Defending the Global Commons

Peasant Agroecology, the key for humankind and the planet

December 16, 2014

Nyeleni Newsletter: December 2014

Released by Nyeleni

Peasant Agroecology, the key for humankind and the planet Agroecology has existed for many years, and much has been written about it already. It is a multidimensional approach, founded on knowledge, know-how and peasants’ ways of life, grounded in their respective natural, social and cultural environment. For many years it was considered as archaic and not really adapted to “modern progress”. Agroecology was banished, but is now making a big comeback. But who will reap the benefits?

Witness for Peace: Honduran Families and Communities Under Threat: Learning from Indigenous Groups, Campesinos, and Human Rights Defenders

November 14, 2014

Join Witness for Peace from January 8th - 18th in Honduras!

Call for delegation from Witness for Peace

Join Witness for Peace on a critical delegation to Honduras this January! The delegation will focus on learning how trade agreements and militarization have affected communities and human rights conditions in Latin America, and delegates will be documenting the realities for working people and reporting back to tell their stories and make change in U.S. policies.  Witness for Peace has extended the application deadline to November 14th, so there is still time to apply!  

Recent news coverage has shown the massive numbers of Honduran children and families fleeing to the United States. The root causes of this migration, including economic trade policies and drug-war based militarization, are tied to United States policies and practices. Economic disparities have destabilized communities and fueled drug trafficking and criminal gangs. Also, campesino and indigenous leaders, the LGBTQ community, human rights lawyers, journalists, and unionists are targeted and killed.  Familes, especially children, are fleeing the violence and migrating to the North.

CLIMBING POETREE ON WESTCOAST TOUR: BOUNDARY-BREAKING AND CREATIVE PERFORMANCE ART FOR SOCIAL CHANGE

October 16, 2014

Innovative artists and activisits Alixa and Naima of the spoken-word, performance art, muralist, and creative new media duo, Climbing PoeTree, have just begun their California tour which goes from Oct 17-22. Starting with a guest apperance on Caroline Casey's Visionary Activist Radio Show airing for an hour at 2pm PST on KPFA.org, Alixa and Naima will share a piece of hte puzzle for Dreaming, Conjuring and Implementing a more lovingly ingenious world. 

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.

ON NATIONAL DAY OF MAIZE IN MEXICO, PROTECTING THE SACRED PLANT

September 29, 2014

Today, September 29, 2014, Mexicans celebrate National Day of Maize, with demonstrations, marches, and expositions. Known as the Land of Maize, Mexico now imports one-third of this sacred icon and staple food, mostly from the US. A fierce battle is being waged over corn that is still grown in Mexico, with small farmers and seed sovereignty activists pitted against Monsanto and other GMO giants, the Mexican government, the US government, and the World Trade Organization.

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.

THE RICHES OF NATURE V. PRIVATE PROPERTY: AN INTERVIEW WITH GERARDO CERDAS

July 1, 2014

By Beverly Bell

July 1, 2014


Gerardo Cerdas with the next generation of humanity. 

Gerardo Cerdas is coordinator of the Latin American- and Caribbean-wide social movement Grito de los Excluidos, Cry of the Excluded. He is also a sociologist and researcher. A native of Costa Rica, Cerdas lives in Brazil.

All the peoples of the world, without exception - except for modern culture - have always based their material culture on the concept that property is communally owned. Property – land, food, etc. - was always shared. This has been the case for tribal, nomadic societies and for other, more politically developed societies in different parts of the world. Private property, as something natural and inviolable, is a product of history, and as such can be stripped down to its roots, and more importantly, can be modified within a utopian vision integrated into our political practice. 

Nobel Women's Initiative: Spotlighting Berta Cáceres Flores, Honduras

November 19, 2013

Cross-posted from Nobel Women's Initiative

“Women have been resisting, defending our lives, our bodies, our territories, our culture, our spirituality, our autonomy because we desire not only territorial autonomy and autonomy for this country, we want autonomy for our bodies, for individuals, for the sovereignty of the body of people. “

Meet Berta Cáceres Flores.

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