Venezuela’s Indigenous Pemon are Caught in Time on Land Too Valuable for Numbers

Pemon women of the Wara community rally for Chavez's reelection in 2012. (Z.C. Dutka/NACLA)

In the time of "Columbus Day" writer Z.C. Dutka sketches, through interviews, an intimate portrait of a changing people – the Pemon of Venezuela’s mineral-rich Southeastern border area. Their testimonies of struggle reflect the country’s changing political landscape and highlights a stark generational gap that afflicts many of Latin America’s first nation peoples.

By Z.C. Dutka - VA -

On the heels of Columbus Day, known since 2002 in Venezuela as the Day of Indigenous Resistance, President Nicolas Maduro handed over ‘collective property titles’ encompassing 8,382 hectares (21,000 acres) to six different indigenous ethnic groups in the eastern state of Anzoátegui.

During last week’s honorary ceremony, representatives of Venezuelan indigenous groups met in Miraflores presidential palace in ceremonial dress; looking quite comfortable in minimalist loincloths and beaded necklaces amid plush red carpets and gilded portraits of the country’s (white) 19th century independence leaders.

Understanding how we measure poverty rates is vital if we want to adequately address this global crisis

More accurate measures suggest that the story of global poverty is much worse than the spin-doctored versions we are accustomed to hearing. (Photo: AFP/Getty Images)
Nature holds abundance, poverty is man-made and inflicted poverty is a crime against humanity.

By Jason Hickel - CD - 22. August 2014

The received wisdom comes to us from every direction: poverty rates are declining and extreme poverty will soon be eradicated from the face of the earth.  This narrative is delivered by the World Bank, the governments of rich countries, and – most importantly – the UN Millennium Development Campaign.  Relax, they tell us.  The world is getting better, thanks to the spread of free market capitalism and Western aid.  Development is working, and soon, one day in the very near future, poverty will be no more.  

It’s a comforting story, but unfortunately it’s just not true.  Poverty is not disappearing as quickly as they say.  In fact, according to some measures, poverty has been getting significantly worse.  If we are to be serious about eradicating poverty, we need to cut through the sugarcoating and face up to some hard facts.

Somalia starving in 1993

By Thomas Mountain - 11. August 2014

WHEN award winning journalist Jeremy Scahill landed at Mogadishu’s International Airport in the summer of 2011 Somalia was in the midst of its worst drought and famine in 60 years. Yet when Mr. Scahill reported on his visit he seemed blissfully unaware of the hundreds of Somalis that were starving to death every day not very many miles from the hotel where he was staying.

He also didn’t write about the food and medical aid blockade being imposed on Somalis next door in the Ogaden by the western supported Ethiopian regime, something the International Federation of Jurists (IFJ) has called “a genocide” and demanded the ICC prosecute.

The UN has admitted that at least 250,000 Somalis in Somalia proper starved to death during the famine Jeremy Scahill landed in the midst of, something I had predicted when I exposed that the UN, knowing full well the extent of the drought, had budgeted less then 10 cents a day for food to feed the starving.

The Great Horn of Africa Famine stared at the beginning of 2011 and lasted about 2 years. 250,000 dead in Somalia from starvation equals 10,000 dying a month, 300 or more dying a day on average. And this just in Somalia where there was aid being distributed. Next door in the Ogaden, with a population of almost as many as in Somalia the same famine was raging and no aid what so ever was being allowed.

The Case for Reparations

1920 - Carlos Javier Ortiz

By

[N.B.: If interactive multimedia content is not shown by your browser, please try to get it at the SOURCE]

​Two hundred fifty years of slavery. Ninety years of Jim Crow. Sixty years of separate but equal. Thirty-five years of racist housing policy. Until we reckon with our compounding moral debts, America will never be whole.

And if thy brother, a Hebrew man, or a Hebrew woman, be sold unto thee, and serve thee six years; then in the seventh year thou shalt let him go free from thee. And when thou sendest him out free from thee, thou shalt not let him go away empty: thou shalt furnish him liberally out of thy flock, and out of thy floor, and out of thy winepress: of that wherewith the LORD thy God hath blessed thee thou shalt give unto him. And thou shalt remember that thou wast a bondman in the land of Egypt, and the LORD thy God redeemed thee: therefore I command thee this thing today.

— Deuteronomy 15: 12–15

Besides the crime which consists in violating the law, and varying from the right rule of reason, whereby a man so far becomes degenerate, and declares himself to quit the principles of human nature, and to be a noxious creature, there is commonly injury done to some person or other, and some other man receives damage by his transgression: in which case he who hath received any damage, has, besides the right of punishment common to him with other men, a particular right to seek reparation.

— John Locke, “Second Treatise”

By our unpaid labor and suffering, we have earned the right to the soil, many times over and over, and now we are determined to have it.

— Anonymous, 1861

I. “So That’s Just One Of My Losses”

Ten Things You Didn’t Know About Libya Under Gaddafi’s So-called Dictatorship

giphy-141
Visionary or Villain? Leader or Gadfly?

What do you think of when you hear the name Colonel Gaddafi? Tyrant? Dictator? Terrorist? Well, a national citizen of Libya may disagree but we want you to decide.

Ruling the country for for 41 years until his demise in October 2011, Muammar Gaddafi did some truly amazing things for his country and repeatedly tried to unite and empower the whole of Africa. So despite what you’ve heard on the radio, seen in the media or on the TV Gaddafi did some powerful things that were not very reminiscent of a vicious dictator. Here are ten things Gaddafi did for Libya that you may not know about…

1. In Libya a home is considered a natural human right.

In Gaddafi’s green book it states: ” The house is a basic need of both the individual and the family, therefore it should not be owned by others”. Gaddafi’s Green Book is the formal leader’s political philosophy, it was first published in 1975 and was intended reading for all Libyans even being included in the national curriculum.

Human and Nature DYnamics (HANDY): Modeling inequality and use of resources in the collapse or sustainability of societies

Preventing Collapse

By Author links open overlay panelSafaMotesharreiaJorgeRivasbEugeniaKalnayc

02. April 2014

Highlights

• HANDY is a 4-variable thought-experiment model for interaction of humans and nature.
• The focus is on predicting long-term behavior rather than short-term forecasting.
• Carrying Capacity is developed as a practical measure for forecasting collapses.
• A sustainable steady state is shown to be possible in different types of societies.
• But over-exploitation of either Labor or Nature results in a societal collapse.

Leaked report:

Israel acknowledges Jews in fact Khazars; Secret plan for reverse migration to Ukraine

Fast-breaking Developments

Followers of Middle Eastern affairs know two things: always expect the unexpected, and never write off Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who has more political lives than the proverbial cat.

Only yesterday came news that Syrian rebels plan to give Israel the Golan Heights in exchange for creation of a no-fly zone against the Assad regime. In an even bolder move, it is now revealed, Israel will withdraw its settlers from communities beyond the settlement blocs—and relocate them at least temporarily to Ukraine. Ukraine made this arrangement on the basis of historic ties and in exchange for desperately needed military assistance against Russia. This surprising turn of events had an even more surprising origin: genetics, a field in which Israeli scholars have long excelled.

Terms like the "(red) Indian" in North America, "Indio" in South America and "Tribe" in all its forms like "tribal" MUST be abolished worldwide!

Abolish the Term 'Tribe'

By Julian: Boier (*)

The derogatory, imperialist, colonial, racist and fascist term 'TRIBE' was coined from the Latin term 'tribus', which was the way by which the Romans and ultimately the imperialist Roman Empire denied any of "their" conquered peoples from other nations their rightful nation status in order to subjugate them further. Those who have followed in these imperialist footsteps, have persisted and still are pathologically insisting today to use the term 'tribe', and thereby they are also easily identified as part of the still prevailing neo-colonial mindset of the military-industrial complex. Unfortunately even those who allegedly "fight for the rights of the "tribes" only show that they either are totally ignorant or do follow the hidden agenda of the supremacists.

While assessing the level of insult, the term "nigger" represents for an individual person what the term "tribe" represents for oppressed aboriginal nations. The difference is only that for "nigger" the whole process ranging from giving up ignorance, creation of awareness and nowadays legal punishment has been completed, while with the term "tribe" the supremacists still have a hidden tool to express their disgust and disregard for other genuine peoples and especially the aboriginal nations.

Brazil: Munduruku People Kick Miners Off Indigenous Territory, Seize Equipment

Threatened by Death, Muduruku Expel Miners from their territories, West of Para.
Munduruku Defenders on the move

by Larissa Saud / Terra Magazine -  February 3rd, 2014 (*)

Under threat of death, Muduruku expel miners from their territories, west of Para.

Night had hardly arrived when indigenous Munduruku people landed on the bank of a mine on Tropas River, a tributary of Tapajós river, in a region west of Pará.  From the five speedboats, all of them full, came warriors and children, all with one objective: to drive out illegal miners from Munduruku land.

Right at the entrance of the shed, the indigenous encountered two of the twelve miners present.  Painted for war, the Munduruku held strong.

“You have ten minutes to get out.  Get your things, go away, and don’t come back.  This is the land of the Munduruku,” ordered Paigomuyatpu, chief of the warriors, while the miners were packing their bags and preparing to abandon the area.

According to the workers in the mine, the four pairs of dredges, used for the extraction of gold, belonged to Alexandre Martins.

Indonesian police use shootings, killings, beatings, arrests on West Papuan independence rallies

Peaceful WP demonstration Jaypura

Indonesian police have opened fire on peaceful protesters in Jayapura, with at least four gunshot wounds and one death.

West Papuan activists and families have been forced to flee to the jungle for safety. Indonesian security forces are conducting scores of raids, sweeps and offensives against West Papuan civilians.

The attacks are happening during the visit of National Police Chief General Sutarman with over 200 people arrested across West Papua.

Journalists have also been attacked by Indonesian police.

The Indonesian Police chief says any plans to free Papua from Indonesia won't be tolerated, including Flag raising ceremonies on the West Papuan national Day, December 1st.

Rallies for independence also were launched across West Papua to raise Morningstar Flag.

Mi'kmaq Warrior shot with rubber bullet by RCMP - risks losing his leg after protecting woman.

RCMP and unidentified snipers attack Mi'kmaq women and elderly

By Brenda Norrell - Censored News - 21 Oct. 2013

A Miq'mak Warrior Tyson Peters risks losing his leg today after being shot with a rubber bullet when police and snipers attacked Mi'qmak in Elsipogtog, New Brunswick province of Canada.

The Royal Canadian Mounte Police (RCMP) said only bean bags were shot at Mi'kmaq in the anti-fracking camp, but reporter Miles Howe was there. Howe said two people were shot with rubber bullets during the pre-dawn raid by police and unidentified snipers.

Howe reported, "It has taken three days, but sadly there is now the potential of a very serious injury arising from last Thursday's early morning RCMP attack on the anti-shale gas encampment that occurred on a piece of Crown land adjacent to highway 134.

Tyson Peters, a member of the Mi'kmaq Warriors Society, today appeared at a community meeting in Elsipogtog using two friends for support. His left leg was heavily bandaged. He tells the Halifax Media Co-op that after being shot in the leg by a 'rubber bullet' shotgun blast, fired by an RCMP officer at close range, there is extensive internal bleeding in his leg. Doctors have advised him that they will know better tomorrow whether the leg will require amputation." Read article:  https://halifax.mediacoop.ca/story/mikmaq-warrior-risks-losing-leg-after-being-shot-r/19398

Global support poured in to Censored News for Mi'kmaq who were attacked by Canadian police and military forces with snipers, police dogs and pepper spray.

The dangers are known since decades!

Declassified Intelligence Document:

"Biological Effects of Electromagnetic Radiation

(Radiowaves and Microwaves)

Eurasian Communist Countries"

The following document shows that much science was done and many biological impacts of RF and MW were found very early worldwide.

The point should not be that these are old studies, but that these types of findings continued for decades afterwards, and continue today - even as the worldwide wireless radiation experiment on all living things continues at breakneck speed.

The real cause behind global mass poisoning and the downfall of modern civilization

Homo sapiens is also the only species that steals breastmilk from another mammal.

By Mike Adams - NN - 02. August 2013

There are over five thousand species of mammals on planet Earth, but only one of them is insane. It also turns out there is only one species of mammal that intentionally poisons itself (and its children) by injecting toxic, neuro-damaging chemicals into most members of the species. That species is, of course, homo sapiens.

If you look around the planet these days, you see tens of thousands of species of mammals, birds, reptiles and even insects. Five things all these have in common is:

1) None of them eat processed foods. They innately eat raw, unprocessed, uncooked foods from nature.

2) None of them take prescription medications.

3) None of them inject their offspring with toxic vaccines laced with hidden chemicals.

4) None of them practice mechanized chemical agriculture / monoculture.

5) None of them live in delusional, artificial worlds of TV or the internet.

For a Future that Won’t Destroy Life on Earth, Look to the Global Indigenous Uprising

Melina Laboucan-Massimo stands next to logs from clearcuts at a proposed tar sands site north of Fort McMurray, northern Alberta, Canada. Photo by Jiri Rezac.

 

Idle No More is the latest incarnation of an age-old movement for life that doesn't depend on infinite extraction and growth. Now, armed with Twitter and Facebook, once-isolated groups from Canada to South America are exchanging resources and support like never before.
 

This power manifests in movements like Idle No More, which swept Canada last December and ignited a wave of solidarity on nearly every continent. Laboucan-Massimo was amazed—and hopeful. Triggered initially by legislation that eroded treaty rights and removed protection for almost all of Canada’s rivers—clearing the way for unprecedented fossil fuel extraction—Idle No More drew thousands into the streets. In a curious blend of ancient and high-tech, images of indigenous protesters in traditional regalia popped up on news feeds all over the world.

A history of resistance

To outsiders, it might seem that Idle No More materialized spontaneously, that it sprang into being fully formed. It builds, however, on a long history of resistance to colonialism that began when Europeans first washed up on these shores. Now, armed with Twitter and Facebook, once-isolated movements from Canada to South America are exchanging knowledge, resources, and support like never before.

"When you destroy the earth, you destroy yourself,” says Melina Laboucan-Massimo. This is “the common thread in indigenous people all over the world.”

Idle No More is one of what Subcomandante Marcos, the masked prophet of the Mexican Zapatistas, called “pockets of resistance,” which are “as numerous as the forms of resistance themselves.” The Zapatistas are part of a wave of indigenous organizing that crested in South America in the 1990s, coinciding with the 500th anniversary of European conquest—most effectively in Bolivia, Ecuador, and Mexico. Certain threads connect what might otherwise be isolated uprisings: They’re largely nonviolent, structurally decentralized, they seek common cause with non-natives, and they are deeply, spiritually rooted in the land.

The connections among indigenous organizers have strengthened through both a shared colonial history and a shared threat—namely, the neoliberal economic policies of deregulation, privatization, and social spending cuts exemplified by the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the World Trade Organization. Indigenous organizers see these agreements as nothing more than the old colonial scramble for wealth at the expense of the natives. In a 1997 piece in Le Monde Diplomatique, Marcos called neoliberalism “the totalitarian extension of the logic of the finance markets to all aspects of life,” resulting in “the exclusion of all persons who are of no use to the new economy.” Many indigenous leaders charge that the policies implemented through organizations like the World Bank and the IMF prioritize corporations over communities and further concentrate power in the hands of a few.

Uprising in Ecuador

The mid-1990s saw a massive expansion of such policies—and with it, an expansion of resistance, particularly in countries with significant indigenous populations. In 1990, CONAIE, the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador, staged a massive, nonviolent levantamiento—an uprising—flooding the streets of Quito, blocking roads and effectively shutting down the country. Entire families walked for days to reach the capital to demand land rights, fair prices for agrarian goods, and recognition of Ecuador as a plurinational state, made up of multiple, equally legitimate nations. In the end it forced renegotiation of policy and created unprecedented indigenous representation in government; many hailed CONAIE’s success as a model for organizing everywhere.

CONAIE’s slogan, “Nothing just for Indians,” invited participation from non-indigenous allies around larger questions of inequality and political representation, creating a political space that was big and inclusive enough for everyone. Dr. Maria Elena Garcia, who studies these movements at the University of Washington, says that non-indigenous support has been “crucial” for success across the board. In the case of CONAIE, she says, there came a tipping point when “most Ecuadorians … said, ‘Enough. This organization is speaking for us.’”

The Zapatista Army

Meanwhile, in Mexico, the Zapatista movement was busy building a different kind of revolution. On January 1, 1994, the Zapatista Army took its place on the international stage. It was day one of NAFTA, which Subcomandante Marcos called “a death sentence to the indigenous ethnicities of Mexico.”

Idle No More clearly exists in the Zapatista tradition, but it goes further in incorporating the language of climate justice. In December as many as 50,000 masked Mayan Zapatistas marched into cities across Chiapas. Differing from the 1994 armed indigenous uprising, this one was done in complete silence.

More than any other movement, they linked local issues of cultural marginalization, racism, and inequality to global economic systems and prophesied a new movement of resistance. The media-savvy revolutionaries used their most potent weapon—words—and the still-new Internet to advocate a new world built on diversity as the basis for ecological and political survival. Transnational from the beginning, the Zapatistas made common cause with “pockets of resistance” everywhere.

Then, a curious change occurred: for nearly 10 years following their initial insurgency, the Zapatistas maintained a self-imposed silence. The world heard little from Marcos, but the autonomous communities in Chiapas were very much alive. They had turned inward, building independent governments, schools, and clinics. As journalist and author Naomi Klein observed, “These free spaces, born of reclaimed land, communal agriculture, resistance to privatization, will eventually create counter-powers to the state simply by existing as alternatives.” Embodying, here and now, the society they seek to create is a powerful manifesto; for those who cared to listen, their silence spoke volumes.

Victory in Bolivia

Most of these movements have used nonviolent tactics, including blockades, occupations of public space, and mass marches—combined with traditional political work—to varying degrees of success. In Bolivia these tactics yielded an extraordinary outcome: the election of Evo Morales, in 2005, as Bolivia’s first indigenous head of state.

Five years later, Morales convened 30,000 international delegates for the World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth. A response to the repeated failure of international climate negotiations, the gathering was rooted in an indigenous worldview that recognized Mother Earth as a living being, entitled to her own inalienable rights.

The resulting declaration placed blame unequivocally on the capitalist system that has “imposed on us a logic of competition, progress, and limitless growth.” This unrestrained growth, the declaration says, transforms “everything into commodities: water, earth, the human genome, ancestral cultures, biodiversity, justice, ethics, the rights of peoples, and life itself.” Significantly, the declaration also extended the analysis of colonialism to include climate change—calling for “decolonization of the atmosphere”—but it rejected market-based solutions like carbon trading. It’s a holistic analysis that links colonialism, climate change, and capital, a manifesto for what has come to be called “climate justice.”

Idle No More

Fast forward to December 2012, and two things happened: The Zapatistas staged simultaneous marches in five cities, marking a resurgence of their public activism. Anywhere from 10,000–50,000 masked marchers filled the streets in complete silence. The march was timed to coincide with the end of the Mayan calendar—and the beginning of a new, more hopeful era—and demonstrated the Zapatistas’ commitment to the indigenous cosmology of their ancestors.

That same month, a continent away, Idle No More emerged on the scene. While it began as a reaction to two specific bills in Parliament, it has gained strength and momentum in opposition to the network of proposed pipelines that will crisscross North America, pumping tar sands oil from Alberta to refineries and ports in Canada and the U.S. These pipelines will cross national, tribal, state, and ethnic boundaries and raise a multitude of issues—including water quality, land rights, and climate change. The campaign to stop their construction is already unifying natives and non-natives in unprecedented ways.

Dr. Garcia, whose own ancestors are indigenous, believes that indigenous movements offer something vital: hope, and what she calls “the importance of the imaginary. Of imagining a different world—imagining a different way of being in the world.”

“We’re a land-based people, but it goes further than that. It’s a worldview. When you destroy the earth, you destroy yourself,” says Melina Laboucan-Massimo. This is “the common thread in indigenous people all over the world.”

PLEASE TAKE ANY OR ALL OF THESE

Don't Let the Apocalypse Get You Down

The climate crisis is spinning out of control, and the gap between the rich and poor continues grow unabated. It’s time to let the radical uncertainty of this moment enlarge our sense of possibility.

It is this thread that goes to the heart of our global ecological crisis. While indigenous cultures differ widely from one another, what they collectively present is an alternative relationship—to the earth, to its resources, and to each other—a relationship based not on domination but on reciprocity. Any movement that seeks to create deep, lasting social change—to address not only climate change but endemic racism and social inequality—must confront our colonial identity and, by extension, this broken relationship.

Laboucan-Massimo has spent a great deal of time abroad, studying indigenous movements from Latin America to New Zealand and Australia, feeling the full weight of their shared history under colonialism. These days, though, she’s more likely to be on the road, educating, organizing, and building solidarity among natives and non-natives. It was understanding the connections between movements, she says, that gave her “all the more fervor to come back and continue to do the work here.”

Recently, she traveled from Alberta  to the National Mall in Washington, D.C., where she and her elders stood at the forefront of the largest climate change rally in history. And she’ll keep organizing, armed with a smartphone, supported by a growing network of allies from Idle No More and beyond, connected in every possible way to the rest of the world.


(*) Kristin Moe wrote this article for Love and the Apocalypse, the Summer 2013 issue of YES! Magazine. Kristin is a writer, farmer, and graduate of the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies. She writes about climate justice, grassroots movements, and social change.

 

Interested?

  • Naomi Klein speaks with writer, spoken-word artist, and indigenous academic Leanne Betasamosake Simpson about “extractivism,” why it’s important to talk about memories of the land, and what’s next for Idle No More.

  • “Band of Sisters” shows why a humble group of women fell under Vatican investigation for seeing the causes—not just the symptoms—of injustice.

  • Motivated by ancient traditions of female leadership as well as their need for improved legal rights, First Nations women are stepping to the forefront of the Idle No More movement.

An Insidious Threat to Tropical Forests: Over-Hunting Endangers Tree Species in Asia and Africa

Increased hunting and poaching in our world’s rainforests has decimated many mammal and bird populations. According to two new studies, the loss of these important seed-dispersers is imperiling the very nature of rainforests.  Read more below.

A fruit falls to the floor in a rainforest. It waits. And waits. Inside the fruit is a seed, and like most seeds in tropical forests, this one needs an animal—a good-sized animal—to move it to a new place where it can germinate and grow. But it may be waiting in vain. Hunting and poaching has decimated many mammal and bird populations across the tropics, and according to two new studies the loss of these important seed-disperser are imperiling the very nature of rainforests.

GREAT SUCCESS FOR FIRST NATIONS IN KENYA

AFRICAN UNION COMES OUT IN SUPPORT OF OGIEK LAND RIGHTS

Ogiek elder at the Ogiek resistance workshop.

The Ogiek, the meanwhile world-famous honey-hunters of the Mau forest in Kenya, booked another success in their struggle for survival and the rights to their forest homeland.

The African Court of Human and People’s Rights of the African Union (AU), following the line of arguments presented by the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, ordered the Government of the Republic of Kenya to immediately halt any eviction of Ogiek from their ancestral forests, which the Ogiek had protected since times immemorial. It were the Ogiek who preserved the old growth forest of indigenous trees, resisted against the colonial plantations of non-indigenous species and thereby maintained the capacity of the Mau Forest Range as one of the five major water towers of Kenya until today.

In their struggle for recognition, natural forest- and watershed-protection and the rights to their territory ECOTERRA Intl. stood since 1992 besides the Ogiek, one of the five aboriginal peoples of Kenya (see https://www.ogiek.org).

The Ogiek had received their recognition as a people of Kenya only during the recent process leading to the new constitution. The subsequently established Mau Task Force, implemented by the Office of the Prime Minister, had clearly reported not only on the injustices against the Ogiek from the times when the colonial government – imposed by Britain – had robbed and transformed the Ogiek’s forests into governmental estates, but also listed the land grabbing by outsiders – including former state president Daniel arap Moi – and other issues of indigenous peoples’ rights, which had been so far unresolved.

September 2019
S M T W T F S
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30