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Jonathan Nack writes:
Sensational reporting on opposition protests in Venezuela has been featured by the corporate mainstream media over the past three weeks. There are accounts of repression of protesters who are calling for the “exit” of President Nicholas Maduro because of rising inflation, rampant crime, shortages of consumer goods, and mismanagement of the economy to the point of collapse. Eighteen people have been reported to have been killed in connection with the protests. The government, and government aligned “colectivo” thugs are blamed. The mainstream media's narrative is that the Venezuelan government has caused this crisis, because it is a dictatorship that has ruined Venezuela's economy in a failed attempt to impose Cuban style socialism. Slowly, alternative narratives which challenge the mainstream media's accounts of current events and their context, are emerging from the internet, some journalists, and grassroots solidarity activists.
A small group of such activists gathered for an emergency street rally in the heart of San Francisco's Latino community, the 24th Street and Mission Street BART Plaza, on February, 17, 2014. The rally was called to protest the one-sided media coverage of events unfolding in Venezuela; to denounce plots to destabilize the Venezuelan government and economy in an attempt to precipitate a U.S. backed coup; and to express solidarity with the Venezuelan based international Bolivarian revolutionary movement.
The Center for Political Education organized a report back by Carolina Morales about her recent visit. The March 6 event also commemorated the one year anniversary of the death of President Hugo Chavez.
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S.F. Rally in Solidarity with Venezuela and the Bolivarian Process |
March 6 Event Announcement
The Obama administration’s push to modernize U.S. ports to accommodate huge new ships that can pass through the widened Panama Canal worries environmentalists who believe U.S. coastlines will be subjected to enormous damage and coastal residents will face increased health risks. For marine life already threatened by shipping traffic, like the majestic right whale, the odds are even tougher.
Thousands gathered in the pre-dawn hours for the Indigenous Peoples Annual Sunrise Gathering at Alcatraz Island sponsored by the International Indian Treaty Council (IITC) on November 28. This was the 44th year that the event was held to commemorate the American Indian occupation of Alcatraz from 1969 to 1971, according to Morning Star Gali, one of the event organizers and the Tribal Historic Preservation Officer for the Pit River Tribe.
In addition to the Yaqui Deer Dancers, the event featured the Round Valley Reservation Pomo Dancers and Aztec Dancers. Speakers included LaNada War Jack, one of the original Alcatraz occupiers, Ann Marie Sayers from the Ohlone Indian Tribe, Andrea Carmen, Executive Director of the International Indian Treaty Council, Madonna Thunder Hawk, Two Kettle Lakota and one of the original members of the American Indian Movement, and Radley Davis and Mickey Gimmel of the Pit River Tribe.
“As we gather today to celebrate, we do not celebrate the re-write of history that has become Thanksgiving," said Andrea Carmen, Executive Director of the International Indian Treaty Council. "We celebrate our survival as indigenous people. In reality, on this day so long ago, 700 men, women and children of the Pequot Nation were slaughtered during their sacred Green Corn ceremonies by Pilgrims they had saved during the winter months with their own food."
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Around 500 people from 15 cities in Mexico and 11 countries in the world came together in the National Encounter of Autonomous Anti-Capitialist Resistance at the end of May 2012 to share experiences of autonomy and support the uprising and current process of self-government in Cherán, Michoacán. The Cherán K’eri uprising on April 15, 2011 and the process of self-government now underway in that community is, for many, a source of inspiration, a strong show of resistance to be defended, and an experience to learn from.
In this eleventh installment in the series “Hidden in Plain Sight” Peter M writes about Maureen Gosling. Gosling is a documentary filmmaker who worked for many years with Les Blank of Flower Films. On her own she made the award-winning film Blossoms of Fire, which deals with a community in the Mexican Isthmus were women play a special role. She is currently working on a film about fabric hand-dyed by women in Mali that is becoming a cultural phenomenon.
"The media is very powerful," Gosling said in a TV interview, "and people are finding it easier to make their own stories now, which I think is great. Because a lot of times as a girl, as a young woman growing up, you wonder if your story is interesting or if you have anything to say. It’s really important to be able to see your own face on television. Because we are affected by what we see on television, it has a big impact. It can make you feel good about yourself, or it can make you feel really bad about yourself. We see the same stories over and over again on television, in the movies. And there’s room for your story. The world needs your story." Read Full Story and View Photo | Previous Chapters
The European Collectives Nodo Solidale (Italy), Zapatista “Marisol” Collective of Lugano (Switzerland), and Nomads of XM24 (Italy), which make up the Internationalist Platform for Resistance and Self-Initiative Weaving Autonomies (PIRATA), organized a brigade for the observation of the violation of the rights of native peoples in the municipality of Santiago Xanica, Oaxaca, México, in which activists from France and the Spanish State also participated. The brigade traveled through the municipality from March 14 to March 21, 2011.
The task that the International Brigade set for itself has been to listen, understand, relate, and make public what is happening in the community of Santiago Xanica. In recent months the townspeople of Xanica have been denouncing outrageous violations and abuses by PRI party members and power groups against the local Committee in Defense of Indigenous Rights (CODEDI Xanica), Adherent to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, and against the general population.
Historically, the native Zapotec people of Santiago Xanica have suffered constant repression, militarization, and dispossession brought on by capital and international capital. There are now three highly significant problems that affect the community:
1. the tourist and development projects that the State and national and international businessmen seek to implement in their territory;
2. the invalidation of their election according to traditions and customs of the municipality;
3. the arrest of political prisoner Abraham Ramírez Vasquez, imprisoned since January of 2005.
Read the full report in English | Spanish: Informe sobre la situación en Santiago Xanica, Oaxaca