February 8th, 2011
Man-made disasters need human solutions: Honduras conflict will only go away with international solidarity
“¡La Tierra No Se Vende – Se Ama y Se Defiende!” (English translation: “The Land is Not for Sale – It must be Loved and Defended!”)
– A change from woman fighting against a large dam in Alpuyeca, Mexico
The United Nations designates December 10 as International Human Rights Day. At Grassroots International, we give special recognition to the efforts of our partners and allies around the world—but for them, it’s just another day in the trenches to realize these rights as communities in action.
From the Middle East to Latin America and the Caribbean to Africa and Asia, our partners engage in determined struggles for resource rights—the human rights to land, water, and food. Despite enormous obstacles like land grabs, poisoned water, and decreased access to local food, our partners build local solutions to solve problems from the bottom up.
Grassroots International’s global partners like the Via Campesina have frequently told us: “You have to work hard to change things in the U.S. for our hard work to bear real fruit.” In other words, for another world to be possible, another U.S. is necessary.
Grassroots International recently supported a delegation of Haitian social movements to attend the U.S. Social Forum in Detroit. This diverse group represented several of our partners and allies on the ground in Haiti and offered them a unique networking and educational platform.
What is the relationship between “green” energy and a peasant in jail? The answer lies at the heart of the struggle for resources rights, as the demand for land to produce agro-fuels for markets in the Global North generate land conflicts, rampant persecution and even deaths in peasant communities in the Global South.
By Alisa Pimentel
Among the almost 20,000 activists gathered in Detroit for the US Social Forum this week are several Grassroots International partners and allies. Grassroots International regularly provides funding to our partners and allies to participate in movement-building and leadership development gatherings.
Grassroots International joins our partners in Palestine and Israel – and indeed non-violent activists worldwide – in the condemnation of Israel’s attack on the Free Gaza flotilla bound for Gaza. When Israeli forces stormed a multinational humanitarian fleet on its way to Gaza – in international waters – to deliver medicines, medical equipment, building materials and food they also assaulted Nobel laureates, holocaust survivors and civilians from 40 nations.
Cultures in different parts of our planet have long held rivers to be life-giving. Early human civilizations are even known by their connection to the river systems whose banks they arose from like the Indus-Ganga, the Nile and the Yangtze Kiang-Huang He. But today human actions and inaction have literally throttled our rivers through industrial pollution, mega dams, diversification, deforestation and the list goes on.... But people are fighting back -- especially those most directly impacted. In my home country India, numerous popular movements have emerged like the Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA-Save the Narmada Movement) and the Ganga Mukti Andolan (GMA-Free the Ganga Movement).