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.
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.
In Chile, the Covid-19 pandemic is raging with an unprecedented speed. There are more than 300,000 confirmed cases with one of the highest per capita infection rates of 13,000 cases for every 1 million people. The economy is severely experiencing the repercussions of Coronavirus-caused restrictions and the historically high national unemployment rate of 11.2% is an indicator of such damage. Chileans have took to the street to protest against the malfunctioning right-wing government of the billionaire president Sebastian Pinera and the police force has responded aggressively by shooting dead a young agitator.
“Here’s a proposal that could end starvation around the globe. Never again need a human being lack the food to live. Never again need a single child or adult suffer the horrors of starvation. Hunger as a danger to anyone can be made a thing of the past. All that is required, apart from basic skills in distributing resources, is 3 percent of the military budget of the United States, or 1.5 percent of all the military budgets in the world.” — World BEYOND War
Updated: Feb. 28, 2020
When you compare socialist countries like China, Cuba, Vietnam, and the DPRK with neoliberal countries like the United States and Britain, a particular factor stands out in how their developments have differed: the socialist countries have vastly more social cohesion than their counterparts do. By this, I mean they have a lack of serious political polarization and a relatively small amount of ethnic or class divides. In these countries, most people think favorably of the governing parties, racial and religious violence aren’t sanctioned by the state, and strong social safety nets and firm checks on private business keep inequality from becoming too pronounced. These places aren’t perfect, but they lack the deep rottenness that pervades neoliberal societies.
with Chris Hedges
RT America on Feb 1, 2020
On the show this week, Chris Hedges talks to author Seth Siegel about his new book: Troubled Water: What’s Wrong with What We Drink. Siegel explains how our drinking water got contaminated, what the US government does and doesn’t regulate, what the contaminants could be doing to us, and what we can do to make our drinking water safe.
Dark Waters is the most important American film in a decade, although it squanders an opportunity to fully portray PFAS* contamination as the nationwide human health epidemic it has become. The film leaves out half of the story and that involves the military’s role.
*per- and poly fluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS) include PFOA, PFOS and 5,000 other harmful chemicals used in a variety of military and industrial applications.
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.
with Chris Hedges
RT America on Mar 30, 2019
This week Monsanto/Bayer AG was ordered by a California federal court to pay $80 million to Edwin Hardeman after a jury found its weed killer, Roundup, caused his cancer. The case is just one of thousands of lawsuits filed against the company over plaintiff’s use of the glyphosate-based herbicide.
The apparent assassination of a highly regarded public figure has rocked Ethiopia to its core. Simegnew Bekele, the architect overseeing a prestigious hydroelectric project in Ethiopia, was shot dead last week in the capital Addis Ababa by an unknown attacker. Many people in the Horn of Africa country are now suspecting a foreign hand behind his brutal slaying.
“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.
Pollution has become an everyday affair; a murderous way of life which, according to a report published in The Lancet, is responsible for the deaths of at least nine million people every year. The air we breathe is poisoned, the streams, rivers, lakes and oceans are filthy, — some more, some less — the land littered with waste, the soil toxic. Neglect, complacency and exploitation characterize the attitude of governments, corporations and far too many individuals towards the life of the planet, and its rich interwoven ecological systems.