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Rallies have been held around the world in opposition to Israel's recent air strikes on Gaza and the collective punishment carried out against the Palestinian people living there and in the West Bank. In Northern California, demonstrations have been held in Fresno, Palo Alto, San Francisco, Salinas, and Santa Cruz. According to the International Middle East Media Center (IMEMC), as of July 27, 860 Palestinians, including whole families, have been killed since July 8. 47 Israeli soldiers, most of whom were invading Gaza at the time of their death, have been killed by Palestinian resistance, and two Israeli civilians were killed by Palestinian shells.
In response to pressure from conservation groups, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) announced an area closure for the swordfish drift gillnet fishery in the Pacific Ocean off California from July 25 through August 31 to prevent entanglements and drownings of endangered loggerhead sea turtles. This year’s El Niño conditions, warmer than normal waters, attract the endangered loggerhead sea turtles to the nutrient-rich waters where the deadly fishery operates.
In solidarity with Brazilians protesting the FIFA Would Cup, on June 29 a group of 12 queer radicals blockaded the Google FIFA Float at the San Francisco Pride Parade. "We couldn't pass up the opportunity to connect issues of gentrification and evictions in the Bay Area with the violent displacement of Brazilians who live in the Favelas. The Google/FIFA float was a perfect target for direct action to raise awareness about these issues!"
The World Cup has evicted over 150,000 working class and poor people from their communities, with some being killed in the process. El Sindicato dos Metroviários de São Paulo (or Subway Workers Union of Sao Paulo) was violently attacked by police when they went on strike against the World Cup and for better wages and benefits.
A solidarity demonstration is planned for the Subway Workers on Thursday, July 3
at 4pm at the Brazilian Counsulate in San Francisco.
Protest At San Francisco Brazilian Consulate: Stop Repression And Union Busting
In response to the recent threat of U.S. military attacks in Iraq, community members in Santa Cruz held a vigil for the Iraqi people on June 23 at the Town Clock. Those who participated in the vigil are calling for nonviolent diplomacy, reparation and repairs, no military intervention in Iraq, and an end to weapons sales in the Middle East. "We are sick and tired of violence being thought of as a way to prevent violence," Marjorie Langdon said at the vigil.
On June 10, activists rallied in front of Martin Luther King Jr. Library in San José to protest the unjust prosecution of 66-year-old Palestinian-American activist Rasmea Odeh. Last October, Homeland Security agents arrested Odeh after the Department of Justice charged her with “unlawful procurement of naturalization.” The Obama administration’s filing of these charges could result in her being stripped of her U.S. citizenship and deported.
On Saturday, May 24, people all around the world united, including in Santa Cruz, California, to March Against Monsanto, calling for the permanent boycott of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) and other harmful agro-chemicals. Marches occurred on six continents, in 52 countries, with events in over 400 cities. In the USA, demonstrations were held in 47 states.
Jonathan Nack reports from Havana:
Hundreds of thousands of Cubans demonstrated unmistakeable enthusiasm while marching in the Cuban capitol on May Day – International Workers Day. Marchers chanted, danced, sang songs, and blew horns throughout the festive march. It was a clear statement of support for the Cuban government. CBS News reported an estimated 600,000 participated. Trade unionists, community groups, members of cooperatives, and even unions of small businesses demonstrated their support for the Cuban Revolution.
The main slogan for this year's May Day mobilization was, “the unity of the workers is the guarantee of the revolution.” Another prominent slogan urged the building of a more efficient and prosperous socialism. The march was organized by the government, but had a largely informal character. Most of the signs, banners, and numerous giant puppets appeared to be homemade. The march began in the early morning, no doubt to avoid the midday heat. It was basically completed by noon. Cuban President Raul Castro presided over the event, waiving to the marchers from the reviewing stand.
International supporters of the revolution who came from many countries were quite visible. Latin American international contingents were the most prominent, particularly from Colombia, Venezuela and Honduras. Images of the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and, of course, that of Ché Guevara, were emblazoned on the t-shirts of many of the marchers.
On April 17, International Day of Peasant Resistance, and to mark the 30th anniversary of the Movimento Sem Terra (or Landless Workers Movement) in Brazil, Bay Area delegates from the 6th MST Congress presented a thorough report on what they had experienced and learned during their trip. The presentation at La Peña in Berkeley took an honest look at many aspects of the MST and the difficult and sometimes deadly struggle for poverty reduction and agrarian reform in Brazil.
In February, thousands of Brazilians and approximately 200 members of the international community attended the 6th Movimento Sem Terra Congress. Delegates from the San Francisco Bay Area were in attendance. While the primary events were held at a large stadium in Brasília, actions during the Congress included an enormous march, a student occupation of the Ministry of Education building, and tear gas attacks by greatly outnumbered police at the Ministry of Justice.
Speakers at the Bay Area delegates presentation noted that it was the MST that inspired the local food sovereignty activists of Occupy the Farm
to reclaim at least a portion of the Albany Gill Tract for farming on Earth Day 2012. After over a decade of struggle by a number of different groups fighting for community involvement with the land, the Gill Tract Farm Coalition celebrated the first Community Farm Day
with a spring planting on April 26.
Full Coverage of Report Back with Audio, PDF, and Photos |
Landless Workers Movement: Video from the 6th MST Congress in Brazil, February 2014
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
’s latest report on March 31 highlights the increasing threat from rising global meat and dairy consumption to limiting global warming, especially as the world population continues to grow. The study says that beef and lamb account for the largest agricultural emissions, relative to the energy they provide. By 2050, estimates indicate, beef and lamb will account for half of all agricultural greenhouse gas emissions, while only contributing 3 percent of human calorie intake. Cheese and other dairy products will account for about one quarter of total agricultural climate pollution.
“We can’t ignore the devastating impact of meat consumption on our climate and our planet anymore,” said Stephanie Feldstein, population and sustainability director at the Center for Biological Diversity, which just launched a campaign to reduce meat consumption. “The IPCC report shows that our appetite for meat is not only harming the environment, but is a threat to a livable climate for people and wildlife around the globe. We need to drastically reduce the amount of meat in our diets if we hope to fight climate change and the extinction crisis.”
Read More |
The corporate media's narrative on the opposition protests in Venezuela is that the Venezuelan government caused this crisis, because it is a dictatorship that has ruined the economy in a failed attempt to impose Cuban style socialism. In San Francisco, activists gathered for a rally at the 24th and Mission BART Plaza on February 17, to protest the one-sided media coverage. Another event on March 6 featured a reportback from Venezuela and commemorated the one-year anniversary of the death of President Hugo Chavez.
As sports commentators and news reporters from all over the world endlessly discuss Sochi's not-so-cold weather and Olympian efforts to improve snow conditions, they often fail to mention that balmy winters may become the new normal in many long-established ski destinations, thanks to our changing global climate.
By tradition, the Olympic Games bring global issues to center stage, concerns that often have little to do with the athletic events themselves. From the 1968 Black Power salute of medal winners Tommie Smith and John Carlos in Mexico City to the 1980 and 1984 boycotts by the US and the USSR, respectively, the Olympics have repeatedly placed the world's most pressing concerns and crises in front of a world audience.
The Olympics can generate momentum for climate solutions in three ways: (1) by focusing international attention on the impacts of reduced snowpack and glacial melt on winter sports; (2) by constructing state-of-the-art, climate-neutral facilities, transportation networks, and even entire cities; and (3) by uniting the disparate states of the world to confront one issue that affects us all: global warming.
Many competitors are hesitant to stir up controversy around the Olympics. But athletes determined to stand up against Russian laws that discriminate based on sexual identity provide evidence that the Games remain a great stage for social protest and, this year, 105 winter Olympians have called for climate action.
Read More |
US Ski Team Member Andrew Newell & 105 Winter Olympians Call For Climate Action |
The Inside Line: Donna Carpenter, Burton and the fight to sustain snowboarding
Mazin Qumsiyeh writes:
Christmas 2013 in Bethlehem (Beit Laham, Aramaic for House of Laham, the Canaanitic God of Sustenance) is still a very special and meaningful time even under the brutal Israeli apartheid occupation. We are not talking about the visual aspects and the unique religious services at the Church of Nativity. It is special because reflection here is special. Nowhere is there an exhibit of “Occupation Art” shown in a “Peace Center” in front of a large Christmas tree in front of one of the holiest places in Christianity. Nowhere on earth do people pray that the wall suffocating them is dismantled then watch and listen to Christmas carols from around the world after admiring such exhibits....
The end of 2013 and beginning of 2014 is a time to reflect that some 2.5 billion human beings believe in a message that originated with a Palestinian child thought to be born in a manger over 2000 years ago. The land was called Palestine at the time of Jesus’ birth and also for hundreds of years before he was born and it is still geographically Palestine today. It is also a time to reflect on the real message of Jesus, sometimes distorted (like happened with the Crusaders and with the marginal misnamed “Christian Zionists”). It is still a message of hope, peace, joy, justice, love, and harmony....
[Yet] on Christmas eve, Israeli forces also bombed Gaza killing at least two including a 3-year old girl and injuring others in her family. So many Palestinians in Bethlehem and in the Churches directed our Christmas gifts to people of Gaza and people of Syria. And most of us (me included) are barred from entering our city of Jerusalem which is methodically being stripped of its Palestinian population (Christians and Muslims) and isolated by walls (physical and psychological).
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This Week in Palestine, December 27th, 2013