5/01/2017

Taíno Join May Day Demonstration in NY

Members of the Bohio Atabei and Taíno iukaieke Guainia were some of the Taíno community members present at the May Day Rally in New York's Union Square 
Union Square, NY (UCTP Taíno News) - May Day is considered by some to be a celebration of spring days to come, but globally it is also known as International Workers Day. On May 1st, across the U.S., both in major cities and smaller communities, people took to the streets to rally and march to celebrate and promote advances for the working class while others used the opportunity to highlight related social and political issues such as women's rights, oppressive governmental policies or immigration reform.

In New York, protesters in Union Square and Washington Square Park chanted, played instruments and waved signs with various slogans in English and Spanish, such as “Workers united will never be defeated.”

Among the demonstrators at Union Square, Taíno community members joined the rally in solidarity with the thousands of protesters who blocked roads and marched in Borikén (Puerto Rico) to bring attention to the decade-long economic crisis and looming austerity measures. Taíno community members were also amongst the mass of protestors in Borikén.

Both on the island and in New York demonstrators denounced the U.S. territory's leaders as well as the U.S federal control board overseeing its finances.

 UCTPTN.05.01.2017

4/30/2017

Indigenous Peoples lead Peoples Climate March in Washington D.C.

Indigenous Peoples at the frontline of the Peoples Climate March are joined by actor Leonardo DiCaprio
WASHINGTON D.C. (UCTP Taíno News) — On Saturday, April 29, over 200,000 people took to the streets in Washington D.C. to demand action on Global Climate Change on the local, national, and international level. Indigenous Peoples were among those who led the march, which took place in sweltering heat that tied a record for April 29. The People’s Climate March for “climate, jobs, and justice” coincided with U.S. President Donald Trump’s 100th day in office. Along with the main march and related activities in Washington D.C., more than 300 “sister marches” were held across the U.S. and around the world. 

“This is more than a march, it is a global movement to affect positive change.” said Roger Guayakan Hernandez, a Borikén Taíno representing the United Confederation of Taíno People at the march. Hernandez was a “bus captain” for one of two buses from New York organized by the International Indian Treaty Council to assist local NY Tri-State Area Indigenous Peoples, as well as indigenous delegates to the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues participate in the Peoples Climate March. 

A large and diverse representation of Indigenous Peoples from around the country and the world were present at the march. Indigenous Peoples began the day with a sunrise water ceremony that opened with a welcome from Gabrielle Tayac of the local indigenous Piscataway Nation. During the march, Indigenous Peoples were a part of the led contingent, representing frontline communities. Among the Indigenous Peoples represented at the march from throughout the Americas and the world, were Taíno, Lokono-Arawak, and Maya from Belize alongside Lakota, Dine (Navajo), Schaghticoke, Sapara, Mexica, Mohawk, Quechua, Maori, Nuba, Maasai, and many, many other indigenous Nations.

“I am marching for Mother Earth and our future” said Mainaku Borrero, Taíno/Tlingit, 10yrs old. “Climate change is real.”

 UCTPTN 05.09.2017

9/30/2016

Taíno join opposition to Financial Control Board for Borikén (Puerto Rico)

Vanessa Inarunikia Pastrana and Roberto Mukaro Borrero sound the guamo 
(conch shells) to open the demonstration in New York opposing the 
U.S. imposed Financial Oversight and Management Board for Borikén 
(Puerto Rico). Photo courtesy of Mario Rubén Carrión
New York, NY (UCTP Taino News) - On Friday, September 30, a diverse group of human rights defenders rallied in New York to voice their opposition to the first formal meeting the newly created and U.S. imposed Financial Oversight and Management Board for Borikén (Puerto Rico). The rally was held outside the Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House in New York, home to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in NY. The rally opened with an indigenous Taíno invocation to the 4 directions and followed with about 3 hours of passionate calls to abolish the board and end colonialism for Puerto Rico. 

The Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico was created by the Obama administration’s Puerto Rico Oversight, Management and Economic Stability Act, or Promesa as a way to deal with Puerto Rico’s economic crisis, which includes a debt of over 70 Billion dollars. Many activists and analysts note that it is the colonial condition of Puerto Rico that has created the crisis and the U.S. should be accountable for the debt. This control board named Jose Carrión III as chairman, clearing the way to officially take over financial decision-making from Puerto Rico’s government. A Republican, Carrión was recommended by House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.). He also presides over the Puerto Rico subsidiary of HUB International, a global insurance brokerage company. His appointment is controversial as he is the brother-in-law of Resident Commissioner Pedro Pierluisi, Puerto Rico’s non-voting member in Congress. 

At the demonstration, Roberto Múkaro Borrero stated the “imposition of this financial control board by the United States violates Puerto Rico’s right to self-determination.” Borrero continued stating that “Promesa and along with the continuance of the Jones Act are clear proof of the island’s colonial status.” Borrero is a community leader representing the Guainia Taíno Tribe and is the current President of the United Confederation of Taíno People. Borrero continued stating that a specific area of concern with the legislation is that “it gives the board the power to expedite approvals of energy and other projects they deem critical, which could have severe consequences to the island’s environment if the projects are not evaluated properly.” 

Puerto Rico’s central government, three retirement systems (teachers, judicial and employees), university (UPR) and all its public corporations, including the Aqueduct and Sewer Authority and Electric Power Authority, are now under the immediate control of the new entity. The board also has oversight over the restructuring negotiations with creditors. The governor of Puerto Rico holds a non-voting position on the board, In addition, the board and its employees are exempt from liability claims. 

There is no information as to when the Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico will meet next. 

UCTPTN 09.30.2016

9/25/2016

Taino Flag flying at Oceti Sakowin Camp

Guainia Taino Tribal member Nova Saigo at the Oceti Sakowin camp with the 
flag of the United Confederation of Taino People 
and other flags of Indigenous Peoples 
Oceti Sakowin Camp, ND (UCTP Taino News) – The flag of the United Confederation of Taino People joins the other flags of Indigenous Peoples flying in solidarity at the Oceti Sakowin Camp in North Dakota where thousands of American Indians and their allies are opposing the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. The pipeline threatens the only fresh drinking water source of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and its construction will destroy sacred sites and burial grounds of the area’s Tribal Nations. The flag was presented by Nova Saigo a member of the Guainia Taino Tribe registered with the United Confederation of Taino People. During the flag presentation, Saigo also read an official solidarity message from the Confederation to the “Protectors” at the camp and was assisted by Cliff Standing Deer Mathias, President of the Redrum Motorcycle Club of which Saigo is also a member. 

UCTPTN 09.25.2016

8/25/2016

Hundreds Support Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in Washington D.C.

Representing the International Indian Treaty Council, UCTP President Roberto Mukaro Borrero addresses the large crowd gathered in Washington D.C. to support the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in their fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline. 
Washington D.C. (UCTP Taino News) – Several hundred American Indians and allies rallied outside the Washington D.C. Federal District Court on August 24, 2016 to support the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe who are seeking an injunction to halt the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. The Tribe argues that the pipeline construction was approved by the Army Corps of Engineers without proper consultation with the tribal government of the Standing Rock Sioux. 

While the court proceedings took place inside, supporters gathered outside to hear a full day of solidarity statements from American Indian leaders and community members, environmental activists, and celebrities such as Susan Sarandon and Shailene Woodley, as well as American Indian drumming and singing. Representatives of the Piscataway Nation, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, the Redrum Motorcycle Club, the American Indian Community House, and the International Indian Treaty Council were among the many who addressed the gathering. Taino community members representing the Bohio Atabei Caribbean Women’s
Vanessa Inarunikia and Gina
Rixturey of Bohio Atabei at the
rally in Washington D.C.
Circle, a member of the United Confederation of Taino People, also participated and addressed the crowd. 

The proposed construction is scheduled to cross the Missouri River, which would greatly endanger the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s only source of drinking water. Star of the Divergent series, actress Shailene Woodley noted that the Missouri River is also a water source for 18 million Americans. The pipleline’s construction also endangers and could possibly destroy indigenous sacred places, including burial sites along its route. 

Judge James Boasberg is expected to rule on the motion by Sept. 9, 2016. The construction of the pipeline in North Dakota is halted until a ruling is issued. 

 UCTPTN 08.24.2016