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Commercialisation and Conflict in New India by Graham Peebles

by Graham Peebles
Writer, Dandelion Salad
London
October 17, 2013

kundarpura roofs

Image by Association Devidine via Flickr

Developing divisions

Participation is a cornerstone of the democratic ideal. It sits alongside those other marginalized tenets: social justice, freedom and equality. Forgotten principles in a world of corporate politics driven by the quest for endless economic growth and maximum market share. Hailed as the world’s largest democracy and touted as ‘an emerging economic powerhouse’, India’s economy is beginning to cough and splutter with the rupee trading at an all time low, and the ‘current account’ showing an $88 billion deficit.

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Abuse of Migrant Workers in MENA Countries by Graham Peebles

by Graham Peebles
Writer, Dandelion Salad
London
October 5, 2013

Mano Esclava - Hand Slave

Image by nathangibbs via Flickr

Given the choice few people would leave their families and friends and migrate from their homeland. The tens of thousands that pay unscrupulous ‘agents’ and criminal gangs to transport them hundreds or thousands of miles (often across borders), are compelled to do so to find work and to earn money to support themselves and their loved ones at home. The Middle East and North African (MENA) countries are some of the destinations of choice for both men and women seeking work, women look for domestic work and child-care, whist employment in the construction industry, is the goal of the tens thousands of men from South East Asia living in stifling poverty.

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It Is State Terrorism That Stalks This Land by Graham Peebles

by Graham Peebles
Writer, Dandelion Salad
London
September 19, 2013

ethiopian demo 1

Image by aheavens via Flickr

They speak of democracy, but act violently to suppress dissenting voices and control the people through the inculcation of fear: they ignore human rights and trample on the people, they are a tyrannical wolf in democratic sheep’s clothing, causing suffering and misery to thousands of people throughout Ethiopia. The Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) government repeatedly scoffs at international law and consistently acts in violation of their own Federal constitution – a liberal document written by the regime to please and deceive their foreign supporters. Continue reading

Children and Women for Sale In India by Graham Peebles

by Graham Peebles
Writer, Dandelion Salad
London
September 4, 2013

Assam

Image by Rita Willaert via Flickr

To be born poor in our world, is to be born vulnerable and in danger of exploitation of one kind or another; to be incarnated female and poor is to greatly intensify the risks. If you are born a girl to parents of tea-pickers in Assam in North Eastern India (earning as little as US $1.50 a day) there is a good chance you will be sold to a local recruitment ‘agent’ by your loved ones for around $50, he will sell you on to a city ‘employer’ for up to $800 and into a life of abuse and suffering. Continue reading

Land Grab: Violent Evictions Killing and Rape by Graham Peebles

by Graham Peebles
Writer, Dandelion Salad
London
August 12, 2013

Ethiopian Tribes, Suri

Image by Dietmar Temps via Flickr

In many parts of the world development has become an invisible cloak under which all manner of “state sponsored” atrocities and human rights violations are being committed. Married to growth, development has been (largely) reduced to economic advancement – meaning maximizing Gross National Product (GNP) figures month on month, year on year, and turning over glowing returns to the insatiable global monetary bodies – The World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) and – profit to private investors. No matter the human impact and environmental consequences.

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Ethiopia: Lives for Land in Gambella by Graham Peebles

by Graham Peebles
Writer, Dandelion Salad
London
August 1, 2013

Project_Ethiopia_0050

Image by pocarropilla via Flickr

To many people land is much more than a resource or corporate commodity to be bought developed and sold for a profit. Identity, cultural history and livelihood are all connected to ‘place’. The erosion of traditional values and morality (which include the observation of human rights and environmental responsibility) are some of the many negative effects of the global neo-liberal economic model, with its focus on short-term gain and material benefit. The commercialization of everything and everybody has become the destructive goal of multi-nationals, and their corporate governments manically driven by the desire for perpetual growth as the elixir to life’s problems.

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The End of Freedom of the Press by Graham Peebles

by Graham Peebles
Writer, Dandelion Salad
London
July 25, 2013

RestoreTheFourth3

Image by Stephen D. Melkisethian via Flickr

As millions take to the streets demanding political participation, social justice and freedom, opponents to change – governments and reactionary forces worldwide – centralise power, tighten control of civil society and the media and trample on democratic ideals. The dangerous accumulation of powers, “legislative, executive, and judiciary” that the “father of the [American] constitution” James Madison wrote,[i] “in the same hands whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.”

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Worldwide Social Activism Demanding Change by Graham Peebles

by Graham Peebles
Writer, Dandelion Salad
London
July 19, 2013

Terceiro Grande Ato - Não é por 20 centavos

Image by Izaias Buson via Flickr

Change is afoot. Confronted with state corruption and corporate greed, abuse of human rights, environmental chaos and extreme levels of economic and social injustice, the people, overwhelmingly the young are taking to the streets demanding change, and a new political/economic system, that is inclusive and just.

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Walking From the Ogaden–Seeking Peace in Dadaab by Graham Peebles

Khandraby Graham Peebles
Writer, Dandelion Salad
London
July 11, 2013

Many people living outside Africa, most perhaps, have never heard of the Ogaden (or Somali) region of Ethiopia, they know nothing of the murders, rapes and destruction that the ethnic Somali’s allege are taking place there. We all have our problems and what can I do anyway, these governments are corrupt, we – meaning western governments shouldn’t be sending them money, especially now with all the public sector cuts taking place. So runs the uninformed, albeit understandable response.

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Commercial Colonisation of Africa–The New Wild West by Graham Peebles

by Graham Peebles
Writer, Dandelion Salad
London
June 27, 2013

Is Africa’s land up for grabs?

Image by UN / B. Wolff on Africa Renewal via Flickr

Dancing to the tune of their corporate benefactors, governments of the ruling G8 countries are enacting complex agriculture agreements delivering large tracts of prime cut African soil into the portfolios of their multinational bedmates.

Desperate for foreign investment, countries throughout Africa are at the mercy of their new colonial masters – national and international agrochemical corporations, fighting for land, water and control of the world’s food supplies. Continue reading

Seeds of Change in Ethiopia by Graham Peebles

by Graham Peebles
Writer, Dandelion Salad
London
June 13, 2013

1. The right to be heard: People claiming their right to a better life

Image by Oxfam East Africa via Flickr

Thousands march in the capital

The people of Ethiopia have been suppressed and controlled for generations. Under the current EPRDF government, freedom of expression has been curtailed and an atmosphere of fear and intimidation fostered. Peaceful assembly has not been allowed, contrary to the constitution, and all political dissent stamped on.

In 2005, after parliamentary elections that many, including the European observers, deemed to be unfair, students took to the streets in the capital Addis Ababa to demonstrate against what they saw as electoral fraud. Continue reading

State Terrorism–Arbitrary Killings, Rape, Torture, and Destruction of Property by Graham Peebles

Warning

This article may contain language depicting the reality and horror of war/violence and should only be read by a mature audience.

by Graham Peebles
Writer, Dandelion Salad
London
June 6, 2013

Meles Zenawi is committing genocide in Somali region - Ogadenia

Image by macalin via Flickr

The Ethiopian military and paramilitary forces, operating in the Ogaden region of Ethiopia, are, it is alleged, carrying out extra judicial killings and gang rapes; falsely arresting and torturing innocent civilians; looting and destroying villages and crops in a systematic attempt to terrify the people. This is the consistent message coming out of the region and from those who have fled persecution and are now in the world’s largest refugee camp, in Dadaab, Kenya. Continue reading

The Struggle For Justice In Manipur by Graham Peebles

by Graham Peebles
Writer, Dandelion Salad
London
May 3, 2013

The primary colours of any civil democracy are we would agree, social justice, freedom of expression, freedom to protest and participation. India, with a population of 1.3 billion people is regularly hailed as the largest democracy in the world. At first glance the governments pretentions to democracy would appear to be justified, after all there is, on paper at least, an independent judiciary, a free press – freely owned from top to toe by corporations – a thriving civil society and, of course, the cornerstone of any democratic state: the haloed parliamentary elections, totally funded and (therefore) fully owned, top to toe, by the same corporations that count the national and regional newspapers, radio and television networks as their own, as well as growing portfolios of natural assets; rivers, forests, water supplies, mountains (full of bauxite), and other mineral resources.

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Under Darkness in the Somali Region of Ethiopia by Graham Peebles

Warning

This article may contain language depicting the reality and horror of war/violence and should only be read by a mature audience.

Ladies with sheep

Image by CharlesFred via Flickr

by Graham Peebles
Writer, Dandelion Salad
London
April 18, 2013

State criminality

No matter how tightly truth is tied down, confined and suffocated, she slowly escapes. Seeping out through cracks and openings large and small, illuminating all, revealing the grime and shame, that cowers in the shadows.

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Corporate India–Violence in the Name of Development by Graham Peebles

by Graham Peebles
Writer, Dandelion Salad
London
April 4, 2013

Jharkhand's Resourse Curse.

Image by lecercle via Flickr

Consistent with the unjust, decaying economic model of our deficit times, the commodification of everything and everyone proceeds apace in India. The commercialisation of the land is shattering the lives of millions of India’s poorest, hungriest most malnourished people, who are being murdered and raped, violently displaced and falsely arrested as huge multi-nationals, financially favoured and militarily armed by the Indian government, ravage the land.

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