Net Neutrality, Indigenous Resistance, and What To Do

As originally posted on Indigenous Again

The wars against the sacred geographies of Mother Earth and our bodies/communities are connected. The simultaneous attacks on the geographical and personal landscapes feel overwhelming. As the earth has her body stripped with pipelines, border walls, extractive resource industries, and massive pollution we experience things including police brutality, gentrification, over incarceration, femicide/stolen sisters (by-products of colonization/border wall/man camps), and a legislated stripping of our civil and human rights and access/ability to assert/defend them.

The intent to “repeal net neutrality” is a modern example of ongoing, inter-generational colonization.  History teaches us this method of silencing results in cultural genocide and facilitates literal genocide.  It has been used as a tool of war for generations.  We still remember the burning of our sacred books (amoxtin).  We still feel the systemic media bias, propaganda, and false narratives about POC in the headlines.  We know about the colonial versions of history and myths replicated within public education systems.

The killing of open internet is a battle that our generation is faced with – one that affects all other front lines. 

The attack on the ability to speak and have our voices heard affects us collectively and individually.  It is a war against the sacred tradition of storytelling by killing our ability to add our stories to a public, global codex of human experience and knowledge.  For frontline communities in resistance, it is a war against our ability to let the world know we are being attacked and need assistance.  For all people, it is a war against the ability to build relationships that reach beyond borders, to connect/reconnect as individuals and communities, to decolonize, and to save the planet.

“A Net Neutrality repeal would remove one of the very few most important first amendment protections communities of color have today, at a time when free speech protections are more important than ever. The right to speak and be heard; the ability to seek opportunity, stay connected, and protest injustice — these are core civil rights. In a digital age, protecting core civil rights means enforcing, not repealing, Title II Net Neutrality.” – Malkia Cyril, executive director at the Center for Media Justice.

Yes, the “traditional” non-technology-based flows of communication continue to exist within our communities and not everything on the internet is good.  Yes, technology can disrupt our relationships to those next to us by expanding access to those far away from us.  And yes, perhaps we can survive and continue to communicate without internet like our ancestors did.  But for us in this generation, losing what we have would result in a blood sacrifice.  Many of frontline communities and earth defense movements now depend on the internet to resist, assert, and voice their right to exist.

What can you do?

The Center for Media Justice offers the following suggestions and resources:

  1. Send a message to Congress telling them that you oppose Trump FCC’s plan to destroy Net Neutrality and ask them to clearly state what side they’re on.
  2. Demand public statements against Chairman Pai’s repeal order from your congressional representatives. You can use our Battle for the Net tool to locate and call your congressional member.
  3. On December 7th, Fight for the Future is coordinating a national day of protest at Verizon stores across the country. Read more about these actions here and visit to get more information about protests in your area.
  4. On December 14th, Center for Media Justice in partnership with the Voices for Internet Freedom Coalition is hosting a Wake Up Call Rally outside of the FCC – Let us know you’re coming by RSVPing today!

The following is via the Stop the Vote Toolkit:

Stop FCC Chairman Pai from Killing Net Neutrality – Protect Your Voice Online!

Trump’s FCC is planning to roll back net neutrality rules — with the vote to kill open internet protections expected on December 14.

Without net neutrality:

  • Big internet providers like Comcast and Verizon will be able to block online content, slow down websites, and charge fees to control what all Americans see and do online
  • As a result, startups, independent voices, and movements that can’t afford to pay for fast lanes will be silenced on the internet — and all of us will lack the freedom the internet was build on.

It’s now up to Congress! Congress should force FCC Chairman Ajit Pai to stop his plan to end net neutrality rules now, before the FCC votes it through in mid-December. The only way Congress will act is if they hear the call to protect the open internet NOW.

What to Do?

We need to drive as many calls to Congress and FCC as possible before the December 14 vote to stop it from happening. We’ve already driven 500,000 calls since November 21, over 10x as many than in the entire month of October, and still counting! Here’s how to help:

  • Direct as much traffic as possible now to or ACLU’s call tool
  • Send people directly to 202-759-7766. This will connect the caller to our Battle for the Net call tool which includes a suggested net neutrality script.
  • Use the template social media posts, emails, graphics, and website modals below.
  • On December 14: Join hundreds of activists, musicians, lawmakers, former FCC commissioners, and others from around the country at the FCC to protest the repeal of  net neutrality. More details and register here.
More on #NetNeutrality

In 2015, the FCC made sure that companies couldn’t stop our voices from being heard online by passing the Open Internet Order. This made sure big internet companies like Comcast and Verizon had to treat internet service like a utility — just like phones or electricity — and couldn’t charge more for fast lanes or slow down websites.

NOW, Trump’s FCC is trying to roll back these protections, and end the internet as we know it. (A brief analysis of the FCC’s plan here). Now is the time to fight, forcing the FCC and Congress to feel enough pressure that we stop this rollback.

Sample Tweets and Facebook Posts

  • While you’re eating turkey and pie, the FCC is planning to end #netneutrality. Tell Congress to protect the free and open internet:
  • The FCC is planning to announce a vote to end #netneutrality just before Thanksgiving. Tell Congress to stop them:
  • The FCC is getting ready to vote on its plan to end #netneutrality on 12/14. Tell your representatives in Congress to save it:
  • Planning to shop from your couch this holiday season? The FCC is planning a vote to make that harder. Tell them to protect #netneutrality:
  • The FCC wants to allow big companies to control what you see and do online. Tell Congress to stop them and to protect the open internet.
  • ALERT: #Netneutrality is in danger. The FCC is expected to vote to kill the rules in December. But if we flood Congress with phone calls right now, we can stop the vote!
  • Trump’s FCC wants to allow Internet providers to block apps, slow websites to a crawl, and charge extra fees online. Call your members of Congress now to stop this:
  • Call Congress now to stop Trump’s FCC from announcing it’s plan to kill #netneutrality. Enemies of the open Internet want to control what information is available to us and charge us more to access content online. Only we can stop them,  

Emails for Your Members

More Resources

Other links for more on net neutrality:

Iris Rodriguez is a Xicana digital strategist, multimedia producer, author, musical artist, and poet from San Antonio, Texas. Her digital works address environmental racism/justice, family detention, decolonization, cultural arts, guerrilla media, feminism, and public archives. She is the founder of Xica Media and author of Digital Resistance 101: A Toolkit for Social Justice and Autonomy for communities in crisis.

Note: Featured image collage includes images by Mayahuel Garza, Greg Harmon, and Digital Resistance 101.

San Antonio: Warrior Roots Conference Nov. 10-12

Warrior Roots Next Friday, Nov. 10-12th

Find Out More:
Register Now:

Via Madeleine Santibanez

As we imagine, create, and build on practices that radically value the resilient lives ( i.e. Indigenous people, women of color, trans & gender non-conforming people of color, immigrants, and others) this training camp seeks to:

*Develop the skill-base of community members and organizations to provide foundational training for community organizing.

*Expand and strengthen the communication networks, and resource centers of the people’s movements in Texas.

*Recognize accountability to the community and Mother Earth and cultivate stewards who work towards warriorship beyond activism.

*Cultivate a praxis of decolonization.

This gathering will engage in direct action for advancing grassroots organizing projects, critical conversations, and community building strategies among the people of South Texas with the vision of building a sustainable network of diverse communities able to mobilize, protect and defend themselves. #WarriorRoots #Indigenize #Organize

#ComandanteRamona #LearnYourHistory


Five reasons to oppose family detention

The following is a statement in support of the resolution against family detention adopted by Feministas Unite, a student group at the University of Texas at San Antonio; the Bexar County Democratic Party; International CURE, a prison reform organization that began in San Antonio in 1972 (check); the National Immigration Project; the National Lawyers Guild; and many other individuals and organizations.

On Friday, February 20, 2015, U.S. District Court Judge James E. Boasberg, struck a blow against the Department of Homeland Security’s practice of detaining families who seek refuge in the United States for weeks and months at a time.

Up until last June, it was common to arrest women immigrants and refugees who came to the border, with or without children, and then, if there was no specific reason to think a woman posed a danger to the community, release her on bond, parole, or orders of supervision with instructions that they would need to report to the immigration court at a future date, and that they needed to keep Immigration Control and Enforcement informed about any changes of address.   Last summer, however, the Department of Homeland Security began incarcerating Central American refugees, mothers with their children, in family detention centers in Artesia, New Mexico, and right down the road in Karnes City, Texas.  There is also a family detention center in Berks, Pennsylvania.  In December, a new, much larger facility opened in Dilley.  DHS claimed that this action was necessary to protect our “national security” by preventing “mass migration.”

Last week, in R.I.L.-R. versus Jeh Johnson, the court invalidated this broad practice.  It ruled that DHS that it cannot base its decision to detain – imprison — hundreds of mothers and children based on a belief about the entire group, or by simply reciting the phrase “national security.”  Instead, the assessment of whether a particular woman or child poses a threat, either to the community or to national security, must be based on the individual history and circumstances of that particular person.  Friday’s court order represents a victory for liberty, for due process, and for the principle that each person must be judged as an individual, not based on her place of birth, native language, color of her skin, or gender.

We are delighted by this decision, yet we are here today to continue to fight against family detention.  Why?  Given the decision in R.I.L.-R. versus Johnson, why do we still need this resolution.  Haven’t we won?

No, we have not won.  The decision is a strong one, but it leaves family detention in place.

We must not only continue, but also escalate, our opposition to family detention for FIVE reasons:

1) Many women and children who are detained do not belong to the class of people protected by the decision.

a) Indigenous women and their children

The class of mothers and children covered by the decision are women who have passed their credible fear interviews.  But asylum officers who are charged with conducting credible and reasonable fear interviews often have no way to communicate with indigenous women who speak their native languages, and who are not fluent in English or Spanish.  These women are sent to court without having been interviewed at all; therefore, many of them have not passed credible fear interviews and are not protected by the injunction in R.I.L.-R. versus Jeh Johnson.

b) Women and children whom the Department of Homeland Security deems “arriving aliens.”

A mother who crosses the border, arrested in the United States, and who convinces asylum officers that she has a “credible fear” of persecution or torture in her native country, benefits from Judge Boasberg’s decision.  But if a woman in similar circumstances walks across a bridge with her children, and presents herself to a U.S. official, saying, I am afraid to return to Honduras and I ask you to grant my children and me asylum, that woman will be deemed “an arriving alien.”  She is not in the class protected by Friday’s decision.  We must still work to free refugees who are so-called “arriving aliens.”

c) Women who have been in the United States and been deported before.  

Most refugees are not familiar with our laws, including our laws pertaining to asylum.  One of my clients travelled from El Salvador several years ago, walking for many days through the desert.  By the time she arrived in the U.S., she was dehydrated, with her feet torn up by the rough journey, and very ill.  She was allowed to recover, but no one ever asked her why she left El Salvador or explained the process for applying for asylum.  She was deported without ever learning that she had any rights.

The mother of three young daughters, she had to flee El Salvador when her eldest was stalked and threatened, and men broke into their home, put a gun to her head, threatening to rape and kill her children in front of her.  They arrived seeking safety, but they have been locked up in Karnes since August.  A psychologist who visited them a few weeks after their arrival and again in December has described the mental deterioration of these girls, but ICE does not care.  There are at least thirteen mothers with young children who have been locked up at Karnes since August.   They need our voices.

2) Though the decision strikes a blow against family detention, it does not invalidate family detention itself.  

The Department of Homeland Security and the current presidential administration apparently believe that detaining – imprisoning – families with young children, including peaceful seekers of asylum – is a legitimate governmental practice.  They are wrong.  Long-term detention is punishment, and not appropriate for civil violations.  And even short-term detention is very harmful to children, as we keep telling ICE in case after case, submitting research from psychologists and social science researchers and professors.

What kind of nation imprisons children who come to its borders seeking refuge?

3) We don’t know what the Department of Homeland Security is going to do.

It may appeal, and it might ask for a stay.  It might comply with the letter of the court’s order, by setting bonds for the women, but not the spirit of the order, by setting them at high amounts.  We must vigorously oppose family detention in order to make sure that the decision in R.I.L.-R. versus Jeh Johnson is effective.

4) Wealthy and powerful corporations have a huge financial interest in not only keeping, but also expanding family detention.   

GEO, the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), LCS Corrections, Inc., and other private prisons companies, profit by incarceration of immigrants and refugees.  Peaceful immigrants and refugees, and mothers and children, are easy to detain.  They pose no danger to anyone and do not need intense security.  Human beings, for private prison corporations, are a cheap and very profitable “crop.”  These corporations will not simply let the idea of family detentions fade away because one judge has expressed its displeasure.  We do not have the resources of the worldwide private prison company GEO to lobby Congress and powerful leaders in the executive branch to set minimum bed counts, so we are going to have to work much harder than they do to end this injustice.

5)  San Antonio is in the belly of this beast.

Dilley, which will soon house the largest family detention center in the world, and Karnes, are in our backyard.  Hutto, in Central Texas, was the site of family detention that we thought had been stopped five years ago.  San Antonio must be the center of resistance to the practice of incarcerating peaceful, harmless, refugees and immigrants —  mothers and children – for private profit.  We look back in shame at Japanese internment, as the world now looks on, aghast, at our current treatment of Central American refugees.  It is up to us to speak out against, and STOP, once and for all, family detention.


Resolution calling for release of women & children; end ICE’s no-release policy

Please read and sign this resolution and — far more importantly — take it to the groups to which you belong. Ask your group to sign and date the resolution.  This signatures collected for petition will be used to show growing support to leaders and government offices in calling for the release of women and children and to end ICE’s no-release policy.  Thank you for your support.

[contact-form-7 id=”952″ title=”End Family Detention”]

WHEREAS, in 2014, 60,000 children and mothers fled Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras because of gang violence, domestic violence and child abuse, seeking asylum in this country; and some of these children arrived unaccompanied;

Whereas, the issues these women suffer are issues important to women in this country, in this hemisphere, and across the world–issues of domestic violence, constant harassment on the street, stalking, femicide, child abuse, impunity for violence against women and children, second class citizenship, dire poverty, abandonment, single mothers with children, lack of access to health care; brutal murder and torture; subordination to men in economic, political, social life and in the home; total gender discrimination in ownership rights, civil liberties, family codes and physical integrity, low level of literacy due to inadequate educational systems;

Whereas, some of the detained women are indigenous Guatemalans who neither speak nor understand Spanish or English, and who are being incarcerated in the center without access to effective representation or representation of any kind, or the ability to communicate effectively with ICE or detention center staff;

Whereas, the US has assumed the responsibility, both by virtue of statutes it has adopted and by virtue of its ratification of the Convention Against Torture, of allowing asylum seekers the right to pursue relief from persecution or torture or both in the U. S.;

Whereasup to 3600 beds are available for children (under the age of 18) and their mothers in centers that are operated by private contractors, GEO and CCA, in Karnes City (532 beds), Dilley, (2,400 beds) Texas, and Berks County, Pennsylvania, estimates range from $ 150 to $298 per person per day, paid for by US tax payers.  The number of persons being detained at each center varies;

Whereas, some of the women and children held in detention are people who came to the U. S. and directly presented themselves to immigration officials, asking for asylum;

Whereas, prior to 2014, DHS generally did not detain families that arrived in the US seeking asylum and in addition DHS policy regarding individuals who passed credible fear screening and who pursued asylum claims, were generally released from detention.

Whereas, the majority of detainees have established “credible” or “reasonable” fear of persecution meaning there is a significant possibility they will be granted asylum, withholding of removal (will not be deported), or protection under the Convention Against Torture;

Whereas, these women and children remain detained due to a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) No- Release policy of locking them up and refusing to consider them for release on bond, recognizance or parole, without an individual determination of whether they present any flight risk, danger to the community, or threat to national security;

Whereas, the DHS No-Release policy requires that these asylum seekers, women and children, go to immigration courts in every single instance, in order to seek individual custody determinations, and the costs of these additional and unnecessary court proceedings are also borne by U. S. taxpayers;

Whereas immigration judges typically find that these women and children pose no flight risk, are no danger to the community, and no national security threat; and these judges typically release these children without the necessity of bond but set bonds of $1500 to $15,000 for their mothers;

Whereas, the U. S. is denying these Central American women and children equal protection under the laws based on both their nationality and gender;

THEREFORE, _______________________________(Name of Organization) or (“I”)
Request that DHS rescind their No-Release policy for these detainees;

Further, (I or) we request that DHS release from custody all persons detained in ICE detention facilities who have been determined to have a credible or reasonable fear of persecution in their home country and who have not been individually determined to be a flight risk, danger to their community, or national security, based on specific, individual factors.

SIGNED:_________________________ Date: _____________________
Title (if signing on behalf of an organization)____________________________

For further information visit:


San Antonio calls for an end to police brutality with march and die-in

By Madelein Santibañez  /  Ver en español 

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On December 20th about 200 people gathered to shut down the main street of downtown San Antonio with a march and die-in demonstration calling for justice in their community, throughout the country and around the world. We cry for the families who have lost their loved ones to police violence and remember Daniel Rocha, Marquis Jones, Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, Eric Garner, the 43 students of Ayotzinapa, the thousands of lives lost along the border, the innocent children and families bombed in Palestine and many others killed unjustly.

Their stories are drowned by the hundreds of other police brutality cases. Many of them never brought to justice. Police brutality happens all the time on our streets. Black and brown males are racially profiled, arrested and murdered at disproportionate rates. Any question to their abuse of power is always met with little to no action.

What’s most frightening is that some officers are not even indicted and called for investigation. In solidarity with the family of Marquis Jones, a 23 year old African American, who was shot and killed by off-duty police officer Robert Encina.

San Antonio will come together once again this Saturday, December 27th at 3 p.m. outside of Chacho’s Restaurant, where Marquis Jones was murdered.

To join the movement here locally follow up with SATX4, San Anto Cop Watch, Southwest Workers Union, the New Black Panther Party, and the Brown Berets, to name a few of the diverse groups organizing for social and economic justice.

Indigenous solidarity AGAINST the opening of the Dilley family prison


On Monday, December 15 Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson will be visiting and conducting a press conference at the private family prison in Dilley, Texas, falsely named the “South Texas Family Residential Center.”

WHEN:  Monday, December 15, 2014 @ 9 a.m.

WHERE:  “South Texas Family Residential Center”  1925 Texas 85, Dilley, TX 78017, USA


Indigenous women and children who arrived seeking refuge are being systematically imprisoned and abused in these prisons (aka “family residential centers.”)

We are asking for the support of all indigenous communities to be present at the protest on Monday with signs, offering songs and dances in the spirit of resistance and solidarity. We expect to make national headlines.

The majority of these women and children are indigenous and do not speak any European language – English nor Spanish – and are being systematically targeted.

This is part of a national trend criminalizing people fleeing US-backed war in Latin America by placing indigenous women and children in concentration camps upon arrival. Once at these prisons they are being forced into federally-backed, corporate-run slavery as well as all ages being physically, emotionally and sexually abused. Some media outlets have covered the issue in the past.


1. Starting Monday they will be bringing women and children in in groups of 400, most of them coming from Artesia, New Mexico, a detention center closing soon. Homeland Security and CCA (the private prison corporation) are using Monday as their big PR stunt to talk about how great this is.

2. CCA is planning on filling the prison with 2,400 people ASAP because their federal contract requires it. The federal plan is for the Dilley site to be the biggest family prison in the U.S.

3. They are closing the family prison in Artesia, New Mexico and have moved most of them to the Karnes site with the plan to get more to Dilley starting Monday.

4. They are mostly indigenous, mostly Mayan and there is solid evidence to prove that there are SYSTEMIC human rights violations against women, children and very SPECIFICALLY against indgienous language speakers.

5. Homeland Security Sectretary Johnson is visiting Dilley as part of a two day trip. THE VERY NEXT DAY he is set to meet with Enrique Pena Nieto and Secretary Chong from Mexico(…any coincidence?)

6. This is the CCA PR-focused website for the facility:

7.  There have been numerous reports by detained women and children about mass chemical exposure and being put into “freezers.”


This situation is both a question of solidarity with the indigenous folks inside AND resistance to this happening on our territory. This has gone on for 500 years too long!

Additoinal details on this crisis are available at

GOOGLE MAPS:,+Dilley,+TX+78017,+USA/%27%27/@28.66382,-99.2313877,13z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m8!4m7!1m0!1m5!1m1!1s0x865e0a74bdefb8e5:0xe7cdfa63832a0fe6!2m2!1d-99.1970549!2d28.6638243


#USTired2: 43 U.S. cities to hold vigils, protests demanding Obama, Congress end “Plan Mexico” drug war funding


In the wake of the Human Rights Crisis Exposed by Disappearance of the 43 Students in Iguala, Mexico, Latino and other Communities Participating in Dec. 3 National Mobilization for Peace in Mexico Will Begin Process of Holding Elected Officials Accountable on Mexico Aid.


TODAY @ 4:30 PM CST— Check out this live stream of the ‪#‎UStired2_Houston‬ solidarity protest IN ACTION!