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Threatening a Fascist: A Threat to Democracy? The Danish Saga Continues..

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In today’s Politiken we are told that several people have been arrested for threats against “Dansk Folkepartis formand, Pia Kjærsgaard“, that is the ring leader of the fascistic, ultra right-wing, Islamophobic and generally xenophobic and racist, socalled Danish People’s Party. The first article tells no more than that, but soon others were to follow.

It is now declared that the five people arrested are supposed to have a Somalian background and that threatening a hate speaker is a threat to democracy. “If you threaten an elected politician you threaten all the people who voted for them”, says an appeaser of the Conservative Party, while the Prime Minister, also in dire need of some popularity, calls the threats “totally unacceptable“.  (EDIT: It has now been stated that one of the Somalians is a “self-taught imam” another is a director of a bank, allegedly with connections to al-Hikmah, that in turn relates to a school in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, called Ibnu Baz Islamic Center, and that “some of the school’s youth are suspected of having joined Hisbul Islam og al-Shabaab“).

Although colonos are not in favour of threatening people, we are also not in any possible way surprised: When you threaten an entire religion and way of life, then you threaten – or at least insult – all of those people who identify with that religion and way of life. How difficult can it be to understand that? Moreover, the vice-president of the party’s youth organisation, a local council member, has just been excluded for violent threats against named Danish individuals who are said to collaborate with legal muslim activities, such as the building of a mosque. In this case, the party does not deem it relevant to report the threat to the police – “they leave such doing to others“?!?

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Global war against indigenous peoples: grabbing the last resources on Earth!

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The Guardian’s John Vidal recently wrote a welcome piece – ‘We are fighting for our lives and our dignity’ -  that connect some of the dots in the current end game for the Earth’s natural resources most of which are on indigenous land inhabited for thousands of years by people who care for it, worship and respect it. Transnational corporations drilling for oil, mining for minerals or cutting down all the trees and polluting the rivers – and so on – are competing to grab hold of the Earth’s last resources – and there really is not much left! (See also: UN expert puts forward measures to regulate ‘land grabbing’).

“An aggressive drive is taking place to extract the last remaining resources from indigenous territories,” says Victoria Tauli-Corpus, an indigenous Filipino and chair of the UN permanent forum on indigenous issues. “There is a crisis of human rights. There are more and more arrests, killings and abuses.
“This is happening in Russia, Canada, the Philippines, Cambodia, Mongolia, Nigeria, the Amazon, all over Latin America, Papua New Guinea and Africa. It is global. We are seeing a human rights emergency. A battle is taking place for natural resources everywhere. Much of the world’s natural capital – oil, gas, timber, minerals – lies on or beneath lands occupied by indigenous people,” says Tauli-Corpus.

What until quite recently were isolated incidents of indigenous peoples in conflict with states and corporations are now becoming common as government-backed companies move deeper on to lands long ignored as unproductive or wild. As countries and the World Bank increase spending on major infrastructural projects to counter the economic crisis, the conflicts are expected to grow.

It is a pretty good article – constituting a very important step to bring together these issues in a coherent analytical manner and to the attention of mainstream readers – but one could really have wished for something more to the point with regard to the Ecuadorian context – it is widely known and well documented that the Chevron pits are still there, even mainstream U.S television have shown such images.

“In Ecuador, Chevron may be fined billions of dollars in the next few months if an epic court case goes against them. The company is accused of dumping, in the 1970s and 1980s, more than 19bn gallons of toxic waste and millions of gallons of crude oil into waste pits in the forests, leading to more than 1,400 cancer deaths and devastation of indigenous communities. The pits are said to be still there, mixing chemicals with groundwater and killing fish and wildlife.”

To use the expression “are said to be still there” is really not appropriate, when anyone having spend five seconds googling the issue will have seen horrible, terrifying images:

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The Misleading Guardian and the end of the Amazon: A New Ecuadorian Constitution?

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“Being in favour of the Ecuadorian constitution, then, is to sentence the Amazon to death, notwithstanding any little points they have thrown in here and there to make environmentalists jump and cheer with laughter.”

It is circulating on many global civil society mailing lists, Ecuadorian politrix are once again on everyone’s lips. “A new law of nature“, writes The Guardian, “Ecuador [tomorrow, Sunday, Sep 28] votes on giving legal rights to rivers, forests and air. Is this the end of damaging development? The world is watching.

What people marvel at is the inclusion of something in the order of “respect for Pachamama”, so to speak: “Ecuador’s tropical forests, islands, rivers and air similar legal rights to those normally granted to humans“.

Una nueva Constitución y una nueva decepción

Although it has some interesting aspects to it (that can give jobs to lawyers and environmental rights experts), including this new right for pachamama, the new Ecuadorian constitution that is put to the vote tomorrow [September 28, 2008], is principally speaking the most decisively industrialist, progressivist constitution ever written, because it defines a very specific and environmentally destructive trajectory for the Ecuadorian economy, including article 321, which affirms that the capitalist owners of the means of production can sleep tightly and secure forever after:

Articulo 321: El Estado reconoce y garantiza el derecho a la propiedad en sus formas publica, privada, comunitaria, estatal, asociativa, cooperativa y mixta“.

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