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Other Voices: The Connexions Newsletter
August 21, 2015
This week: Canadian election, Greece, Refugees and Mining
With the Canadian federal election under way, Other Voices leads off with an article from The Tyee detailing the abuses of power and democratic principles the Harper government has been guilty of since it took office.
We have two articles on the capitulation of the Syriza government in
Greece to the international financial institutions, and what it means to
the Greek people, who are now being hit with vicious ‘austerity’
measures so that the banks can be bailed out. One article looks at
alternative strategies for the left, now that Syriza and similar
European parties like Podemos have admitted their inability to bring
about positive change. A second article looks at the example of
Argentina, faced with a similar crisis a little more than a decade ago,
and the alternatives, like barter networks, that emerged there.
Our topic of the week is Mining and the Environment. The book, film,
and website of the week are all related to this topic, and so is one of
our spotlighted articles, which explains the $300-million lawsuit a
Canadian-Australian has brought against El Salvador because that country
refuses to allow the company to open a mine that would risk massive
damage to water supplies.
Also in this issue: an article on why Al Jazeera is no longer using
the word ‘migrants’ to describe the desperate refugees try to enter
southern Europe, an ongoing struggle against a planned naval base in
South Korea, and oral histories of individuals who participated in
India’s struggle for independence from British colonial rule.
As always, we invite you to
share this newsletter with your friends. You can forward this email, or
send them the link to the Other Voices home page on the Connexions
website at /Media/CxNewsletter.htm.
Topic of the Week: Mining and the Environment
Our featured topic of the week is Mining and the Environment.
Extractive industries are engaged in an accelerating international
competition to wrest commodities and profits from the earth, no matter
what the cost to the environment, workers, local communities and
indigenous peoples. The impact is devastating, and people are fighting
back. The Connexions Subject Index features a wide range of resources
related to Mining and the Environment. Also worth exploring are related topics such as Indigenous Peoples and Mining, Mineworkers, Mining Industry and Corporate Crime.
Harper, Serial Abuser of Power: The Evidence Compiled
Stephen Harper and his Conservatives have racked up
dozens of serious abuses of power since forming government in 2006.
From scams to smears, monkey-wrenching opponents to intimidating public
servants like an Orwellian gorilla, some offences are criminal, others
just offend human decency. The Tyee has compiled 70 instances of abuse
of power by the Stephen Harper government.
More an even more extensive dossier of the Harper government’s attacks on democracy, debate, and dissent, see Dismantling Democracy produced by Voices-Voix.ca. Read More
Keywords: Abuse of Power - Conservative Party
The Failed Strategy
The failure of Syriza in Greece, and the timidness of other
left-social-democratic parties and formations tells us that we must
learn the dangers of political shortcut and focus on building radical
movements outside of government. Read More
Keywords: Revolutionary Politics - Syriza
Barter Networks: Lessons from Argentina for Greece
“How did Argentina survive their economic crisis?”; “Are they
doing better now?”; “What happened to the factory takeovers?”; “Did
millions of people really participate in the barter network? Did they
actually invent new money?” These are some of the many questions the
author was asked by Greeks, especially over the past few weeks, related
to their economic crisis and the potential for self-organization and
survival. Read More
Keywords: Barter - Economic Alternatives
OceanaGold vs El Salvador: Foreshadowing 'Trade' Under the TPP?
The Central American country of El Salvador could
be forced to pay US$301 million to Canadian-Australian mining
multinational OceanaGold as the two face off in a World Bank
investor-state tribunal with proven tendency to favor corporate
interests over arguments for protecting national sovereignty, the
environment, and human rights. Read More
Keywords: El Salvador - International Trade Agreements
Why Al Jazeera will not say Mediterranean 'migrants'
Al Jazeera is not longer going to use the word
“migrants” to describe the people fleeing across the Mediterranean and
into Europe. They write that “There is no ‘migrant’ crisis in the
Mediterranean. There is a very large number of refugees fleeing
unimaginable misery and danger and a smaller number of people trying to
escape the sort of poverty that drives some to desperation.” Read More
Keywords: Refugees - Migrants
South Korean Activists’ Extraordinary Struggle to Save Jeju Island
South Korea’s Jeju Island is a popular
tourist destination full of spas, resorts, golf courses, sandy beaches,
waterfalls and hiking trails. But if you really want to get rejuvenated,
skip the tourist hotspots and go directly to the village of Gangjeong
to support the extraordinary community that has been opposing the
building of a naval base since 2007. Read More
Keywords: Military Bases - South Korea
Ten Tales of Freedom
From the People’s Archive of Rural India
Rural Indians were both the foot soldiers of freedom
and the leaders of some of the greatest anti-colonial uprisings ever
seen. Countless thousands of them sacrificed their lives to rid India of
British rule. And many who lived through great suffering to see a free
India were mostly forgotten soon after. From the 1990s onwards, P
Sainath recorded the lives of several of the last living freedom
fighters. There stories are on the People’s Archive of Rural India
website. Read More
Keywords: Anti-Colonialism - India/Independence Movement
Website of the Week: MiningWatchCanada
MiningWatch Canada is a pan-Canadian organization supported by
environmental, social justice, aboriginal and labour organizations. It
addresses the urgent need for a public interest response to
irresponsible mining practices and for informed public policy and
monitors companies mining in Canada and Canadian companies abroad. Its
stated goal is “to change public policy and mining practices to ensure
the health of individuals, communities and ecosystems.”
Keywords: Mining and the Environment - Mining Industry
Book of the Week: Mountain Justice
In recent years, local people fighting against
Mountaintop Removal’s destruction of their homes in West Virginia,
Tennessee, Kentucky, and Virginia have invited volunteers from outside
Appalachia’s coalfields to help them bring national attention to this
shameful practice, and abolish it. This on-the-ground, insider report of
a grassroots effort to end mountaintop removal in Appalachia is a
fascinating account of why building solidarity across geographic, age,
class, and philosophical lines in such struggles is hard but important.
Keywords: Mining - Resistance
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August 23, 2015
International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and Its Abolition
August 29, 2015
International Day against Nuclear Tests
August 30, 2015
International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances
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
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Read more →
Aug 21, 1831
Nat Turner’s Rebellion:
Slaves in the U.S. state of Virginia rise up in rebellion. A small
group led by Nat Turner starts moving from house to house, freeing the
slaves and killing the slaveowners and their families. In a number of
instances, they spare the homes of poor whites who are not slaveowners.
The rebel groups grows to about 70, including free blacks as well as
slaves. Turner hoped that the rebels’ violence would galvanize slaves
and make whites realize that slavery was unsustainable. However, white
militias succeed in defeating the rebels. In the aftermath, more than
250 blacks, including Turner, are put to death.
August 22, 1791
The Haitian Revolution:
The beginning of the Haitian Revolution. The slaves of the French
colony of Saint Domingue (Haiti) rise in revolt. Within ten days, they
take control of the entire Northern Province, and by 1792, they control a
third of the island. Years of war ensue, but in 1804, Haiti becomes an
independent nation: the first and only nation to gain independence as
the result of a successful slave revolt.
August 23, 1927
Sacco and Vanzetti executed:
Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti are executed in the United States.
Sacco and Vanzetti were two anarchists who were charged in
Massachusetts with murder on extremely dubious evidence and convicted
after even more dubious trials. The case causes tremendous outrage and
protest in the U.S. and internationally, but the execution takes place
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Thanks to Ulli Diemer and Darien Yawching Rickwood for their work on this newsletter.
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