Tag Archives: imperialism

The browning of the world

By Christy Rodgers, April 29, 2014. Source: Dissident Voice

There are a lot of seemingly disparate things happening at various levels of scale in the world outside my window these days. But there is one color that describes them more than any other.

My world is browning. As deserts grow and forests shrink, as smog, soot and dust clouds fill the skies horizon to horizon, as average heat levels (represented by yellows, oranges and browns on maps where they are most intense) increase, you start to see that color everywhere, eating away at the greens and blues of our old picture of the planet. What is the color of drought, which has struck the place where I live with an intensity not seen for 500 years? Brown. What is the color of oil slicks on oceans and chemical spills in rivers and mudslides on denuded hills? Brown. What is the color from space of barren ranges that were once clothed in glaciers and yearlong snows? Of flooded rivers filled with the irreplaceable topsoil, thousands of years old, which washes into them every year from giant monoculture farms? Brown. Our gentle euphemism for the toxic waste dumps that fester at the edges of cities and towns is “brownfields.”

The world’s human population is browning too. Northern European and European American populations, never a majority in the world, are losing even the percentage share they once had, while overall their proportion of the world’s income and consumption of its resources remains grossly, disproportionately large. But the ranks of global billionaires are browning as well, for whatever you think that’s worth (it’s currently worth about as much for the 2100 of them as what 2 billion of the rest of us possess). And the mostly white middle class, shrinking in my country, is growing in many others, like India, China, and Brazil, while desperate poverty there is shrinking – for the time being.

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Filed under Climate Change, Climate Justice, Corporate Globalization, False Solutions to Climate Change, Rights, Resilience, and Restoration, Solutions

Doubling tar sands production for imperial war

By MacDonald Stainsby, March 11, 2014. Source: Counterpunch

TransCanada_Energy_East_Pipeline_ProjectThe continuation of the North American master plan for energy continues unabated. The newest pipeline– along with the corridor pipeline through Toronto to Montréal and the Atlantic Coast in Maine that Line 9 is a component part of–could facilitate the doubling of tar sands crude available to distribute daily in a short number of years. Well over a million barrels a day (1.1 according to the proposals) alone would flow through the “Energy East” pipeline to a Saint John terminal –including the refinery owned by Irving, the traditional oligarchy that believe they own large sections of the Maritimes.

Current geopolitical struggles involving western imperial nation-states are demanding a re-shuffling of the global energy deck. Tar sands are looking more and more like the Fortress North America strategic military reserves– enough crude to ride out the next phase of US imperial strategy. Russia–and perhaps Venezuela–are on a collision course with the West, and Canada is not impartial nor hiding in the wings on either front. Continue reading

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Vermont: Protestors remove American flags at 9/11 memorial in act of solidarity

September 12, 2013  

Middlebury College, VT — At 3:00PM on Wednesday, September 11, 2013, five protesters removed thousands of flags desecrating occupied Abenaki lands. The U.S. flags were part of a 9/11 memorial established by Middlebury College students.

Amanda Lickers, a member of the Onondowa’ga Nation, states, “In the quickest moment of decision making, in my heart, I understood that lands where our dead may lay must not be desecrated. In my community, we do not pierce the earth. It disturbs the spirits there, it is important for me to respect their presence.”

“For over 500 years our people have been under attack. The theft of our territories, the devastation of our waters; the poisoning of our people through the poisoning of our lands; the theft of our people from our families; the rape of our children; the murder of our women; the sterilization of our communities; the abuse of generations; the uprooting of our ancestors and the occupation of our sacred sites; the silencing of our songs; the erasure of our languages and memories of our traditions. I have had enough.” stated Lickers.

Lickers was at the college to facilitate a workshop on Settler Responsibility and Decolonization.

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Independent Media, Land Grabs

Arundhati Roy: Jungles of resistance

April 16, 2013. Source: Making Contact Radio

Arundhati-RoyRenowned Indian author Arundhati Roy says her country’s government has declared war on its own people. Her outspokenness earned her an invitation to spend time with Maoist rebels. On this edition, Arundhati Roy takes us into the jungles of India, as she reads excerpts from her new book ‘Walking with the Comrades’.

Special thanks to the Center for Place Culture and Politics at the City University of New York’s Graduate Center.

Click here to listen

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At Thatcher’s funeral, bury TINA, too

By Laura Flanders, April 12, 2013. Source: The Nation

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Margaret Thatcher’s fancy funeral will be held this coming Wednesday. Along with the deceased prime minister, can we bury TINA, too?

For thirty years we’ve lived with TINA: “There is No Alternative.” Thatcher deployed her most famous slogan to mean that certain debates were over, especially debates over capitalism. Globalized capitalism, so called free-markets and free trade were the best ways to build wealth, distribute services and grow a society’s economy. Deregulation’s good, if not God.

This week, as the canonization of Margaret Thatcher has played out, it’s clear that while Maggie may be gone, TINA lives.

Both the other guests and pretty much all the callers on a public radio show I was part of embraced TINA, arguing in effect that economic change comes with pain and change was necessary. From each came some version of “Thatcher turned the UK economy around.”

Left activist and author Tariq Ali said on Democracy Now! “The fact that no one has come up with an alternative to the Wall Street crash of 2008 does indicate that there’s some truth to her most famous statement.”

Is that what we really believe?
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World Social Forum: Declaration of Social Movements Assembly

Note: Arabic, French and Spanish translation below.  Traducción al árabe, francés y español abajo. Traduction en français et en espagnol et en Arabe ci-dessous.

-The GJEP Team

March 29, 2013. Source: Global Square

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(English)

As the Social Movements Assembly of the World Social Forum of Tunisia, 2013, we are gathered here to affirm the fundamental contribution of peoples of Maghreb-Mashrek (from North Africa to the Middle East), in the construction of human civilization. We affirm that decolonization for oppressed peoples remains for us, the social movements of the world, a challenge of the greatest importance.

Through the WSF process, the Social Movements Assembly is the place where we come together through our diversity, in order to forge common struggles and a collective agenda to fight against capitalism, patriarchy, racism and all forms of discrimination and oppression. We have built a common history of work which led to some progress, particularly in Latin America, where we have been able to intervene in neoliberal alliances and to create several alternatives for just development that truly honors nature.

Together, the peoples of all the continents are fighting to oppose the domination of capital, hidden behind illusory promises of economic progress and the illusion of political stability.

Now, we are at a crossroads where retrograde and conservative forces want to stop the processes initiated two years ago with the uprisings in the Maghreb-Mashreq region that helped to bring down dictatorships and to challenge the neoliberal system imposed on the peoples. These uprisings have spread to all continents of theworld inspiring indignation and occupation of public places.
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Filed under Actions / Protest, Climate Change, Climate Justice, Corporate Globalization, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Indigenous Peoples, Latin America-Caribbean, Politics, Rights, Resilience, and Restoration, Solutions

Are BRICS ‘sub-imperialists’?

Note: The BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) wrap up their fifth summit in Durban, South Africa, today.  Patrick Bond, long-time colleague and friend of Global Justice Ecology Project, explains how the BRICS are poised to become the next global imperialist power, and will continue the path of neoliberal development and increased industrialization and exploitation.

-The GJEP Team

By Patrick Bond, March 21, 2013. Source: Pambazuka News

medium_8225625903_9a6f8af6cc_o-400x300BRICS offer some of the most extreme sites of new sub-imperialism in the world today. They lubricate world neoliberalism, hasten world eco-destruction and serve as coordinators of hinterland looting. The BRICS hegemonic project should be resisted.

‘We reaffirm the character of the ANC as a disciplined force of the left, a multi-class mass movement and an internationalist movement with an anti-imperialist outlook.’ So said Jacob Zuma, orating to his masses at the year’s largest African National Congress celebration, in Durban on January 12. [1]

Eleven days later, Zuma spoke to the World Economic Forum’s imperialists in a small, luxurious conference room in Davos, Switzerland: ‘We are presenting a South Africa that is open for business and which is open to provide entry into the African continent.’[2] (As a carrot, Zuma specifically mentioned the $440 billion in economic infrastructure investment planned in coming years, while back at home, above-inflation price increases were hitting those low-income consumers of electricity, water and sanitation lucky not to have been disconnected for non-payment.)

South African officials often talk anti-imperialist but walk sub-imperialist. In 1965, Ruy Mauro Marini first defined the term using his own Brazilian case: ‘It is not a question of passively accepting North American power (although the actual correlation of forces often leads to that result), but rather of collaborating actively with imperialist expansion, assuming in this expansion the position of a key nation.’[2]

Nearly half a century later, such insights appear prescient, in the wake of the rise of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) as an active alliance. By 2013 these five key nations encircling the traditional Triad (the US, European Union and Japan) were decisive collaborators with imperialism.
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Pablo Salon: How to overcome the climate crisis?

By Pablo Salon, March 15, 2013. Source: Climate Space 2013

logo_finall_ok_1There is no single answer, no single campaign nor single approach.

To reduce greenhouse gas emissions to a level that avoids catastrophe, we need to:

  • Leave more than two-thirds of the fossil fuel reserves under the soil;
  • Stop the exploitation of tar sands, shale gas and coal;
  • Support small, local, peasant and indigenous community farming while we dismantle big agribusiness that deforests and heats the planet;
  • Promote local production and consumption of products, reducing the free trade of goods that send millions of tons of CO2 while they travel around the world;
  • Stop extractive industries from further destroying nature and contaminating our atmosphere and our land;
  • Increase significantly public transport to reduce the unsustainable “car way of life”;
  • Reduce the emissions of warfare by promoting genuine peace and dismantling the military and war industry and infrastructure.

In other words we need to come out of the endless growth paradigm that is the basis of the capitalist system, and seek for a new kind of society that is grounded on care for each other and nature. A society that seeks happiness for all and not profit for a few. A society based on a different concept of prosperity and well-being. A bio-society for life that includes humans and nature.

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