Friday, April 28, 2017

At UN, Indigenous Tells ICP Guterres Hasn't Met Them, Of Norway & Dakota Access Pipeline

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, April 27 – As Citigroup's annual general meeting of shareholders began in Cooper Union in Manhattan on April 25, outside a protest formed. Casey Camp-Horinek spoke, movingly; the Reverend Billy Talen began a song. Periscope here. Inner City Press has covered earlier Citigroup AGMs as well, about CitiFinancial's predatory lending that robbed consumers and ultimately helped trigger the financial meltdown. What has changed since? And what has changed at the UN? On April 27 at an Indigenous Forum press conference, Inner City Press asked Rune Fjellheim of the Saami Parliament in Norway if that country's sovereign wealth fund is still invested in the Dakota Access Pipeline. It sounds like it is: see Periscope video here. Inner City Press asked the other panel members if "new" (112 day) Secretary General Antonio Guterres has met with the Indigenous Forum. They both said that he has not, that maybe he is "too busy." Inner City Press told them Guterres spokesman has said Guterres will be back in New York on April 27 (although as of 5:30, his scheduled had not been posted, nor had the UN's transcript of its noon briefing gone online. The day before this protest of Citibank for among other things funding the Dakota Access Pipeline, Inner City Press at the UN on April 24 asked a panel of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues about the protest and more generally about corporations which the UN blue-washes through its Global Compact and otherwise. Video here, from Minute 39. 
Willie Littlechild a First Nations Cree chief from Canada said he wasn't (yet) aware of the protest, but that he supported it, that is it hard to protest at the UN. That's putting it mildly: the US First Amendment does not apply to and is not accepted by the UN, which bans protests and evicts the Press which covers there, without hearing or appeal. But Inner City Press, even confined to minders within the UN has it has been for 14 months and counting, interviewed other attendees of the Permanent Forum, and will continue to. Watch this site.