Carol Schachet's blog

Resource Rights Video

Big business wants to gobble up our resources—grabbing land, privatizing water, patenting seeds and trying to squeeze out anyone who gets in the way of their profits. Fortunately, an alternative exists that places the rights of people and communities ahead of big business. The alternative is resource rights.

Grassroots International produced a short video that explains the challenges and hope surrounding the movement for Resource Rights, starting with the story of our partner, Dona Maria. By sharing it through social networks like Facebook, you can help spread word of this powerful movement to secure land, water and food right for all.

Mega-Dam Project in Brazil Halted: Grassroots groups celebrate victory

Indigenous peoples, local communities – and likely the earth itself – are breathing a sigh of relief and celebrating a major victory. After years of organizing and a series of major environmental studies, São Luiz do Tapajós mega-dam, the largest hydroelectric project planned for the Amazon, has been canceled.

According to our partner, the Movement of People Affected by Dams (MAB), which has organized for years in opposition to the dam project, the Brazilian Institute of the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (IBAMA) canceled the licensing of the São Luiz hydroelectric dam, citing an Environmental Impact Study.

Court Stops Massive Land Grab in Brazil, Rules Against TIAA-CREF and Foreign Investors

With minimal fanfare or notice, Brazil's social movements just stopped a land grab larger than the area of Los Angeles, CA.  The court ruling prevented the eviction of thousands of small-scale farmers and community members who have been living on the more than 306,000 acres of land in the Brazilian state of Piaui.

"This is a very important case," said Fabio Pitta from the Social Network for Justice and Human Rights, a Sao Paulo-based advocacy group and partner of Grassroots International, which brought the case before the state court.

Brazil: 12 Things You Should Know About What's Happening

Since the Brazilian Senate voted to impeach President Dilma Rousseff last month, the country of Brazil has made a sharp turn to the right (politically). Millions of Brazilians have taken to the streets in protest of the impeachment proceedings (calling them an administrative coup) and demanding that democracy be restored to their nation.

Below are 12 things you should know about what is happening in Brazil now.

Hearts Beat with Pulse of Orlando

On Sunday morning, the unthinkable happened… again. A gunman armed with legally acquired assault weapons opened fire on a crowded dance floor in a gay bar in Orlando, Florida. He shot more than 100 people, killing 49, leaving more than 50 with serious physical injuries and the larger community with profound wounds in need of healing as well.

Sadly, violence, murder, intimidation and oppression pervade every country where we work – including the United States. Each instance stands alone in its particulars, but all share tremendous loss, aching hearts and enraging injustice.

Community Empowerment in Southern Mexico

When Ben Achtenberg and his wife Emily joined the Grassroots International delegation to Mexico, he brought his camera and an eye for picture-taking, along with a deep history of engagement with global movements and political activism. You can read more about Ben's observations on his blog (Caring for Survivors of Torture), starting with "Indigenous farmers are protecting a way of life and a vital resource for the future...."

The whole blog appears here, with a snippet below:

Movement Views Dilma Ouster as a Coup

Yesterday, May 12, the Brazilian Senate voted to begin the impeachment trial of President Dilma Rousseff in what many many Brazilian are calling an institutional and neoliberal coup. Dilma has been withdrawn from office for 180 days pending the results of Supreme Court proceedings. For her part, Dilma has vowed to fight the proceedings and has called on supporters -- both of her presidency and of democracy -- to take to the streets in protest.

A New Collaborative: Announcing Launch of the Grassroots Climate Solutions Fund

Indigenous Peoples, women, youth, and diverse grassroots groups around the world have the solutions to our global climate crisis. The Grassroots Climate Solutions Fund finances and amplifies these solutions—to ensure a brighter future for us all.

“We are thrilled to join with sister foundations and move more funding and support to grassroots solutions to climate change,” says Chung-Wha Hong, Executive Director of Grassroots International. “Together our complementary strengths and common resolve can have a greater impact by supporting powerful, community-led and globally minded solutions.”

The Need for Grassroots Solutions

Climate Change, Learning Exchanges and Your Coffee

Nearly 75 percent of Mexico’s coffee is dying. A fungus (known as la roya, or rust) is working its way across the coffee fields in Oaxaca, Chiapas and other states, threatening to ruin farmers’ livelihoods and severely impact the supply of coffee that growers export around the world.

The rapid spread of the Roya Fungus is rooted in two global phenomena: climate change and trade agreements.  And small farmers are organizing to adapt to the first, and confront the second, with remarkable innovation and courage.

Solidarity in Spirit and the Streets

Over the last several weeks, I’ve come to see that solidarity can be a gritty, challenging, dig-deep-into-your-spirit kind of thing. But above all that, solidarity can be dangerous, and it matters.

On Thursday, March 17 movement organizations in Honduras showed the world – and most especially the Honduran government – what solidarity looks like. Fierce. Smart. Unrelenting.