Oscar who lives in the UK kindly translated this from his father Hugo Blanco, I must admit so much so called environmentalism and green politics is very very indirected. Some one says I have a plan or a scheme or an ideology to save the world. 'Vote for me and I will make history, buy my organic washing up liquid'.
lets face it all is good or most is quite good but for no bull shit action to save the planet, the indigenous in Peru win the price.
To fight climate change we must fight the enclosure and destruction of the planet, the indigenous are also educating the Latin American left about ecology.
If there is a vanguard for sanity on our planet it is amongst the indigenous. We need to be showing solidarity, learning and yes we need to elect real greens and yes we need to organise protest and yes green trade unionism is vitally important.
However something is stirring in the forests....any way enough of me, on to Hugo!
STRUGGLE IN THE AMAZON
Clash of cultures
Clash of philosophies
The philosophy of “progress”, the doctrine of “the dog in the manger” of Alan García
Against the philosophy of Good Living, a doctrine of solidarity and respect for the environment
Since many millennia back, the rainforest has been inhabited by native communities who have been educated by the rainforest in how to live in it, as well as with it.
They have domesticated vegetal species, adapting them for human consumption, like the papaya or the cassava. They know how to cure themselves. The world learnt from them the use of the quinine, which saved the life of the future Sun King of France. They taught us the use of cat’s claw and many other natural medicines. They know how to cultivate the land without killing the thin and fragile layer of fertile soil: they cut a small space, in which they grow diverse species, with varying texture and life cycles, they copy the environment. After a certain time they give that space back to the rainforest and start growing somewhere else.
They do not need predatory cattle, but they fish and hunt.
They do not separate work and rest. They set out on excursion, and if they find anything to hunt, they hunt. They collect wild fruits and vegetables, and when they pass their cultivated land, they collect whatever is ripe, and if there is any work to be done or anything to plant, they do it.
They are not “owners” of the land, they are its children.
Five centuries ago came the European invaders, and since then they and their descendants have been penetrating and killing the rainforest.
The first great invader-predators were the rubber hunters, and then came the big landowners, who cultivated the rainforest with a predatory agriculture and even more predatory cattle. Then followed the gold diggers and woodcutters and now devastatingly the hydrocarbon extractors.
The intrusion of capitalism contaminated many natives to a greater or lesser extent; others flee any contact with the civilisation that kills their environment, forces them into subservience, kills them or contaminates them with unknown illnesses.
Now the invaders are assaulting the rainforest by extracting oil and gas, but also with the cutting for cattle, cutting for wood and cutting and burning for agricultural products introduced from elsewhere.
To kill the rainforest is to kill its native communities.
The invaders legalise the aggression by using “laws” declared by them without consultation of the natives, to justify their behaviour.
They “recognise” that the surface belongs to the native communities, but not the subsoil, which belongs to the “State” of the invaders.
Alan García says that the natives are “the dog in the manger”, that doesn’t eat the hay nor let others eat it. García says that access has to be given to the multinationals. Lately he has declared a number of executive laws, ordering “unproductive” land to be taken by the state, obviously in order to give it to big companies so that they can destroy the rainforest by driving “progress”, driving the “legal” destruction of the rainforest.
Those who believe themselves to be white, discriminate against the Andean Indians. The native Amazonians are discriminated by those considering themselves to be whites, ‘Creoles’, non-natives; by Andeans and Andean Indians
It is these ‘ most discriminated of the discriminated’ who are showing the majority of the exploited population of the country, how to stand up to the attack of capital, to Alan García and his other servants. They have risen in many parts of the rainforest, peacefully and plentifully stopping the destruction of the Amazon. They have paralysed hydrocarbon extractions and electricity production.
The government has declared martial law in these areas.
It has sent in armed police to respond to this “illegal” activity, but the natives have disarmed them peacefully.
There are confrontations with the police in various areas.
There is public military training of attacking the civilian population with dead and injured as a result.
The natives want to be the owners of their own future. It is up to them to decide what to take with them from their past and what they can learn from others.
What they teach usQué nos enseñan
- That it is not enough to refute the validity of the laws of the oppressors, but that it is necessary to respond with actions.
- That we should act simultaneously in various areas
- That it is possible to disarm repressive forces.
How will the struggle continue?It depends on the actions of the rest of the exploited in the country and the solidarity from abroad.
If we leave them alone, Alan García will probably have them killed as his long criminal history shows us.
If we join their struggle, they will win and their triumph will be ours. They will encourage the spirit of the poor of Peru and they will drive us to follow in their footsteps.
We also prefer the Good Living, not the Amazonian way, but our own way. Although we cannot yet outline it, we know that it will be based on principles of collectivism and solidarity;, on our past, our cultural heritage, and love and respect for the environment whose children we are.
We are also sure that this way is contrary to the supposed “progress” that causes global warming and the extinction of the human race, as well as:
The poisoning of water and soil, by multinational corporations, extracting hydrocarbons and metals.
The poisoning of rivers, lakes and seas by other industrial activities.
The destruction of the ozone layer, which protects us from ultraviolet radiation.
Let us support the culture of life for which our Amazonian brothers are struggling!
Let us destroy the culture of death of the multinational corporations and their servant Alan García!
Hugo Blanco - August 2008