Alternatives

Check out these articles by and about our allies, who are creating vibrant grassroots alternatives everyday.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Black and Afro-Indigenous Farmers Share 2015 Food Sovereignty Prize

September 1, 2015

Contact: Lisa Griffith, National Family Farm Coalition

US Food Sovereignty Alliance

(773)319-5838, lisa@nffc.net

 

In this moment when it is vital to assert that Black lives matter, the U.S. Food Sovereignty Alliance honors Black and Afro-Indigenous farmers, fishermen, and stewards of ancestral lands and water. We especially honor them as a vital part of food chain workers, who together are creating food sovereignty, meaning a world with healthy, ecologically produced food, and democratic control over food systems.

In 2015, the U.S. Food Sovereignty Alliance’s two prize winners are the Federation of Southern Cooperatives in the U.S., and the Black Fraternal Organization of Honduras. The prizes will be presented in Des Moines on October 14, 2015.

The Pope, the Activist, the Martyr – And the Organization Putting Their Words Into Action

August 26, 2015

By Guest Author Jeff Haas of EcoViva

The banner on the painting reads, “If they kill me, I will be resurrected in the struggle of my people.” Photo courtesy of Ecoviva.

"The future of humanity is in great measure in your own hands, through your ability to organize and carry out creative alternatives" – Pope Francis at the Second World Meeting of Popular Movements in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, Thursday, July 9, 2015.

If you believe in the ecological and moral mandates of Pope Francis, activist-author Naomi Klein, and beatified Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero, then you should be pleased to learn there is an organization of communities in El Salvador putting their message into practice. These great leaders have coalesced around the priorities of saving the earth, fighting climate change, and working to lessen the gap between the wealthy and the poor. In El Salvador, the Mangrove Association, a grassroots organization based in the Lower Lempa region, has created a remarkable movement that brings together the environment and the fight against poverty. Their model of action is beginning to influence the country’s direction as it fights to escape a legacy of conflict and corruption that predates the civil war.

Four Ways Mexico's Indigenous Farmers Are Practicing the Agriculture of the Future

August 21, 2015

By Leah Penniman

Reposted from http://www.yesmagazine.org/planet/four-ways-mexico-indigenous-farmers-agriculture-of-the-future-20150810 on August 21, 2015

Affectionately called “Professor” by his neighbors, Josefino Martinez is a well-respected indigenous farmer and community organizer from the remote town of Chicahuaxtla, in the Mexican state of Oaxaca. He watched with patient attention as I showed him photographs of Soul Fire Farm, my family’s organic farm in the mountains of upstate New York.

Agroecology as a Tool for Liberation: Transforming Industrial Agribusiness in El Salvador

August 12, 2015

An interview with Miguel Ramirez, National Coordinator of the Organic Agriculture Movement of El Salvador

By Beverly Bell

Miguel Ramirez training family farmers on seed bank management. Photo courtesy of MAOES.

We say that every square meter of land that is worked with agro-ecology is a liberated square meter. We see it as a tool to transform farmers’ social and economic conditions. We see it as a tool of liberation from the unsustainable capitalist agricultural model that oppresses farmers.

We in the Organic Agriculture Movement see the soil as Mother Earth, a living organism, which gives birth to all kinds of life. Mother Earth is agonizing, and needs to be rescued. Even a new small plot of land under organic management is part of the effort to revive her.

Mexico: Indigenous Food and Water Sovereignty in Chiapas, Oct. 17-27, 2015

July 30, 2015

Reposted from http://foodfirst.org/chiapas-2015/ on July 30, 2015

Recent political and economic events have had a devastating impact on traditional food production the southern Mexican state of Chiapas and throughout Mexico. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) dismantled trade regulations, resulting in a flood of highly subsidized corn into Mexico, which undercut peasant producers. Changes in land tenure have led to the privatization of communally held lands, forcing many small farmers to seek jobs in Mexican cities or to migrate to the United States. In response, small farmers and indigenous Mayans are fighting to defend their territories and communities—combining traditional methods of food production with modern scientific approaches based in agroecology.

Working for the MAN: A New Way to Build Community Economy

July 29, 2015

By Guest Author Stephanie Rearick

Stephanie Rearick is founder and project coordinator of Mutual Aid Networks. She is also founding co-director of the Dane County [Wisconsin] TimeBank, and former co-chair and former interim co-director of TimeBanks USA.

Allied Coop leaders on a field trip to New Orleans, learning about "social aid and pleasure clubs," the historic African-American mutual aid (and festivity) tradition. Photo: Spence Zalkind.

A timebank is a system of mutual credit, where a member provides a service to someone else in the timebank and gets credit, which they can redeem for that same amount of time to get something they need from another person in the network. Timebanks capture our imaginations and allow us to replace some of our financial pressures with community supports. Engaging in timebanking lets us enhance our social ties, stretch our budgets in this money-based economy, and free up our time. Timebanking works beautifully for growing informal community economies, where people used to meet their basic needs before they were swallowed up by the monetary economy.

COPINH: WE CONDEMN the International Congress of Mining in Honduras. No to mines!!

July 27, 2015

COPINH: WE CONDEMN the International Congress of Mining in Honduras. No to mines!!

Reposted from http://copinh.org/article/copinh-condenamos-el-congreso-internacional-de-min/ on July 27, 2015

We, members of the Lenca People and the Civic Council of Grassroots and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH), who come from communities in the provinces of Intibucá, La Paz, Lempira, Santa Barbara and Cortes, Lenca territories of age-old resistance, and have arrived to this capital city since July 6 of this year to once again join and support the process of outrage and protest, along with sister organizations of the Platform of Social and Popular Movements of Honduras, to which we belong, to condemn the so-called First International Conference on Mining in Honduras, which is being held from 7 to 11 July in Tegucigalpa. This event reflects the continuing policy of the Government of Honduras to continue handing over territory, sovereignty, common goods and nature, as it moves forward in the establishment of a transnational dictatorship.

 

Most Post-Disaster Funding is a Disaster, How to Do It Right

July 23, 2015

By: Guest Authors Fatima van Hattum and Arianne Shaffer, Kindle Project

Women Awareness Centre Nepal, shown here in happier days before the earthquake, is now active in community-led disaster responses. Courtesy of International Development Exchange.

A recent report from Pro Publica reveals that the American Red Cross raised half a billion dollars for Haiti after the earthquake of 2010 and built just six homes there. Similar stories are likely to emerge from Nepal following the devastating earthquake and aftershocks in April and May of this year. The road to post-disaster recovery is paved with mismanaged funds and botched projects. Many large international agencies, often lacking local connections, have a dismal track record.

There is a pressing need to directly support communities following a catastrophe. There is also a widespread, compassionate desire to give. The question is, how do we avoid the six homes scenario?

Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa

July 14, 2015

ARIPO sells out African Farmers, seals Secret Deal on Plant Variety Protection

Reposted from http://afsafrica.org/aripo-sells-out-african-farmers-seals-secret-deal-on-plant-variety-protection/ on July 14, 2015

Statement issued by the Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA)

8 July 2015

On 06 July 2015, in Arusha, Tanzania, a Diplomatic Conference held under the auspices of the African Regional Intellectual Property Organisation (ARIPO) adopted a harmonised regional legal framework for the protection of plant breeders’ rights—the Arusha Protocol for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (the ‘Arusha PVP Protocol’).

The Dominican Republic, Haitians and the Global War on Blackness

July 7, 2015

By Claudia De La Cruz

Reposted from http://www.ebony.com/news-views/the-dominican-republic-haitians-532#axzz3fFKZdE5G on July 7, 2015

[OPINION] Current efforts to remove Haitians from the Caribbean Nation speak to DR's long history of anti-Black policy

My grandmother was born Black and poor in Trujillo's Dominican Republic. She was only five years old when the state-sanctioned killings of thousands of Haitian migrants widely known as "the Parsley Massacre" occurred.  As a means of survival, like many other poor Blacks in the Dominican Republic, my grandma worked the sugarcane and rice fields side-by-side Haitian migrants. She often told stories about the way they were discriminated against and often beaten for being Black and poor. She cried telling stories of women and girls who were sexually assaulted by the overseers of the fields and military men. In a spirit of hope and affirmation she would add, "The good thing was that we did what we could to survive together [Haitians and Dominicans] on those fields."

 

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