Saturday, February 23, 2008

Writing to John Gormley

An excerpt from my most recent letter to Irish Minister for the Environment, John Gormley:

Whether or not one cares about Irish history, the traditions and beliefs of our ancestors, or the spiritual lives of those who value these ancient sites and the tourism dollars they bring in, given the Peak Oil situation, it seems foolish to me to be sinking this much money into a superhighway. The more viable solution to the commuting problem would be to put money into the railways, and to encourage local businesses to create jobs in the outlying areas. While I understand how prohibitive it is to live in the city, given the housing costs, before long people who live further out will not have the money for the gasoline to make the commute.

I believe it is essential we think long-term here. Not only about the past, but about the future.


If you would also like to chat with Minister John Gormley, he can be reached at:

E-mail: minister@environ.ie

Phone: 01 888 2403

More musings on Tara

As a Celtic Reconstructionist, I have dedicated myself to putting together the pieces of what remains of our religious heritage, as well as preserving what still lives. Therefore, the destruction of precious sites in the Tara-Skryne Valley upsets me deeply.

We should not be allowing any more destruction. Period. We shouldn't be left having to once again reconstruct something that could have been preserved.

These archaeological sites and ancient ritual centers tell us a great deal about the religious beliefs of our ancestors. On a more mystical level, they give us a place where we can tangibly connect with the spirits, deities and energies that inspired our ancestors, and that inspire us now. We are part of the land. When we destroy these sacred sites, we destroy a piece of our souls.

Such a big problem with Americans, which I believe leads many of them to behave irresponsibly on the world stage, is how rootless they feel. For Irish Americans, for Irish citizens, for all those in the Irish diaspora who care about our history, about our ancestors: Don't let any more of our history and traditions be destroyed.

It seems our best defense right now is the Archaeological study. If you don't have the resources to get over to Tara, I'd suggest helping fund the study. Even if you can get there to block the chainsaws and diggers, they are listening to the Archaeologists who show up, more than to the normal people chained to bulldozers. I've added a link to their PayPal page on paganachd.com, and will repeat it here:

TaraWatch has opened a PayPal account for the sole purpose of raising money to pay for a professional, independent archaeological consultancy company to assess the 38 sites being excavated between Navan and Dunshaughlin, and to assess the impact of the proposed M3 motorway at the Hill of Tara. The report is needed for the petitions to the European Union, World Monuments Fund, Coillte and other official bodies. This may be our best and last chance at stopping the destruction of our heritage, and the graves of our ancestors, at Tara.

This is an emergency situation, with sites being desecrated as we write this. Time is of the essence. If you've ever wanted to do anything for the sacred sites in Ireland, now is the time to act.

Donate to the Archaeological Fund

Friday, February 22, 2008

Situation at Tara is Escalating

Message from Camps, received from Carmel today, Thu Feb 21, 2008:

Digger and chainsaw gang near Souterrain at Lismullin. Urgent callout for people, experts, media.

Actions are continuing to happen on site, at consulates, and at court when protestors are arrested. As usual, bodies are needed on the line.

I try to update periodically but the most up to date news is generally posted first to Irish Indymedia and the TaraWatch listserve.

Another update:

Statement From Rath Lugh and Vigil Camps
Thu Feb 21, 2008 15:52

One of the Sousterrains at Lismullin on the banks of the Gabhra River is in immediate danger today. Construction workers are in the process of felling the trees on the mound above the sousterrain.

Conservationists and members of the public have been gathering at Lismullin Woods today in protest, trying to stop the work which has been deemed illegal by the EU Commission.

Alarmingly there has been no archaeology done on this sousterrain either by NRA or Independent Arcaheologists.
This is one of a possible 6 underground stone structures within 150m of the newly discovered Henge at Lismullin which was handed over to Siac/Ferrovial , the construction companies in late 2007.

This is yet another example of the underhand tactics being used to destroy the physical proof of why the Tara Valley should be protected.Without Archaeological documentation these monuments will never be understood as part of the Tara Landscape.

We call on all those who are opposed to the destruction of the Gabhra Valley to stand now and be counted. Activists and supporters needed URGENTLY henceforth.

Contact Rath Lugh:
0861537146

Vigil:
0861758557

Picture courtesy Michael Martin at TaraWatch
One of areas of site currently under attack. Photo courtesy Michael Martin at Tarawatch

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Indigenous Holocaust Denial

Swedish TV, which declined to air the award-winning documentary, Spirits for Sale, is now instead repeatedly airing the film Historiens fångar ("Prisoners of the Past"), a propaganda piece consisting of an hour of relentless paternalism, offensive stereotypes, and racism both subtle and blatant. The central premise of this ugly, inconsistent piece of work is that indigenous people are having social and economic problems only because they are "stuck in the past", their cultures are "dead", and the only way to fix all these problems would be to abandon all traditional ways and adopt the cultures of their white oppressors. Curiously, the oppressors are never named as oppressors, even though they are the voices that guide and contextualize the film. Yes, they actually hired known White Supremacists to provide commentary, with one of them even posing as an American Indian. (more on this later.)

The film actually proposes that traditional cultures and traditional peoples are the cause of suffering in indigenous communities. Not colonialism or racism, traditionals. No traditional people speak in the film. (And the filmmakers are also clueless about who is and isn't traditional. At one point they seem to be implying that casino magnates are the traditionals. Or something. Like I said, they're confused.)

The actual Indigenous people who speak in the film (Australian Aboriginal, Inuit, Cheyenne, and Sami individuals) are basically there only to tell of the difficult or abusive periods and situations in their lives, especially when these involved conflicts with other Native people. But then their experiences are taken out of context and their stories exploited to serve the racist aims of the producers. The only positive things that are ever said about indigenous people in the film are when an indigenous person has assimilated into mainstream, white culture. Even the Sami people, who are portrayed in the more positive light, are outraged about the misrepresentations and white supremacist agenda in the film.

One of the reasons we are concerned about this film is that it was made for an international audience, and there is reason to believe they may soon be trying to sell it to an American market, if they aren't already.

You can see the film on the SVT website. It will be viewable on the Internet for the rest of the month, then it´ll be removed. (note - you will need to go to the menu on the right and select Historiens fångar)

Who to write to in protest:
The guy who made the film, Poul-Erik Heilbuth: PLH@dr.dk
The documentary department of SVT. The head of the dept. is Ingemar Persson: dokumentarfilm@svt.se

If you have enough of the language to navigate the site, you can lodge a complaint at the Granskningsnämden för radio and TV (broadcast standards tribunal) in Sweden here: www.grn.se/

I'm also reproducing here an open letter to the producers from Dr. Al Carroll, historian, professor, and founder of NAFPS

An Open Letter to Poul-Erik Heilbruth and Ingmar Persson:

Dear Mr. Heilbruth and Mr. Persson,

I am Dr. Al Carroll. I am a history professor for the Alamo Community College District in San Antonio, Texas, in the United States. I have written books and articles on American Indian history and am American Indian myself. My ancestry is Mescalero Apache, as well as Mexican and Irish.

This letter to you both will be posted online and sent to as many media sources as possible, in both the United States and Scandinavia. I want everyone to know just what a travesty the two of you have foisted upon the public by making and broadcasting your racist film, doing enormous damage to indigenous peoples worldwide by your promotion of outright cultural genocide.

I have just seen your documentary "Prisoners of the Past" online. As a historian, I have never seen such a poorly done work filled with one falsehood and distortion after another. It is as appalling to watch your film as it is to see a Nazi rant about Jews. Both are equally filled with lies.

There are so many falsehoods that it is hard to know where to begin. But to start with, the biggest error in your film is this:

YOU USED THREE WHITE SUPREMACISTS AS SOURCES.

David Yeagley, Barbara Lindsay, and Keith Winschuttle ARE WHITE SUPREMACISTS and on the extreme Far Right of the political spectrum.

Two of them, Yeagley and Lindsay, are open members of white supremacist groups.

What you did is as insane as using Nazis or the Nation of Islam as a source on Jews.

I have to ask: Did you KNOWINGLY use white supremacists as your sources?

Are you white supremacists yourselves?

Or did you just do such a poor job of research that you did not know?

If you did not know, then I urge you in the strongest possible terms to apologize for your mistakes, withdraw the film, and hopefully reshoot it with the voices of actual Native people instead.

Let me provide with the proof you SHOULD have known about long BEFORE you started filming, that Yeagley, Lindsay, and Windschuttle are openly racist, white supremacist extremists.

Barbara Lindsay:

Barbara Lindsay is a leading member of the white supremacist group One Nation. She claims to have a small amount of Cherokee Indian ancestry, but is not a member of any tribe. She was expelled from a Cherokee heritage club.

David Yeagley is NOT American Indian at all. He is an imposter who POSES as Indian. His stepmother was Comanche Indian, and based on that he was mistakenly enrolled.

Yeagley is a member of or tied to the following white supremacist and extremist groups:

John Birch Society (anti Semitic conspiracy theorists)

National Alliance (white supremacist)

Stormfront (Neo Nazi skinheads)

Gene Expression (eugenicists)

VDARE (self described as "white nationalists")

Windschuttle is not a conservative, he's outright racist, and often makes up "facts" to support his racism. His take on history so bizarre and filled with lies he can't find an academic publisher and has to go to vanity publishers.

But he and his supporters seem to imagine that because he's clearly seen as racist is somehow proof that academia has been taken over by leftists. In fact most historians tend to be quite conservative, certainly in the sense of cautious.

See for yourselves what far better historians have to say about an open racist like Windschuttle.

http://blogs.usyd.edu.au/thinkingculture/2006/08/australias_racist_cultures.html
"Further, you can find a very thorough analysis of the various ways in which racism manifests in Keith Windschuttle's self-published (as opposed to 'serious academic') research in 'Whitewash: On Keith Windschuttle's Fabrication of Aboriginal History', Black Inc. Agenda, 2003. The book contains contributions from scholars across the Australian academy."

Windschuttle is pretty racist towards Asians too, imagining them "taking over," that whites are "endangered", and that being racist is central to white Australian identity.

http://www.borderlandsejournal.adelaide.edu.au/vol5no1_2006/perera_raceterror.htm

"22. Anglo-Australian men as an endangered species in the law are only a part of Fraser's apocalyptic vision of the future. In an article, "Rethinking the White Australia Policy" (a review of Keith Windschuttle's book, The White Australia Policy), Fraser asserts:

Within two or three decades, it is not unreasonable to expect that Australia will have a heavily Asian managerial-professional, ruling class that will not hesitate to promote the interests of co-ethnics at the expense of white Australians. (Fraser 2005b).

23. Fraser supports this statement with the fantastic notion, as recapped by Windschuttle, that "Europeans ... evolved in a cold climate to support non-kinship forms of reciprocity and thus to welcome strangers," while "Chinese and Japanese businessmen operate within mafia-like, extended family clans that are bound by shared genes to support one another" (Windschuttle 2005)....

Despite their internal differences, however, Windschuttle, Fraser and Duffy represent an institutionalised and politically powerful configuration of contemporary Australian nationalism that exists on a continuum with assertions of race pride that are usually disowned as extremist....

30. The most distinctive feature of the formation represented by Duffy and Windschuttle is its foregrounding of Anglo-Australian achievement and white racial pride. Its platform is premised on a whitewashing (Manne 2003) of Australian history, especially of the violence directed towards Indigenous people and their ongoing resistances."

Your film's premises blame the victims throughout, and show a lack of understanding of the most basic facts.

I can only hope you made these mistakes because you did not realize that you were being told lies by white supremacists.

Again, I urge you to admit your mistakes, apologize, and withdraw this awful, racist film you have made.

Thank you,
Dr. Al Carroll
Alamo Community College District
San Antonio, Texas, USA

Sunday, February 03, 2008

More Tara Updates...

... Are being posted by protestors and contact people as they come in. As with the Samhain networking, updates are being added to older posts on Irish Indymedia. Here's one thread, with pics, that's being updated as events unfold: http://www.indymedia.ie/article/85756?


We still need bodies on the line, supplies sent to the camps, and fierce magic in support. See my earlier posts for more details if you're new here.