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This is the complete transcript of the talk (and questions-answers) by Winona LaDuke in the James A. Little Theater of Santa Fe, New Mexico. Catalina Reyes of Gata `Burque Journalism Audio Production (P.O. Box 25822, Albuquerque, NM 87125-0822; 505/243-8625; fax 505/243-8630) was the engineer. We are grateful for her permission to represent the recording here in text form. Rob Hager introduced Chris Wells. Winona LaDuke, Mississippi band of Anishinaabeg, speaks as Green Party Candidate for Vice-President. She is founding Director of the White Earth Land Recovery Project and Program Director for the Honor the Earth Fund.
Speaking in Santa Fe, New Mexico
August 28, 2000
Tonight, we're going to have the introduction done by a Santa Fean, Chris Wells, who is the Director of the All Species Project and we know him here in Santa Fe for the person who established All Species Day and gave us a good party. We came back and partied again this year. Let's welcome Chris back to Santa Fe. He's going to the introductions for Winona.
Thank you. Hello friends and neighbors. It's great to see a full house tonight. This is really exciting. I am honored to be here and I wanted to say, for those of you who don't know All Species Project, we are about ecological education and about reconnecting kids with the Earth. We're not just about festivals, but a festival is a wonderful way to bring the results of the learning to the town. We hope to be able to keep doing that.
In the course of looking for the disciplines and skills that reconnect children to the Earth and re-enfranchise our ability to live well where we are and work towards sustainability in our region, I came across the bioregional movement in the early '80s. A movement that is based on regional sustainability and based on watershed and topography, plant life and all of those things that are more real than political boundaries. A bioregion is the real province that we live in.
In the course of searching out some of this thinking and the activities that went with it, I went in 1981 to the Ozarks area Community Congress where I first met Winona. She was then, as were many of us, trying to find ways to get America to stop supporting the military regimes of Guatemala -- which Clinton had to apologize for a couple of years ago. Winona has always been working on regional issues. She's been to Santa Fe many times and knows New Mexico politics better than many of us who live here.
The time between '81 and '84 was spent by many people in the bioregional movement organizing something called the North American Bioregional Congress, which happened in '84. During that time there were committees formed to discuss whether it would be worthy to form a Green Party, a third party in the United States. It was doing rather well in Europe and we thought perhaps this would be something that would further all of our needs and hopes. Yet the discussion was always there: Will this split the vote? This will be a big topic tonight. I'll let her and others deal with that. I think those of us who are here know that we're not splitting the vote. Because a vote for truth is different than two parties that are essentially working within the same value system.
The Bioregional Congress formed the Committees of Correspondence. Out of those Committees of Correspondence was formed the National Green Party in 1984 which Winona was a part of. So she's not just a Green on the ticket who joined later. She is a founding member of the Green Party. One of the original Greens of the United States. She brings to that a very strong ecological perspective that is not just a ground for old leftists who feel disenfranchised. This is a movement of deep ecological values that have not been embodied in any previous politic that's been articulated in the United States before. It brings an essential politic that has been left out since the beginning of our country. Imagine if we started off our Congressional bodies with a Thank You Prayer for the Earth as many native peoples do in their counsel.
At any rate, Winona has been there since the beginning of the Green Party and now she is going to become a major leader of this. I am nearly overwhelmed to look at all of you out there. It is so amazing.
I want to say who she is from a personal perspective. She's a wild rice grower. She is a maple syrup collector. She's started women's shelters. She's worked with arts collectives, empowering native artists. She's up three times a night nursing her baby on the campaign trail. She has been devoted since day one.
I want to say that a vote for a Winona is a vote for the Earth. It's a vote for the plants, a vote for the water. It's a vote for those things which hold up our life every day. I am honored and pleased to invite Winona to come here and speak with us tonight. I want you to welcome her, Winona LaDuke, the next Vice-President of the United States.
Thank you so much. Miigwetch, as we say in my neck of the woods. Boozoo indinawaymuginitook. Hello, my relatives. Niin gagwe gitimaagis. Beenaysikwe indigo, Makwa niin dodaem. Gahwah bah ishkoniginiing indoojibaa. Miigwetch, indinawaymugunitook. Miigwetch. Thank you again for being here. Thank you my relatives. I am telling you where I'm from. I'm Bear Clan Mississippi Band from the White Earth reservation in northwestern Minnesota. I am very honored to be here with you tonight.
I am honored to look out there and some of the people I can recognize in the audience that have worked for so long. I was privileged to have dinner with Gilbert Sanchez, a great gift. Dick Chaney is out there, 10,000 bucks a plate for lunch with him, dinner with him. Dinner with Gilbert is priceless. Grateful for his generosity in filling up my belly and my child's belly a little bit before we came over here.
Rob Hager is a man who helped organize a lot of this. I've known that guy for at least 20 years. He has done a lot for all kinds of people. All of kinds of people and a lot of people don't know that. Whether they were nuclear radiation victims, like Karen Silkwood. Whether they are people in Bhopal, India who deserve some justice from companies like Union Carbide. He is a great man. I am honored to know him as a friend for all these years.
I see my friend Eda Gordon over there and Richard Erdoes. I am very privileged to see them. They are long time organizers for justice and great writers.
I come here to Santa Fe, I enjoy coming here to this town that likes Indians. It's not exactly like a border town to my reservation. But that's okay. It is a beautiful place you have here and I am very honored that you all came here to visit tonight about some of these issues of democracy and where we are going. I thank all of you for coming and all the many people out there who work earnestly on these issues with whatever gift you have. It is a good thing. It is always a good thing if you can figure out what your gift is early on rather than struggle too long to find it. But thank you for your work.
I thought I would start by telling you a little about what brings me to this. Because I don't know that many of you. I will tell you that as I say I'm a mother of three children. My youngest who was last heard walking or riding outside -- my 6-month old. As a mother, I'm motivated to do this kind of work because I cannot understand why I should be more concerned about how much sugar is in my child's breakfast cereal than I am how much PCBs is in my son's tissue. That is the reality of this day and age as a mother.
I have to be concerned, as we all do, about a whole array of issues that are very dangerous issues for our children. Those become the issues of parenting. Those become the issues of mothering. Of how you look out for your kid over the years ahead. That doesn't always involve just making sure they can read. It involves making sure that somehow you do the best you can to avert those other poisons from getting into their bodies and into their lives.
I come to this work because I work on a reservation in northwestern Minnesota. I spent most of my adult life working in different rural and reservation communities around this country. In doing so I came to the same questions as I worked here in the southwestern United States in '78 and '79 on uranium mining and coal strip mining issues. I came to wonder about and hear these questions being asked: Who gave these corporations these rights? Who gave them the rights to all our water? Who gave them the rights to contaminate that ground water? Who gave them the rights to all those minerals? Who signed all those leases? How did that happen that their rights came to supersede ours?
I have worked in South Dakota with ranchers and Indians asking the same question and able to avert huge bunches of uranium companies that came in there looking greedily for uranium mining potential in their area. But they were able to overcome the racism that had come to grow between their communities and say that there is a common enemy here. It is not an enemy that is a different color; it is an enemy that is based on greed. We were able to avert it there.
I've worked on dam projects in northern Canada. I have two children from far in northern Canada. This was in the 1980s, after we were able to defeat development of many of the nuclear power plants in this country. This is a story that many of you likely know. The fact is that the Nixon Administration proposed to have a thousand nuclear power plants in the United States by the year 2000. What a nightmare that would have been. Instead now we have 109 aging nuclear reactors that are a total disaster. But the reason that we don't have a thousand nuclear power plants in this country is because people got out and organized. That is how that was defeated. The nuclear industry is very powerful. But the people are more powerful.
When we were able to defeat nuclear power plants in this country a lot of those northern utilities, particularly, looked towards Canada and the vast rivers of the north and said Let us dam them and bring the power here. Let us flood out those Indian communities located in remote areas because that is such vast potential for hydroelectric power. Let us keep our high level of consumption going. Let us just replace one fix with another one. We'll get our power from some place else and who cares about those people. We took them on. We took them on in James Bay II and they called us a `rag tag band of activists.' The New York Times said How could a rag tag band of activists take on the largest utilities in the world? And how could they win? That is what we did. We defeated James Bay II.
Now of course the challenge we face, as people who live with the Earth, who live with some reverence for the Earth, is that you can defeat one dam, or your can defeat one power plant, or you can defeat one mine, but they will always come back for more. That is the problem that we face. This country is the largest consumer of anything in the world. We consume one third of the world's resources. This country is always intervening in other people's countries and other people's human rights to take those resources, to fuel this immense need that is driven by a paradigm that ultimately will drive us to our own destruction.
I have come to understand, over the course of my life, that there is a relationship which exists in this society that is a predator-prey relationship; where the society is a predator upon this land. There is nothing which is nourishing that prey except for our prayers and the fact that the Creator, and that our Mother Earth is so powerful. But the challenge we face in this society is ultimately how to quell the hunger of the windigo, the excessive windigo. That's what it is -- the excessive predator. How to quell that so that we may actually continue living.
I have come to understand in the course of my work in many Indian communities across this country, and in other poor communities across this country, that there is also a direct relationship between development and underdevelopment. Some people become developed, some people become rich, while others become poor. That is a worldwide phenomena. It has occurred in Africa, as much of Europe underdeveloped Africa. It has occurred in much of Latin America. It has occurred in every Indian community across this country where theoretically Indian people should be the richest people in this country. But we are today the poorest people in this country. We have very little that is left in our lands and our homelands. Then there is a country which has the immense wealth of the United States. It is always held up as this great prosperity. But what we must remember is that some people's wealth is at the cost of other people's poverty. That is the relationship that we have.
The companies that my friend Ralph and I talk about today or you all talk about today, are not companies that began humbly. They are not by-and-large companies who, like in the story of Rumplestiltskin, spun their straw into gold. Many of these corporations are corporations that took the land and resources of other people to accumulate the wealth which they have today and have come to use to rule many of the powers in the world.
I believe the fundamental challenge we have as people who live on Mother Earth here -- as patriots perhaps, not always to the flag, but always to the land -- is to figure how to reconcile those relationships if we are to move into this next millenium. And that is fundamentally the challenge that we bring to this electoral process. That reconciliation with the Earth and reconciliation with the people who live here. Let us talk first about that reconciliation with the Earth.
You are a really smart looking bunch. So I do not need to tell you all the statistics. Let us remind ourselves however. We have cut most of the trees. 95% of the old growth is gone. We are fighting over splinters that is left. And still this insatiable demand of tree-growing companies, like Weyerhaueser, as it calls itself, seems to be totally unsatisfiable. Just cries and cries for every last tree we have in North America.
I am someone who was arrested once. I was arrested in 1995 in Los Angeles because I chained myself to the front of a phone book factory. In my gut I do not believe that a thousand year-old tree should be turned into a phone book. I do not believe that we as people of conscience should have to spend our time in jail arguing over these things but sometimes that's what we have to do. You have to stand up and sometimes you have to get arrested. I fundamentally believe there are some trees we should just leave be. That is probably the ones that are left.
99% of the tall grass prairie is obliterated. We've gone in the Great Plains from 250 different species of grass down to, in a lot of areas, like a Nebraska cornfield, one species. That would be a species of corn with a little tag on it that says "Monsanto." Total loss of bio-diversity from the Great Plains. The Great Plains was the single largest biome in North America. It has been the single largeest loss of life of any biome in North America. There is that immense loss of bio-diversity that has been the hand of our industrialism.
We are a society that has pretty much combusted ourselves to the edge of oblivion. That is the reality. We can all be in deniable about it. But you and I know that the polar ice cap melted. The North Pole has melted. That is rather -- if I was even a little bit stupid -- I would consider that to be an indicator of a problem.
I try to take my clues as quick as I can. That would be a good one. We are a society, which each year has more natural disasters than the year before. In the last decade, we've had more natural disasters than ever known in history. We have more hurricanes and everything coming down the road. A lot of that is directly linked to global warming and our level of combustion.
We are a society that has immense problems with nuclear waste. I'm in New Mexico. We know that here. We have vast amounts of radiation contamination in our ground water. We have abandoned uranium mines all over. We have the problem of Los Alamos. We have this law that every year comes up like a bad Bruce Willis sequel. The Nuclear Waste Policy Act. Each year, Congress discusses the Nuclear Waste Policy Act which will take the nuclear waste from 109 aging nuclear power plants in this country and drive it or train it across America -- on America's highways or on America's railroad lines within a half mile of 50 million Americans -- to Yucca mountain. Each of those nuclear waste casks has the equivalent of over 250 Hiroshima bombs in it. They are talking about 90,000 shipments of nuclear waste on America's superhighways and on America's train routes. I consider that to be a public health hazard.
We call that bill Mobile Chernobyl. That's a good name. But the problem is that each year that bill reappears because we have a really bad public policy. Now, I'm a parent. I don't how many of you are parents out there but I have a little deal with my household. The deal is with my kids and all those other kids that play at my house. The deal is you cannot make a new mess until you clean up your old mess. Why is this with nuclear power that somehow there is this presumption that these nuclear industries are allowed to keep making a mess year after year after year? And somehow we would figure out what to do with the mess. And now, those utilities, whether it is Private Fuel Storage or the Federal Government, the Office of Nuclear Waste Negotiator -- that's a really bad job to have, huh? -- Office of the Nuclear Waste Negotiator; it's like a really ugly Avon lady, going across this country trying to get somebody to take that nuclear waste. What we have to do is quit producing nuclear waste.
We are a country which, in the new millenium this fall, the Federal government will come up another EIS on the Yellowstone Buffalo Herd that will propose continued lethal management of the Yellowstone Buffalo Herd. That is the largest wild herd of buffaloes in this country. Ironically, we are still talking in the twenty-first-century about killing buffalo in America. That is something that America should have learned a lesson from. That is something that is absolutely wrong to reappear in public policy.
We are a society, which today has by-and-large reduced our relatives -- all of those species, all our relatives, whether you have fins, whether you have wings or whether you have or paws; we have reduced them to poverty. They are living in ecosystems which are withered away to barely anything. There are salmon running their heads into dams and getting obliterated. There are buffalo which try to leave a park and get shot. There are wolves in northern Minnesota that are okay if they stay in certain area, but once they cross out of that they are trapped or they are shot.
That is what we have done to all of our relatives. We have reduced them to virtual poverty. And somehow in the end, we must reconcile our relationship. We must reconcile our relationship with all of those relatives. Whatever creed they are, whatever wings they have, we must come to some solution. There are, however, solutions.
The reality is that this is a country that has immense opportunity. It is not a country which is absent of opportunity. This is the richest country in the world. The value of the United States stock exchange is the value of all stock exchanges in the world combined. We are not absent of any resources.
I was in South Africa in December at the World Parliament of Religions. I was so privileged there to hear within the course of three days, Nelson Mandela and the Dalai Lama speak. I was so grateful that in my life I could hear people like that speak whom have spent their whole life struggling on these issues. And in a country like South Africa, which has so been ravaged by hatred. But yet that country has the courage, because they have recovered democracy, to undertake a peace and reconciliation process. I am not going to say that this is an easy situation that they have in that country. And I'm not going to say that that is an easy process for any country. But what I am saying is that they have a political will and that is what we need in this country. A political will.
So, we have some solutions -- no absence of them. We could quit cutting our forests. No commercial logging on national forests. Leave that which remains, there. The ecosystems deserve to be preserved. Trees deserve to be left standing. There are plenty of trees that Weyerhaueser is growing since it is a tree-growing company that they should be cutting. If that's what they want to do.
But more than that, we can look at things like hemp. Technically, hemp is a four-letter word. But actually it should not be treated as a four-letter word. Industrial hemp is the plant of over 25,000 uses. That is the reality. This is a plant which you can make food out of; you can make oils out of, and fiber. It produces as much fiber per acre as wood. You can make things like the parachute that George W. Bush's father used in World War II when he jumped out of a plane.
You can make sails. You can make clothes. We are a country which imports hemp from countries like France and Canada who are making millions of dollars on those imports. And yet, we deny American farmers the right to produce hemp in this country. A crop for which net returns on hemp are three to four times those returns one gets from wheat or canola.
I live in northwestern Minnesota. A small Indian reservation. In my area, you have a 10% decline in farmers every year. I look out there and I say to myself, and those farmers say too, they just want a break. They don't want charity. They want a fair price for their crops. They don't want to fight Cargill every time they turn around or Monsanto. A lot of those guys would really like to grow hemp. So, that is one of the alternatives we have in this country. We just have to have the courage to decriminalize it and allow for the production of industrial hemp.
For years people of conscience, people with brains, have introduced legislation or sought legislation under various names. One of my favorite pieces of legislation is called NREPA -- Northern Rockies Ecosystem Protection Act. It is a piece of legislation which looks at the northern Rockies and says Right now we have national parks in this area in which we are trying to technically preserve a wilderness. In that, we let those animals return, pretty much -- wolves, buffalo, mountain lions, bears -- they are allowed to be in those areas.
The problem is that with national parks we have essentially created reservations. In those national parks, if those animals cannot go outside of the borders of those parks, they are doomed to genetic extinction. We must have the courage to create legislation where we connect those national parks through corridors that preserve a much broader wilderness state. That is, indeed, how we do the right thing for our relatives. That is the kind of preservation that we need in this country.
We are a country which has immense potential for alternative energy. I am astonished that Denmark leads the industrial world in wind energy. Followed by Germany. Obviously, they are very smart. Those are not strange people over there. I think they are pretty handy, apparently. But why is it that our country hasn't moved to wind energy? The fact is that our country has for the past 40 years essentially squandered 65% of all research and development money in the Department of Energy on nuclear and coal power. Those are two industries and some big businesses that certainly don't need anymore corporate welfare.
Let us take that money and invest it full-scale into wind and alternative energy. Let us support projects like Native Sun on the Hopi reservation. My friend there Debbie Tewa has been involved installing 350 solar units up on Hopi households. A lot of Navajo households, as well. Those are people that decided, as I understand it, that they didn't want to have a power line between them and the creator. They also decided that they didn't want Arizona Public Service to run a right-of-way through the middle of their villages that are 10,000 years old. They didn't really get how Arizona Public Service should have any sovereignty in their village. They are kind of upstart. Just been around a little while. But I guess that some of those Hopis wanted to watch Jerry Springer. So they decided they wanted some power and they go out there and get these solar units and stick them up on their roofs. They have 8 panels, 4 panels, 12 panels, they rotate a little bit in the sun and they pay them off over time. They have 350 households up there that are all on solar energy.
We need to invest in those kinds of alternatives. We need to invest in community-based businesses that do that. We need to invest in the technology to bring the price down. We need to give credits for utilities or anybody who can get into these forms of alternative energy. We need to look at the Great Plains. I was on the Blackfeet reservation, a couple of weeks ago-- Blackfeet has Class 5 wind energy. Class 7 is the highest you can get. That whole reservation, almost all of North Dakota is Class 5. Blackfeet have these wind generators they put up. They cannot get enough money to put up the next set of wind generators. That is a total shame.
The Federal government squanders it's money on all kinds of absolutely ludicrous things. When a community like that could be generating energy -- not only for their community but for the whole region with wind energy. That is the kind of thing we need to be financing. The Great Plains is considered the Saudi Arabia of wind power. One third of the United States energy could come out of the Great Plains itself. That huge ecosystem. That is what we need to be financing. Those kinds of things. That is the alternative. That is the vision that we have.
When I visit with my nine-year old son, ever since he was about five or six he used to say, "Mom, what do you do?" I think other parents must have to answer that question. And I used to say to my boy, "Ashuwak" (that's this name), "Ashuwak, your Mom fights bad guys and tries to do the right thing." I absolutely believe that you have to actually do both.
In the work in my old community -- we have a small grass-roots organization -- we work on all these issues. We are actually putting up a wind generator now. I spend a lot of time fighting clear-cutting. I'm really upset at Uncle Ben's. We produce wild rice on my reservation. I wish that wild old silver hero would buy rice from Indians up there. You guys go ask them about that. But in our communities we produce these crops like wild rice. It's wild rice grown on a lake. We go out there in a canoe and harvest it. It's not grown in a dyked paddie in northern California. It is a totally different product.
We try to fight for our rights; for our intellectual property rights; for our cultural property rights. We try to keep our forests standing rather than cut. We have a lot of water quality issues. We have airborne emissions that are landing in our lakes and affecting our fishing ability to feed our selves and our families because we have got PCBs and mercury in our lakes.
So you have got to go out and fight those guys to try get them to quit devastating your ecosystem. But at the same time, what I figured out in the course of my 20 years of work is that you cannot always say what is bad. You have to also say what is the alternative. That is the vision that the Green Party has. The Green Party has a vision, that is a beautiful vision for the future. That is a beautiful vision for quality of life and our future. That is a beautiful vision that all of us can live in good harmony. And that in my experience is the best way to do things.
Because in my community, probably not unlike yours, we are all kind of creatures of habit. We get accustomed to things. So to say, These are some changes that could be made. It is much easier sometimes if you can show them those changes. Show them that those changes work. Show them that wind energy works. Show them that organic food works. Show them that buying fair trade coffee is a good thing. It tastes really good too. Those are the kinds of things that if you show people that the quality of life is improved in them, it is a good organizing tool. That is my experience. That is where this comes from in some of these strategies; that there is always an alternative. We are fortunate. We are so fortunate as compared to many countries in that we have many alternatives.
We believe deeply in economic reconciliation. In reconciling our relations with each other. We are a country in which there is the deepest disparity of wealth of any industrialized country. That is an historic process. As I said, where some people become rich and others become poor. That has increased over time.
Where today it is said that 10% of the population controls 73% of the wealth. 90% of the population has 27% of the wealth. Bill Gates himself, not a very poor guy, last year made as much 130 million Americans. Doing good. Bill Gates is perhaps not the best example of it all but it illustrates this vast disparity of wealth which, unfortunately, to be honest, as you and I know as parents, is agrandized in this society. It is glamorized. That to be rich, to look out for number one, to get ahead, is a good thing. I don't think that is true. I don't think that is true.
Because what has happened in this society is that in the past decade, the CEOs, the corporate executive salaries have increased 481% while 70-80% of the American workers' wages have leveled out completely. A good portion of the American working class today is today working at wages which, if they were adjusted for inflation, are on par with wages paid during the Nixon Administration. We are losing ground.
All that economic prosperity -- all those people going off welfare and to work. A lot of them are going to work at places like Wal-Mart as associates, seven bucks an hour. That is what a lot of those people are paid. Two working adults in a household, working really, really hard and their families are still at the poverty level. That is an absolute disgrace in this country.
We are not asking for charity. We are asking for justice. In communities like mine, people would sometimes say, when I started running for Vice President -- it was kind of a joke when I started out there, not in the community but in the outlying areas, they said, "What is that woman doing?" Because what has happened over time is that there is this presumption that the only people who run for office are rich people who live in Washington. That means that a lot of good people no longer run for office. That is something that we have got to challenge. Because public policy in this country should not be written by rich people for rich people.
As far as I can figure, the rich are doing very well. They don't need any more public policy at all. Public policy in this country should consider the interest of the poorest people in this country. And when asked, I considered that I am pretty well-equipped to discuss that set of issues. Because I live in one of the poorest counties in the state of Minnesota.
I have seen economic policy after economic policy. I've seen job training programs come to my reservation. There was a point on my reservation where there were more people employed in job training programs than employed. I got so many plumbers and electricians on my reservation and they have no place to plumb or electrify. We don't have any funding to electrify our houses. So, where are those guys going to go?
And that is the absurdity of that kind of a Federal policy. Yet now, our people get told, go off welfare. Welfare reform. There is all this "Welfare Queens" and this and that. Where are my community going to go? In my community, they get thrown off the welfare roles and they get to go drive 70 miles to Fargo, North Dakota to go work at a Wal-Mart for 7 bucks an hour. You guys know what it's like -- by the time you go out there and pay your insurance, you pay car bill, you put gas in your car, you pay your childcare, you put food on your table, and then you have got to pay for every other crisis that comes up when your kid is in daycare and they get sick every couple of weeks. You cannot actually afford to do that. You're below the poverty level still. That is not a fair choice for working families in this country. That is absolutely unfair.
They're always talking about the Welfare Queens. Well who is talking about the Corporate Welfare Kings? Who is talking about that your and my tax dollars are going at the rate of between $125 billion to $250 billion a year to corporations like McDonalds so that they can peddle burgers in other countries. $70 million went to corporations like McDonalds and Sunkist Orange.
Other examples, what about Squibb? One of my favorites. Taxol -- remember that? One of those miracle drugs for cancer. You and I developed it with our tax dollars and our tax research. But basically the patents were given to Squib. Who sells it back to cancer patients -- doesn't give it back. We paid for it but they make immense profits on that.
There is case after case like that of privatization where today all those millions of Americans who don't even have health care. We cannot even afford the drugs that we already paid for. That is the shame. That is the disgrace in this country. And that is the challenge that we must face. We must reign in those companies. We must have the courage to reign them in and to begin the process of recovering our democracy from them. We must begin the process. When they talk about being tough on crime, we need to be tough on corporate crime.
Why is that in the 1940s -- I always liked that George Bush Senior -- wasn't he the one who said, "Read my lips, no new taxes." Remember that? One of the few things I remember that he said. How about this: I don't actually agree with that. What I think is we should look at the historic patterns of taxation in this country. In the 1940s, the American public provided about 40% of the Federal tax budget. 33% was provided by corporations. Today, in the 1990s, 73% of the Federal tax budget comes from individuals. 15% comes from corporations. They are totally underwritten, every loophole is written for them. They are getting entirely handed to them.
So I wouldn't say No new taxes. I would say reverse the taxation process so that it is not regressive and punishing you and I who are out there just barely making it as a middle class or working class in this country. Those are the challenges we face on taxation. Let us talk about it in those terms.
Let us consider that ultimately the challenge, economically in this country, is to begin reconciling between the rich and the poor. We have to somehow curb the privilege of the top. Whether it is through taxation, whether it is through ending corporate welfare giveaways, or whether it is -- one of my personal suggestions is -- we should put a moratorium on mergers. I have absolutely no idea who owns anybody anymore. Anytime I open up the paper, there is a whole new number. It's like pretty soon everything will be owned by Nike or by Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart's net worth in an annual year, their annual income is larger than the annual income of the nation of Ireland, of the nation of Portugal and of the nation of Israel.
How did this immense disparity occur? And how do we change it? We must absolutely put a moratorium on those mergers. We must absolutely close those loopholes that allow those corporations to get such benefits while you and I pay so heavily. We must absolutely end corporate welfare and we must look towards our people. We must argue for a living wage in this country. No more working families in poverty. Corporate profits should not soar while American workers are just barely getting by. Absolutely, a living wage in this country and absolutely protect the right and encourage the right and repeal Taft-Hartley so you can unionize in this country.
My Grandmother heard me talk a couple of nights ago. It was so touching. My Grandmother was sitting in the audience and I told some stories about her. My Grandmother was a member of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union. She made pocketbooks her entire life. And I know that the reason that I have a 40-hour work week is because of ladies like my Grandma. That we have benefits is because of people like my Grandma in those unions. We absolutely must protect the right of workers to unionize in this country.
It is those processes, which will begin that reconciliation of income in this country. It will stem that tide which is occurring more and more in this country. Where each year we have more people moving into gated communities, putting their kids in private school, hiding themselves away from the disarray and the economic poverty of this society.
I do not want to live in a prison. I don't think that we should build a society based on prisons of privilege and imprison the rest of us. The two million people in prison in America today. We have more people than Communist China in prison in this country. That is the disparity that exists that we absolutely must heal. You cannot heal that by school vouchers. You cannot heal that by putting more cops on the street. You must absolutely bring justice to these communities. You must begin a real long-term process of healing these riffs, which are deep riffs that have historic origins but are the riffs which tear at our very diverse society.
You and I want to walk the streets of our towns and cities and look out at an array of the beauty of diversity that is this America. We want to look at other people and not live in fear. That we will be scorned and ridiculed because of our race, our sexual orientation, and our religion. We want to walk out there and feel safe and secure and the only way that will occur is if we we are all safe and secure in this society.
Ralph and I, as well as many of you, are also proponents of transforming our budget from the military economy. This state, as I know, is a big military state. But I also know that the military is not only the number one producer of toxics in this country, places like Los Alamos, for instance, but it has also totally distorted the budget of this country. Today, we spend a third of our money, at least, on the military.
Fiscal year '99, $271 billion spent on the military. Over ten times that which we spend on education. Over ten times that which we spend on natural resources and the environment combined. Over ten times that which we spend on our children, on our health, on our anything. We are a country which spends so much money on the military we have become insane.
Now, if I went over to my house and I bought a whole bunch of assault rifles and I let my kids go shoeless to a crumbling school, and my Grandma was hungry, I would be locked up as certifiably insane.
But that is essentially what we have as a country. We have a certifiably insane country. We don't need any more F22 fighters. We have no enemies. Nobody is going to beat us. In fact, we are defending countries that already have a big military. It is not only that we must move to a peace-based economy at home. But we also must also absolutely transform our foreign policy away from the military policy.
Last year, I lost perhaps one of my best friends in Columbia. Her name was Ingrid Washinawatok El Issa. She was one of three humanitarians who went to Columbia to work with the U'wa Indians who are fighting for their existence against a company in which Al Gore has a lot of interest, Occidental Oil. She went there to work in that community as they worked on their schools, as they worked on their clinics. And my friend Ingrid was much more courageous than I. She traveled all around the world and took up this same fight for justice of people everywhere. When she was in Columbia last year in February, she was kidnapped by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia. That is supposed to be the good guys. And five days later she was shot by them.
Columbia is a microcosm of our foreign policy. Columbia is a country, which is engaged in a civil war. It is a war in which we have armed every body. Columbia is now the second largest recipient of U.S. military aide after Israel. We just appropriated a whopping 1.3 or 1.7 billion dollars in military aid to that country. That is an example of what is the problem. We have armed every body in that country. I was reading in USA Today or Albuquerque Journal, yesterday 17 people were shot, villagers, by both the paramilitaries and the leftists in Columbia.
That is an example of what has happened in the chaos that we are creating in the world as we continue to arm under one pretext or another. The School of the Americas -- the single largest number of people who go to the School of the Americas, as enrollees are Colombians. I paid for the bullets and the gun that shot my friend. We all did. That is the reality.
As a mother, I look out there around the world and I am deeply disturbed by the fact today that the United States is arming the world. We are arming the world. We are the single largest purveyor of small arms in the world. Probably the largest purveyor of large arms too. We sell everything. But most of the wars going on in the world today are not with ICBMs and F16s. Most of the wars going on in the world today are with M16s and Kalashnikovs. Those are the guns of choice. Those are called small weapons. Perfected in Liberia. Those are the guns that are being used throughout Africa, throughout South America and civil wars within nations.
The fact is that in the first World War, 95% of the people killed were combatants. Today in the wars going on in the world, 90% of those wars are fought with small guns and 90% of the people killed are non-combatants, that is women and children. That is people out there working the fields. That is people who are mowed down. I believe that we must have a foreign policy, which does not give or sell guns to people with human rights violations.
We must stand up righteously in the world. Anywhere you go if you are American or a person like me who lives on this continent and you go around the world and often hear these stories. I've been privileged. I went to the World Parliament of Religions. I went to the UN Conference on the Status of Women. You hear these stories and you just cry. You hear those stories and you say, "What could I do to help you?" They say `Change your government's policies. Change what your government does. Do not send us used clothes. Do not adopt our children. Change your government's policies.' That is the courage and the opportunity we have in the world.
We are the people who could change the fate of many people throughout this world by having the courage to change America. That is the vision that we have. Not only in this election, but each day of our lives. That is a vision that we share and that we work on each day of our lives. That is a vision that I'm committed to. To make that change for the future generations.
There are solutions to all of this. As I said we end corporate welfare, tax equalization, a living wage. But in this election year, I will tell you that is also part of the solution. This is the largest democracy. In this country, we have so disenfranchised our people that less than 50% of the American electorate gets out and votes. That is a huge dilemma in this democracy which we hold up to the world and say, "Don't you just want to be like us?" Well just watch it on TV. That is the largest party in America, the non-voters.
I don't know what they are talking about the Republicans being the largest party in America. They are not. Nobody is as large as the non-voters. I myself, my public confession, I was a non-voter. I was. I am someone who spent most of my life doing political work but not working in the electoral arena. Because there are a lot of ways to make change in this country. I worked in all those ways, the best I could -- gardened, farmed, organized this, boycotted that, all those things. I chained myself in front of factories. All those things. Demonstrated. I've done all of those things. That is other ways to make change.
But I decided in 1996 I should vote. I know you think that is kind of ironic. I decided that if that guy Ralph Nader, who for my entire adult life -- I turned 41 last week -- and that guy, Ralph Nader, for forty years, has been out there battling evil.
He has been battling evil and doing the right thing. When I was a little kid, I had three heroes. Ralph really blushed when I said this the first time I did this big public thing for him. I said there were three heroes I had: Batman, Spiderman, and Ralph Nader. He is, indeed, the people's superhero. That is what I believe. And if Ralph says, "We got to take back democracy for the American people." And he says, "We're going to get up there and we're going to do that." And he says, "Winona, I don't care if you're pregnant and nursing, you better come along." And here I am.
But I say let us at least engage in a civic discussion about where we are going. Let us vote. That's what I say. I say, let us allow Ralph and me in the debates. You know that guy in my state, Jesse Ventura with all those guns and the feather boa? He would not have been allowed in the debates under the regulations set forth by the Federal Debate Commission. He was only getting ten percent in the polls. They wouldn't let him in the debates. But yet he was allowed in the gubernatorial debate in the state of Minnesota. He debated and they had the single highest voter turn out in the history of Minnesota and he was elected. That is what engaging in an actual debate of interest can do to America. Even if people don't necessarily want to vote for me or Ralph, just let us in there it would be way more interesting.
I ask those of you who are involved in political work in any arena to keep up your good work and I thank you for it. For those of you who are thinking about it in some way, Ralph's first proposal, I've modified. I do that to him a lot. When we started this campaign and were talking about campaign finance reform, he said, "I want a million people to either give us 100 bucks or 100 hours or both." That is actually the way campaigns should be financed. People giving time and and people giving money -- no corporations. I modified that because I come from a lower income bracket. I said, "25 bucks or 25 hours." Four million people, means you have got to organize harder. But I'm a mom and we can organize anything. Moms know that.
Let us consider that is part of our challenge: to organize people to participate civically in this society. If we do not organize people to participate civically, we will continue as things are. Because Wal-Mart has a ten, or maybe a fifty-year plan. Nike and Occidental definitely do. We need those kinds of plans. We have vision. We have dreams. We have opportunity. We need to articulate those into public policy. We need to take those into action.
In the words of a great American leader, Sitting Bull -- that is one of the things when I get to the White House, we're going to redecorate. There are a lot of other great American people whose photos should be on the walls. My mother is an artist and we have a little thing in my family about the limited number of women in the National Gallery of Art. We must address those things. Because that is what America is. It is this diverse mosaic that is so beautiful. So that leader, he said 100 years ago which is of course when Indians should have been allowed to vote. Things would be different. If we had one man, one vote when Sitting Bull was around. A lot different. He said, "Let us put our minds together to see what kind of future we can make for our children." That is what we must do. We must put our minds together.
And then we must put our hands into action and make that future. Because we are the ones my little boy and all your little grandchildren count on to do that. That's why I say to them -- I talk to those youth and I say, "You know what, when I'm 65-years-old, I want to be doing beadwork and pow-wowing. I'm going to come see you and I want you to be on that good road and taking care of things. I won't worry about it." That is what we deserve when we are that age. But we have to invest and make the change so that that is possible.
I want to thank you so much for your time tonight. Encourage you in your work and in your lives. And thank you for this privilege of visiting with you.
It is 9 o'clock and Winona has graciously agreed to answer a few questions or comments too -- this is Santa Fe. Open forum for a few minutes here.
Q: Will there be tapes of this?
Rob: Yes, I believe. Catalina, you're giving me a tape, right?. That's a commitment now. Yes, the Green Party should have tapes of this. Catalina is the one who's doing it. And Wilhelm will have videotapes. So contact the Green Party.
Q: Will you be coming to Maine?
Winona: I don't think I'll be coming to Maine. I'm going out to the East Coast. My travel schedule is a little slower than Ralph's. That guy moves. I've never seen someone move so fast. First I'm going home. I have some kids I need to put in school (like every other mother). I'm going to Connecticut and Rhode Island and then Boston. We're coming back here in October. That's another thing I should make an announcement about.
We're doing this tour that we do every couple of years for my other job. I direct this fund called Honor the Earth which is a National Native Foundation. We do a tour with these musicians known as the Indigo Girls. We'll be back in Albuquerque in early October. We'll be talking about native environmental issues and social justice issues. We'll be coming back through on that and maybe do some other appearances on that. I encourage you to look for that and the announcements. I think we're doing two shows at the Kimo and a show out on the Navajo reservation. We'll bring some other musicians with us but we raise money for native environmental issues. We've raised about a half a million dollars so far. We have a really great time doing it. So I'll be on the road the whole month of October doing that tour with the girls.
Q: I read an article in the New York Times about a month ago about Ralph's investments; how he has become a millionaire from several of his investments. I'm wondering if you would comment on that.
Winona: The guy doesn't spend any money. My wallet and my checkbook are always empty. I usually have five kids in my house and I have seven horses, three dogs and two cats. You don't need to know all the details, but I can never make enough money to be very well off. But that guy, for all these years, he never spent any money. He doesn't own anything, except for those suits. He has a watch. He showed me his watch -- he doesn't even have a watchband anymore. So he's very frugal. He's kept that. I think he's earned it. I just leave that be. That's good that he earned that money and squirrels it away. For all these years I thought he kept it in a shoebox under his bed. I was really surprised myself when I read that. I myself when the FEC releases my income statement, you guys will all feel that it is closer to your pocketbook. Don't worry.
Q: He's gone after a lot of other people. But he's a lawyer. Has he ever gone after the lawyers?
Winona: Rob, where are you? We'll ask a lawyer that question.
Rob: The lawyers that Ralph supports are the lawyers who protect individuals against corporations. Some of them get rich and some of them are downright thieves. I know I've dealt with some of the downright thieves and Ralph has been on my side in those issues. The answer to your question is Yes, he does go after lawyers who are corrupt. But he's known as supporting what's known as the Torte system which is when we get injured, people get injured, we can sue the person who injured us. That is the basic principle. Ralph is the strongest champion of that system in this country. A large factor of why we still have that system is due to Ralph.
Q: Can you introduce the candidates that are running locally? I know there are some big supporters here and it would be nice to see them.
Winona: I would be happy to.
Rob: I know Xubi Wilson is here. Maybe Xubi is duffing his hat in the back. Come down here a little further, Xubi. Xubi is running for County Commission. Our county is a kind of good ole boy back room system. They don't like people coming to their meetings. They don't like telling us what they do because those are things where private people can make some money. Xubi is trying to open the door. If you live in his district, District 5, vote for Xubi.
Melissa McDonald told me she might be able to make it here. She was out campaigning tonight and apologized. She was at the previous meeting and spoke there. But Melissa is in the city district in the internal Agua Fria district in Santa Fe running for County Commission, same as Xubi. I want to add to that, this is not just theoretical if we get one or two. If we get Melissa and Xubi, Paul Durant has already been elected in his primary. We have a majority of people on the County Commission. There will be real changes in this county on issues of power, water.
Now I believe Marvin Gladstone is still here. He is running for judge. Cliff Bain is running for Public Regulation Commission. He got one-third of the vote in the last election against Jerome Block, who represents the good ole boy system of basically the Public Regulation Commission seems to be there to protect the monopoly of PNM -- where you pay your utilities bill to. We are in a crucial period right now on energy. If we can open up and get what's called `net-metering' in our state, we can start producing energy right here. Winona talked about wind, talked about solar, and we can do that here. We can make a big change. It's not going to happen unless Cliff Bain is elected. If Cliff Bain gets elected you are going to see changes in this state in the Public Regulation Commission.
Q: What can we do to get you and Ralph into the Presidential Debates?
Winona: Thank you for asking that question. Suggestions to get Ralph and I in the debates. You can write letters to your paper. There were three Letters to the Editor in USA Today in the paper today. I don't if any of you saw that. Write letters to the Editors of the papers. Lay it on the Federal Debate Commission. Same thing with the TV stations. Write to or call or go on the web www.votenader.com or www.votenader.org. To get more information about petitions. Ask the local Greens. It is just out of total fairness to get us in there. And thank you for that question.
Q: Your campaign is calling for extremely radical changes in the way we live in this country, which really need to happen, and I appreciate it. I'm curious about what is your plan with Ralph to deal with the obvious hostilities that will come from the backlash in trying to make these changes like Congress and Political Action Committees in Washington, DC. I know Ralph's been working in Washington for a long, long time and is definitely not naïve. But I'm just really curious how you're prepared to deal with that hostility.
Winona: I have to be honest. I don't know if I have the answers to all that. What I would tell you is that, I'll be honest with you, I pray every day. I try to do the right thing and I look out there and I really believe that these are the kinds of changes we need to make in this country. And that only through curbing their power are we going to be able to be here for the long term. That process really resonates with a lot of people. Once they begin that process of uncovering their own fears and mythologies about where we are and how we're benefiting.
Sometimes my kids watch on TV. Yes, my kids watch TV. They are watching those shows and I say "You know what? We are not those people. We are not those rich people who live in Beverly Hills. Those are not us." You have got to deconstruct your own mythology and figure out actually where you stand in the whole thing and where we are going. It is questions of values and I believe in what we we're doing and I believe in our process and I know that we are on the right road. That is how I go forward.
Q: How do we bring this message to a wider audience? What are your words about the media and corporate domination of the media?
Winona: Isn't it disgraceful? It is one of those immense challenges that we have to overcome. What Ralph says is that the public airwaves should belong to the public. Not everything should be underwritten by, paid for, owned by -- but that is one of the longer-term challenges that we face. In the meantime, I encourage people to keep after their newspaper and keep after their TV and keep after their media to say, actually this is what the debate is about. This is what the electoral process is about.
When Ralph was in Portland on Friday night he was talking about the front-page story in the Washington Post with the headline, "Al Gore Relaxes". He said, ``I'm going to call up the Washington Post and say, "I'm going to go relax." Do you want to come and do a story on that?'' It is totally absurd what is going on in this country. I don't care about where Al Gore relaxes. I care about issues of substance in this country. We must challenge the media and we must challenge to recover that. That is how this will occur.
Q: I would like to know what you have to say about overpopulation? I think that is actually the biggest and environmental challenge facing us. Because the more people we have, the more houses we need to build, the bigger the suburbs are going to get, the smaller the farm lands are going to get and so on.
Winona: I will be honest with you in that I think the questions of overpopulation are coupled with questions of consumption. That is the argument that is always pushed on the South as, `You people of color have too many children.' And then the South always responds and says, `You Northerners consume one third of the world's resources just in the United States.' Both are issues. I will not dismiss that. All of us should have freedom of choice as to how many children we have. I'm an absolute supporter of that. I think we need to look at all those issues.
I have three children. That is actually one over the allowable limit. I'm not going to apologize for that six-month over there. That is three children between the six adults involved. You know how that goes. We all equaled it out. We all got the right number of children for each number of adults. So I encourage people to think about how many kids they have for sure. And I don't want to be dismissive of your issue. It is a very significant issue on the worldwide scale. But it is equally if not overshadowed, to be honest, by the consumption that occurs. Because a child born in to a country like the Sudan or Ethiopia will consume no where near the resources of a child born in North America. And a child born in that country will not even have enough food to eat. Not necessarily because of overpopulation in that country, but more likely because of war in that country.
Q: Have you talked to Oprah Winfrey about being on her show?
Winona: No but give her a call. I'd love to visit with Oprah. She is an interesting lady. But Ralph always says you have got to be a total freak to get on TV anymore. Those of us who are normal, who don't have really dysfunctional lives, haven't done anything really strange, you can't get on TV to talk about substantiative issues. So tell Oprah I'm not a freak. I'm really normal. I'd love to talk about these issues.
Q: The rumors about the hospital is that the California Nurses Association have endorsed Ralph Nader and your campaign. Is that true?
Winona: That is true. She said that the California Nursing Association has endorsed Ralph and me.
Q: I haven't heard anything about Health Care reform or Health Care issues tonight.
Winona: Ralph is a supporter of a single payer health care system. I believe that we should all have access to good health care in this country. I also believe in a diverse health care.
I was in China in 1994 at the Women's Congress. We went to this commune in this village. And China is considered, what? a third world country? I walked into this little clinic. In that clinic they had this Chinese acupuncture and cupping section. Then they had this Chinese massage section up here. Then they had the Chinese herb section over here. And then they had the Western Medicine section over here. I said `That is so amazing.' How come we can't have that when we go into our hospitals over here? That is the diversity we need. Because not everything requires a scalpel. There are different healings for different things. In this country, we should be able to afford that.
Q: Winona, thank you so much for coming to Santa Fe. Could you briefly comment on your and Ralph's position on the death penalty and on political prisoners like Leonard Peltier and Mumia Abu-Jamal.
Winona: Thank you for asking that. In my notes tonight, I was so busy eating I actually didn't revise my notes to reflect some of things I wanted to talk about. I was thinking, I hope someone asks me about that. Of course, we are opponents of the death penalty because it is unjust. Ralph generally says that we don't know about all cases. So it is hard to weigh in on this one or that one. But those two cases are obviously cases of injustice in this country. I am absolutely of the mind that we need to end the COINTELLPRO era in this country.
We've had a war on people who do not agree with the government for years. There are people who are still in jail for that. Those are people like Leonard Peltier who are in jail because they were on wrong side of the COINTELLPRO funding. That is one of the healings and reconciliation's that we must do in this country. Geronimo Pratt recently came out. I just watched that movie, "Hurricane." There are all these stories. We waste away the lives of these beautiful individuals in prison because of a Cold War the American government had against it's own people. I believe in bringing that to a close and allowing clemency or commuting Leonard's prison sentence two times served. And a new trial for Mumia. Thank you for asking that question.
Q: I was in the studio when you called in to the jury phone-in program today. Diego had asked you about the concerns that some people have about splitting the Democratic vote. I was hoping you could speak to that for a moment of some fears people have that the Republicans would be taking the election in certain states.
Winona: I will say that my gut feeling, and I'm afraid I've lost track of what I told you or what I told someone else tonight. So, if I repeat myself, forgive me. I believe that voting for Al Gore is a waste of your vote. I believe it is a waste of your vote because if you go to the polls and you vote for Al Gore because he is the lesser of two evils, you are still voting for evil. And you will still end up with evil. We deserve better than that.
Voting for them means that you do not give the Democratic party a reason to change. Because right now, you and I are totally taken for granted. There is a presumption by Al Gore that no person of color, no woman, no environmentalist, no older person, would think about voting for George Bush. Because if you voted for him, you'd lose everything. So Al Gore does not even have to address our issues. He does not even try to address our issues. Instead he spends his time courting some imaginary middle. While he could have the courage to stand up and say some of the same things that Ralph or I say and say that he is going to stand up for these issues. There is nothing that is stopping him. Except that he has no will. That's the truth. He could do the right thing. But he does not do the right thing.
Having worked with lots of women, I liken the situation we are in now politically to a woman who is in a battering relationship. Sometimes when you are in a battering relationship, you think, Well, he's feeding me. Well, he's a good father to the kids. Well, at least he's here. Well, he could be worse looking. We come up with rationalization after rationalization although we are getting battered.
WTO was not a piece of pro-labor, pro-environment or pro anything work. It was totally pro-corporation. The absence of health care -- anything in this country. Those issues we've been talking about. So what I say to those women in that situation is, `You have got to decide if you want to live.' That is what I say. You have got to decide if you want to live and it's your choice, ultimately.
What I say to American voters out there and I say to you all is that you have to decide if you want to live your life basing your decisions on fear. Or if you want to live your life and base your decisions on voting and acting your conscience. And in the end, you may or may not know me. But I know that that guy Ralph, he has stood up for all of us for all of these years. If anybody is running for a national office in this country deserves the vote, it's that guy. He is standing up there and the rest of us, we have always benefited from his very hard work. I think he deserves it. Thank you for your question.
Q: The issue of water. The fact that there is not enough clean drinking water on the planet for the people here; that 50 percent of the people on the planet do not have safe drinking water is the issue that I cannot shift away from and ignore. It keeps coming back to me. And it seems that it is an issue that can bring the insular group of people that populate this country back into the world so that we see where all this mad dash for money is going -- how it really looks from here to the reality of the way life is for most people on the planet. I wondered if you would like to comment on that reality and help me.
Winona: You are absolutely right. I remember when I was about 18 or 19 and I suppose Richard Erdoes here knew Philip Deer. Eda here knew Philip too. I remember Philip Deer, he was a Muskogee Creek Elder who I had the privilege of traveling with a lot. I used to visit with that guy. He was always a happy guy. He passed away way very early. But he told a lot of us young Indian people, he said, "One day there will be a time when water will cost more than a gallon of gas. A gallon of water will cost more than a gallon of gas." We looked at him and we could not imagine that something like that would happen. How could water cost more than oil? Cost more than gas?
That's what happened didn't it? That's what she's talking about. Now you have to have money to have clean water in this society. That is something that we cannot get around. You're right. Because in the end, we may all be different, but in the end we are all made of water. No matter what kind of creature you are, you must have it to live. That is the challenge that we face.
We are told in our instructions a lot of times as Indian people, that we are given a lot of gifts. Water is said to be the gift and the responsibility of the women. That is what they say. I know that that is true. I know that that is something that we are responsible for. That is something that only through putting our voice to action, putting our work to action will we actually be able to protect and honor and care for. So that we have water for all of us.
Thank you again so much for your time.
- Honor the Earth
2801 21st Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55407-1226
For some of the historical perspective on this, see the following articles by Dr. John W. Gofman, Chair of The Committee for Nuclear Responsibility (http://www.ratical.org/radiation/CNR/), of which rat haus reality press is honored to present many of the articles and some of the books Dr. Gofman has written concerning the health effects of low-dose radiation: "Reacting to reactors - The "peaceful atom": Time for a moratorium," 11/72; "What About Reviving Nuclear Power?," 8/88; "Reflections on "Mission Impossible" (30th anniversary of LLNL Biology Programs)," 11/93; Poisoned Power, The Case Against Nuclear Power Plants Before and After Three Mile Island, 1971 and 1979 editions combined.
- See The Politics Of New-Energy Technology by Hal Fox, editor of Journal of New Energy, 3/8/00 (http://www.ratical.org/ratville/newETP.html) :Under previous political administrations there have been no major new-energy developments. The several discoveries that have led to the production of new-energy devices and systems being readied for market have not been acceptable to government scientists. There is no DOE mechanism for the support, evaluation, testing, and dissemination of information about new scientific discoveries. By contrast, older energy systems, that have been supported with billions of dollars of government funds, serve to perpetuate government bureaucracies, sustain government-funded national laboratories, and academic projects. The energy bureaus, the national energy laboratories, and the academic energy studies have all been highly inefficient. (A recent study of the results of funding for national laboratories cites an estimated 95% waste of funds.)
The worst case is a political system that allows lobbyists for one type of energy system to deny the constitutional rights of inventors to their intellectual property by the denial of patents. The second worst case is the abysmal record of the multi-billion-dollar consuming Department of Energy to fulfill a major objective of supporting the development of new sources of energy. The inability of DOE staff to recognize new technology is deplorable. For DOE staff to support the hot-fusion lobbyists and deny other more promising technologies is a national disgrace. A suggestion that has merit is that the DOE and its national laboratories be abandoned and replaced by an agency that would support the development of non-polluting, inexpensive, new-energy systems based on abundant energy sources.
- See Yes! Magazine's Discussion Guide for the Is it time to close the prisons? issue (PDF format):
- American Gulag by Jerome Miller
- Choose Life by Sister Helen Prejean
- War Games by Carol Estes
- Resources for Reconciliation
World Drug War Charts. Just charts! Prison Industrial Complex. Tables and rates. Very few notes. The majority of the approximately 2 MILLION U.S. prisoners are inmates because of the drug war.
- Nader Tells Corporations to Get Out of the Prison Industry, 9/27/00
See for instance, excerpt from The Buying of the President 2000, Footnotes. "Center for Public Integrity Holds News Conference on High-Dollar Contributions to Presidential Candidates; Washington, D.C.," Charles Lewis - Speaker, January 5, 2000. Excerpt mirrored on ratical at http://www.ratical.org/ratville/Columbia/Gore+Oxy.html.
See Ingrid Washinawatok El-Issa, O'Peqtaw-Metamoh, (Flying Eagle Woman) 1957-1999, NATIVE AMERICAS, Akwe:kon's Journal of Indigenous Issues, Summer 1999, and Statements: Death of Ingrid Washinawatok & two other U'wa supporters in Colombia, Alpha Institute
- See materials about Columbia collected on ratical at http://www.ratical.org/ratville/Columbia/.
- See School of the Americas Watch (SOA) (www.soaw.org).
- See SOA Students and Instructors from Colombia 1947-1996 (http://www.soaw.org/Graduates/co-grads.html).
See "Monopoly Militarism and the U.S. Monopoly on the Militarization of the World, by Randall Caroline Forsberg, IFG Washington - World Bank/IMF Teach-In, 4/14/00. (http://www.ratical.org/co-globalize/ifg041400RF.html)
See also: Global Action To Prevent War, A Coalition-Building Effort To Stop War, Genocide, & Internal Armed Conflict
GLOBAL ACTION TO PREVENT WAR is a comprehensive program for moving to a world in which deadly conflict is rare and brief -- in other words, a program for abolishing war. The means for doing this already exist. What GLOBAL ACTION adds is an integrated program and a timeline for progress in conflict prevention and resolution, peacekeeping and peace enforcement, disarmament, and the implementation of criminal law regarding genocide and crimes against humanity.
- Honor the Earth 2000 Tour, 800/327-8407, (http://www.honorearth.org/tour2000/)
See COINTELPRO IN THE 90s and Beyond - TARGETS LEONARD PELTIER, especially Jimmy Eagle, FBI Wrongdoing Not Admitted Into Evidence (from Defense Case, US vs LEONARD PELTIER Trial Transcript Excerpts, Case Number CR77-3003) and Search for "COINTELLPRO". (http://ishgooda.nativeweb.org/peltier/)
See Also from First Nations, issues of consequence (www.dickshovel.com):
- The Covert War Against Native Americans by Ward Churchill (http://www.dickshovel.com/covertwar.html)
- COINTELPRO Revisited Spying and Disruption by Brian Glick (http://www.dickshovel.com/coin.html)
- Caged Warrior: Boulder Weekly interviews Leonard Peltier by Ben Corbett 3/13/00 (http://www.dickshovel.com/caged.html)
- See The International Office of the Leonard Peltier Defense Committee (LPDC) (www.freepeltier.org)
- Amongst many sources, see:
- Mumia Abu-Jamal On Death Row/Political Prisoners/Racism and Oppression (http://www.iacenter.org/imumia.htm)
- International Concerned Family & Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal (http://www.mumia.org/index3.html)
- Mobilization To Free Mumia Abu-Jamal (www.freemumia.org)
- Justice for Mumia Abu-Jamal (www.j4mumia.org)
- Free Mumia Abu-Jamal (http://www.xs4all.nl/~tank/spg-l/mumia002.htm)
- On Philip Deer, see the last three paragraphs of the Book Review by Barbara A. Gray-Kanatiyosh of Basic Call to Consciousness. (http://www.peace4turtleisland.org/pages/basiccall.htm)