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Indigenous struggles

Australia: The movement for reconciliation in the Uniting Church -- lessons for revolutionary struggle

“Never let us be blind to developments within the masses as we were to the rise of Liberation Theology.” – Barry Healy, “Who’s Afraid of Liberation Theology”, Marxism Summer School 2005

“Christ who suffered on the cross continues to suffer with the land and the people of the land. In the suffering of the land and the people of the land, we see Christ suffering and we hear Christ crying out.” Rainbow Spirit Elders, Rainbow Spirit Theology, p. 79, as quoted by Chris Budden in Following Jesus in Invaded Space, p. 70

Mexico: Opportunism and sectarianism hamper left’s resistance to neoliberalism

"The Zapatistas’ anarchist strategic outlook, with their anti-theory 'no political line' position and their disdainful 'all politics is corrupt' led them to abstain from key struggles against neoliberalism."

By Rachel Evans and Tristan Parish

January 12, 2011 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- This is an examination of Mexico’s social movements, the political parties’ and organisations that lead them, and their tactical and strategic outlooks, as well as the left’s successes and failures in the fight against neoliberalism.

From 1994 onwards, the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN) and the centre-left electoral formation, the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD), have been the organisations that have led the largest social movements in Mexico. Hence, the effectiveness of their strategies -- Zapatista anarchism and Party of the Democratic Revolution electoralism -- in resisting neoliberalism in Mexico will be examined.

United States: 120th anniversary of the massacre at Wounded Knee: The bloody birth of empire

December 29, 2010 -- Rustbelt Radical -- Wounded Knee, December 29, 1890 is full of meaning. Not just for the Miniconjou and Hunkpapa Lakota who were victims and perished in their hundreds, but for the course of imperial America. Its violence an echo of the violence that was the settlement of this country.

Cancun climate talks: `Hollow and false' -- Bolivia, activists condemn deadly `betrayal'


Red Road Cancun, by Allan Lissner. Highlighting Indigenous voices excluded from the COP16 UN Climate Conference in Cancun, Mexico.

Statement by the Plurinational State of Bolivia

December 11, 2010 -- Cancun, Mexico -- The Plurinational State of Bolivia believes that the Cancun text is a hollow and false victory that was imposed without consensus, and its cost will be measured in human lives. History will judge harshly.

Ecuador, Venezuela: Danger south of the border

Supporters of Ecuador's President Rafael Correa celebrate his return following defeat of the attempted coup.

By Paul Kellogg

October 26, 2010 -- Polecon.net -- It is not difficult to see that the events of September 30, in the Latin American country of Ecuador, amounted to an attempted right-wing coup d’état. Mass mobilisations in the streets and plazas of Quito (the capital) and other cities – in conjunction with action by sections of the armed forces which stayed loyal to the government – stopped the coup before the day was out. But those few hours highlighted, again, the deep dangers facing those fighting for progressive change in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Remarkably, the first task is to re-assert that in fact a coup attempt took place. In the wake of the failure of the coup, commentator after commentator was trying to minimise what happened. Peruvian “libertarian” Álvaro Vargas Llosa – darling of the World Economic Forum and outspoken critic of Che Guevara and the current governments of Bolivia and Venezuela – insists that it was not a coup just an “ill-advised, violent protest by the police against a law that cut their benefits”.[1]

Was Karl Marx `Eurocentric'?

Marx at the Margins: On Nationalism, Ethnicity and Non-Western Societies
By Kevin B. Anderson
University of Chicago Press, 2010, 336  pages

Eurocentrism
By Samir Amin
Monthly Review Press, 1988 (second edition 2009), 288 pages

Reviews by Barry Healy

October 22, 2010 -- In the foundational text of the Marxist movement, the Communist Manifesto, Karl Marx and Frederick Engels paint a vivid word picture of the awesome, world-shaking advance of capitalism.

The East-Indian and Chinese markets, the colonisation of America, trade with the colonies, the increase in the means of exchange and in commodities generally gave to commerce, to navigation, to industry, an impulse never before known, and thereby, to the revolutionary element in the tottering feudal society, a rapid development.

Ecuador: Coup defeat reveals Correa's strengths and weaknesses

Supporters rally in support of Ecuador's President Rafael Correa.

By Duroyan Fertl

October 8, 2010 -- Green Left Weekly -- The attempted coup d’etat in Ecuador on September 30, 2010, against the left-wing government of Rafael Correa was defeated by loyal troops and the mass mobilisation of Correa’s supporters. The event underscores the turbulent history of the small Andean country. It also reveals some of the weaknesses of Ecuador’s revolutionary movement, which is part of a broader Latin American movement against US domination and for regional unity and social justice.

The coup attempt was led by a small core of police and soldiers, whose rebellion was triggered by a public service law that cut some of their benefits. This has led some commentators to assert that recent events were simply a wage dispute, rather than a coup attempt.

Hugo Blanco urges Greens: End capitalism before it ends us

September 16, 2010 -- via Socialist Resistance -- Hugo Blanco, a longstanding leader of Peruvian peasant struggles and fighter for Indigenous people's rights is touring Britain as a guest of Socialist Resistance and Green Left [an ecosocialist group within the Green Party of England and Wales].

On September 11, 2010, Blanco spoke at the successful Green Left/Socialist Resistance fringe meeting at the Green Party conference. Blanco started by criticising "biblical Marxism" -- adhering to Marxist works as if they were holy scripture. He talks about his long personal struggle for social justice and against oppression. In a comment at a meeting at the Venezuelan consulate in London, he explained that we need to put an end to capitalism before it puts an end to us.

Australia: Interview with new Greens MP Adam Bandt: 'I'll give a voice to the social movements'

Greens MP Adam Bandt.

Adam Bandt interviewed by Jody Betzien

September 2, 2010 -- Green Left Weekly --  Adam Bandt, the Australian Greens' MP elect for the seat of Melbourne (long considered a “safe Labor seat”), and the Greens' first House of Representatives member to be elected in a general election has been very busy since the August 21 election. He says he left the triumphant Greens' election night party at 11pm thinking that he would have to do some media the next day so should get a good night's sleep. He woke up the next morning and after a couple of hours having coffee and reading the paper, the situation sunk in. “And that was the last two hours I've had to myself since”, he told Green Left Weekly in a wide-ranging interview conducted on September 2.

Australia: Film -- `Alyawarr walk-off protest vs Northern Territory intervention'

Alyawarr walk-off protest vs Northern Territory intervention from Actively Radical TV on Vimeo.

By Actively Radical TV

August 25, 2010 -- In July 2009, the Alyawarr people in the township of Ampilatwatja, approximately 350 kilometres north-east of Alice Springs, in Central Australia, walked out of the government "proscribed area" and into the desert to set up a protest camp.

This protest action was in defiance of the Northern Territory Intervention Act 2007, brought in under the conservative Coalition government of then-prime minister John Howard. The intervention was and continued under the Australia Labor Party governments of prime ministers Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard. The Alyawarr community and others are calling for the intervention to be abolished and reinstatment of the Racial Discrimiation Act, which was suspended in order to bring in the racist Northern Territory Intervention Act.

Bolivia: Warning signs as social tensions erupt

Indigenous Quechua protesters blockaded the main road between La Paz and Potosi on August 8.

By Federico Fuentes

August 15, 2010 -- Green Left Weekly -- Recent scenes of roadblocks, strikes and even the dynamiting of a vice-minister’s home in the Bolivian department (administrative district) of Potosi, reminiscent of the days of previous neoliberal governments, have left many asking themselves what is really going on in the “new” Bolivia of Indigenous President Evo Morales.

Since July 29, the city of Potosi, which has 160,000 inhabitants, has ground to a halt. Locals are up in arms over what they perceive to be a lack of support for regional development on the part of the national government. Potosi is Bolivia’s poorest department but the most important for the mining sector, which is on the verge of surpassing gas as the country’s principal export because of rising mineral prices.

United States: The railroading of Leonard Peltier

Wounded Knee occupation, 1973.

By Mike Ely

Join in demanding freedom for Leonard Peltier, so that at long last simple justice be done for him and the Indigenous peoples of North America. Sign this petition urging his release. Petitions are also being circulated urging clemency and urging US Congress to investigate FBI misconduct on Pine Ridge and the “reign of terror” that existed between 1973 and 1976. This article was first written in 1998.

Ecuador: Indigenous struggle, ecology and capitalist resource extraction

Marlon Santi, Quito, July 5, 2010.

Marlon Santi interviewed by Jeffery R. Webber

July 13, 2010 -- The Bullet -- On July 5, I sat down with Marlon Santi, president of the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE), in his office in Quito. We discussed the increasing contradictions between the demands of the Indigenous people's movement, on the one hand, around water rights and anti-mining resistance, and the positions of the government of Rafael Correa, on the other, which has labelled Indigenous resistance to large-scale mining and oil exploitation as “terrorism and sabotage”.

* * *

Can you describe your political formation and personal political trajectory?

Bolivia's Pablo Solon: We need 'a global movement to defend Mother Earth'

Pablo Solon (second from left) and the Bolivian delegation address a press conference during the Copenhagen climate talks, December 2009.

Pablo Solon interviewed by Derrick O'Keefe

June 29, 2010 -- Rabble.ca -- While G20 leaders barely made mention of the climate crisis, Pablo Solon, Bolivia's UN ambassador, was in Toronto to encourage action on the Cochabamba protocols.

It is no surprise that Pablo Solon, Bolivia’s chief climate negotiator and ambassador to the United Nations, was not on the list of special invitees to the G8/G20 meetings in Ontario this weekend. After all, in April Solon and the Bolivian government he represents organised the World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth in Cochabamba, an international convergence of as many as 30,000 people determined to challenge the Copenhagen Accord being pushed by the world’s richest countries.

(Updated May 12) Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth, and texts from the People's Conference on Climate Change

The following documents were also adopted by the World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth on April 22, 2010, in Bolivia. The Bolivian government will submit them to the United Nations for consideration. The main document, the People's Agreement, is available HERE.

For more coverage of the historic conference, click HERE.

They are: 1. The Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth; 2. Shared Visions document; 3. Structural causes; 4. Referendum on climate change; 5. Document of the Working Group on Agriculture and Food Sovereignty; 6. Document of the Working Group on Climate Debt; 7. Document of the Working Group on Climate Finance; 8. Indigenous Peoples' Declaration; 9. International Tribunal of Climate and Environmental Justice working group; 10. Dangers of the carbon market; 11. Working Group No. 10 on the Kyoto Protocol and greenhouse gas emissions reduction; 12. Working Group 13: Intercultural dialogue knowledge sharing, knowledge and technology; 13. Final conclusions of Working Group 2: Harmony with Nature to Live Well; 14. Working Group 6: Climate Change and Migration; 15. Working Group 14: Forests; 16. Working Group 11: Adaptation -- Confronting Climate Change; 17. Strategies of Action; NEW: 18. Declaration of the "unofficial" "Working Group 18. [More will be posted as they become available.]

Evo Morales: `Combating climate change -- lessons from the world’s Indigenous peoples'


Bolivia's President Evo Morales interviewed on Democracy Now!, April 23, 2010. Full transcript below.

By Evo Morales, president of the Plurinational Republic of Bolivia.

(Updated April 24) Bolivia: Historic people's climate conference winds up -- first reports on outcomes


Democracy Now! -- April 22, 2010. Cormac Cullinan, South African environmental lawyer and an anti-apartheid activist, is co-president of the people's conference Rights of Mother Earth Working Group. He reports on its findings (full transcript of interview below).

[For more coverage of the World People's Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth, click HERE.]

People’s summit adopts ‘Cochabamba Protocols’

By Brenda Norrell, Cochabamba

(See the end of this article for a link to the People’s Agreement text in Spanish.)

April 23, 2010 — Censored News via Capitalism and Climate — The World Peoples Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth culminated Thursday and released the final declaration, the Agreement of the Peoples, calling for the establishment of an International Climate Court to prosecute polluters, condemning REDD and holding polluters responsible for their climate debt.

(Updated April 22) Bolivia: `Capitalism is the main enemy of the Earth', Evo Morales tells people's climate conference


Video report from Democracy Now! (Full transcript of report below)
[For more coverage of the World People's Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth, click HERE.]

Prensa Latina

April 20, 2010 -- Cochabamba, Bolivia -- Bolivia's President Evo Morales Ayma condemned the capitalist system in the opening session of the World People's Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth today.

Morales, speaking at the April 20 conference inauguration, started his speech with a slogan, "Planet or death, we shall overcome". He said that harmony with nature could not exist while 1 per cent of the world's population concentrates more than 50 per cent of the world's riches. Capitalism is the main enemy of the Earth, only looking for profits, to the detriment of nature, and capitalism is a bridge for social  inequality.

The thoughts of `Chairman' Chicka Dixon; `The Fox has the last laugh'

"My thoughts on life. `The thoughts of Chairman Chicka', they could be called. I believe every woman of this planet is my sister. I believe every man on this planet is my brother. Like all Kooris [Indigenous people] I know the earth is my mother. We must learn to share with those three. If the rest of the world could adopt that philosophy of caring and sharing, there would be no wars. But most importantly, there would be no starving children." -- the late Charles "Chicka" "the Fox" Dixon, speaking at the Australian Museum, in December 2003.

Australia: Freedom fighter Chicka Dixon departs, his activist spirit lives on

Charles "Chicka" Dixon (top left with mouth covered) at the 1972 Aboriginal Tent Embassy, Canberra. Photo from http://indigenousrights.net.au.

By Peter Boyle, Sydney

March 31, 2010 -- Indigenous and trade union activist Chicka "The Fox" Dixon (1928-2010) was farewelled by more than a thousand people in a state funeral in Sydney Town Hall today. Chicka was from the Yuin people whose traditional lands stretch along the south coast of New South Wales, from the Shoalhaven down to the Victorian border.

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