A palm oil supplier to Mars, Nestlé, PepsiCo and Unilever is destroying rainforests in Papua, Indonesia, a new investigation by Greenpeace International has revealed. Satellite analysis suggests that around 4,000 hectare of rainforest were cleared in PT Megakarya Jaya Raya concession between May 2015 and April 2017—an area almost half the size of Paris. Photos and video (below) taken in March and April 2018 show massive deforestation in PT MJR, a palm oil concession controlled by the Hayel Saeed Anam Group (HSA), including in an area zoned for protection by the Indonesian government in response to the devastating forest fires in 2015. Development is prohibited in these areas. The footage is being released soon after Greenpeace revealed that these leading global brands are falling behind in their publicized commitments to eliminate deforestation from their supply chains by 2020.
“The Cross and the Lynching Tree are separated by nearly two thousand years,” James Cone writes in his new book, “The Cross and the Lynching Tree.” “One is the universal symbol of the Christian faith; the other is the quintessential symbol of black oppression in America. Though both are symbols of death, one represents a message of hope and salvation, while the other signifies the negation of that message by white supremacy. Despite the obvious similarities between Jesus’ death on the cross and the death of thousands of black men and women strung up to die on a lamppost or tree, relatively few people, apart from the black poets, novelists, and other reality-seeing artists, have explored the symbolic connections. Yet, I believe this is the challenge we must face.
You can find Red by the campfire smoke and bright yellow crime-scene tape. Red is a 61-year-old Virginia mountain woman who since April 2 has been living in a tree inside the white-and-blue-taped corridor marked out for the interstate Mountain Valley Pipeline. She and her 30-year-old daughter Minor, who is stationed in another tree not far away, are defending their land against what they see as a looming environmental catastrophe. To get to Red’s tree sit, you’ve got to cross wooden boards that cross Bottom Creek numerous times. Water flows all around you, supporting wetland vegetation like skunk cabbage across the property, where the Terry family has lived for seven generations. A judge ruled on Jan. 31, however, that the company may use eminent domain to take land along the pipeline’s 303-mile route from northern West Virginia to southern Virginia.
Let me address three issues. First I'm going to encapsulate the nature of the problem we face and why I believe each of us can contribute to its solution. Second I am going to talk about the kinds of institutions and enterprises already existing in our society which I believe we need to support, and create more of, as working models of a democratic or solidarity economy. Finally, I will tell you how I choose to participate in what I call the cashless revolution in hopes that others of you might decide to join this effort in your own way. The most recent assault on our economy and democracy began in 1972 with something popularly referred to as the Powell memo. Memo? And I have a question mark here, as this 34 page document was written by Louis F. Powell who was later to be named a Supreme Court Justice. His memo was made public sometime after he was confirmed to the court.
A bill that would put in place several different regulations on industrial agricultural restricted pesticide use has passed it’s biggest hurdle on the way to becoming a groundbreaking law. Earlier today, the bill passed through conference committee with unanimous support from both house and senate conferees, including Maui Senator Roz Baker, who has been a staunch industry ally in the past, leveraging her power to kill previous years’ iterations. But activists organized a strong campaign this session that involved flying in sister island constituents, who are the most likely to be affected by industrial agricultural pesticide use, to testify; coordinating media and messaging between multiple entities; and a strengthened public awareness campaign that was able to create critical mass among the thousands of supporters of these restrictions statewide who phoned in with...
Doha, Qatar - Eight years after the so-called Arab Spring, the region is facing the prospect of another phase of revolts due to pressing financial, urbanisation and unemployment challenges, experts have argued. Several Arab leaders were deposed in the aftermath of the popular 2010 and 2011 uprisings, while others' grip on power was loosened. Speaking during the 12th Al Jazeera Forum, held this weekend in Qatar's capital, Doha, a number of regional experts said it is "inevitable" that change will come to a region with one of the world's highest percentages of youth. "Massive uncontrolled urbanisation, pressure on the job markets are among other socioeconomic factors the leading causes behind greater expectations of the youth in the Arab societies," said Mohamed Mahjoub Haroon, professor of social science at the University of Khartoum, in Sudan.
Israel is carrying out a murderous assault against protesting Palestinians, with its armed forces killing and maiming demonstrators who pose no imminent threat to them, Amnesty International revealed today, based on its latest research, as the “Great March of Return” protests continued in the Gaza Strip. The Israeli military has killed 35 Palestinians and injured more than 5,500 others – some with what appear to be deliberately inflicted life-changing injuries – during the weekly Friday protests that began on 30 March. Amnesty International has renewed its call on governments worldwide to impose a comprehensive arms embargo on Israel following the country’s disproportionate response to mass demonstrations along the fence that separates the Gaza Strip from Israel. “For four weeks the world has watched in horror as Israeli snipers and other soldiers, in full-protective gear and behind the fence, have attacked Palestinian protesters with live ammunition and tear gas.
Once again, the Israeli military has turned its guns on Gaza — this time on unarmed protestors, in a series of shootings over the last few weeks. Gaza’s already under-resourced hospitals are straining to care for the thousands of protesters who have been injured, on top of 40 killed. According to a group of United Nations experts, “there is no available evidence to suggest that the lives of heavily armed security forces were threatened” by the unarmed demonstrators they fired on. The violence is getting some coverage in the news. But the conditions in Gaza that have pushed so many to protest remain largely invisible. So do their actual demands. The Great Return March was organized by grassroots groups in Gaza as a peaceful action with three key demands: respect for refugees’ right to return to their homes, an end to the Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands, and an end to the Israeli blockade of Gaza.
Many of us never learned in school that May Day, the most widely celebrated holiday in the world, was born in the USA. On May 1, 1886, Americans across the land left their jobs to go on strike for the eight-hour day. At the centre of this upsurge were the workers of Chicago who fought and died for that eight-hour day. The leaders and some who were not leaders were rounded up and put to death. It was too late for the capitalist bosses, however, because news of the heroic uprising of the workers spread like wildfire around the world and May Day, all over this planet, became the day for the working class to both stand up to those who exploit it and to celebrate what has become a parade of working class victories. Since its birth, there have been many attempts to make us forget the meaning of May Day.
In his testimony, Mattis maintained that the US was not stepping in to take sides in the ongoing Syrian civil war. “No military solution is possible in the Syrian civil war,” Mattis said. “We continue to support a diplomatic solution as part of the UN-led peace process.” President Donald Trump had previously stated that US forces would withdraw from Syria once Islamic State (ISIS) was defeated, but has not yet provided any kind of timeline for when that might be. Trump wants to leave a “strong and lasting footprint” in the region. Before running for office, Trump had repeatedly warned his predecessor, Barack Obama, against intervention in Syria. Intervention, he warned, would be costly and had “no upside and tremendous downside.”
In this episode of the It’s Going Down podcast, we spoke with several people involved at the Three Sisters encampment in Virginia fighting the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, the tree-sit at the Little Teel Crossing in Virginia fighting the Mountain Valley Pipeline, and someone that has been an on the ground supporter of the various encampments and tree-sits in both Virginia and West Virginia. Wanting to know more about how the movement has grown to feature now up to 7 people in the trees, including various home and landowners that are threatened with eminent domain, we discuss how various relationships were made and certain tactics popularized. In our discussions, we talk about everything from ongoing police repression, to how people go to the bathroom while up in a tree, but also political education, and also not putting radical politics, messaging, and ideas on the back burner.
The time is right to revive the concept of “universal jurisdiction” — the idea that a person, whatever their nationality, can be called to account before the court of any civilized country for grave international crimes In hindsight, it is almost too extraordinary: the leader of a Western-friendly government responsible for the deaths of thousands, and the torture of tens of thousands, arrested and brought to account for his crimes before a court and a judge. But this is exactly what happened in 1998, when Judge Baltasar Garzon, a Spanish magistrate, issued an arrest warrant for the former dictator of Chile, Augusto Pinochet, while Pinochet was in the United Kingdom seeking medical treatment. What happened next was a series of hearings that became known as The Pinochet Case, and which ended with a stunning victory for human rights
Over 800,000 students in both traditional public schools and charter schools and are expected to be impacted by the walkout, as their schools will likely be closed until an agreement over pay and classroom funding is reached between teachers and Arizona’s governor and legislators. So far, Republican Gov. Doug Ducey has proposed a 20 percent raise, to be gradually phased in by 2020. Strike organizers, though, including the grassroots group Arizona Educators United, say that the 20 percent pay raise meets only one of their five demands, and effectively cuts non-licensed school staff out of the deal because only teachers’ salaries would see an increase. The teachers’ demands are available online and include a pledge that taxes not be cut in Arizona until “per-pupil spending reaches the national average.”
The response from the US, UK and France to a briefing on Thursday at the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in the Hague was perverse, to say the least. Russia had brought 17 witnesses from Douma who stated that there had been no chemical weapons attack there earlier this month – the pretext for an illegal air strike on Syria by the three western states. The witnesses, a mix of victims and the doctors who treated them, told accounts that confirmed a report provided last week from Douma by British reporter Robert Fisk – a report, it should be noted, that has been almost entirely blanked by the western media. According to the testimony provided at the OPCW, the victims shown in a video from the site of the alleged attack were actually suffering from the effects of inhaling dust after a bombing raid, not gas. The US, UK and France boycotted the meeting.