Other Voices: The Connexions Newsletter

February 12, 2015

Water Rights and Water Struggles, SYRIZA, and War Propaganda

This week we're featuring the 40-point program which SYRIZA, the Greek coalition of the radical left, put forward to win the Greek election. Oliver Tickell writes about the mass media's latest campaign of pro-war propaganda, this time revolving around supposed "Russian aggression" in Ukraine, while Paul Edwards looks at another form of war propaganda, Clint Eastwood's 'American Sniper'

The Topic of the Week is Water Rights. Related items include the film "Blue Gold: World Water Wars," the website International Rivers, and articles on water-related struggles, past and present, including articles on the Walkerton water disaster and the Cochabamba water war.

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This Week on Connexions.org

SYRIZA’s 40-point program

Here is the official program of the Greek coalition of the radical left, SYRIZA, which won the elections two weeks ago. Read More

Keywords: Greece - Political Programs & Manifestos

"Russian aggression" and the drums of nuclear war

The drums of war are beating on in the mass media, writes Oliver Tickell - naked propaganda about fictitious 'Russian aggression' intended to soften us up for a war that could wipe out life on Earth. We must refuse to fall for the endlessly repeated lies, and tell our politicians that our highest priority of all is peace. Read More

Keywords: Media Bias - Media Propaganda

The Sociopath as Hero: Reflections on ‘American Sniper’

So much has been written about this paean to a subhuman monster - much of it on whether or not it is moral and heroic to murder people wholesale for flag and country - that the only truly important thing about its success has not been articulated. That is the grossly ugly fact that such a huge number of Americans jubilantly support this morally dirty film and its message. Read More

Keywords: U.S. Military - War Criminals

Burning Victims to Death: Still a Common Practice

The latest horrific ISIS atrocity -- releasing a video of a captured Jordanian fighter pilot being burned alive – has prompted substantial discussion about this particular form of savagery. It is thus worth noting that deliberately burning people to death is achievable -- and deliberately achieved -- in all sorts of other ways. Read More

Keywords: Violence - Military Violence Against Civilians

When Water is a Commodity Instead of a Human Right

The shutoff of water to thousands of Detroit residents, the proposed privatization of the water system and the diversion of the system’s revenue to banks are possible because the most basic human requirement, water, is becoming nothing more than a commodity. Read More

Keywords: Drinking Water - Water Rights

From the Archives

Contamination: The Poisonous Legacy of Ontario's Environmental Cutbacks

Recalling the Walkerton Water disaster of 2000. The story of how an extremist right-wing government gutted health and environmental protection polices, leading to the Walkerton water contamination disaster. Read More

Keywords:Drinking Water Protection - Environmental Protection

People’s History and Grassroots Archives News

The History Behind the Organizer of the Water War

Oscar Olivera remembers how the Bolivian people took back their land and their power in the Cochabamba water war in 2000. Read More


Keywords: Water Rights - Organizing

Deep time: Aboriginal stories tell of when the Great Barrier Reef was dry land.

Stories told by Australia's Aboriginal peoples tell of the time, over 10,000 years ago, when the last Ice Age came to an end, and sea levels rose by 120 metres. The narratives tally with the findings of contemporary science, raising the question: what is it about Aborigines and their culture than so accurately transmitted their oral traditions across thousands of generations? Read More

Keywords: Oral history - Traditional Ecological Knowledge

Mike Marqusee: A contender for the living

A tribute to Mike Marqusee, who died in January. Mike Marqusee was an extraordinary writer and activist who enriched the left in the UK and internationally.Read more

Pete Seeger, Musical Revolutionary

Pete Seeger collected and wrote songs that were rooted in the world. He devoted himself to offering a critique that also was infused with hope for a better society. He devoted his craft to challenging the commodification of everything and the isolation produced by the capitalist system. For Seeger, music served as an instrument of rebellion and resistance. In a 1971 interview, he said he supported 'people who worked outside of the system' people like John Brown, who was considered an outlaw, Frederick Douglas and the abolitionists. He insisted that 'changing the system' was necessary and that 'there is no other word for that but socialist.'.Read more

Topic of the Week: Water Rights

See Water Rights in the Connexions subject index for information on this topic, as well as about organizing to bring about change.

Website of the Week: International Rivers

International Rivers’ mission is to protect rivers and defend the rights of communities that depend on them. They oppose destructive dams and the development model they advance, and encourage better ways of meeting people's needs for water, energy and protection from damaging floods. Through research, education and advocacy, International Rivers works to halt destructive river infrastructure projects, address the legacies of existing projects, improve development policies and practices, and promote water and energy solutions for a just and sustainable world.They’re listed in the Connexion Directory here.

Keywords: Dams - Rivers

Meeting the Expectations of the Land: Essays in Sustainable Agriculture and Stewardship

Addresses the problems facing agriculture today, such as topsoil erosion, lowered water tables, reliance on pesticides, dependence on machinery, the over-capitalization of agriculture, the decline of the rural economy, the energy and dollar cost as well as the health problems associated with commercial fertilizers, the shrinking number of family farms, the increasing dependence on fossil fuels. Read More

Keywords: Agriculture/Ecology - Fertility of the Soil

Film of the Week: Blue Gold: World Water Wars

A documentary, based on the book Blue Gold, by Maude Barlow and Tony Clarke, which examines environmental and political implications of the planet’s dwindling water supply, and posits that wars in the future will be fought over water. The film also highlights some success stories of water activists around the world and makes a strong case for community action.

More Information

Keywords:Water - Water Resources

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Connexions Calendar

February 14, 2015
Annual Memorial March for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls
Toronto-Montreal, Canada

February 16, 2015
REUNITE: Families for Families in Detention Toronto-Lindsay, Ontario

February 21, 2015
International Mother Language Day----Worldwide

February 21, 2015
50 Years Since Malcolm X's Assassination: The Legacy Endures; The Struggle Continues! Halifax, Nova Scotia

The Connexions Calendar is an online calendar that exists to advertise events that support social justice, democracy, human rights, ecology, and other causes. We invite you to use it to promote your events. Adding events to the Connexions Calendar is FREE. We’ll give you a username and password which you use to log on. Use the contact form to arrange for a username and password.

Read more →

Seeds of Fire

February 12, 1809

Birth of Charles Darwin, the founder of the science of evolutionary biology.

Birth of Abraham Lincoln.

February 12, 1874

U.S. forces intervene in the Kingdom of Hawaii.

February, 1894

The French anarchist Emile Henry throws a bomb into a cafe in Paris, killing one and wounding 20.

February 12, 1955

The first American military ‘advisors’ are sent to Vietnam. Their number eventually grows to 550,000.

Read more →

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Thanks to Tahmid Khan and Ulli Diemer for their work on this newsletter.


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