Image: Santiago Chile – On International Human Rights Day, Dec 10, 2019 people in Chile protested the 400+ eyes lost to the Carabineros de Chile (National Police) during the days of uprising in Chile. Photo: Langelle/GJEP
GLOBAL JUSTICE ECOLOGY PROJECT
For Immediate Release 06/15/2020 For More Information +1.314.210.1322
From Chile to Minneapolis: Use of ‘Less than Lethal’ Weapons by Police Draws Criticism as Means to Intimidate and Silence
New York – On Saturday, May 30, Brandon Saenz reportedly lost an eye and seven teeth when he was hit by so-called less than lethal munitions (in actuality less lethal) fired by police. Saenz was reportedly struck by a rubber bullet like munition when the Minneapolis police fired less lethal weapons at people peacefully protesting the killing of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis police.
“Hearing about the loss of an eye by Saenz immediately brought to my mind what happened prior to the COVID-19 quarantine during the peoples’ uprising in Chile,” said Orin Langelle, a GJEP photographer who documented the protests in Chile from Nov 22 to Dec 17 last year for Los Angeles’ Pacifica Radio. “The Chilean National Police targeted the heads and eyes of civilians when they used shotguns to fire rubber-coated metal pellets into their faces.”
“Over 400 people suffered serious eye injuries and some have been rendered completely blind,” said Langelle. “The stories of protesters in the U.S. and Chile about these less lethal munitions show the similarities of militarized police forces attempting to put down popular resistance to injustices in both South and North America.”
Ferguson, MO native and filmmaker, Chris Phillips, was documenting protests in Minneapolis over the killing of George Floyd when he had rubber bullets fired in his direction several times. He was also hit in the leg by a flash bang/stun grenade during his work to video protests.
Phillips was one of the first professional videographers to capture events and protests surrounding the 2014 killing of Michael Brown. “From my experience filming in the Ferguson and Minneapolis protests, projectiles and chemical munitions have been used liberally, and often it is not preceded by any dispersal order or direction for people to go,” said Phillips.
Phillips believes the way in which less lethal munitions are being used currently seems to be illegal. “Without those directives, it is safe to assume that firing projectiles into a crowd that has the Constitutional right to assemble and protest, and not taking into consideration occupants and residents that are uninvolved in these demonstrations, makes it reckless, alluding to the purpose of serving more of a retaliatory purpose than the intent of keeping the public safe.”
Image from Phillips Instagram page: Phillips holding rubber bullet that was shot in his direction during his work as a filmmaker in Minneapolis.
Chris Phillips is principal director of the Maverick Media Group.
This indigenous Mapuche man was shot in the head with metal-filled rubber pellets by the Carabineros de Chile (national police) earlier in the morning on November 28, 2019. He was part of a Mapuche land occupation. Carabineros fired metal-filled rubber pellets and tear gas injuring several people at the land occupation.
Orin Langelle is a photojournalist with over five decades of experience.
PROYECTO DE JUSTICIA ECOLÓGICA GLOBAL
Difusión inmediata 06/15/2020
Desde Chile a Minneapolis: el uso policial de armas ‘sub-letales’ genera críticas por convertirse en medios para intimidar y silenciar
Nueva York – El sábado 30 de mayo Brandon Sáenz perdió un ojo y siete dientes, según informes, cuando fue alcanzado por un proyectil de las llamadas municiones sub-letales (en realidad, ‘menos letales’) disparadas por la policía. Sáenz fue golpeado por una bala de goma cuando la policía de Minneapolis disparó su armamento sub-letal a las personas que protestaban pacíficamente por el asesinato de George Floyd a manos del mismo cuerpo policial.
“Al conocer el caso de la mutilación del ojo de Sáenz, pensé inmediatamente en lo que pasó justo antes de la cuarentena por el COVID-19 en las manifestaciones populares en Chile”, comentó Orin Langelle, un fotógrafo del Proyecto de Justicia Ecológica Global (GJEP) que documentó las protestas en Chile entre el 22 de noviembre y el 17 de diciembre del año pasado para Pacifica Radio de Los Ángeles. “La Policía Nacional de Chile disparó a la cabeza y a los ojos de los manifestantes utilizando escopetas con munición metálica recubierta de goma”.
“Más de 400 personas sufrieron heridas oculares graves y algunas quedaron completamente ciegas”, dijo Langelle. “Las historias de los manifestantes en Estados Unidos y Chile sobre el uso de estas municiones sub-letales dejan en evidencia las similitudes entre las formas en que los cuerpos de policía militarizada intentan aplastar la resistencia popular ante la injusticia tanto en América del Norte como en América del Sur”.
Chris Phillips, director audiovisual originario de Ferguson, en Missouri, estaba documentando las protestas en Minneapolis por el asesinato de George Floyd cuando le dispararon varias veces con balas de goma. También fue alcanzado en una pierna por una granada aturdidora mientras grababa las manifestaciones.
Phillips fue uno de los primeros cámaras profesionales que grabaron los eventos y protestas que tuvieron lugar en 2014 a raíz del asesinato de Michael Brown. “Mi experiencia después de grabar las protestas de Ferguson y Minneapolis es que los proyectiles y municiones químicas se han usado libremente y, con frecuencia, sin cualquier orden o indicación previa para que la gente se dispersase”, comenta Phillips.
Phillips cree que la forma en la que se están usando actualmente las municiones sub-letales parece ilegal. “Sin esas indicaciones, es fácil concluir que resulta temerario disparar proyectiles hacia gente que está ejerciendo su derecho constitucional de reunirse y protestar, sin contar con los residentes y viandantes ajenos a las manifestaciones, siendo más bien una acción de retaliación y no para preservar la seguridad de las personas”.
Imagen de la página de Instagram de Phillips: Phillips sujeta una bala de goma disparada hacia él mientras trabajaba grabando en Minneapolis.
Chris Phillips es Director Principal de Maverick Media Group.
A este indígena Mapuche los Carabineros de Chile (Policía Nacional) le dispararon en la cabeza con munición metálica recubierta de goma durante la mañana del 28 de noviembre de 2019. Formaba parte de una ocupación de tierras por Mapuches. Los Carabineros dispararon goma con interior metálico y gases lacrimógenos causando heridas a varias personas en la ocupación de tierras.
Orin Langelle es un fotoperiodista con más de cinco décadas de experiencia.
On 30 April 2020 I received a message from Red de Acción por los Derechos Ambientales RADA‘s Alejandra Parra that people were evicted from the Mapuche land re-occupation in Liempi Colipi near Curacautin, Chile. The re-occupation started in early November of 2019. Later that month, Alejandra, Anne Petermann and myself from Global Justice Ecology Project, and Biofuelwatch‘s Gary Hughes went to Liempi Colipi. We were traveling as a documentary team in Chile covering the peoples’ uprising.
When I heard that people had been evicted from this community, it struck home. The people in the community had been so generous with us. They made fry bread, and allowed us to take photos and video of one of their ceremonies–a rare privelege. They showed us around the beautiful land they live in, surrounded by volcanoes, and the next day we joined them on the blockade on US Thanksgiving Day.
That morning, 28 November, the Mapuche communities of Liempi Colipi defended their land occupation when Carabineros de Chile (national police) fired rubber coated metal pellets, injuring several people at the blockade. We shot a one minute video of a Mapuche who came back to the re-occupation the same day as he was shot. You can watch it here: “Thanksgiving Day” Mapuche Indigenous Land Occupation, Chile.
The following feature uses photography and video from the two days we were in the community, and includes an interview with Roberto Cheuquepan, the “Werken” (spokesperson) of the Liempi Colipi community on the recent eviction there along with news from Chile’s INTERFERENCIA.
Carabineros Special Forces move in to Liempi Colipi
– by Orin Langelle, Startegic Communications Director, Global Justice Ecology Project
in a statement sent to us, Werken Roberto Cheuquepan said, “Yesterday [29 April 2020] we, the Liempi Colipi community, were evicted by Carabineros (national police) Special Forces of the municipality of Pailahueque, following an eviction order on behalf of Ms. María Luisa Lyon, current “legal” landowner of the Fundo Santa Filomena that the community is in the process of regaining.”
The current tenant, José Miguel Chaín, has a lease contract for the Fundo and was implicated in the eviction.
The Werken continued, “Yesterday, when we arrived at the place of the eviction, where a family from Punto Fijo also lives, in a building used in the past by the caretakers of the Fundo, a Special Forces unit was evicting that family.” He added, “In the context of this pandemic that is affecting the whole world, we did not wish to confront the special forces, as that would mean exposing elder people and those with chronic health issues in our now already reduced Community. So there were no clashes or injuries.”
There is “a growing repression toward communities,” said the Werken. “This eviction continues as the Lyon family wants to destroy the houses that currently stand in the Fundo, but demolition could not be done yesterday as the special forces had to retreat and the heavy machinery could not enter the Fundo. But the community is currently threatened with the destruction of the house in which one of our families now lives.”
When asked what could be done in the U.S. regarding the current situation in Mapuche territory, Werken Cheuquepan said, “the most important thing now is to disseminate what is happening in the Mapuche communities in the context of this pandemic, in which the Chilean State is spending money and resources, sending Special Forces and exposing our communities to disease, without knowing if such forces have undergone any medical tests. It would be very important that what is happening in Chile, particularly in the La Araucanía region, where Mapuche communities, more than ever, are struggling to recover their lands and their Mapuche way of life, and to do so we also need to start recovering our territory, the lands that have been usurped by the landowning oligarchy, by colonists, by forestry corporations.”
From the site of Chile’s INTERFERENCIA regarding Mary Luisa Lyon’s riches in the forestry sector:
Maria Luisa Lyon has a pine plantation on the farm, shares in CMPC and is married to Manuel Montt Balmaceda, a descendant of the emblematic Montt family, founding rector and member of the Superior Board of Directors of the Fundación Universidad Diego Portales. The marriage has five daughters and eleven grandchildren.
Lyon is listed as a shareholder with less than 1% of the ownership of Empresas CMPC SA This is equivalent to 85 million dollars, since FORBES magazine (Global 2000) in its 2019 publication, reported that the market value of the company corresponds to $ 8.5 billion.
According to a BBC World article, these plantations are fast growing, just like eucalyptus, and although they pose a threat to native species, they exist for an economic reason…satisfying demand for products derived from forests, such as wood and cellulose, although they cause dryness in the soil and groundwater layers.
INTERFERENCIA reported that members of the Mapuche community witnessed a conversation between the Lonko (community leader) of Liempi Colipi, Juan Huenuhueque, and the owner of the estate Maria Luisa Lyon. The Lonko asked Lyon not to send in the Carabineros Special Forces into Mapuche territory anymore.
INTERFERENCIA said that according to witnesses Lyon replied that the Mapuche of Liempi Colipi have “a hatred against working people” and that she considers “what they have done to be evil”. In addition, according to these witnesses, Lyon told the community leader that “we are in a world of civilized people,” and that they must stop doing “wild” things. And Lyon said they would be forgiven…”if they know how to use computers– to update and be people.”
Special thanks to Alejandra Parra, Joám Evans Pim, Anne Petermann, Gary Hughes and Cassandra for their assistance in this post.
Please see the four minute video: Mapuche People Speak Out About Their Occupation of Ancestral Territories in Chile
a video made for participants at COP 25 – UN Convention on Climate Change Conference in Madrid, Spain VIDEO: STATEMENT TO COP25 FROM MAPUCHE & OTHERS IN CHILE – NO MARKET-BASED “SOLUTIONS”
Thirty Years Ago Today
Monsanto’s Earth Day Invaded by Mud People and Earth First!
The mud people were pissed off. Tipped off by Big River Earth First! that the evil Monsanto had taken over Earth Day festivities in St. Louis MO, mud people crawled out of the Earth to take back Earth Day.
To the delight and fright of children and their parents, the mud people made fun of the corporate sponsors of the event. It was a spectacle even the Yippies! from long ago would have approved of.
The action was the feature evening news story on a major television network affiliate in St. Louis with a reporter attempting to interview a mud person. An Earth First! “translator” fielded the reporter’s questions in English and then translated to the mud person in mud language; the mud person responded in mud language and then the Earth First! translator gave the answer to the reporter.
After their successful action, the mud people slithered back into the Earth. But not before one mud person threw a rotten egg at the Monsanto stage. There were no arrests.
Dear friends and supporters Global Justice Ecology Project,
We, like you, are doing all we can to keep our families and loved ones safe and healthy.
At the same time, we continue to pursue our mission, which includes understanding the root causes of this crisis and its connection to social and ecological injustice. For the best way to prevent the next pandemic is to understand the roots of this one and ensure we do not make the same mistakes in the future.
Below is a new article that links emerging pandemics like COVID-19 to the destruction of the world’s wildest places. It turns out protecting forests isn’t just about protecting biodiversity, it is also about avoiding another pandemic.
In a March 18th article in The Guardian, John Vidal wrote:
“Increasingly [these] diseases are linked to … disruption of pristine forests driven by logging, mining, road building through remote places, rapid urbanisation and population growth [which] is …resulting [in] transmission of disease from wildlife to humans.
“…change must come from both rich and poor societies. Demand for wood, minerals and resources from the global north leads to the degraded landscapes and ecological disruption that drives disease … Otherwise we can expect more of the same.” – from ‘Tip of the iceberg’: is our destruction of nature responsible for COVID-19?
Meanwhile, social injustice and ecological destruction are not stopping for COVID-19. If anything, corporations are looking to the virus to distract people from their ongoing plunder–as well as the government’s support for same, such as the Trump administration’s recent bailout of the oil and gas industry.
We at GJEP are joining others in tracking how corporations and governments are using the COVID-19 virus to crack down on basic personal freedoms–just as they did after 9/11. Never before have so many borders been shut down, travel restricted, millions locked down or quarantined, and businesses shuttered as fear of the unknown mounts.
The data they are collecting on the crisis and its response could forseeably be used as a guidepost on the treatment of civil unrest caused by a future pandemic, climate catastrophe or other emergency that threatens government or corporate power.
Resources for COVID-19 community support and mutual aid, as well as a call to remember ongoing struggles:
As the coronavirus spreads across North America, communities are coming together to support those most vulnerable. Low-income workers, communities of color, people with disabilities, the house-less, and those who are incarcerated, are among those who will be disproportionately affected by COVID-19 and efforts to contain it.
Here are a few things you can do this week:
1. Act in Solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en:
The Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs are continuing their fight to stop the Coastal GasLink Pipeline through their ancestral lands. Our solidarity cannot stop. This is when the companies will try to take everything.
What you can do: A company called KKR is in the process of buying 65% of Coastal GasLink. If we can stop the sale, we can help stop the pipeline from being built. Take 5 minutes to tweet, email or call KKR and tell them to divest from the Coastal GasLink Pipeline. Don’t forget to sign the #ShutDownKKR petition. It has 125,000 signatures and growing!
2. Take action for a just response to the coronavirus:
· When Every Community is Ground Zero: Pulling Each Other Through a Pandemic (Mutual Aid Disaster Relief)
· Demands from Grassroots Organizers Concerning COVID-19 (Transformative Spaces)
· Calls for a Just Recovery Response to COVID-19 that Centers The Most Vulnerable (The Climate Justice Alliance)
I hope that you find this information helpful in navigating the uncharted waters in which we find ourselves. Global Justice Ecology Project is taking pains to safely continue to advance our campaigns for protection of forests and defense of the rights of Indigenous Peoples.
Thank you and best wishes to you and your family,
Global Justice Ecology Project
266 Elmwood Ave, Suite 307
Buffalo, NY 14222-2202
Buffalo, NY: Due to the current public health emergency and recommendations for events not to exceed fifty people, the ¡Buen Vivir! Gallery for Contemporary Art is postponing our April 3 First Friday event. The opening reception for our new exhibit, Chile: Peoples’ Uprising, will be rescheduled for a later date. We will be sure to inform you of the new date for the exhibit opening when we make that determination.
Chile: Peoples’ Uprising
Images from the Front Lines
Exhibit Opens April 3
BUFFALO, NY – The ¡Buen Vivir! Gallery for Contemporary Art will present documentary photography and videography from the ongoing peoples’ uprising in Chile that started in October of last year. The images were shot by the gallery co-directors, Orin Langelle and Anne Petermann in the months of November and December, 2019 from the front lines of the uprising.
The Opening Reception of Chile: Peoples’ Uprising will be held during Allentown’s First Friday event on April 3 from 6 to 9 p.m. Wine and hors d’oeuvres will be served at the ¡Buen Vivir! Gallery for Contemporary Art, 148 Elmwood Avenue at Global Justice Ecology Project space.
A massive popular uprising in Chile began on October 18, 2019, and continues to this day. Millions are demanding a new economic and political system in Chile and a new Constitution.Chile’s existing Constitution was written during the Pinochet Dictatorship, ushered in during a military coup supported by the U.S. in 1973.
Today Peoples’ Assemblies are taking part in all regions of Chile to create a process that will rewrite the new constitution. Chile’s President Piñera is trying to take control of this process and to crush the protests with extreme violence and repression.
Petermann and Langelle documented street protests including clashes between activists and Carabineros (national police) in the cities of Santiago and Temuco.
As of the first week of March of this year reports state that since the uprising began in October, 36 activists have died, more than 28,000 Chileans have been detained and 4,080 minors arrested. Additionally over 11,000 have been injured by the Carabineros. Shotguns loaded with rubber-coated metal pellets deliberately aimed at protesters’ faces have caused 445 serious eye wounds. Many people have partial or complete loss of vision in one or both eyes. In addition, several protesters have been run over by armored vehicles.
Langelle and Petermann also traveled to two indigenous Mapuche land re-occupations, where communities had taken back 1,500 hectares of their ancestral lands, stolen from them during the dictatorship. On U.S. Thanksgiving, they took photos and video interviews after Carabineros shot and teargassed people in the re-occupation.
On Tuesday, April 7, Jim Shultz, Executive Director of the Democracy Center, will launch his newest book My Other Country, Nineteen Years in Bolivia? in the BV Gallery from 7 – 9 p.m. The full moon event commemorates the 20th anniversary of the Cochabamba Water Revolt in Bolivia that Shultz was involved in and helped publicize.
The gallery is free and open to the public.
Contact: Theresa Church [email protected]
Santiago de Chile: Water cannons chase crowd. A caustic liquid was mixed with the water to irritate the skin and lungs. Water cannons were strategically used to target street medics and the Red Cross.
Santiago de Chile: Depicting blood and eyeballs in the hands of the government. This guerrilla theater on International Human Rights Day, December 10th, commemorated the (then) 350+ eyes injured, some permanently by the Carabineros de Chile (national police) who intentionally shot people in the face with shotguns filled with rubber-coated metal pellets during the protests.
This young Mapuche is from the community of Quilape Lopez, Chile, which is re-occupying stolen ancestral lands. Elders say the young are the future of the Mapuche, as is the land.
all photos by Orin Langelle / photolangelle.org
This video includes many of my photographs – Orin Langelle
This video was shot over the week of 25 November, during the trial of Mapuche Lonko Alberto Curamil over manufactured charges that he was involved in a robbery.
In fact, his arrest and subsequent year and a half in jail awaiting trial are understood to have been retribution for his role in leading a campaign that stopped two hydroelectric projects on the Rio Cautín, a sacred river to the Mapuche, the headwaters of which start in the snowfields of the Lonquimay volcano.
In the video, his attorney Rodrigo Román speaks about the case and the greater issue of state repression against Mapuche people, whose land has long been the target of expropriation for industrial timber plantations. As another Mapuche Lonko explained, “first they stole our land, now they want to steal our rivers.”
Also please visit Mapuche Lonko Alberto Curamíl Acquitted of All Charges
2019 Goldman Environmental Prize winner to walk out a free man
On the morning of Thursday 28 December the Mapuche communities of Liempi Colipi and Quilape Lopez mobilized to defend their land occupation after Carabineros de Chile (national police) fired metal-filled rubber pellets and injured several people at the blockade.
After the photo essay, a short video follows.
All photos by Orin Langelle and video by Anne Petermann.
TRANSCRIPT FOLLOWS VIDEO
We want to make a public statement to the Chilean territory, to Mapuche people, to the whole country, to inform about this situation where riot policemen have done things here in the Liempi Colipi community, in the district of Curacautín, La Araucanía region. They have entered the community today-the riot policemen-without any previous dialogue, any eviction order. When we reached them to have a conversation, they started shooting tear gas canisters. They started shooting at us, and one of them passed by no more than fifteen meters away from me. So, we make a public statement for you to be aware of this. There are more injured peñis, on their arms, on their stomach, in their tummy. So, we encourage you to pay attention to this, to be prepared because the riot police officers are coming after us again. Marichiweu! (We shall win a hundred times in Mapudungun!)”