Other Worlds

ON WORLD DAY OF FOOD SOVEREIGNTY, STRUGGLING FOR LAND IN BRAZIL

October 14, 2014

Families in a Landless Workers Movement squatter encampment, hoping to win legal title to the land. Photo: Andy Lin.

October 16 is World Food Day. To ensure that there is food for the world, and that it is not controlled by corporations, small farmers and allies across the globe have also named October 16 the Day of Action for Food Sovereignty and against Transnational Organizations. A posting by La Via Campesina, the coalition of more than 160 peasants and small-farmer movements across continents, says that it “organizes this day of solidarity, resistance, and mobilisation in order to make citizens aware of the current threats to peoples’ food sovereignty.” (To find out about U.S. actions for this day, click here.)

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 This marks a major – and unprecedented – victory as the congress repealed the “Monsanto Law,” preventing threatened exclusivity on patented seeds to a handful of transnational companies.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.

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.

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.

Women-Led Resistance against False Development

August 20, 2014

An Interview with Aura Lolita Chavez Ixcaquic, Maya K’iche

from the Mayan Women’s Movement, Guatemala

By Deepa Panchang and Jessica Hsu

As a member of the Mayan Women’s Movement which is a part of the Council of K’iche People, we have joined forces to generate action from the people, the community. We are in the midst of change where we are defining our needs, what actions we need to take, what power we have, what our way of looking at the world is. And to say no to corporations, while saying yes to life. 

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.

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. 

RAISING HOPE ACROSS BORDERS: TRANSNATIONAL SOCIAL MOVEMENTS AND POWER

June 17, 2014

An interview with Gerardo Cerdas by Beverly Bell

June 17, 2014


Last gathering of the cross-border Cry of the Excluded movement, in indigenous lands in Honduras, with participants from 10 countries in the Americas. Cerdas is on far right in the yellow shirt. 

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.

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