Declaration of the Right to Freedom of Movement of Indigenous Peoples

Aztec ruler Monctezuma & Inca emperor Atalhualpa at the time of first European contact

For immediate release November 25, 2020

Indigenous people have suffered from historic injustices due to colonization, dispossession of their lands, and deprivation of resources. For thousands of years before the creation of sovereign states by European migrants to the Western Hemisphere, indigenous people traded, traveled across, and lived throughout the lands now divided by international borders. Amplifier calls for official recognition of the right of indigenous people to move across the borders which they traversed historically.

“This claim to freedom of movement has a well-established basis in the United Nations Declaration of Rights of Indigenous Peoples,” asserts immigration attorney and Amplifier board member Alfonso F. Ramos, Esq. “On September 13, 2007, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution affirming the need to respect and promote the inherent rights of indigenous peoples, especially their rights to their lands, territories and resources. As Article 3 of the declaration states, ‘Indigenous peoples have the right to self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.’”

Ramos has spent decades representing indigenous people from Central and South America migrating to the United States, encountering countless examples of violations of their right to self-determination and subsistence by states. He is a member American Immigration Lawyers Assn. and graduate of Georgetown University School of Foreign Service (BSFS), Rutgers Law School (JD), New York University School of Law (LLM, International Legal Studies). His extensive contribution and dedication to the immigrant community in New York City has been acknowledged by Proclamation of the New York City Council.

“The breakdown of existing political structures, the failure of Congress to pass effective legislation, the lawless administration of the current regime, and the near-impossibility of future reforms within deadlocked institutions calls for a new direction,” argues Stephen Zacks, president of Amplifier Inc., a Liberal Studies (M.A.) graduate of the New School’s Graduate Faculty of Political and Social Science. “The absence of successful anti-colonial revolutions overthrowing the states established by European settlers, rampant corruption, and a lack of effective governance honoring indigenous rights throughout the Americas demand for transnational institutions to intervene.”

Ramos points out that Article 8 of the UN Declaration of Indigenous Rights affirms that “States shall provide effective mechanisms for prevention of, and redress for…[a]ny action which has the aim or effect of dispossessing [indigenous people] of their lands, territories or resources.” In addition, Article 20 states that “Indigenous peoples have the right to maintain and develop their political, economic and social systems or institutions, to be secure in the enjoyment of their own means of subsistence and development, and to engage freely in all their traditional and other economic activities. Indigenous peoples deprived of their means of subsistence and development are entitled to just and fair redress.”

Amplifier is a non-governmental organization responding to failure of social and political institutions and degradation of natural ecosystems by promoting new conceptual frameworks and proven strategies to influence public policy and improve local and global governance. In accordance with the right of indigenous peoples to participate in decision-making in matters that affect their rights, Amplifier is seeking input, participation, and leadership from sovereign tribes, First Nations, and indigenous groups to advocate for their right to freedom of movement within the Western Hemisphere.

For further information, please contact Alfonso Ramos, Esq., at 917-734-4196 or Stephen Zacks at 917-412-1926, or email us at

Mobilizing Media and Conceptual Frameworks for Emerging Challenges of Communication and Governance

After five months of weekly discussions among its board members and invited colleagues, Amplifier has adopted a new mission responding to emerging challenges of media and government as disinformation and a crisis of public confidence, corruption of political processes, and regulatory capture have led to institutional failure and collapse of local and global social and natural ecosystems .

In the coming months, Amplifier will propose a series of initiatives that aim to use emerging ideas, media, design, and aesthetic strategies to raise the visibility of alternative political and economic frameworks, and advance institutional transformation. After years of working at the grassroots level producing small-scale interventions in conditions of severe social and economic neglect, the nonprofit intends to shift its focus to influencing public policy and promoting existing tools and methods to improve local and global governance.

Areas of particular emphasis will be advancement of alternate forms of media production and economic policymaking for social equity, ecological design, and well-being. We believe that the global pandemic, rise of neo-fascism, and climate crisis are global consciousness-changing events that call for an essential shift in institutions.

Stephen Zacks, President; James Andrews, Vice President; William Rockwell, Treasurer; Alfonso Ramos, Secretary

Amplifier Strategic Planning Process

May 7, 2020

Amplifier’s board of directors is currently reevaluating its mission and programs based on our experiences in Flint, Michigan; Newburgh, New York; and Callicoon, New York.

As of 2018, Flint Public Art Project, established as an organization by Amplifier inc., became its own independent nonprofit with its own Flint-based board of directors, receiving IRS 501c3 tax-exemption in 2019. We have been excited to follow this new phase of the organization as it evolves under local leadership.

We expect to provide an update soon about the future direction of Amplifier after a period of reflection on how we can most effectively advocate for better outcomes for underrepresented groups and small and medium-size cities and produce work that has the potential to transform conditions, locally, nationally, and internationally, for people and for global ecosystems.

Until then, we are grateful for your support.

Stephen Zacks
Amplifier Inc.

Radiator Gallery Exhibition, Dec. 17 – Jan. 22

CHANCE ECOLOGIES: Movement Workshop by Luciana Freire D’Anunciação, 2015. Photo by CATHERINE GRAU


The Wild Landscape of Hunter’s Point South

Opening: Thursday, December 17th 2015, 6 – 9 pm

Exhibiting Artists:
Joianne Bittle, Laura Chipley, Allison Danielle Behrstock, Luciana Freire D’Anunciação,
Edrex Fontanilla, Dylan Gauthier, Dillon de Give, GH Hovagimyan, Ellie Irons, Christopher Kennedy, Anne Percoco, Edmund Mooney, Matthias Neumann, Natalia Roumelioti, Raphaele Shirley, Marisa Tesauro, Sarah Nelson Wright

Curated by: Catherine Grau, Nathan Kensinger, Stephen Zacks

DOCK STREET DIG: An Archaeological Survey.

On view at Radiator Arts Dec. 17th through Jan. 22nd, Chance Ecologies: The Wild Landscape of Hunter’s Point South, displays the results of a daring summer-long experimental art project on a large plot of publicly owned land in Hunter’s Point, Long Island City, Queens. The accidental post-industrial landscape, predominantly disused for the last 35 years, harbored a rich unplanned ecology that participating artists explored through a series of secret temporary installations, performances, and research interventions. Located in the mouth of Newtown Creek, a federal Superfund site, and facing magnificent views of Midtown Manhattan across the East River, the site embodies the paradoxes of man-made ecological crisis and the continued drive towards the production of human habitats.

Exhibited in the form of photographs, videos, installations, documentation, elaborations of processes, speculative proposals, and an archive of plants and materials, Chance Ecologies is a platform for artists and thinkers to creatively explore the value of wild places in the city, uncovering and mapping their layered histories and the natural ecologies that have evolved in them. Referencing pioneering projects like Art on the Beach by Creative Time that played an instrumental role in reimagining the uses of public land prior to redevelopment, this project belongs to a lineage of public art projects utilizing vacant lots and post-industrial landfills as places of freedom, play, and experimentation.

Immediately following the summer of unpermitted activities, in the fall of 2015, heavy construction equipment leveled the Hunter’s Point site for Phase 2 of the housing and waterfront park development led by the Economic Development Corporation of New York City and designed by Thomas Balsley Associates with Weiss/ Manfredi and ARUP.

As a framework for artistic gestures, advocacy, and research exploring the un-designed landscapes and wilderness found in abandoned spaces, post-industrial sites, and landfills, Chance Ecologies continues to create actions, programs, and discourse around the value of wild spaces in the urban environment, documenting, learning from, and commemorating the naturally occurring ecosystems that are being lost to development, and articulating contemporary interpretations of and new ways of relating to urban wilderness.

For more information and to sign up for the mailing list:

“Endangered Surface Islands” by CHRIS KENNEDY & ELLIE IRONS

Chance Ecologies is produced in affiliation with Amplifier Inc., a nonprofit organization using art and design as tools of urban transformation and city-making. Amplifier creates programs that connect public and private groups with the global art and design field to bring the most innovative work to under-served groups and smaller communities around the country, where it can have the greatest possible resonance.

RadiatorArts (Radical Mediator for the Arts) provides local and international emerging and mid-career curators and artist-curators an excellent opportunity to work with and learn about the operations of a multi-disciplinary organization. Radiator will regularly present contemporary art exhibitions, performances and video programs. Each curator is expected to work cooperatively, be flexible, self-motivated, and interested in contributing to the ongoing needs of this active multi-arts center.