-built-on-racism-its-time-we-faced-that-video

Native American tribes reclaim California redwood land for preservation https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/jan/25/native-american-tribes-california-redwood-preservation

White women and fascism: Seyward Darby on how right-wing women embrace their “symbolic power” https://www.salon.com/2022/01/28/women-and-fascism-seyward-darby-on-how-right-wing-women-embrace-their-symbolic-power/

Fascism’s “Legal Phase” Has Begun. Threats of White Vigilante Violence Are Real. https://truthout.org/articles/fascisms-legal-phase-has-begun-threats-of-white-vigilante-violence-are-real/?eType=EmailBlastContent&eId=fb0f0c17-eea0-4e37-91c0-a78a05a727f5

David Lammy requests pardon for 1823 slave rebellion convicts https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/feb/13/david-lammy-requests-pardon-for-1823-slave-rebellion-convicts

Alfred McCoy TO GOVERN THE GLOBE: World Orders & Catastrophic Change

Alfred McCoy is University of Wisconsin Harrington Professor of History. He was our guest in 2017, when his book, IN THE SHADOWS OF THE AMERICAN CENTURY: THE RISE AND DECLINE OF US GLOBAL POWER, was published by Haymarket Books. That archived interview can be heard on our website, forthright.media. https://forthright.media/2017/10/04/alfred-mccoy-in-the-shadows-of-the-american-century-the-rise-and-decline-of-us-global-power/

Fifty years ago, the publication of his book, THE POLITICS OF HEROIN IN SOUTH EAST ASIA, led to his testifying before the Senate Committee on Appropriations Foreign Operations Subcommittee in June 1972. His research, including traveling to Hmong villages in Laos, revealed that the Central Intelligence Agency was knowingly involved in the transportation of heroin in the Golden Triangle of Burma, Thailand, and Laos. The CIA tried to block its publication, but it has been translated into 9 foreign languages with three English editions and is regarded as the “classic” work on global drug traffic.

His new book, also published by Haymarket Books, is titled TO GOVERN THE GLOBE: WORLD ORDERS & CATASTROPHIC CHANGE.

In it, he explores the interplay of three factors—sovereignty, human rights, and energy—in shaping the succession of empires and their global systems from the Black Death of 1350 through the coming climate crisis of 2050.

It is packed with meticulously researched facts and analysis of world history of the last 600 years, examining the continuities and disruptions that create systems that rule international affairs.

He asserts that China will become the world hegemon by 2030, via initiatives such as the Belt & Road Initiative, which makes manifest Halford Mackinder’s thesis that who controls the World Island, controls the world.

Articles referenced or pertinent to this interview:

Russia & China: Together At Last https://www.democracynow.org/2022/3/21/ukraine_war_strengthens_china_russia_alliance

The Grand Theory Driving Putin to War https://www.nytimes.com/2022/03/22/opinion/russia-ukraine-putin-eurasianism.html

On the Most Fundamental of All Human Rights: Survival https://tomdispatch.com/climate-crisis-at-the-top-of-the-world/

Climate Crisis at the Top of the World https://tomdispatch.com/climate-crisis-at-the-top-of-the-world/

Washington’s World Order and Catastrophic Climate Change https://tomdispatch.com/to-govern-the-globe/

In China’s new age of imperialism, Xi Jinping gives thumbs down to democracy https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/dec/12/xi-jinping-china-beijing-new-age-of-imperialism

China Biggest Winner in Afghanistan https://www.commondreams.org/views/2021/09/13/china-biggest-winner-afghanistan?utm_term=AO&utm_campaign=Daily%20Newsletter&utm_content=email&utm_source=Daily%20Newsletter&utm_medium=Emai

The US military trained him. Then he helped murder Berta Cáceres https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2021/dec/21/the-us-military-trained-him-then-he-helped-berta-caceres

Washington’s Great Game and Why It’s Failing https://www.greanvillepost.com/2015/06/11/tomgram-alfred-mccoy-washingtons-great-game-and-why-its-failing/

Julius S. Scottt, Groundbreaking Historian of the Caribbean, Dies at 66 https://www.nytimes.com/2021/12/16/obituaries/julius-scott-dead-common-wind.html

How the heroin trade explains the US-UK failure in Afghanistan https://www.theguardian.com/news/2018/jan/09/how-the-heroin-trade-explains-the-us-uk-failure-in-afghanistan

Here’s how to repay developing nations for colonialism – and fight the climate crisis https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/jan/14/heres-how-to-repay-developing-nations-for-colonialism-and-fight-the-climate-crisis

Giulio Boccaletti WATER: A Biography

In addition to having been a lead author of the fifth Assessment Report to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Giulio Boccaletti was Chief Strategy Officer and Global Managing Director for Water at The Nature Conservancy, where he led a team of over 200 freshwater scientists, policy experts, economists and on-the-ground conservation practitioners, promoting action on water issues by governments and businesses.

Earlier in his career, he was a partner of consulting firm McKinsey & Company, where he co-founded the water practice and worked with businesses and governments around the world. He trained at MIT, Princeton and Bologna University in Physics and Atmospheric Science. His book, WATER: A Biography, was published in Sept. 2021 by Pantheon Books. We spoke with him in England on October 15.

Articles referenced or pertinent to this interview:

Spring time: why an ancient water system is being brought back to life in Spain https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/apr/11/ancient-water-system-restore-spain-sierra-nevada-aoe

Flooding could shut down a quarter of all critical infrastructure in the U.S. https://www.axios.com/flood-risk-united-states-critical-infrastructure-a8703d5b-8d95-4584-8bc3-4ea086b83cfa.html

China floods: Nearly 2 million displaced in Shanxi province https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-58866854

Joe Manchin’s Climate Objections Opposed by BP and Shell https://www.newsweek.com/joe-manchin-build-back-better-clean-energy-joe-biden-bp-shell-1640230

As Manchin Blocks Climate Plan, His State Can’t Hold Back Floods https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/17/climate/manchin-west-virginia-flooding.html

It’s easy to feel pessimistic about the climate. But we’ve got two big things on our side https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/oct/15/climate-crisis-cop26-bill-mckibben

The Climate Disaster Is Here https://www.theguardian.com/environment/ng-interactive/2021/oct/14/climate-change-happening-now-stats-graphs-maps-cop26

Corporations are pledging to be ‘water positive’. What does that mean? https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/oct/14/water-positive-pledge-corporations

The Lost Canyon Under Lake Powell https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2021/08/16/the-lost-canyon-under-lake-powell

Todd Miller Build Bridges, Not Walls: A Journey to a World Without Borders

Returning to Forthright Radio is Izzy Award winning Todd Miller. He was our guest in 2017, when the book that won the Izzy Award, STORMING THE WALL: CLIMATE CHANGE, MIGRATION, AND HOMELAND SECURITY, came out. Last Spring of 2021, City Lights published his latest book, BUILD BRIDGES, NOT WALLS: A Journey to a World Without Borders. We spoke with him on August 30, 2021.

Building Bridges his his fourth book on border issues.

“As a woman I have no country. As a woman I want no country. As a woman, my country is the whole world.” – Virginia Woolf

Articles pertinent to this interview:

The broadcast ended with this piece by David Shuster, Trump’s Border Wall WRECKED By Storms https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F81SPqWNO0c

Supreme court orders Biden to revive Trump’s ‘remain in Mexico’ policy https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/aug/24/supreme-court-biden-trump-remain-in-mexico-migrant-policy

Federal Judge Debunks Greg Abbott’s COVID-Fighting Rationale, Blocks Texas Governor’s Ban on Transporting Migrants https://lawandcrime.com/covid-19-pandemic/federal-judge-debunks-greg-abbotts-covid-fighting-rationale-blocks-texas-governors-ban-on-transporting-migrants/

The wall Trump built for a fake crisis just got washed away by floods from a real crisis https://www.mic.com/p/the-wall-trump-built-for-a-fake-crisis-just-got-washed-away-by-floods-from-a-real-crisis-84116464

Repression Without Borders https://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/28/opinion/sunday/repression-human-rights-china-turkey-russia.html?action=click&module=Well&pgtype=Homepage&section=Editorials

The Housing First Village in Bozeman https://forthright.media/2021/08/26/housing-first-village/