Sara Mersha's blog

Trans-Pacific Partnership vs. the People and Planet

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a potentially disastrous “trade” deal, fundamentally undermines economic and social equality, environmental protection, and human rights. With Congress poised to vote on the Obama-touted deal, it’s time to expose the false promises of the TPP.

The final TPP text was finally released in November after seven years of secretive negotiations, during which 500 official U.S. trade advisors representing corporate interests had special access and Congress, the public and press were shut out.

Standing with Flint for Water Rights

We have been horrified by the poisoning of the water supply of the residents of Flint, Michigan, a predominantly Black community.  As part of alliances such as the Climate Justice Alliance, and through our work accompanying Global South social movements, Grassroots International understands this issue as part of the struggle against racism and for the human right to clean water around the country and around the world.  We are moved by the statement of solidarity below by the South by Southwest Experiment, a project connecting grassroots communities in the US South and Southwest, and invite you to share it broadly.

World Environment Day - With Liberty, Justice and Sovereignty for All

Social movements around the world, including Grassroots International partners, take action on World Environment Day (June 5) to highlight the importance of ecological justice.  On this day, we are happy to share a video from a recent talk that Grassroots International had the opportunity to be a part of, along with Anim Steel, founder and Executive Director of the Real Food Challenge, and Mark Bittman, New York Times journalist and author.  

Seeing Firsthand Climate Disruption in Haiti

It is rainy season in Haiti – or at least it is supposed to be rainy season. But the rains didn't come in April, and it has only rained a few times in May. All the rice seeds they saved up to buy, and all the time they took to plant the seeds and care for the plants – it's all gone. They lost them because the rains haven't come, and the government never finished the irrigation project it had promised them. But the bigger reason is climate disruption.

10 Photos for International Human Rights Day: A Tribute to International Social Movements for Resource Rights

December 10 is celebrated around the world as International Human Rights Day. On this day, Grassroots International is honored to call special attention to the social movements that are on the frontlines of the struggle for resource rights – the human rights to land and water, as well as food sovereignty and climate justice. We have much to celebrate, with several major successes that social movements have achieved in the struggle for resource rights over recent years. At the same time, over the past year, we have been heartbroken as we’ve lost many people who have been courageously defending resource in each of Grassroots International’s program areas. The photos and stories below are just a small sample of some of these movements and human rights defenders.

New Farm Bill Leaves Many Families and Farmers Out in the Cold

The new version of the Farm Bill passed by Congress on February 4, 2014, and signed by President Obama three days later leaves several critical programs around nutrition and programs to support family farmers underfunded. The legislation is problematic on many levels, starting with the three below.

Communities to President Obama: US Government Must Advance Real Solutions to Climate Change

President Obama announced his new Climate Action Plan before an audience of college students at Georgetown University on June 25,  Countless young people, environmental activists, and most importantly, communities most impacted by climate change both in the US and around the world, have long awaited the chance to hear President Obama lay out a concrete roadmap to take action to address climate change.  

Black Mesa Water Coalition resists coal, forges vision for climate justice

On this Earth Day, I’m inspired to share a story of the Black Mesa Water Coalition (BMWC). One of Grassroots International’s US allies, BMWC organizes in indigenous communities, going up against powerful corporate interests in the fossil fuel industry, and engaging in movement building toward a vision for a transition to an economically and ecologically just society. 

Commemorating Palestinian Land Day

 For 37 years, March 30 has been celebrated as Palestinian Land Day, a day of action for land rights.  On this date in 1976, Palestinians inside Israel mobilized to protest Israel’s plans to take 2,000 hectares of land from Palestinian communities in Galilee.  Six Palestinian citizens of Israel were killed by Israeli forces, and hundreds more were injured and arrested.  Though the repression was severe, people around world celebrate this date as an important moment in history, bringing Palestinians together in a common struggle for their rights to land wherever they live.