Victory! India Saves ‘Avatar Tribe’ From Vedanta Mine

Many people wrongly believe that the fight for tribal peoples’ rights is unwinnable, especially when they’re pitched against huge multinationals like Vedanta. But this outcome shows that might isn’t always right. The Dongria’s determination, coupled with overwhelming public support, has set a new precedent for tribal rights in India.’

 YouTube“Mine, narrated by Joanna Lumley, tells the story of the remote Dongria Kondh tribe’s struggle to protect Niyamgiri, the mountain they worship as a God. London-based mining company Vedanta Resources plans a vast open-pit bauxite mine in India’s Niyamgiri hills, and the Dongria Kondh know that means the destruction of their forests, their way of life, and their mountain God…”

Victory: India saves ‘Avatar tribe’ from Vedanta mine

Vedanta had failed to seek the consent of the Dongria before embarking on the project and even built a refinery at the bottom of the Niyamgiri Hills, which cost the company an estimated US $800 million.

Survival International – “In a sensational victory in the stand-off between India’s ‘real Avatar tribe’ and British mining giant Vedanta Resources, India’s authorities have quashed the company’s plans to mine the Dongria Kondh tribe’s sacred hills, it has been widely reported.

The decision follows unprecedented consultations with Dongria Kondh villages surrounding the mine site, which were ordered by India’s Supreme Court and dubbed the country’s first ever ‘environmental referendum’.

All twelve Dongria Kondh villages involved in the consultation courageously rejected Vedanta’s project in the face of intimidation and harassment, but the final decision lay with the Ministry for Environment and Forests.

The crushing defeat will have global repercussions for companies intent on working on tribal peoples’ lands and should serve as a lesson that tribal communities’ prior consent must always be sought.

The Dongria Kondh are celebrating their victory over British mining giant Vedanta Resources.
© Toby Nicholas/Survival

 

Survival International has been at the forefront of a global campaign supporting the Dongria’s struggle against Vedanta Resources, and persuaded celebrities such as Joanna Lumley and Michael Palin to champion the tribe’s cause.

Actor Joanna Lumley, who narrated Survival’s short film ‘Mine’ about the Dongria’s plight, said about the victory, ‘I am thrilled and delighted by this marvellous news. It shows that there really is hope for the ’little people’ of the world, standing up against governments and the greed of large corporations. The strength and resilience of the Dongria Kondh people has been both inspirational and humbling.’”

Full Article On Survival International

END:CIV – What Would You Fight For?

Based in part on Endgame, the best-selling book by Derrick Jensen, END:CIV asks: “If your homeland was invaded by aliens who cut down the forests, poisoned the water and air, and contaminated the food supply, would you resist?”

“A fierce critique of systematic violence and industrial civilization, End:Civ is not intended for garden-variety environmentalists. If you are anywhere below, say, an 8 on that sliding scale of pissed off, then this film is going to scare you…which means you should watch it.”

-Eugene Weekly

1aquote-derrick-jensen“There are very sober people talking about the possible death of entire oceans. The end of fish. If that’s not worth fighting for, what is?” Activist and author Derrick Jensen asserts that industrial civilization is murdering the planet and it must be stopped. We need to decolonize our hearts and minds. As soon as our allegiance is to the real world and not industrial capitalism, things become more clear. His books include A Language Older Than Words, The Culture of Make Believe, What We Leave Behind and Endgame.”

END:CIV- “The causes underlying the collapse of civilizations are usually traced to overuse of resources. As we write this, the world is reeling from economic chaos, peak oil, climate change, environmental degradation, and political turmoil. Every day, the headlines re-hash stories of scandal and betrayal of the public trust. We don?t have to make outraged demands for the end of the current global system – it seems to be coming apart already. 

But acts of courage, compassion and altruism abound, even in the most damaged places. By documenting the resilience of the people hit hardest by war and repression, and the heroism of those coming forward to confront the crisis head-on, END:CIV illuminates a way out of this all-consuming madness and into a saner future.

Backed by Jensen’s narrative, the film calls on us to act as if we truly love this land. The film trips along at a brisk pace, using music, archival footage, motion graphics, animation, slapstick and satire to deconstruct the global economic system, even as it implodes around us. END:CIV illustrates first-person stories of sacrifice and heroism with intense, emotionally-charged images that match Jensen’s poetic and intuitive approach. Scenes shot in the back country provide interludes of breathtaking natural beauty alongside clearcut evidence of horrific but commonplace destruction.”

Oil Execs Pack for Greenland As Drilling Moratorium Cancelled

Greenland has given a green light to oil exploration in the north east of the country – an area previously untouched by industry. The move comes as the cash-strapped country searches for a way to fix it’s economy and give it independence. RT’s Alexey Yaroshevsky takes a close look at the pros and cons of the decision… 

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Image: 2008

SoLa: Louisiana Water Stories

Wake-up, wake-up…we cannot continue to live as we have been or keep causing such destruction…sooner or later our bill is going come due and it will be innocent people who pay it for us all…

SoLa: Louisiana Water Stories investigates how the exploitation of Southern Louisiana’s abundant natural resources compromised the resiliency of its ecology and culture, multiplying the devastating impact of the BP oil spill and Hurricane Katrina.

Watch The Full SoLa: Louisiana Water Stories Documentary Here

S.O.S.

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Continue reading

When Words Fail

I’m still hanging out in a funky mental place these days…not a bad place, just…a quiet place where my thoughts float around without the desire to be vocalized. Honestly? I’m tired of talking with my voice even though my mind is as busy as ever. Nothing in my head wants to be released with words apparently but still…

So much to say, so much to say…

~*~

Since my thoughts are resisting words as a form of expression – and since they are also demanding to not be ignored – I’ve had to dig around for other forms of communicating and releasing the constant mental chitter-chatter and pressure that’ll build if I fall into total silence of spirit. These are a few of the pieces I work on during the times when I just cannot focus enough to push coherent words out. Maybe images can fill in for my voice…at least for now.

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Memories of New Orleans (Finished)

The condition of the world and the mess we humans (and all other living beings!) are in is still very much on my mind. I may not be able to compose a several page roaring rant about it all at the moment but the desperation and fury of it all is very much alive and well in my being -

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Silly Humans – There really is no “Planet B”
(Unfinished and in progress still)

Mother, father please explain to me
Why a world so full of mystery
A place so bitter and still so sweet
So beautiful and yet so full of sad, sad…

~*~

Using clipped images/magazine ads is a new thing I’ve been playing with. I’ve used trash on 3-D creations before but I’m exploring how to add them onto “flat” creations as well…there are pieces of plastic, tires and other trash being worked into this piece. We’ll see how it works when it’s all done, I guess.

Lucky for me I create solely to create and never to market or sell so I have no worries beyond just making whatever it is I feel like. My daughter recently asked me if I ever wished I had studied to be a ‘real’ artist and I could only chuckle as I answered, “No”. Not having any formal instruction means I don’t know what it is I should or should not do…frees up a whole lot of playing-around space if you don’t have a clue what the Rules are, right? ;-)

This is the last of the new stuff I’ve been working on…for all of the fucked-up muck in the world, there is still an incredible amount of beauty to be found and celebrated…

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Still have a LOT of work to do on this one – I started it then got “lost” so it’s been set aside for the moment.

I’m sure that my *Actual* voice will regain the urge to be heard again once…meh, once the dust settles over my life again, I s’pose. Until then, I am going to consider the silence an opportunity to explore new ideas and ways to communicate. After all, it really is like Dave says:
“There’s not a moment to lose in the game…Don’t let the troubles in your head steal too much time for you’ll soon be dead…”

 

America’s Private Sector Army

Prior to the Iraq war, most people wouldn’t have heard of the private military companies (PMCs) that provide their services to the USA. Then came the the headlines, thick and fast, as the heavy involvement of PMCs such as Blackwater led to controversy. 

Excerpts, The Kernel - “The number of contractors used is staggering. In 2010 there were 94,413 contractors in Afghanistan, compared with 91,600 US troops.

MERCENARIES IN EVERYTHING BUT NAME

Most PMCs provide logistical support, but one stands out above all others: Blackwater. Described by some as a “private army”, they differ from modern day military units such as the British Army’s Brigade of Gurkhas and the French Foreign Legion, in that they are an autonomous company providing military services. Mercenaries in everything but name. Blackwater in particular stands out for their boots-on-the ground provision of “security guards” who look, smell and operate like any other combat soldier.

Blackwater, now called Academi, became known for a string of controversial incidents involving its personnel. Now that Middle Eastern occupations are winding down and court cases have been settled, Blackwater has managed to slip under the radar again. But it still exists, albeit with a new name, and is as influential as ever.

In the sixteen years of its existence, Blackwater has changed the face of modern warfare. How did they do it, what are they doing now and what does their continued existence mean for the future?

In explaining his vision for Blackwater, its founder Erik Prince famously stated:

“We are trying to do for the national security apparatus what FedEx did for the Postal Service.” 

Blackwater started out by offering training services to the military and landed a major contract to train Navy personnel following the 2000 bombing of USS Cole of the coast of Yemen.

With their reputation established, Blackwater began to hoover up government contracts as the War on Terror progressed. At first they provided security to secret CIA bases, then they became the default private security force for the raft of diplomats and State Department employees who found themselves involved in occupied Iraq. Blackwater proudly remind people that “not one State Department employee was killed while we were protecting them”. No officials may have been killed but a number of innocent Iraqis did, at the barrel of Blackwater guns.

The US military has long had a reputation for financial ineptitude when it come to hardware acquisition. It’s a reputation that has persisted with their procurement of contract services. At the height of the Iraq war, sergeants in the military were getting paid one-sixth of their counterparts from Blackwater. This problem of capitalism colliding with patriotism was so serious that Defense Secretary Robert Gates considered asking US troops to sign a non-compete clause…

…The largest incident branded on Blackwater’s reputation is what has become known as The Blackwater Baghdad shootings. On September sixteenth 2007, Blackwater military contractors shot and killed seventeen Iraqi civilians in Nisour Square, Baghdad…

“They became a symbol of what was seen as an occupying force. They are always heavily armed with machine-guns, and wear body armour and wraparound sunglasses. Usually they are beefy men with goatees, covered in tattoos. They swagger around like something out of a movie. Their presence here has been deeply damaging.”

Blackwater has become a destination of choice for ex-public servants looking for a cushy retirement, resulting in the company having even stronger ties to the centres of American power post-Iraq than pre-Iraq. The board of directors now includes Bobby Ray Inman, the former head of the National Security Agency and Jack Quinn, the former White House Counsel to President Bill Clinton. 

Lessons have learned by both the Government and private companies from their flirtation over the last couple of decades and the legacy will have repercussions on future conflicts. The Government has found a way to patch up their military personnel shortcomings with off-the-shelf and adaptable solutions: no need for the tedium of training youngsters and paying out pension plans.

By buying up experienced Army personnel, Blackwater have made themselves indispensable as a training institution for America’s elite troops. And next time the US goes gung-ho into another country? The contractors will be ready. Academi have developed and manufactured their own infantry mobility vehicle called The Grizzly APC. They were too late to the military hardware party this time around but they have all the pieces in place to take an even greater role in the USA’s next major conflict.” Full Article on The Kernel

 

 

Oil May Fuel Militarization of the Arctic Region

As world powers team up to secure the ecology in the Arctic, the rivalry over its rich oil and gas resources is heating up. Michel Chossudovsky from the Centre for Research on Globalization explains that the battle for the North Pole is high on the global military agenda. 

Originally aired on RT, September 24, 2013
http://youtu.be/-zgkr6Dnshs

Like A Phoenix: Power Beyond The Fall

So…you want a revolution, eh? Pissed off…fed up…you know bad things are going bump in the night but don’t know which way to turn for help when officers are murdering people – and pets – all over the place. Your government representatives have gone deaf and blind. Your online activity is not only not private, but can and will be used against you in court…doors are getting bashed in, your milk is no longer legal, your neighbors can vanish and be indefinitely detained & families are being terrorized by armed and masked SWAT men in the middle of the night…

It is time to do something…NOW!!

Enough is enough!! Our founding fathers would not have stood for this and neither should we!! 

The time for a revolution is at hand…!

Or is it..?

Continue reading

Taking Out The Garbage

I look around at the piles of garbage floating all around us & I wonder how in the hell we can even start to begin to clean it all up…so many little messes to step around here and there; so many mountains to climb if we want to get from there to here. We’ve lost sight of ourselves and each other while we wander around the aisles of the dump, searching for the Exit Sign and trying to understand how it is that we ever got ourselves into such a fouled-up space to begin with…

No wonder so many people seem stuck and tired and mired in muck. Our garbage is pushing against us everywhere, spreading itself out, oozing across our farms and towns and mountains…no hideaway is high enough and no cul-de-sac is snug enough to keep it at bay anymore…and people are starting to panic as they feel the pressure building up from their toes to their ankles, pressing in and in…we wade around knee-deep as our collective trash pile starts reaching up to the sky…or at least to the top of the For Sale sign on the empty house next door.

Of course I don’t just mean literal garbage…although that is one of the obvious issues facing us as our self-created dump starts to quake and crumble beneath our feet. What I really don’t understand – what baffles me day in, day out…is the question of why we allow so much around us to continue happening when it is obvious that…

IT IS ALL GARBAGE.

Our leaders are trashing talking morons; they spew foul-smelling lies that stink up our air and fog our minds…and we accept it. We whoop and holler and wave (disposable, Made In China) flags and shower them in cheap compliments on Victory Night! And then…then we begin bowing like whores hoping the fat cats will toss us a morsel…or perhaps some new riot gear, at least…as they sit at the grand table in front of us & feast on the carcass of our freedom. We smile bright, shiny, Credit Card smiles and say “Aww shucks” when leaders stomp us with black-booted laws…and then we proceed to elect them again and again.

The stench of politricksters’ broken promises wafting up from the new human garbage receptacles private prisons in almost every city is strong enough to gag the Man On The Moon and yet…there’s still the voice from the back of the room that utters the death sentence to community spirit…

“At least it brings us jobs…”        

And what are we to do about the ever-growing mound of wounded Pawns with trashed-out minds that are being Returned To Sender…What’s to become of the soldiers that land on our porches with hollow eyes and bleeding souls…screaming out in midnight confusion? We wrap their wounds with cheap gauze and their minds with expensive drugs to no avail. We excuse the Kings & Queens that trash every thing in sight…then we offer up our children as Disposable Sacrifices upon the altars of their lying wars. We hold huge parades, throw plenty of streamers and candy wrappers around on the ground and consider the broken lives honored…and little toy soldiers are left to collect with confetti & dirt lining the gutter. Continue reading

Judge Urged To Accept Halliburton’s Guilty Plea

Wow…a whopping fine of $200,000 for a company like Halliburton…I bet their execs are laughing their (oily) asses off about this…

Gulf oil spill. Fish on shore at Grand Isle St...

Gulf oil spill. Fish on shore at Grand Isle State Park, Louisiana, leaks oil when poked. grassrootsmapping.org oilspill.labucketbrigade.org (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Miami Herald – “NEW ORLEANS – Halliburton Energy Services and Justice Department prosecutors have urged a federal judge to approve a plea deal that calls for the Houston-based company to pay a $200,000 fine for destroying evidence after BP’s 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

In a court filing Thursday, Halliburton and prosecutors said the company’s agreement to plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge imposes “fair, just, and appropriate corporate punishment” and reflects its “full, truthful and ongoing cooperation” with the government’s spill probe.

U.S. District Judge Jane Triche Milazzo will decide whether to accept the deal at a hearing in New Orleans scheduled for Sept. 19.

Halliburton was the cement contractor on the drilling rig that exploded, killing 11 workers, following the April 2010 blowout of BP’s Macondo well.

The fine that Halliburton agreed to pay is the statutory maximum for the charge it faces, destruction of evidence. The company also has agreed to be on probation for three years and make a $55 million contribution to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, but that payment wasn’t a condition of the plea deal.

Halliburton won’t face any other criminal charges in connection with the case, though individual employees could still be charged.” Full Story Here

War Dividend: Arms Firms Ready To Cash In

“War against a foreign country only happens when the moneyed classes think they are going to profit from it.”

- George Orwell

~$~

Published on Sep 16, 2013

RT “US military forces remain in position to strike Syria, if Damascus fails to comply – with France backing up Washington’s threat. An attack would bring huge risks. But also stellar profits for US arms firms, as Lindsay France reports…”

~$~

war-is-money

~$~

“Politicians hide themselves away
They only started the war
Why should they go out to fight?
They leave that role to the poor…” 

Potential US ConsequencesOf the Trans Pacific Partnership

I’ve not yet had time to dig into all of this information and cannot vouch for the accuracy of all of it but I thought it was worth sharing so that others can start doing their own searches and decide for themselves whether or not this latest partnership is good or bad. So far I’m leaning towards thinking this is not a good thing but I need more time and information before I make up my mind 100%. ~Reb

“The Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a secret trade agreement that is nearing the end of negotiations as of Fall 2012. It has been negotiated solely between participating-nation Presidents,their chief trade advisors, and some 600 corporate advisors, who have been working together to craft this more than 25-chapter agreement: only five, it is said, of which have to do with actual trade.Despite international trade being a Constitutional right given to Congress.

Congress has not only been closed out of the negotiations process, but has been denied full access to the agreement’s text. The media and citizens at large are also denied access to the text, until several years after the agreement has passed.

Some readers will want to dig into this document in its entirety, while others may want to choose select categories of interest from the table of contents on the following page. However, I recommend taking the time to read it in full since it is written in a connect-the-dots fashion that documents these proven patterns of free trade consequences in America. In addition, each section has morsels of eye-opening information and/or statistics, which you will want to be aware of.”

Photo via Expose the TPP – USA on Facebook

This document will highlight:
• General US consequences of trade agreements: rising trade deficits, lost American jobs
•Impacts of NAFTA, the World Trade Organization and KORUS
•State and national laws and policies which impede corporate “lost potential profits” already going to global tribunals of corporation vs. offending nation under trade agreement “barriers”
•Exporting of blue and white collar American jobs: growing threats under the TPP
•Food safety: likely to be less safe under the TPP
•Environmental consequences of free trade and the TPP
•The TPP and medications: extended drug patents, less generics, higher prices
• Internet Freedom: tighter regulations than the Congressionally rejected SOPA, PIPA

READ FULL DOCUMENT HERE ON SCRIBD

War Is A Racket

War is a Racket by Smedley Butler is a famous speech denouncing the military industrial complex. This speech by two-time Congressional Medal of Honor recipient exposes war profits that benefit few at the expense of many. Throughout his distinguished career in the Marines, Smedley Darlington Butler demonstrated that true patriotism does not mean blind allegiance to government policies with which one does not agree. To Hell with war.

– Excerpt from a speech delivered in 1933, by Major General Smedley Butler, USMC.

War is just a racket. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of people. Only a small inside group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few at the expense of the masses.

I believe in adequate defense at the coastline and nothing else. If a nation comes over here to fight, then we’ll fight. The trouble with America is that when the dollar only earns 6 percent over here, then it gets restless and goes overseas to get 100 percent. Then the flag follows the dollar and the soldiers follow the flag…

I wouldn’t go to war again as I have done to protect some lousy investment of the bankers. There are only two things we should fight for. One is the defense of our homes and the other is the Bill of Rights. War for any other reason is simply a racket.

There isn’t a trick in the racketeering bag that the military gang is blind to. It has its “finger men” to point out enemies, its “muscle men” to destroy enemies, its “brain men” to plan war preparations, and a “Big Boss” Super-Nationalistic-Capitalism.

It may seem odd for me, a military man to adopt such a comparison. Truthfulness compels me to. I spent thirty- three years and four months in active military service as a member of this country’s most agile military force, the Marine Corps. I served in all commissioned ranks from Second Lieutenant to Major-General. And during that period, I spent most of my time being a high class muscle- man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism.

I suspected I was just part of a racket at the time. Now I am sure of it. Like all the members of the military profession, I never had a thought of my own until I left the service. My mental faculties remained in suspended animation while I obeyed the orders of higher-ups. This is typical with everyone in the military service.

I helped make Mexico, especially Tampico, safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefits of Wall Street. The record of racketeering is long. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912 (where have I heard that name before?). I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. In China I helped to see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested.

During those years, I had, as the boys in the back room would say, a swell racket. Looking back on it, I feel that I could have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents…