Demonstrators at the Standing Rock Indian Preservation say they will continue to protest despite the Army Corps of Engineers’ call for them to leave the federal land by December 5. The Army Corps issued a letter demanding that the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe vacate the land so that they can move forward with construction of the controversial oil pipeline. “Those who remain will be considered unauthorized and may be subject to citation under federal, state, or local laws,” read the letter written by Army Corps’ district commander, Col. John Henderson. Henderson also noted that nobody would be “forcibly removed.” In spite of the letter, demonstrators will remain at Standing Rock. “We are wardens of this land. This is our land, and they can’t remove us,” said protester Isaac Weston of the Oglala Sioux tribe. “We have every right to be here to protect our land and to protect our water.” Scores of people have traveled to North Dakota to show their solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. The tribe believes the pipeline project could contaminate their water and prove detrimental to their land. Energy Transfer Partners, the company constructing the pipeline, claims they have safeguarded the project. Read more.
Baton Rouge Council Reaches Settlement with DeRay Mckesson and BLM Protesters
On Tuesday, the Baton Rouge Metro Council reached a settlement with activist DeRay Mckesson and other Black Lives Matter demonstrators who were apprehended this summer during protests related to the death of Alton Sterling. According to reports, under the settlement, the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office, the Louisiana State Police, the district attorney’s office, and the city government, will pay each protester no more than $25,000. The lawsuit, which was filed on August 4, claimed police officers brandished guns at peaceful protesters. The protesters claimed law enforcement officials used excessive force and violated their rights to assemble and utilize freedom of speech. Those opposed to the settlement are enraged about the payout amount. “To me, this encourages that type of behavior to happen in the future,” said John Delgado, a member of the council who voted against the settlement. “I have no interest in paying $100,000 in taxpayer dollars to people who are coming into our city to protest.” Read more.
Fidel Castro Was Influential in Angola
Following the death of former Cuban leader Fidel Castro on Friday, many are reflecting on his legacy and how he shaped global politics. One of the countries Castro greatly influenced was Angola. During the 1970s, there were three liberation groups in the country fighting against the Portuguese. Those groups included the Movement for the Liberation of Angola, the National Front for the Liberation of Angola, and Unita. The collectives didn’t see eye-to-eye, ultimately leading to a civil war. The Americans supported Unita, while Castro and the Russians supported the Movement for the Liberation of Angola. Castro sent 300 military advisers, 3,000 combat troops, fighter jets, and tanks to Angola. He backed MPLA as a way to show his solidarity with Angola, since many Cubans are of African descent. Read more.
Mos Def Allowed to Leave South Africa After Being Detained for Nearly a Year
Rapper Mos Def has been allowed to leave South Africa after being detained in the country for nearly a year. The music artist, real name Yasiin Smith Bey, has been living in South Africa for three years. In January, he tried to leave Cape Town with an invalid passport and was arrested for violating immigration laws. He also allegedly overstayed his visa. Bey issued an apology so that he could leave the country. “Mr. Smith Bey has stated that he acknowledges and accepts that a foreigner may only depart from the Republic upon presentation of a valid passport, and that a world passport is not a valid passport in terms of the Immigration Act,” read a statement released by the country’s Home Affairs. “Based on his apology, and the confirmation that he will depart… using a valid passport, the department will withdraw the charges against him.” Read more.
Chicago Artists Share Post-Election Reflections in New Documentary
Several Chicago-based artists are featured in a new documentary that explores the aftermath of the 2016 presidential election. The documentary, titled Transition to Power, features the reflections of creatives and their thoughts about what’s on the horizon for the U.S. “We believe art is proof of our collective humanity and artists have the capacity to reframe our understanding of the world we live in,” reads the documentary’s website. “Throughout history artists have led the way during politically tumultuous times towards greater empathy and clearer perception of the injustices too often inflicted on those most vulnerable of marginalized groups. Facing many great obstacles towards progress in our society we look to artists to illuminate the path forward.” The first installment of the web series features artist Felicia Holman. Other creatives will include James T. Green, Paola Aguirre, Tony Fitzpatrick, and Rabha Ashry. New webisodes will be released up until the inauguration in January. Read more.
PHOTO CREDIT: Getty