The Intertwining of Trees and Crime.

Screencapture.

There’s been some very interesting research happening in Chicago, and it turns out that trees reduce crime. I don’t find this surprising at all, but I’m a “must be attached to the land” person. When your environment is bleak and desolate, you end up with bleak, desolate, desperate people. We need to be aware of our earth, we need to be connected to our planet. In urban environments, the best way to restore that connection is with trees. Yes, they are a long-term investment, but that’s good, because it means people are thinking the right way, generations ahead of themselves.

In June, the Chicago Regional Tree Initiative and Morton Arboretum released what they say is the most comprehensive tree canopy data set of any region in the U.S., covering 284 municipalities in the Chicago area. Now, that data is helping neighborhoods improve their environments and assist their communities.

“When we go to talk to communities,” says Lydia Scott, director of the CRTI, “We say ‘trees reduce crime.’ And then they go, ‘Explain to me how that could possibly be, because that’s the most bizarre thing I’ve ever heard.’”

In Chicago, where more than 2,000 people have been shot this year, scientists are looking at physical features of neighborhoods for solutions. “We started to look at where we have heavy crime, and whether there was a correlation with tree canopy, and often, there is,” says Scott. “Communities that have higher tree population have lower crime. Areas where trees are prevalent, people tend to be outside, mingling, enjoying their community.”

The map revealed that poorer neighborhoods are often “tree deserts,” areas with little or no tree canopy. Trees reduce flooding, improve property values, prevent heat islands, promote feelings of safety, reduce mortality, and provide other significant social and health benefits. This means that when you live in, for example, the South Side, where trees are scarcer, you lose more than just green leaves overhead.

Never before have researchers been able to look so widely and deeply at this sort of data. The map is huge—it covers seven counties—and extremely detailed. That has allowed Scott and her colleagues to notice some startling patterns. For example, in the North Shore community—an affluent, lakeside, suburban area—canopy cover tends to be 40 percent or higher. On the economically depressed South Side, canopy can be as low as 7 percent.

That last is no surprise, either. As it goes with people, the poorer you are, the less of everything you get, including trees. There’s much more to the article, all the research, how it was conducted, and information about Blacks in Green, who are doing stellar work. Click on over to Atlas Obscura for the full story. Then see if you could help plant a tree. Or just hug one.

This Is Our Land.

Water Protectors Leave Oceti Sakowin Reluctantly.

‘Absolutely False’: No Contact From Trump Administration, Archambault Says.

marty-two-bulls-cartoon-dapl-020717
NODAPL; The Last Stand © Marty Two Bulls.
 
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No DAPL; Beware the Early Thaw © Marty Two Bulls.

NO DAPL Roundup.

Malia Obama (Pinterest)

Malia Obama (Pinterest)

Malia Obama has chosen to stand with Standing Rock.

A group of 100 people gathered in Park City to protest the revival of the project by new U.S. President Donald Trump. Despite freezing temperatures and heavy snowfall, Malia Obama joined the protester who were holding up signs that read: “Exist. Resist. Rise.” and “Impeach corporate control,” according to the Daily Mail.

Along with protesting the construction of the pipeline, which will disturb sacred grounds and introduce contaminants into the local water supply, the group was protesting the festival sponsorship by Chase Bank, which is invested in the pipeline. The rally was held in front of the Chase Sapphire on Main lounge.

Courtesy MSNBC via YouTube.

Courtesy MSNBC via YouTube.

Chairman Archambault on MSNBC: ‘President Is Circumventing Federal Law’.

Standing Rock Sioux Chairman David Archambault II was more surprised at the rapidity with which Donald Trump signed presidential memoranda purporting to speed up the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) and reinstate the Keystone XL pipeline than he was by the act itself.

“We were prepared for President Trump take a run at everything we have accomplished in the last two years,” Archambault told Tamron Hall on MSNBC on Wednesday January 25, the day after Trump signed a Presidential Memorandum attempting to move DAPL along. “This nation better start bracing itself for what’s to come if in the first four days we’re witnessing him using an executive order to circumvent federal laws. It’s not right, and it’s something we better get ready for. I was disappointed that it came this soon, because we had worked so hard for the last two years.”

The tribe wants closer study of the pipeline’s potential effects on water supply, sacred sites and treaty rights, he said, and Trump is trying to do an end run around such statutes as the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

“The troubling thing is that this president is circumventing federal law,” Archambault said. “We have Treaty rights, we have water rights with our Winter’s Doctrine, we have NEPA.”

The Keystone XL Pipeline Will Create Just 35 Permanent Jobs. Don’t Believe the Lies.

For those who still insist fossil fuels are the future, the Trump administration represents a new day for some old ideas. In an early sign of things to come, the president showed his faith in big oil when he signed documents Tuesday pressuring federal agencies to support construction of the Dakota Access and Keystone XL oil pipelines. Each of these projects faced enormous protests and was put on hold by the Obama administration because of legitimate environmental and due process concerns.

Congressional Republicans frequently howled at far less heavy-handed exercises of executive power under the previous administration. Today, they applaud Trump’s move on the mistaken premise that these pipelines are good investments. Not only will these projects not create long-lasting jobs – as CNBC, not exactly an anti-corporate mouthpiece, has noted: “Pipelines do not require much labor to operate in the long term” – they will further delay the inevitable transition to clean, renewable energy our economy needs and the American people demand.

Standing Rock Chairman Archambault Sends Strong Letter to Trump.

Editor’s note: Reaction was swift and strong when President Donald Trump signed a series of Presidential Memoranda and Executive Orders designed to move the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) forward and revive the Keystone XL pipeline. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe responded immediately, and on January 25 Standing Rock Chairman Archambault wrote a letter to Trump explaining the legal constraints, the support that the Environmental Impact Statement and the tribe have, and the need for a leader-to-leader meeting. The full text is below.

DAPL Profiteers Steal Marty Two Bulls Designs.

You’ve probably seen and shared at least one of the many brilliant political cartoons by Marty Two Bulls at some point in time. Marty Two Bulls—an artist from the Oglala Lakota Nation—has been drawing political cartoons with great success for many years. His work has long been a staple on the pages of ICTMN. He’s known for bringing clever humor and hilarious imagery to hot, controversial issues: most recently the anti-DAPL movement in Standing Rock.

But now, you might see his work in places it shouldn’t be: dozens of t-shirt sellers who are hoping to make a buck from the #NoDAPL campaigns have ripped off Marty Two Bulls designs and been using them to sell t-shirts of their own with no credit, profit, or acknowledgement offered to the artist. Now, Two Bulls has taken the matter into his own hands. In addition to filing dozens of reports to stop production of the rip-offs, he has decided to sell t-shirts of his own.

The design thieves are mostly from overseas with no connection to Native country.
“So far I caught over 20,” Two Bulls said, “I go online, I search terms like #NoDAPL and Water is Life on Facebook, and there they are.”

Marty is an amazingly talented artist, and one of the best political cartoonists in the world, he’s brilliant. Please, if you want to show support for Standing Rock, take the time to make sure your item is coming from the actual artist. Most artists aren’t rolling in money, and this theft hurts, one more than one level. Marty is trying to do something for his people, and if you want to help, and like his artwork, please buy from Marty Two Bulls.

Indigenous Roundup: Avenger Missiles, No Clemency, Decampment.

Courtesy Gary Dorr.

Courtesy Gary Dorr.

Mobile Avenger Missile Launcher Appears at Standing Rock.

A first-hand account of the terrifying deployment of an anti-aircraft device pointed at people.

Later, a veteran buddy looked it up to be sure, matched it up with our pictures, and based on his experience noted:

“My suspicion is that the Avenger Missile Systems deployed to Standing Rock are a cost-effective alternative to having an Apache Helo flying overhead when they need it. The Avenger system has Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR) Capabilities. The civilian plane and helicopter probably don’t have FLIR and that is when they need an Apache Helo to “monitor” situations under darkness and record for evaluation later. Instead of calling up the Apache, they can have Avengers on-site for instant intelligence day or night. The Avenger system also has video capabilities. It costs them far less to have an Avenger system on the ground 24 hrs a day than to deploy an Apache Helo occasionally. The security ground forces have Night Vision but the Avenger has FLIR and a laser rangefinder along with video capabilities. The FLIR will be at least a plate-sized round lense mounted on the weapon rail on the left side (driver side) if there is one. Just a suspicion. If I am correct, there should be more info to request in a FOIA. The sheriff’s Department can’t all have TS Sec clearances so if they brief them all using Avenger footage, it should be low hanging fruit that would be unclassified.”

[Read more…]

Backing Black Business.

CREDIT: iStock.

CREDIT: iStock.

Black Lives Matter (BLM) just launched a database of black businesses to support, with the goal of “[building] long-term economic power for Black communities.”

On Monday, the organization unveiled backingblackbusiness.com, an interactive map and directory of online stores where customers can purchase food, health and beauty supplies, entertainment, and lifestyle goods — all from retailers owned by black people. The site also includes nonprofits, and allows business owners to add themselves to the database.

The full article is at Think Progress.

I clicked over to backingblackbusiness.com, and while I’m not in LA or NY, plenty of business owners have online shops, and after perusing a few (I got completely caught up in Loving Anvil, and am plotting on when I can spend money there) I don’t think I’ll have any problems at all, supporting black businesses. The site is brand new, so a bit rough, but there’s a lot to explore!

Standing Rock: No DAPL Roundup.

Sacred Stone Media/YouTube Grassroots coalition against DAPL announces December as a month of action, focused on banks.

Sacred Stone Media/YouTube
Grassroots coalition against DAPL announces December as a month of action, focused on banks.

We, the below stated, are a coalition of grassroots groups living and working in the Dakota Access resistance camps along the Cannon Ball River in Oceti Sakowin treaty lands.

Sacred Stone Camp | Indigenous Environmental Network | International Indigenous Youth Council | Honor the Earth

The following is a coalition statement on the next steps for the #NoDAPL fight:

As we reflect on the decision by the U.S. Army (NOT the U.S. Army Corps) to suspend the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) river crossing easement and conduct a limited Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), the resistance camps at Standing Rock are making plans for the next phase of this movement.

Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault II has asked people to return home once the weather clears, and many will do so. Others will stay to hold the space, advance our reclamation of unceded territory affirmed in the 1851 Treaty of Ft. Laramie, and continue to build community around the protection of our sacred waters. They will also keep a close eye on the company, which has drilled right up to the last inch it can, and remains poised and ready to finish the project.

[…]

[Read more…]

No DAPL: Oren Lyons Speaks Out.

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Oren Lyons is a faithkeeper of the Turtle Clan, Onondaga Council of Chiefs, Haudenosaunee (Six Nations Iroquois Confederacy) and a longtime international indigenous rights and sovereignty activist.

Accompanying article at ICTMN.

One Second of Love, Outrageous!

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Oh, the horror, the normalisation of sin, alas! Back in July this year, Zales Jewelers started selling their love and pride line, wedding jewelry for all those splendid queer folk who decide to marry. Going by this article, they are happily spending on this line, too. Personally, I never had any use for engagement/wedding rings, but for most people, this is an important part of their love declaration, and it’s nice to see jewelry designed to show pride as well as love. Zales put out a recent ad which has Christians all over the place popping a monocle, because there’s about one second out of the 30 second ad which features a same sex couple in a sea of mixed sex couples:

One Million :coughs: Moms and other irrational Christians are up in arms, terribly offended, and screaming for a boycott of Zales for this absolutely horrible normalisation of sin. It would be nice if they worried about the normalisation of fascism and nazis, but they’re probably okay with those.

From Some Moms:

Zales Jewelers should be ashamed of attempting to normalize sin by featuring two women getting married in their latest commercial. It shows two women in wedding gowns exchanging vows and wedding bands. Zales is promoting same-sex marriage and their new “Love and Pride” Collection. The “Love and Pride” wedding band collection, designed for the LGBTQ community with rainbow and matching bands, is “promoting Equality, Diversity, and Unity” and “celebrate their Love with Pride” as stated on their website.

Oooh, yes, how dare they sneak two lesbians in amongst all the hetros! Goodness, I just don’t know how you’ll sleep at night. I suggest a closet.

Zales is using public airwaves to subject families to the decay of morals and values, and belittle the sanctity of marriage in an attempt to redefine marriage. Even though homosexuality is unnatural, this advertisement is pushing the LGBTQ agenda. An even greater concern is that the commercial is airing when children are likely watching television. To make matters worse, this ad has aired during family viewing time such as football games and primetime shows.

Well, you’re using access to the ‘net to publish your awful screeds, spreading your hate as far as you can. I’ll bet you’re a bit jealous your reach isn’t as big as a major retailer. Oh, there’s that gay agenda again. I’m still waiting on mine, so I don’t see how you could possibly have yours yet.

Zales crossed a line that should have never been crossed. Even if 1MM didn’t disagree morally with the decision to air this ad, it is not a retailer’s job to introduce so called “social issues” such as this to our children. That is a parent’s decision, not theirs. Zales is glorifying sin, and no sin should be placed in the spotlight and honored. This goes for homosexuality as well.

Sigh. Listen, this one is on you. Who showed up at your door and strong-armed you into purchasing and hooking up a television set? I understand that you can have advert free television with TIVO. I’m sure there are other options, too. This would be known as tailoring your life to suit your particular sensibilities. These things can be managed, easily. Not everyone on this planet buys into or believes your evil concept of sin, and marriage is a social issue, so I expect you had better get busy railing against any and all references to marriage. Get yourself in that closet, Cupcake, and leave the evil television and computer outside, it’s the only way to be safe. The rest of us will be happily celebrating love in all its infinite diversity. May open minds and open hearts live long and prosper.

NoDAPL: It’s Not Over.

Photo by Tod Seelie for Jezebel.

Photo by Tod Seelie for Jezebel.

Yes, there was a celebration over having some breathing room at last. But if anyone knows not to trust government, it’s Indians. There’s even less reason to trust oil companies who are already bursting with billions of dollars. All that money means power, and they do not like being thwarted. They have engaged in an ongoing smear campaign, spreading lies and propaganda, openly purchasing the Morton County Sheriff’s department, with the approval of long ago purchased Governor Jack Dalrymple. The Army Corps of Engineers has asked ETP to stop digging before, and what happened? They went out on a holiday weekend and kept working, destroying sacred sites. ETP does not care what anyone says, they do not think they are obligated to listen or obey in any sense. Their sense of 1% entitlement is even bigger than their pockets. Their hatred of the Indians attempting to protect the land and water, for all peoples, has infuriated them from the start, and that start was in 2012.

It didn’t take long for them to lash out in absolute fury and defiance, in a lie and propaganda filled piece of bile, and their insistence they will indeed complete DAPL as planned. The people at the Oceti Sakowin camp aren’t going anywhere yet.

The White House’s directive today to the Corps for further delay is just the latest in a series of overt and transparent political actions by an administration which has abandoned the rule of law in favor of currying favor with a narrow and extreme political constituency.

As stated all along, ETP and SXL are fully committed to ensuring that this vital project is brought to completion and fully expect to complete construction of the pipeline without any additional rerouting in and around Lake Oahe. Nothing this Administration has done today changes that in any way.

So, keep those donations coming, people, and help in any way you can, because this is far from over. Those of us here in nDakota have already seen what ETP is willing to do, and it’s not pretty. All the veterans pouring into camp helped beyond measure, because even Kirchmeier can figure out that assaulting veterans is likely to result in much media coverage, and negative coverage at that, so they’ve stood down for now, but that won’t last. No one at the camps can afford to leave until ETP leaves, completely.

“We don’t trust anything they say,” Castaneda explained pleasantly. He first arrived at Standing Rock in October, and stayed through most of November before returning home for a spell. He returned this week. Cunningham and a friend, social worker Kyla Ferguson, had been here since mid-November. All three noticed a sudden absence of law enforcement drones hovering over the camp on Sunday. The peace and quiet, they pointed out, coincided with an influx of media and celebrity supporters, not to mention thousands of veterans who arrived to support and defend the water protectors. All three worried that ETP and law enforcement were merely behaving themselves for now.

“Once the media and the vets leave, they’ll start acting out,” Cunningham said. That’s what happened in late October, when seven different police agencies converged on the 1851 Treaty Camp, which stood in the pipeline’s path. The three friends watched as tipis and tents were destroyed. People were sprayed with rubber bullets or dragged from where they were praying in a sweat lodge and arrested. Some 140 people were taken into custody in all. It was a scene he found hard to forget.

“Native Americans have been sold a bill of goods a million times,” he added. “There’s a lot of mistrust.”

Via Jezebel. * #NoDAPL. * The Verge has covered the ETP response. * Then there’s this.

To every single person who has supported us and helped, whether spreading the word, getting the signal boosted, donations of any kind, lila wopila – very many thanks. Thank you all so much. Thank you for standing up for what is right, for standing up for a healthy planet, healthy water, for the wealth that truly matters, family, friends, and a sustainable, healthy ecosystem. The fight for these things is going to get much harder, all over the planet. Let’s keep that love going, and keep standing up.

NO DAPL: Water Protectors Needed!

Courtesy Rob Wilson Photography.

Courtesy Rob Wilson Photography.

Sarah Sunshine Manning highlights and details the need for more water protectors to make their way to the camps.

On October 18, water protectors called for reinforcements as the Dakota Access construction is quickly closing in on the Missouri River in North Dakota.

Water protectors, skilled in non-violent direct action, should plan to make their way to Standing Rock as quickly as you can get here.

This massive call-to-action is endorsed by more than 10 groups, including the Indigenous Peoples Power Project (IP3), The Ruckus Society, the Indigenous Environmental Network, Honor The Earth, the Oceti Sakowin Camp, the Sacred Stone Camp, West Coast Women Warriors Media Cooperative, Ancestral Pride, Digital Smoke Signals, Greenpeace USA, and The Other98.

“If we’re going to beat the pipeline, we’re going to need more people,” Nick Tilsen, Oglala Lakota, and co-founder of the Indigenous Peoples Power Project, told me.

An informational video was released in accompaniment with the joint-statement made by the groups with the title, “Warriors Wanted.”

“We’re asking for reinforcements to come stand with us, to pray, and to protect,” Tilsen said. “Of all the times to take action, the time is now.”

On October 22, water protectors in the camps reported that Dakota Access construction was just a few miles from the camp, and approximately 5 miles from the Missouri River.

[…]

In another Facebook video posted by Mark K. Tilsen, Oglala Lakota from Porcupine, South Dakota, Tilsen delivered a poignant message to allies across the globe:

“I’m asking you to come to Standing Rock,” he said. “Follow local leadership, but you will be given autonomy to choose your actions, and how you choose to creatively stop the Dakota Access Pipeline. Please. Come to Standing Rock.”

Mark Tilsen has been stationed at the Oceti Sakowin camp for the past two months, also assisting in non-violent direct action trainings.

“We need help. We need bodies on the ground,” said Tilsen. “We need people here who are dedicated and willing. This is not a tourist action. This is not a party. We’re here to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline. Thank you.”

There’s much more here, including a video about strip searching protesters who were arrested for disorderly conduct. This is an obvious tactic on the part of the Keystone cops here to humiliate those who dare to protect the earth and water. Even Chairman Archambault was subjected to this.

In other NO DAPL news:

[Read more…]

For Indigenous Peoples Day, Write to Columbus.

Tomahawk Greyeyes/YouTube Deezbaa Andrea O’hare reads a letter to Columbus written by Corrina Gould. Tell Columbus how you feel in your own letter.

Tomahawk Greyeyes/YouTube
Deezbaa Andrea O’hare reads a letter to Columbus written by Corrina Gould. Tell Columbus how you feel in your own letter.

Have something you want to tell Christopher Columbus and think there is no way to get it off your chest? Tomahawk Greyeyes, Navajo, has just the thing, an artivist project that calls for letters to Columbus on Indigenous Peoples Day.

The Letters to Columbus will be gathered and some will be shared with the world online and some will be read and performed on YouTube.

Greyeyes calls this a “socially engaged art project about expressing the rage that comes from colonization.” He launched the project on October 12, 2015, gathered letters and took them to read aloud at the Columbus statue that faces the Pacific Ocean in San Francisco.

“You [Columbus] are being charged with genocide, ethnocide, colonization, slavery, rape of people and lands, destruction of the Mother Earth, stealing, maiming, and continued perpetration of lies,” reads Corrina Gould’s (Karkin and Chochoenyo Ohlone) letter to Columbus. “When found guilty your name will be stricken from all histories as a hero.”

Here the full letter, performed by Deezbaa Andrea O’hare, Navajo, below:

One-page letters are due by October 10, and can be submitted to letterstocolumbus@gmail.com.

Via ICTMN.