Today is day of celebration.
Probably the most important day in the year for those of us concerned with fighting climate change.
While environmental campaigns are under threat right across the world, while emissions and temperatures rise, there is at least one clear sign of hope.
Lets not forget that the climate change global conferences have failed, carbon trading has made bankers fat without reducing pollution and REDDS are turning forests into cash cows for corrupt politicians and corporate interests.
However in the Peruvian Amazon, the indigenous people have fought the destruction of the Amazon, using non violent direct action, legal challenges, political campaigning and social media.
Tragically their highly successful work has been ignored by most environmentalists, its we who need their advice not the other way around if we are turn round the climate and wider crisis.
Aidesep the inter-ethnic association of the Peruvian Amazon was born today 31 years ago, if you read Spanish take a look here.
They are committed to
por la defensa de los territorios indígenas ancestrales, el derecho a la libre determinación de los pueblos, nuestro derecho a definir el modelo del Buen Vivir Amazónico
The right to defence of their land, the right to free determination and the right to construct a system based on 'Amazon good living'
un acceso a la salud pertinente y sin discriminaciones, por la lucha de un país sin distinciones, por una capital (Lima) que no viva a espaldas de la amazonía y porque los políticos y autoridades entiendan que no somos iguales pero que todos somos peruanos.
To fighting for a Peru without discrimination, where all citizens are treated with equality not just for some but all Peruvians.
común denominador de la AIDESEP en estos 31 años es la resistencia pacífica del pueblo amazónico ante los ataques del Perro del Hortelano, traducido en una política netamente extractiva donde impera el poder del dinero más allá de la vida. En este contexto, es que el Apu Alberto Pizango Chota, actual presidente de la organización, convocó a los pueblos para reivindicar los derechos indígenas, desarrollándose dos protestas pacíficas en agosto del 2008
Common theme of all Aidesep has been for 31 years ' la resistencia pacífica del pueblo amazónico' the peaceful resistance of Amazon people' to those in political power who' del dinero más allá de la vida' who believe that money is more important than life.
Aidesep are my great hope, they show the way, we need to build an economy everywhere which respects life and rejects an extractivism based on taking oil, coal, minerals out of the earth as quickly as possible and throwing them away.
Life style ism, green consumerism, carbon trading, all the token green wash of business is part of the problem, we have to change economic and political structures.
Aidesep have been doing this, British politicians other than the wonderful Eric Lubbock said nothing when Aidesep members where massacred in 2008 at Bagua for their resistance.
Environmentalists should not forget that the people who live in the Amazon have agency and fight for their forests.
Romanticism, I don't think so, indigenous people always change, the campaign of Aidesep women for new status is a change, the move from violence to non violence is change....above all, based on an economics of the commons, the indigenous have embraced the inter-net and want what is of value from modernity including access to decent health care.
However what they don't want is for the resources to be stolen and the environment to be smashed.
If you love your planet give them solidarity and learn from them.
To me this is rational self-interest, an extractive economy based on waste, does not work, while the billionaires love, the billions of us have to construct something else.
Again think this is utopian, on the contrary where we are now with 21st century capitalism is the impossible place....we can build a different economy based on life not just money.
The Peruvian Presidential elections occur on 5th June, the right wing candidate Fujimori will continue the attacks on the indigenous....we should spread the word and support (not uncritcally) the left candidate.
We should also complain when the UK media ignore Aidesep...the Guardian is a prime example of media disinterest in Aidesep.
Economics after capitalism
Some background on Aidesep and the attacks on the Amazon
Indigenous fight newspaper (Hugo Blanco)