We journeyed through the dirt tracks in the middle of the savanna—the vibrant crimson of the Maasai shukas making cardinal dots in the arid landscape. Zebras grazed in polyphony with cows, and the occasional giraffe paced gracefully, stretching its freckled neck towards the sky. Wildebeest and gazelles stampeded through the lands, a cloud of dust trailing behind them. From the Serengeti to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, the landscapes of northern Tanzania are mesmerizing. The Ngorongoro Crater, often referred to as the “eighth wonder of the world,” is a natural marvel—a massive volcanic caldera teeming with wildlife amidst many shades of lush golden hues.
The core pillars of Ley 70 pivot around Blackness, collectivity, and protection — embodying the spirit of Afro-Colombian identity and resilience. The law centralizes Blackness, recognizing and celebrating the Afro-Colombian community’s cultural heritage, contributions, and place in the nation’s socio-political fabric. It fosters a sense of collectivity, advocating for collective land rights and the community’s right to govern these territories according to their ancestral wisdom and practices. Moreover, it underpins a strong protection mechanism, safeguarding Afro-Colombian communities from displacement, violence, and exploitation.
Protesters blocking the Brady Road landfill south of Winnipeg say their resolve is even stronger after a man shovelled a truckload of soil and debris onto an MMIWG mural near the blockade Sunday. The blockade went up last week after the province refused to fund a search of Prairie Green landfill north of Winnipeg for the remains of two Indigenous women. The city ordered those blocking the roadway to vacate by noon Monday. "Screw it. Who cares what they have to say? Who cares what they want? I'm not going to take no for an answer anymore," said Cambria Harris, whose mother's remains are believed to be at another landfill outside the city.
The idea that the Ganges River in India or the Amazon Basin in Brazil should have "legal personhood" – and thus be able to defend its interests in court – was considered zany only ten or fifteen years ago, at least in Europe and North America. Now this once-fringe legal concept is going mainstream. Legislatures or courts in twelve countries have recognized the "rights of nature" at the state, local, and/or national levels in a dozen nations. In the United States alone, some three dozen communities –from Pittsburgh and Toledo to Orange County, Florida (population 1.5 million people) – have enacted such laws, often with overwhelming public support.
Thirty years ago, in my economics textbook in India, the section on international trade referred to Argentina. It would be better, according to the textbook, for Argentina to concentrate on the production and export of beef, while Germany should direct its resources towards the production of electronics. This example was used to illustrate Adam Smith’s ‘absolute advantage’ principle – countries should focus on what they do ‘best’, rather than diversify their economies. It seemed churlish to me, that developing countries such as Argentina should only produce raw materials, while wealthy countries such as Germany went ahead with technological development.
Devon, England - A ghostly rider on a skeletal horse is said to roam the windswept moors of southwestern England. According to legend, “Old Crockern” guards the sprawling expanse of Dartmoor from those who would try to close it off from commoners. In January, more than 3,000 locals invoked Old Crockern’s spirit in one of the United Kingdom’s largest-ever countryside access protests. To beating drums and cheers, they hoisted a massive puppet of the ghostly rider as they marched across the estate of a wealthy landowner, protesting a court decision that would further shrink access to England’s already endangered commons.
“For the first time there is a president, that instead of trying to take the land away from peasants to keep it or give it to his friends, he is trying to give the land back. And now some former colonel says that this deserves a coup d’état… these coups are resisted and overcome through the mobilization of citizens,” declared Colombian President Gustavo Petro during an event in Sucre, in which land was turned over to dispossessed peasants. Petro was referring to the incendiary statements made on Thursday, May 11 by retired Army Colonel John Marulanda during a debate on La W radio. Marulanda said that the mobilization of retired members of the military is a sign that Colombia is “following the steps of Peru” wherein “the reserve forces were successfully able to defenestrate a corrupt president.”
In front of a mural that reads “Only the people save the people,” Marisel Robles Gutiérrez stood before a group of elderly adults, to make an announcement: the non-profit organization Comedores Sociales had gained ownership of the abandoned property that they occupied in 2017 by negotiating with a real estate investment company. With a slightly cracked voice and smiling, she said: “We rescued this building… we gave it life, and thanks to all these years, to all the people who have participated,” —she interrupted and placed her hands to her chest— “finally, we can announce today that it is ours.”
I discovered the campesino world in the years 1970-71, while in charge of the Tropical Biology Station of the UNAM [National Autonomous University of Mexico], in Los Tuxtlas, Veracruz. At the age of 25, I organized two field courses in the surrounding ejidos. It was an act of academic transgression in which we analyzed the role played by campesino communities engaged with their jungle environment. Our first course was about traditional knowledge of jungle plants and animals. That experience was the ignition point for the development, decades later, of the new fields of rural metabolism and ethnoecology, now recognized worldwide.
In the past year alone, the movement led by Native communities to reclaim lands and spaces — sometimes called the “Land Back” movement — saw huge gains in mainstream momentum. Some of that has come from rallies, like those led by Indigneous activists fighting to close Mount Rushmore. Other conversations about Native lands have been sparked by major court decisions, like the Supreme Court's landmark decision in the McGirt case in which it ruled that a large portion of Oklahoma is still Native land. And with U.S. Rep. Deb Haaland now the country’s first Native secretary of the interior, many Land Back advocates are finding renewed hope in their aspirations. But make no mistake: The concept of Indigenous reclamation — land and otherwise — isn’t new. The movement encapsulates everything from protecting treaty rights to reviving cultural practices that have been historically threatened to securing farmland, all of which Native nations have fought to protect since settlers first arrived.
João Pedro Stedile of the national leadership of the Landless Workers Movement (MST) talks about the current crisis in the agrarian sector and the way forward. He explains how the presidency of Jair Bolsonaro has wrecked agriculture, leading to a rise in hunger. He also talks about the MST’s proposals for reviving the sector which include both immediate steps to alleviate hunger and structural solutions to long-term problems. These include the key role cooperatives must play in the country.
Black faces in high places are dangerous because the masses get caught up in symbolism and style over substance. They become confused and fall for perceived power over real power. An example would be Plantation Manager Joe Biden. He has appointed close to two dozen African Americans (mostly women with European husbands and wives) to his cabinet and senior advisors—more than any other President (including the one he served under), and there has been no significant changes in the conditions we live under. Yet, because there is a Black Woman Vice President, a Black Woman Supreme Court Justice and Black Woman Press Secretary, many Black people, including activists, somehow equate that to “Black Girl Magic”.
Imagine one day City Hall seized your home’s front and back yards, along with your driveway, front walk and back porch. Yes, you’d still have a house where you could eat, sleep and reside. But you’d no longer have your full home and what was rightly yours. Now, imagine you were given the opportunity for that land to be returned to you. All you’d have to do is promise to never change a thing. You could maybe do something benign – pruning the trees or mowing the grass – but you could not build a shed, start a garden, or add a swing set for your children. Would you take the deal? This, in essence, is the deal Indian Country is commonly offered when land conservation organizations offer to return anywhere from 10 to 10,000 acres of land to Native American tribes. Land that was wrongly taken from tribes more than 100 years ago is often only returned if the tribes agree to adhere to someone else’s interpretation of what’s best.
It’s another example of the small-scale farming movement holding the advantage over global mainstream agriculture. Market gardens and community farms are small enough to look inwards, responsive enough to look outwards, and nimble enough to pivot and reflect back what they see. The first stage is the reckoning. A growing public debate around inequality and inclusion in the UK is driving a lot of discourse and the first breath of real change. Industrial agriculture and the traditional institutions of rural Britain often appear willing to ignore their own unjust foundations and oppressive dynamics. Whereas the arguably white, middle-class domain of the sustainable food movement seems increasingly unafraid to ruffle its own feathers.
Dario Azzellini tells Theresa Alt about Venezuelan cooperatives. The Chavez government supported the formation of cooperatives. Many formed; few really succeeded in operating cooperatively. Liberation theology also had been encouraging cooperatives. Other cooperatives arose when entrepreneurs and landowners left Venezuela and the workers took over. Later initiating cooperatives was given to the local-government communes. Local communes have played a more constructive role than central government. Recorded June 8, 2022.