The 3rd ASF will take place on a continent which is facing a two-pronged challenge today: to broaden and consolidate the move toward change that has opened up in the last few years, and to resist the ongoing forms of domination that are striving to persist and to extend their reach, while seeking to recover lost ground so as to impede this transformative stream.
The 3rd Forum will allow peoples from across the continent to come together in this region, which has lived through heroic struggles throughout its past and recent history, so as to demonstrate solidarity, and to better understand the alternatives that have arisen here in the face of war, destruction, fear, and the perverse legacy of forms of violence displaying the most ferocious examples of militarized neoliberalism, including femicide.
The 3rd ASF will embrace the range of struggles, proposals, and experiences that have been strengthened, renewed or emerging over this rich period of common searching that has been taking place across the continent. It will stimulate stronger interconnections and aim to create more effective spaces for self-guided construction of shared platforms for emancipation.
The 3rd ASF will take place in Guatemala with the collaboration of social movements, indigenous peoples, academic groups and a range of committed sectors from this country and from across Mesoamerica. At the same time the presence of groups from across the continent will further stimulate and enrich these alliances. Overcoming geopolitical divides, peoples of the continent are moving toward an ever more shared identity between South and North, and between the different regions of the Americas. The struggles are growing closer and stronger in solidarity, as peoples who are confronting capitalism, imperialism and patriarchy.
For this edition of the Forum, six main themes have been defined that seek to reflect the specific nature of the hemispheric agenda and that will also help to group together the topics that will be dealt with by the different initiatives that come together in the ASF:
1. Scope and Challenges of the Changes in the Hemisphere: Post-Neoliberalism, Socialism(s), Civilizational Changes
2. Peoples in Resistance to Neoliberalism and Imperial Domination.
3. Defending quality of life in the face of predatory capitalism
4. Diversities and Equality: challenges for achieving them
5. The ideological dispute: communication, culture, knowledge and education.
6. Original, Indigenous and Afro-descendant Peoples and Nationalities: “Good living” and its keys for the future
So in short, the tribe was isolated, and apparently previously uncontacted. What was misleading about the original claims was that the existence of the tribe had been documented previously, and officials had an idea of the area in which they lived. That doesn't really sound like a hoax to me - just a slight manipulation to bring attention to an issue that affects the lives of indigenous people not only in Brazil, but around the world.
What he was looking for was not only proof of life, but firm evidence that the tribes in this area were flourishing – proof in his view that the policy of no contact and protection was working. On the last day, with only a couple hours of flight time remaining, Meirelles spotted a large community.
'When I saw them painted red, I was satisfied, I was happy,' he said. 'Because painted red means they are ready for war, which to me says they are happy and healthy defending their territory.'
Survival International, the organisation that released the pictures along with Funai, conceded yesterday that Funai had known about this nomadic tribe for around two decades. It defended the disturbance of the tribe saying that, since the images had been released, it had forced neighbouring Peru to re-examine its logging policy in the border area where the tribe lives, as a result of the international media attention. Activist and former Funai president Sydney Possuelo agreed that – amid threats to their environment and doubt over the existence of such tribes – it was necessary to publish them.
What is there really left to say here????
Here are some excerpts from the NYtimes article by Dan Bilefsky:
An American ambassador helped cover up the illegal Chinese origins of ammunition that a Pentagon contractor bought to supply Afghan security forces, according to testimony gathered by Congressional investigators. A military attaché has told the investigators that the United States ambassador to Albania endorsed a plan by the Albanian defense minister to hide several boxes of Chinese ammunition from a visiting reporter. The ammunition was being repackaged to disguise its origins and shipped from Albania to Afghanistan by a Miami Beach arms-dealing company.
On March 27, The New York Times published an article that said Albanian documents showed that the Miami company [AEY Inc.] had bought more than 100 million Chinese cartridges that were stored for decades in former cold war stockpiles. Mr. Diveroli arranged to have them repacked in cardboard boxes, many of which split or decomposed after shipment to the war zones, according to the article. Different lots or types of ammunition were mixed. In some cases the ammunition was dirty, corroded or covered with a film.
In January 2007, the Army awarded the company a contract, potentially worth $298 million, that made it the main munitions supplier for Afghan security forces in the fight against Al Qaeda and the Taliban.
Check out the website of Charlotte Thomson Iserbyt (interviewed in the video below), former Senior Policy Advisor in the Office of Educational Research and Improvement during the Reagan Administration: The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America.
"Around seven in 10 Latin Americans live on less than $9 (£4.61) a day. It may not sound like much, but aggregated together and you have yourself an estimated $510bn market."
Some of these efforts are detailed in the article, and some appear to be aimed at profiting from endevors that also are beneficial to the poor communities in which they are targeted - medical clinics for instance. However, a quote in the article may be more instructive of the true nature of these efforts - to profit by any means possible.
"Rafael Danieluc, marketing director of Nestlé Peru, confirms enthusiastically "The real opportunity for growth for our company is in the lowest social economic group.""
Read the rest of the article here.
photo credit: human trafficking project
The Philadelphia Inquirer wondered if the Kindle will be the iPod of e-books, if this is the "decline and fall of the paper book." (Read the full article here.) Acknowledging the notion of paper book as comfort food, Bezos promised the Kindle is just as cozy: "the book disappears in your hands," he stated. "You aren't thinking about the glue and paper and ink. All those things go away and what remains is the author's world." You can download one of the 125,000 books in stock in less than 60 seconds, you can save your margin notes on their server, you can have newspapers and blogs delivered, among other perks.
In many ways, the Kindle sounds suspiciously like a small laptop with a wireless connection and a subscription to a book club.
Nevertheless, bibliophiles are, most likely, pretending such blasphemy doesn't exist. And others aren't so sure about it either. The Inquirer reports that a Random House/Zogby poll found 82% of readers prefer the cloth to the clone. Is there too much intangible stuff wrapped up in the binding of a book, then, to make the electronic book the new coffee table centerpiece?
Then again, this isn't necessarily an either/or situation. But maybe if Amazon.com had picked a less ominous-sounding name, it would feel less so.
Image credit: www.hds.harvard.edu
But let's turn to some reflections of Fidel Castro, who penned his thoughts after hearing Obama speak in Miami.
Castro described Obama's stance as follows: "Presidential candidate Obama’s speech may be formulated as follows: hunger for the nation, remittances as charitable hand-outs and visits to
Castro posed 10 questions, graciously expecting no answers:
- Is it right for the president of the
to order the assassination of any one person in the world, whatever the pretext may be? United States
- Is it ethical for the president of the
to order the torture of other human beings? United States
- Should state terrorism be used by a country as powerful as the
as an instrument to bring about peace on the planet? United States
- Is an Adjustment Act, applied as punishment on only one country,
, in order to destabilize it, good and honorable, even when it costs innocent children and mothers their lives? If it is good, why is this right not automatically granted to Haitians, Dominicans, and other peoples of the Caribbean, and why isn’t the same Act applied to Mexicans and people from Central and South America, who die like flies against the Mexican border wall or in the waters of the Atlantic and the Pacific? Cuba
- Can the
do without immigrants, who grow vegetables, fruits, almonds and other delicacies for United States citizens? Who would sweep their streets, work as servants in their homes or do the worst and lowest-paid jobs? U.S.
- Are crackdowns on illegal residents fair, even as they affect children born in the
? United States
- Are the brain-drain and the continuous theft of the best scientific and intellectual minds in poor countries moral and justifiable?
- You state, as I pointed out at the beginning of this reflection, that your country had long ago warned European powers that it would not tolerate any intervention in the hemisphere, reiterating that this right be respected while demanding the right to intervene anywhere in the world with the aid of hundreds of military bases and naval, aerial and spatial forces distributed across the planet. I ask: is that the way in which the
expresses its respect for freedom, democracy and human rights? United States
- Is it fair to stage pre-emptive attacks on sixty or more dark corners of the world, as Bush calls them, whatever the pretext may be?
- Is it honorable and sound to invest millions and millions of dollars in the military industrial complex, to produce weapons that can destroy life on earth several times over
If only these questions would be answered.
Read "The Empire's Hypocritical Politics" at www.cuba.cu.
If only these questions would be answered.
In that context, the “guerrilla gardening” or “pirate farming” movement has never seemed more valuable. A recent Los Angeles Times article, "Guerrilla gardener movement takes root in L.A. area," describes the movement on the west coast as “part beautification, part eco-activism, part social outlet,” perhaps leading to “approved brigades of citizen gardeners helping cities turn wasted space into food and flowers.”
Indeed, that’s just what Greensgrow, an urban farm in the infamous Kensington section of
Visit Greensgrow at greensgrow.org. Guerrilla Gardening websites are plentiful. Here’s two: greenguerillas.org and guerrillagardening.org. And check out a past NPR piece, "Defiant Gardening," about gardening as defiance in time of war throughout history.
Photo: B&H Organics