Category Archives: Politics

Thousands march in Bolivia demanding justice for 2003 Gas War massacre

Friday's gas war march in Bolivia. Photo: Ben Dangl.

Friday’s gas war march in Bolivia. Photo: Ben Dangl.

Benjamin Dangl of Upside Down World covered Friday’s protest march in Bolivia, in which thousands demanded justice for the 2003 massacre of over 60 people during the country’s Gas War under the Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada (Goni) administration. Dangl provide both a quick history and photos from the march, all taken by him.

Photo Essay: Thousands March in El Alto, Bolivia Demanding Justice for 2003 Gas War Massacre
Written by Benjamin Dangl. Upside Down World. 19 October 2014

Thousands of people marched in El Alto, Bolivia on Friday, October 17th to demand justice for the 2003 massacre of over 60 people during the country’s Gas War under the Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada (Goni) administration. Sanchez de Lozada is currently living freely in the US, and marchers demanded he and others in his government be brought to Bolivia to be tried for ordering the violence. October marks the anniversary of that assault on the city, and people mobilized on Friday to remember and to demand justice.

Check out the whole article and many more photos on Upside Down World!

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Energy, Political Repression, Politics

U.S. Pentagon says Climate Change a major risk to national security

The United States Pentagon released a statement naming climate change as a top threat to the nation’s security. According to an article in the New York Times, the military links climate change to an increase risk in terrorism, infectious disease, global poverty and food shortages. The report sees climate change as a present danger the country’s safety, as opposed to its pervious messaging, which viewed the climate crisis as an impending future event.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Monday at a meeting of defense ministers in Peru. Photo: Paolo Aguilar/European Pressphoto Agency

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Monday at a meeting of defense ministers in Peru. Photo: Paolo Aguilar/European Pressphoto Agency

The report outlines how the military will need to adapt to climate change, as opposed to addressing the changes the Department of Defense can make to reduce the momentum of climate change. While all governments need  to recognize the risks and perils associated with climate change, focusing on the risks and not the causes will not change the future. The U.S. Department of Defense is one of the largest consumers of energy in the world —  how about a report on how they plan to cut down on that.

Pentagon Signals Security Risks of Climate Change
By CORAL DAVENPORT, New York Times, OCT. 13, 2014

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon on Monday released a report asserting decisively that climate change poses an immediate threat to national security, with increased risks from terrorism, infectious disease, global poverty and food shortages. It also predicted rising demand for military disaster responses as extreme weather creates more global humanitarian crises.

The report lays out a road map to show how the military will adapt to rising sea levels, more violent storms and widespread droughts. The Defense Department will begin by integrating plans for climate change risks across all of its operations, from war games and strategic military planning situations to a rethinking of the movement of supplies.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, speaking Monday at a meeting of defense ministers in Peru, highlighted the report’s findings and the global security threats of climate change.

Read the full article here.

 

 

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Filed under Climate Change, Politics

U.S. government to pay Navajo Nation $554 million

In reparation for mismanaging 14 million acres of their lands, United States government will pay the Navajo Nation more than $500 million. According to an article by Reuters reporter Steve Gorman, this record settlement is the result of the U.S. government using “land held in trust for the tribe and leased for such purposes as farming, energy development, logging and mining.”

Photo: www.salon.com

Photo: www.salon.com

Even though Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly hails the outcome victorious, I’m curious to know how much the government made by prostituting out these Navajo lands. How much does their profit compare to their payout? The article doesn’t give specifics and some late night Internet research revealed no answer, either. This record settlement is the highest paid out ever, which is an obvious achievement for native and indigenous peoples, but in return the Navajo Nation promised to “forego further litigation over previous U.S. management of Navajo funds and resources.” What’s being hidden here?

U.S. To Pay Navajo Tribe $554 Million In Landmark Settlement

by Steve Gorman, Reuters/Huffington Post, September 24, 2014

The Obama administration has agreed to pay the Navajo Nation a record $554 million to settle longstanding claims by America’s largest Indian tribe that its funds and natural resources were mishandled for decades by the U.S. government.

The accord, resolving claims that date back as far as 50 years and marking the biggest U.S. legal settlement with a single tribe, will be formally signed at a ceremony on Friday in Window Rock, Arizona, the capital of the sprawling Navajo reservation.

The deal stems from litigation accusing the government of mismanaging Navajo trust accounts and resources on more than 14 million acres (5.7 million hectares) of land held in trust for the tribe and leased for such purposes as farming, energy development, logging and mining.

In return for $554 million, the Navajo agreed to dismiss its lawsuit and forego further litigation over previous U.S. management of Navajo funds and resources held in trust by the federal government.

The deal does not preclude the tribe from pursuing future trust claims, or any separate claims over water and uranium pollution on its reservation, Navajo Attorney General Harrison Tsosie said.

Read the full article here.

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Filed under Greenwashing, Indigenous Peoples, Political Repression, Politics

Days after his speech at the UN Climate Summit, Jerry Brown’s record of fracking, carbon trading

imagesFrom the distance of NY, it’s still easy to see that California is not the climate justice success story claimed by Jerry Brown in his speech to the UN Climate Summit. But, here, in CounterPunch, Dan Bacher puts the governor’s whole record out there, complete with an extensive quote from GJEP friend and New Voices speaker Tom Goldtooth denouncing Brown’s support of REDD policies.

How Brown Greenwashed His legacy at U.N. Climate Summit
Big Oil’s Favorite Governor: Jerry Brown

By Dan Bacher, CounterPunch, September 24, 2014.

Jerry Brown, one of the worst governors for fish, water and the environment in California history, spoke to world leaders at the United Nations Climate Summit in New York City on September 23 in a cynical attempt to greenwash his deplorable environmental record.

During his U.N. address, Governor Brown touted California’s controversial carbon trading policies as an example of “innovative climate strategies.”

Read the whole article here!

Also, check out the Oil Change International’s website, Big Oil Brown, who did the video below:

 

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Filed under Climate Change, False Solutions to Climate Change, Fracking, Politics

Confronting Climate Catastrophe: Direct Action is the Antidote for Despair

Or, Why the UN is Worse than Useless and we need to Flood Wall Street!

Climate Convergence Plenary Address, Friday, 19 September 2014

Anne Petermann, Global Justice Ecology Project, Campaign to STOP Genetically Engineered Trees

UN Security arrests clown at Durban Climate COP shortly before assaulting the photographer.  Photo: Photolangelle.org

UN Security arrests clown at Durban Climate COP shortly before assaulting the photographer. Photo: Photolangelle.org

Good evening everyone and thank you to Jill, Margaret and the other convergence organizers for the opportunity to speak to you tonight.

In four days time, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon will hold a UN Climate Summit–a closed door session where the world’s “leaders” will discuss “ambitions” for the upcoming climate conferences (or COPs as they are called) in Lima, Peru and Paris, France.

I was asked to put into context the reason for the march and actions this weekend–especially the problem of the corporate capture of the United Nations Climate Convention, which I have attended and organized around since 2004, when I attended my first UN Climate COP, in Buenos Aires, until 2011 when I was permanently banned from the UN Climate Conferences following a direct action occupation at the Climate COP in Durban, South Africa.

But I actually got involved with the UN Climate Conferences through the work I have dedicated myself to, which is stopping the dangerous genetic engineering of trees.

What happened was in 2003, the UN Climate Conference decided that GE trees could be used in carbon offset forestry plantations. Understanding that this was a potential social and ecological disaster, and being completely naïve about the UN process, we decided to go to the UN and explain to them why this was wrong, and to get them to reverse this bad decision.

But what we found out was that GE trees had been permitted in carbon offset forestry plantations because Norway had tried to get them banned. But Brazil and China were either already growing GE trees or planning to, so they blocked Norway’s proposal. As a result, GE trees were allowed simply because they could not be banned. The UN, we learned, does not reverse decisions, regardless of how ill-informed and destructive they are.

This is the dysfunction of the UN Climate Convention.

But let’s go back a minute to see how we got where we are now.

Continue reading

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Africa, Carbon Trading, Climate Change, Climate Justice, COP21 Paris 2015, Corporate Globalization, False Solutions to Climate Change, Forests, Forests and Climate Change, GE Trees, Green Economy, Greenwashing, Indigenous Peoples, Land Grabs, Latin America-Caribbean, Politics, Posts from Anne Petermann, REDD, UNFCCC, World Bank, WTO

Happy Anniversary Bilaterals.org!

Congratulations to Bilaterals.org, an important website monitoring the status and developments of unjust bilateral trade agreements around the world.  This crucial movement asset was founded by a group of global justice activists 10 years ago, including GJEP Board member Aziz Choudry.

3 September 2014

bilaterals.org is a collaborative website for the exchange of information and analysis about bilateral free trade and investment agreements. It was launched in September 2004 by the Asia-Pacific Research Network, Global Justice Ecology Project, GATT Watchdog, GRAIN, IBON Foundation and X Minus Y Solidarity Fund.

What brought these diverse groups together was a shared concern about the growth of bilateral trade and investment deals outside the remit of the World Trade Organisation, and a feeling that these less visible but very powerful agreements were still “under the radar” of many activists.

bilaterals.org was thus set up as an open-publishing site where people would be able to find and post their own information and analysis about the full range of free trade agreements and bilateral investment treaties being negotiated and signed across the globe, and keep up to date with where and what forms of resistance are taking place.

bilaterals.org is now ten years old. To mark the moment, we made this slideshow to remember some of the key struggles against FTAs or BITs that have rocked our worlds these past ten years, all the people who participated and all that was achieved. (Special thanks to Juan Vicente for his musical contribution!)

We are also running an online survey where you can tell us what you think about bilaterals.org and how to improve it. Please help us out and participate! We are also about to undertake a major redesign of the site, so more is coming soon. thanks for your support!

the bilaterals.org collective

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Filed under Corporate Globalization, Politics, Uncategorized, World Bank, WTO

Moyers & Company Report Reveals Much about America’s Oil Train Problems

Oil is our focus this first Friday of  September. We are pleased to link you to this Moyers & Company piece published earlier this week. This is one of the most comprehensive pieces on the growing Oil Train issue that we have seen recently. Kudos to multi-media producer and author John Light for bringing this to the growing Moyers & Company audiences!

July 16, 2013. tankers lined up at the Port of Albany, Albany New York. Photo-AP/Mike Groll

July 16, 2013. tankers lined up at the Port of Albany, Albany New York. Photo-AP/Mike Groll

 America’s Exploding Oil Train Problem
By John Light, Moyers & Company. September 2, 2014

If you reside in the US, there’s around an eight percent chance that you live in an oil train’s blast zone. And there’s a fight going on at the state and federal levels, between monied interests and regulatory agencies, over efforts to ensure that these trains — which have shown a tendency to burst into flames — will be relatively safe.

The increased use of hydraulic fracturing — fracking — has made oil that was previously inaccessible available to drillers. The crude then has to make its way to refineries, and while the boom in pipeline projects has received quite a bit of attention, roughly 60 percent of it travels by rail.

Read the whole story here

 

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Climate Change, Climate Justice, Oil, Politics, Pollution, Tar Sands, Uncategorized, Water

Veolia Water Company slams into Detroit!

The city of Detroit’s state appointed emergency manager has hired the notorious Veolia North America, the American subsidiary of the equally notorious Veolia Environment, headquartered in Paris.  Veolia, one of the leading privatizers of water systems in the world and Veolia North America has colonized American cities, especially those located on the Great Lakes.

Photo courtesy Food and Water Watch

Photo courtesy Food and Water Watch

The Company has been hired to “advise” the city on “how to find cost savings” in the sewer and water department.  The city has now opened up bids on privatizing the water and sewer system in Detroit, which has been resisted for years.

Wait, it only gets worse. The United States is in the middle of negotiating a trade deal with the European Union, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, aka TTIP, which could undermine communities ability to halt hostile privatizations efforts, hinder attempts to reclaim water systems from EU corporations and make it harder to hold private water companies accountable.

Just what Detroiter’s that are already suffering human rights violations and access to water need! We see the future and it is here.

Read the whole story in Mitch Jones’ story at Food and Water Watch

How Free Trade Might Harm Detroit Again
Mitch Jones, Food and Water Watch. Sept 2, 2014.

While once a central component of the economic activity of the United States, Detroit – like other American cities reliant on manufacturing – has fallen on hard times. To be clear, this isn’t an accident of misfortune. Detroit was targeted by both the “free trade” and anti-labor agenda that took over American politics in the 1970s. As a result, the city lost thousands of jobs and its economy suffered. The current crisis in Detroit involving water shut-offs is a symptom of this agenda.

The state-appointed emergency manager for Detroit opened up bids for privatizing the sewer and water department. Recently, the city hired private water company Veolia Water to advise the city on “cost savings” within the department. Headquartered in Paris, Veolia Environnement operates as Veolia Water North America in the United States and is the second largest water company in the country, serving about 10.5 million people in 32 states. In addition to advising the city on cost savings within the department, Veolia is also one of the companies that have expressed interest in a privatized Detroit water system.

Read the whole story here

Demand System Change

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Actions / Protest, BREAKING NEWS, Climate Justice, Commodification of Life, Corporate Globalization, Great Lakes, Politics, Uncategorized, Water, World Bank