28 Feb 2010

Resist the mines


Resisting Mining: Brutal Repression and Uprising in Argentina
Written by Marie Trigona
Tuesday, 23 February 2010 14:19

World-wide, mining operations have been associated with exploitation, corruption, violence, environmental devastation, human rights abuses, and impunity. However, despite threats and violent attacks, local movements resist mining operations and associated devastating effects. Residents in Northern Argentina have protested the opening of an open pit mining site in the town of Andalgala in the province of Catamarca. A recent police crackdown on the protest has sparked a popular uprising of citizens saying, `no to the mine'. Following massive protests in response to police repression this month, a judge temporarily halted further mine works planned to open in 2012.

Andalgala, man of the high mountains

The word Andalgala, in the ancient indigenous language of the Andean region, means `man of the high mountains'. The river Andalgala that flows between the high Andes Mountains of Catamarca has spawned an oasis. The pristine mountain water and rich valley has given life to a land of olive groves, peach orchards, sheep herds and mineral deposits. Transnational mining companies now threaten this Andean oasis, the social network in Andalgala and the entire water basin. If the company finds gold from drilling expeditions and decides to build the open pit mining site, the entire population of 20,000 inhabitants could be displaced, leaving transnational mining interests as the only man of the high mountains.

The mine is owned by Agua Rica, a subsidiary of Yamana Gold Inc., a Canadian-based gold producer which plans to begin mining operations in the town of Andalgalá in 2012. Yamana Gold has mining sites in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Honduras. Yamana failed to comply with the law in conducting a study on the environmental impact required by the provincial Mining Secretary, making exploration illegal. The Agua Rica site in Andalgala would be three times the size of another mining operation in Catamarca, La Alumbrera which has caused environmental and health risks for residents since it opened in 1998. La Alumbrera is currently the largest open pit mining site in Argentina.

Police repression

Activists from the Citizen's Assembly of Andalgalá have been blockading the mine site for two months. The Assembly, made up of a wide array of residents, has called for a local plebiscite on mining operations. Their request was met with police force.

More than 60 people were injured on February 12 when police escorted excavating equipment through a protest blockade to the controversial open pit mine site. Police fired tear gas and rubber bullets at protesters –women and children are among the injured. Nearly 50 demonstrators were arrested, of which 12 are still being detained. The passionate police attack against anti-mining activists sparked an uprising, with protestors breaking windows, attacking mining offices and trucks owned by Agua Rica in response to the arrests and crackdown. Less than 20 hours after the police attack, more than 4,000 gathered in Andalgala's center to protest the mine.

Leading up to the February 12 repression, the mayor of Andalgala, Jose Perea, who is so enthusiastic about the prospects of a mining invasion said in an interview with a local radio station, FM Z "if it is necessary we would kill the people maintaining the blockade against Agua Rica." The mayor also lead a pro-mining march with nearly 100 public employees participating, which prompted a march of over 4,000 residents resisting the Agua Rica mine.

Empty promises

Andalgala resist the mining site having seen the negative effects of the La Alumbrera which has contaminated water sheds provincial wide. "After 12 years since the La Alumbrera, the largest open mining operation, the promises of wellbeing and distribution of wealth from mining has not been fulfilled in the province of Catamarca," says the Union of Assemblies of Catamarca. The Alumbrera site uses between 600 million to 1 billion liters of water of day from depleted water tables to process the ore in a process which involves exploding mountains, removing ore, crushing the ore and mixing it with chemicals such as cyanide to make a metal rich slurry. The slurry is process and de-liquefied. The contaminated water is pumped back into aquifers and rivers. The site at Andalgala would be three times the size of Alumbrera and estimated to use 3 billion liters of water a day. The pristine waters from the mountain springs will be the source to be mixed into the pools that contain cyanide and heavy metals.

"Not only has mining generated pollution and health problems, in addition it hasn't created jobs or resources. Catamarca continues to be or is more poor than before, Andalgala has the highest unemployment in the province," said Urbano Cardozo in an interview with Lavaca, an alternative media collective in Argentina. No more than 40 local residents from Andalgala, out of a population of 20,000 are employed by the mine, which Mayor Parea has admitted.

"We share the air and soil, work with local suppliers, hire local employees and build relationships in the same regions in which we operate," says Yamana Gold Inc on its website. Public relations for the Canadian company adds, "We listen to and value input from communities, embrace the rich local cultural and economic opportunities and as a result our community relations are incredibly strong." The citizens' demands against mining operations and the threat of displacement have fallen on deaf ears.

Threats and abuses

Anti-Mining Protest, Argentina Indymedia
In a report conducted by the UNESCO Chair of Higher Education Management, from the Technical University of Catalonia in Spain reports serious human rights violations and environmental pollution as a result of mining activities in Argentina. The report titled, "Human Rights in Northeastern Argentina 2008-2009," describes "pressures and threats against the populations that protest against damage caused" from mining activity. In Andalgala, Raul Martinez, Diola de Martinez, Ruth Vega, Carmen Chaile and Teresita Nieto, all participants in the Andalgala Citizen's Assembly resisting mining activities have received threats on separate occasions. The activists were called into the police station and were warned by the police chief that "if they don't change their attitude about the blockade, next week the Border Guard and police will evict them by force, and we will beat you." The citizen's assembly says that one long time activist, Aldo Flores, has been the target of death threats and police harassment in the days leading up to the crackdown.

The UNESCO report defined the social responsibility of the mining companies as "an example of private assistance, that seeks to manipulate and condition freedom of thinking and consciousness of the residents in the affected that receive minute benefits from mining firms with the only objective of gaining a `social license' to extract natural resources." Among the companies mentioned in the report include Barrick Gold, Meridian Gold, Xstrata, Wheaton River Minerals y Northern Orion Resources. Currently in Argentina, there are more than 200 mining sites operating. In many of the communities, companies construct libraries, schools, public health clinics that resemble cheap warehouses, which will likely collapse shortly after the mining companies operations dry up.

Mining companies only have to pay 3 percent in royalties on minerals extracted from Argentine territory and are allowed to pollute the environment with chemicals like cyanide, used to extract mineral ores from open pit mining sites. Three percent is a small price to pay for the billions of dollars extracted in mineral ores from Argentina's soil. Minerals have become Argentina's largest export, valued at nearly 80 billion dollars over the past decade. In places like Catamarca, royalties represent nearly 80 percent of fiscal income. "Which is why the government does not investigate or control studies conducted by the companies," according to the UNESCO Study.

Disappearing communities

Community groups throughout Argentina have tried shut down open pit mining sites, which national legislation permits. The struggle against mining in Andalgala has lead to a court order temporarily suspending Agua Mina from conducting further explorations. Now residents want a permanent sanction against the mining site which could literally displace the entire population, since one proposed site is located directly under residents' homes. Nearly 600,000 people have been displaced due to mining operations and the expansion of agro-industry such as soy since 2000 according to a study conducted by environmental group Redaf, Red Agroforestal Chaco Argentina. Throughout Argentina, social movements are resisting mining, which they say is turning the nation's natural resources into a cheap commodity for foreign transnational companies to exploit.


Marie Trigona is a writer based in Argentina. She can be reached through her blog www.mujereslibres.blogspot.com

The magic Christian

This is cool.

The best Christian since the man himself in early AD.

By boat to Bolivia?

Will Tamsin Omond volunteer?.......otherwise looks like an excellent way of making the most of a vital event in Bolivia with the minimum carbon footprint.

I am not going myself by the way, Hugo Blanco is going and will be putting forward our shared ideas.....he is of course Peru based.

Tricky sometimes doing global green politics without flying but the net and video conferencing can take the strain.

*Peoples' World Conference on Climate Change and Mother Earth's Rights in
Cochabamba, Bolivia* 19-22 April (see http://pwccc.wordpress.com/ for more)

At the gathering last weekend we agreed to the proposal to participate in
the Peoples' World Conference on Climate Change and Mother Earth's Rights
in Cochamamba, Bolivia, from 19-22 April (see http://pwccc.wordpress.com/
for more). We agreed that this meant committing to doing things before,
and after the conference, including:

1. Requesting time at March regional gatherings to discuss the conference
and what we want to get out of it.
2. Dedicating time at the April national gathering to discussing the
conference and what we want to get out of it.
3. Funding 2 UK Climate Campers and 2 global south activists to attend, if
we find people who meet the criteria (see below), up to £4,000.
4. Participating from the UK via videoconference and social media, as far
as possible.
5. Giving weight within our process to proposals that emerge from the

The international working group were volunteered to facilitate a process
for some of this - firstly to co-ordinate who goes. People can nominate
themselves as one of the two climate campers or pass on the details to any
global south activists they have contact with so they can nominate
themselves - people are also getting in touch with connections with global
south activists to find out if there's anyone who wants to link up with
CfCA in this way.

The criteria below were fleshed out from the original proposal at the
gathering, although they were not all agreed upon - all are shown below.
The deadline for nominations is 5pm, Monday 1 March 2010. Following that
nomination statements go up on discussion forum, with names removed.
Then the international working group will have a conference call on
Sunday 7 March 2010. This will be paid for centrally (so it's free to
call in) and it's agenda will be to decide who best meets the criteria.

The 2 UK Climate Campers who go should fit as many as possible of the
following criteria:
- Be able to get there in good time, and not have to rush back eg. to
return to work.
- Have had some reasonably sustained and recognised involvement in the
Camp for Climate Action
- Be able to speak Spanish (and any other languages)
- Have proven ability to build networks
- At least one of the people should self-define as female
- At least one of them to be someone who has never been to anything like
this before (ie. not an experienced summit-hopper)

They would also need to:
- Commit to giving a series of talks on their return: eg, at a national
gathering, neighbourhood gatherings
- Write up their experiences and the results of the conference for posting
on relevant lists and to the CfCA website
- Declare any other political affiliations and be clear that CfCA is their

People will be able to nominate themselves or be nominated, with their
consent, by others. Climate campers will need to explain how they meet
these criteria / which criteria they meet. Global south activists need
only explain a bit about who they are.


International working group

President Uribe to go, Colombian people celebrate ruling


Late this Friday 26 February after a lengthy deliberation, including 1500 submissions, Colombia's Constitutional Court denied the proposed referendum which was intended to amend the Colombian Constitution and allow President Uribe to carry on for 4 more years because as he had said "8 years were not enough".

They were certainly enough for the Judges who made this ruling in a vote of 7-2, on the grounds that there would be substancial violations of democratic principle if the referendum were allowed to proceed.

8 years of abuses have been enough for Colombian people.
For the time being, the Constitutional Court has safeguarded democracy.

Join people as they celebrate outside the Court on hearing the judgement (before continuing opposition against his would-be successors' policies..).

See (Spanish with music half-way) :..........http://colombia.indymedia.org/news/2010/02/111972.php


27 Feb 2010

Goldcorp don't deliver prosperity or ecology

More here

Million Women march against male violence, 6th March

Dave from my local Green Party reminded me to blog about this and I also had a notice from my friend Colin Revel.

The women organising the march say that "enough is enough”

The women organising the march say that "enough is enough” Never has the rape of a woman’s right and dignity been so systematic and coordinated, the health and lives of women have never faced such peril."
The women's march has been organised by ordinary women fed up with violence against women in all its forms.
"Something has to happen for women and now"
The Million Woman Rise is expected to include a day of speeches, prayer and music. Hundreds of thousands of women are expected at Saturday's rally, which is aimed at addressing violence against women through a show of political, social and economic solidarity.

Stop male violence against women in all its forms

More details here

Bankers still in charge distract us with cuts agenda

Busting the straitjacket

Rolling back the new ‘common sense’ of spending cuts may seem like a difficult job, but it’s not impossible, says Mike Marqusee

It’s now clear that cuts in public spending, and resistance to them, will be the stand-out issue in domestic British politics during the coming years. The three major parties, the mass media (from the Mail to the Guardian, BBC to talk radio), think-tanks and pundits, not to mention the OECD, all insist that large-scale cuts must be made, that they are the only way to address the projected gap between state revenues and spending, and that this gap is the number one problem facing the British economy.

It’s been a remarkably deft manoeuvre. In less than a year, a system-challenging global financial crisis has been turned into a tussle over national bookkeeping. The problem has been redefined as an allegedly unsustainable public debt, rather than an economic recession brought on by demonstrably unsustainable private debt.

The ‘hole’ in the public finances that has occasioned so much hysteria is the result, not the cause, of the economic crisis. The public sector did not create the hole (that was the work of the banks) and it does not follow that cutting public spending is the way to fill it.

More here

There are, of course, savings that might be welcome but will not even be considered. Getting out of Afghanistan and Iraq, cancelling Trident, ditching ID cards, ending exorbitant payments to outside consultants, curtailing the number of people we imprison – all these together would go some way to reducing the deficit. Even more progress would be made by increasing taxation on corporate profits and individual wealth.

The fact that such options are being ignored suggests that closing the deficit is not quite the ineluctable, non-negotiable priority its proponents claim. The cuts policy is not a matter of economic necessity but of political choice – in this case, the wrong choice.

More here

Election canvassing in Windsor

I have had some tremendous offers of help in my election campaign for Windsor constituency.

I am off to get the bus from Winkfield where I live to the centre of Windsor, meet me this morning on the foot bridge between Windsor and Eton where we are running a Green Party stall before, weather permitting, we go canvassing.

Do join my General Election facebook as well!

26 Feb 2010

On hunger strike for three weeks

just had this in my in-box, tabloid newspapers they kill people don't they

Dear friends,

Women have now been on hunger strike for three weeks in Yarl’s Wood Removal Centre and continue to need your support. We enclose an update below. Please take action:

1. Ask your MP to sign Early Day Motion 919 “Hunger Strike at Yarl's Wood Immigration Removal Centre” (see below). You might want to send them the update so they are armed against Home Office propaganda.

2. Write to ministers demanding: that mothers, victims of rape and other torture and all vulnerable women be immediately released; an independent investigation into the treatment of hunger strikers; a moratorium on all removals and deportations.
· Phil Woolas MP, the Minister of State for Borders and Immigration woolasp@parliament.uk or http://www.philwoolasmp.org/emailPhil.html
· Rt Hon Alan Johnson MP, Home Secretary johnsona@parliament.uk or public.enquiries@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk
· Meg Hillier MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State Home Office meghilliermp@parliament.uk or apc.secretariat@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk

The perfect human has died

The perfect human enjoy from Leth

The perfect human in honour of the last to die.

A sad day.

The last one has died.

The last to die is the first of many.

Lets practice some enlightened self-interest and preserve the human.

25 Feb 2010

Derek Wall/Liam Mac Uaid/SR meeting on Climate change

Copenhagen failed. How do we stop climate change?
Socialist Resistance Public Meeting
Wed March 3 @ 7.30
Indian YMCA, Fitzroy Square, London (Warren Street Tube)
Speakers: Derek Wall (Green Party) and Liam Mac Uaid

I am pretty busy pounding the streets for the General Election but very pleased to be invited to this meeting with Socialist Resistance, who have proved to be stout ecosocialist comrades.

Come along and debate or insult me in person rather than just in the comments box

'Marxists and ecologists are not entirely different groups'

Interview by Aleix Bombila, for *En Lucha

Spain), of John Bellamy Foster, editor of
*Monthly Review *, and author of Marx's
* and The Ecological

*En Lucha**: In your book Marx's Ecology you argue that Marxism has a lot to
offer to the ecologist movement. What kind of united work can be
established between Marxists and ecologists? *

*JBF: *I think it is important to recognize that Marxists and ecologists are
not entirely different groups. Of course it is true that there have been
Reds who have been anti-ecological, and Greens who have been anti-Marxist.
But it is not uncommon for the two to overlap, and increasingly to
converge. Many socialists are environmentalists and many environmentalists
are socialists. Indeed, there is a sense in which Marxism and ecology, both
classically and today, lead to the same conclusion. For Marx, the goal was
the creation of a society in which the metabolic relation between humanity
and nature (i.e. production) was rationally regulated by the associated
producers. The original title of my book that you refer to was supposed to
be *Marx and Ecology*, but I changed it to *Marx's Ecology *because of the
depth of Marx's ecological conceptions.

I would argue that a critical Marxist approach, especially in our time,
requires an ecological worldview, while a critical human ecology requires an
anti-capitalist and ultimately socialist orientation (i.e., a Marxist one).
In terms of united work that Marxists and ecologists can share, I would say
social justice and environmental sustainability: saving humanity and saving
the earth. You can't expect to achieve one without the other, and neither
is possible under the existing system. Probably the strongest single voice
for an ecological relation in the world today is Evo
the socialist (and indigenous) president of Bolivia. After the failed
Copenhagen conference on climate change, Fidel Castro said that we used to
think we were in a struggle simply to determine the society of the future,
but we now know we are in a struggle for survival. We have reached a point
where historical materialists are taking global leadership in defining the
ecological needs of humanity.

*En Lucha**: The struggle against climate change looks kind of abstract at
first sight. How can we organize campaigns against climate change with a
real impact? Who should promote them?*

Climate change, and the planetary ecological crisis as a whole, which is
much bigger, is the greatest material threat that civilization, and indeed
humanity, has ever confronted. We are facing, if we don't change course,
the demise of the earth as a habitable planet for most of today's living
species. But, as you say, it seems abstract. People can't feel it because
it is not reflected consistently in the short-term weather conditions they
experience on a daily or even a seasonal basis. Moreover, it is not a
problem that grows gradually and smoothly, but rather one that will
accelerate with all sorts of tipping points, issuing in irreversible
changes. So time is extremely short, and it requires a certain degree of
education as to what is happening. Scientists are now almost unanimous on
the threat, if not on all the details, but they do not have a direct line to
the population. There are very few actual authoritative global warming
deniers and their scientific claims, such as they are, been refuted again
and again, but because of the power of the capitalist class, which sees any
action to avert the problem as a threat to its immediate interests, the
denial view is constantly amplified in the corporate media. Ordinary people
are thus left uncertain as to what to think. Besides, they are hit with
other material problems that seem more immediate: economic stagnation, the
current extreme downturn, and the destructive effects of neoliberal policy.
Workers are seeing their economic standard of living decline and are
worried about their jobs; increasing numbers are unemployed and in poverty.
So it is hard to concentrate on something as seemingly nebulous as climate

If we are looking for a massive revolt from below in this area I believe
that it will emerge first not at the center but at the periphery of the
capitalist world.
his studies of history used to talk about an internal and an external
proletariat. On climate change, as well as in the revolts against
capitalism in general, it is the external proletariat in the periphery of
the capitalist world economy that will undoubtedly take the leading role. I
have pointed in recent writings to the possibility of what I have
called an "environmental
proletariat" -- for whom
resistance to environmental conditions broadly, and not simply industrial
conditions, is the defining struggle. Those most oppressed in the world,
who have nothing to lose, are to be found predominantly in third world
regions. So this is where the environmental proletariat also is mainly to
be found. This is especially evident in the effect that sea level rise will
have on the Ganges-Brahmaputra Delta in Bangladesh and India and on the
low-lying fertile areas of the Indian Ocean and China Sea -- Kerala in
India, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia. Some areas, like the low-lying delta
of the Pearl River in China, correspond to the areas of fastest development
(in this case Guangdong industrial region from Shenzhen to Guangzhou), and
some of the sharpest class contradictions. So the world epicenters of
environmental and class struggle may overlap. There are all sorts of signs
-- as in the water, hydrocarbon, and coca wars in Bolivia, which helped
bring a socialist and indigenous-based political movement to power -- that
the material bases of social struggle is being transformed, raising issues
that are more all-encompassing.

Even in the center of the system (the internal proletariat), there are a lot
of ongoing struggles by environmentalists, and particularly the youth-based
climate justice movement. Although there is no sign of a revolt from below
from workers at present, and even though the labor movement seems to be
entirely dormant in the United States in
particularin the
context of worsening economic (and environmental) conditions, there
is hope that community-based, labor-environmental struggles will generate a
new context for change. It is to be hoped that something like an
environmental proletariat will eventually emerge in the center too. If one
reads classic works like Engels's *The Condition of the Working Class in
*one gets the sense in which environmental struggles were crucial to the
making of the English working class in the classical era, in ways that belie
a narrow productivist vision.

The truth is that when it comes to the dual contradictions represented by
the economic and environmental failures of the system, it is only socialists
that are able effectively to bring these issues together. Only historical
materialists fully embody a theory and a practice that recognizes that these
are not separate issues but have a common basis in the capitalist mode of
production. Indeed, I think we are increasingly seeing a convergence of
socialist and ecological visions of the future, in a way that leads in a
much more revolutionary direction than we have ever seen before. But we
should not be blindly optimistic. This also requires organization. And
there are great dangers, such as the growth of ecofascism, and the delaying
tactics of those in power that could spell "the common ruin of the
contending classes."

*En Lucha**: How can we foster environmental justice without prejudicing the
working class?*

One might as well ask: How can we *not* foster environmental justice without
prejudicing the working class? One of the first works on environmental
justice, as I have already suggested, was Engels's *The Condition of the
Working Class in England*, which focused on how the working class was
subject to toxic living conditions and the consequences in terms of health,
looking at how this has affected class divisions and urban structure. Such
concerns were part of the working-class struggle in the beginning.
Environmental justice also includes health and safety within factories --
and in a broader sense than this is usually understood, encompassing such
issues as length of working day, intensity of hours, etc. It is only the
growth of a business-oriented trade union movement, and its segmentation
from other working-class issues under contemporary capitalist systems of
legal/political regulation, that has allowed people to think that the labor
movement in particular and class struggle in general centers on a very
restrictive set of issues, separated from environmental justice, which is in
reality the measure of how inequality affects people in the multiple
material domains of life.

Of course environmental injustice in the United States is understandably
seen as related to race perhaps even more than class, since its greatest
impact is on those individuals and communities that are subject to
environmental racism. Toxic wastes, as is well known, are more commonly
dumped in communities of color. One then sometimes runs into the
misconception that this is a race and not a class issue for that very
reason. Often implicit in this is the false notion that the working class
is white, and so, if the problem is one that primarily affects American
Indians, blacks, Latinos, Asians, then it is not a class issue. But of
course the working class in the United States is predominantly made up of
so-called "minority races." There is no sense in which the working class is
a white working class, as is commonly supposed (and as contemporary
whiteness studies teach us the whole issue of "white" needs examination).
Environmental justice is thus a race and class (and indeed a gender) issue.
It raises issues that the contemporary labor movement, with its limited
"bargaining" position and the racial divides that it has often helped
perpetuate, is not very well equipped to deal with, but that a socialist
working-class movement could much more easily address.

*En Lucha**: Are taxes on polluting industries a solution? *

If you mean an ultimate solution, the answer is No. The only real solution
is to get rid of capitalism and put an egalitarian, sustainable society, run
by the associated producers, in its place. But we have to face the fact
that the environmental problem, including climate change, is accelerating,
that this is a question of survival for humanity and most species on the
earth. The time in which to act if we want to avoid irreversible
environmental decline is incredibly short, with only a generation or so in
which to implement a drastic change of course. That at least is what
science is telling us at present. Under these circumstances we need both
short-term radical responses and a longer-term ecological revolution. The
first needs to help promote the conditions for the second. The immediate,
short-term response requires, I am convinced, a carbon tax of the kind
proposed by James
a progressively increasing tax imposed at well head, mine shaft, or point of
entry with 100 percent of the revenue going back to the population on a
monthly basis. The point of this set-up, as Hansen says, is to make sure
that the carbon tax is imposed as much as possible at the point of
production and falls on those with the largest carbon footprints (mostly the
rich), with the majority of the population gaining from the distribution of
the revenue from the tax, since they have less-than-average per-capita
footprints. Neither capital nor the governments controlled by capital would
have their hands on the revenue, which would flow directly to the
population. Implementing this in the kind of society that we have would of
course be difficult. But once it was understood as having the effect of
both protecting the earth (by making the price of carbon higher) and
generally redistributing income toward those at the bottom of the society,
it would gain strong popular support.

The truth is that as long as we are in a capitalist society a key means of
controlling a pollutant -- and carbon dioxide has unfortunately become that
-- is going to be increasing its price. More direct political forms of
regulation should of course be used as well. For example, we need simply to
ban the building of coal-fired plants as long as sequestration technology
doesn't exist (and at present there are all sorts of obstacles), and
existing coal-fired plants need to be rapidly phased out. To accomplish
this on the necessary scale, however, requires a general ecological
revolution affecting what we produce and consume and how our society is

*En Lucha**: Is a collective solution to the ecological crisis possible
within this system (renewable energies, improvement of public transport,
cessation of big infrastructures, etc.)? *

Again, there is no collective solution *within the system*. But we can
promote collective solutions *from within the system*, which, going against
its logic, will play a part in the transition to another, people-controlled
system. The new society will emerge from the womb of the old. Fred Magdoff
and I have discussed the problem of capitalism and the environment in detail
in an article that is appearing in the March 2010 issue of *Monthly Review*,
entitled "What Every Environmentalist Should Know about Capitalism." The
basic point, which needs elaboration of course, is the fact that the regime
of capital is one of self-expanding value. Capitalism requires for its very
existence constant economic growth and, more explicitly, accumulation of
capital. Such a system can clearly be very effective up to a certain point
in promoting production and economic development. But it also is very
exploitative and ultimately leads to the destruction of the environmental
conditions of existence. The only real social and ecological solution is a
society not focused on accumulation or economic growth per se, but on
sustainable human development. No matter what measures you introduce to
modernize capitalism ecologically, the system requires a constant growth of
the treadmill of production. If we substitute public for private
transportation, introduce renewable energies, and adopt other collective
measures, it can help. But these themselves tend to be limited by the
accumulation goal of the system. Reliance on renewable resources, for
example, is important. But it requires a system that uses them only at the
level at which they can be renewed. Capital pushes beyond all such

What this means is not that we back off from promoting more social,
collective, public solutions. But we need to recognize that going in that
direction invariably means going against the logic of the system, so it
requires radical organization. What we are talking about is trying to
create, in part from within capitalism, the infrastructure for a different
kind of society. With constant pressure from below some things can be
achieved, as long as they don't impinge substantially on the accumulation
drive of the system. But if accumulation itself is threatened capital
fights back, and small victories are likely to be reversed. The only answer
-- no longer to be seen simply as a question of justice but also one of
survival -- is to push beyond what capital is willing to accept, i.e., to
promote human and collective needs beyond the so-called "market system." In
that case, you are talking, if you take it far enough to make a real
difference, about an ecological and social revolution and the transition to
another kind of society.

*En Lucha**: Some social movements believe it is possible to live apart from
capitalism. Do you think this is possible, or does it just lead to the
atomization of the opposition? *

The U.S. socialist Scott
who wrote a regular column for many years in *Monthly Review*, was one of
the leaders of the self-sufficiency and back-to-the-land movement. There is
no doubt that this kind of separation of oneself from the main logic of the
system and its effects (a kind of living apart from the system) constitutes
a form of passive resistance (still a form of resistance). Throughout
history human beings, faced by repressive systems, have returned to the
land, and cultivated their own gardens, so to speak. This can be a way of
healing, regrouping, etc. Many of those who have gone in this general
direction have pioneered in alternative forms of agriculture, including
organic farming, community-supported agriculture. We should not
underestimate the degree to which such actions can sometimes create
alternatives crucial to the development of a new society, within the various
interstices of the system. But the real struggle to create a new society
requires in addition an active resistance and political organization: a
direct revolt against the existing relations of production. So the new
strengths that were gained during a period of retreat have to become a part
of an active resistance. Complete withdrawal in a globalized capitalist
system is largely an illusion. It is interesting how Nearing himself
combined his life of self-sufficiency with continual, active resistance. He
worked it from both ends. Today we need people who are active in their
resistance. If they can combine this with various ways of freeing
themselves from the rat race, so much the better.

*En Lucha**: The degrowth movement champions individual and collective
initiatives in the search for alternatives to capitalism. What is your
opinion about it? How can we decrease globally within the capitalist
system? *

Decrease globally *within* capitalism? We *can't*. Capitalism is all about
accumulation. It is a grow-or-die system and on an increasingly global
scale. When economic growth, particularly the growth of profits, is not
taking place, the system goes into a crisis, as at present. This results in
massive unemployment. There are a lot of good things to be said about the
"degrowth movement," as articulated particularly in Paris in April
But it is based on a voluntaristic approach to decrease consumption, and on
the unreal assumption that you can have a stationary state (that is a
no-growth economy), as envisioned by John Stuart
Millin the
nineteenth century, somehow in the context of the present system.
This is simply a misunderstanding as to the nature of capitalism. As
Joseph Schumpeter wrote, a no-growth capitalism is a *contradictio in
*. It is certainly true that we need a new economic structure focused on
enough and not more. An overall reduction in economic scale on the world
level, particularly in the rich countries, could be accompanied by progress
in sustainable human development, improving the real conditions of humanity
by moving from possessive individualism to non-possessive
humanism-collectivism. But this would require a socialist economy to make
it possible (not inevitable).

*En Lucha**: If the alternative to capitalism is a democratically planned
economy, how should this work so as to include environmental issues? *

I think we need to remember Marx's warning in *Capital *about writing "recipes
for the cook-shops of the
future." It
would be a mistake to try to write an actual blueprint for a socialist
society, including one that incorporated environmental issues. Yet, I think
that Paul Burkett has demonstrated in a brilliant article on "Marx's Vision
of Sustainable Human
Development"in the
October 2005 issue of
*Monthly Review *that Marx's notion of communism was one of sustainable
human development, and that it is indeed only in those terms that we can
understand what Marx's conception of a society of freely associated
producers regulating their metabolism with nature was all about. Hugo
Chávez has defined the struggle for socialism in the twenty-first century in
terms of "the elementary triangle of
According to this view, derived from Marx, socialism consists of: (1)
social ownership; (2) social production organized by workers; and (3)
satisfaction of communal needs. In my view, one can also speak of an
"elementary triangle of ecology," derived directly from Marx, which takes
the struggle to a deeper level. This can be defined as: (1) social use, not
ownership, of nature; (2) rational regulation by the associated producers of
the metabolism between human beings and nature; and (3) the satisfaction of
communal needs -- not only of present but also future generations. All of
this is spelled out in detail at the end of the introduction to my book *The
Ecological Revolution*, as well as in the final chapters of that book.

*En Lucha**: Finally, why should we read your last book, The Ecological
Revolution? *

The opening words of the preface to *The Ecological Revolution *state: "My
premise in this book is that we have reached a turning point in the human
relation to the earth: all hope for the future of this relationship is now
either revolutionary or it is false."

The reason to read the* Ecological Revolution *is to begin to approach this
question, which is now obviously the most important question facing humanity
as we go forward into the future.

Channel 4 Political Slot today highlights alternative to greed and RBS bonuses

Channel 4 short to highlight Green Party’s election agenda

The Channel 4 Political Slot today (19.55, Thursday 25 February) will set out the Green Party’s stall ahead of the general election.

The film, to be broadcast after the Channel 4 evening news, will feature party leader Caroline Lucas, the Green MEP for South East England.

The three-minute film, made by McDougall Craig North for Channel 4 and directed by Daisy Leitch, was filmed in Brighton, where Caroline Lucas has been tipped by bookmakers and opinion pollsters ICM and YouGov to be on course to win the Pavilion seat in the coming general election.

The film starts with Caroline Lucas asking the question: “What do you want your MP to fight for?” and surveys the responses of a number of members of the public, highlighting concerns about jobs, pensions and the NHS – and the Green Party’s response in its general election campaign under the banner Fair is worth fighting for.

24 Feb 2010

Okanagan Indian Band (OIB) challenge loggers

Excerpt of an interview with Jeannette Armstrong (Syilx, Okanagan) from the Native Perspectives on Sustainability project (above)

The Okanagan Indian Band (OIB) launched a “protective blockade” this morning, February 23, at the Okanagan campsite near Bouleau Lake in southern British Colombia.

A member of the greater Okanagan Nation, the OIB say they have been left with no choice but to stop the logging company Tolko Industries from endangering their water supply.

“This is not an action we took lightly, nor is it one we commenced without exhausting all of our legal options,” states OIB Chief Fabian Alexis, in a recent press statement. “However given the active collusion between the Ministry of Forests and Tolko and the continued indifference of the federal government, we had no choice but to act…”

Since at least 2003, the OIB has been seeking the legal protection of their water, which is provided by the Browns Creek watershed. The region has been extensively logged for more than forty years; and now, the Okanagan People fear that any further logging will threaten their health and safety.

“The fact is that when our reserves were first established it was with the clear understanding that our water supplies would be maintained for future generations,” notes Chief Alexis. “Instead the federal government abandoned its fiduciary obligation and allowed the Province of British Columbia to sell off our water rights thus resulting in a number of fish bearing creeks that run through our reserve being reduced to dry gullies.”

More here

22 Feb 2010

Vote Clare Solomon

Aled Fisher told me on friday night he was probably going to withdraw from standing for ULU President, while he was my first choice, I am glad he has now given Clare Solomon a clear run.

Their policies were pretty much identical, both support the campaign for low paid workers justice, both have an excellent record in terms of Latin America and above all, both are committed to improving student welfare and resisting the cuts.

So good luck Clare!

Bangladesh military attacks Indigenous Jumma People

video gives background information on Chittagong Hill Tracts.

Eight people are dead and more than two dozen have been injured after the Bangladesh military, on Feb. 20, 2010, opened fire on a group of Indigenous Jumma villagers in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) of Bangladesh.

Four villages, all sponsored by the United Nations, have also been completely leveled.

The Parbatya Chattagram Jana Samhati Samiti (PCJSS), a political organization that represents the entire Jumma population, provides this report on the events surrounding what has been termed a “massacre.”

Further updates are available at: http://jummacht.blogspot.com/.
More photos at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/unrestcht/
Sign this Global petition for peace! in the CHT: http://cht-global-voices.com
Massive communal attack on Jumma villages by military forces and Bengali settlers in Baghaihat area in Rangamati
A. Introduction:

On 19-20 February 2010 massive communal attack on Jumma villages was made by military forces and Bengali settlers at Baghaihat area of Sajek union under Baghaichari upazila in Rangamati district. It is reported that at 8 Jumma villagers including a woman were killed and 25 Jumma villagers wounded in this attack. It is learnt that around 200 houses of Jumma villagers including Buddhist temple and church were completely burnt into ashes.

B. Beginning of the incident

On 19 February 2010 afternoon a group Bengali settlers went to the Gangaran Duar area and put pillars on the land of indigenous Jumma villagers for construction of house there. At that time, the Jumma villagers protested and opposed the Bengali settlers.

Again at night around 8.30 pm hundreds of Bengali settlers led by leaders of so-called Sama Odhikar Andolon under full protection by a group of army from Baghaihat zone of 8 Bir Bengal gathered at Gangaram Duar area and started to set fire on the houses of Jumma villages. At that time, at least 35 houses including 7 shops, a church and a UNDP-run village centre, in three Jumma villages of Gangaram Duar, Chaminichara and Baluchara were burnt down. Jumma villagers alleged that Bengali settlers also looted the valuables while they were burning the houses. The villagers fled into the jungle when the attack took place.

After the first attack, the villagers returned to their villages the next morning and gathered in Gangaram to protest it. The Bengali settlers returned in the morning on 20 February 2010 equipped with sharp weapons, machetes and sticks.

Further, at around 10.00 am on 20 February 2010 tension mounted throughout the area while the army and Bengali settlers ordered the Jumma villagers to leave the area, but they refused to comply. At around 10.00 am the army started to beat the Jumma indiscriminately. One Jumma villager chopped an army named Sergeant Rezaul Karim while beating him brutally and then the army fired leaving him spot dead. Following this, the army opened fire into the Jumma villagers indiscriminately without any sort of provocation, leaving at least 6 dead and 25 wounded. They army also arrested three persons from there.

Since the start of firing, Bengali settlers with the help of army set fire on Jumma houses at Hajachara, Guchchha Gram, Balughat, Simanachhara, Baipaichhara, Suranganala, Kerekkaba Retkaba, Jarulchhari, Dane Bhaibachhara, Bame Bhaibachhara, MSF Para and Purbapara villages. It is reported that at least another 160 houses were torched at that time. Bengali settlers also burnt Banani Bana Vihar, a Buddhist temple. The monk of the vihara Ven. Purnabas Bhikkhu, fled the temple without taking meal. One statue of Buddha was looted and another one which was given by Thai government was looted. As they continued the arson attacks, the indigenous community began resisting them. During this resistance, six indigenous persons were injured.

It is still not clear how many Jumma villagers were killed in the attacks. However, five of the dead were identified. They are-

1) Ms. Buddhabati Chakma (34) w/o Uttam Chakma of Baghaihat Gucchagram;

2) Mr. Laxmi Bijoy Chakma (30) s/o unknown of Golakmachara;

3) Mr. Liton Chakma (35) s/o Karunamoy Chakma of Baibachara;

4) Mr. Bana Shanti Chakma (28) s/o unknown of Gangaram Duar and

5) Mr. Nutunjoy Chakma (28) s/o unknown of Golakmachara.

Some of the injured are-

1) Shanta Shil Chakma, s/o Dhanaram Chakma of Chaminichara;

2) Mrittunjoy Chakma, s/o unknown of Jarulchari;

3) Sushil Jibon Chakma (32), s/o Kinamani Chakma of Chaminichara;

4) Amar Jiban Chakma (30), s/o Majiban Chakma of B-Block of Bangaltali;

5) Mr. Nibesh Chakma (35), s/o unknown of Chaminichara;

6) Mr. Dari Chakma (40) s/o unknown of Nangalmara;

7) Jitendra Chakma (35), s/o unknown of Chaminichara

8 ) Mr. Prem Lal Chakma (26) s/o unknown of Chaminichara.

It is learnt that the dead body of Buddhabati Chakma was brought at Baghaichari police station for postmortem. But dead bodies of other deceased are yet to be recovered, as the entire area is now under the control of the settlers and army vigilance. On 20 February 2010 afternoon the army imposed section 144 in the area to prevent Jumma villagers from taking out protest demonstrations.

C. Background of incident

Bangladesh military forces undertook plan to settle down the infiltrated Bengali families along the roadsides of Sajek road from Baghaichari to Gangaram Mukh in 2005. It is also mentionable that thousands of indigenous Jumma families have been living in this area for decades long. Hence, Jumma villagers of these areas have been protesting against this illegal settlement programme. Despites the protesting, in 2008 Bengali settlers illegally constructed some houses at Gangaram area on the land owned by Jumma villagers. At a stage on 20 April 2008 the Bengali settlers with the direct support of army of Baghaihat zone attacked on the 7 villages of indigenous Jumma peoples and at least 76 houses of indigenous villagers were completely burnt to ashes.

Again, since starting of January 2010, Bengali settlers with the support of Baghaihat army zone resumed expansion of their settlement in Sajek area under Baghaichari upazila in Rangamati district. A number of houses have already been erected by the Bengali settlers occupying Jumma villagers’ land.

The villagers, under the banner of Sajek Bhumi Rakkha Committee, submitted a memorandum to the Baghaichhari UNO on 10 January 2010 with an ultimatum of 16 January 2010 to return them their lands. As the deadline expired without any fruitful result on 16 January, Jumma villagers started their agitation and started to boycott Baghaihat market from 18 January 2010. On the other, on 25 January 2010 the PCJSS sent a letter to the Home Minister with copy to State Minister of CHT Affairs Ministry and other concerned government authorities demanding to stop settlement prgramme and to withdraw Bengali settlers from Baghaihat area. However, government did not take any measure in this regard.

D. Mock of Bengali settlers

It is learnt that Bengali settlers and army staged mocks to conceal real situation of the attack and to divert the incident to other direction. As part of this mock, Bengali settlers set fire on their few houses which were almost abandoned. Even, army also played a gunfight mock. At a press conference at Rangamati Reporters Unity, the Parbatya Bangalee Chatra Parishad also protested the incident and blamed indigenous people for it. They declared the Chittagong Hill Tracts Commission unwanted in CHT and blamed it for working in favour of the indigenous people.

E. Media Report

It is reported that most of news media both electronic and press primarily reported fabricated news. They reported that tribal miscreants fired first, clash started since tribal ablaze settlers’ houses, tribal villagers attached Bengali settlers etc. For example, the Daily Star in its internet edition on 20 February mentioned the headline of news as “Criminal killed in gunfight with security forces in Rangamati”. However, it replaced later with “2 indigenous men killed as troops open fire in Rangamati”. The Prothom Alo stated it as firing between Paharis and Bangalis. Most of the electronic media aired news in favour of Bengali settlers. Most of the media reflected statement of military authority as well as administration that went against the Jumma peoples.

F. Reaction

Processions have been brought in Rangamati, Khagrachari and Dhaka protesting against the attack. At 11.00 am on 20 February 2010 PCJSS brought out procession in Rangamati. PCJSS claimed that Bengali settlers led by so-called Sama Odhikar Andolon (a fanatic organisation of Bengali settlers) and Parbatya Bangali Chhatra Parishad torched the houses of the tribal people in a pre-planned way. PCJSS demanded judicial investigation of the incident, immediate arrest of the people responsible for the incident and compensation for the victims and warned of tougher agitation programmes if their demand is not met.

On the other, Pahari Chatra Parishad (Hill Students Council) also brought out procession at Dhaka University campus in Dhaka.

G. Urgent Action Needed:

Tension is going on at Baghaihat area of Sajek union and upazila headquarters under Baghaichari upazila. With this circumstance, please write letter to the government of Bangladesh demanding the following issues-

1) To conduct judicial investigation of the incident and to send a parliamentary team to enquiry the incident;

2) To immediate arrest the Bengali settlers and military personnel responsible for the incident and to provide compensation for the victims of Jumma peoples;

3) To stop expansion of Bengali settlement and to close Bengali settlers from Baghaihat areas and return back land and homesteads occupied by Bengali settlers to Jumma villagers;

4) To close Baghaihat zone soon and to withdraw all temporary camps including de facto military rule ‘Operation Uttoran’ as per CHT Accord;

5) To implement the CHT Accord and to declare roadmap with timeframe for speedy and proper implementation of CHT Accord.

Please write to the authorities of Bangladesh Government

§ Ms. Sheikh Hasina, Honourable Prime Minister, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, Prime Minister’s Office, Tejgaon, Dhaka, Bangladesh. Fax : +880 2 8113243 / 3244 / 1015 / 1490, Email: Info@pmo.gov.bd, E-mail: pm@pmo.gov.bd or psecy@pmo.gov.bd

§ Dr. Dipu Moni, Honorable Minister, Foreign Ministry, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, Dhaka, Fax: +880 2 9558566, Tel: 956-2852

§ Ms. Shahara Khatun, Honorable Minister, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, Bangladesh Secretariat, Dhaka, BANGLADESH, Fax: +88-02-7160405, 88-02-7164788 (O), Tel:+88-02-7169069 (O) E-mail: minister@mha.gov.bd, info@mha.gov.bd, secretary@mha.gov.bd

§ Mr. Dipankar Talukdar MP, Honorable State Minister, CHT Affairs Ministry, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, Bangladesh Secretariat, Dhaka, BANGLADESH, Tel: +880-2- 7161774, E-mail: mochtadh@bttb.net

§ Ms. Sajeda Chowdhury, Convenor of CHT Accord Implementation Committee and Deputy Leader of Jatiya Sangsad, Sangsad Bhabab, Tejgaon, Dhaka

(Parbatya Chattagram Jana Samhati Samiti)
Kalyanpur, Rangamati-450000, Chittagong Hill Tracts, Bangladesh
Tel+Fax: +880-351-61248


Green Party edges to the left

This is a report from a conference goer, not me,

At its conference in London over the past weekend, the Green Party provided more evidence of its gradual evolution from a narrow environmentalist sect into a left social democratic party with a strong emphasis on ecological issues.

First, the conference passed with large majorities two resolutions drafted by members of Green Left, the Party’s ecosocialist tendency; one pledging support for the National Pensioners’ Convention and its election manifesto, and the other calling for the imposition of a top limit to the pay and bonus differentials in all organisations, so the maximum wage that any organisation could pay would be ten times that of the lowest paid worker.

Second, in its revue of the Party’s health policy, conference removed all the egregious anti- science references in it that had previously been such an embarrassment, and reversed its previous opposition to the use of embryonic stem cells in medical research.

Third, the make-up of the membership is clearly starting to change. Over the past year, party membership has increased by around two and a half thousand and is now hovering close to ten thousand (and rising). The number of young faces at the conference has clearly grown over the last year or so, as has the number of new members coming from the ranks of the ex-Labour diaspora. As one member, attending her first conference, remarked “I used to think of the Greens as single issue obsessives, but now I believe the Party represents the principles I spent thirty years fighting for in the Labour Party, informed by a realisation of the scale and urgency of the environmental crisis we face.”

21 Feb 2010

Green Party members' conference report

In a packed programme, one of the major items was the passing of the health voting paper, which entirely updated our health policy. This added policies on patient empowerment, calling for a new model of patient-owned co-ops for GP practices, to end NHS subsidies for private healthcare, and breastfeeding. The policy now also includes approval, with appropriate ethical guidelines, for all types of stem call research. It was also generally "slimmed down", removing references to particular treatments and drugs.

A motion calling for a similar revamp of the science policy was also passed. A policy measure calling for scientists and technologists to have to take a pledge to protect the earth was dropped by this conference, and the animals and research policy was amended, retaining our ethical objections to animal research and noting medical concerns about the reliance on animal testing of human medicines.

In other policy areas, conference backed a call for a maxium wage policy that would ensure that the pay of the highest-paid person in an organisation should not exceed the lowest-paid by more than a factor of 10. It also backed a call for marriage equality that would allow same-sex civil marriage and for civil partnerships to be available to all.

A strong parental leave policy, providing up to 24 months of paid (at near-salary levels to a reasonable maximum) leave to be shared between new parents, although insisting that for this total to be achieved, at least six months of which must be taken by the parent taking less leave. A motion recording our support for the Pensioners' Manifesto and its £170/week pension was also passed.

and my meeting on climate change was packed and the speakers were fab, indignous and workers are remaking the world!

Third Campaign Against Climate Change Trade Union conferenc

For a Million Climate Jobs

Saturday, 13 March 2010
11:00 - 16:00
South Camden Community School
Charrington Street
For A Million Climate Jobs

The Third Campaign Against Climate Change Trade Union conference will bring together hundreds of Trade Unionists to discuss how we can campaign for climate justice following the failure of the Copenhagen Talks.

In particular, we will look at the Campaign for a Million Climate Jobs, many of our speakers have been part of creating the excellent pamphlet which has been produced with the support of the CWU, PCS, UCU and TSSA.

It will also be an opportunity to hear from those who took part in the Vestas occupation and the magnificant climate protests in Copenhagen last December. The format will be a "teach in" style to allow maximum participation, with breakout sessions on "How do we campaign for a million jobs", "The Climate Emergency Demands", "Organising at work" and the "International Movement post Copenhagen".

We hope that the meeting will bring together Trade Unionists with environmental activists, so that we can all learn from each other. You do not have to be a Trade Unionist to attend!

For more information, please visit http://cacctu.wordpress.com where you can download leaflets, motions and registration forms.

Registration is £10 or £5 (low waged or unemployed).

There will be plenty of campaign stalls and book stalls at the event.

climate change Bolivian motion to adopt

1, rue Miollis, 75015 París, FRANCE.
Tel.: +33 (0) 1 45 68 30 38/39 – Fax: +33 (0) 1 45 68 30 37 - Correo Electrónico: dl.bolivia@unesco.org

- Considering that climate change represents a real threat to
the existence of humanity, of living beings and our
Mother Earth as we know it today;
- Noting the serious danger that exists to islands, coastal
areas, glaciers in the Himalayas, the Andes and
mountains of the world, poles of the Earth, warm
regions like Africa, water sources, populations affected
by increasing natural disasters, plants and animals, and
ecosystems in general;
- Making clear that those most affected by climate change
will be the poorest in the world who will see their homes and their sources of survival
destroyed, and who will be forced to migrate and seek refuge;
- Confirming that 75% of historical emissions of greenhouse gases originated in the
countries of the North that followed a path of irrational industrialization;
- Noting that climate change is a product of the capitalist system;
- Regretting the failure of the Copenhagen Conference caused by countries called
“developed”, that fail to recognize the climate debt they have with developing countries,
future generations and Mother Earth;
- Affirming that in order to ensure the full fulfillment of human rights in the twenty-first
century, it is necessary to recognize and respect Mother Earth’s rights;
- Reaffirming the need to fight for climate justice;
- Recognizing the need to take urgent actions to avoid further damage and suffering to
humanity, Mother Earth and to restore harmony with nature;
- Confident that the peoples of the world, guided by the principles of solidarity, justice and
respect for life, will be able to save humanity and Mother Earth, and
- Celebrating the International Day of Mother Earth,
The Government of the Plurinational State of Bolivia calls on the peoples of the world, social
movements and Mother Earth’s defenders, and invites scientists, academics, lawyers and
governments that want to work with their citizens to the Peoples’ World Conference on
Climate Change and Mother Earth’s Rights to be held from 20th to 22nd April 2010 in
Cochabamba, Bolivia.
The Peoples’ World Conference on Climate Change and Mother Earth’s Rights has as

1, rue Miollis, 75015 París, FRANCE.
Tel.: +33 (0) 1 45 68 30 38/39 – Fax: +33 (0) 1 45 68 30 37 - Correo Electrónico: dl.bolivia@unesco.org
1) To analyze the structural and systemic causes that drive climate change and to propose
radical measures to ensure the well-being of all humanity in harmony with nature.
2) To discuss and agree on the project of a Universal Declaration of Mother Earth Rights.
3) To agree on proposals for new commitments to the Kyoto Protocol and projects for a COP
Decision under the United Nations Framework for Climate Change that will guide future
actions in those countries that are engaged with life during climate change negotiations
and in all United Nations scenarios, related to:
a) Climate debt
b) Climate change migrants-refugees
c) Emission reductions
d) Adaptation
e) Technology transfer
f) Finance
g) Forest and Climate Change
h) Shared Vision
i) Indigenous Peoples, and
j) Others
4) To work on the organization of the Peoples’ World Referendum on Climate Change
5) To analyze and develop an action plan to advance the establishment of a Climate Justice
6) To define strategies for action and mobilization to defend life from Climate Change and to
defend Mother Earth’s Rights.
Bolivia, January 5th, 2010
Evo Morales Ayma
President of the Plurinational State of Bolivia

Irish Greens challenge Fianna Fail

Willie O'Dea will believe to his dying day that he was the Fianna Fail head on the Greens' plate, the person unlucky enough to be caught in the glare of the headlights when they needed an issue to prove their political virility.

While O'Dea admits he did wrong, he believes that the punishment was disproportionate to the crime. And he deeply resents the role played by the unelected Senator Dan Boyle -- "he footed the poll in the European elections" -- whose tweeting intervention forced the Greens to change their tune overnight after the vote of confidence last Wednesday.


I could say too little too late and I could point out like everyone else they remain in deep trouble,
however credit where credit is due they have shown some real green colours and forced FF to kick out the defence minister O'Dea.

Good for them.

Amazon defenders on twitter

Aidesep may be in pretty remote bits of Peru but as well as being impressive strategists as you would expect, they are also exponents of the net and the web and now twitter.

Do follow them on http://twitter.com/AIDESEP , they have 9 people following them, lets make this a a million!

It is very very important to get alerts from them and act upon them, the Peruvian government still want to smash Aidesep so they can sell the Amazon to oil corporations and guess what the British government are supporting the Peruvians.

Viva Aidesep!

Big Aidesep mobilisation tomorrow if you are in Peru go along!

20 Feb 2010


I have been running around for a couple of days telling people about the Awajun and the Wampis and Aidesep.....they seriously get the job done, I hope they send delegates to every green organisation on the planet and tell the rest of us to shape up and give some advice on how to do so.

Real Green politics, its advancing fastest in the Peruvian Amazon!

Company activities suspended in Ajwun and Wampis sacred territory

Peru’s Ministry of Energy and Mines announced this week that it is “indefinitely suspending” Minera Afrodita’s exploration activities in the Cordillera del Condor region of Peru.

As reported by Servindi, the announcement follows a recommendation by the Supervisory Agency for Investment in Energy and Mining (OSINERGIN), which recently that found that Afrodita, a subsidiary of the Vancouver-based company Dorato Resources Inc., has no concession rights in the Cordillera del Condor region, which straddles the border between Peru and Ecuador.

The Interethnic Development Association of the Peruvian Rainforest (AIDESEP) has welcomed the Ministry’s announcement, however, AIDESEP says it is still a far stretch from the “permanent removal” that the Ajwun and Wampis Peoples have been calling for.

The Ajwun and Wampis maintain that Dorato Resources has no legal right to operate within their traditional territory; and especially not in the Cordillera del Condor, a region the Ajwun and Wampis hold sacred.

They say Dorato has never consulted them or obtained their prior and informed consent. In August 2009, they issued an eviction notice to the company.

As well, more than 50 communities have singled out Dorato, because, they say, the company is actively contaminating the Cenepa and Maranon rivers with mercury and cyanide waste. As many as 13 thousand indigenous people in Peru and Ecuador depend on these two rivers.

AIDESEP also points out that, while the suspension blocks the company’s operations in the Cordillera del Condor, they will still be able to operate in the surrounding region.

Further, it is unclear how long the suspension will actually last for, given the timing of the decision. It was issued just four days before Indigenous Peoples in northern and eastern Peru—along with several social organizations, unions, and advocacy groups—are scheduled to mobilize for a “day of peaceful struggle.”

According to the chair of Peru’s Council of Ministers, the suspension “has a lot to do with the mobilization” which, he says, “some indigenous communities in the Cordillera del Condor were preparing in order to show their disapproval of this company’s operations.”

The Chair’s statement unfortunately downplays the reasons for the effort. According to AIDESEP, it is not simply to show disapproval of one mining company. Rather, it is being held: to demand an end to the persecution of indigenous leaders; to reject the main points of the Commission report surrounding the tragic events of Bagua; to condemn the constant discrimination of Indigenous Peoples by the highest levels of government; to encourage respect for the laws of indigenous communities, including ILO Convention 169; and, among many other points, to call for an end to all mining and oil concessions in the Cordillera del Condor.

The mobilization will start two days from now, on February 22, 2010.

More here

19 Feb 2010

Urgent Action: BP Oil Workers Action in Casanare Colombia – Police Repression

Workers at the BP plant at Tauramena, part of the Cusiana oil field in Casanare have been protesting since 22 January 2010 for improved wages. On 15 February the notorious ESMAD ‘anti-mutiny’ police attacked the workers’ picket line and the local community. Three workers are in hospital. They are members of the national Oil Workers Union USO that has only been able to organise in the plants in the last year.

For video see http://www.usofrenteobrero.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=519:trabajadores-petroleros-de-tauramena-agredidos-por-el-emad-video&catid=60:tauramena&Itemid=100



4pm Friday 26 February, outside BP HQ, 1 St James Square, London SW1 (nearest tube Piccadilly Circus)

Bring banners, placards and let’s make a noise!

Plus: send protest messages to BP demanding the corporation conducts peaceful negotiations with USO, meets the workers just demands and guarantees no victimisation of union members; and that BP condemns the ESMAD police repression of its employees. Send your message to (£2.5 million a year) Executive Director and Group Chief Executive Tony Hayward at email: tony.hayward@bp.com

Send messages of solidarity to the workers via USO Human Rights Commission email: usopaz@yahoo.com

The Colombia Solidarity Campaign will be planning further solidarity action at its annual meeting in London on Saturday, 27 February.

For more information on this and other campaign activities contact us at email: info@colombiasolidarity.org.uk

18 Feb 2010

Willie O’Dea gate vote by Irish Greens

They continue to embarrass Greens and Irish citizens across the entire planet.



The article was written by Green Party member and barrister Vincent P Martin.

"FF Minister for Defense Willie O’Dea has damaged our democratic process in three distinct ways: he has falsely maligned a candidate in an election; he has given false evidence to the High Court upon which it relied; and thirdly, and perhaps most damning of all, he has declared from the Dáil, the very centre of our democracy, that his conduct is perfectly acceptable and that those who would take him to task are hypocrites.

I am saddened both as a lawyer and member of the Green Party, but perhaps mostly as a citizen, that last night the Dáil supported a motion of confidence in Willie O’Dea. There was something pathetic about it all, a mean-spirited loyalty to colleague over country, a reinforcement of the sense of them and us, an overarching and deep feeling that once again the lowest standard wins the day.

The Green Party stands for more. We must be true to ourselves regardless of the consequences. The alternative is to become what we hate."

Another article on this here ... http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2010/0218/1224264714664.html

"Never mind the Opposition allegations of perjury: “you can’t prove nuttin” was the measured defence from senior counsel Brian Lenihan on his colleague’s behalf. There was no attempt from anybody to deny that their Willie had been caught, bang to rights, spreading malicious rumours about a political rival. In fact, as the Dáil debated a hastily arranged confidence vote in O’Dea, the Government appeared to view the entire exercise as a joke. Then the utterly unrepentant O’Dea had the cheek to finish his outrageous contribution with a plea for “some level of propriety and fairness.

Eamon Ryan looked like he was going to burst into tears.

Meanwhile, the Greens continue to cover themselves in glory. After the vote, Senator Dan unburdened himself on his Twitter page. “Not happy with what happened today. Believe we bounced into supporting motion. Next week would have been fine . . . As regards to Minister O’Dea, I don’t have confidence in him. His situation is compromised. Probably be a few chapters in this story yet.

Ten out of 10 for neck."

Don't do drugs kids!

Controversial stuff and I am no expert but, I do know that if corporations make millions from drugs they will be working hard to spike us.

This is from Socialist Resistance (below) but if you want a voice from a Republican Party supporter watch Clint Eastwood's film Changeling.

Psychiatry is organised around a medical model of distress, and its bible of diagnostic categories, the ‘Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders’ (DSM) is now in its fourth edition. The number of categories expand with each revision of the DSM, and it is now driven by the pharmaceutical companies who are into the game of discovering what their drugs will stop and then convincing their clients – that is, the psychiatrists and hard-pressed general practitioners – that these are ‘disorders’ for which their brand medicine is the solution. The sales of the DSM pay the mortgage on the headquarters of the American Psychiatric Association, but the connections between mental illness and capital accumulation run much deeper than that.

More here

Vote for Aled

I have just found out that Aled is standing for ULU president as well as Clare Solomon.

Obviously either of them would be wonderful but I am a bit of an Aled loyalist....given his long and honorable record building ecosocialism!

I must say its rare to find an election with two people standing who I think are great, perhaps one of them should run in the General Election or for something else in student politics.

Wonder if there are votes that can be transfered.....divisions on the student left.

Back in the 13th century I was President of the Institute of Archaeology students union, which merged with UCL.

Liz Davies was UCL SU president, she was and is wonderful.

hope my nostalgia has distracted you!

More here

Mike Roselle, terrorist? No defender of the Earth, yes!

The beard is graying. The hair is clipped military-short. He is a large man,
oddly shaped, like a cross between a grizzly and a javelina. It's Roselle,
of course, Mike Roselle - the outside agitator. He and a fellow activist
have just spread an anti-coal banner in front of a growling bulldozer in
West Virginia on a cold February morning in 2009. He's in this icy and
unforgiving land to oppose a brutal mining operation and will soon be
arrested for trespassing. Massey Energy, the target of Roselle's protest, is
the fourth largest coal extractor in the United States, mining nearly 40
million tons of coal in Kentucky, West Virginia and Tennessee each year.

The arrest was nothing new for Roselle, who cut his teeth in direct action
environmental campaigns decades earlier as a co-founder of Earth First!, top
campaigner for Greenpeace US and later as the wit behind the tenacious
Ruckus Society. Unlike most mainstream environmentalists, you are not likely
to see Roselle sporting a suit and lobbying Washington insiders on the
intricacies of mining laws - you are more apt to see this self-proclaimed
lowbagger (one who lives light on the land, works to protect it and has few
possessions to show for their hard work) engaged in direct, but nonviolent,
confrontations with the forces of industrialization, using tactics honed
during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s. And his dissent in
West Virginia is more than justified.

The mountaintops of the Appalachia region, from Tennessee up to the heart of
West Virginia, are being ravaged by the coal industry - an industry that
cares little about the welfare of communities or the land that it is chewing
up and spitting out with its grotesque mining operations.

The debris from the mining pits, often 500 feet deep, produce toxic waste
that is then dumped in nearby valleys, polluting rivers and poisoning local
communities downstream. Currently, no state or federal agencies are tracking
the cumulative effect of the aptly named "mountaintop removal," where entire
peaks are being blown apart with explosives, only to expose tiny seams of
the precious black rock.

On December 22, 2008, a coal slurry impoundment at the Tennessee Valley
Authority's Kingston coal fired power plant in Harriman, Tennessee, spilled
more than 500 million gallons of toxic coal ash into the Tennessee River.
The epic spill was over 40 times larger than the Exxon Valdez in Alaska.
Approximately 525 million gallons of black coal ash flowed into tributaries
of the murky Tennessee River - the water supply for Chattanooga and millions
of people living downstream in the states of Alabama and neighboring
Kentucky. The true costs - environmental and social - of the spill are still
not known.

As a result of the ongoing destruction of this forgotten region of
Appalachia, Roselle and others affiliated with his latest group, Climate
Ground Zero, have set up shop and vow not to end their actions until this
mining practice has been outlawed. But the West Virginia media, long in the
pockets of Big Coal, has not depicted Roselle as a nonviolent activist who
has been pushed to act because his conscience has forced him to. On the
contrary, Roselle has been portrayed as a potential eco-terrorist and a
threat, not only to jobs in the region, but to human life as well.

"A quick search of Roselle's name on the internet produces pages of
accusations that he will go to any length for his cause, vandalism that
could put lives in danger," reported WSAZ-TV on February 11, 2009.

Fox affiliate WCHS-TV8 went even further in a story they aired on the same
date stating, "Roselle has been called an 'eco-terrorist' by some because of
his tactics. He's someone we think you should know about. Tomorrow night
don't miss the 'Roselle Report' when we'll take a closer look at how this
man's radical methods of protest may put lives at stake in West Virginia."

Being labeled a terrorist isn't a new accusation for Roselle, who has been
at the forefront of dozens of nonviolent direct action environmental
campaigns throughout the past several decades. "I have been arrested over
forty times in twenty states," Roselle remembers with a smirk. "My longest
time in jail is four months in South Dakota for an action on Mt. Rushmore
against acid rain."

More here

CONFERENCE FRINGE - TODAY with Latin American Workers Association



- More important than the World Bank?
- Less important to politicians?


Farid Bakht, Joint International Coordinator, GPEW

Alberto Durango, Latin American Workers Association

Thursday 18th Feb : Room BC-3 @7pm

· Immigrants are a political football.

· They will be a prominent subject in the General Election.....for all the wrong reasons.

· Are migrants important? If so, why? To whom?

· What are remittances? How do they compare with Foreign Aid?

· Where do the Greens stand on the issue of the treatment of migrants here?

· What political decisions do we need to take?

17 Feb 2010

Copenhagen failed - How do we stop climate change?

Copenhagen failed - How do we stop climate change?
Indian YMCA, Fitzroy Square, w1 (Warren Street tube)

The humiliating collapse of the Copenhagen talks has left the world's rulers without a plan for addressing climate change. Climate change deniers are speaking out with fresh confidence. Yet as the demonstrations in both London and Copenhagen and the Climate Camp showed a movement has begun to take to the streets.

How can the climate justice movement respond to the new situation? How can it make the links between the trade unions, campaigners, working class communities and the global south?

Derek Wall (Green Party) and Liam Mac Uaid (Socialist Resistance) explore the options with plenty of time for discussion.

More info about Socialist Resistance at www.socialistresistance.org

David Rovics reports from Mayo on oil, corruption and repression

In a country with the kind of tumultuous history that Ireland has it's not surprising that a man being arrested and jailed for seven months would escape the notice of the media, at least outside of Ireland. What should hopefully pique some interest is that this is a man with a long history of being bullied, intimidated, arrested and treated roughly by the authorities for his nonviolent resistance against Shell Oil's construction of a gas pipeline, and now the judge is calling him a bully and jailing him for seven months on the extremely dubious charge of intimidating an officer.

To be sure, this is not Nigeria, where Shell regularly massacres those opposed to the oil drilling which is destroying the environment and the livelihoods of so much of the population. Shell doesn't run Ireland in the way it controls Nigeria. But at the same time, much like my own country, the Irish government has proven itself to be far from free of corruption.

When I arrived in Dublin last June, on the other side of the country from where Pat O'Donnell's family has fished the bay for the past five generations, the Shell to Sea campaign was a subject that came up regularly in conversation. There was, and is, a buzz around it because, especially for those of us the authorities like to denounce as “professional activists,” the Shell to Sea campaign in County Mayo is inspiring as an example of an effort that has brought together people from all walks of life. To be sure, there are many scruffy young activists involved of all sorts, from Dublin, Cork and Galway, with and without dreadlocks, along with scruffy environmentalists from England, France and elsewhere. But the backbone of the campaign are local school teachers and fishermen.

More here

Awajún-Wampis, Sequoia-Boras and Harakmbut fight to win!

Avatar...I know them, they are my friends! vid from last year but gives you the idea and gringos its in english!

The indigenous in Peru stop oil and coal extraction, stop the destruction of the Amazon, fight against climate change and combining their traditional skills with the use of the net, web, non-violent direct action and where appropriate legal challenges....fight to win.

I salute them, they constantly amaze me....wonderful people with a focussed ability to serve their own enlightened self-interest and protect the mother earth from corporate assaults (two sides of the same task!)

They are the one good news story on the planet when it comes to serious green politics....there is a simple measure of whether some is serious about climate change....do they stand with the Awajun and Wampis and the other indigenous!

Or not!

This is my rubbish translation from their website...spread the word about the lucha indigena.

Awajún-Wampis, Sequoia-Boras and Harakmbut
in struggle to defend their territories

AIDESEP, 16 February 2010. Awajún-Wampis peoples, Sequoia-Boras and Harakmbut are up in arms for the defense of ancestral land for the welfare of the planet.

The situation has been further exacerbated by recent government decisions to grant concessions on indigenous lands for exploration and mining and oil without prior consultation of the people as demanded by law.

The population-Wampis Awajún Cenepa (Amazon) calls for four years the return of 88.744 acres that the State took for a national park in Ichigkat Muja to give mining concessions to Aphrodite.

In the case of Sequoia-Boras, for four years with the application for Güeppi, the area is transformed into a national park. In the south of the Amazon, which is populated by the Harakmbut Inambari (Mother of God) remains vigilant to prevent oil company Hunt Oil re-entering the communal reserve Amarakaeri.

These people have indicated to the central government authorities that they do not accept mining or oil on their land.

Zebelio Kayap, president of the Organization for the Development of Border Communities Cenepa - ODECOFROC said two weeks ago that Awajún-Wampis communities are tired of no response to messages sent to the Ministry of Energy and Mines.

"We asked them why they gave permission for entry into the mining Aphrodite and what concessions the Cordillera del Condor after we signed a record with INRENA to build the park there Ichigkat Muja in an area of 152 hectares, after cut without regard to document signed, "he said, noting that the Cordillera del Condor is a valuable territory for the survival of the natives and also for hosting the revered holy Kumpanam Hill.

Cenepa Awajún peoples reaffirmed its position: to require the Peruvian State to comply with the act establishing the park in the area were ordered and delegated its monitoring and administration. They also seek to revoke mining concessions in the Cenepa for violating the right to consultation set out in ILO Convention 169 and the withdrawal of Aphrodite and Dorato companies.

The impossible hamster

However you need a way of providing prosperity without wrecking the planet, whenever I hear the phrase 'blind capitalist accumulation' I reach for my Elinor Ostrom....not convinced that many of the critics of growth have much of an idea of the basic framework of an alternative economic system.

Elinor Ostrom is the whole of the law!

16 Feb 2010

'Climate Change Justice: Is there life after Copenhagen?'

Green Party conference fringe on friday 19th February at 19.00pm

The speakers are

Jerry Hicks, currently running for Unite General Secretary.
John Sinha from Climate Camp.
Amancay Colque, Bolivia Solidarity Campaign
Derek Wall, Green Party candidate for Windsor.

Chair: Sian Jones, Chair of the Campaign Against Climate Change Trade Union group

Green Party Spring Conference 2010
Spring Conference 2010 will be at The Arts Depot, 5 Nether Street, London, N12 0GA
Conference will start on Thursday February 18th (1pm) and finish on Sunday 21st (2pm).

More details here http://www.greenparty.org.uk/conference.html

John Rees and 42 others leave Socialist Workers Party

Its a car crash, the left faction have left.

I hope they do something worthwhile.....there are elections to be won in Britain, hope they can get stuck in supporting the relevent people.

Hope they support the struggles for ecosocialism, the indigenous and workers can remake the world in a way that delivers justice and ecology.

More details here

Imperialism Is the Arsonist: Marxism’s Contribution to Ecological Literatures and Struggles

Derek Wall ’s article entitled  Imperialism Is the Arsonist: Marxism’s Contribution to Ecological Literatures and Struggles , argues that Ma...