Protecting Indigenous Rights and Stoping Discrimination based on Caste

Protecting Indigenous Rights and Stoping Discrimination based on Caste
Sarait Martinez, Executive Director of Centro Binanacional para el Desarrolo Indigena Oaxaqueño 

Naindeep Singh, Executive Director of the Jakarta Movement.  All photos by Mike Rhodes.

Protecting Indigenous Rights and Stopping Discrimination Based on Caste

According to Fresno City Council Member Miguel Arias, the City of Fresno is the first city in California to make changes to its Municipal Code that end discrimination against Indigenous people. The amendment also protects against the caste discrimination. Fresno is the second city in the the country to address anti-caste discrimination. Seattle was the first.

At a press conference held in front of City Hall on Sept. 28, City Council members Arias, Mike Karbassi and Tyler Maxwell said that the resolution passed unanimously.

Sarait Martinez, executive director of Centro Binanacional para el Desarrolo Indigena Oaxaqueño, said, “We know this discrimination is part of the legacy of colonial structures that continues today, and I think this takes a concrete step to start combating it.”

“Our indigenous nations have been working for over 500 years to end discrimination and end the violence,” she added.

Naindeep Singh, executive director of the Jakarta Movement, said that “what is so powerful about today is that, just as Council Member Arias showed, the fight for civil rights, the fight for dignity, the fight for humanity is alive and well and growing and thriving and especially continues to be born right here in the Central Valley and specifically in the city of Fresno.”

“Our collective responsibility to our community requires us to stand beside those who have briefly illuminated these pressing concerns, impacting marginalized communities across employment, education and housing,” says Arias.

“This ordinance represents our unequivocal acknowledgment of the discrimination that exists, and our unwavering commitment to confront it head on.”

The Press Conference was held in front of Fresno City Hall.

The document below is the change to the Municipal Code

There are features that allow viewers to increase the size of the pages for easier reading. Simply place your cursor over the content to access the feature to enlarge the image and turn the page.


Audio of the Press Conference

Press Release announcing the Press Conference


  • Mike Rhodes

    Mike Rhodes is the executive director of theCommunity Alliance newspaper and author of the book Dispatches from the War Zone, about homelessness in Fresno. is his website. Contact him at

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