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Illegal Logging in Para State, Brazil. Photo by:  Greenpeace via mongabay.com

Illegal Logging in Para State, Brazil. Photo by: © Greenpeace via mongabay.com

Sometimes, there’s a few related stories to share in the morning. For example, there’s two important related stories today from the WW4 Report about committed environmental journalists who lost their lives:

Cambodia: reporter slain documenting illegal logging

and

Mexico: dam opponent slain during radio broadcast

For the second one, it’s important to note that it was during his radio show, which he did alongside his organizing work against a dam.

Finally, here’s a story of local activists who risked their lives to get out the story of illegal logging in Brazil. They courageously attached GPS monitoring to the trucks of illegal loggers to document the operations that happen in the middle of the night. They collaborated with Greenpeace, and were able to use hi-tech surveillance to not only document the illegal logging but to prove that loggers falsify records.

Daring activists use high-tech to track illegal logging trucks in the Brazilian Amazon

By Jeremy Hance, Mongabay.com. October 15, 2014

Every night empty trucks disappear into the Brazilian Amazon, they return laden with timber. This timber —illegally cut —makes its way to sawmills that sell it abroad to places like the U.S., Europe, China, and Japan using fraudulent paperwork to export the ill-gotten gains as legit. These findings are the result of a daring and dangerous investigation by Greenpeace-Brazil that had activists hanging out with truckers and illegal loggers, all the while surreptitiously tagging trucks with GPS locator beacons. The high-tech equipment allowed the organization to track where the logging trucks went.

Read the whole story by Jeremy Hance here!

Illegal Logging in Para State, Brazil. Photo by:  Greenpeace via mongabay.com

Illegal Logging in Para State, Brazil. Photo by: © Greenpeace via mongabay.com

Sometimes, there’s a few related stories to share in the morning. For example, there’s two important related stories today from the WW4 Report about committed environmental journalists who lost their lives:

Cambodia: reporter slain documenting illegal logging

and

Mexico: dam opponent slain during radio broadcast

For the second one, it’s important to note that it was during his radio show, which he did alongside his organizing work against a dam.

Finally, here’s a story of local activists who risked their lives to get out the story of illegal logging in Brazil. They courageously attached GPS monitoring to the trucks of illegal loggers to document the operations that happen in the middle of the night. They collaborated with Greenpeace, and were able to use hi-tech surveillance to not only document the illegal logging but to prove that loggers falsify records.

Daring activists use high-tech to track illegal logging trucks in the Brazilian Amazon

By Jeremy Hance, Mongabay.com. October 15, 2014

Every night empty trucks disappear into the Brazilian Amazon, they return laden with timber. This timber —illegally cut —makes its way to sawmills that sell it abroad to places like the U.S., Europe, China, and Japan using fraudulent paperwork to export the ill-gotten gains as legit. These findings are the result of a daring and dangerous investigation by Greenpeace-Brazil that had activists hanging out with truckers and illegal loggers, all the while surreptitiously tagging trucks with GPS locator beacons. The high-tech equipment allowed the organization to track where the logging trucks went.

Read the whole story by Jeremy Hance here!

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Filed under Biodiversity, Bioenergy / Agrofuels, Biofuelwatch, Campaign to STOP GE Trees, Genetic Engineering, GMOs, Great Lakes, Human made disasters, Monsanto, Pollution, Uncategorized

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Filed under Biodiversity, Bioenergy / Agrofuels, Biofuelwatch, Campaign to STOP GE Trees, Genetic Engineering, GMOs, Great Lakes, Human made disasters, Monsanto, Pollution, Uncategorized

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Filed under Biodiversity, Bioenergy / Agrofuels, Biofuelwatch, Campaign to STOP GE Trees, Genetic Engineering, GMOs, Great Lakes, Human made disasters, Monsanto, Pollution, Uncategorized

By Beverly Bell, Other WorldsOctober 14, 2014

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

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.)

Food sovereignty is the concept that every people has the right to make decisions about, produce, and consume its own local, healthy, culturally appropriate food. Food sovereignty is based in an expansive set of ecological and agricultural practices, international trade laws, and domestic governmental policies.

A prerequisite of food sovereignty is comprehensive land reform, through which small farmers can control their own land and production, and have access to credit, marketing assistance, and other government support on which their livelihood often depends. For the 2014 international mobilization, La Via Campesina says, “We will raise our voices in order to express our resistance to landgrabbing… and to call for comprehensive agrarian  reform and food sovereignty, which together imply a radical transformation towards a fair and decent food system for the world’s peoples.”

No group has done more promote this “radical transformation” than Brazil’s Landless Workers’ Movement, or MST by its Portuguese acronym. The MST is addressing an urgent need in a country with one of the highest levels of unequal land distribution anywhere. Fifty-six percent of agricultural land is owned by just 3.5% of landowners. . In 2000, multinational companies controlled roughly 50% to 90% of most premier export crops. Four and a half million Brazilians have no land or tenure rights. Unable to compete, an estimated 90,000 small and family farms disappear each year.

The MST’s solution to ending the loss of land and livelihood for rural people, and for ending the country’s poverty and hunger, is to put agriculturally rich land back into the hands of small farmers. In Brazil, people can challenge ownership of large properties in two ways: by going after the title’s authenticity or by claiming that the land is not fulfilling its “social function.” Codified in the country’s l988 constitution, social function means that 80% of the land is used effectively, environmental and labor standards are respected, and both owners and workers benefit.

Rita Zanotto, a 25-year member of the MST, tells about the strong social organization that is required to successfully challenge the unlawful landholdings of the elite, and how the redistribution process works. Zanotto is a member of the MST’s education and training sector and its international relations sector.

“We’ve had to establish strategies for our struggle as if this were a war. Of course, not in the most literal sense, but this is a clear struggle for land in which we have to establish strategies for resistance. While feeling a lot of solidarity towards each other, we also think about how to not be overtaken by the enemy.

“We organize collectively. There is no director or head of the MST. If you hear someone say there is, they probably don’t understand the movement. We all work in teams, coordinating together. And we’ve been sharing our experiences and building this movement together, constructing the roads that we can walk forward on.

“I got involved in the MST in 1989 in the same way as most other people: as a person who went to live in an encampment to struggle for land. I started with the MST on March 3. By March 7, we were already occupying a plantation to pressure the government and show them that there is plenty of land that is lying fallow, that is not being used and that needs to be given over to other people. This was a moment of great struggle, with of a lot of repression. In that particular encampment, 22 people were arrested as a result.

“Right now, we have 100,000 families living in these encampments [where usually about 100 families live under tarps or huts on the land they are struggling politically to gain, backed up by MST lawyers who try to win it legally], and 350,000 families involved with the MST. It’s a very complex political moment for Brazil. In the past few years, we haven’t obtained much land. The government hasn’t made much progress in the agrarian reform that we need.

“When your encampment occupies the land and works it and plants crops, is when the most suffering takes place. People don’t have land and are living with food supplies by the government – barely enough to survive. People are just coming into the movement wanting to get involved, they’re excited, but then they realize how hard it is to obtain land. So this is when organizing as a collective becomes very important. Getting involved in these collectives is when the community organizes itself into what we call ‘constructed fellowship.’ People organize what is called a ‘base nucleus,’ with each nucleus made up of 10 to 15 families. Each nucleus has its own coordination team, and we all get organized to delegate tasks. We have a health nucleus, an education nucleus, a hygiene nucleus. This is a temporary moment in the life of the community, but it’s also one of the most special moments in the training and mobilization of the people involved. A lot of solidarity is developed here.

“The ultimate goal is concrete: to obtain land. But struggling for land is just the first step. Once you win it, then it’s about working the land, living in the land reform settlement, being productive, having broader political objectives, and staying organized. Organizing the means of production means organizing production on the land, and also organizing people into groups and collectives. That second part involves a wholly different kind of organization: reorganizing the grassroots base, establishing permanent political spaces, and establishing schools on the land we’ve won. Our schools belong to the Landless People movement, they’re ours. We’re very passionate about education, which is what makes the difference for our movement.

“I’d like to say that I am so proud to be part of an organization that sees its members as holistic, entire human beings. That doesn’t just think about production; rather, we think about every element of the person and the collective. We are also an internationalist movement. We don’t just see the MST as a movement for Brazil, but rather as part of global movement.”

Footnotes

Fabíola Ortiz, “Brazil at Risk of Agrarian Counter-Reform,” Inter Press Service, April 27, 2011.

Sue Branford and Jan Rocha, Cutting the Wire: The Story of the Landless Movement in Brazil (London: Latin American Bureau, 2002), 175

Miriam Nobre, “Quand la libération des femmes rencontre la libération des semences” [“When the liberation of women meets the liberation of seeds”], La Découverte, September-October, 2005, http://www.cairn.info/revue-mouvements-2005-4-page-70.htm.

Translation by David Schmidt.

Beverly Bell has worked for more than three decades as an advocate, organizer, and writer in collaboration with social movements in Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, and the U.S. Her focus areas are just economies, democratic participation, and gender justice. Beverly currently serves as associate fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies and coordinator of Other Worlds. She is author of Walking on Fire: Haitian Women Stories of Survival and Resistance,  Fault Lines: Views Across Haiti’s Divide, and Harvesting Justice: Transforming Food, Land, and Agricultural Systems in the Americas.

 Copyleft Beverly Bell. You may reprint this article in whole or in part.  Please credit any text or original research you use to Beverly Bell, Other Worlds.

You may have heard the news recently that a Chinese business with strong ties to the Chinese government (we are shocked) has recently purchased the iconic Waldorf Astoria Hotel in Manhattan.  The historic structure with its secret underground train station, used as a private escape route for the extremely wealthy and a succession of U.S. Presidents is also the permanant residence of the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and hosts hundreds of U.S Diplomats during UN General Assemblies. The U.S. State Department is more than a little concerned that the announced plans by the new owners to undertake huge renovations will turn the hotel into one big infiltrated spy center by the new owners.

Read more here

Now from the DESMOGBLOG comes a story about how another nation, Kuwait, is investing heavily in the North American Oil and Gas business. On the same day that the Bejing based Anbang Insurance Group purchased the Waldorf Astoria, the state-owned Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Company purchased a $1.5 billion stake in the Alberta Tar Sands.

Steve Horn and the DESMOGBLOG bring us the story

shutterstock_128678843

 

Tar Sands Trade: Kuwait Buys Stake in Alberta As It Opens Own Heavy Oil Spigot

Steve Horn  DESMOGBLOG   14 October 2014

Chevron made waves in the business world when it announced its October 6 sale of 30-percent of its holdings in the Alberta-based Duvernay Shale basin to Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Company (KUFPEC) for $1.5 billion.

It marked the first North American purchase for the Kuwaiti state-owned oil company and yields KUFPEC 330,000 acres of Duvernay shale gas. Company CEO and the country’s Crown Prince, Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, called it an “anchor project” that could spawn Kuwait’s expansion into North America at-large.

Read the whole article here

 

You may have heard the news recently that a Chinese business with strong ties to the Chinese government (we are shocked) has recently purchased the iconic Waldorf Astoria Hotel in Manhattan.  The historic structure with its secret underground train station, used as a private escape route for the extremely wealthy and a succession of U.S. Presidents is also the permanant residence of the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and hosts hundreds of U.S Diplomats during UN General Assemblies. The U.S. State Department is more than a little concerned that the announced plans by the new owners to undertake huge renovations will turn the hotel into one big infiltrated spy center by the new owners.

Read more here

Now from the DESMOGBLOG comes a story about how another nation, Kuwait, is investing heavily in the North American Oil and Gas business. On the same day that the Bejing based Anbang Insurance Group purchased the Waldorf Astoria, the state-owned Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Company purchased a $1.5 billion stake in the Alberta Tar Sands.

Steve Horn and the DESMOGBLOG bring us the story

shutterstock_128678843

 

Tar Sands Trade: Kuwait Buys Stake in Alberta As It Opens Own Heavy Oil Spigot

Steve Horn  DESMOGBLOG   14 October 2014

Chevron made waves in the business world when it announced its October 6 sale of 30-percent of its holdings in the Alberta-based Duvernay Shale basin to Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Company (KUFPEC) for $1.5 billion.

It marked the first North American purchase for the Kuwaiti state-owned oil company and yields KUFPEC 330,000 acres of Duvernay shale gas. Company CEO and the country’s Crown Prince, Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, called it an “anchor project” that could spawn Kuwait’s expansion into North America at-large.

Read the whole article here

 

You may have heard the news recently that a Chinese business with strong ties to the Chinese government (we are shocked) has recently purchased the iconic Waldorf Astoria Hotel in Manhattan.  The historic structure with its secret underground train station, used as a private escape route for the extremely wealthy and a succession of U.S. Presidents is also the permanant residence of the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and hosts hundreds of U.S Diplomats during UN General Assemblies. The U.S. State Department is more than a little concerned that the announced plans by the new owners to undertake huge renovations will turn the hotel into one big infiltrated spy center by the new owners.

Read more here

Now from the DESMOGBLOG comes a story about how another nation, Kuwait, is investing heavily in the North American Oil and Gas business. On the same day that the Bejing based Anbang Insurance Group purchased the Waldorf Astoria, the state-owned Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Company purchased a $1.5 billion stake in the Alberta Tar Sands.

Steve Horn and the DESMOGBLOG bring us the story

shutterstock_128678843

 

Tar Sands Trade: Kuwait Buys Stake in Alberta As It Opens Own Heavy Oil Spigot

Steve Horn  DESMOGBLOG   14 October 2014

Chevron made waves in the business world when it announced its October 6 sale of 30-percent of its holdings in the Alberta-based Duvernay Shale basin to Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Company (KUFPEC) for $1.5 billion.

It marked the first North American purchase for the Kuwaiti state-owned oil company and yields KUFPEC 330,000 acres of Duvernay shale gas. Company CEO and the country’s Crown Prince, Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, called it an “anchor project” that could spawn Kuwait’s expansion into North America at-large.

Read the whole article here

 

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Filed under Commodification of Life, Food Sovereignty, Indigenous Peoples, Land Grabs, Rights, Resilience, and Restoration

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Filed under Commodification of Life, Food Sovereignty, Indigenous Peoples, Land Grabs, Rights, Resilience, and Restoration

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Filed under Biodiversity, Bioenergy / Agrofuels, Biofuelwatch, Climate Change, Energy, False Solutions to Climate Change, Forests and Climate Change

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Filed under Biodiversity, Bioenergy / Agrofuels, Biofuelwatch, Climate Change, Energy, False Solutions to Climate Change, Forests and Climate Change

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Filed under Biodiversity, Bioenergy / Agrofuels, Biofuelwatch, Climate Change, Energy, False Solutions to Climate Change, Forests and Climate Change

Frank Billie of the Seminole Tribe from Florida. Photo by Photolangelle.

Frank Billie of the Seminole Tribe from Florida. Photo by Photolangelle.

As we reported yesterday, the Indigenous Environmental Network and Eastern Band of Cherokee community members organized a gathering of Indigenous Peoples from across the Southeastern US last week for an historic Indigenous Peoples’ action camp against genetically engineered trees (GE trees).

Participants condemned GE trees as a form of colonization of the forest.

Rachel Smolker, co-director of Biofuelwatch, participated in the action camp as a member of the steering committee of the Campaign to STOP Genetically Engineered Trees.

In her blog for the Huffington Post, Smolker provides a compelling account of the purpose for the action camp and the ideas coming out of it.

Rachel SmolkerColumbus Day and the Colonization of Land, Trees and Genes

By Rachel Smolker, Huffington Post Tech Blog, October 13, 2014.

I spent the past several days participating in the Indigenous Environmental Network Campaign to Stop GE Trees Action Camp in the Qualla Boundary, homelands of the Eastern Band Cherokee in North Carolina. Participants included members of tribes across the Southeast, who came to learn about plans for growing genetically engineered trees on and/or adjacent to their territories.

On Columbus Day we can sadly reflect on the brutal history of colonization that American Indians faced when Europeans “discovered” and then claimed their lands. Now, centuries later, the ongoing colonization process threatens to colonize not only their lands, but even the genetics of the trees in their forests that are central to their history and livelihoods.

Read the whole essay here.