Other Worlds

The Rebel, Oronto Douglas: Memorial for a Friend

April 22, 2015

By guest author Daphne Wysham

Oronto Douglas in the Niger Delta he worked to defend. Photo- Steve Kretzmann

If they knew him at all, the world knew Nigerian Oronto Douglas as the former attorney for the writer, playwright and Ogoni human rights activist Ken Saro Wiwa. Despite Oronto's and even President Bill Clinton's best effort, Ken was framed and hanged in 1995 together with 8 other Ogoni men who dared resist Shell Oil's drilling in their homeland under former dictator Sani Abacha. Or perhaps the world knew Oronto as a top advisor to the former president of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan.

To his friends, Oronto was so much more. He was a man of profound sacrifice, service, love, integrity, and faith. He was a true Christian, taking to heart the message of the rebel Jesus. Like Jesus, he was at his most fierce in taking on the money-lenders in the temple. Oronto's "temple" was the natural world, and in particular, the lush and verdant landscape of the Niger Delta. In speeches and interviews, he took on the oil companies and their backers, repeatedly proclaiming, "They drill and they kill!" He urged people of conscience to divest from fossil fuel companies.

Berta Cáceres, Honduran Indigenous Leader, Wins Goldman Prize

April 20, 2015

From Other Worlds' latest Newsletter April 20, 2015:

Berta Cáceres Receives Goldman Prize | 250 Years Later, Haitians Still Fighting for Rights to Their Land | Other Worlds Cafe | Ayiti Resurrect

Berta Caceres and the people of Rio Blanco set up a road blockade to prevent DESA's access to the dam site. For well over a year, they withstood multiple eviction attempts and violent attacks from militarized security contractors and the Honduran armed forces. (Photo Credit: Goldman Environmental Prize)

Today, the Goldman Environmental Prize - the most prestigious environmental award in the world - honors our dear sister Berta Cáceres and the fight for indigenous lands and participatory democracy in Honduras.

Chinese citizens sue government over transparency on Monsanto herbicide

April 17, 2015

By Dominique Patton

Cross-posted from Reuters

Originally published on April 8, 2015

 

(Reuters) - Three Chinese citizens are taking China's Ministry of Agriculture to court in a bid to make public a toxicology report supporting the approval of Monsanto's popular weedkiller, Roundup, 27 years ago.

Food, Farming and Climate Change: It’s Bigger than Everything Else

April 15, 2015

By Ryan Zinn

Cross-posted from Common Dreams

Originally published on April 13, 2015

'Compared to large-scale industrial farms, small-scale agroecological farms not only use fewer fossil fuel-based fertilizer inputs and emit less GHGs, including methane, nitrous oxide and carbon dioxide (CO2), but they also have the potential to actually reverse climate change by sequestering CO2 from the air into the soil year after year.' (Image: Fair World Project)

Record-breaking heat waves, long-term drought, “100-year floods” in consecutive years, and increasingly extreme superstorms are becoming the new normal. The planet is now facing an unprecedented era of accelerating and intensifying global climate change, with negative impacts already being widely felt. While global climate change will impact nearly everyone and everything, the greatest impact is already being felt by farmers and anyone who eats food.

Fate of Haitians left Hanging in the Dominican Republic

April 15, 2015

By Hisham Ali, Al Jazeera

Reposted from http://www.ijdh.org/2015/04/topics/immigration-topics/fate-of-haitians-left-hanging-in-the-dominican-republic/ on April 15, 2015

On March 17, the Dominican Republic reopened its consulates in Haiti after weeks of tension and negotiations. The diplomatic outposts had been closed two weeks earlier after thousands of people in the Haitian capital marched from the foreign ministry to the Dominican embassy, protesting the killing of a Haitian man a few days earlier in Santiago, a city in the neighbouring Dominican Republic.

Finding Radical Alternatives in Slums, Exurbs, and Enclaves

April 13, 2015

By: Joshua K. Leon

Cross-posted from Metropolis Mag

Originally published on Apr 7, 2015

Elemental's Quinta Monroy houses in Chile have become a poster-image for Latin America's activist architecture.
Courtesy Cristóbal Palma

 

Justin McGuirk’s Radical Cities: Across Latin America in Search of a New Architecture should be required reading for anyone looking for ways out of the bleak social inequality we’re stuck in. There were 40 million more slum dwellers worldwide in 2012 than there were in 2010, according to the UN. Private markets clearly can’t provide universal housing in any way approaching efficiency, and governments are often hostile to the poor. The only alternative is collective action at the grassroots level, and I’ve never read more vivid reporting on the subject.

Cherán K’eri: Political parties are dead to us in this town

April 10, 2015

In April, the Purépecha municipality of Cherán K’eri, Michoacán is celebrating four years of its uprising to end organized crime in its territory.

By: El Enemigo Común

Cross-posted from Indibay

Originally released on Thursday Feb 12th, 2015 3:07 PM

 

In April of this year, the Purépecha municipality of Cherán K’eri, Michoacán is celebrating four years of its uprising to end the presence of organized crime in its territory. Following the uprising, indigenous women and men not only managed to throw out to the narco cartel, but also expelled all authorities (police, local government and political parties) that supported the illegal activities in the community. They decided to retake their traditional forms of self government to start a long process of building their autonomy. A few months back they inaugurated a new weapon to continue defending their traditions and reaffirm their rejection of the institutional political method: a communal television.

 

 

The “Other” Politics of Ayotzinapa

April 1, 2015

How a popular movement arisen from the forced disappearance of student-teachers in Mexico demonstrates a horizontal politics of shared leadership.

by Charlotte Maria Sáenz

"Códice de Ayotzinapa" (detail) at entrance of National Museum of Anthropology, Mexico City. (Photo by Charlotte Sáenz)

Family and colleagues of 43 student-teachers forcibly disappeared and feared killed in Iguala, Guerrero last September 26, 2014 have grown into a civilian movement known as “Ayotzinapa” that includes people from all walks of life and from around the world. Their simple but powerful actions of visibility and protest have put in stark light the excesses and failures of a corrupt government structure which operates in deep collusion with drug lords and corporate interests. The case of Ayotzinapa is but a window into a larger pattern of forced disappearances that plagues the nation as a whole. The movement demands accountability and justice for all of Mexico’s disappeared as well as for radical change in a country ravaged by an epidemic of extreme violence, corruption and impunity.

Rojava – the formation of an economic alternative: Private property in the service of all

March 30, 2015

By: Michael Knapp, Historian; Translated from German original by Richard Braude

Cross-posted from: Peace in Kurdistan Campaign

Originally released on: 6 February, 2015

 

 

The revolution in Rojava (West Kurdistan/ North Syria), which started in Kobanî (Ain al-Arab) and spread like wildfire through Afrîn, Dêrik (Al-Malikiya), Qamişlo (Al-Qamishli), Amûdê and Serê Kaniyê (Ras al-Ayn) – the regions lying on the Turkish-Syrian border – has launched an alternative development in all aspects of society.

Inspired by the model of democratic confederalism and democratic autonomy, democratic assemblies, women’s council and other democratic organisations have been established. Every ethnic and religious group must be represented in these councils, and the leadership of each evenly divided between the sexes. This is not a project striving towards a nation state, but for democratic autonomy in the region and a democratic Syria.

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