By Nikhil Aziz
May 17th, 2010
Last month, I traveled to Cochabamba, Bolivia for a number of reasons. The main one was to attend the World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth. Many of Grassroots International’s partners from Latin America, Asia and Africa were also there – some of whom we supported to attend – and it was a great opportunity for me to meet with them and with many of our allies in one central location. They were all at the conference because for them the climate crisis is immediate in its impact and not some theoretical scenario for the future.
By Timi Gerson
May 5th, 2010
Recently our colleague Timi Gerson at American Jewish World Service published the article below, debunking the myth that biotechnology will save the world from hunger and exposing the anti-organic bias of biotech advocates. Grassroots International and the American Jewish World Service are working to support food sovereignty and sustainable agriculture worldwide.
Last week, I met with representatives from the National Women’s Commission of the Via Campesina - Guatemala. The Commission comprises women from four different peasant and indigenous organizations. As I entered the small office, I quickly recognized familiar faces from my last meeting with them in 2009, except for one young woman sitting in the corner with an open notebook: Julieta. The new National Coordinator for Women of our partner the National Coordination of Indigenous People’s and Campesinos (CONIC), Julieta is a soft-spoken leader facing the enormous task of coordinating rural women from 475 Mayan communities.
Grassroots International had been hearing from our partners in Haiti, both the peasant movements as well as the urban-based coalitions, that they were extremely disheartened by their exclusion from the development of plans for Haiti’s relief and reconstruction. Since the week after the earthquake, our partners have shared with us several thoughtful and powerful statements that outline the key principles and strategies necessary for a more just renewal of Haiti - from their perspective. Grassroots International has been sharing their statements as widely as possible – working to insert and amplify their voices within the larger policy debates.
Cultures in different parts of our planet have long held rivers to be life-giving. Early human civilizations are even known by their connection to the river systems whose banks they arose from like the Indus-Ganga, the Nile and the Yangtze Kiang-Huang He. But today human actions and inaction have literally throttled our rivers through industrial pollution, mega dams, diversification, deforestation and the list goes on.... But people are fighting back -- especially those most directly impacted. In my home country India, numerous popular movements have emerged like the Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA-Save the Narmada Movement) and the Ganga Mukti Andolan (GMA-Free the Ganga Movement).
Grassroots International partner La Via Campesina celebrated international women's day, March 8, 2010 with a re-affirmation of their global campaign to end violence against women. Last November 25th, on the occasion of International Day against Gender Violence, the Via called for an end to all forms of violence against women and called on its members to work with their ally, the World March of Women to coordinate actions against gender violence. The Via launched its campaign to end violence against women at its fifth international congress in 2008, in Maputo, Mozambique.
Since a devastating earthquake shook Haiti more than two weeks ago, Grassroots International’s partners on the ground have been working to assess the situation and respond to the needs of the community – even as they themselves have suffered great losses. With help from hundreds of people who have donated in response to the crisis, Grassroots International has made three initial grants to three of our partners in Haiti.
Via Campesina calls for Solidarity with Haiti including Haitian peasant movements in aftermath of earthquake
Grassroots International partner La Via Campesina, a global network of peasant, family farmer and small producer movements more than 100 million strong, and with members in Haiti issued this call for solidarity with Haitians including the peasant population.