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The Age of Meta-Fear – The Victory Hill (+ video) PDF Εκτύπωση E-mail
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Συντάχθηκε απο τον/την Χρήστος Μπούμπουλης (Christos Boumpoulis)   
Τρίτη, 06 Νοέμβριος 2018 03:08
Victory Hill



The Age of Meta-Fear – The Victory Hill


This article is addressed, exclusively, to the people the presence of which, offers me courage and inspiration.


The circumstances which have been established in Greece, during the, at least, forty years, are equivalent to those of 1828 at Tasmania, though the unilateral ruthlesness of Greece’s contemporary settlers is identical to the ruthlesness of Tasmania’s settlers and though the weapons that are being used in Greece are not the Tasmania case’s fire arms but they are other kinds of non-conventional weapons, including the involuntarily implanted electronic brain implants which, among other functionality, are able to manipulate the part of the human brain which is called, claustrum.

In Greece the settlers, with the support of the U2RIT, have occupied the social/administrative/political foundations and they have institutionalized violence.

The most part of the Greek citizens, it is obvious, they have been tranqualized by the usage of illegitimate means and they have become unable to react to the ongoing settler-colonization of Greece, though the very few exceptions which, somehow, they have managed to retain an effective mentality, they are being identified, by the settlers, as such and they become gang-stalked again by the settlers, since their childhood and for the rest of their lives.

The sufferings of the Greek civilians is, actually, indescribable and partially, even unbelievable.

In Greece, the members of the Greek Nation’s natural leadership, and not only, they die, literary, like flies. The official, judicial files and the criminal records, are classified and the citizens are forbiden to inspect them. The settlers, massively and arbitrarily, occupy public land and erect their houses and then, the settlers who occupy the political system legalize the ownership of these stolen real estates. The political elections have become an overt mockery. And violence has been institutionalized within most of the social foundations though mostly at Greece’s medical sector.


Creative Problem Solving



The Tasmanians, when they still existed, literary, they had the quasi, luxury of the freedom to feel fear; a luxury that, we, the Greeks, have been deprived from, as, in case that we might dare to express our, justified fears, almost certainly, the adultarated social foundations would rush, to slander us as supposedly false “mental cases” and then, to intervene inhumanly in order to “relieve” us from our fears.

In Greece, I believe that, most probably, the contemporary colonialism has forced the innocent and kind Greek civilians to fear their own, justified, fear.


Christos Boumpoulis



Firehouse – Love of a Lifetime



P.S.: I condemn violence and I promote, exclusively, the Human Rights, the rule of Law, Peace, Freedom, Cooperaton and frugal Prosperity.


Consciousness on-off switch discovered deep in brain

By Helen Thomson

ONE moment you’re conscious, the next you’re not. For the first time, researchers have switched off consciousness by electrically stimulating a single brain area.

Scientists have been probing individual regions of the brain for over a century, exploring their function by zapping them with electricity and temporarily putting them out of action. Despite this, they have never been able to turn off consciousness – until now.

Although only tested in one person, the discovery suggests that a single area – the claustrum – might be integral to combining disparate brain activity into a seamless package of thoughts, sensations and emotions. It takes us a step closer to answering a problem that has confounded scientists and philosophers for millennia – namely how our conscious awareness arises.

Many theories abound but most agree that consciousness has to involve the integration of activity from several brain networks, allowing us to perceive our surroundings as one single unifying experience rather than isolated sensory perceptions.

One proponent of this idea was Francis Crick, a pioneering neuroscientist who earlier in his career had identified the structure of DNA. Just days before he died in July 2004, Crick was working on a paper that suggested our consciousness needs something akin to an orchestra conductor to bind all of our different external and internal perceptions together.

With his colleague Christof Koch, at the Allen Institute for Brain Science in Seattle, he hypothesised that this conductor would need to rapidly integrate information across distinct regions of the brain and bind together information arriving at different times. For example, information about the smell and colour of a rose, its name, and a memory of its relevance, can be bound into one conscious experience of being handed a rose on Valentine’s day.

The pair suggested that the claustrum – a thin, sheet-like structure that lies hidden deep inside the brain – is perfectly suited to this job (Philosophical Transactions of The Royal Society B, doi.org/djjw5m).

It now looks as if Crick and Koch were on to something. In a study published last week, Mohamad Koubeissiat the George Washington University in Washington DC and his colleagues describe how they managed to switch a woman’s consciousness off and on by stimulating her claustrum. The woman has epilepsy so the team were using deep brain electrodes to record signals from different brain regions to work out where her seizures originate. One electrode was positioned next to the claustrum, an area that had never been stimulated before.

When the team zapped the area with high frequency electrical impulses, the woman lost consciousness. She stopped reading and stared blankly into space, she didn’t respond to auditory or visual commands and her breathing slowed. As soon as the stimulation stopped, she immediately regained consciousness with no memory of the event. The same thing happened every time the area was stimulated during two days of experiments (Epilepsy and Behavior, doi.org/tgn).

To confirm that they were affecting the woman’s consciousness rather than just her ability to speak or move, the team asked her to repeat the word “house” or snap her fingers before the stimulation began. If the stimulation was disrupting a brain region responsible for movement or language she would have stopped moving or talking almost immediately. Instead, she gradually spoke more quietly or moved less and less until she drifted into unconsciousness. Since there was no sign of epileptic brain activity during or after the stimulation, the team is sure that it wasn’t a side effect of a seizure.

Koubeissi thinks that the results do indeed suggest that the claustrum plays a vital role in triggering conscious experience. “I would liken it to a car,” he says. “A car on the road has many parts that facilitate its movement – the gas, the transmission, the engine – but there’s only one spot where you turn the key and it all switches on and works together. So while consciousness is a complicated process created via many structures and networks – we may have found the key.”

“Consciousness is created via many structures and networks but we may have found the ignition key”

Awake but unconscious

Counter-intuitively, Koubeissi’s team found that the woman’s loss of consciousness was associated with increased synchrony of electrical activity, or brainwaves, in the frontal and parietal regions of the brain that participate in conscious awareness. Although different areas of the brain are thought to synchronise activity to bind different aspects of an experience together, too much synchronisation seems to be bad. The brain can’t distinguish one aspect from another, stopping a cohesive experience emerging.

Since similar brainwaves occur during an epileptic seizure, Koubeissi’s team now plans to investigate whether lower frequency stimulation of the claustrum could jolt them back to normal. It may even be worth trying for people in a minimally conscious state, he says. “Perhaps we could try to stimulate this region in an attempt to push them out of this state.”

“We could try to stimulate the region in a minimally conscious person to try to jolt them out of this state”

Anil Seth, who studies consciousness at the University of Sussex, UK, warns that we have to be cautious when interpreting behaviour from a single case study. The woman was missing part of her hippocampus, which was removed to treat her epilepsy, so she doesn’t represent a “normal” brain, he says.

However, he points out that the interesting thing about this study is that the person was still awake. “Normally when we look at conscious states we are looking at awake versus sleep, or coma versus vegetative state, or anaesthesia.” Most of these involve changes of wakefulness as well as consciousness but not this time, says Seth. “So even though it’s a single case study, it’s potentially quite informative about what’s happening when you selectively modulate consciousness alone.”

“Francis would have been pleased as punch,” says Koch, who was told by Crick’s wife that on his deathbed, Crick was hallucinating an argument with Koch about the claustrum and its connection to consciousness.

“Ultimately, if we know how consciousness is created and which parts of the brain are involved then we can understand who has it and who doesn’t,” says Koch. “Do robots have it? Do fetuses? Does a cat or dog or worm? This study is incredibly intriguing but it is one brick in a large edifice of consciousness that we’re trying to build.”

Source: https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg22329762-700-consciousness-on-off-switch-discovered-deep-in-brain/


Cape Grim massacre

The Cape Grim massacre was an incident on 10 February 1828 in which a group of Aboriginal Tasmanians gathering food at a beach in the north-west of Tasmania is said to have been ambushed and shot by four Van Diemen's Land Company (VDLC) workers, with bodies of some of the victims then thrown from a 60-metre (200 ft) cliff. About 30 men are thought to have been killed in the attack, which was a reprisal action for an earlier Aboriginal raid on a flock of Van Diemen's Land Company sheep, but part of an escalating spiral of violence probably triggered by the abduction and rape of Aboriginal women in the area.[1][2] The massacre was part of the "Black War", the period of violent conflict between British colonists and Aboriginal Australians in Tasmania from the mid-1820s to 1832.


News of the Cape Grim killings did not reach Governor George Arthur for almost two years.[3] Arthur sent George Augustus Robinson, who held an unofficial government role as an Aboriginal conciliator, to investigate the incident, and later statements from company workers, a diary entry by the wife of a ship's captain and the testimony of an Aboriginal woman provided some further information. Despite the witness statements however, detail of what took place is sketchy and Australian author Keith Windschuttle and some other historians have subsequently disputed the magnitude of the massacre or denied it occurred at all.[4]


The site of the massacre has been identified as the present-day Suicide Bay, facing the island outcrops known as The Doughboys.[5][6] Because a number of tribes were in the area at the time, it is uncertain which one was involved in the clash,[7] although historian Lyndall Ryan states that those killed were members of the Peerapper clan.[8]


Clans of the North West nation had experienced violent conflict with European settlers since 1810 when sealing parties abducted women. In 1820 a group of sealers sprang from hiding in a cave at The Doughboys near Cape Grim and ambushed a group of Pennemukeer women collecting muttonbirds and shellfish, capturing and binding them and carrying them off to Kangaroo Island. Pennemukeer men responded with a reprisal attack, clubbing three sealers to death.[9]


Further conflict developed after the arrival of the VDLC in late 1826. The company had been formed in London in 1824 as a joint stock company whose purpose would be to breed and farm Merino and Saxon sheep on a large scale to meet the high demand for wool in England. The company was given a grant to 250,000 acres in the northwest tip of the colony then known as Van Diemen's Land, an area that was home to about 400 or 500 Aboriginals who had cleared the grassy plains of trees through generations of fire-stick farming.[10] Ships then began arriving to offload livestock and labourers—mostly indentured "servants" or convicts who would work as shepherds and ploughmen on sheep stations at Cape Grim and Circular Head, occupying key Aboriginal kangaroo hunting grounds.[8]


Businessman Edward Curr was appointed as VDLC's Chief Agent, answering to a court of directors in London, but his position in the remote part of the colony also gave him the powers and authority of a magistrate.[11] Curr quickly developed a reputation as a cruel and ruthless despot. Within a year of the company establishing a presence in the North West, employees under his direct control had gained a reputation for brutal treatment of the local Aboriginal population. Curr, rather than inquiring into or intervening in such cases, sometimes actively encouraged violence.[12][13][14] Rosalie Hare, the wife of a ship's captain who arrived in January 1828 on board the Caroline and remained in the Curr household until March, noted in her journal the frequency of Aboriginal attacks on shepherds, but added: "We are not to suppose the Europeans in their turn take no revenge. We have to lament that our own countrymen consider the massacre of these people an honour. While we remained at Circular Head there were several accounts of considerable numbers of natives having been shot by them, they wishing to extirpate them entirely if possible."[12]


According to historian Nicholas Clements, the primary cause of conflict was sex: very few white women were in the colony generally, and the shortage was particularly acute in the North West, where only Curr's wife and one other woman lived. The Governor was warned by one worker in 1827 that Curr's shepherds "had designs of violating the (native) women" and examples were later given to Robinson of female Aboriginals being kept by stock keepers and shepherds, some of them "chained up like a wild beast" and abused. Another woman was said to have been kept by a stock keeper for about a month, "after which she was taken out and shot."[1]


The immediate catalyst of the February killings at Cape Grim was an incident about the beginning of December 1827 during a visit to the area by the Peerapper clan from West Point in search of muttonbird eggs and seals. Convicts who were working as assigned servants for the VDLC were tending to a large flock of sheep and managed to lure some Peerapper women into a hut for sex. When the Peerapper men objected, a skirmish developed during which one of the shepherds, Thomas John, was speared in the leg and several Peerapper men including a chief were shot dead. John was taken back to Circular Head a fortnight later and Curr reported the injury to VDLC directors in London, stating that his shepherd had been speared in an extended conflict that had begun when "a very strong party of Natives" attacked the men.[15][8]


A party of Peerapper, probably led by Wymurrick, returned to Cape Grim on 31 December, a month after the clash, to seek retribution.[16] They destroyed 118 ewes from the company's stock, spearing some, beating others with waddies and driving the rest over a cliff and into the sea. The company vessel Fanny, with its master, Richard Frederick, was then sent to Cape Grim, ostensibly to collect sheep to be transported to Emu Bay (modern-day Burnie). While he was there, Frederick, who was "very well acquainted with that part of the country and with the habits of the Natives"—helped the shepherds search for the Peerapper clan and located their camp as part of a punitive expedition. Then, according to a journal account by Rosalie Hare, wife of the captain of the Caroline who was staying with Curr and his wife, they killed 12 men in a surprise night time raid.[15]


Several days later, on 10 February—about six weeks after the destruction of the ewes—the same four shepherds are believed to have surprised and trapped a party of Aboriginal men, women and children in what is now known as Suicide Bay, as they feasted on mutton-birds the women had caught at the nearby Doughboy Islands. Although there is no single definitive narrative, it is thought that the Aboriginal people, confronted by the armed Europeans, panicked and fled in different directions, with some rushing into the sea, others scrambling around the cliff and some fatally shot by the shepherds. One group—thought to be all men—were killed near the edge of a 60m cliff and their bodies then thrown to the rocks below.[8][15] Two individuals, one of the convicts involved and an Aboriginal woman, stated that the death toll was 30, a senior VDLC employee described the fatalities as "a good number" and "a great many", while Curr initially reported six dead "besides several severely wounded".[17] Those wounded by shot fired from muskets would have had poor prospects of survival.[6]



In a dispatch to VDL Company directors on 14 January Curr reported the voyage of the Fanny and the subsequent night time encounter with Peerapper at their camp by Frederick and the shepherds who had "gone in quest" of those who had slaughtered the sheep. In Curr's account there were about 70 Peerapper in the encampment, but the shepherds watched and waited until dawn before retreating without a shot being fired, because "not a musket would go off" as a result of heavy rain during the night. Historian Ian McFarlane has described Curr's account as problematic and less plausible than that of Rosalie Hare: he said the men would have known the Peerapper were reluctant to move during the night, being timid in the dark, and it was improbable that men armed with that knowledge would sit in the cold and rain all night watching the targets silhouetted by campfires, only to await the light of the morning and lose their strategic advantage.[15]


Two weeks later, on 28 February, Curr provided the directors with his first, brief reference to the events of 10 February. He reported that he had heard information from the men on the Fanny that shepherds had encountered "a strong party of natives" and that after a long fight six Aboriginals were left "dead on the field including their chief besides several severely wounded." He added: "I have no doubt that this will have the effect of intimidating them, and oblige them to keep aloof."[18]


Curr reported nothing more on the incident or what had become of those who had been severely wounded, prompting the directors to write back to express extreme "regret" over the deaths and point out: "It does not appear from the account who were the aggressors."[19] Despite his role as magistrate Curr did not further investigate the clash or notify Governor Arthur of the deaths and outside knowledge of the massacre would have remained negligible had it not been for the decision of embittered VDL Company agricultural superintendent Alexander Goldie to write a lengthy letter to Arthur in November 1829 mentioning the encounter.[3] Goldie's letter to Arthur was one of confession of his own involvements in the killing of Aboriginals—notably the shooting and butchering with an axe a woman on a north-west beach two months earlier—and revealed:


There have been a great many Natives shot by the Company's Servants, and several engagements between them while their stock was in that district. On one occasion a good many were shot (I never heard exactly the number) and although Mr Curr knew it, yet he never that I am aware, took any notice of it although in the Commission of the Peace and at that time there was no proclamation against the Natives, nor were they (the Natives) at the time they were attacked at all disturbing the Company's flocks ..."[15]

In a separate, scathing, 110-page letter to VDL Company directors Goldie said Curr had personally encouraged the killing of other Aboriginals, offering rum on one occasion to any man who could bring him an Aboriginal head.[3] Arthur responded to Goldie's accusations by asking Robinson to discover what he could about the incident when he ventured to the north-west region as part of his "friendly mission" to Aboriginal Tasmanians. It took until June the following year before Robinson arrived in the area, where on 16 June he interviewed Charles Chamberlain, one of the four convict sherpherds involved. He recounted the conversation about events that were by then almost 2​1⁄2 years in the past:


Robinson: How many natives do you suppose there was killed?

Chamberlain: Thirty.

Robinson: There appears to be some difference respecting the numbers.

Chamberlain: Yes, it was so. We was afraid and thought at the time the Governor would hear of it and we should get into trouble, but thirty was about the number.

Robinson: What did you do with the bodies?

Chamberlain: We threw them down the rocks where they had thrown the sheep.

Robinson: Was there any more females shot?

Chamberlain: No, the women all laid down, they were most of them men.

Robinson: How many was there in your party?

Chamberlain: There was four of us.

Robinson: What had they done to you?

Chamberlain: They had some time before that attacked us in a hut and had speared one man in the thigh. Several blacks was shot on that occasion. Subsequently thirty sheep had been driven over the rocks.[20]


Four days later Robinson questioned a group of Aboriginal women at a sealer's camp adjacent to Robbins Passage, east of Cape Grim. Some related the details of the spearing of Thomas John, the subsequent shooting of an Aboriginal chief and the return of tribe members a few days later to drive sheep off the cliff. They also described the massacre of 10 February, recounting how VDL Company shepherds had taken by "surprise a whole tribe which had come for a supply of muttonbirds at the Doughboys, massacred thirty of them and threw them off a cliff two hundred feet in altitude".[6]


On 10 August Robinson encountered convict William Gunchannon, another of the four who had been present at the massacre. Gunchannan admitted his involvement, estimating it had happened about six weeks after the destruction of the sheep, but was reluctant to provide detail. He told Robinson that the Aboriginal group attacked on 10 February had included men and women, but denied knowing whether any had been killed. Robinson later wrote that when he informed him that Chamberlain had already admitted a death toll of about 30, Gunchannan "seemed to glory in the act and said he would shoot them whenever he met them". Robinson did not interview the other two involved in the massacre: Richard Nicholson had previously drowned and John Weavis had since moved to Hobart.[6]


Guided by bushman Alexander McKay, Robinson visited Cape Grim and identified the site of the massacre. At the northern arm of what is today known as Suicide Bay, Robinson was able to identify the steep cliff over which the Aborigines drove the sheep. Just south of the cliff was a steep path leading down to the beach the Aboriginal women had identified as the site of the massacre. From the accounts gathered and his visit to the site, Robinson formulated what he believed was the most likely scenario of the day as the women swam across to the Doughboys to gather muttonbirds:


They swim across, leaving their children at the rocks in the care of the elderly people. They had prepared their supply of birds, had tied them with grass, had towed them on shore, and the whole tribe was seated around their fires partaking of their heard-earned fare, when down rushed the band of fierce barbarians thirsting for the blood of those unprotected and unoffending people ... Some rushed into the sea, others scrambled around the cliff and what remained the monsters put to death. Those poor creatures who had sought shelter in the cleft of the rock they forced to the brink of the awful precipice, massacred them all and threw their bodies down the precipice.[6]


Curr's later explanations

VDL Company directors, meanwhile, asked Curr to respond to Goldie's long list of complaints and accusations. His reply, on 7 October 1830, included a more comprehensive report on the events of 10 February 1828. Yet it was markedly different to the accounts Robinson had already obtained. Curr explained to VDL directors that a "very large" Aboriginal party had initially assembled at the top of a hill that overlooked the shepherds' hut. He continued:


There our men saw them and the account they gave me of the transaction was that they considered the natives were coming to attack them again and marched out to meet them, and in the fight which ensued they killed six of the natives one of whom was a woman. This was the manner in which the story was first related to me: nothing was said about the natives being a party of people who were returning from the Islands with birds and fish, nor do I now believe that was the case but I think it probable they were going there.


... I have no doubt whatever that our men were fully impressed with the idea that the natives were there only for the purpose of surrounding and attacking them, and with that idea it would be madness for them to wait until the natives shewed their designs by making it too late for one man to escape. I considered these things at the time for I had thought of investigating the case, but I saw first that there was a strong presumption that our men were right, second if wrong it was impossible to convict them, and thirdly that the mere enquiry would induce every man to leave Cape Grim.[21]


Seven months later, in May 1831, the paths of Arthur and Curr crossed in the central Tasmanian village of Jericho, where the Governor confronted Curr with Robinson's report and told the Chief Agent that if the findings were incorrect then he should say so. In a letter to the Governor, Curr did just that, declaring: "I believe it to be untrue. I have no doubt that some Natives were killed on the occasion, my impression is that the real number was three ... as the case was represented to me by the men themselves at the time they had no alternative but to act as they did."[17]


Site inspection and speculation

The contradictions surrounding accounts of the events of 10 February 1828 have prompted some history writers to carry out their own inspections of the site in order to speculate on the most likely series of events. There is sharp contrast in their conclusions.


Based on his visit to Cape Grim, Windschuttle has disputed much of Robinson's description of events, concluding that the shepherds could not have launched a surprise attack if the Aboriginals had been sitting on the beach at Suicide Bay. He explained that because the basalt slope above the beach is too steep to climb down, the shepherds would have had to descend via a steep track halfway round the bay in full view of those on the beach, giving the Aboriginals at least five minutes to flee, either by swimming across the bay or out to sea, or going around the rocks at the base of the cliff. He said Robinson's description of Aboriginals seeking shelter "in the cleft of the rock" and then being "forced to the brink of an awful precipice" was equally problematic because of the difficulty for shepherds to force captives up the track while carrying weapons and then—once the Aboriginal people reached the top—the impossibility of preventing their escape over the open grassy land as the shepherds climbed up behind them. He said: "If they really were trying to kill them all, they would have done it where they allegedly found them, down near the waterline at the edge of the bay." Windschuttle said the site's "extraordinarily difficult terrain" coupled with the limitations of 19th century muskets made it beyond belief that four shepherds could have killed 30 Aboriginal people. He said the most credible account was Curr's, in which the shepherds felt threatened by the advancing Aboriginal party and marched from their hut to launch a pre-emptive strike. He also accepted Curr's claim of just six Aboriginal fatalities. Windschuttle said the clash probably took place on the open grassland near Victory Hill (on which he said the hut stood) and if bodies were thrown over a cliff, Victory Hill was the most plausible location from which to do it.[22]


A study of the area by McFarlane, however, raises critical flaws with Windschuttle's favoured version in which the convicts responded with gunfire after being threatened at their hut. McFarlane said surveyors' charts placed the shepherds' hut about a kilometre to the northeast of Victory Hill, which allowed the company easy access from the sea via Davisons Bay.[6] The hut was well beyond the range of spears thrown by Aboriginal people on the hill, and McFarlane has argued that abandoning the cover of a hut to engage a vastly greater force of Aboriginal people occupying the higher ground would have been "an act of gross stupidity", particularly given that one of the convicts, John Weavis, was a former soldier who had served in the 89th Foot Regiment and York Chasseurs, a regiment raised from military deserters. McFarlane said a musket loaded with shot and fired uphill would have been a poor match for spears that could be thrown with great accuracy as far as 90 metres. He wrote: "A large number of Aborigines armed with spears on the high ground would certainly have been victorious. That four shepherds could emerge from that shower of missiles unscathed is beyond the bounds of credibility."[23] Additionally, if the fatal encounter had taken place closer to the shepherds' hut they would have had to carry the bodies of their victims almost two kilometres—passing Victory Hill on the way—in order to throw them off the cliffs at Suicide Bay. McFarlane said neither Chamberlain, Gunchannon nor the Aboriginal woman interviewed by Robinson had made any mention of the hut or the hill, with the focus of their accounts solely Suicide Bay. He concluded: "Curr's version of events is clearly implausible, without foundation and would appear designed to depict the Aborigines as aggressors by shifting the scene, and thus the nature of he crime, from Suicide Bay to Victory Hill."[6]


McFarlane has postulated that the two contradictory witness accounts of events—Chamberlain's admission of men's bodies being thrown from the cliff and the Aboriginal women's account of the whole tribe, including women and children, being attacked on the beach—were two elements of the one story: the convicts attacked and shot a small group of men who were hunting wallaby on the heights and then fired down on to the women, children and elderly who were close to the sea harvesting seafood. The bodies of the men might later have been thrown upon the rocks.[23] He also suggested a second scenario, which he described as more likely, which involved a midden whose remains are about 10 metres (33 ft) from the top of the path to the beach on a large flattish sandy area. He said if this was the cooking area chosen on the day, the tribe could have been ambushed as they cooked and ate the muttonbirds, and suddenly found themselves trapped between the shepherds and the sea. Alarmed by gunfire, some may have fled down to the beach while others were driven back around the lip of the high ground leading to the cliff top.[24]



According to McFarlane, most of the Aboriginal people of Tasmania's north west were methodically hunted down and killed by VDL Company hunting expeditions, acting under Curr's control. He says between 400 and 500 Aboriginal people were living in the region before the company's arrival, but by 1835 their number had dwindled to just over 100.[25] From 1830 Robinson began rounding up the last survivors of the Aboriginal tribes to take them to a "place of safety" on an island off Tasmania's north coast; however those in the north-west avoided him. In 1830 at a sealer's camp Robinson found six abducted Aboriginal women, and an 18-year-old man called "Jack of Cape Grim" from the Parperloihener band of Robbins Island, whose Aboriginal name was Tunnerminnerwait. Robinson threatened the sealers with legal action unless they gave up the Aborigines, and to the Aborigines he promised safety and an eventual return to tribal areas.[26]

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cape_Grim_massacre


Tasmanian Genocide - Truganini

For 10,000 years the population of the island of Tasmania lived in complete isolation from the rest of humanity. In 1803 the government of Britain began to settle Australia with criminals. 73 years later the last Tasmanian died. This completed the total annihilation of the residents of Tasmania 6,000 in total, by the Australian settlers.

After a visit to Australia, Charles Darwin, 19th century British biologist and geologist, said, “Death pursues the native in every place where the European sets foot.” On the visit, he met the European settlers that had settled on the hunting and gathering lands, and sacred places of the indigenous peoples. The European settlers expelled the indigenous people from their lands and in the process many aboriginals were killed by disease, as they had no immunity to the diseases the Europeans brought with them, starvation, and intentional killing in a hopeless power struggle. The most extreme part of this story took place on a small island near Australia called Tasmania.

The mountainous island of Tasmania lies 320 kilometers off the coast of Australia. Europeans discovered it in 1642, when they found around 6,000 habitants who lived as hunter-gatherers, who were of similar origin to the Aboriginal peoples of Australia. They used more primitive technology than any other people in the modern era and manufactured only a few simple tools from wood and stone. They had no contact with the outside world until the arrival of Europeans.

At the end of the 18th century, the British began to settle the island. Mainly, they sent criminals who had to be removed from mainland Australian colonies due to severe crimes, as well as a number of seal hunters. This encounter between two extremely different populations was murderous from the very beginning. The European settlers kidnapped Tasmanian children for servants and women for concubines; they killed or mutilated the men and conquered their hunting land in an attempt to expel them from their territory. A lone shepherd killed nineteen Tasmanians with a nail rifle. Four other shepherds ambushed a group of natives, killed thirty of them and dumped their bodies off a cliff known today as Victory Hill.


The Extermination:

The Tasmanians attempted retaliation, and as part of the effort to prevent the escalation of a war, in April of 1828 Governor Arthur ordered that all Tasmanians must leave the part of the island settled by Europeans. To enforce the order, government-sponsored “patrol teams” composed of prisoners led by policemen were established. The “patrol teams” chased and killed Tasmanians as the soldiers had the authority to immediately kill any Tasman they found in the settled areas. Afterwards, a price was set for native heads: five British pounds for an adult, two pounds for a child caught alive. This pursuit was known as “catching blacks”. It became a business venture for both private and official patrols teams. A commission was established to recommend an official policy on the native issue. The commission considered options such as catching the natives and selling them into slavery, poisoning them, and catching them in traps or hunting them with dogs. Ultimately, the commission decided to continue the price system and to use mounted policemen in the hunt.

In 1830 a missionary by the name of George Augustus Robinson was appointed the task of collecting all remaining Tasman natives and bringing them to Flinders Island, 50 kilometers from Tasmania. Robinson was certain he acted in the best interests of the Tasmanians. With the help of a native Tasmanian woman named Truganini, he managed to gather the remaining natives, first by persuasion that their fate would be worse if they did not surrender, and afterwards by threatening them violently. Many of his captives died on the way to Flinders; some two hundred arrived alive, the remaining survivors were a population of 6,000.

In Flinders, Robinson sought to convert and “civilize” the survivors. The island was run in a prison-like fashion. Conditions were difficult with constant exposure to strong winds and almost no fresh water. Children were separated from their parents in order to facilitate their “civilization” process. Scarcity of food led to malnutrition and also diseases spread killing many natives. The governor saved on expenditures in the hopes that more natives would die out. By 1869 only Truganini, one more man and one more woman remained alive.


The fate of other Aboriginal tribes:

Hundreds of Aboriginal tribes who lived in Australia were destroyed when the British colonists arrived. They lived a very different life to the thousands of the British who settled there in the 19th century. The settlers established large farms on what was once their collective agricultural land, challenging and eventually destroying their largely nomadic society. Mounting tensions led to mutual violence, however the settlers prevailed and expelled them to less fertile lands. The British saw the Aboriginals as inferior and treated them brutally. During the 19th century, the dozens of recorded massacres resulted in the deaths of at least 10,000 Aboriginals, including women and children. Indigenous Australians found themselves living on reserves and rapidly losing their culture, language and native land. It wasn’t until the second half of the 20th century that they began to revive their lost customs and traditions.


After the genocide:

The last three Tasmanians interested scientists, who believed that Tasmanians were the missing link between men and monkeys. After the last Tasman man died, competing teams of doctors fought over his body. They dug up his corpse from its grave and re-buried it after removing organs; they also stole the organs from one another. The last woman, Truganini, feared similar treatment of her body and requested before her death in 1876 to be buried at sea, but to no avail. Her fears were justified; the British Royal Company exhumed her skeleton and displayed it in the Tasmanian Museum. It remained on display there until 1947, when the Museum gave in to complaints of poor taste and removed the skeleton to a special room that only authorized scientists were allowed to enter. This move also gave rise to criticism and in 1976, the 100th anniversary of Truganini’s death, her skeleton was cremated against the wishes of the Museum and her ashes scattered at sea as per her wishes.

In Tasmania the Australian colony “solved” its native problem, by reaching a nearly final solution. It supposedly succeeded in getting rid of all its natives; in actuality a few children born to Tasmanian women and white male seal hunters remained alive. Many whites envied the termination of the Tasmanian problem and sought to replicate it. Today the opinions of white Australians on their murderous history vary. Government policy and personal opinions of many whites show an increasing appreciation for native peoples, but other whites deny responsibility for the genocide. In 1982, a leading Australian newspaper published a letter written by a woman who denied the occurrence of genocide. The letter claimed that the settlers had been peaceful, moral people, while the Tasmanians were, “treacherous, murderous, war mongering, filthy, covetous, parasite-infested and disturbed.” She wrote, “It was pure coincidence that they had died when the Europeans arrived, due to disease prior to European settlement.” She claimed that the settlers were armed only for the purposes of self-defense and never killed more than 41 natives at a time.

The absolute obliteration of the Tasmanian tribes is a ‘Mark of Cain’ to humanity; annunciation on the start of a new age: ‘Age of Genocide’.


Source: http://combatgenocide.org/?page_id=146


U.S. Settler-Colonialism and Genocide Policies against Native Americans


By Dr. Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz



US policies and actions related to Indigenous peoples, though often termed “racist” or “discriminatory,” are rarely depicted as what they are: classic cases of imperialism and a particular form of colonialism—settler colonialism. As anthropologist Patrick Wolfe writes, “The question of genocide is never far from discussions of settler colonialism. Land is life—or, at least, land is necessary for life.”i The history of the United States is a history of settler colonialism.

The extension of the United States from sea to shining sea was the intention and design of the country’s founders. “Free” land was the magnet that attracted European settlers. After the war for independence but preceding the writing of the US Constitution, the Continental Congress produced the Northwest Ordinance. This was the first law of the incipient republic, revealing the motive for those desiring independence. It was the blueprint for gobbling up the British-protected Indian Territory (“Ohio Country”) on the other side of the Appalachians and Alleghenies. Britain had made settlement there illegal with the Proclamation of 1763.

In 1801, President Jefferson aptly described the new settler state’s intentions for horizontal and vertical continental expansion, stating: “However our present interests may restrain us within our own limits, it is impossible not to look forward to distant times, when our rapid multiplication will expand itself beyond those limits and cover the whole northern, if not the southern continent, with a people speaking the same language, governed in similar form by similar laws.” This vision of manifest destiny found form a few years later in the Monroe Doctrine, signaling the intention of annexing or dominating former Spanish colonial territories in the Americas and the Pacific, which would be put into practice during the rest of the century.

The form of colonialism that the Indigenous peoples of North America have experienced was modern from the beginning: the expansion of European corporations, backed by government armies, into foreign areas, with subsequent expropriation of lands and resources. Settler colonialism requires a genocidal policy. Native nations and communities, while struggling to maintain fundamental values and collectivity, have from the beginning resisted modern colonialism using both defensive and offensive techniques, including the modern forms of armed resistance of national liberation movements and what now is called terrorism. In every instance they have fought and continue to fight for survival as peoples. The objective of US authorities was to terminate their existence as peoples—not as random individuals. This is the very definition of modern genocide.

The objective of US colonialist authorities was to terminate their existence as peoples—not as random individuals. This is the very definition of modern genocide as contrasted with premodern instances of extreme violence that did not have the goal of extinction. The United States as a socioeconomic and political entity is a result of this centuries-long and ongoing colonial process. Modern Indigenous nations and communities are societies formed by their resistance to colonialism, through which they have carried their practices and histories. It is breathtaking, but no miracle, that they have survived as peoples.

Settler-colonialism requires violence or the threat of violence to attain its goals, which then forms the foundation of the United States’ system. People do not hand over their land, resources, children, and futures without a fight, and that fight is met with violence. In employing the force necessary to accomplish its expansionist goals, a colonizing regime institutionalizes violence. The notion that settler-indigenous conflict is an inevitable product of cultural differences and misunderstandings, or that violence was committed equally by the colonized and the colonizer, blurs the nature of the historical processes. Euro-American colonialism, an aspect of the capitalist economic globalization, had from its beginnings a genocidal tendency.

So, what constitutes genocide? My colleague on the panel, Gary Clayton Anderson, in his recent book, “Ethnic Cleansing and the Indian,” argues: “Genocide will never become a widely accepted characterization for what happened in North America, because large numbers of Indians survived and because policies of mass murder on a scale similar to events in central Europe, Cambodia, or Rwanda were never implemented.”ii There are fatal errors in this assessment.

The term “genocide” was coined following the Shoah, or Holocaust, and its prohibition was enshrined in the United Nations convention presented in 1948 and adopted in 1951: the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. The convention is not retroactive but is applicable to US-Indigenous relations since 1988, when the US Senate ratified it. The genocide convention is an essential tool for historical analysis of the effects of colonialism in any era, and particularly in US history.

In the convention, any one of five acts is considered genocide if “committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group”:


(a) killing members of the group;

(b) causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;

(c) deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;

(d) imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;

(e) forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.iii


The followings acts are punishable:


(a) Genocide;

(b) Conspiracy to commit genocide;

(c) Direct and public incitement to commit genocide;

(d) Attempt to commit genocide;

(e) Complicity in genocide.


The term “genocide” is often incorrectly used, such as in Dr. Anderson’s assessment, to describe extreme examples of mass murder, the death of vast numbers of people, as, for instance in Cambodia. What took place in Cambodia was horrific, but it does not fall under the terms of the Genocide Convention, as the Convention specifically refers to a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, with individuals within that group targeted by a government or its agents because they are members of the group or by attacking the underpinnings of the group’s existence as a group being met with the intent to destroy that group in whole or in part. The Cambodian government committed crimes against humanity, but not genocide. Genocide is not an act simply worse than anything else, rather a specific kind of act. The term, “ethnic cleansing,” is a descriptive term created by humanitarian interventionists to describe what was said to be happening in the 1990s wars among the republics of Yugoslavia. It is a descriptive term, not a term of international humanitarian law.

Although clearly the Holocaust was the most extreme of all genocides, the bar set by the Nazis is not the bar required to be considered genocide. The title of the Genocide convention is the “Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide,” so the law is about preventing genocide by identifying the elements of government policy, rather than only punishment after the fact. Most importantly, genocide does not have to be complete to be considered genocide.

US history, as well as inherited Indigenous trauma, cannot be understood without dealing with the genocide that the United States committed against Indigenous peoples. From the colonial period through the founding of the United States and continuing in the twentieth century, this has entailed torture, terror, sexual abuse, massacres, systematic military occupations, removals of Indigenous peoples from their ancestral territories, forced removal of Native American children to military-like boarding schools, allotment, and a policy of termination.

Within the logic of settler-colonialism, genocide was the inherent overall policy of the United States from its founding, but there are also specific documented policies of genocide on the part of US administrations that can be identified in at least four distinct periods: the Jacksonian era of forced removal; the California gold rush in Northern California; during the Civil War and in the post Civil War era of the so-called Indian Wars in the Southwest and the Great Plains; and the 1950s termination period; additionally, there is the overlapping period of compulsory boarding schools, 1870s to 1960s. The Carlisle boarding school, founded by US Army officer Richard Henry Pratt in 1879, became a model for others established by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA). Pratt said in a speech in 1892, “A great general has said that the only good Indian is a dead one. In a sense, I agree with the sentiment, but only in this: that all the Indian there is in the race should be dead. Kill the Indian in him and save the man.”

Cases of genocide carried out as policy may be found in historical documents as well as in the oral histories of Indigenous communities. An example from 1873 is typical, with General William T. Sherman writing, “We must act with vindictive earnestness against the Sioux, even to their extermination, men, women and children . . . during an assault, the soldiers can not pause to distinguish between male and female, or even discriminate as to age.”iv

The so-called “Indian Wars” technically ended around 1880, although the Wounded Knee massacre occurred a decade later. Clearly an act with genocidal intent, it is still officially considered a “battle” in the annals of US military genealogy. Congressional Medals of Honor were bestowed on twenty of the soldiers involved. A monument was built at Fort Riley, Kansas, to honor the soldiers killed by friendly fire. A battle streamer was created to honor the event and added to other streamers that are displayed at the Pentagon, West Point, and army bases throughout the world. L. Frank Baum, a Dakota Territory settler later famous for writing The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, edited the Aberdeen Saturday Pioneer at the time. Five days after the sickening event at Wounded Knee, on January 3, 1891, he wrote, “The Pioneer has before declared that our only safety depends upon the total extermination of the Indians. Having wronged them for centuries we had better, in order to protect our civilization, follow it up by one or more wrong and wipe these untamed and untamable creatures from the face of the earth.”

Whether 1880 or 1890, most of the collective land base that Native Nations secured through hard fought for treaties made with the United States was lost after that date.

After the end of the Indian Wars, came allotment, another policy of genocide of Native nations as nations, as peoples, the dissolution of the group. Taking the Sioux Nation as an example, even before the Dawes Allotment Act of 1884 was implemented, and with the Black Hills already illegally confiscated by the federal government, a government commission arrived in Sioux territory from Washington, DC, in 1888 with a proposal to reduce the Sioux Nation to six small reservations, a scheme that would leave nine million acres open for Euro-American settlement. The commission found it impossible to obtain signatures of the required three-fourths of the nation as required under the 1868 treaty, and so returned to Washington with a recommendation that the government ignore the treaty and take the land without Sioux consent. The only means to accomplish that goal was legislation, Congress having relieved the government of the obligation to negotiate a treaty. Congress commissioned General George Crook to head a delegation to try again, this time with an offer of $1.50 per acre. In a series of manipulations and dealings with leaders whose people were now starving, the commission garnered the needed signatures. The great Sioux Nation was broken into small islands soon surrounded on all sides by European immigrants, with much of the reservation land a checkerboard with settlers on allotments or leased land.v Creating these isolated reservations broke the historical relationships between clans and communities of the Sioux Nation and opened areas where Europeans settled. It also allowed the Bureau of Indian Affairs to exercise tighter control, buttressed by the bureau’s boarding school system. The Sun Dance, the annual ceremony that had brought Sioux together and reinforced national unity, was outlawed, along with other religious ceremonies. Despite the Sioux people’s weak position under late-nineteenth-century colonial domination, they managed to begin building a modest cattle-ranching business to replace their former bison-hunting economy. In 1903, the US Supreme Court ruled, in Lone Wolf v. Hitchcock, that a March 3, 1871, appropriations rider was constitutional and that Congress had “plenary” power to manage Indian property. The Office of Indian Affairs could thus dispose of Indian lands and resources regardless of the terms of previous treaty provisions. Legislation followed that opened the reservations to settlement through leasing and even sale of allotments taken out of trust. Nearly all prime grazing lands came to be occupied by non-Indian ranchers by the 1920s.

By the time of the New Deal–Collier era and nullification of Indian land allotment under the Indian Reorganization Act, non-Indians outnumbered Indians on the Sioux reservations three to one. However, “tribal governments” imposed in the wake of the Indian Reorganization Act proved particularly harmful and divisive for the Sioux.”vi Concerning this measure, the late Mathew King, elder traditional historian of the Oglala Sioux (Pine Ridge), observed: “The Bureau of Indian Affairs drew up the constitution and by-laws of this organization with the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934. This was the introduction of home rule. . . . The traditional people still hang on to their Treaty, for we are a sovereign nation. We have our own government.”vii “Home rule,” or neocolonialism, proved a short-lived policy, however, for in the early 1950s the United States developed its termination policy, with legislation ordering gradual eradication of every reservation and even the tribal governments.viii At the time of termination and relocation, per capita annual income on the Sioux reservations stood at $355, while that in nearby South Dakota towns was $2,500. Despite these circumstances, in pursuing its termination policy, the Bureau of Indian Affairs advocated the reduction of services and introduced its program to relocate Indians to urban industrial centers, with a high percentage of Sioux moving to San Francisco and Denver in search of jobs.ix

The situations of other Indigenous Nations were similar.

Pawnee Attorney Walter R. Echo-Hawk writes:


In 1881, Indian landholdings in the United States had plummeted to 156 million acres. By 1934, only about 50 million acres remained (an area the size of Idaho and Washington) as a result of the General Allotment Act of 1887. During World War II, the government took 500,000 more acres for military use. Over one hundred tribes, bands, and Rancherias relinquished their lands under various acts of Congress during the termination era of the 1950s. By 1955, the indigenous land base had shrunk to just 2.3 percent of its [size at the end of the Indian wars].x


According to the current consensus among historians, the wholesale transfer of land from Indigenous to Euro-American hands that occurred in the Americas after 1492 is due less to British and US American invasion, warfare, refugee conditions, and genocidal policies in North America than to the bacteria that the invaders unwittingly brought with them. Historian Colin Calloway is among the proponents of this theory writing, “Epidemic diseases would have caused massive depopulation in the Americas whether brought by European invaders or brought home by Native American traders.”xi Such an absolutist assertion renders any other fate for the Indigenous peoples improbable. This is what anthropologist Michael Wilcox has dubbed “the terminal narrative.” Professor Calloway is a careful and widely respected historian of Indigenous North America, but his conclusion articulates a default assumption. The thinking behind the assumption is both ahistorical and illogical in that Europe itself lost a third to one-half of its population to infectious disease during medieval pandemics. The principle reason the consensus view is wrong and ahistorical is that it erases the effects of settler colonialism with its antecedents in the Spanish “Reconquest” and the English conquest of Scotland, Ireland, and Wales. By the time Spain, Portugal, and Britain arrived to colonize the Americas, their methods of eradicating peoples or forcing them into dependency and servitude were ingrained, streamlined, and effective.

Whatever disagreement may exist about the size of precolonial Indigenous populations, no one doubts that a rapid demographic decline occurred in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, its timing from region to region depending on when conquest and colonization began. Nearly all the population areas of the Americas were reduced by 90 percent following the onset of colonizing projects, decreasing the targeted Indigenous populations of the Americas from a one hundred million to ten million. Commonly referred to as the most extreme demographic disaster—framed as natural—in human history, it was rarely called genocide until the rise of Indigenous movements in the mid-twentieth century forged new questions.

US scholar Benjamin Keen acknowledges that historians “accept uncritically a fatalistic ‘epidemic plus lack of acquired immunity’ explanation for the shrinkage of Indian populations, without sufficient attention to the socioeconomic factors . . . which predisposed the natives to succumb to even slight infections.”xii Other scholars agree. Geographer William M. Denevan, while not ignoring the existence of widespread epidemic diseases, has emphasized the role of warfare, which reinforced the lethal impact of disease. There were military engagements directly between European and Indigenous nations, but many more saw European powers pitting one Indigenous nation against another or factions within nations, with European allies aiding one or both sides, as was the case in the colonization of the peoples of Ireland, Africa and Asia, and was also a factor in the Holocaust. Other killers cited by Denevan are overwork in mines, frequent outright butchery, malnutrition and starvation resulting from the breakdown of Indigenous trade networks, subsistence food production and loss of land, loss of will to live or reproduce (and thus suicide, abortion, and infanticide), and deportation and enslavement.xiii Anthropologist Henry Dobyns has pointed to the interruption of Indigenous peoples’ trade networks. When colonizing powers seized Indigenous trade routes, the ensuing acute shortages, including food products, weakened populations and forced them into dependency on the colonizers, with European manufactured goods replacing Indigenous ones. Dobyns has estimated that all Indigenous groups suffered serious food shortages one year in four. In these circumstances, the introduction and promotion of alcohol proved addictive and deadly, adding to the breakdown of social order and responsibility.xiv These realities render the myth of “lack of immunity,” including to alcohol, pernicious.

Historian Woodrow Wilson Borah focused on the broader arena of European colonization, which also brought severely reduced populations in the Pacific Islands, Australia, Western Central America, and West Africa.xv Sherburne Cook—associated with Borah in the revisionist Berkeley School, as it was called—studied the attempted destruction of the California Indians. Cook estimated 2,245 deaths among peoples in Northern California—the Wintu, Maidu, Miwak, Omo, Wappo, and Yokuts nations—in late eighteenth-century armed conflicts with the Spanish while some 5,000 died from disease and another 4,000 were relocated to missions. Among the same people in the second half of the nineteenth century, US armed forces killed 4,000, and disease killed another 6,000. Between 1852 and 1867, US citizens kidnapped 4,000 Indian children from these groups in California. Disruption of Indigenous social structures under these conditions and dire economic necessity forced many of the women into prostitution in goldfield camps, further wrecking what vestiges of family life remained in these matriarchal societies.

Historians and others who deny genocide emphasize population attrition by disease, weakening Indigenous peoples ability to resist. In doing so they refuse to accept that the colonization of America was genocidal by plan, not simply the tragic fate of populations lacking immunity to disease. If disease could have done the job, it is not clear why the United States found it necessary to carry out unrelenting wars against Indigenous communities in order to gain every inch of land they took from them—along with the prior period of British colonization, nearly three hundred years of eliminationist warfare.

In the case of the Jewish Holocaust, no one denies that more Jews died of starvation, overwork, and disease under Nazi incarceration than died in gas ovens or murdered by other means, yet the acts of creating and maintaining the conditions that led to those deaths clearly constitute genocide. And no one recites the terminal narrative associated with Native Americans, or Armenians, or Bosnian.

Not all of the acts iterated in the genocide convention are required to exist to constitute genocide; any one of them suffices. In cases of United States genocidal policies and actions, each of the five requirements can be seen.

First, Killing members of the group: The genocide convention does not specify that large numbers of people must be killed in order to constitute genocide, rather that members of the group are killed because they are members of the group. Assessing a situation in terms of preventing genocide, this kind of killing is a marker for intervention.

Second, Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group: such as starvation, the control of food supply and withholding food as punishment or as reward for compliance, for instance, in signing confiscatory treaties. As military historian John Grenier points out in his First Way of War:


For the first 200 years of our military heritage, then, Americans depended on arts of war that contemporary professional soldiers supposedly abhorred: razing and destroying enemy villages and fields; killing enemy women and children; raiding settlements for captives; intimidating and brutalizing enemy noncombatants; and assassinating enemy leaders. . . . In the frontier wars between 1607 and 1814, Americans forged two elements—unlimited war and irregular war—into their first way of war.xvii

Grenier argues that not only did this way of war continue throughout the 19th century in wars against the Indigenous nations, but continued in the 20th century and currently in counterinsurgent wars against peoples in Latin America, the Caribbean and Pacific, Southeast Asia, Middle and Western Asia and Africa.

Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part: Forced removal of all the Indigenous nations east of the Mississippi to Indian Territory during the Jackson administration was a calculated policy intent on destroying those peoples ties to their original lands, as well as declaring Native people who did not remove to no longer be Muskogee, Sauk, Kickapoo, Choctaw, destroying the existence of up to half of each nation removed. Mandatory boarding schools, Allotment and Termination—all official government policies–also fall under this category of the crime of genocide. The forced removal and four year incarceration of the Navajo people resulted in the death of half their population.

Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group: Famously, during the Termination Era, the US government administrated Indian Health Service made the top medical priority the sterilization of Indigenous women. In 1974, an independent study by one the few Native American physicians, Dr. Connie Pinkerton-Uri, Choctaw/Cherokee, found that one in four Native women had been sterilized without her consent. Pnkerton-Uri’s research indicated that the Indian Health Service had “singled out full-blooded Indian women for sterilization procedures.” At first denied by the Indian Health Service, two years later, a study by the U.S. General Accounting Office found that 4 of the 12 Indian Health Service regions sterilized 3,406 Native women without their permission between 1973 and 1976. The GAO found that 36 women under age 21 had been forcibly sterilized during this period despite a court-ordered moratorium on sterilizations of women younger than 21.

Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group: Various governmental entities, mostly municipalities, counties, and states, routinely removed Native children from their families and put them up for adoption. In the Native resistance movements of the 1960s and 1970s, the demand to put a stop to the practice was codified in the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978. However, the burden of enforcing the legislation lay with Tribal Government, but the legislation provided no financial resources for Native governments to establish infrastructure to retrieve children from the adoption industry, in which Indian babies were high in demand. Despite these barriers to enforcement, the worst abuses had been curbed over the following three decades. But, on June 25, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court, in a 5-4 ruling drafted by Justice Samuel Alito, used provisions of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) to say that a child, widely known as Baby Veronica, did not have to live with her biological Cherokee father. The high court’s decision paved the way for Matt and Melanie Capobianco, the adoptive parents, to ask the South Carolina Courts to have the child returned to them. The court gutted the purpose and intent of the Indian Child Welfare Act, missing the concept behind the ICWA, the protection of cultural resource and treasure that are Native children; it’s not about protecting so-called traditional or nuclear families. It’s about recognizing the prevalence of extended families and culture.xviii

So, why does the Genocide Convention matter? Native nations are still here and still vulnerable to genocidal policy. This isn’t just history that predates the 1948 Genocide Convention. But, the history is important and needs to be widely aired, included in public school texts and public service announcements. The Doctrine of Discovery is still law of the land. From the mid-fifteenth century to the mid-twentieth century, most of the non-European world was colonized under the Doctrine of Discovery, one of the first principles of international law Christian European monarchies promulgated to legitimize investigating, mapping, and claiming lands belonging to peoples outside Europe. It originated in a papal bull issued in 1455 that permitted the Portuguese monarchy to seize West Africa. Following Columbus’s infamous exploratory voyage in 1492, sponsored by the king and queen of the infant Spanish state, another papal bull extended similar permission to Spain. Disputes between the Portuguese and Spanish monarchies led to the papal-initiated Treaty of Tordesillas (1494), which, besides dividing the globe equally between the two Iberian empires, clarified that only non-Christian lands fell under the discovery doctrine.xix This doctrine on which all European states relied thus originated with the arbitrary and unilateral establishment of the Iberian monarchies’ exclusive rights under Christian canon law to colonize foreign peoples, and this right was later seized by other European monarchical colonizing projects. The French Republic used this legalistic instrument for its nineteenth- and twentieth-century settler colonialist projects, as did the newly independent United States when it continued the colonization of North America begun by the British.

In 1792, not long after the US founding, Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson claimed that the Doctrine of Discovery developed by European states was international law applicable to the new US government as well. In 1823 the US Supreme Court issued its decision in Johnson v. McIntosh. Writing for the majority, Chief Justice John Marshall held that the Doctrine of Discovery had been an established principle of European law and of English law in effect in Britain’s North American colonies and was also the law of the United States. The Court defined the exclusive property rights that a European country acquired by dint of discovery: “Discovery gave title to the government, by whose subjects, or by whose authority, it was made, against all other European governments, which title might be consummated by possession.” Therefore, European and Euro-American “discoverers” had gained real-property rights in the lands of Indigenous peoples by merely planting a flag. Indigenous rights were, in the Court’s words, “in no instance, entirely disregarded; but were necessarily, to a considerable extent, impaired.” The court further held that Indigenous “rights to complete sovereignty, as independent nations, were necessarily diminished.” Indigenous people could continue to live on the land, but title resided with the discovering power, the United States. The decision concluded that Native nations were “domestic, dependent nations.”

The Doctrine of Discovery is so taken for granted that it is rarely mentioned in historical or legal texts published in the Americas. The UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Peoples, which meets annually for two weeks, devoted its entire 2012 session to the doctrine.xx But few US citizens are aware of the precarity of the situation of Indigenous Peoples in the United States.


Source: http://brewminate.com/u-s-settler-colonialism-and-genocide-policies-against-native-americans/


Note: The photo was found here,





Τελευταία Ενημέρωση στις Τρίτη, 06 Νοέμβριος 2018 22:32