Citizen Organizing & Politics

Mayan Peoples Movement Defeats Monsanto Law in Guatemala

September 30, 2014

By Carol Schachet

Cross Posted from Grassroots International

Widespread protests and strategic organizing succeeded in defending Mayan lands and food sovereignty in Guatemala. This marks a major – and unprecedented – victory as the congress repealed the “Monsanto Law,” preventing threatened exclusivity on patented seeds to a handful of transnational companies.

Daniel Pascual, director of Grassroots International’s partner organization the Committee for Campesino Unity (CUC), said the widespread demonstrations against the "Monsanto law" showed that Mayan people consider it a flagrant violation of national sovereignty.  He added, “This is a victory for the movement, but do not forget there are other laws that we need to repeal that are designed to favor certain companies and control the movement resistance to defend the territory.”

The article below, originally posted on the Via Campesina website, describes the victory and ongoing efforts to protect seeds, land and food sovereignty in Guatemala.

HAITIAN TOURISM PROJECT LEADS TO ENVIRONMENTAL DAMAGE AND COMMUNITY REPRESSION

September 11, 2014

By Other Worlds and the Solidarity and Resistance Collective for the Population of Île-à-Vache

“Destination Île-à-Vache” is a government-driven tourist project planned for a small island off the northern coast of Haiti, Île-à-Vache. Plans include an international airport, golf courses,1,500 hotel bungalows, agri-tourism, and “tourist villages” which will include boutiques, restaurants and even a night club. Groundbreaking on the project occurred in August, 2013, without the inclusion or participation of the community.

For Disenfranchised Haitian Islanders, Tourism Signals a Paradise Lost

August 20, 2014

Cross Posted from Inter Press Service News Agency

By Judith Scherr

Homes like these in the village of Madam Bernard, Ile à Vache, Haiti, might be removed to make way for tourist development or islanders removed from other areas might be relocated here. Credit: Judith Scherr/IPS

 

THE GLOBAL DISABILITY RIGHTS MOVEMENT: WINNING POWER, PARTICIPATION, AND ACCESS

August 20, 2014

An Interview with Diana Samarasan, Disability Rights Fund

By Beverly Bell 

Diana Samarasan with colleagues in the disability rights movement in Uganda. (Photo courtesy of Diana Samarasan.)

Diana Samarasan is founder and director of the Disability Rights Fund, a path-breaking advocacy and grantmaking organization. The Fund’s motto is “Building community capacity to achieve the human rights of all persons with disabilities.”

 “Nothing about us without us” is the global slogan for the disability rights movement. It means that nothing should be decided about people with disabilities without their presence, their participation, and their inclusion.

Reconstruction or Haiti’s Latest Disaster? Tourism Development on Île-à-Vache Island

July 21, 2014

 

The following is adapted from a presentation by Jessica Hsu of Other Worlds and Jean Claudy Aristil of Radio VKM Les Cayes at the Executive Symposium for Innovators in Coastal Tourism conference in St. Georges, Grenada held from July 8 - July 11, 2014.

 

A large-scale tourism project planned for the Haitian island of Île-à-Vache targets “the well-heeled tourist from traditional markets…creating a place of exquisite peace and well-being,” as described in the government of Haiti’s executive plan. The project aims to attract four character types: “the Explorers, the Lovers, the Rejuvenators and the Homecomers.” The corporations behind the project intend to build 1,500 hotels and bungalows along the island’s beaches, an international airport, a golf course, island farms, and tourist “villages” with cafes, shops, and night clubs.

U.S. Has No Plans for Leniency With Unaccompanied Migrant Children

June 24, 2014

Cross posted from Color Lines
By: Julianne Hing

Migrants fleeing Central America for the U.S. will not be greeted with open arms, the Obama administration wants to make clear. In fact, to deal with the influx of an expected 90,000 migrants this year, the Obama administration will be funneling immigration officers and judges to the region to accelerate processing—and deportations—of migrants, reports the New York Times.

El 27 marzo celebraremos nuestro 21° aniversario!

March 26, 2014

Cross-posted from COPINH

Otra cuña para nuestro 21° aniversario. Celebraremos con ceremonias, haciendo memoria histórica, con programas especiales en las radios Lencas del COPINH, reflexión y análisis. http://giss.tv:8000/guarajambala.mp3.m3u
Desde tempranito una compostura a la tierra en UTOPIA. Habrá alborada.

The Resistance CONTINUES and the Indigenous Mandate in San Francisco de Opalaca

February 10, 2014

Cross-posted from COPINH

COPINH hereby communicates to the world that today, Sunday January 26, 2014, the mandated sovereignty indigenous action continues, in defense of the collective rights to autonomy and respect, for the establishment of the Legitimate Municipal Indigenous Council, to fulfill indigenous governmental functions.  This historic action took place yesterday, in the presence of some 800 Lenca indigenous people of Opalaca, of COPINH and ADRO. 

Versión en español abajo.

Building an Earth Economy: Local, Organic, and Fair

February 5, 2014

Cross-posted from PR Watch

By Elizabeth Henderson

With the financial recovery looking more like the Great Recession, people are turning to the real goods and services of the earth economy. As stock prices rise and the top one percent bloats with wealth, for many in the 99 percent incomes are eroding and job security is a quaint concept from the past.

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