24 Jan 2015
CHANGE THE SYSTEM, NOT THE CLIMATE!
In Lima, the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP20) and the People's Summit were counterpoised meetings. The first was the meeting of governments of 194 states representing the system of big capital that is mercilessly destroying our environment, leading toward the extinction of plant and animal species, including the human species.
The second was a meeting of thousands of native and non-native people who are defending this same environment. Our theme was "Change the system, not the climate!"
This meeting's declared objective was the preparation of an agreement for approval at COP21 in Paris this year. The document was intended to demonstrate the participant states' commitment to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. This is a matter of the greatest urgency, as the scientific data indicated that the mean global temperature could increase by four or five degrees, with catastrophic results for the entire planet.
Nonetheless, as if to show their contempt for COP20, the world's two greatest emitters -- the USA and China -- met and agreed between themselves on a miserably inadequate reduction in their emissions. The USA said that by 2030 it would bring emissions 26-28% below 2005 levels, while Chine said its own emissions would peak in 2030. Among other things, this agreement showed that the two governments had no interest in discussion the topic at the Lima meeting or in Paris.
Of course, the other great polluters (European Union, Russia, India, Japan, Germany, Canada, Great Britain and South Korea) had no intention of committing themselves to lowering their emissions.
The poor countries called for economic assistance to mitigate the effects of global warming caused by the major polluters, who were unwilling even to talk about it. What they did discuss with enthusiasm was the so-called REDD+, which they claim serves to absorb carbon dioxide. In reality, it is all about how big corporations can better pillage the territories of (primarily) native peoples through agroindustry.
Two native organizations had arranged with the Peruvian government to hold events as part of COP20. However, the government mocked their efforts by unilaterally canceling their participation.
The People's Summit
This meeting of about 3000 people took place 8-11 December around the theme "Change the system, not the climate!" It was a valuable international exchange of experiences and networking for future activities. The governments made many attempts to obstruct it, of which we will give two examples. The Peruvian government tried to stop the march by the defenders of water in Cajamarca. And Ecuador's "progressive" government tried to block the great continental climate caravan that had come all the way from Mexico from continuing its journey to Lima. And afterwards it evicted the Confederation of Native Nations of Ecuador (CONAIE) from its headquarters as a reprisal for its participation in the summit.
There were 160 activities, mainly in Exposition Park, where 20 stands were set up. The best publicized action was the grand march in defense of Mother Earth on 10 December, the international Human Rights Day. This demonstration brought traffic to a standstill in downtown Lima.
Native peoples from several regions of Peru, from elsewhere in the Americas, and from abroad were conspicuously present. Women and young people were also very much in evidence. There were special workshops for these three sectors, with broad debate of their particular reasons for struggling to protect the environment.
In contrast to COP20, it was clearly set forth that climate change is not solely caused by global warming due to the emission of greenhouse gases. It also results from other manifestations of big capital's assault on nature impelled by its greed for profits.
There were debates about open-pit mining, the extraction of hydrocarbons (including fracking), dam construction, attacks on rain forest and other woodlands (including the above mentioned REDD+), transgenics, agroindustry, atomic power, means of mass communication, the attack on coral reefs, industrial pollution and other topics.
The various forms of resistance to big capital's assault were discussed, highlighting the importance of permanent, coordinated, collective struggles. It was shown how the governments are mere servants of big capital, as are the majority of parliamentarians, the judicial branches, the police and armed forces, mass media, etc.
Corruption in government and its ties to the drug trade was denounced.
The system's consumerism was denounced.
The hypocrisy of Ollanta Humala's host government -- manifested in part in the launch a few weeks earlier of its fourth "package of environmental reforms", yet another major assault on the environment in the service of big capital's insatiable appetite, while criminalizing defenders of the environment and complicity in their assassination -- was denounced.
In addition to these denunciations and the struggle in defense of the environment, there were discussions of how to build a new kind of society marked by democracy, collectivism and mutual solidarity, of how to take better care of the environment, how to save the medicinal traditions of original peoples from being lost forever, of ecologically sound agriculture, of food sovereignty against the export of products needed to feed the people where they are grown, etc. In summary, it was all about replacing the present rule by huge transnational corporations whose entire thrust is to profit by the planet's degradation and the impending extinction of our species with a new world in the hands of the great mass of humanity.
And that is why the theme of our summit, appropriately chosen, was Change the system, not the climate!
17 Jan 2015
The US anarchist economist Kevin Carson has built on insights from many anarchist thinkers and radicals including Kropotkin and Ivan Illich to develop a sophisticated account of a decentralized open source alternative. He sees capitalism as state capitalism, with firms using the state to create market barriers such as patents to artificially raise their profits. Capitalism leads, he notes to over accumulation, and neoliberalism involves the state picking up the bill for such over investment. Carson's practical anarchism is based on his concept of The HomeBrew Industrial Revolution, utilizing decentralized and open source alternatives we can three D print, brew and build local community production. Carson's work cannot be captured or critiqued in a couple of paragraphs but it points to an economics beyond the corporation and the state which can be implemented and advanced to create an alternative. His work is on line and free, so those interested can study in more detail here https://homebrewindustrialrevolution.wordpress.com/
3 Jan 2015
Kurds to march in Paris on 10 January
ANF - PARIS 01.01.2015
On the second anniversary of the murder in Paris of Kurdish women Sakine Cansız (Sara), Fidan Doğan (Rojbîn) and Leyla Şaylemez (Ronahî) on 9 January 2013, the Kurds are to hold a march under the slogan: “Your silence is due to your being an accessory”.
An organising committee established following a call by the Democratic Kurdish Council in France, has announced the activities which will take place on 9 and 10 January. The commemoration activities will include a “March for Truth and Justice” and events being organised under the heading: “France is remaining silent at these murders because of political interests.” French organisations are also involved in the organising committee. On 9 January families of those killed two years ago will leave wreaths outside the Democratic Kurdish Community Centre in Paris, and the families, lawyers and representatives of Kurdish organisations will march to the Kurdistan Information Office at 11:30, where a press conference will take place.
On 10 January the March for Truth and Justice will start from the Gare Du Nord at 10 am. And proceed to the Place de la Republique where a mass rally will take place. The Organising committee has issued a statement, condemning the fact those responsible for the murders have yet to be revealed despite nearly two years having passed. The statement continued, saying: “Last January a day after the first anniversary audio tapes emerged of conversations accused Ömer Güney had with MIT operatives. These tapes, which appeared after the dispute between Erdoğan and the Gülen movement, exposed a MIT murder plot in Paris.” The statement mentioned other documents that have emerged detailing the murder suspect’s journeys to Turkey and telephone conversations with the MIT. It also quoted Turkish President Erdoğan's words to the effect that the Gülen movement had carried out the murders. It noted that both in Turkey and France investigations are continuing.
'Turkish- French cooperation is obstructing the investigation’
The statement continued, recalling that French President François Hollande and Interior Minister Manuel Valls had said immediately after the murders that they would be resolved as soon as possible. It said Turkey had not sent the files requested by the French judicial authorities, and that France was avoiding speaking to Turkey because of political and economic interests. “The French government has not responded to the families’ requests for meetings, and the Justice Minister said in the Senate that to meet the families of the victims in an ongoing case could be used by the defence so was not correct,” the statement added. '10
'Let us meet in Paris'
The statement called on Kurds and their friends living in Europe to join the march in Paris on 10 January under the slogan: “Your silence is due to your being an accessory” to demand an end to the prevarication and delay that is obstructing the investigation.
Canvassing in Brighton back in 2017 to support Green Party MP Caroline Lucas’s re-election efforts, I knocked on a door and came acros...
Sat at a computer in the library, I am aware that the woman looking at the screen next to me is becoming increasingly agitated. ...
'The question is: Did they deserve the harassment, abuse, and, finally, the vicious death other people's intolerance of their life s...