Tag Archive | environment

Two Thousand People March against Monsanto and Syngenta in Switzerland*

Two Thousand People March against Monsanto and Syngenta in Switzerland*

Peaceful demonstration in Basel calls for paradigm change in agriculture

 

In Basel, Switzerland, the home town of the chemicals giant Syngenta, the third March Against Monsanto and Syngenta was held on Saturday 20 May 2017. Two thousand people turned out to demonstrate against toxic pesticides, GMOs, and patents on seeds. They demanded an ecological and diverse agriculture which serves food security instead of profit.

The demonstration ended at the Syngenta headquarters and was accompanied by street artists, musicians, and children dressed as bees.

In front of the Syngenta headquarters, Fern Rosenstiel, an environmental scientist from Kauai, Hawaii, spoke about the use of highly toxic pesticides – pesticides that are banned in Switzerland – on Syngenta test fields in Hawaii. She said: “Syngenta must finally take responsibility for the health problems in Hawaii.”

Syngenta is currently caught up in legal battles over its farming of GM crops in Hawaii and is planning to sell its operations in the state.

This year the main focus of the protest was the increasing market power in the agrochemical industry. In addition to the planned acquisition of Syngenta by ChemChina and the merger of Dow and Dupont, Bayer plans to take over Monsanto. Altogether, the three companies would control over 60% of the commercial seed and pesticide market.

“Syngenta is now Chinese but that does not mean that our resistance against the business practice of Syngenta stops now,” said Ueli Gähler from Multiwatch.

“Today, we protest in solidarity with smallholders in China and the rest of the world.”

The march against Monsanto and Syngenta in Basel was supported by more than 50 organisations from Switzerland and Germany, including Basel unions, the Green Party, and environmental, agricultural and development organisations such as Greenpeace, Uniterre and SWISSAID.*

Zoë Roth from the event’s organising committee drew a positive conclusion:

“The high turnout at the March against Monsanto and Syngenta in Basel confirms the desire for ecological farming.”

* The complete list of supporting organisations and more information are available at: www.marchagainstsyngenta.ch

Source*

Related Topics:

The GMO Agenda is Planned Sterilization of Humanity*

For Reducing Male Fertility New Protection Bill for Monsanto*

GM Foods and Fertility

GMOs Are Mutating Microorganisms and Spawning Deadly New Life Forms‏

World Bank Aims to Hand over Seed Industry to Agribusiness*

Iraq’s Agricultural Industry was Pillaged, Its Farmers Devastated, But It’s Still Free of GMO Seeds*

Canada’s New Food Labels won’t Include GMO Info.*

Largest-Ever GMO Crops Study Shows Massive Environmental Damage in U.S.*

White House Resorts to Blackmail Over GMOs in NWOs TTIP Trade Negotiations*

Embedding Transnational Agribusiness and GMO’s into African Agriculture*

Mexican Supreme Court Refuses to Review Monsanto Appeal on GMO Maize Permits*

Monsanto + Syngenta Lobby Tanzanian Government to Pass Law Jailing Farmers who Exchange their Traditional Seeds*

U.K. Gov’t Has Colluded with Monsanto by Treating Wales as a Monsanto Toxic Dump*

Monsanto Was Put on Trial for Ecocide at the Hague*

Flint City Council Votes for Moratorium on Property Liens for Unpaid Water Bills*

Flint City Council Votes for Moratorium on Property Liens for Unpaid Water Bills*

Council president Kerry Nelson: “Enough is enough. I’ve made up my mind tonight to do what I need to do for the people who elected me.”

By Kenrya Rankin

A trash bag filled with empty water bottles and water filters outside of a house on March 17, 2016, in Flint, Michigan. Flint continues to work through the effects of water contamination. Photo: Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

 

Last month, Flint, Michigan, officials informed more than 8,000 households that if they do not pay outstanding water bills, a lien will be placed on their property, setting them on a path that could lead to foreclosure. But on Wednesday (May 17), Flint City Council passed a resolution that, if approved by Mayor Karen Weaver, will institute a yearlong moratorium on the policy of issuing liens.

Many residents stopped paying their water bills when it was revealed that the water being delivered to their homes via the tap contained dangerous levels of lead. The state subsidized the city’s water costs from April 2014 through February of this year, but stopped after announcing that the water’s lead levels were within federal guidelines.

Michigan Radio reports that council members were moved to act after receiving calls from constituents. “Enough is enough. I’ve made up my mind tonight to do what I need to do for the people who elected me,” council president Kerry Nelson said.

The resolution says that properties with delinquent balances going back to April 2014—when the city began drawing its water from the Flint River—will not have liens placed on them. Eight council members voted for it, and one abstained, citing unanswered legal questions.

“The ordinance can’t go back retroactively, and pull liens off of houses that have already been lost. That was the main reason,” council member Eric Mays told Michigan Radio.

Nelson said that both the city attorney and chief financial officer asked him not to pass the moratorium for the sake of the city’s finances.

“It’s time out for that,” Nelson said.

“The people of this city are suffering. They’re troubled, they’re at their wits’ end…. We’ve got to do what we can do. I’ve done what I can do.”

The American Civil Liberties Union and the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund also lobbied for the moratorium, prompting a May 16 statement from Weaver. From that statement:

I welcome the support and input of the ACLU of Michigan and the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund as this difficult and unfortunate situation has brought another dark cloud over the city and the progress being made to recover from the water crisis. The City of Flint is legally obligated to comply with some city and state statutes that are not suitable or appropriate when you consider the extenuating circumstances we are still facing.

Source*

Related Topics:

Flint Threatens to Kick 8,000 Families Out of Their Homes if They Don’t Pay for Poison Water*

Flint to get New Pipes after $87mn Settlement*

A Water Crisis Like Flint’s Is Unfolding In East Chicago*

City Threatens to Turn Off Flint Residents’ Water*

In Flint, Level of lead in Children’s Blood Leads to a State of Emergency*

The Alliance Managing Mexico’s Mayan Rainforest*

The Alliance Managing Mexico’s Mayan Rainforest*

By Periodismo de Barrio

Translated by Omar Ocampo

Ownership of land to communities and communal lands is recognized in Mexico (Photo taken from the official website of Alianza Selva Maya

 

On August 21, 2007, Hurricane Dean ripped through the Mexican city of Bacalar with winds approaching 300 kilometres (186 miles) per hour. According to a report published by Mexico’s Secretariat of the Interior and the National Center for Prevention of Disasters, the storm caused more than $210 million in damages.

The hurricane also hit the Mayan rainforest, pounding about 917,000 hectares (2.3 million acres) of medium-altitude rainforest and 270,000 hectares (667,000 acres) of low-altitude rainforest.

Just before the storm, the community of Noh Bec had almost finished with the first authorized cuts as part of a forest management program launched in 1999 by the government.

Following the hurricane, the Secretariat suspended its program and approved short-term permits. Noh Bec also lost its forestry certification from the “Smart Wood” organization, which allowed the community to export its lumber to the United States and Germany. Meanwhile, the rainforest was left in critical condition.

Three years later, Noh Bec was still suffering.

“Timber started to be sold at the prices they could managed to get, and [this made] prices fall a lot,” recalls Abraham González, the communal land’s forestry director.

“It was necessary to unite to standardize the prices for the wood.”

This is how the “Alianza Selva Maya” community began on July 15, 2011.

A local newspaper showing conformation of the Alianza Selva Maya. Photo: Official Alianza Selva Maya Blog.

 

Article 27 of the Mexican Constitution, passed in 1917, and ceded land ownership to poor farmers and indigenous communities through the creation of two fundamental forms of social property: communal land and communities.

The shareholders of communal lands manage the “civil property” on the land, but they cannot sell, rent, mortgage, or offer it as collateral in credit applications. The system avoids granting full land ownership rights, fearing that it would lead to the manipulation of poor farmers.

The government maintained centralized control of the rainforests until 1940, when concessions were granted to private companies for the exploitation of forest resources. By the late 1970s, the Mexican forestry sector landed in crisis after over-exploiting its forests. In 1986, the government ended its concessions to private companies, returning the forest resources to the communities and communal lands.

In 1997, Mexican officials devise a new strategy to promote forest management built on two new programs: the Forest Development Program and the Community Forestry Development Program.

An estimated 2,300 communal lands and communities in Mexico — of a total of 8,400 — are allowed to use wood from their forests and rainforests. Over the past 25 years, more than 80 percent of the country’s temperate and tropical forests have been managed by rural communities and indigenous populations, allowing them to decide on commercial timber production.

The Alianza Selva Maya has 113,000 hectares (280,000 acres) of jungle in areas known as Permanent Forest Areas and another 49,000 hectares (121,000 acres) under community conservation. Its five communal lands are Bacalar, Felipe Carrillo Puerto, Noh Bec, Petcacab y Polinkin, and Xhaxil y Anexos.

José Antonio Arreola, a forestry technical adviser, explains that “each communal land is managed independently, but they are part of Alianza,” because “in a single communal land, we cannot achieve better prices for our wood.”

Alfonso Argüelles, Mexico’s national representative to the Forest Stewardship Council, a nongovernmental accreditation organization based in Bonn, Germany, explained to Elaine Díaz the major challenges facing communities:

“There are two communal lands where the treasurers are women. Many work in eco-tourist areas. In the case of young people, we didn’t want them to go to the city because of the Internet, so we brought the Internet to the communal land. We didn’t want them to leave because of TV and so we brought cable TV. The community subsidizes it.

An owner can earn up to 4,000 Mexican pesos a month as a basic salary. If they are forestry technicians, it can reach up to 14,000. We have a policy of employment that favors the owners, then their children and relatives, then the members of the community, and finally, foreigners or people outside the village.”

Argüelles also talked about how the council deals with the shareholders of communal land who do not want to take over common resources:

“Opening space for entrepreneurs.  There are those who are satisfied with harvesting their wood and selling it, there are those who want to add an added value. The latter, for example, are allowed to create woodworking shops. If I allow you to have a woodworking shop, won’t you want to keep my wood, right?

Since its inception, Alianza has incorporated eco-tourism and carbon capture projects, and has developed techniques for adapting agriculture to climate change, as Argüelles explains:

“We are the main drivers of rural community conservation. That’s what we live from.”

Source*

Related Topics:

Indonesian Rainforests Returned to Indigenous Control*

One Man’s Quest to Save the Forests of Tanzania*

Rainforest Activists Win against One of Pepsi’s Closest Business Partners*

The Man Who Single-Handedly Planted a Tropical Forest Larger Than Central Park*

Brazil: Video Statement on Protecting Forests, Stopping Dams and Plantations

Rwanda Wins Award for Forest Reclamation

Philippines: Indigenous Forestry Recognized

Another Forest to Bite the Dust!?

300 Year Old Vietnamese Forest Food System

New Calls for Resistance across the Amazon*

Brazil’s Temer Defies Calls to Step Down over Wiretap Scandal*

Brazil’s Temer Defies Calls to Step Down over Wiretap Scandal*

The unelected president announced he will not resign in the face of the biggest scandal to hit his crisis-ridden government yet.

Brazilian President Michel Temer said Thursday he will not resign after an explosive wiretap revealed that he had endorsed bribes to a powerful witness in order to keep him from speaking out on government corruption.

In his brief address, Temer called for a thorough investigation into the case.

“I repeat: I will not resign,” he said, speaking in Brasilia.

“I know what I did and I know I was right. I demand an immediate investigation.”

Earlier on Thursday, the Federal Supreme Court approved an investigaiton into the president over the wiretap evidence, Brazil’s O Globo reported.

Temer’s comments came in response to a damning recording implicating him and other politicians in a corruption scheme that has served the heaviest blow to the scandal-plagued administration yet.

The tape, reported by O Globo Wednesday evening, revealed that Temer had given his blessing to hefty bribes in the name of keeping a key witness, Eduardo Cunha, quiet in the country’s largest-ever corruption investigations, known as Operation Car Wash. Cunha, the former speaker of the lower house, the chief mastermind behind the parliamentary coup against former President Dilma Rousseff and an ally of the unelected president, was sentenced to 15 years in jail in March for corruption, money laundering and tax evasion.

The president denied accusations that her authorized dirty money payments to Cunha.

Owners of the world’s largest meat processing company, JBS, recorded the tape at a March 7 meeting with Temer and other politicians as part of an attempt to secure a plea bargain deal with prosecutors. The Supreme Court approved the plea bargain for Joesley and his brother Wesley Batista on Thursday after the release of the content of the tape.

Ahead of Temer’s address just after 4:00 p.m. local time, four members of his cabinet — Minister of Defense Raul Jungmann, Minister of Culture Roberto Freire, Minister of Cities Bruno Araujo and Foreign Minister Aloysio Nunes — said they planned to step down if Temer did not resign, Brazil’s Estadao reported.

Temer’s administration has been embroiled in corruption scandals since being installed in power last year, but the Batista tape is perhaps the strongest blow to the stability of the unelected government yet, plunging the already highly unpopular executive deeper into crisis.

The news sparked calls for Temer’s impeachment, halted debate on controversial neoliberal reforms and raised serious questions about the ability of the government to survive until the 2018 presidential election.

Source*

Brazil’s Top Court Approves Investigation into President Temer After Damning Wiretap*

Brazil’s Temer talks with Senator Neves during a ceremony where he made his first public remarks after the vote to impeach President Rousseff. | Photo: Reuters

Conservative senator and ally of President Michel Temer, Aecio Neves, was caught on tape asking for hefty bribes.

Brazil’s top court approved Thursday an investigation into unelected President Michel Temer over a new explosive wiretap recording that revealed the president had signed off on sizeable bribes to manage the fallout of corruption scandals swirling around his administration and keep a powerful witness from speaking out on government corruption, Brazil’s Globo TV reported.

The decision came hours after the Federal Supreme Court suspended Senator Aecio Neves Thursday morning, a Temer ally who was also embroiled in the wiretap scandal for soliciting hefty bribes. Police carried out search warrants in apartments owned by Neves in Rio de Janeiro and Belo Horizonte, as well as his and other lawmakers’ congressional offices as part of the country’s largest-ever corruption probe, known as Operation Car Wash, investigating dozens of politicians and business elites involved in fraud schemes linked to the state-run oil company, Petrobras.

The court’s decisions came a day after one of Brazil’s largest newspapers, O Globo, released damning wiretap evidence that the senator had requested bribes to the tune of 2 million Brazilian reais, or about US$638,000 from Joesley Batista, an owner of the world’s largest meat processing company, JBS. Authorities arrested Thursday the senator’s sister Andrea Neves and cousin Frederico Pacheco de Madeiros, who reportedly received suitcases of dirty money from Batista on Neves’ behalf.

Neves had previously been named in the high-profile Operation Car Wash investigations together with Temer and a number of his top allies. In 2014, the senator lost the presidential runoff election to Rousseff and was a leading advocate of the ill-footed impeachment campaign against her, widely condemned as a coup.

The court also ordered the suspension of lower house lawmaker Rodrigo Rocha Loures, a member of Temer’s conservative PMDB party and former top aide to the president. The Batista wiretap also implicated Rocha for receiving bribes to sort out issues with a JBS holding, J&F.

The same tape revealed that Temer had also given his blessing to hefty bribes in the name of keeping a key witness, Eduardo Cunha, quiet in the corruption investigations. Cunha, the former speaker of the lower house, the chief mastermind behind the parliamentary coup dressed as an impeachment process against former President Dilma Rousseff and an ally of the unelected president, was sentenced to 15 years in jail in March for corruption, money laundering and tax evasion.

Many analysts expected Cunha — who despite wielding significant political power has been seen as one of the most unpopular politicians in the country — to bring down other corrupt politicians with him by negotiating a plea bargain to reduce his sentence in exchange for evidence to advance the Car Wash investigations. Following Cunha’s suspension as speaker of the lower house last year, Brasil de Fato columnist Tico Santa Cruz called the politician a potential “suicide bomber” who could make “heads roll” and the government “implode” if he testified in corruption cases.

Batista recorded the March 7 meeting with Temer and other politicians as part of an attempt to secure a plea bargain deal with prosecutors. O Globo reported the contents of the wiretap Wednesday night, without disclosing how the newspaper gained access to the recording. The Supreme Court approved the plea bargain for Joesley and his brother Wesley Batista on Thursday after the release of the content of the tape.

Temer denied Thursday the accusations that he endorsed paying off Cunha to keep him quiet in prison and dismissed calls for him to step down over the latest scandal rocking his government. The president also cleared his schedule for the rest of the day to manage the fallout from the wiretap release and was expected to make a public address on national TV within hours, according to his aides.

Temer’s administration has been embroiled in corruption scandals since being installed in power last year, but the Batista tape is perhaps the strongest blow to the stability of the unelected government yet, plunging the already highly unpopular executive deeper into crisis. The news sparked calls for Temer’s impeachment, halted debate on controversial neoliberal reforms and raised serious questions about the ability of the government to survive until the 2018 presidential election.

The president already faces the possibility of being unseated through a trial set to restart next month in the country’s top electoral court. The case probes alleged illegal campaign funding in Rousseff’s successful bid for re-election in 2014 with Temer as her running mate and could ultimately annul the election results, booting Temer from office early.

The case could take as long as one year, and Temer’s defense is expected to employ stall tactics to avoid the court reaching a decision before his term ends in 2018.

Source*

Related Topics:

Brazil’s Key Corruption Judge Who was Killed in a Plane Crash Demands Investigation and Protection from Temer*

Key Temer Aid Resigns as Scandal Closes in*

‘Out Temer!’ Brazil Social Movements Protest Undemocratic Govt*

Court Rules in Favour of Brazilians Protest Against Temer inside Olympic Venues*

Brazil’s Coup President Michel Temer to Lift Ban on Foreign Ownership of Land*

Brazil’s Coup Leader Temer Banned from Politics for 8 Years*

Brazil Revolts as Michel Temer Forces Austerity, U.S. Dirty Tricks Exposed*

Canadian Company to Construct Brazil’s Largest Open-Pit Gold Mine—in the Heart of the Amazon*

Brazil Coup Architect Eduardo Cunha Sentenced to 15 Years for Corruption*

Europe and U.S. Dodging Demands for Slavery Reparations*

Europe and U.S. Dodging Demands for Slavery Reparations*

European Slavery lasted over 400 years on estates in the Caribbean and The Americas. Now the descendants of African slaves are demanding not just apologies but also atonement for the greatest crime against humanity ever known to mankind

 

By Earl Bousquet

The recent furore in Grenada over whether slave history has a role in tourism promotion is an important development that fits smack in the middle of the ongoing Caribbean discussion on reparations from Europe for slavery and native genocide.

Today, over 180 years after abolition, descendants of African slaves in the Caribbean, North and South America are demanding reparations for slavery from Europe – and the United States.

In the Caribbean, the demands include apology and atonement for 400 years of both slavery and native genocide; in the USA it’s about compensation for African American descendants of slaves; and in South America, today’s descendants of Africans (who arrived both as shipwrecked mariners and slaves) are demanding their fair share of recognition, equality and atonement.

Africa and the Caribbean experienced the brunt of the brutal slave trade that saw Europeans sail to West Africa, kidnap millions of men and women and ship them like animal cargo to the newly colonized ‘West Indies’ captured through wars of extermination against the original native ‘Caribs’ and ‘Arawaks’.

While the focus of British and French slavery was mainly concentrated on the Antillean (Caribbean) islands and mainland territories (including Haiti) that they claimed to own, the Portuguese and Spanish concentrated on South American mainland territories such as Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Chile, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela, as well as the larger islands of Cuba and Puerto Rico.

In the case of the USA and South America (except in Brazil), African descendants form small minorities, unlike the 15 Caribbean Community (CARICOM) member-states, where they form an absolute majority, in each case.

CARICOM governments have thus easily and collectively agreed to a joint approach to the European Union (E.U.) member-states that benefited from slavery, inviting them to discuss reparations by way of acknowledgement and atonement.

The E.U. countries have so far resisted engaging the Caribbean in any discussions whatsoever on reparations, the likes of former British PM David Cameron saying during an official visit to Jamaica that traditional aid and assistance given by Britain since independence to the former colonies has sufficed.

But the response by the Britain, Denmark, France, The Netherlands, Portugal and Spain, thus far, (or lack thereof) is very much unlike when France demanded reparations after the first African slaves in the Caribbean – and the world — successfully revolted.

Haitian slaves, led by Toussaint L’Ouverture, rebelled in 1791 and declared their independence in 1804. Not even in Africa had a free nation yet been born and the humiliated slave masters enlisted the support of the French government to make the former slaves pay dearly for their freedom.

In 1825, France demanded 90 million gold francs to recognize Haiti’s independence — the same amount demanded in compensation by the former slave masters.

Historians and economists agree that this high cost paid by Haiti to France over 122 years (payments continued until 1947) is largely responsible for the country having been almost eternally anchored in poverty.

In 2003, Haitian President Jean Bertrand Aristide called on Paris to return the 90 million gold francs, by then estimated at U.S. $21 billion. Soon after, however, he was swiftly and secretly taken hostage by U.S. and French forces and exiled to South Africa.

French President Francois Hollande, in May 2015, ahead of a visit to Port au Prince, said Paris “will repay its debt” to Haiti – only to later retract, saying he only meant repaying France’s “moral debt”.

The Hollande disappointment notwithstanding, no other concerned E.U. member-state has even mentioned the possibility of considering paying reparations for slavery – in the Caribbean or North or South America.

Same in the USA, where not even President Barack Obama accommodated calls to initiate reparations moves and to pay to survivors the wages of the slaves who built the White House.

In 1865, Union General William Sherman set aside thousands of acres of land for newly-freed American slaves, by way of a special field order. But President Andrew Johnson soon returned the titles to the original white owners. Freed slaves were also each promised “40 acres and mule” to start their own lives. But here too they were disappointed.

The U.S. Congressional Black Caucus has for the past 28 years backed a bill called HR-40, submitted annually by Michigan Rep. John Conyers, calling for a commission to study “the Reparations Proposals for African Americans Act”. Designed to examine the negative effects of slavery, it also seeks to “recommend appropriate remedies”. But HR-40 has long been referred to the House Judiciary Committee, where it has since remained…

U.S. blacks are somewhat divided over what mechanism to use to assess the real costs and value of slave wages and related rates of conversion over the centuries slavery lasted.

Likewise, white Americans largely reject calls by blacks for reparations, some seriously arguing that ‘slaves were freed by the Civil War’ and ‘blacks benefited from affirmative action’ government policies over the years.

The reparations movement is however gaining traction across the hemispheric horizon.

The momentum has just begun in South America, with an International Reparations Conference held in Cali, Colombia in March 2017, essentially to outline a road map for the movement for recognition and inclusion of the African-descended minority across the continent.

The African Americans are encouraged by a 2016 report by the Geneva-based United Nations Working Group on People of African Descent, urging U.S. lawmakers to implement reparations, citing “a legacy of colonial history, enslavement, racial subordination and segregation, racial terrorism and racial inequality.”

Also, according to an exclusive poll released in March 2017 in conjunction with a new PBS Series ‘Point Taken’, 40% of US ‘millennials’ think there should be reparations for African American descendants of enslaved people.

Indeed, some of the leaders of the revived reparations movement in the USA are confident enough of the momentum gained thus far to conclude that ‘this could be reparations’ best chance since 1865.’

In the Caribbean, the governments’ approach is naturally quite different from North and South America – more diplomatic than agitational, seeking dialogue over confrontation.

In March 2014, the CARICOM governments unanimously adopted the ten-point plan to demand “Reparatory Justice for the victims of Crimes against Humanity in the forms of genocide, slavery, slave trading and racial apartheid.” The E.U. member-states that built their imperial wealth on slavery were also duly informed.

A CARICOM Regional Reparations Commission was also appointed (chaired by the vice chancellor of the University of the West Indies Sir Hilary Beckles), with national reparations committees also established in member-states.

The Caribbean hasn’t put a price tag on slavery, even though a sum of US $17 trillion is often mentioned. Instead, it’s seeking a mutually agreed CARICOM-E.U. approach to what forms the atonement will take, to the common and mutual benefit of all the CARICOM states and peoples.

Failing this negotiated approach, the Caribbean countries reserve the right to file formal criminal charges against the culprit E.U. member-states at the International Criminal Court (ICC)).

Citing the will of the Western world to proudly acknowledge and atone for the Jewish Holocaust, reparations paid by the U.S. government to Japanese interned during World War II, reparations made to U.S. native peoples and Britain recently being ordered by its own courts to pay reparations to tribal Kenyan ‘Mau -Mau’ independence fighters, CARICOM feels it has a very good case.

Those demanding reparations for slavery everywhere are also buoyed by the U.N.’s declaration of 2015 to 2024 as the Decade for People of African Descent.

The CARICOM Prime Ministerial Subcommittee on Reparations (led by Barbados Prime Minister Freundel Stuart) met in late April 2017 to review European responses to their request for a negotiated settlement.

In the meantime, the 15 member-states, including Haiti, are preparing their individual legal cases for collective submission to the ICC, should the culprit E.U. member-states continue to dodge and dither to duck their individual and collective responsibilities for the greatest ‘crime against humanity’ known to mankind.

The reparations demands by African descendants in CARICOM, U.S. and South American states do have the backing of regional and international entities, including similar non-governmental Europe-based movements and an increasing level of interest and support from African states and entities, including the African Union (A.U.) and the Pan African Congress (PAC).

The European and American governments today may continue to duck their responsibilities. But the results of the strong reparations demands on them, whether achieved today or tomorrow, also offer added hope to the likes of the Australian Aborigines and New Zealand’s Maori first peoples, who may have received formal apologies, but continue to feel treated less than equal in the lands they first inhabited.

Meanwhile, the Grenada ‘slavery and tourism’ discussion is an interesting starting point to revive earlier discussions on the establishment of a national reparations committee (NRC) for Grenada, Carriacou and Petit Martinique.

That will not only be in line with the reality of the vast majority of CARICOM member-states (where NRCs exist), but will also facilitate ongoing discussion across the three-island state on reparations and related issues during the U.N. Decade for People of African Descent, which continues until December 31, 2024.

Source*

Related Topics:

French Presidential Favorite Macron sparks firestorm for Speaking the Truth about Colonization*

Slavery: The Anniversary of the Official Ending of a System that Bankrolled and Civilized Cameron’s British Empire*

Call for UK to Pay India Reparations for Colonial-era Damage*

Tanzania Demands Reparations for German Colonial Atrocities*

The Case for Reparations to Africa: Britain Apology is Cheap*

Unpaid Debts: Reparation For Colonialism*

Fourteen Caribbean Nations Demand Reparation from Colonial Britain*

An Ancient Kingdom Demands Reparation from the Queen of England

At the World Economic Forum-Africa Germany Pitched a Dubious New G20 Corporate Strategy*

Chicago Pays $5.5mn in Reparations to 57 Black Men Tortured by Police Decades Ago*

Call for UK to Pay India Reparations for Colonial-era Damage*

Germany, where’s the Reparation for Greece?*

 

 

Sorry European racial “purists,” it turns out your ancestors were African and Middle Eastern*

Sorry European racial “purists,” it turns out your ancestors were African and Middle Eastern*

 

Image of reconstructed faces of three early humans in profile view. Credit: Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

 

By Mark Miller         

People throughout history have taken pride in their ancestral roots, but new studies of migrations of people into Europe and elsewhere are showing that no one’s heritage is “pure.” Or if humanity’s heritage is pure, if you go back far enough in prehistory, it is purely African.

Sciencemag.com has an article this week reporting on new research into when various peoples ended up in various places around the globe. One example of the racial purity concept is that of people so famous for touting their “racial purity” and being the “master race”—the Nazis of the World War II era. The 20th century Germans’ ancestors came from the south and east in waves thousands of years ago.

If you go back far enough in human prehistory, scientists say, the origins and birthplace of humanity are in Africa about 200,000 years ago. The ancestors of all people living today originated in Africa. Recent studies of DNA have confirmed this theory, which many consider fact and not just theory.

Pure Misconception

There has been a lot of controversy over migration studies, reports Ann Gibbons for Sciencemag.com. Migration studies fell out of favour after World War II because of the controversy surrounding Nazi theories of racial purity.

Various peoples left their mark with distinctive artifacts, which used to be how migrations were studied. Now with isotope and DNA analysis, scientists are getting a better picture of how prehistoric peoples moved around the globe. This photo shows the pottery of the Bell Beaker people of central Europe. (CC BY-SA 3.0)

 

The topic is especially pertinent again today with new migrations of refugees into Germany from Syria. Neo-nazis oppose accepting Middle Eastern immigrants because they fear the “purity” of the Aryan “race” will be tainted.

Gibbons writes:

In fact, the German people have no unique genetic heritage to protect. They—and all other Europeans—are already a mishmash, the children of repeated ancient migrations, according to scientists who study ancient human origins. New studies show that almost all indigenous Europeans descend from at least three major migrations in the past 15,000 years, including two from the Middle East. Those migrants swept across Europe, mingled with previous immigrants, and then remixed to create the peoples of today.

Scientists today are studying DNA and isotopes of strontium and other elements in ancient teeth and bones to find out just where various peoples’ ancestors originated. Their conclusion?

“We can falsify this notion that anyone is pure,” population geneticist Lynn Jorde of the University of Utah told Sciencemag.com. Most modern humans “have this incredibly complex history of mixing and mating and migration.”

Mixed Race World

The Australian Aborigines are one of the few groups whose ancestry is unmixed. Their ancestors settled in Australia in three discrete groups and stayed there for many thousands of years.

New studies show that humans have been wandering around the planet and interbreeding with each other (some even with Neanderthals) since different groups left Africa some 60,000 years ago.

This Science graphic gives a timeline of some of the major human migrations through the ages. (Sciencemag.com)

 

It’s interesting to note for the Nazi “Aryan race” that European ancestors went from Africa to the Middle East and into Europe about 43,000 years ago. To make clear the implications: Jews, one of the major victims of the Nazi Party, are also from the Mideast.

David Reich, a Harvard University population geneticist, and his team studied DNA in the remains of 51 Asians and Europeans who lived between 7,000 and 45,000 years ago. They concluded ancestors of Europeans settled in two big migrations from the Mideast after Ice Age glaciers retreated, beginning 14,000 and 19,000 years ago. A second big migration, of farmers, occurred about 9,000 years ago from Turkey and Greece.

Illustration of ethnic types from Eurasia. Nordisk Familjebok, 1904 (Public Domain)

 

“Basically, everybody’s myth is wrong, even the indigenous groups’,” Dr. Reich of Harvard University told Ms. Gibbons of Sciencemag.com.

Ms. Gibbons writes:

“As techniques for probing ethnic origins spread, nearly every week brings a new paper testing and often falsifying lore about one ancient culture or another. The Kashmiri of northern India do not seem to be related to Alexander the Great or the lost tribes of Israel. Parsis in Iran and India are not solely of ancient Iranian heritage, having mixed with local Indian women, although Parsi priests do descend chiefly from just two men.”

Of course this does not mean that the Irish should not celebrate St. Patrick’s Day or that the Chinese should not celebrate the Chinese New Year. After people settled down for a time, national and ethnic identities did develop, and the accomplishments of various peoples are worthy of pride and celebration.

 

Source*

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The Hidden History of the Human Race*

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Kenya: No Matter How Much ‘they’ Re-write History Evidence Says It Ain’t Necessarily So*

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Mexican Supreme Court Refuses to Review Monsanto Appeal on GMO Maize Permits*

Mexican Supreme Court Refuses to Review Monsanto Appeal on GMO Maize Permits*

The first chamber of the Mexican Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN) has refused to review or analyze an appeal by Monsanto regarding the issuance of commercial permits for the sowing of GMO maize in the country.

In this way, the decision to resolve the GMO trials involving the companies Monsanto, Dow, Pioneer and Dupont, as well as the Mexican Government Departments of the Environment and Agriculture, and on the other side, civil society and academic organizations that are opposed to the sowing of GMO maize, will have to be resolved by the First Collegiate Court on Civil Matters.

This review case began last January, when the Collegial Court was about to issue a ruling on whether to maintain the precautionary measure imposed in September 2013, which banned the authorizations for GMO maize plantings pending resolution of the problem. On January 26, the Court suspended the vote on the resolution because Monsanto submitted a petition to the SCJN.

The lawyer of the civil society Corn Collective, René Sánchez Galindo, explained that last Wednesday in a private meeting, the Supreme Court judges evaluated the appeal that Monsanto filed. None of the judges endorsed the company’s request, which was a requirement for the Court to place the appeal on its docket.

Galindo considered that the arguments of the company—that transgenic maize is not harmful to health and the environment—are repetitive and reiterate what the companies Dow, Pioneer and Dupont said in another 22 lawsuits. He recalled that the Appeals Court ruled, inter alia, that the benefits of GMOs are uncertain. This decision was not contested by the Biotech companies, which have not been able to show the economic benefit of GMOs.

The suspension of planting GMO maize has been in force throughout the country after a court decision three and a half years ago, after a group of organizations, academics and citizens presented a collective action against the planting of GMO maize in Mexico.

In that year (2013) the federal government was ready to give commercial permits for the cultivation of GMO Maize, but District Court 12 determined that the government should set as a precautionary measure the suspension of the issuance of planting permits to companies until the courts could consider the scientific and economic metrics.

This original measure was decided based on considering the risk of environmental damage from the cultivation of GMO maize. The companies that had submitted applications for commercial planting permits challenged the resolution.

Since then, both the Mexican Environment and Agriculture Departments and the Biotech companies have filed about 100 challenges, including 26 appeal trials, 16 review appeals, 15 complaints, seven revocations and seven challenges to the admission of the complaint, According to the organization Seeds of Life.

After surpassing all those challenges, the trial began in May 2016, with the original judicial determination to maintain the suspension of the cultivation of transgenic maize.

Source*

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