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Indigenous struggles

Australia: Socialist Alliance to launch public consultations on 'socialism in the 21st century'


Scenes from the 8th national conference of the Socialist Alliance. Made with Slideshow Embed Tool.

January 27, 2012 -- Socialist Alliance -- The 8th national conference of the Socialist Alliance -- held in Sydney on January 20-22 -- decided to take a draft document entitled “Towards a socialist Australia” through a nationwide public consultation process to promote a wide discussion about socialism in the 21st century.

This was in response to its assessment that it is important for socialists is to take full advantage of the expanded political opening created by a new wave of popular anti-capitalist sentiment and mobilisations to win many more people to socialism. Socialist Alliance recognised it is equally important for socialists to immerse themselves in this new wave of struggles.

David Attenborough asks corporations to buy wilderness to lock out poor people

By Ian Angus

January 18, 2012 -- Climate and Capitalism, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission -- David Attenborough, in addition to making nature films, is a patron of Optimum Population Trust, a British outfit that, using the name Population Matters, promotes birth control for poor people and immigration restrictions to keep those same people out of Britain.

Last year we reported a talk he gave to a posh gathering in London, chaired by no less a personage than Prince Phillip, in which he said only “flat earthers” disagree with his view that only population reduction can save the planet. Contraception, he said, “is the humane way, the powerful option which allows all of us to deal with the problem, if we collectively choose to do so”.

Climate talks: 'Social movements must unite to cool the planet' -- 'Disastrous' Durban failure condemned

"Developed countries, led by the United States, accelerated the demolition of the world’s international framework for fair and urgent climate action.  And developing countries have been bullied and forced into accepting an agreement that could be a suicide pill for the world”, said Nnimmo Bassey, chair of Friends of the Earth International.

Indigenous peoples condemn climate talks fiasco and demand moratorium on REDD+

By the Global Justice Ecology Project

La Via Campesina: 'No deal better than a bad deal that condemns humanity to climate catastrophe'

 

[For more on the COP17 Durban climate talks, click HERE.]

Assembly of the Oppressed, December 5, 2011, Durban, South Africa

As the Assembly of the Oppressed we are gathered here to demand the transformation of the entire neoliberal capitalist system. The fight against climate change is a fight against neoliberal capitalism, landlessness, dispossession, hunger, poverty and the re-colonisation of the territories of the people’s of Africa and the global South. We are here to declare that direct action is the only weapon of the oppressed people of the world to end all forms of oppression in the world.

We are here in Durban, South Africa, where the 17th United Nations Conference of Parties [COP17] is taking place and are discussing false solutions to the climate crisis. And we can see that the future of Mother Earth and of humanity is in peril as those responsible for nature’s destruction are attempting to escape their responsibility and erase history.

Durban climate talks: ‘Forests are not for carbon stocks’ -- climate justice activists condemn REDD

Photo: Anne Petermann/GJEP-GFC.

[For more on the COP17 Durban climate talks, click HERE.]

December 4, 2011 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- "Bolivia came out swinging at its first press conference of the climate change conference" on December 1, reported the Durban Mercury's Yusuf Omar on December 2. Head of the Bolivian delegation Rene Orellana criticised the Green Climate Fund "– which is meant to help developing countries adapt to climate change – and opposing the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation scheme (REDD). "The role of the forest is not for carbon stocks”, he said.

REDD is designed to use financial incentives to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases from deforestation and forest degradation. The forest produces carbon credits and therefore becomes an emissions offsetting scheme.

Rapa Nui/Easter Island: Blaming the victims -- Jared Diamond's myth of ‘ecocide’

Sculpture of the flag of independence for Rapa Nui, featuring a representation of the rongorongo script, unique to the island, in the shape of a boomerang, and headstones of Moai at either end. Photo by Coral Wynter.

By Coral Wynter

November 5, 2011 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- I have always been fascinated by the story of Easter Island, the European name for Rapa Nui, due to a complete accident in my childhood education, when at age 10, I did a school project on the strange, mysterious statues on the island, known as Moai.

[Please note: Rapa Nui refers to the island and Rapanui is used when it refers to the people or the language.]

My partner has always laughed at my obsession, referring to the Moai as those weird statues of Malcolm Fraser, adding why would you want to see that? (Fraser was the archetypal right-wing leader of Australian politics in the 1970s, who had dismissed a prominent Labour Party leader, Gough Whitlam, in shonky circumstances).

In fact, the 887 statues represent ancient and revered leaders of an ancient island society and the sculpture on top of their heads represents a hairstyle -- a red coloured topknot and not a hat. They bear little resemblance to Malcolm Fraser, wearing a hat.

'A revival of collectivist solidarity' -- Hugo Blanco, veteran Indigenous revolutionary, on Occupy Wall Street

October 30, 2011 -- Ecosocialists Unite -- Hugo Blanco led a successful peasant revolution in Peru for land rights in 1961 when peasants were being killed by landowners. Praised by Che,  Blanco -- then a leader of the Fourth International -- was captured and placed on death row. He lived due to an international campaign of solidarity launched by figures like Jean-Paul Sartre.

Now in the his late 70s, he publishes Lucha Indigena ("Indigenous Struggle"). The uprising in Peru of the Awajan and Wampis and other Amazon people, of the Aymara and Quechua, have shown that Indigenous and workers can organise to challenge the destruction of the Earth and to build a democratic alternative to capitalism.

Hugo Blanco argues that the revolution must be global and that the Occupy movement shows that people in the global North are joining the revolt against the 1% and for a democratic, ecological society for the 99%.

This Lucha Indigena editorial on the occupy movement and the global fightback against neoliberalism has been roughly translated by Derek Wall and Martin O'Beirne.

* * *

Bolívia: As ONGs equivocadas com relação a Morales e à Amazônia

[Available in English at http://links.org.au/node/2512 and http://boliviarising.blogspot.com.]

Federico Fuentes

28/09/2011 -- Horadopovo.com.br -- Declarações, artigos, cartas e petições circularam na Internet durante o mês passado pedindo o fim da "destruição da Amazônia".

O objeto dessas iniciativas não têm sido as corporações transnacionais nem os poderosos governos que as respaldam, mas o governo do primeiro presidente indígena da Bolívia, Evo Morales.

No centro do debate está a proposta do governo boliviano de construir uma estrada através do Território Indígena Parque Nacional Isiboro Sécure (TIPNIS).

O TIPNIS, que cobre mais de 1 milhão de hectares de florestas, obteve o estatuto de reserva indígena do governo de Evo Morales em 2009. Cerca de 12.000 pessoas de três grupos indígenas diferentes vivem em 64 comunidades dentro do TIPNIS.

Bolivia: NGO's geven verkeerd beeld over Morales en Amazonewoud

Mars in Trinidad tegen de snelweg op 15 augustus.

[Available in English at http://links.org.au/node/2512 and http://boliviarising.blogspot.com.]

Federico Fuentes, vertaald uit het Engels door Sabrina Verswijver

28/09/2011 -- DeWereldMorgen.be -- Het doelwit van de acties waren deze keer niet de transnationale bedrijven of machtige overheden die dergelijke bedrijven steunen, maar wel de eerste inheemse president van Bolivia, Evo Morales.

Aan de basis van het debat ligt het controversiële voorstel van de Boliviaanse overheid om een snelweg aan te leggen door het Isiboro Secure Nationaal Park en Inheems Gebied (TIPNIS).

TIPNIS beslaat meer dan één miljoen hectare aan bos en kreeg in 2009 de status van inheems gebied toegewezen door de regering-Morales. Ongeveer 12.000 mensen van drie verschillende inheemse groepen leven in 64 gemeenschappen in TIPNIS.

Bolivia: le ONG sbagliano su Morales e l'Amazzonia

[Available in English at http://links.org.au/node/2512 and http://boliviarising.blogspot.com.]

di Federico Fuentes

25/09/2011 -- Radiocittaperta.it -- Dichiarazioni, articoli, lettere stanno circolando in Internet chiedendo la fine della "distruzione dell'Amazzonia".

L'obiettivo di queste iniziative non è rappresentato dalle corporazioni transnazionali né dai potenti governi che le appoggiano, ma il governo del primo presidente indigeno della Bolivia, Evo Morales.

Al centro del dibattito c'è la controversa proposta del governo boliviano di costruire un'autostrada attraverso il Territorio Indigeno del Parco Nazionale Isidoro Sécure (TIPNIS).

Il Tipnis, che copre una superficie di più di 1 milione di ettari di foresta, ha ottenuto lo statuto di territorio indigeno dal governo di Evo Morales nel 2009. Circa 2.000 persone vivono in 64 comunità all'interno del TIPNIS.

Bolivia: Las ONG equivocadas respecto a Morales y la Amazonía

[Available in English at http://links.org.au/node/2512 and http://boliviarising.blogspot.com.]

Federico Fuentes, traducido del inglés para Rebelión por Germán Leyens

28-09-2011 -- Declaraciones, artículos, cartas y peticiones han estado circulando en Internet durante el pasado mes pidiendo un fin a la “destrucción de la Amazonía”.

El objetivo de esas iniciativas no han sido las corporaciones transnacionales ni los poderosos gobiernos que las respaldan, sino el gobierno del primer presidente indígena de Bolivia, Evo Morales.

Al centro del debate está la controvertida propuesta del gobierno boliviano de construir una carretera a través del Territorio Indígena Parque Nacional Isiboro Sécure (TIPNIS).

El TIPNIS, que cubre más de 1 millón de hectáreas de bosques, obtuvo el estatuto de territorio indígena del gobierno de Evo Morales en 2009. Cerca de 12.000 personas de tres grupos indígenas diferentes viven en 64 comunidades dentro del TIPNIS.

Australia: Climate Change, Social Change conference attracts hundreds

[For more material from the conference, click HERE.]

By Viv Miley

October 8, 2011 -- Socialist Alliance -- More than 500 people gathered in Melbourne over September 30 to October 3 to take part in four days of stimulating talks and discussion at the second Climate Change Social Change conference. The conference, which featured five plenary sessions, 39 workshops and more than 90 speakers, was organised by Green Left Weekly, Socialist Alliance and Resistance. Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal also sponsored the conference.

The conference brought together activists, academics and unionists from Australia, Asia, North America and the Pacific to share ideas and experiences from the movements for Indigenous people's rights, against environmental destruction, for women's rights, for queer rights, for peace, social justice and workers’ rights.

Bolivia: Letter from mass Indigenous movement CONAIE to Evo Morales regarding TIPNIS controversy

The following letter was translated by Federico Fuentes. The translation first appeared on Bolivia Rising. It is posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal. See "Bolivia: Avaaz, NGOs wrong on Morales and Amazon protests; police attack condemned" for more on the highway conflict.

* * *

Quito, September 26, 2011

Compañero
Evo Morales
President of the Plurinacional State of Bolivia

Dear Brother,

Receive our cordial greetings on behalf of the Confederation of Peoples of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador CONAIE. We would also like to use this opportunity to send via your person a deep hug of solidarity to the brothers and sisters in the Plurinational State of Bolivia.

During these days we have paid witness to all the events that your government has had to confront in regards to the march by the brothers from the indigenous peoples of the Bolivian east in defence of TIPNIS. In the face of this, we would like to make known out deep concern regarding the events that have transpired, especially the events that occurred yesterday afternoon.

Being faithful to the principles of the struggle of the people, we reject the violent repression that the indigenous brothers from the march have suffered at the hands of the Bolivian police.

(Updated Oct. 4) Bolivia: Avaaz, NGOs wrong on Morales and Amazon protests; police attack condemned

March in Trinidad, Bolivia, against a proposed highway that would go through part of the Amazon, August 15.

By Federico Fuentes

September 25, 2011 -- Green Left Weekly -- Statements, articles, letters and petitions have been circulating on the internet for the past month calling for an end to the "destruction of the Amazon". The target of these initiatives has not been transnational corporations or the powerful governments that back them, but the government of Bolivia's first Indigenous president, Evo Morales.

At the centre of the debate is the Bolivian government’s controversial proposal to build a highway through the Isiboro Secure National Park and Indigenous Territory (TIPNIS). TIPNIS, which covers more than 1 million hectares of forest, was granted Indigenous territory status by the Morales government in 2009. About 12,000 people from three different Indigenous groups live in 64 communities within TIPNIS.

Bolivia: Development before environment?

Indigenous Bolivians begin a 500-kilometre protest march to La Paz.

By Federico Fuentes

September 8, 2011 -- Green Left Weekly -- The decision by leaders of the Sub Central of the Indigenous Territory and National Isiboro Secure Park (TIPNIS) to initiate a 500-kilometre protest march on Bolivia's capital of La Paz has ignited much debate about the nature of Bolivia’s first Indigenous led-government. The Sub Central of TIPNIS unites the 64 indigenous communities within the park.

Much analysis has focused on the supposed hypocrisy of the government headed by Evo Morales, Bolivia's first Indigenous head of state. The Morales government has been criticised for pursuing pro-capitalist development and trampling on the rights of its own Indigenous people.

Many analysts have also highlighted the contradiction between Morales’ public discourse in defence of Indigenous rights and Mother Earth, and the proposal of his government’s to build a highway that would run through this protected area of the Amazon.

Aotearoa/New Zealand: 'Patu!' -- 30th anniversary of the 1981 mass protests against the Springbok tour

July 17, 2011 -- Information taken from from Film Archive (NZ) and Wikipedia; video from NZonScreen -- From July to September 1981, South Africa's all-white national rugby team, the Springboks, toured New Zealand. South Africa was still under apartheid rule at that time, and a Commonwealth ban on all sporting contact, known as the Gleneagles Agreement, had been in place since July 1977. The ban was won by an international mass solidarity movement calling for the boycott of South Africa's racist system.

The New Zealand Rugby Football Union, however, was determined to proceed with the long-planned tour, and New Zealand’s right-wing National Party government (led by Prime Minister Robert "Piggy" Muldoon), whose constituency was largely pro-tour, was not going to stop them.

Aotearoa/New Zealand: 'The Mana revolution has begun'

By Joe Carolan

June 27, 2011 -- Socialist Aotearoa, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission -- Hone Harawira’s victory in the Te Tai Tokerau by-election means that the Mana Party is now the newest party with parliamentary representation in Aotearoa [New Zealand]. This achievement is impressive, given the range of forces ranged against us -- the Maori Party, the Labour Party machine, supported by the National Party, and most of the mainstream media and political commentators.

The truth behind Chevron's greenwashing: 'The true cost of Chevron'

June 22, 2011 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Television viewers in Australia are being bombarded by an expensive series of PR advertisements extolling how much the giant "energy" corporation Chevron "agrees" with the Australian people's concerns for the environment. In a classic example of "greenwashing", Chevron's "We Agree" campaign is a concerted effort to defuse opposition to its activities around the world.

But as with most capitalist advertising, the truth and reality behind the glossy claims are very different, as the True Cost of Chevron: An Alternative Annual Report below highlights in extensive detail. Fortunately too, the satirical exposers of corporate shams the Yes Men joined forces with the environmental groups Amazon Watch and the Rainforest Action Network to issue a bogus press release and set up a phony website to expose the "We Agree" campaign.

Aotearoa/New Zealand: A new working-class, pro-Maori political voice

Hone Harawira speaks at the Mana Party launch.
MANA- 1. (noun) prestige, authority, control, power, influence, status, spiritual power, charisma.

May 11, 2011 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Mike Treen is national director of the Unite Union in Aotearoa/New Zealand and a member of the newly formed Mana Party. Socialist Aotearoa’s Joe Carolan interviewed him on the significance of the foundation of this new left-wing party.

* * *

Joe Carolan:  Mike, can you tell us a little about the formation and programme of the new Mana Party?

New book reveals the history of rubber: holocausts, environmental destruction and class struggle

The Devil’s Milk: A social history of rubber
By John Tully
Monthly Review Press, 2011

[Order the The Devil’s Milk from Monthly Review Press HERE. John Tully launched the book in Melbourne on February 17, at Readings Books, Carlton (309 Lygon St). He will also launch it in New York City on February 22, 7.30pm, at The Brecht Forum,  451 West Street.]

February 18, 2011 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- This new book from Monthly Review Press – by Australian socialist John Tully -- documents the history of rubber and the role it has played in the development of capitalism.

Rubber is an essential industrial material, although underappreciated by most of us, even though we are surrounded by it. Since its industrial uses began to be fully appreciated in the 1800s, the quest for rubber has been, in Tully’s words, “a paradigm of imperialism”.

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