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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.

This Week on Connexions.org

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

People’s History

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

Ten demonstrations that changed the world

It’s worth remembering that mass marches have been crucial to many important struggles through the years. Read More

Keywords: Demonstrations, Marches, Protests - Mass Action

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

Film of the Week: The Devil Operation

A tale of corporate espionage unfolds in this exposé of torture, intimidation, and murder of Peruvian eco-activists and indigenous farmers. Shocking video footage, horrifying photos, and meticulous reports compiled by private security firms working for U.S. and British-owned gold mines are co-opted by the filmmakers to reveal the truth.

Official website: http://www.guarango.org/diablo/

Keywords: Indigenous Peoples and Mining - Peru

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Connexions Calendar

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 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

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 nonetheless..


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Copyright Connexions 2015. Contents are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License. This means you are welcome to share and republish the contents of this newsletter as long as you credit Connexions, and as long as you don’t charge for the content.

Other Voices: The Connexions Newsletter, is available online here

Thanks to Ulli Diemer and Darien Yawching Rickwood for their work on this newsletter.


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