Thursday, September 30, 2010

Hope Beyond Tragedy...

i found this while searching around to see what people are saying blogging about gay youth, self esteem erosion due to virulent societal homophobia and suicide. this has its moments and its issues. but the message is still one of unconditional acceptance and love for our youth...

To ANY QUEER, LESBIAN, OR GAY YOUTH: Reach out to those you know who will not hurt you. Find support. WE ARE HERE FOR YOU. Suicide is a terribly permanent solution to a temporary problem. Love exists for you.







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Yes, they're white and perfectly fit that stereotype of the perfect, normal gay men but...

I can't find it in my heart to make that matter right now. They're still killing our fucking children, the children and youth of our communities. This is unacceptable. They may not always do the evil ass work themselves, but when the exclude, when they erode self esteem, when they ridicule, when they expose us to hate and to the gaze of us who do not love us, they are murdering us.

We need more messages that are positive. I know this sounds really liberal but I don't fucking care about coming across as radical right now. Radical isn't going to bring back that boy. Radical isn't going to take his feelings of shame and hurt away. Radical clearly did not stop those fucking assholes from publicly humiliating him online. Disgusting.

This vid is just human. It's just a message saying hang on. It's sent out to those who might be struggling and not sure. It says don't fear. Don't give up. Don't hate yourself for being yourself. You're not wrong. You're not dirty. You're okay.














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Crimes are crimes, no matter who does them...









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Solidarity with G20 resistance in South Korea...

Toronto: International Day of Action against the pre-Summit attack on Democratic and Human Rights in South Korea
Start: 10/01/2010 17:00
Timezone: Canada/Eastern

Date: Friday, October 1st

Time: 5pm-8pm
Location: South Korean Consulate, 555 Avenue Road

October 1st- International Day of Action against the pre-Summit attack on Democratic and Human Rights in South Korea

Three months have passed since the G20 invaded Toronto. Behind miles of security fencing and lines of riot police, representatives from the world’s twenty richest countries and central bank governors met to discuss and further implement their policies of systemic exploitation and destruction. Citywide mobilizations greeted the summit as communities took to the streets in opposition to the G20 and everything it stands for.

Our resistance was met by state-sanctioned violence, police brutality, harassment, and intimidation. The criminalization of dissent is ongoing and our communities are still feeling the painful repercussions. The healing process will be a long one.

Unfortunately, the G20 continues and this upcoming November will spread its terror elsewhere. The legacy of the G20 summit, widespread repression, the targeting of community activists and the attacks on democratic and human rights will be brought to South Korea. To our allies and our friends organizing in Seoul we send our condolences.

For all they are currently going through, for all they will surely have to deal with as the summit approaches we send our condolences. We realize the G20 is nothing to celebrate, but rather something to ragefully mourn. And so, on October 1st, the ‘International Day of Action against the pre-Summit attack on Democratic and Human Rights in South Korea’ we will gather in front of the South Korean Consulate (555 Avenue rd.) at 5pm to deliver the following demands to the South Korean government:

1. The G20 Summit is NO excuse! Stop the crackdown on migrants, street vendors and homeless people!

2. Honour international labour standards and ILO recommendations! Stop labour repression and labour flexibilisation policies!

3. Repeal the “Special Law on the Safe Escort of the G20 Summit” and end repression of the rights to freedom of expression and assembly!

Come out in solidarity and show your support for all those organizing against the G20 in Seoul! Food will be served, and materials will be on hand to construct condolence cards and paper flowers that will be put together in a creative package to be sent to our comrades organizing in South Korea.

Background:

http://kctu.org/ActionAlerts/9842

http://g20.torontomobilize.org/





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Queer Wars - a short film i like...










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Fuck the Police, a pink bloc demo against queer recruitment in the village...

No Queers In Uniform

by Earful of Queer Dominion Stories

» Download file 'No_Queers_In_Uniform.mp3' (17.7MB)

No Queers In Uniform

On Saturday Sept. 18th 2010 in Toronto, 40 people came out for a pink bloc action called to confront the police. The cops were planning on hosting a queer recruitment drive at the 519 community centre, in the queer village.

Organized under the banner, No Queers In Uniform, they planned their own recruitment drive to draw attention to the queer-phobic policies and tactics of the police. Earful of Queer was there to get the low down on exactly what was going down on church st.

Earful of Queer airs every Monday from 3-4PM on CFRU in Guelph, Ont.

http://earfulofqueer.wordpress.com








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Court support needed...I saw this late but still posting...

TODAY!

URGENT COURT SUPPORT
Thursday September 20
10am
College Park Courthouse
Yonge St. & College St.
Courtroom 507

At 10pm on Wednesday night, 10 police officers arrested Jaroslava Avila outside Queens Park Subway station. Jaroslava is a prominent Indigenous sovereignty and solidarity activist - Women's Coordinating Committee Chile/Mapuche. She will be appearing in court Thursday morning at 10am. Her family has called for supporters to be present in court.

Jaroslava has been arrested on G20 related conspiracy charges.
Please email, text and facebook far and wide.








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In light of the pretty damn progressive decision about sex workers' rights in kkkanada...

15 ordinary things non sex workers never need to think about

by: Sarah Jasper / December 15, 2008

  1. I can be pretty sure that my neighbours, in any location I may want to live, will be neutral or pleasant to me, and that I will not be followed or harassed by them.

  2. I can be pretty sure of finding media, books, curricular material and other information that testifies to the existence and value of my work and colleagues.

  3. I can be pretty sure of having my voice heard in a group in which I am the only person working in my industry.

  4. I need not worry about my friends and family members facing discrimination for spending time with me.

  5. I can act badly, dress poorly, use drugs or make mistakes without it being attributed to the immorality, poverty, addiction or stupidity of my colleagues.

  6. I can be pretty sure that if I need legal or medical help, my profession will not be held against me.

  7. I can be fairly sure that most people would not advise me to accept a lower paying job or government assistance rather than work in my profession.

  8. I can choose to ignore sex workers many contributions to our culture and society, or disparage and ridicule them without facing any negative consequences.

  9. I can participate in social, creative, political and professional groups without asking whether someone in my profession will be allowed to participate.

  10. People do not assume that I'm so used to being mistreated at work that I won't mind if they mistreat me.

  11. I am not asked to justify the legal income I earn or the property that I may own.

  12. I am considered as or more credible a source of information about my work than someone who has never worked in my industry.

  13. I can expect that my fitness as a wife, woman, mother and pet owner will not be questioned solely based on my work. If my partner, children or pets are apprehended by the Crown, it will not be because of my profession.

  14. I can expect to not be denied a job, passport, education or to adopt or any other opportunity for which I am qualified because of my profession.

  15. I can usually expect not to be asked to provide professional services for free.

Think of how these kinds of daily prejudices would make you feel. Discrimination devalues sex works’ many contributions and prevents us from feeling like true members of your community.

Credit to Peggy McIntosh for the original idea of this kind of list




from the spoc website





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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

FBI Raids Homes of Antiwar and Pro-Palestinian Activists in Chicago and Minneapolis...







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Monday, September 27, 2010

Health harms in San Miguel Ixtahuacan...

...Where GOLDCORP Inc. operates an open-pit, cyanide leeching gold mine

http://rightsaction.org/lists/uploads/image/Brazo%20de%20ni%C3%B1o.JPG



During a series of 20 interviews, conducted in December 2008 - January 2009 by Francois Guindon and Karen Spring, Rights Action documented many people in villages in San Miguel Ixtahuacan suffering rashes, hair loss and other health problems that had not been present before Goldcorp began its gold mining operations in 2004.

Of the participants in the interviews, more than 60% reported that someone in their immediate family were suffering from types of health problems they had never experienced prior to 2007.


From Rights Action’s work in the Goldcorp Inc. gold mining-affected communities in Honduras, similar skin rashes, hair loss and health problems have been documented after Goldcorp began its mining operations in Honduras in 2000.


(Reports and information about Goldcorp in Honduras available on request.)


BELOW:


The pictures and stories are samples of the health impacts that mining is apparently causing in communities near Goldcorp’s “Marlin” mine.


All of the individuals in the photos are Mayan Mam.


As in Honduras, Goldcorp denies their operation is causing environmental and health harms – harms that will remain in these communities long after the company finishes its mining activity in the region.


* * *


Please forward these articles and interviews far ‘n’ wide, including to doctors, nurses, health experts and others interested in further investigation of these problems.


WHAT TO DO: See below.


* * *


Maria, the Mayan Mam mother of this 6 month year old newborn (below) …
http://rightsaction.org/lists/uploads/image/babywithrashontorso.jpg

http://rightsaction.org/lists/uploads/image/babyhairloss.jpg

… lives in the community of San Jose Ixcaniche, one of the communities most affected to date by Goldcorp’s “Marlin” Mine.

This photo was taken in December, 2008. Maria explained that three months prior to this photo, her baby started getting skin rashes, concentrated mostly on her arms and torso, and shortly after that, began losing her hair. Julia and her family bath and wash in a river close to her house, near the mine.

* * *

Juana, a young girl enrolled in a school in San Jose Ixcaniche …

http://rightsaction.org/lists/uploads/image/armwithbumps.jpg

… has itchy and scabby sores all over her right arm.

* * *

Julia, the mother of baby Fernando (1.4 yrs old), said:

http://rightsaction.org/lists/uploads/image/Espalda%20bebe.JPG

http://rightsaction.org/lists/uploads/image/Planta%20pie%20bebe.JPG

“I am scared that I am going to lose my son because of the number of rashes on his body. For 3 months, he could not sleep because he was always itching himself and the rashes would open and blood and pus would come out of the wounds … . He has had rashes for 11 months.”

Julia, the mother of baby Fernando, has used at least 10 different types of creams and lotions on the rashes that her son has on his feet, legs, torso, arms and neck. Nothing has helped cure the skin problems.

* * *

A 13-year old boy …

http://rightsaction.org/lists/uploads/image/ENFERMEDADES%20DE%20LA%20EXTRACCI%C3%93N%20DE%20ORO___.jpg

… suffering from dry skin that cracks, itches and bleeds. This type of skin problem is not unique - many children suffer from what was described to us as “iguana skin”.

* * *

Another new born baby …

http://rightsaction.org/lists/uploads/image/Brazo%20de%20ni%C3%B1o.JPG

… affected by skin rashes.

* * *

Goldcorp Inc. explains that health problems as being caused by bad hygiene, lack of water (the company uses 250,000 litres/hour of the local water supply, even as creeks and wells are drying up!) and fleas.

Local people interviewed told us that they know the difference between the appearance of chicken pox, flea bites and the current unexplained rash outburst over the past year.

* * *

This 1.1 month year old baby died.

http://rightsaction.org/lists/uploads/image/Bebe%20detalle.JPG

http://rightsaction.org/lists/uploads/image/Mano%20Bebe.JPG

http://rightsaction.org/lists/uploads/image/Bebe%20detalle%20brazo.JPG

This baby belonged to a family including two daughters of 5 yrs and 12 years old, a mother and father.

The baby (in the photos above) passed away in July 2008 for reasons that are unknown to the family and the community.

These photos, taken shortly before the baby’s death, show the skin problems – rashes and open wounds.

This same family continues to experience unexplained skin problems similar to others seen in their neighbours and community members. Below are photos of the baby’s mother and sister that live in the community of San Jose Ixcaniche.

http://rightsaction.org/lists/uploads/image/Espalda%20ni%C3%B1a.JPG

http://rightsaction.org/lists/uploads/image/Brazo.JPG

Rights Action learned that the father abandoned his family. The mother has been left to take care of the children and mourn the death of her newborn baby. The mother has no source of income and is unable to seek medical attention for herself and her children that suffer from rashes.

* * *

Two young boys …

http://rightsaction.org/lists/uploads/image/NI%C3%91O%20AFECTADO___ESCUELA%20SAN%20JOSE%20IXCANICHE___.jpg

http://rightsaction.org/lists/uploads/image/NI%C3%91O%20CON%20ENFERMEDAD%20DE%20LA%20PIEL___CAUSANTE___%20MONTANA___.jpg

… from a school in one of the communities in San Miguel Ixtahuacan. We were told during an interview that many children, especially at school, are afraid of letting other children see their skin problems.

One teacher commented that many students refuse to take off their sweaters out of fear and shame that other children will tease them about their rashes.

13 year old Carlos …

http://rightsaction.org/lists/uploads/image/MUCHO%20DA%C3%91O%20POR%20EL%20CIANURO%20EN%20MONTANA___.jpg

… with rashes on the right side of his face.

* * *

Another example of “iguana skin” …

http://rightsaction.org/lists/uploads/image/ENFERMEDADES%20POR%20LA%20MINA___.jpg

… in a young child.

* * *

This is who Emeterio Perez is …

http://rightsaction.org/lists/uploads/image/Emeterio-Full_E-Strode.jpeg

http://rightsaction.org/lists/uploads/image/Emeterio-Leg_E-Strode.jpeg

Emeterio, a 73 year old man from the community of San Jose Ixcaniche in San Miguel Ixtahuacan. In less than a year, Emeterios health has dramatically changed.

He started to experience pain that started in his feet and slowly spread throughout his body.

Then, dry, itchy rashes that started on his feet broke out all over his body. As shown in the picture above, his stomach began to swell to an unbelievable size as he began to feel weaker and weaker. Emeterio told us during his interview, that another man in the same community who has since passed away, experienced the same symptoms.

* * *

After completing this recent spate of interviews with people in communities in San Miguel Ixtahuacan who have rashes, hair loss and other unexplained health problems that have arisen in the last year, it is obvious to Rights Action and the local population that the operation of Goldcorp’s mine has worsened the health of these mining affected communities.

One interview participant stated:

“What is going to happen after ? If there is an illness or two, three, four, five … or ten illnesses, what is the company going to do? Will they be cured quickly? Will they leave big hospitals or leave them to die? … The people die and they won't care. They will leave and won't care what happens to the people.”

* * * * * * *

MORE INFORMATION

For more info about health issues and the context in which Goldcorp Inc. is operating its “Marlin” mine, read: “Who Is Emeterio Perez” – http://www.rightsaction.org/articles/Emetrio_Perez_013109.html

See report “Investing in Conflict” about Goldcorp’s operations across the Americas: http://rightsaction.org/Reports/research.pdf.

See film “All That Glitters Isn’t Gold” (http://www.rightsaction.org/video/gold/) that documents health and environmental harms related to Goldcorp’s “San Martin” mine in Honduras.

* * *

WHAT TO DO

There is no easy way to help the mainly Mayan Mam villagers being harmed by this mine. Goldcorp Inc. has the full support of the governments of Canada and Guatemala; early on, the World Bank was an investor in and supporter of this mine.

It is fundamental that North American citizens hold Goldcorp Inc, its investors and shareholders and the American and Canadian governments accountable for the environmental and health harms and human rights violations being caused by Goldcorp Inc. in Guatemala, and elsewhere.

American and Canadian citizens should write to - and keep on writing to - their politicians, making them aware of these situations, demanding that our governments prioritize global human rights and environmental concerns over global business interests, demanding that our politicians use their power and authority to help hold our corporations accountable if/ when they violate human rights and/or cause environmental and health harms.

Canadians and Americans should write to and keep writing to their own Pension Funds and Investment Brokers – including the Canadian Pension Plan, to find out what types of corporations and businesses they are investing in, to demand that our investors prioritize global human rights and environmental concerns over profits, to insist that investments be withdrawn if/ when profits are being made at the expense of environmental and health harms and/ or human rights violations.

This is slow, long-term work. We need to make our governments, companies and investment firms accountable to us in all facets of global economic relations and policies.

ADDRESSES

Send a copy of this photo-essay, along with your own letter, to your own politicians, media, the company and your own investment firms or pension fund, demanding a response to your letters of concern and protest about this corporate and investment activity.

GOLDCORP Inc.
info@goldcorp.com
; inquiries@cibcmellon.com; hr@goldcorp.com; Directors@Goldcorp.com; info@goldcorp.com; inquiries@cibcmellon.com; jamess@montana.com.gt; lisa.wade@montana.com.gt;

Head office:
Park Place
Suite 3400-666 Burrard Street
Vancouver, B.C. V6C 2X8
Telephone: (604) 696-3000
Fax: (604) 696-3001

BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Directors@Goldcorp.com

Goldcorp Inc.
Park Place
Suite 3400-666 Burrard Street
Vancouver, B.C. V6C 2X8
Tel: (866) 6... or local (604) 6...

INVESTOR RELATIONS
info@goldcorp.com

Jeff Wilhoit
Toll Free: (800) 5... (Canada and USA only)

TORONTO OFFICE
3201 – 130 Adelaide Street West
Toronto, Ontario Canada M5H 3P5
Telephone: (416) 865-0326
Fax: (416) 361-5741

HUMAN RESOURCES:
hr@goldcorp.com

GUATEMALA CITY
Jim Schenck (Regional Director, Community Development), jamess@montana.com.gt

Lisa Wade (Regional Director, Environment), lisa.wade@montana.com.gt

* * *

CANADIAN GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS

CANADIAN Embassy in Guatemala,
Ambassador Leeann McKechnie (leeann.mckechnie@international.gc.ca
),
Karin Reinecke, Assistant to the Ambassador (karin.reinecke@international.gc.ca
)
13 Calle 8-44 Zone 10, Edificio Edyma Plaza, Ciudad de Guatemala,
Tel. (502) 2363-4348 / gtmla@international.gc.ca

CANADIAN Minister of International Cooperation, Ms. Bev Oda, 509-S Centre Block, House of Commons, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0A6, Oda.B@parl.gc.ca.

CANADIAN Minister of Foreign Affairs, 509-S Centre Block, House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0A6, BerniM@parl.gc.ca
, Maxime Bernier.

* * *

UNITED NATIONS – GUATEMALA: Office of the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights in Guatemala, Attention: Anders Kompass, 5a Av. 5-55, Zona 14, Edificio EUROPLAZA, Torre III, Nivel 14, Ciudad de Guatemala, Tel.: (502) 2382-3400, informacion@ohchr.org.gt

* * *

Come on an EDUCATIONAL-ACTIVIST DELEGATION TO GUATEMALA, APRIL 12-17:

Rights Action is leading an educational trip to Guatemala and the Goldcorp Inc-mining affected regions. To join this delegation: info@rightsaction.org, www.rightsaction.org.

Go to GOLDCORP’s ANNUAL PUBLIC SHAREHOLDER MEETING:

May 22, 2009, Fairmont Waterfront Hotel, Vancouver: 900 Canada Place Way, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, V6C3L5, TOLL FREE: 1(866) 540-4509 , T: 604-691-1991 , E: thewaterfronthotel@fairmont.com

MORE INFO

Grahame Russell, 1-860-3..., info@rightsaction.org, www.rightsaction.org, Facebook: RightsAction Grahame Russell






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G20 disclosure day for those charged with conspiracy...

G20 Defendants at court, while supporters and advocates demand their freedom and an end to continued police repression

Toronto – Nineteen of the more than 110 people charged with ‘conspiracy’ related to the anti-G20 mobilizations appeared in court today accompanied by friends, family, activists and community organizers who are demanding that all charges for all G20 defendants be dropped and police stop enforcing their political agenda to criminalize dissent. Human rights and civil liberties organizations such as Amnesty International and Canadian Civil Liberties Association, along with seasoned criminal lawyers also spoke out against the infringements of rights and the G20 legal fiasco, at a press conference organized by the Community Solidarity Network.

This court date happened just days after Alex Hundert, a defendant facing ‘conspiracy’ charges was re-arrested on alleged breach of his bail condition to not attend a public “demonstration”. Criminal lawyer Howard Morton warns “this re-arrest sets a dangerous precedent”. Hundert was speaking on an academic panel at Ryerson University, invited by faculty member, Judy Rebick.

Says Judy, “This was in no way a demonstration. It was a meeting examining the political situation around the G20 and Hundert’s arrest following the event is an outrage. It is yet another example of political policing and over-extension of police powers.”

Over 100 other people are presently facing similar “no-public demonstration” charges. Criticisms have been building of the absurd police interpretation of “demonstration”. “Releasing dissenters on the condition that they refrain from publicly expressing their opinions, may have the effect of silencing governmental critics. Such conditions constitute a clear violation of charter rights such as the freedom of speech and the freedom of peaceful assembly” says Nathalie Des Rosiers, General Counsel at the Canadian Civil Liberties Association.

Shanaaz Gokool, the Toronto Chair of Amnesty International Toronto Organization who spoke at the press conference added, “Amnesty International has repeatedly called for an independent inquiry into the actions of the government and the police both in the lead-up to, and during the G20 summit in Toronto in June, this year. Still no answers”.

The Conservative government recklessly squandered over $1.2 billion of public funds during the G8/G20 summit. The RCMP costs alone account for $70 million, and as much as $2 million were splurged on constructing a temporary “fake lake” for the G20 leaders. All this while the government continues to cut spending on critical social services, provides tax cuts to corporations, and bail out banks.

Mandy Hiscocks, one of the 19 people charged with conspiracy who appeared at court today, also spoke at the press conference. She asks, “Are they going to arrest me for speaking out at this press conference?”

She continues, “I was arrested for working in solidarity with communities of color, poor and marginalized communities who are forced to bare the daily injustices the current system imposes upon them. The intense police repression that we are seeing now is just a reflection of the reality that these communities are forced to live with daily.”

Jessica Denyer, a member of the Community Solidarity Network adds, “The 19 people charged with conspiracy appearing today are valuable organizers working in our communities to create a better world. This criminalization of dissent must end now. We call that all the charges be dropped and that all political prisoners be free.”

-30-

Media liaison: Yogi Acharya 647-454-2443, tcmn.media@gmail.com







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No more G20 activist superstars and "innocent" bystanders...

End the erasure of the everyday people targeted in the media and arrested by Toronto police after the G20

All those on the left who are washing their hands of these people while focusing in the extreme on the two polarized bookends (the superstar activist organizers and the people who are still trying to minimize the impact of their dissent, thereby hopefully accessing safety as well-behaved citizens) miss the point of the exercise - framing and draconian criminalization of anyone accused of participating in a diversity of tactics will vastly reduce number and efficacy of potential resister/protesters.

The state and their thugs the police have created straw men who can be set on fire, publicly denigrated and destroyed while everyone else stands back and watches.

As I watch and read the lefty news, as I attempt to communicate with bloggers and media people on the left, it becomes more and more clear that no one will stem the tide of this particular approach to stifling dissent. No one will highlight the cases of the "most wanted".

Maybe there isn't enough of a story t/here?
Maybe these people aren't media sexy enough?
Or maybe they're radioactive right now and everyone knows it's hands off?

I know which one I think it is.

Yup.



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Sunday, September 26, 2010

Now they're also attacking white middle-class mothers in front of their (formerly) sheltered children...







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Food security goes down the toilet...

this might be US news but it relates to all of us....

Congressional Food Fascism Legislation
by Stephen Lendman

Two earlier articles addressed corporate friendly legislation masquerading as pro-consumer. In fact, they'll destroy safe food, empower agribusiness and drug giants, and harm small farmers and consumers. Access them through the following links:

http://sjlendman.blogspot.com/2009/07/hr-2749-agribusiness-e...

http://sjlendman.blogspot.com/2010/08/legislation-for-greate...

This article is a brief follow-up on where things now stand, as the Senate tries to circumvent growing public opposition.

On July 29, 2009, the House passed HR 2749: Food Safety Enhancement Act of 2009 "To amend the (1938 as amended) Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to improve the safety of food in the global market, and for other purposes."

On March 3, 2009, S. 510: FDA Food Safety Modernization Act was introduced, the Senate's version of the House bill. It stalled after being assailed as anti-consumer and small farmer as well as failing to help food safety. In fact, like the House bill, it's cover for greater industry consolidation, destructive to consumer welfare.

On July 29, 2010, S. 3669: Food Safety Enforcement Act of 2010 was introduced "to increase criminal penalties for certain knowing violations relating to food that is misbranded or adulterated." Referred to committee, it's being considered before a full Senate vote.

Then on September 13, S. 3767: Food Safety Accountability Act of 2010 was introduced "to establish appropriate criminal penalties for certain knowing violations relating to food that is misbranded or adulterated." Also referred to committee, it's being debated before a full Senate vote - likely soon before Congress adjourns to campaign for the November 2 elections.

Despite their language, neither House or Senate bills help food, drug or nutrient supplement safety. Both impair them by empowering agribusiness and drug giants - why it's crucial to defeat the Senate measures while there's time.

So far, one senator (also a physician) remains outspoken and opposed, Tom Coburn (R. OK), saying:

"While some regulations are potentially onerous, but perhaps reasonable - such as requiring every facility to have a scientifically-based, but very flexible, food safety plan - others give FDA sweeping authority with potentially significant consequences....on the whole this bill represents a weighty new regulatory structure on the food industry that will be particularly difficult for small producers and farms to comply with (with little evidence it will make food safer)." In fact, there's none.

Dr. Rima Laibow, Medical Director of the Natural Solutions Foundation alerts everyone to "2 health freedom emergencies," S. 510, and S. 3767, saying:

After S. 510 stalled, S. 3767 was introduced. It's now in the Senate Judiciary Committee for consideration, an upcoming vote, likely passage, then full Senate debate before adjourning to campaign. Of major concern is that "S. 510 will be introduced into (S. 3767) as an amendment, (along with) perhaps elements of the long-discredited fake dietary supplement 'safety' bill, S. 3002."

On September 23, she said the Judiciary Committee's Executive Committee considered S. 3767, slightly amended it, but not enough to matter. Passage of a combined S. 3767/S. 510 will "CRIMINALIZE THE DISTRIBUTION OF FOOD," benefitting corporate giants by harming small farmers (including organic ones) and consumers.

Revised language won't stop the FDA, FTC, Department of Agriculture, or other government agencies from deciding any time that "some rule, regulation, guideline or standard had not been met," including "secret" S. 510 provisions.

At issue is protecting small farmers and consumers as well as safe organic and locally grown food and dietary supplements. These bills will restrict or prevent them from being sold on the pretext of non-complaince with regulations, or in some cases claiming they're unsafe.

This is precisely what Ag and drug giants want, giving them full control over the nation's food, drugs, and dietary supplements. In other words, everything ingested for sustenance, nutrition, health and welfare will be in their hands to dominate, process, industrialize, taint, restrict, or prohibit for profit at the expense of consumers, small farmers, and other producers who'll be harmed.

One of many concerns is a provision calling for up to 10 years in prison for "misbranding," with no clear definition provided. For example, the FDA defines misbranding as any food or supplement claiming potential health benefits, even if scientifically proved. "Adulteration" is another issue, by definition including minor or inadvertent administrative or clerical errors, unrelated to food safety.

With regard to vitamins, minerals, and other dietary supplements, the Life Extension Foundation (lef.org) highlighted the problem, headlining "Congress Seeks to put Dietary Supplement Makers in Jail for Ten Years," saying:

Drug giants want to prevent your right to freely choose dietary supplement for health. S. 3767 masquerades as consumer friendly by "punish(ing) anyone who knowingly contaminates food for sale. Since there are already strong laws to punish anyone who commits this crime, this bill (is just cover to enrich) pharmaceutical interests."

"The sinister scheme behind (it) is to exploit the public's concern (for) food safety. Drug companies want to convince your Senators that an overreaching law needs to be enacted to grant the (corporate run) FDA powers to define 'food contamination' any way it chooses."

Besides empowering corporate giants, at issue "is that the FDA will use this as a hammer to threaten and coerce small companies into signing crippling consent decrees that will deny consumers access to truthful non-misleading information about natural approaches to protect against age-related disease." In addition, by so doing, they'll harm their own interests, shutting down many businesses for not being able to show why their products are beneficial.

A Final Comment

If passed, these House and Senate bills will empower agribusiness, legitimize unhealthy industrial food, put small farmers and producers out of business, and harm consumers by restricting their choices, besides making them pay exorbitantly higher prices.

In 1970, Henry Kissinger said: "Control oil and you control nations; control food and you control people."

Concentrating power in the hands of a few Ag/drug giants places everyone at risk. They plan world dominance by patenting all life forms to force-feed GMO foods and drugs on everyone, despite their harm to human health. Safe organic and family farm food will be restricted or disappear. So will beneficial dietary supplements.

Demand Congress defeat these bills and enact "The Food Freedom Amendment," saying:

"No provision of Federal Law giving regulatory oversight to any Federal department or agency shall be deemed to apply (a) to any home, home business, homestead, home or community garden, small farm, organic or natural agricultural activity, (b) to any family farm or ranch, or (c) to any natural or organic food product, including dietary supplements, as protected under the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994."

The issue is clearly drawn - defeat Agbiz and Big Pharma or (more than ever) they'll harm human health and welfare. It's our choice if we act - quickly.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. Also visit his blog site at www.sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.




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Food security goes down the toilet...

Congressional Food Fascism Legislation - by Stephen Lendman

Two earlier articles addressed corporate friendly legislation masquerading as pro-consumer. In fact, they'll destroy safe food, empower agribusiness and drug giants, and harm small farmers and consumers. Access them through the following links:

http://sjlendman.blogspot.com/2009/07/hr-2749-agribusiness-e...

http://sjlendman.blogspot.com/2010/08/legislation-for-greate...

This article is a brief follow-up on where things now stand, as the Senate tries to circumvent growing public opposition.

On July 29, 2009, the House passed HR 2749: Food Safety Enhancement Act of 2009 "To amend the (1938 as amended) Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to improve the safety of food in the global market, and for other purposes."

On March 3, 2009, S. 510: FDA Food Safety Modernization Act was introduced, the Senate's version of the House bill. It stalled after being assailed as anti-consumer and small farmer as well as failing to help food safety. In fact, like the House bill, it's cover for greater industry consolidation, destructive to consumer welfare.

On July 29, 2010, S. 3669: Food Safety Enforcement Act of 2010 was introduced "to increase criminal penalties for certain knowing violations relating to food that is misbranded or adulterated." Referred to committee, it's being considered before a full Senate vote.

Then on September 13, S. 3767: Food Safety Accountability Act of 2010 was introduced "to establish appropriate criminal penalties for certain knowing violations relating to food that is misbranded or adulterated." Also referred to committee, it's being debated before a full Senate vote - likely soon before Congress adjourns to campaign for the November 2 elections.

Despite their language, neither House or Senate bills help food, drug or nutrient supplement safety. Both impair them by empowering agribusiness and drug giants - why it's crucial to defeat the Senate measures while there's time.

So far, one senator (also a physician) remains outspoken and opposed, Tom Coburn (R. OK), saying:

"While some regulations are potentially onerous, but perhaps reasonable - such as requiring every facility to have a scientifically-based, but very flexible, food safety plan - others give FDA sweeping authority with potentially significant consequences....on the whole this bill represents a weighty new regulatory structure on the food industry that will be particularly difficult for small producers and farms to comply with (with little evidence it will make food safer)." In fact, there's none.

Dr. Rima Laibow, Medical Director of the Natural Solutions Foundation alerts everyone to "2 health freedom emergencies," S. 510, and S. 3767, saying:

After S. 510 stalled, S. 3767 was introduced. It's now in the Senate Judiciary Committee for consideration, an upcoming vote, likely passage, then full Senate debate before adjourning to campaign. Of major concern is that "S. 510 will be introduced into (S. 3767) as an amendment, (along with) perhaps elements of the long-discredited fake dietary supplement 'safety' bill, S. 3002."

On September 23, she said the Judiciary Committee's Executive Committee considered S. 3767, slightly amended it, but not enough to matter. Passage of a combined S. 3767/S. 510 will "CRIMINALIZE THE DISTRIBUTION OF FOOD," benefitting corporate giants by harming small farmers (including organic ones) and consumers.

Revised language won't stop the FDA, FTC, Department of Agriculture, or other government agencies from deciding any time that "some rule, regulation, guideline or standard had not been met," including "secret" S. 510 provisions.

At issue is protecting small farmers and consumers as well as safe organic and locally grown food and dietary supplements. These bills will restrict or prevent them from being sold on the pretext of non-complaince with regulations, or in some cases claiming they're unsafe.

This is precisely what Ag and drug giants want, giving them full control over the nation's food, drugs, and dietary supplements. In other words, everything ingested for sustenance, nutrition, health and welfare will be in their hands to dominate, process, industrialize, taint, restrict, or prohibit for profit at the expense of consumers, small farmers, and other producers who'll be harmed.

One of many concerns is a provision calling for up to 10 years in prison for "misbranding," with no clear definition provided. For example, the FDA defines misbranding as any food or supplement claiming potential health benefits, even if scientifically proved. "Adulteration" is another issue, by definition including minor or inadvertent administrative or clerical errors, unrelated to food safety.

With regard to vitamins, minerals, and other dietary supplements, the Life Extension Foundation (lef.org) highlighted the problem, headlining "Congress Seeks to put Dietary Supplement Makers in Jail for Ten Years," saying:

Drug giants want to prevent your right to freely choose dietary supplement for health. S. 3767 masquerades as consumer friendly by "punish(ing) anyone who knowingly contaminates food for sale. Since there are already strong laws to punish anyone who commits this crime, this bill (is just cover to enrich) pharmaceutical interests."

"The sinister scheme behind (it) is to exploit the public's concern (for) food safety. Drug companies want to convince your Senators that an overreaching law needs to be enacted to grant the (corporate run) FDA powers to define 'food contamination' any way it chooses."

Besides empowering corporate giants, at issue "is that the FDA will use this as a hammer to threaten and coerce small companies into signing crippling consent decrees that will deny consumers access to truthful non-misleading information about natural approaches to protect against age-related disease." In addition, by so doing, they'll harm their own interests, shutting down many businesses for not being able to show why their products are beneficial.

A Final Comment

If passed, these House and Senate bills will empower agribusiness, legitimize unhealthy industrial food, put small farmers and producers out of business, and harm consumers by restricting their choices, besides making them pay exorbitantly higher prices.

In 1970, Henry Kissinger said: "Control oil and you control nations; control food and you control people."

Concentrating power in the hands of a few Ag/drug giants places everyone at risk. They plan world dominance by patenting all life forms to force-feed GMO foods and drugs on everyone, despite their harm to human health. Safe organic and family farm food will be restricted or disappear. So will beneficial dietary supplements.

Demand Congress defeat these bills and enact "The Food Freedom Amendment," saying:

"No provision of Federal Law giving regulatory oversight to any Federal department or agency shall be deemed to apply (a) to any home, home business, homestead, home or community garden, small farm, organic or natural agricultural activity, (b) to any family farm or ranch, or (c) to any natural or organic food product, including dietary supplements, as protected under the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994."

The issue is clearly drawn - defeat Agbiz and Big Pharma or (more than ever) they'll harm human health and welfare. It's our choice if we act - quickly.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. Also visit his blog site at www.sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.




if what you're reading here grips you, holds you, fascinates you, provokes you, emboldens you, pushes you, galvanizes you, discomfits you, tickles you, enrages you so much that you find yourself returning again and again...then link me.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

BRAVO!

I found this on a blog I've been to here...
Dear RCMP

Earlier in September, the RCMP contacted The Link through an ad sales rep to put a banner ad on our website.

The pitch for the ad read: “Aboriginal Recruitment Campaign.” I told The Link’s business manager to show me the ad. She did. Masthead (the collection of our editors) voted no. I thought that would be it. But today, the RCMP contacted us and asked for an explanation. You will find it below:

To whomever this may concern,

As a member of the alternative press which seeks to promote a space, both physical and media, that is safe and open, The Link maintains the right to refuse ads that meet certain criteria.
Ads that are aggressive, in poor taste, violent or objectifying in tone, or if the content represents or promotes a violation of human rights in any way, as well as all ads from oil and gas industries, and the military and military-related industries are rejected.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police checks many of these boxes. The RCMP’s well publicized mistreatment of Canada’s visible minorities, first nations and journalists made it that hosting this banner on our website would defeat the purpose of the website as a safe space to publish and discuss. Many of our target readers and journalists have been brutalized over the past six months by the RCMP and have seen the integrity of their human rights violated.

Apart from these violations, the RCMP is currently refusing to disclose documents to The Link as well as other media sources across the country, making the production of investigative pieces impossible and making an attempt to keep the RCMP accountable to the public inconceivable.

The Link’s editorial board did not want to be seen or thought to consent with the actions of that body.

Thank you for your understanding,
Justin Giovannetti



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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Stephen Harper talks to the UN? Ick. He's got the cooties...

Stephen Harper at the UN: The truth his speech will try to hide
By Derrick O'Keefe
September 23, 2010

Stephen Harper is on a charm offensive this week at the United Nations in New York, in advance of an October vote where Canada is hoping to land one of the temporary seats on the Security Council.

As a Canadian, I have no qualms saying that I hope this bid fails. It’s not that I think highly of the Security Council, a club that protects the prerogatives of the big powers at the expense of democracy and equality in international relations; it’s just that I believe that the world needs less of Stephen Harper and what Canadian foreign policy now clearly represents. If UN representatives vote based on Canada’s record of late, Harper’s diplomatic campaign will go down in flames.

Addressing the main UN chamber Tuesday, as part of a three-day conference on the Millennium Development Goals, Harper vowed: “We must get results. We must all be held accountable. And people in the developing world must see that we deliver on our word.”

After a quick trip back to Ottawa to vote against the national gun registry, Harper is back in New York today to address the General Assembly. Harper has not given a major speech at the UN since 2006, and in many ways he is a fish out of water, emerging as he did from the ranks of the atavistic western Canadian Reform Party that eventually merged into (or took over) the revamped Conservative Party. Talk of multilateralism, global cooperation and compassion for the world’s poor – the rhetorical currency of the UN – do not come naturally to Harper. But he is a quick study and a shrewd politician. So to avoid being bamboozled by the Prime Minister’s speech today it’s worth reviewing the actual record and results of Harper’s Canada in world affairs.

What follows, I’m afraid, is only a very partial list.

-Indigenous rights. Canada was one of only four countries to vote against the UN Declaration on Indigenous Rights when it was passed in 2007. Three years after this shameful vote, Harper’s government has still not signed on, despite an active pressure campaign that includes Indigenous leaders from across Canada. Harper is so cynical on this issue that he has even asserted that Canada has "no history of colonialism," even has he obstructs a landmark international declaration aimed at ending still ongoing colonial crimes.

-Global warming. In climate negotiations, Canada has been noteworthy for its obstruction of meaningful and serious efforts to tackle this most urgent of global issues. At last year’s COP15 UN climate negotiations in Copenhagen, climate justice activists singled-out the Harper government for condemnation. George Monbiot was blistering in his assessment: “This thuggish petro-state is today the greatest obstacle to a deal in Copenhagen.” Even the infamous pranksters The Yes Men got in on the act of shaming Canada. Before he was prime minister, Harper once criticized the UN’s Kyoto Protocol as a “socialist scheme.”

-Omar Khadr. Stephen Harper has ignored repeated Court rulings that his government must press for the repatriation of this Canadian citizen from the dungeon of Guantanamo Bay. This child soldier has now spent one-third of his life in extra-legal detention, abandoned by his own government to suffer torture and now to face the indignity of a sham trial for war crimes. Canada is the only western government to leave one of its own citizens languishing in Gitmo.

-“Aid”. Harper is expected to make this country’s provision of so-called aid money a centerpiece of his pitch to the UN. But close observers are highly critical of Canada’s actual record. Writing in the Globe and Mail this week, Gerald Caplan takes the federal government to task for the reactionary ideological axe it’s been grinding when it comes to NGOs and aid: “… The Harper government has canceled funding this year for a number of prominent Canadian international NGOs, including International Planned Parenthood Federation, Kairos, the Canadian Council for International Cooperation and Match International... Why were they cut off? Because all of them advocate for international development based on solidarity and respect. What the Harper government offers instead is charity and handouts, fish for some rather than all learning to fish.”

-Haiti. Harper is expected to extol the virtues of Canada’s post-earthquake aid to Haiti in his UN address. But Haiti solidarity activists say that the real record is shameful. Canada Haiti Action Network member Roger Annis describes “Canada’s failed aid to Haiti,” including: inflation of announced dollar figures for aid, failure to deliver promised aid money in a timely manner, misallocation of aid money to police and prisons rather than the urgent needs of rubble removal and shelter. Prior to the earthquake, Canada was already investing heavily in building the repressive apparatus in Haiti which has carried out systematic attacks against members and supporters of the Lavalas movement, whose democratically elected President Jean-Bertrand Aristide was overthrown in 2004 in a coup backed by Canada, the U.S. and France.

-The Middle East. Canada under Stephen Harper has been called “Israel’s best friend,” even as that state has grown ever more aggressive in violating international law to maintain its occupation and collective punishment against the Palestinian people. Fittingly, Israeli PM Netanyahu was visiting Ottawa in May when Israeli forces massacred nine members of an international aid flotilla seeking to break the siege of Gaza. The Harper government took the lead in enforcing the siege, backed Israel’s brutal military assault on Gaza, and has taken steps towards criminalizing and suppressing criticism of the state of Israel.

-War. But then Harper’s unstinting support for Israel is consistent with his sympathy for war and illegal occupation more generally -- in Iraq, Afghanistan and beyond. In the days after the invasion of Iraq in March 2003, Harper and Stockwell Day wrote a letter of apology of sorts in the Wall Street Journal, responding to then Prime Minister Chretien's announcement that Canada would not be sending combat troops into Iraq. Calling this decision a “serious mistake,” Harper and Day stated that they “[support] the American and British position because we share their concerns, their worries about the future if Iraq is left unattended to, and their fundamental vision of civilization and human values.” In addition to the apologetic letter, Harper rose in the House of Commons and delivered a pro-war speech, sections of which an aide later admitted were plagiarized from a speech by Australian PM John Howard.

Even though he was Bush’s advocate, I doubt anyone will accuse Harper of leaving a smell of sulfur behind at the UN rostrum today. But the Canadian Prime Minister will be speaking with a forked tongue, attempting to cover over his real record with a patina of platitudes.

The people of the developing world have seen what Canada has delivered on the international stage, in both words and deeds. Their UN representatives would do well to hold Harper accountable by denying his bid for a seat on the Security Council.






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Trying to think about different, less oppressive ways to relate to these lands...

since we are settler/occupier/squatters on these stolen lands regardless of how we define, one good step for me is to think about how to not participate in the (un)real estate scam where people are taught to rent from banks, taught to believe that "buying" makes them better, more mature, more intelligent, of a higher class than those who rent from people who rent from banks. it is not possible to put a price on the upper crust of this planet. it is not possible to buy segments of this planet. we were born here. we do not own it. it takes care of us.



Image: [squat.net] - Logo


What is [squat!net]?

[squat!net] is an international internet magazine with main focus on squatted houses, car sites and other free spaces.

Different people, with different backgrounds (e.g. squatters, punks, hackers, etc.) try to work together and collect news and importent stuff on the squatter scene. Sure we're not able doing this alone - quite a lot of information is sent by our readers - yes, from YOU!

What's in here?

Sure our news area is the most frequented part of the server. But we also think, that the archive area, where you can find some books and introductions in squatting is very smart. Cool are our maps and the fotogalery (at the time only Berlin, so send us your pictures!).

Very important are our projects.

What do we *really* want?!

We don't really want an internet magazine -- We want squatted houses and freespaces everywhere and all the time. The current situation in europe is getting worse and worse - Perhaps we are able to inform you, or to motivate some people to join the squatter scene or to help us with our work ... etc.Bart Simpson

Additional the internet becomes more and more an stupid ad-banner-blinking bullshit - we need some "other" informations.

The people have to know what's going on at the moment with encryption and other computerstuff. All this is changing our lives day by day. We have to care NOW - in a few years all this stuff will reign over us - if we are not able to smash their system.

Join us!

Like many internet magazines we have also the problem that we are to few people to care on all the stuff - so we are hardly looking for people joining our magazine.

But if you are lazy you can send us simple your news. We prefer receiving PGP-encrypted mail - for this you can use our PGP-JAVA Page, so all the things you write are encrypted.

On our contactpage you find our PGP-key and some other motivation infos.







if what you're reading here grips you, holds you, fascinates you, provokes you, emboldens you, pushes you, galvanizes you, discomfits you, tickles you, enrages you so much that you find yourself returning again and again...then link me.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Okay, guess I'll bite...

i'll go. it hits close to "home". it is "home"...

paraphrased edit - "every since i realized there was someone called a coloured girl or an evil woman or a nag i've been trying to get folks to deconstruct / resist /
redefine / stop fucking believing that..."

so sad that it wasn't a julie dash creashun. that would have been sweet. bu, over-processed well-knowns or not, i'll go check it out.






if what you're reading here grips you, holds you, fascinates you, provokes you, emboldens you, pushes you, galvanizes you, discomfits you, tickles you, enrages you so much that you find yourself returning again and again...then link me.

The Malcolm X Grassroots Movement Statement on the Conditions in Haiti Seven Months After the Earthquake (English and French)...



Thurs­day, August 26, 2010
Con­tact: Kamau Franklin
+001 917 53 53 041
www.mxgm.org
kamauf@mxgm.org

The Mal­colm X Grass­roots Move­ment State­ment on the Con­di­tions in Haiti

Seven Months After the Earthquake

The Mal­colm X Grass­roots Move­ment (MXGM) is an orga­ni­za­tion of peo­ple of Afrikan descent in the United States who believe in fight­ing for and sup­port­ing self-determination and human rights for Afrikans in the United States and around the world. Our orga­ni­za­tion annu­ally takes an inter­na­tional trip to build sol­i­dar­ity with other peo­ple strug­gling for lib­er­a­tion and social jus­tice. This year, we come in sol­i­dar­ity to Haiti (with the peo­ple of Haiti).

Our objec­tive was to meet with Hait­ian peo­ple and pop­u­lar orga­ni­za­tions and assess the cur­rent sit­u­a­tion in the camps and through­out the coun­try seven months after the earthquake.

What we have found is appalling. There is a lack of secu­rity, dete­ri­o­rat­ing health con­di­tions, and inad­e­quate access to food, water, med­i­cine and edu­ca­tion in the camps. We are par­tic­u­larly con­cerned about the lack of safety and the large num­ber of reported rapes and vio­lent attacks on Hait­ian women and chil­dren in the camps.

Numer­ous Hait­ian peo­ple liv­ing in the camps have reported that aid groups and Non-Governmental Organization’s (NGO) have pro­vided inad­e­quate aid after mil­lions were col­lected by the U.S. gov­ern­ment (through the Clinton/ Bush ini­tia­tive), the Red Cross, the United Nations and a mul­ti­tude of NGOs.

We demand that the US and Hait­ian gov­ern­ments, and so-called aid orga­ni­za­tions, be held account­able and imme­di­ately col­lab­o­rate with the pop­u­lar orga­ni­za­tions of Haiti for the dis­tri­b­u­tion of much needed relief to Inter­nally Dis­placed Haitians.

All the peo­ple we encoun­tered in the camps and the pop­u­lar move­ment con­tin­u­ously raised con­cerns not only about the deplorable health con­di­tions and lack of long term plan­ning but also the need for free and fair elec­tions in Haiti that include lift­ing the ban of Fanmi Lavalas from the upcom­ing elec­tions, cre­at­ing a legit­i­mate elec­toral coun­cil and allow­ing the return of Jean Bertrand Aris­tide who the peo­ple still view as their legit­i­mate leader.

MXGM sup­ports the demands of the Hait­ian peo­ple and pop­u­lar move­ment. The cur­rent sit­u­a­tion is unten­able and is a vio­la­tion of the prin­ci­ples of democ­racy and human rights.

MXGM opposes the ban­ish­ment of Dr. Jean Bertrand Aris­tide from his home­land and sup­ports the con­sis­tent pop­u­lar demand of the Hait­ian peo­ple for his speedy return. We oppose the occu­pa­tion of Haiti by the United Nations and call for the free­dom of Hait­ian polit­i­cal pris­on­ers. And we sup­port the demand for France and the U.S. to pay resti­tu­tion and repa­ra­tions to Haiti for slav­ery and cen­turies of coer­cion, and eco­nomic exploitation.

We will orga­nize our com­mu­ni­ties in United States to help end the con­di­tions we wit­nessed and to build the new Haiti envi­sioned by the people’s pop­u­lar movement.

###

Thurs­day, August 26, 2010
Con­tact: Kamau Franklin
+001 917 53 53 041
www.mxgm.org
kamauf@mxgm.org

Dec­la­ra­tion du Mou­ve­mente Pop­u­laire de Mal­com X sur les Con­di­tions en Haiti

Sept Mois Après le Trem­ble­ment de Terre.

Le Mou­ve­ment Pop­u­laire de Mal­colm X (MXGM) est une orga­ni­za­tion des peu­ples descen­dus de l’Afrique aux Etats Unis qui sou­tient l’auto-détermination et des droits humains pour des “Afrikans” aux Etats-Unis et mon­di­ale. Chaque année, notre orga­ni­za­tion voy­age à l’etranger pour aug­menter la sol­i­dar­ité avec autres com­mu­nautes qui lut­tent pour la lib­er­a­tion et la jus­tice sociale. Cette année, nous sommes venues en sol­i­dar­ité avec les Haitiens.

Le but de notre séjour ici était a faire la con­nais­sance des peu­ples hai­tiens et des orga­ni­za­tions com­mu­nau­taires, et à éval­uer la sit­u­a­tion actuelle aux camps et partout sept mois après le trem­ble­ment de terre.

Ce qu’on a trouvé nous étonne. Aux camps, il y a un manque de secu­rité, des con­di­tions de santé publique dégen­eré, et l’acces insuff­isant à la nour­ri­t­ure, de l’eau, des medica­ments, et d’education. Nous nous occupons en par­ti­c­ulière du manque de secu­rité et les nom­breux actes de viol et autres formes de vio­lence souf­fert par des femmes et enfants hai­tiens dans les camps.

Plusieurs habi­tants des camps nous expliquent que, mal­gré des mil­lions des dol­laires qu’on a ramassé du gou­vern­ment des Etats-Unis (grace aux fonds de Clin­ton et Bush), le Croix Rouge, les Nations-Unies, et nom­breux ONGs, l’aide reçu aux camps ne suf­fit pas.

Nous insis­tons que les gov­ern­ments des Etats-Unis et d’Haiti, et les organ­i­sa­tions qui s’appellent des “organ­i­sa­tions de l’aide,” soient rédev­able et coopérer immé­di­ate­ment avec des organ­i­sa­tions pop­u­laires en Haiti à coordiner la dis­tri­b­u­tion de l’aide essen­tielle aux hai­tiens déplacés.

Tous les gens qu’on a ren­con­tré aux camps et dans les organ­i­sa­tions pop­u­laires nous ont dit qu’il faut améliorer les con­di­tions affreuses con­cer­nant la santé publique et aussi le manque de plan­i­fi­ca­tion à long terme – mais aussi, on a besoin des elec­tions juste en Haiti: l’enlevement de l’interdiction con­tre Fanmi Lavalas, la créa­tion d’une con­seil elec­torale légitime, et l’acceuil de Jean Bertrand Aris­tide, qui les peu­ples tien­nent tou­jours comme leur chef légitime.

MXGM sou­tient les deman­des du peu­ple hai­tien et les mou­ve­ments pop­u­laires. La sit­u­a­tion actuelle ne peut pas con­tin­uer; c’est une vio­la­tion des principes de la democ­ra­cie et aussi des droits humains.

MXGM s’oppose du ban­nisse­ment de Dr. Jean Bertrand Aris­tide de son proper pays; nous soutenons le demand con­stant des peu­ples hai­tiens de son retour imme­di­ate. Nous nous opposons l’occupation d’Haiti par les Nations-Unies; nous deman­dons la libéra­tion de tous les pris­on­niers poli­tiques d’Haiti. En plus, nous soutenons le demande que France et des Etats-Unis paient la resti­tu­tion à Haiti pour des siè­cles d’escalavage, con­trainte, et l’exploitation économique.

Nous déclencherons nos com­mu­nautés aux États-Unis à aider un nou­velle Haiti, comme imag­iné par des mou­ve­ments populaires.

if what you're reading here grips you, holds you, fascinates you, provokes you, emboldens you, pushes you, galvanizes you, discomfits you, tickles you, enrages you so much that you find yourself returning again and again...then link me.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

It's time to talk honestly about collapse–no matter how others may respond. ..

This summer I was sitting at a community event, dressed like an African queer...unh...queen...unh...queer queen ;) with my two male partners. a man came up and started to talk to one of them and the conversation slid on over to the g20, of course. from there i started talking about those who rule and about their attempted on-coming world domination. i pointed out that they do not love the vast majority of people on this planet and that they do not care whether we live or die. he was incredulous. i went on to point out that they have been building and using space exploration vehicles and encouraging us all to cheer whenever another spacefaring vehicle punctures the ozone, not because they care what we think, but because they don't want us to start asking questions about what they're doing. they want us to assume that they're looking for some place new for us all to live. but that's not true, i said. i said that they're going to suck this place dry, throw it into the gutter and then, if all goes well, they'll be living in space while what's left of humanity rots down here on what's left of planet earth. the man was horrified. he looked at me like i had just threatened to force fuck his cat, gut it and eat it with a nice chianti and some fava beans. he started labeling me crazy and other terms that basically meant that i was inventing things, telling outlandish lies. after he left, lover, who had also tried to explain to him what's actually going on, sort of looked at me and shook his head. we both shook our heads and went back to having "fun" because it was a "beautiful" day and we were in a park in the middle of the city surrounded by some of what is left of the trees.

It's time to talk honestly about collapse–no matter how others may respond.



We live in the midst of multiple crises­—economic and political, cultural and ecological—posing a significant threat to human existence at the level we have become accustomed to. There’s no way to be awake to the depth of these crises without emotional reactions, no way to be aware of the pain caused by these systemic failures without some dread and distress.

Those emotions come from recognizing that we humans with our big brains have disrupted the balance of the living world in disastrous ways that may be causing irreversible ecological destruction, and that drastically different ways of living are not only necessary but inevitable, with no guarantee of a smooth transition.

This talk, in polite company, leads to being labeled hysterical, Chicken Little, apocalyptic. No matter that you are calm, aren’t predicting the sky falling, and have made no reference to rapture. Pointing out that we live in unsustainable systems, that unsustainable systems can’t be sustained, and that no person or institution with power in the dominant culture is talking about this—well, that’s obviously crazy.

Regardless of others' reaction to talking honestly about collapse, it's essential we continue; no political project based on denying reality can be viable for the long term.

But to many of us, these insights simply seem honest. To be fully alive today is to live with anguish, not for one’s own condition in the world but for the condition of the world, for a world that is in collapse. What to do when such honesty is unwelcome?

In June 2010, I published a short essay online asking people who felt this anguish to report on their emotions and others’ reactions. In less than a month I received more than 300 messages, and while no single comment could sum up the responses, this comes close:

“I feel hopeless. I feel sad. I feel amused at the absurdity of it all. I feel depressed. I feel enraged. I feel guilty and I feel trapped. Basically the only reason why I’m still alive is because there are enough amazing people and things in my life to keep me going, to keep me fighting for what matters. I’m not even sure how to fight yet, but I know that I want to.”

I didn’t ask for biographical information, so there’s little data on the age, race, or occupation of the respondents. Nor did I ask specifically about political or community activism, but the letters reinforced a gut feeling that dealing openly with these emotions need not lead to paralysis and inaction. People can confront honestly a frightening question—“What if the unsustainable systems in which we live are beyond the point of no return?”—and stay politically and socially engaged.

One respondent, a longtime community organizer, put it succinctly:

Recently several of our visionary thinkers have moved from the illusion that ‘we have 10 years to turn this around.’ They now say clearly that ‘we cannot stop this momentum.’ It takes courage and faith to speak so plainly. What can we do in the face of this truth? We can sit face to face and find the ways, often beyond words, to explore the reality that we are all refugees, swimming into a future that looks so different from the present. We can find pockets of community where we can whisper our deepest fears about the world. We can remain committed to describing the present with exceptional truth.

What happens when we tell “exceptional truth”?

First, we often feel drained by it. Another respondent observed:

“My personal ambition seems to decrease in proportion to the increase in world suffering. I think that’s part of my emotional reaction to crisis. I don’t think I am fully alive. I’m not depressed, just weirdly diminished.”

Second, we encounter those who don’t want to face tough truths. Many wrote about isolation from family and friends who deny there are reasons to be concerned:

“I’m a drug addict with over 20 years clean, and I know all about using up my future and farting out lame excuses. I promised myself an honest life to stay clean, and the double-edged sword is that I started seeing just how much our culture swims in denial.”

Sometimes people accuse those who press questions about systemic failure and collapse of being the problem:

Alex DS Farm teamwork
Crash Course In Resilience: Building a no-regrets strategy for resilience in your community and life.

“People get angry at me for it and call me ‘dark’ and ‘negative’ and ‘sinful,’ telling me to instead move to the ‘light,’ ‘positive,’ and ‘love.’ Whatever.”

Regardless of others’ reactions to talking honestly about collapse, it’s essential we continue; no political project based on denying reality can be viable for the long term. We need not have a crystal ball to recognize, as singer/songwriter John Gorka put it, that “the old future’s gone.” The future of endless bounty for all isn’t the future we face.

How can we open an honest conversation about that future? It isn’t easy, but it starts with telling the truth, from our own experience, like this 70-year-old woman who lives in a rural intentional community:

I’ve lived long enough now to be very aware of how different the world has become, how the cycles of nature are off kilter, how the seasons and the climate have shifted. My garden tells me that food doesn’t grow in quite the same patterns, and we either get weeks of rain or weeks of heat and drought. This is the second year in a row that our apple trees do not have apples on them. But most people get their food in grocery stores where the apples still appear, and food still arrives, in season and out, from all over the world. This will soon end, and people won’t understand why. They don’t see the trouble in the land as I and my friends do. I grieve daily as I look on this altered world. My grandchildren are young adults who think their lives will continue as they have been. Who will tell them? They can’t hear me. They, and many others, will have to see the changes for themselves, as I have. I can’t imagine that anything else will convince them. My grief for the world, and for them, is compounded by this feeling of helplessness because there is no way we can have the collective action you speak of when the ‘collective’ is still in denial.

The work of breaking out of denial is less about specific actions and more about the habits and virtues we must cultivate. Far from that rural community, a 35-year-old woman working in an office in Chicago summed up the task:

“We really need to take it back to the basics and keep it simple. This reminds me of one of my own quotes I thought of a few months ago—‘be humble or be humiliated.’ I think I’m a simple person. I try to avoid making things more complex than they have to be. I try to focus more on what I need versus what I want. ‘Be humble or be humiliated’ is my own personal reminder.”

Her personal reminder is relevant for us all, individually and collectively. Humanity’s last hope may be in embracing a deep humility, recognizing that our cleverness is outstripped by our ignorance. If we become truly humble, we can abandon attempts to dominate the living world and instead find our place in it.


Robert JensenRobert Jensen wrote this article for A Resilient Community, the Fall 2010 issue of YES! Magazine. Robert, a journalism professor at the University of Texas at Austin, is author of several books. His latest is All My Bones Shake: Seeking a Progressive Path to the Prophetic Voice. He is co-producer of the new documentary Abe Osheroff: One Foot in the Grave, the Other Still Dancing. Contact information and articles can be found here.

Header image by Kevin O'Mara











if what you're reading here grips you, holds you, fascinates you, provokes you, emboldens you, pushes you, galvanizes you, discomfits you, tickles you, enrages you so much that you find yourself returning again and again...then link me.