It is not unusual for critics of United States foreign policy, whether or not they feel free to use the term “imperialism,” to express regret that a previously rational system has soured. Such sentiments are routine for liberals and hardly unknown among social democrats.
“We must answer their call. Our Mother Earth, militarized, fenced-in, poisoned, a place where basic rights are systematically violated, demands that we take action. Let us build societies that are able to coexist in a dignified way, in a way that protects life. Let us come together and remain hopeful as we defend and care for the blood of the Earth and of its spirits.” – Berta Caceres, Indigenous rights and environmental activist of the Lenca people, murdered in Honduras in 2016
It’s that time of the year again. In case you missed reading this, here it is again.
An excerpt from A People’s History of the United States.
Arawak men and women, naked, tawny, and full of wonder, emerged from their villages onto the island’s beaches and swam out to get a closer look at the strange big boat. When Columbus and his sailors came ashore, carrying swords, speaking oddly, the Arawaks ran to greet them, brought them food, water, gifts. He later wrote of this in his log:
with Chris Hedges
RT America on Sep 5, 2020
On the show this week, Chris Hedges talks to Steven Donziger about the reach of corporate power. Donziger battled corporate oil giant, Chevron, over environmental pollution and destruction in Ecuador and won a settlement of $9.5 billion for indigenous communities. Since then Chevron has waged a campaign against Donziger to try and destroy him economically, professionally and personally. He is on trial in federal court in New York on September 9 for contempt charges, which could send him to jail for six months.
In Mexico, the intensity of the Covid-19 pandemic is increasing. With more than 568,600 cases and 61,450 deaths (third largest number of Covid-19 deaths), the country is staggering under the Coronavirus pandemic. While the entire country is experiencing the impact, indigenous communities represent the hardest hit demographic. Data from Coneval, the national government’s social development agency, has shown that the Covid-19 fatality rate in Mexico’s poorest 427 municipalities is 14.1. On the other hand, the fatality rate in the country’s 54 wealthiest municipalities is 8.1, “meaning that people who live in impoverished parts of the country are almost twice as likely to die if they become sick with Covid-19 than those who live in affluent areas.”
On 1 August, 2020, a group of civilians, in complicity with the Chilean national police force or the carabineros and right-wing hoodlums, violently attacked Mapuche community members who were on a hunger strike in front of the Municipality of Victoria, in Araucania. The attack was strategic, organized and preplanned with the occupied town halls of Ercilla and Traiguén also being attacked, Mapuche women and children being beaten and vehicles being set on fire.
Amid the current Covid-19 pandemic, the Garifuna community of Honduras is experiencing state-sponsored violence and regulated repression. On July 18, 2020, heavily armed personnel of the Police Investigation Department (DPI) barged into the house of Alberth Sneider Centeno, Garifuna president of the land community of El Triunfo de la Cruz, and abducted him. Later, the same armed group kidnapped Suami Aparicio Mejía García, Gerardo Mizael Rochez Cálix and Milton Joel Martínez Álvarez, members of the OFRANEH (Black Fraternal Organization of Honduras), and a fifth person, Junior Rafael Juárez Mejía. The General Confederation of Labor (CGT) has issued a statement saying “that the kidnapping of these people is motivated by the activity of the Garifuna people in defense of their ancestral lands and the rights of Afro-indigenous and indigenous people in these territories.”
with Chris Hedges
RT America on Jul 25, 2020
On the show this week, Chris Hedges talks to comics journalist Joe Sacco about his new book, Paying the Land. In the book, Sacco travels to the frozen Canadian Northwest Territories to reveal the Dene people in conflict over the costs and benefits of the resource extraction industry and development.
At Cerrejon (Colombia), the largest open-pit coal mine in Latin America owned equally by BHP (Australia), Anglo American PLC (United Kingdom) and Glencore (Switzerland), the situation of the indigenous people is progressively worsening. Cerrejon Limited has informed the workers that “all the existing shifts will be unified into a single 7-day work, for three days off.” With the enforcement of the new shifts, “workers would go from working 15 to 21 days and the mine would go from 4 to 3 shifts, leaving at least 25% of the current workforce unemployed.” The new shift pattern is likely to aggravate the health of workers as long working hours increase the number of work-related pathologies. Current work shift arrangements have already led to more than “700 pathologies associated with musculoskeletal, respiratory, cardiovascular and ear diseases, among others.” As the level of work becomes more stressful, these occupational diseases will start multiplying.
Since the beginning of colonialism, there’s existed a category of middle class people who’ve shared certain economic and social interests with the capitalist class. These interests consist of the wealth, security, and opportunities that one receives while benefiting from imperialism. And since these benefits are shared both by the property-owning class, much of the working class, and even some of the poor within the core imperialist countries, the rich have been able to keep most of the people in these countries opposed to socialist revolution.
Indigenous people in Canada are giving the world a demonstration of the power of nonviolent action. The justness of their cause — defending the land from those who would destroy it for short term profit and the elimination of a habitable climate on earth — combined with their courage and the absence on their part of cruelty or hatred, has the potential to create a much larger movement, which is of course the key to success.
The power structure that now dominates the globe is a logical extension of the project for colonizing Africa, Oceania, and the Americas that the European imperialist powers began over five centuries ago. From the start of this project, it’s been a constant rule for those in the colonizing powers that one’s society is at war with a weaker enemy. The indigenous people, who have been portrayed as not capable of running things, have had to be brought under the colonial boot according to the ideology of imperial conquest. And in accordance with the global rise of capitalism that colonialism precipitated, the same dynamic of subjugation has existed between the poor and the rich.
with Chris Hedges
RT America on Nov 23, 2019
Chris Hedges talks to author Amitav Ghosh about the natural world and sacred forces that sustain life and the conflict when treated by the human species as an inert commodity to exploit. In his novel Gun Island, Ghosh explores how these ecosystems have turned with a vengeance on the hubris and collective lunacy of modern industrialized society.
UnistotenCamp on Nov 1, 2019
In this era of “reconciliation”, Indigenous land is still being taken at gunpoint. INVASION is a new film about the Unist’ot’en Camp, Gidimt’en checkpoint and the larger Wet’suwet’en Nation standing up to the Canadian government and corporations who continue colonial violence against Indigenous people.