May 20, 2013. Source: The Rainforest Portal
Notorious Malaysian illegal loggers Rimbunan Hijau have diversified into mining in primary rainforests, in East Sepik threatening unique nomadic cave-dwellers and their 20,000 year old ancient stenciled cave art. Support the local resistance and demand an end to indigenous genocide and rainforest ecocide in the name of false development that is little more than pillaging and plundering of cultural and biological diversity.
May 20, 2013
The Guatemala Solidarity Project strongly condemns the arrest of our good friend Alberto Choc Xe, a community leader from the indigenous q’eqchi’ village Saquimo Setana. Choc was arrested on Thursday, May 16.
We call on immediate solidarity from the international community. We know that other arrested leaders of Saquimo Setana have faced beatings, hunger, false bribes and other forms of abuse and tricks used to pressure them to admit to crimes they didn’t commit and to implicate other local and national leaders in these crimes.
For background on the conflict in Saquimo Setana please refer to our earlier videos, two of which can be found at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IXoFw87lw0Y (an overview of the conflict at Saquimo) and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FN1pbixFMkc (which focuses on the case of another political prisoner from Saquimo).
We fear for Alberto’s immediate safety and we believe that the small action of calling the Guatemalan Consulate in Chicago can help protect Alberto in the coming hours and days. Please call them at 312-540-0781 or 312-540-0808 to voice your extreme concern for the safety of Alberto Choc Xe of Saquimo Setana, arrested on May 16 in Canguanic, part of Coban, Alta Verapaz, and currently being held in Coban. Please ask for the immediate release of Alberto, as well as of Pablo Sacrab, another leader from Saquimo who has been in prison since 2010.
Please also consider making a contribution to the GSP. All contributions go to our partners in Guatemala. Because of a budget shortfall we are not currently able to provide financial assistance to arrested Saquimo leaders. In the past we have been able to help purchase medical supplies, food and other important support. Contributions can be made tax deductible through our fiscal sponsor UPAVIM by writing a check to the “UPAVIM Community Development Foundation” and sending to UPAVIM, c/o Greg Norman, 713 W. Garfield, Temple, TX, 76501. Or donate on paypal at http://upavim.pursuantgroup.net/english/donate.htm (Click on “Make a Donation,” then write GSP in the description space)
By Brian Winter and Caroline Stauffer, May 14 2013. Source: Reuters
An Indian woman cradles her child while holding a banner in front of police, as Amazon Indians from different tribes hold a meeting with a government envoy to discuss a proposal to end their occupation of the Belo Monte hydroelectric dam construction site, in Vitoria do Xingu, near Altamira in Para State, May 8, 2013. REUTERS/Lunae Parracho
BRASILIA/SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has ordered her governmentto stop confiscating farmland to create new Indian reservations, government officials say, a policy reversal with major implications for one of the world’s top agricultural producers.
Brazil has in recent decades set aside about 13 percent of its territory for indigenous tribes. Vast additional areas, including prime territory for the production of soy, beef, sugar and other commodities, are under consideration for possible transfer.
That policy has been hailed as one of the world’s most progressive but had caused mounting clashes in recent months as thousands of farmers were evicted from land they had been cultivating, in some cases for decades.
Rousseff, a pragmatic leftist facing re-election next year, has often favored pro-development interests over more humanitarian concerns and now believes the Indian affairs agency that determines which lands to set aside has gone too far, according to two senior government officials. Continue reading
Note: While some biotech firms are scrambling for control over the world’s food supply, others have their greedy eyes on the world’s forestlands. ArborGen, with its revolving doors between Monsanto and the US government, has plans to plant billions of highly flammable and invasive Genetically Engineered eucalyptus trees across the US South in monoculture plantations – with other native species like poplar and pine close behind in the regulatory pipeline. Along with industry rival FuturaGene, these GE tree companies intend to move forward across the global south; from Brazil to South Africa, China, Indonesia, New Zealand, and Australia.
But we can stop them in their tracks here in the US. From May 26th to June 1st, activists are descending upon Asheville, NC for a week of action to confront a major Tree Biotechnology conference sponsored by ArborGen and other firms. Join the protests or donate to support an activist here: www.treebiotech2013.org
-The GJEP Team
May 14 2013. Source: Food and Water Watch
Today Food & Water Watch and its European project Food & Water Europe released the first comprehensive analysis of the U.S. government’s strategy, tactics and foreign policy objectives to promote pro-agricultural biotechnology policies worldwide. Biotech Ambassadors: How the U.S. State Department Promotes the Seed Industry’s Global Agenda examines more than 900 State Department diplomatic cables from 2005 to 2009 and details how the U.S. State Department lobbies foreign governments to adopt pro-agricultural biotechnology policies and laws, operates a rigorous public relations campaign to improve the image of biotechnology and challenges commonsense biotechnology safeguards and rules — including opposing genetically engineered (GE) food labeling laws.
“The U.S. Department of State is selling seeds instead of democracy,” said Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch and author of the book Foodopoly: The Battle Over the Future of Food and Farming in America, which looks at corporations’ growing influence over food policy, launching in Europe this week. “This report provides a chilling snapshot of how a handful of giant biotechnology companies are unduly influencing U.S. foreign policy and undermining our diplomatic efforts to promote security, international development and transparency worldwide. This report is a call to action for Americans because public policy should not be for sale to the highest bidder.” Continue reading
Note: Anne Petermann, Executive Director of Global Justice Ecology Project and coordinator of the Campaign to STOP Genetically Engineered Trees, will be a featured speaker at the May 25 “March Against Monsanto” event in Asheville, North Carolina.
Activists from across the region are descending on Asheville to confront a major Tree Biotechnology conference held from May 26-June 1. Especially targeted will be South Carolina-based ArborGen — originally formed as a partnership with Monsanto — which has a pending request to plant billions of Genetically Engineered eucalyptus trees in monoculture tree plantations across the US South.
Learn more at http://www.treebiotech2013.org
-The GJEP Team
Source: OpEd News
March Against Monsanto has announced that on May 25, tens of thousands of activists around the world will “ March Against Monsanto .” Currently, marches are being planned on six continents, in 36 countries, totaling events in over 250 cities, and in the US, events are slated to occur simultaneously at 11 a.m. Pacific in 47 states.
Tami Monroe Canal, lead organizer and creator of the now-viral Facebook page, says she was inspired to start the movement to protect her two daughters. “I feel Monsanto threatens their generation’s health, fertility and longevity. I couldn’t sit by idly, waiting for someone else to do something.” [The full March Against Monsanto mission statement can be read here.]
An organizer for the march in Athens, Greece, Roberta Gogos, spoke about the importance of the events in austerity-impacted South Europe. “Monsanto is working very hard to overturn EU regulation on obligatory labeling (questionable whether it’s really enforced in any case), and no doubt they will have their way in the end. Greece is in a precarious position right now, and Greece’s farmers falling prey to the petrochemical giant is a very real possibility.” Continue reading
By Crysbel Tejada and Betsy Catlin, May 8 2013. Source: Waging Nonviolence
From left: Casey, Dwain & Carter Camp at the opening ceremony of the Great Plains Tar Sands Resistance Action Camp, near Ponca City, Okla. Photo: Great Plains Tar Sands Resistance/Girard Oz
On cloudy days, heavy smoke fills the air of Ponca City, Okla., with grey smog that camouflages itself into the sky. The ConocoPhillips oil refinery that makes its home there uses overcast days as a disguise to release more toxins into the air. These toxins are brimming with benzene — a chemical that, according to the Centers for Disease Control, can cause leukemia, anemia and even decrease the size of women’s ovaries. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, in 2008 the ConocoPhillips refinery released over 2,000 pounds of this chemical into the air in Ponca City.
“Of the maybe 800 of us that live locally, we have averaged over the last five to seven years maybe one funeral a week,” explained Casey Camp-Horinek, a Ponca woman and longtime activist. “Where we used to have dances every week, now most people are in mourning.”
The refinery is located only 1,000 yards behind Standing Bear Park, which is named after the Ponca chief who, in 1877, led his people on their Trail of Tears, from the Ponca homelands in northern Nebraska to present day Oklahoma. But the park is more than a memorial to the distant past. In 1992, the oil giant’s tank farm spilled and contaminated ground water in a nearby predominantly Ponca neighborhood. As a result, ConocoPhillips agreed to purchase the contaminated land and tear down the 200 homes that were on it. In its place, the company built Standing Bear Park — a bitter testament to the Ponca people’s history of forced relocation and genocide. Continue reading
Filed under Actions / Protest, Climate Change, Climate Justice, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Energy, Indigenous Peoples, Oil, Rights, Resilience, and Restoration, Tar Sands
By Aaron Lakoff, May 1 2013. Source: Briarpatch Magazine
Illustration by Shantala Robinson
One year after the student strikes and Maple Spring that erupted in Quebec in 2012, the ongoing wave of social protests is having to recalibrate itself to meet a new set of challenges.
Former Liberal premier Jean Charest incited popular outrage with a proposed university tuition hike and broader austerity measures, but with last September’s election of Parti Québécois (PQ) leader Pauline Marois, many are finding that the neoliberal policies of the Charest government are only taking on slightly subtler forms. In late February, Marois held a two-day summit on post-secondary education and announced that her government would continue to increase tuition costs, much to the chagrin of the student movement.
Also continuing is the northern Quebec development project known as Plan Nord under the previous provincial government and recently rebranded Le Nord Pour Tous under Marois. According to its official website, Plan Nord is a 25-year project estimated to bring in $80 billion in investments and create 20,000 jobs in mining, forestry, and dam projects. On February 9, 36 people were arrested at protests outside a trade fair on natural resource industries in Montreal, where demonstrators chanted “Charest, Marois, même combat!” (“Charest, Marois, the same fight!”) and decried what they saw as the same colonial development plan with a new name. Continue reading
Filed under Actions / Protest, Climate Justice, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, False Solutions to Climate Change, Green Economy, Hydroelectric dams, Idle No More, Indigenous Peoples, Land Grabs, Political Repression, Rights, Resilience, and Restoration, Water
May 8, 2013. Source: Indigenous Environmental Network
Indigenous Peoples and allies from Chiapas and the Amazon protest California REDD in Sacramento in front of the capital building, after a California Air Resources Board hearing where they testified on the adverse impacts that the possible inclusion of REDD was already having on communities. October 18, 2012. Photo: Jeff Conant/Friends of the Earth-US
From Africa to the Amazon, from Chiapas to Siberia, global civil society is raising an international outcry to resoundingly reject California’s proposed forest offset scam called REDD, which would let climate criminals like Chevron and Shell off the hook, cause human rights abuses and worsen global warming. May 7, 2013, was the last day for public comments on the draft California REDD Offset Working Group recommendations regarding linking California’s cap-and-trade program with a program to supposedly reduce deforestation in Chiapas and Acre, Brazil.
California’s Global Warming Solutions Act, AB32, is posed to include REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation), a false solution to climate change, whereby California polluters could use the forests of Chiapas, Mexico and the Brazilian Amazon as sponges for their pollution instead of reducing greenhouse emissions at home. California REDD is considered a model for the world and if launched will probably be replicated both nationally and internationally.
“The global movement against REDD has been born!” cried Susannah, a delighted volunteer with the No REDD Group Initiative as she tallied letters from all over the world to California Governor Jerry Brown and the California Air Resources Board demanding that REDD be immediately stopped in its tracks. “The world is uniting against California REDD because it may unlock an avalanche of REDD-type projects around the world.” Continue reading
Filed under Actions / Protest, Africa, Carbon Trading, Chiapas, Climate Change, Climate Justice, Commodification of Life, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, False Solutions to Climate Change, Forests, Forests and Climate Change, Green Economy, Indigenous Peoples, Land Grabs, Latin America-Caribbean, REDD, Rights, Resilience, and Restoration, The Greed Economy and the Future of Forests
Note: Brad Will: ¡Presente!
-The GJEP Team
May 7, 2013. Source: Friends of Brad Will
President Obama has returned from Mexico having doubled down on the same policies that have created suffering for reporters and civilians in Mexico, ignoring the pleas of Friends of Brad Will (friendsofbradwill.org), Brad Will’s family, and Reporters without Borders (en.rsf.org).
The family of slain reporter Brad Will have issued a statement that, “Freedom of the press and a strong independent system of justice are policy pillars that the new Mexican administration must pursue in order for a new Mexico to emerge.” Christophe Deloire, the General Director of the press freedom organization Reporters Without Borders wrote an op-ed which states, “Mexico has become the western hemisphere’s most dangerous country for journalists, with 86 killed and 17 missing. They include Brad Will, a U.S. cameraman working for the Indymedia agency, who was gunned down in Oaxaca on October 27, 2006. Justice has not been properly rendered in any of these cases.”
Upon Obama’s return, Nick Cooper, Border States Congressional Liaison with Friends of Brad WIll said, “The war on drugs in Mexico has created suffering not only for journalists, but also for all members of civil society, while enriching narco-traffickers and corrupt government agencies. U.S. aid for these programs is not only a waste of money, but, as the GAO has noted, it seems intent to fail as it repeats a failed prohibitionist model and lacks any benchmarks for “success” in the implementing legislation.”
May 3, 2013. Source: Intercontinental Cry
Photo: Amazon Watch
Altamira, Brazil – Some 200 indigenous people affected by the construction of large hydroelectric dams in the Amazon launched an occupation today on one of the main construction sites of the Belo Monte dam complex on the Xingu River in the Brazilian Amazon. The group demands that the Brazilian government adopt effective legislation on prior consultations with indigenous peoples regarding projects that affect their lands and livelihoods. As this has not happened, they are demanding the immediate suspension of construction, technical studies and police operations related to dams along the Xingu, Tapajos and Teles Pires rivers. Shock troops of the military police were awaiting indigenous protestors when they arrived at the Belo Monte dam site, but they were unable to impede the occupation.
The indigenous protestors include members of the Juruna, Kayapó, Xipaya, Kuruaya, Asurini, Parakanã, Arara tribes from the Xingu River, as well as warriors of the Munduruku, a large tribe from the neighboring Tapajós river basin. The indigenous peoples are joined by fishermen and local riverine communities from the Xingu region. Initial reports indicate that approximately 6,000 workers at one of the main Belo Monte construction sites, Pimental, have ceased operations as a result of the protest. The occupation, according to the indigenous communities, will continue indefinitely or until the federal government meets their demands. Continue reading