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Why Didn’t the FBI Save Little Brisenia?

July 29th, 2010 § 13 comments § permalink

IF EVER THERE WERE A STARK EXAMPLE of the cruelty and inhumanity that powers so much of the white supremacist/anti-immigrant/neo-nazi movement, it is the manner in which a sweet little nine year old girl was shot dead in her own home, in the middle of the night.

Shawna Forde and her lackies pulled the trigger in this case, in June of last year. Many of us relate to and deeply feel for the Flores familia—whether it be because we are all humans; because nobody wants to be shot in their own bed; because we agree that children must be spared the spiritual sicknesses that adults trade back and forth like baubles; or because we are Mexicano or otherwise under the crosshairs these days. Those of us who do fit into one or more of these categories are often frustrated beyond belief that while the antics of boys in balloons or Ladies Gaga or Sad Sack Gibsons prove to be prime-time material, home invasions and murders tied to the current anti-Latino hostilities in the USA aren’t worth even two minutes on our major news channels.

This is institutionalized racism. As is the fact that nothing good or benevolent is ever reported about Mexicans or Mexicanos. Only a constant spew of criminality and demonization. Some might not care. And then, others might drown in their own blood in their own bed because so many don’t care. As our dear Brisenia did.

Does this institutionalized racism reach into the FBI? Or was it simply lackadaisical sloppiness that inspired them not act to either closely monitor or apprehend Forde and her ilk, even when warned ahead of time about the murderous plans of the Minuteman Defense League?

This is the news that just broke:

The FBI was told that Shawna Forde was planning a home invasion in the Arivaca area weeks before a man and his 9-year-old daughter were shot to death there.

According to documents filed this week in Pima County Superior Court, two confidential informants for the FBI say they told agents in April 2009 that Forde was recruiting people to raid a house she believed was filled with illicit drugs, money and guns. …

In a phone conversation taped by the FBI, Forde tells one of the informants that future jobs would be something of a test for a new recruit, saying: “Our hands are already dirty. We’ve got to know he can pull the trigger.”

Earlier this week, Forde’s defense attorney, Eric Larsen, filed a motion asking Judge John Leonardo to force prosecutors to hand over all FBI documents pertaining to the two confidential informants. The documents indicate neither was paid for his information, nor were they cooperating to avoid prosecution in any unrelated cases.

The documents include transcripts of separate interviews conducted by Pima County sheriff’s Sgt. Jill Murphy and by defense attorneys. Also included are nonconfidential FBI reports summing up what the informants told agents.

While the men say they told the FBI about Forde’s plans before the slayings, the FBI reports don’t reflect when it received the information.

Dave Joly, a spokesman for the FBI’s Denver division, said the bureau received the information “after the fact.” He declined to comment further because the case has not yet gone to trial.

So the informants claim they told the FBI, and now the FBI is covering its ass and saying “Hunh??”

Ass-covering is a human response. The problem is that this ass-covering that the FBI is doing will damage the prosecution’s case against Brisenia’s killers. So it’s a failure to protect on top of a failure to protect.

Larsen said that, assuming the FBI actually was aware of the alleged plot, he wants to know what the FBI thought about the information because, he said, if the agency chose not to act on the men’s information, that damages their credibility.

“If the FBI didn’t believe (the informants), why should the jury?” Larsen said.

Indeed. And why should the news cycle care at all about any of this?

Echoes of Noam Chomsky in my mind…about how terrorism is defined by the directions in which the guns point.

SB 1070 and LULAC: Is the Fix In?

July 29th, 2010 § 6 comments § permalink

Tribal Law and Order Act to Become Law

July 29th, 2010 § 2 comments § permalink

FANTASTIC NEWS for the officially-recognized indigenous of this nation, who still suffer so much assault, degradation and lack of public interest. Although making tribes foot the bill for this seems skeezy. Still, it is definitely progress.

WASHINGTON – A major piece of legislation dealing with Indian country justice issues has made it through Congress, and President Barack Obama will sign it into law. Some tribes are expected to foot a greater bill involving tribal courts due to the changes.

The Tribal Law and Order Act cleared the House July 21 by a vote of 326-92, and had previously passed the Senate in late June. In both chambers, it was attached to the Indian Arts and Crafts bill, which strengthens the ability to prosecute those who unlawfully sell purported Indian goods.

The legislation, which bolsters justice resources for reservations in a number of areas, was supported by key Democrats and Republicans, who said they wanted to reduce crime on reservations.

Obama issued a statement upon its passage, saying the bill was an “important step to help the federal government better address the unique public safety challenges that confront tribal communities.”

The president noted that American Indians and Alaska Natives are victimized by violent crime at far higher rates than Americans as a whole, and some Native communities have seen increased gang and drug activity, with some tribes experiencing violent crime rates at more than 10 times the national average.

“The federal government’s relationship with tribal governments, its obligations under treaty and law, and our values as a nation require that we do more to improve public safety in tribal communities,” Obama said. “And this act will help us achieve that. It will strengthen the relationship between the federal government and tribal governments. It will improve our ability to work with tribal communities in the investigation and prosecution of crime, and it authorizes resources for tribes to fight crime more effectively.”

News With Nezua | The Illegal Europeans

July 29th, 2010 § 58 comments § permalink

And how would the most upset of these people feel were they to experience for even one day the true threat of being under the glare of anti-immigrant hostility and anti-Latino hate in the USA today?

News With Nezua vids first appear Monday mornings at La Frontera Times. Wednesdays they show up at UMX, as well as in a dim setting at The XOLAGRAFIK Theater. YouTube (truncated) version here.

News With Nezua | Hunted

July 21st, 2010 § 9 comments § permalink

News With Nezua vids first appear Monday mornings at La Frontera Times. Wednesdays they show up at UMX, as well as in a dim setting at The XOLAGRAFIK Theater. Link to (truncated) YouTube version here.

Los Begas Bound! And Other Bits.

July 21st, 2010 § 1 comment § permalink

WELL, IT’S BEEN A WHILE since I’ve written, here, and I do it less and less. Most of what I have to say politically, I put out there in the form of video, as was the intention stated in the video Cambiando, made at the end of 2008. Of course I will always be writing, here, there, here and there. I write today to tell you about my impending trip, and a few other things.

1) Netroots Nation 2010. I entered a contest to win a scholarship to attend this annual blogfest, as without these sorts of things, I’d no doubt never go! So I’m happy to say that Democracy for America along with America’s Voice have awarded me a scholarship and I will be there this year in Vegas, from July 22 – 25th. If we’ve spoken and you are going to be there, drop me a line at nezuaATxolagrafikDOTcom (or if you gots mah numba, text me) and perhaps we can meet up for a good soul-healing bout of drunken karaoke or something.

2) Thanks. There’s been a few times that I’ve asked for help from my readers for events like this or when things got tight, and you have come through for me. We’re all hanging on by our fingernails, there’s a lot of blog fundraisers out there (I’m not about to pitch one today), and yet readers have always cared enough to reach out in that way. Usually I thank you privately, and if I’ve ever forgotten, I want to apologize and thank you publicly now for each and every cent or time you’ve done so. I have de-emphasized the Donate button on my blog over the years simply because I didn’t want people to feel there was a nag everytime they came to read. But it’s always there, if you step in something and feel the need to share it.

3) Wolves in green bonnets. My amigos over at newcomm.org have asked me to bring to your attention an important link on their latest investigation and report on how the tireless racist factions of the anti-immigration movement have infiltrated the environmental agenda and dialogue. It’s important stuff.

Who would have thought that the renowned Lester Brown of Worldwatch Institute or Roderick Nash of the classicWilderness and the American Mind would involve themselves in a portion of the environmental movement that dallies with nativists and white nationalists?  Or that the Weeden Foundation, a mainstay funder of numerous environmental groups, might “steer the environmental movement toward a course fueled by bigotry and racism?”

With the release today of “Apply the Brakes: Anti-Immigrant Co-optation of the Environmental Movement,” the Center for New Community has laid these unseemly realities bare, and exposed yet another effort by anti-immigrant forces to corrupt the dialogue on the relationship of immigration to population growth to environmental degradation.  As well, the report maps the ties between anti-immigrant interests and environmental groups nationwide.

4. Mushy-mouth politicians who live in splendor and comfort chastise children who have fallen into the gap of society’s unfair laws for taking it upon themselves to drag the apathetic public eye their way.

Yeah, Dickdurbin the Senator is mad at DREAM Act students for highlighting the government’s inaction, an inaction that causes them great pain, emotional struggle, and societal roadblock.

Tuff titty, Elite Dood. You embarrass yourself with all your noise and even while trying to cover your own ass by saying “For nearly a decade, Sen. Durbin has sponsored the DREAM Act” as well as dropping the implication of threat in saying that the “tide of public opinion has long been on the side of the DREAM Act.”

So what? If they don’t be quiet you’re gonna take away your ineffectual words of support? Dig: YOUR TEN YEAR TIDAL SUPPORT HAS GIVEN THEM NADA. So unless you are willing to engage in action just as bold as they, risking just as much as they? Shut up. Damn, most of the time, Politicians really are such unself aware, silly, unserious assholes.

5. Rock and Roll Remains Righteous.

(LOS ANGELES, CA July 21) Rage Against the Machine will play their first concert in Los Angeles in 10 years at the Hollywood Palladium Friday with all proceeds going to benefit Arizona organizations fighting SB 1070. Oberst and The Mystic Valley Band will also perform.

Benefit concert performers will be joined by long time civil and immigrant rights activists Dolores Huerta, Co-Founder of the United Farm Workers (UFW), Chris Newman Legal Director and General Counsel of Legal Challenge to SB 1070, and Arizona grass roots leader Sal Reza of Puente. This will be the Soundstrike’s first official press conference.

Soundstrike participant and Rage vocalist Zack de la Rocha said, “SB 1070 if enacted would legalize racial profiling in Arizona. This law runs counter to music’s essential purpose, which is to unite people and not divide them. We want to thank the artists of conscious that have joined the Soundstrike throughout the world who use their role as artists to stand for civil and human rights.”

Okay, gente. I’m outta here. On a plane in a few. If you’re out Begas way, hit me up. Peace!

News With Nezua | Outlawing Justice

July 14th, 2010 § 16 comments § permalink

News With Nezua vids first appear Monday mornings at La Frontera Times. Wednesdays they show up at UMX, as well as in a dim setting at The XOLAGRAFIK Theater. Link to YouTube version here.

News With Nezua | The Eloquence, The Hypocrisy

July 8th, 2010 § 9 comments § permalink

News With Nezua vids first appear Monday mornings at La Frontera Times. Wednesdays they show up at UMX, as well as in a dim setting at The XOLAGRAFIK Theater. Link to YouTube version here.

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