Other Worlds

A Love Note to Our Folks: Alicia Garza on the Organizing of #BlackLivesMatter

January 30, 2015

By L.A. Kauffman

Reposted from N+1 on January 20, 2015

When protests erupted across the United States late last year, after grand juries failed to indict the police officers who killed Michael Brown and Eric Garner, a friend who works for a prominent media outlet wrote to me wondering “if it’s all just the internet organizing itself.” The nationwide marches and freeway blockades seemed spontaneous, after all, with the Twitter hashtag #BlackLivesMatter being widely used to publicize gathering spots and share images of the demonstrations.

THE ATTACK ON HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS IN HAITI

January 28, 2015

An Interview with Jackson Doliscar, Part II

By Beverly Bell

Jackson Doliscar organizing earthquake-displaced people to claim their right to housing. His work almost cost him his life. Photo: Ed Kashi, American Jewish World Service

Community organizer and rights defender Jackson Doliscar speaks to efforts of the Haitian government to silence advocates of human rights and land and housing rights, (See part I of Doliscar’s interview.) The attacks are part of the government’s strategy to leave opposition movements defenseless.

The cases that Doliscar discusses here are only a few of the many instances of violence and illegal imprisonment that the government of Michel Martelly has perpetrated since taking power in a fraudulent election three years ago. Other cases even include the public assassination of the coordinator of the Coalition of Haitian Human Rights Organizations (POHDH by its Creole acronym), Daniel Dorsainvil, and his wife, Girldy Larêche, on February 8, 2014.

The Martelly Administration is becoming increasingly autocratic, including disregarding elections and instead ruling by decree. Nevertheless, the US government continues to provide political and financial support, even including assistance to the lawless police.

It’s been five years since Haiti’s earthquake. And the ‘redevelopment’ hasn’t been about helping Haitians.

January 16, 2015

The rebuilding of Haiti is not working.

By Nixon Boumba

Cross-posted from Washington Post

Orignially released on January 12, 2015

Anti-government protesters in Port-au-Prince last month called for President Michel Martelly’s resignation. (HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP/Getty Images)

Five years ago this month, a terrible earthquake struck my country. I was in the capital city, Port-au-Prince, when suddenly the earth shook and buildings around me and across the city collapsed—taking with them hundreds of thousands of lives and the hopes of my nation. The world stood with us that day and in the weeks and months that followed. Donations poured in; the United States and many other governments pledged to help us rebuild Haiti. But five years into the reconstruction, as a Haitian, I must ask: For whom are we rebuilding our country?

Duluth City Council Unanimously Passes Seed Sharing Resolution

January 15, 2015

By Cat Johnson

Cross-posted from Shareable

Originally posted December 22, 2014

Photo by Dan Kraker/MPR News

Seed activists can put a mark in the win column. Recently, the city council in Duluth, Minnesota passed a resolution supporting seed saving and sharing in the city (see video below of the council meeting). They also requested changes in state seed law to allow seed sharing without cost or germination testing.

FIVE YEARS AFTER THE EARTHQUAKE IN HAITI, THE SAD STATE OF DEMOCRACY AND HUMAN RIGHTS

January 11, 2015

An Interview with Human Rights Organizer Jackson Doliscar

By Beverly Bell

Jackson Doliscar, community organizer and human rights defender.

Some things never change. In Haiti, no matter the century or decade in question, one can be certain that: the state and elite are trouncing the rights and needs of the majority, the population is protesting to demand land and justice, and the international community is taking the wrong side.

Five years after the earthquake that killed an estimated 200,000 to 300,000 (no one knows for sure) and rendered 1.9 million more people homeless, the fraudulently elected administration of Michel Martelly has abandoned any pretense of democracy. Having failed to hold elections three years in a row, instead letting national and local elective seats become vacant, the government now rules by decree. It is also attacking and killing human rights defenders. The elite, in combination with foreign corporations, are seizing land for agribusiness, mining, tourism, and free trade zones. The grassroots has taken to the streets to demand democratic government and an end to foreign occupation by the UN. Social movements are also mobilizing for defense of land, housing, and rights. The US has, until recent months, staunchly supported the government. It has backed this support with “security” funding, including more than $7 million for the police in 2015, for a nation not at war against anyone but its own people.

Jackson Doliscar is a community organizer and human rights defender. Since the earthquake, he has been the primary outreach worker in an international campaign for the right to housing for those left languishing under tents, through the Force for Reflection and Action on Housing (FRAKKA, by its Creole acronym). This is the first in a two-part series.

The Coalition of Immokalee Workers and the Fresh Market Announce Partnership for Fair Food

January 9, 2015

Specialty Grocer to Join CIW’s Fair Food Program, Increase Purchases from Participating Florida Growers in Support of Groundbreaking Human Rights Initiative

PRESS RELEASE: JANUARY 8, 2015

The Coalition of Immokalee Workers

Agreement breaks important ground with two critical new provisions — increased purchases from Florida growers and commitment to support the Fair Food Standard Council’s work monitoring and enforcing the Fair Food Code of Conduct!

IMMOKALEE, FL – The Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) and Greensboro, N.C.-based The Fresh Market are proud to announce their national partnership to support fair farm labor conditions and verifiable, worker-driven social responsibility in US agriculture.

TRANSFORMING POWER, PROTECTING THE ENVIRONMENT IN EL SALVADOR

January 8, 2015

An Interview with Social Movement Leader and Parliamentarian Estela Hernandez

By Beverly Bell

The social movement La Coordinadora is organizing to protect lands and waters - including the Bay of Jiquilisco, pictured here - from corporate development, instead promoting ecological health and sustainable livelihood. Photo: Erika Blumenfeld, EcoViva

La Coordinadora of the Lower Lempa and the Bay of Jiquilisco in El Salvador is a grassroots, community-led organization of 27,000 families in more than 100 communities. It is transforming economic and political power and the health of the environment, across the department of Usulután. Pillars of La Coordinadora are participatory democracy, empowerment of women and youth, and – still in the works - education and health care for all. The communities are generating income through a green economy based on ecological agriculture and fishing. La Coordinadora is working to build food sovereignty, protect ecosystems, and preserve the largest remaining mangrove forest in the area.

Estela Hernandez is a leader of La Coordinadora and its affiliated non-profit organization, the Mangrove Association. She is also an elected member of the national legislature. There, Hernandez sits on the Environment and Climate Change Commission, the body that drafts environmental legislation.

I Can't Breath Until Everyone Can Breathe

January 7, 2015

By Gerald Mitchell, Cross-posted from YES! Magazine

Originally Released  on December 26, 2014

A Milwaukee Black Lives Matter march. Photo by Light Brigade.

The late Maya Angelou said: “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” When it comes to injustices like those we saw in Ferguson, we’re all part of the problem—and the solution.

When Words Cost Lives

January 6, 2015

By Carol Polsgrove

Carol Polsgrove on Writers' Lives

I came across El Sonar de las Mujeres de la Tierra y el Mar in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico, in a store featuring memorabilia of the Zapatista rebellion: tee-shirts, posters, cards but also books, among them this one, pointed out to me by the man behind the counter, Tim Russo.

Proposed Labor Laws in Chile Lauded as 'Enormous Step Toward Social Equality'

December 30, 2014

by Deirdre Fulton, staff writer, commondreams.org.

Released December 30, 2014.

http://commondreams.org/news/2014/12/30/proposed-labor-laws-chile-lauded...

 

'Today we are marking a new milestone—we are clearing a debt that we have hold toward the workers of Chile,' says president Michelle Bachelet

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