Month: October 2007

Hippie Shit :)

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Stop shitting in the drinking water, for f#c>’s sake:

Seeds of murder: Syngenta is a killer business.

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Here’s another one, right out of the papers:

In the Brazilian state of Paraná, Valmir Mota de Oliveira of Via Campesina, an international peasant organization, was shot twice in the chest at point blank range by armed gunmen on an experimental farm of Syngenta Seeds, a multinational agribusiness corporation. The cold blooded murder took place on Sunday, October 21 after Via Campesina had occupied the site because of Syngenta’s illegal development of genetically modified (GM) seeds.” – read the rest of the story..

Ubunty 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon released today!

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Get Ubuntu 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon here – or choose your own mirror here – or even better, use the .torrents at the bottom of this page. Have fun!

UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: the real work continues!

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About a month ago the global indigenous peoples’ struggle reached a milestone.

Here are some comments and resources collected and followed by a brief reflection.

First from Resistance Studies:

“The United Nations have overwhelmingly approved the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: after over a decade of negotiations, and a year of Canada trying to stall the final vote on it in the General Assembly” says Nicole Scabus, the International Advisor of the Indigenous Network on Economies and Trade.

Read the rest of this entry »

A summary of the Ecuadorian revolution: the rise of the Constituent Assembly

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Roger Burbach’s informative piece called “Ecuador’s Popular Revolt: Forging a New Nation“, although dated October 8 seems to be written before the landslide victory of Correa’s alliance became clear:

Final results won’t be known until late October, however preliminary results indicate that Correa’s party, Alianza Pais, won around 70% of the vote, giving it some 80 of the 130 assembly delegates. Correa can also expect support in the assembly from representatives of the Socialist Party of Ecuador — Broad Front, the Movement for Popular Democracy and indigenous party Pachakutik — Nuevo Pais.

The outcome was a huge blow to the right-wing opposition, whose traditional parties all scored pitiful votes. The Social Christian Party, the country’s largest party, scored less than 4%. The “anti-corruption” PRIAN of Alvaro Noboa — Correa’s opponent in the presidential election run-offs last year and Ecuador’s richest man — scored around 6%.

However, this does not make it any less valuable – it provides a summary of the Ecuadorian revolution that is well worth a read. Whether it quite warrants such a conclusion is another matter:

In Ecuador, as well as in much of Latin America, we are witnessing a revolution from below, a popular awakening that is challenging the traditional political parties and demanding a new system of governance that responds to the interests and needs of the popular classes. It is this rich mixture of forces at the grass roots that is opening up new vistas as the 21st century advances.

Read the rest of this entry »

“Recipes For Disaster”: An Anarchist Cookbook

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    – by False Flag Thursday, Mar. 01, 2007 at 3:06 PM

For ten long years, our operatives have honed their skills, testing their wits and mettle against the global capitalist empire, the most formidable adversary in the history of life on earth. We have learned how to redecorate the walls of cities occupied by armies of riot police, to transform random groups of damaged, isolated individuals into loving communities capable of supporting one another through the most severe bouts of repression and depression, to shut down corporate summits and franchises armed with little more than plastic piping or eyedroppers of glue. Now, the notorious CrimethInc. ex-Workers’ Collective has compiled many of the techniques that made these feats possible into a 624-page manual entitled Recipes for Disaster.

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Anarchism and Indigenous Struggles.

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INDIGENOUS ANARCHISM IN BOLIVIA – An Interview with Silvia Rivera Cusicanqui,

by Andalusia Knoll, Rustbelt Radio, Pittsburgh

What happened in Bolivia is that there have been two official histories: the official history written by the [Revolutionary] Nationalist Party—MNR—that basically denies all the agency of both workers and peasants and indigenous peoples; and the official history of the left that forgets about anything that was not Marxist, thus eclipsing or distorting the autonomous history of anarchist unions,

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Thank you very much for a very nice comment :)

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Colonos has received this very nice comment, which deserves promotion:

by Phillip Bannowsky | phillipbannowsky.com |

Greetings,
I lived in Ecuador in the early 90s and have visited and written about the country from time to time.

I observed a series of Indigenous and popular “levantimientos” in Ecuador from 1992, the Quincentennial of the Spanish invasion, until 2001 (See my article in NACLA Report on the Americas, March April 2001). Each one showed an increasing sophistication, militancy, and organization. While each seemed to fall short of dislodging the oligarchy or binding them to solid agreements, each succeeded in building the intellectual and political infrastructure leading to the triumphs of the current era. Meanwhile, the politics at the top—of the oligarchs, the bananeros, the Congress, the Presidency, and the oil companies—stumbled on, as if no amount of corruption or incompetence could ever undermine the whole juggernaut.

Given the complexity of Ecuadorian society and the legacy of corruption, poverty, and exploitation, it’s hard to imagine some sort of ideal revolution ascending. but it’s hard not to be hopeful that these changes will finally be in the right direction, while barely capable of stemming the colono tide.

I found your comments about economic development in the encounter of Indigenous with the rest of the world interesting. I wrestled with that issue in my novel, The Mother Earth Inn, in which I also treated the contradictions among and within various Ecuadorian sectors.

It’s an interesting blog. I’ve been to Tena. Incredible birds. I am glad I found you. Good luck.

We sincerely thank Phillip for his comment.

Ecuador must dissolve the National Congress!

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ECUARUNARI calls on the Assembly to dissolve the National Congress:

The first fundamental tasks that the Constituent Assembly must confront are to dissolve the National Congress because it lacks political legitimacy, to recover the natural resources – petroleum, water, mining, hydroelectricity, forests that have been conceded to private transnational companies – and to write up a constitution with all the profundity of our peoples. To this task we commit ourselves completely. We put ourselves at the disposal of the exploited, the discriminated against and the impoverished majorities of the country, with all of the persistence and struggle of the indigenous peoples and nations, and we hope to work alongside all the social and political sectors of the country in the fulfillment of the mandate given by the sovereign people of Ecuador.

…..and so the political process of the Constituent Assembly in Ecuador officially kicks off. Correa holds a workable majority, but on “major”(?) issues, such as abortion and the legal status of and rights for gays and lesbians, there might be internal dissidents.

Let us hope, at least, that the congress can be sent to the lawyers (lions) without too much civil unrest; but real reforms that go beyond redistributing capitalist profits will be a struggle to achieve in what is already an alliance of compromises and double standards – after all, it is politics we’re dealing with, business as usual. Watch this space for more…..

Free Software in Ecuador: Correa’s got that one right!

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Rafael Correa is taking quite some critical heat for his double standards or disregard -even- for the general livelihood of the indigenous peoples of the Amazon and the rain forest that they live in – but here’s something that he’s got right: use Free Software, says the President (naturally speaking in Spanish):

But take a look at this video, too, and consider the natural beauty that will have to be destroyed in order to pave the way, literally, for the Latin American integration, as the neo-socialist improvement or progress based on capitalist commodity forms is called (in English):

The YouTube initiatives are part of the hip strategies of Correa’s government, appealing to a whole new demographic class in Ecuador – a middle class consuming the remittances that their migratory family members send back from, mainly, the U.S. and Spain. Both the cash and the migrant workers are in the millions – only oil and bananas in that republic are greater posts in the economy. These are the people behind Correa – and they want more cars, more roads to drive them on (Quito is already suffocating with cars, which have more then doubled in recent years!) and more plastics from China and more sausages from Spain – that is the essence of Latin American integration: global capitalism and commodity circulation.

The mainstream catches up with colonos: the corridors will destroy the Amazon

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In today’s Guardian there is an article echoing what’s been a central subject of this blog for quite some time:

Projects to upgrade road and river transport, combined with work to create dams and lay down extensive power and communications cabling, will open up previously inaccessible parts of the rainforest, raising the risk of widespread deforestation that could see the loss of the entire Amazon jungle within 40 years, the environmental group said.

What kind of sunshine stories, Mr. Correa, can make up for that?

Correa’s sunshine story: ITT

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Like the World Bank, the IOM et al. have their sunshine stories (white-, green- you name it wash), so does the neo-socialist revolution in Ecuador:

The innovative offer by the government of Ecuador to refrain from exploiting its largest oil reserve, in exchange for international compensation for nature conservation, is attracting increasing support”, according to an August 23 IPS article. The initiative relates to the untapped Ishpingo-Tiputini-Tambococha (ITT) oil reserve, which is located in Yasuni National Park in the Amazon. According IPS, the park is one of the world’s most biodiverse regions. It was created in 1979 and covers 982,000 hectares”.

But behind this glamorous project – instigated by a radical environmental group – lures the reality of the wider project of Ecuadorian reform: more oil, more refineries, more roads, less forest and the crazy destruction of the Napo River that the construction of the Manta-Manaus corridor threatens. There is already a road straight into Yasuni – for the exclusive use of petroleras (and presumably the military). Yasuni might be “conserved” – but it will be circumscribed by concrete and asphalt, tending towards an indigenous zoo in the outskirts of town.

Understanding Ecuadorian politics in the context of Latin American integration (UNASUR).

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In the entry below elements of an interview by Clifton Ross that were related to the Manta-Manaus corridor project were extracted. Equally interesting was the other interview in that article, which is reproduced here and which includes references to UNASUR (the formation of which was covered by colonos earlier) and the indigenous struggles that have determined a significant part of the political dynamics in Ecuador over the last ten years.

Read the rest of this entry »

Who builds the Manta-Manaus corridor, and why?

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In an article about the falling empire(s) and the rise of (sub-)empires, like the one projected under the banner of “Latin American integration“, Clifton Ross touches upon the subject of the Manta-Manaus corridor:

Tomás Peribonio, ex-Minister of Foreign Trade under President Alfred Palacio, is now working as a contractor for the current Correa government designing the Manaos-Manta multi-modal corridor. He’s a handsome, friendly fellow who has also granted me a spur of the moment interview when I showed up at his penthouse office in the Ministry of Public Works building. He offers to do the interview in his excellent English, but quickly slips into Spanish as he emphasizes that “the most important thing is regional unity.” The construction of this multi-modal corridor, he describes as a “mega-project” that would be constructed “over the course of years and perhaps even decades.” The aim, he says, is to unite “Pacific Asia, which, from my point of view, is the area of major world commerce, managing about fifty percent of world trade” with the Atlantic, specifically Brazil, which is increasing its cultivation of soy and other grains with an eye on exports.”

This new empire – regularly criticized here – of plastic consumption will spell the end of the Amazon rain forest – and a wide range of indigenous cultures….. Read the rest of this entry »