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New Mexico Congressional Members Deplore Violence Against American Indians and Violation of their First Amendment Rights
Reconstruction of Aztec Kiva NPS NM

The First Amendment (Amendment I) to the United States Constitution prohibits the making of any law … impeding the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble, or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances. It was adopted on December 15, 1791, as one of the ten amendments that constitute the Bill of Rights.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution
Note that this apparently does not exist in most of the European so-called democracies, where criticizing government officials (or others) by media and individuals is still often shockingly qualified as defamation. Real Free Speech appears rather unique to the English speaking world, and being actively undermined by all sides. Immigration and other influences from authoritarian regimes probably isn’t helping. Unfortunately, this isn’t exaggeration: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2015/01/23/france-muzzles-free-speech-public-debate-frighteningly-it-is-not-alone-in-europe/ Not surprisingly, France has a PM with apparent family ties to Spain’s fascist General Franco.

From the Office of US Senator Tom Udall:
Members of NM Delegation Say Escalation of Violence Against Native Protestors in ND ‘Deplorable’

Udall, Heinrich, Luján and Lujan Grisham respond to the growing concerns in tribal communities across New Mexico about the First Amendment rights and abusive treatment of Native protestors over the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline

September 8, 2016

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich and U.S. Representatives Ben Ray Luján and Michelle Lujan Grisham sent a letter to President Obama calling on the administration to intervene in the recent escalation of violence by private security personnel against Native protestors over the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. The New Mexico lawmakers took action in response to the growing concerns in tribal communities across New Mexico about the First Amendment rights and abusive treatment of Native protestors.

“We oppose and condemn unjustified violence against protestors in the strongest possible terms. The aggressive actions undertaken by private contractor security personnel in North Dakota including the use of pepper spray and dogs are alarming, and it is important that the concerns regarding this project are given due consideration and steps are taken to ensure the safety of everyone on site,” the lawmakers wrote.

The New Mexico delegation was sent letters and resolutions from Pueblo of Isleta Governor E. Paul Torres on behalf of the All Pueblo Council of Governors representing 20 pueblos, Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye and Vice President Jonathan Nez, and the President of the Shiprock Chapter Duane Chili Yazzie.

“In particular we call to your attention the resolution from the Shiprock Chapter calling on your administration to intervene in the deplorable recent escalation of violence between private security personnel and Native American protestors over the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline,” the lawmakers continued.

The full text of the letter is below.

September 8, 2016

The President

The White House

Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President:

We would like to bring to your attention the attached letters and resolutions shared with us by Pueblo of Isleta Governor E. Paul Torres on behalf of the All Pueblo Council of Governors representing 20 pueblos, Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye and Vice President Jonathan Nez, and the President of the Shiprock Chapter Duane Chili Yazzie. In particular we call to your attention the resolution from the Shiprock Chapter calling on your administration to intervene in the deplorable recent escalation of violence between private security personnel and Native American protestors over the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline.

We oppose and condemn unjustified violence against protestors in the strongest possible terms. The aggressive actions undertaken by private contractor security personnel in North Dakota including the use of pepper spray and dogs are alarming, and it is important that the concerns regarding this project are given due consideration and steps are taken to ensure the safety of everyone on site.

We are aware of ongoing litigation concerning the Army Corps of Engineers’ approval of permits, but we request an immediate intervention into this escalating violence and that your administration respond to the growing concerns in tribal communities across New Mexico about the First Amendment rights and abusive treatment of Native American protestors.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this important matter.

Sincerely,

Tom Udall

United States Senator

Martin Heinrich

United States Senator

Ben Ray Luján

United States Representative

Michelle Lujan Grisham

United States Representative
https://www.tomudall.senate.gov/?p=press_release&id=2408

Aztec Ruins NPS New Mexico

https://www.nps.gov/azru/planyourvisit/index.htm