(mainly or initiated by) indigenous participants

INDIGENOUS PEOPLES. The GNAD uses the definition provided by the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues: "Practicing unique traditions, they retain social, cultural, economic and political characteristics that are distinct from those of the dominant societies in which they live. . . . they are the descendants - according to a common definition - of those who inhabited a country or a geographical region at the time when people of different cultures or ethnic origins arrived. The new arrivals later became dominant through conquest, occupation, settlement or other means." Markers of "indigenous:"
  • Self- identification as indigenous peoples at the individual level and accepted by the community as their member
  • Historical continuity with pre-colonial and/or pre-settler societies
  • Strong link to territories and surrounding natural resources
  • Distinct social, economic or political systems
  • Distinct language, culture and beliefs
  • Form non-dominant groups of society
  • Resolve to maintain and reproduce their ancestral environments and systems as distinctive peoples and communities

Syrian citizens general strike against France, 1936

 

French-occupied Syria was facing darkening hopes for more independence from France at the end of 1935. The major Syrian nationalist party, the National Bloc, was losing power, the Syrian Parliament was adjourned and the government in power was under the unpopular Shaikh Taj al-Din al-Hasani. France was also refusing to negotiate a new treaty with Syria. In a move to squash the National Bloc altogether, the French authorities closed the office of the National Bloc in Damascus on January 20, 1936, and arrested two leaders from the Bloc: Fakhri al-Barudi and Sayf al-Din al-Ma’min.

Irish republican prisoners campaign for special status, 1976—1981

 

Hunger strikes have a long history in Ireland dating back to the medieval periods when Cealachan, a method of gaining justice for some perceived offense through starvation, was codified in the civil code called the Senchus Mor. This starvation tactic, whereby the victim fasted on the doorstep of their wrongdoer, could be used to settle or recover a debt, or address an injustice – the threat lay in that if the complainant was allowed to die on the defendant’s doorstep, that person would be held responsible for the death and the victim’s family.

Northern Ireland Nationalists campaign for equality, 1967–1972

 

Following World War I, the United Kingdom’s Parliament approved the Government of Ireland Act. Passed in 1920, the act partitioned Ireland and created two separate entities: Northern and Southern Ireland. Both Irelands had their own parliaments, and the Parliament of the United Kingdom hoped that one day the Irish parliaments would consent to unite the two Irelands into one Ireland, but any progress for unity would be halted by excessive violence.

Irish workers general strike in Dublin, 1913

 

The Dublin strike of 1913 occurred against a backdrop of deplorable living conditions for workers in the city, as well as widespread economic stagnation. The death rate was high at 27.6 per 1000, and there was a high infant mortality rate as well. Unemployment was at an all-time low, and unskilled, casual workers had a particularly hard time finding jobs and supporting their families. Poor union organization gave unskilled workers very few outlets for improving their situation. An added layer of division to that between rich and poor was the sectarian divide.

Fijian oil industry workers strike for higher wages and benefits, 1959

 

In the 1950s, many young Fijians moved from far-flung island villages to Suva, the largest city of this small British colony. In Suva, they found a stagnant economy that was unable to provide work for the influx of residents. For those lucky enough to find employment, the de facto minimum wage was less than the cost of living. The British colonial government was not concerned about labor unrest, however—racial barriers had always served to dampen dissent. Fiji was populated at this time by a mix of local Fijians, Europeans, and laborers from India and elsewhere in As

U'wa people block Occidental Petroleum (Colombia), 1995-2001

 

The U’wa people have practiced their traditional culture in the Northeast forests of the Colombian Andes since time immemorial. At the end of the 20th century, there were up to 5,000 people in U’wa communities.

Maori resistance to British land seizure at Parihaka, New Zealand, 1879-81

 

The Taranaki region of present day New Zealand spreads from the central plateau of the North Island to the western coast. The Maori people, indigenous to the region, once inhabited it and the surrounding areas. By 1860, New Zealand had been a colony of Britain for nearly 20 years and land conflicts were common as growing European settlements encroached onto Maori land; British representatives were determined to assert their authority over the whole country.

Nuxalk People obstruct logging of Itsa old-growth forest, 1995-1998

 

The Nuxalk people live mid-way up the British Columbian coast, in the region around the town Bella Coola. The Nuxalk have long refused to enter into any treaties with Canada or cede any of their ancestral territory to the national or provincial government. As such, they still claim sovereign rights to much land that the government claims belongs to it. One of those areas is King Island. On King Island is a valley called Itsa, which, according to the Nuxalk, is the sacred place of origin of their people.

Indigenous Peoples in Sakhalin, Russia, campaign against oil extraction, 2005-2007

 

Sakhalin, an island off the eastern Russian coast and home to many indigenous groups, has long been of extreme interest to oil and gas companies. Exxon, Shell, British Petroleum, and their subsidiaries (Sakhalin Energy being a main one) had been extracting oil on and around the island for 8 years. Shell started working on Sakhalin II, the world’s largest integrated oil and gas project, in 1999.

Tahitians campaign to stop French nuclear testing, 1995

 

France has conducted nuclear tests in its colonies since before the Cold War began. It conducted atmospheric nuclear tests in Algeria up until 1962 when they won their independence. Consequently, France began testing in French Polynesia in 1966 instead, and by 1974, had moved to underground tests. From 1966 to 1992, France conducted 41 atmospheric tests and 138 underground nuclear tests in French Polynesia.

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