A Look Back + A Tribute to Indigenous People on NM’s 1st Indigenous People’s Day

Last week’s posts included: action alerts on produced water and the Governor’s talk to NMOGA, the impact of US & NM extraction & a review of US tax policy since 1950 & the 1%’s resulting obscene aggregation of wealth.

The Need to Grow: Several Retake supporters sent me a link to The Need to Grow, a two hour multi-award winning documentary that was described by one friend as “riveting and inspirational” and by another as “just what you need to see, Paul.” I had told this friend that I could be running out of steam, that the barrage of bad news, and the difficulty of sustaining a movement that needs to do battle on so many fronts, at all times, was simply wearing on me.

Well, I watched it last night and The Need to Grow is indeed “riveting, inspiring and just what I needed to see.” It tells the tale of three very different activists working on very different issues related to food and energy. I can’t recommend this film enough and feel it is something that should be viewed in groups, so I think Retake will organize a screening soon. It is that powerful. Click here, as it can be viewed for free through tomorrow.

Produced Water Hearing # 1. ALBUQUERQUE: Tuesday, Oct. 15, 6pm-8:30pm, National Hispanic Cultural Center Bank of America Theatre, 1701 4th St. SW, Albuquerque. Click here for details, speaking points and how to submit written comments.

Today is New Mexico’s First Indigenous People’s Day: A Good Day to Contribute to an Indigenous People’s Advocacy Group

TEWA Women United.

Located in the ancestral Tewa homelands of Northern New Mexico, Tewa Women United is a multicultural and multiracial organization founded and led by Native women. The name “Tewa Women United” comes from the Tewa words wi don gi mu which can be translated as “we are one” in mind, heart, and in the spirit of love for all. Learn more about their vision, mission, and history here.

TEWA is celebrating its 30th anniversary today, so it is an especially apt day to make a contribution. Click here to make a contribution to TEWA Women United.

Red Nation

From Red Nation’s preamble to its Unity Pledge. “

We are Indigenous revolutionaries. We are comrades and relatives first and foremost. We practice radical democracy and compassion for all relatives. Despite differences in organizational role or affiliation, we are equals in struggle. We are anti-capitalist and anti-colonial. We are Indigenous feminists who believe in radical relationality. We do not seek a milder form of capitalism or colonialism—we demand an entirely new system premised on peace, cooperation, and justice. For our Earth and relatives to live, capitalism and colonialism must die. “

Click here to read the full Principles of Unity

Click here to make a contribution to Red Nation.

Diné C.A.R.E.

Diné CARE is located on the Navajo Nation and is a non-profit organization that works with many Navajo communities affected by energy and environmental issues. Since the late 1980s, community people have stood up to demand environmental protection and sustainable development practices, bringing systemic changes in tribal politics and making the grassroots voices evident in the realm of energy development. This is the organization that hosts and guides the Fracking Tours of the Greater Chaco Canyon.

To donate, please make a check out to Diné C.A.R.E. and mail to Diné C.A.R.E., HC 63 Box 272, Winslow, AZ, 86047

Russell Means Speaks Truth to Power to US Congress

This is an extraordinary testimony to the US Congress. Of course, it was ignored, but it remains a stirring invocation for indigenous rights and excoriating rebuke of US colonialism.

A Look Back at Last Week’s Posts

While the post describing the stunning historic decline in taxation of the rich and the corporate sector is very illuminating, if you only have time to revisit one or two of the posts from last week, I’d encourage you to review and share the Action Alert from Friday, Oct. 12 as it offers you the information you need to raise your voice on a most important issue: establishing strong regulation of the use of produced water. Our simple message: Produced water is not safe, treatment technology is uncertain and any reuse of produced water should be ONLY for use in fracking. Period. Post summaries and links follow.

Should Youth Climate Activists Issue “Demands” to our Governor?

Tuesday, October 9. Retake received a complaint from one of our volunteers, questioning how we could support youth making demands of “a governor who has been unbelievably progressive on energy matters.”

The post was entirely devoted to responding to that concern. The response is well worth your review, as it underscores how little leadership has done to address climate change in NM and how demands are absolutely appropriate, even required.

The post also included a brief video on seed sovereignty and its importance to sustainable agriculture and indigenous culture. Click here to read the full Tuesday post.

Important Analysis of Historic Decrease in Taxing the Rich & Corporations, Resulting in Deplorable Wealth Gap

Thursday, October 11. The charts from the NYT’s are irrefutable, showing a shocking change in how much taxes have been cut on the rich over the past 70 years to the point that now the middle class pays a higher rate than the rich. These tax changes have evolved through 70 years of bipartisan tax giveaways for the 1%.

The post also includes a brief, compelling video on how this tax policy has resulted in a wealth grab, with the working class and the poor now almost entirely without any assets whatsoever. Also an update on Governor’s warm embrace of Gas & Oil, as the Governor announces to NMOGA: “My administration works for you.” Really?

Click here to read the full Thursday post.

Action Alert: Produced Water Hearings Begin Statewide

Friday, October 12. Produced water is a very high priority for the NM Oil & Gas Association. And HB 546’s inclusion of the use of produced water in agriculture was very intentional and has strong backing among Democratic Party leadership and the Lujan Grisham administration—otherwise produced water language would not have been inserted into this bill.

We need to show up in force. Recall that the Produced Water Act was introduced at 2am on the last day of the session and that the “hearing” was conducted virtually without notice and took less than 5 minutes, out of the eyes of the public. The post includes background info, speaking points, contact info, hearing dates & location in ABQ, Santa Fe, Farmington, Carlsbad & Las Cruces.

Click here to read about the produced water hearings with the first of five occurring on Tuesday Oct 15.

Drilling Towards Disaster + The Pen Is Mightier Than the Sword

Saturday, Oct 12. The post included excerpts from Drilling Towards Disaster and an eye-opening chart from depicting the extraordinary scope of the Permian Basin’s contribution to global warming. Drilling Towards Disaster is an invaluable educational tool and should be shared with policy makers and legislative leaders.

Every Saturday, we hope to make a habit of your writing to a friend and/or to your local newspaper: a productive way to ground your activism & create a habit of engaging others. This week, we included two writing prompts: one focused on produced water and the other on your view of the best strategy for influencing NM Democratic leadership, given the iron grip of NMOGA and the influence of their lobbyists and money.

Click here to read Saturday’s post.

Sunday at the Movies: Video from Robert Reich, Bernie Sanders, and the an Extended Look at The Extinction Rebellion

Robert Reich describes how and why an inspiring, visionary candidate is absolutely essential to defeating Trump. And then we provide a short profile of Bernie Sanders to remind all of us what a principled politician looks like. Whoever you support as the Democratic candidate, it is good to reflect on the debt of gratitude we owe Bernie, basically for just being Bernie and for moving the conversation so far to the left.

The last two videos profile the Extinction Rebellion, a one year old movement, that is research-based and beginning to gain significant traction across the globe, especially in Europe.

Click here to watch all four videos in Sunday’s post.

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3 replies

  1. I need to remind you all that our legislators have already been “influenced.” They all appear to be in denial, about 30 years of Neo Liberal policies and the generational damage they have done. Their comfort and complacency, associating with the very industries that exploited, and continue to exploit, the people in this state is telling.

    I came across this gem today, the roots of the anti healthcare, propaganda campaign, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bejdhs3jGyw

    The Rio grande Sun ran this the other day, other media outlets are silent, since their most profitable advertisers are mentioned. http://www.riograndesun.com/news/how-pain-pills-flooded-the-espa-ola-valley/article_c7e86d9a-e61b-11e9-a0bc-cfad756fd065.html Of course most people working in pharmacies would have felt bad about denying medication to sick people, because their insurance did not pay for it, as a more serious problem. That story was never told since it might have pointed a finger at the failure of our healthcare system. Instead the told racist stories about Espanola, demonized the addicted, blamed them for “crime,” and promoted “faith based treatments.”

  2. Guys,

    Umair has a good take on it all, https://eand.co/the-kids-of-planet-earth-are-acting-like-its-adults-because-its-adults-are-acting-like-children-541a6bfc6194
    “The kids are shouting at us to hear their voices, which I think are saying all that. That they’ve been forced to become the adults — because we’ve become the children.”

    No one locally spoke up, when protest was dampened and sanitized or laws were preemptively enacted to chill protests. Any Extinction Rebellion style protest would be shut down before it started in Santa Fe, or any where else in New Mexico. There is no way to gauge the violent response by police here, in River City. There has been virtually no accountability of our police by our elected representatives or the courts, that were supposed to protect our rights. The mass media did not inform the populace about the dangers of Trump, they are still giving him lots of free coverage.

    There appear to be protests going on around the world, yet our media is not covering them. The Yellow Vests in France, the Global Extinction Rebellion,and the Hong Kong protestors, they framed that one as a protest for capitalism, so it is endorsed by our media. Even the Iraqis are protesting, and dying, all of the “nation building” and corporate exploitation left their country in ruins.

    Locally our last vestiges of a “free press” are being attacked, https://www.santafenewmexican.com/opinion/editorials/threats-against-journalists-threaten-everyone/article_1ad82729-fbb4-5afa-86b0-a7d06a105e6e.html This comes from a local paper that avoided covering police issues, as long as they did not directly impact them, or their advertisers.. They ran a counter narrative about “Time Cards” and rescuing kittens, while the police overstepped their authority, and abused the local populace, with the help of our DA’s office.

    This article described the depredation on communities of color that existed right here,
    The media will continue to market Biden as a nice regular guy, while slamming or avoiding the mention of Sanders. Bernie was right 20 years ago, and he is right today. It will be interesting to see how many Hit Pieces will be published attacking Sanders and Warren.

    At least Warren stood up to Zuckerberg, even Rachel Madow covered this, https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-news/elizabeth-warren-facebook-ad-mark-zuckerberg-898312/ Warren was being diplomatic ascribing Fakebook’s Election Interference as “negligence.” Locally no public discussion of any of it, as if it never happened and our community was not impacted. Lot of local marketing on Fakebook, where every conversation is a marketing opportunity.

    More feeding at the trough,


  3. I had hoped there would have been a post about the Debates, last night. They Dog Piled Warren, with the “How is she going to pay for it?” chorus, a talking point from conservative media, and directly from the industry. Warren refused to lie about the possibility of raising taxes, the only indicator the Gotcha crowd is concerned with. In local media the attacks begin, https://www.abqjournal.com/1379046/study-medicare-for-all-not-only-way-to-universal-coverage.html The general public will be inundated with this kind of alternative reality. The fact is that the corporations are profiting obscenely from the ACA, and we are already “paying for it.”

    With a Universal health Plan, like Medicare For All, there would be a more balanced approach to public health. We would not have all of the misleading health marketing we have now. There would be no profit in peddling healthcare myths, anti vaxx misinformation, and dangerous diet tips. People would think twice before allowing and even subsidizing another fast food restaurant or dollar store. They pretend this is economic development, but we are all paying for the health impacts. Santa Feans voted down a “Soft Drink Tax” is was more important that local businesses profit, at the expense of the populace, for them. Since the healthcare costs, due to obesity, diabetes and other problems, are offset in the media, no one viewed this as a public health issue, that costs and effects all of us.

    The same thing with the Anti Vaxx movement, only 44% of New Mexicans got a flu shot last year. Plenty of local health marketing cast doubt on vaccines, so they could peddle their extensive alternative medicine, books, supplements and vitamin infusions. Our legislature refuses to regulate any of this deceptive marketing. The federal agencies that used to protect us, are now in league with business interests. When they allowed direct to consumer pharmaceutical ads back in 1996, that was the beginning. It was no coincidence that was the same year as Perdue’s, deceptive opioid marketing campaign. To Neo Liberals, healthcare is a “choice” so if Americans want to spend billions on dangerous or useless healthcare, it is good for business.

    It all goes back to Neo Liberalism, http://bostonreview.net/science-nature/troy-vettese-global-warming-market-opportunity

    “The environmental movement must thoroughly understand neoliberalism to avoid underestimating it as an adversary—or, worse, falling for its charms.”

    Groups like New Mexicans for Economic Prosperity, portray themselves as non partisan, while pushing the Neo Liberal agenda. The promote oil and gas, always paltering in the same way that the corporate media does. They run articles about the money from the oil and gas boom leaving out relevant facts, like the amount of subsidies the oil and gas industry continues to get. https://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesellsmoor/2019/06/15/united-states-spend-ten-times-more-on-fossil-fuel-subsidies-than-education/#d65d26e44735

    The same group touts the diary industry in New Mexico, also a highly subsidized industry that is also very environmentally destructive. https://www.investors.com/politics/editorials/dairy-subsidies-government-farm-programs-surplus-cheese/ It was no wonder that Trump tried to make cheese and milk products part of his “Trade Deal.” Canada and Europe don’t want it they are smart enough to try to protect their farmers, and American dairy contains anti biotics, hormones and contaminants they do not want in their food supply. These subsidies were originally intended to help small farmers, now they subsidize billionaires.

    Perhaps activists need talking points to counter the misinformation and paltering from groups like this.

    “But there is still more work to be done. Reports have indicated that our state’s educational infrastructure needs improvement. And while Legislative Finance Committee analysts are wary of over-committing resources to recurring expenses, the additional revenues from energy are giving New Mexicans options in funding our schools that were unheard of just a few years ago.”

    We need to remind them that money that was supposed to go to education was funneled to oil and gas, and other profitable industries, through state and federal subsidies. The same thing with child protection, like CYFD. Education and state agencies that were supposed to protect children were eviscerated, to provide subsidies to billionaires. Facts like this have been misreported in the news, as they gloss over the failures of Neo Liberalism. They try to re-frame all of it, in a deceptive way to mislead the public.

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