It’s fascinating how “interests” interfere with survival. We prepare for — and, of course, wage — war with an overwhelming percentage of our resources (to the benefit of the profiteers), but we plead poverty when it comes to helping people or, you know, saving the planet.
Farm workers in various regions of Peru – such as Ica, Viru La Libertad and Piurahad – went on a strike in the first week of December 2020, blocking the strategic Pan-American motorway to demand wage increases, basic social security benefits and the repeal of the decades-old Agrarian Promotion Law, enacted in 2000, as a mechanism to bolster the bourgeoisie’s power in the agro-export sector. The law benefits agro-export corporations in two ways. Firstly, it cuts the corporate tax rate by 30 to 15%, making the government lose out on more than $1 million in tax revenue. Agrokasa, Beta and Miranda are some of the companies benefitting from such hefty income tax cuts.
“The idea of a self-adjusting market implies a stark Utopia. Such an institution can not exist for any length of time without annihilating the human and natural substance of society; it will physically destroy man and transform his surroundings into a wilderness.” — Karl Polanyi, The Great Transformation: The Political and Economic Origins of Our Time.
Few corporations in the world are as loathed—and as sinister—as Monsanto. But the threat it poses to people and planet could be reaching new heights, as the World Health Organization has recently upgraded Monsanto’s main product as carcinogenic to humans. With protests against the agrochemical giant held in over 40 countries in May, learn why the global movement against Monsanto is of critical importance to our future. In this episode of The Empire Files, Abby Martin issues a scathing expose on the corporate polluter, chronicling it’s rise to power, the collusion of its crimes by the US government, and highlighting the serious danger it puts us in today.
In this episode of Days of Revolt, host Chris Hedges sits down with two residents of agribusiness capital Salinas, California: civil rights attorney Anthony Prince and radical councilman José Castañeda. Together, the two have been fighting against the corporatization of Salinas’ political system, and its impact on agricultural workers and other residents. Hedges and his guests discuss the city’s growing homeless population, and the ways in which Prince and Castañeda have been able to make a difference.
Next year, the federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) will celebrate its 50th anniversary as one of the finest laws our Congress has ever passed. It is a vital investigative tool for exposing government and corporate wrongdoing.
“Agriculture is the oldest environmental problem,” the Land Institute’s Wes Jackson tells us early in this 27-minute video. Through interviews with 11 scientists, researchers and environmental experts, this short documentary considers that fate of agriculture and the environment in the age of agri-business and climate change. Continue reading →
The Watertrough Children’s Alliance (WCA)–mainly mothers with students at schools near where yet another apple orchard is being converted into a chemical vineyard–filed a lawsuit on the afternoon of Nov. 25 against the Paul Hobbs Winery. The next day Hobbs struck back with a press release, promising he “will aggressively fight.”
The great reporter Edward R. Murrow titled his 1960 CBS documentary Harvest of Shame on the merciless exploitation of the migrant farmworkers by the large growers and their local government allies. Over fifty years later, it is still the harvest of shame for nearly two million migrant farmworkers who follow the seasons and the crops to harvest our fruits and vegetables.
Do not be deceived by the thin perimeter of a few live apple trees remaining next to Apple Blossom School and the five nearby schools on Watertrough Road with 700 students in the Sebastopol countryside in Sonoma County, Northern California. A glorious, historic 47-acre orchard that nurtured people, wildlife, and the environment thrived there for many decades. Then chain-sawed trees languished on their sides with dying green apples, which will never ripen to red, cut down on June 14. Witnessing this slaughter was enough to make a grown man weep.