By Nikhil Aziz
May 11th, 2009
Saulo and I traveled with our partner Rafael Alegria of the Via Campesina and COCOCH (Honduran Coordinating Council of Campesino Organizations), about an hour northeast of Honduras' capital Tegucigalpa, near the town of Comayagua, to meet Analina Claros, one of the leaders of the Nueve Noviembre (November 9th) settlement, and her neighbors. This is what she shared with us over a wonderful homecooked stew of chicken and vegetables and freshly made corn tortillas, all grown and raised in their settlement:
"The cascading series of events now known as the world food crisis started in Mexico as the 'tortilla war' in January 2007. It then flared up in Italy as the 'spaghetti strike' nine months later. Later it became an unstoppable avalanche ... La Vía Campesina believes that this crisis is the result of decades of destructive policies: pressure from international institutions such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund to decrease investment in small-scale food production through structural adjustment programs; increasing the power of transnational corporations; financial speculation; and more recently, governments' support for the frantic escalation in the production of agro-fuels."
Many social movements from across the Americas were in Trinidad for the 4th People’s Summit to articulate their demands for moving the hemisphere towards economic (including trade) and climate justice, food sovereignty, human rights, and an end to militarization. They represented movements of women, peasants, indigenous peoples, labor and those struggling for environmental justice.
By Saulo Araujo and Lilian Autler
April 29th, 2009
Representatives of two of Grassroots International’s Brazilian partners were in the San Francisco Bay Area April 22 - 29 to meet with U.S. allies and help educate the U.S. public about the damaging impacts of agrofuel production in Brazil. Altacir Bunde is an economist and leader of the Popular Peasant Movement (MCP) and coordinator of the Creole Seeds Project in Goiás, Brazil. Altacir has been a leading voice in the movement to protect agro biodiversity and defend against the expansion of large scale single crop plantations in the Central Plateau of Brazil.
Sunday marked Land Day in Palestine and around the world. Land Day is an annual commemoration of the events of March 30, 1976, when the Israeli army and police killed six unarmed Palestinian protesters and injured 96 others during a peaceful protest in the Galilee. More than 300 people were also arrested in the demonstration opposing the Israeli authorities' seizure of 5,500 acres as "closed military zones."
Grassroots International Board Member Marie Kennedy and staff member Salena Tramel visited partners and allies in the West Bank and Israel prior to joining a delegation to Gaza, co-sponsored by Code Pink. This entry is from Marie's notes from her meetings in the West Bank.
Feb 27th – Stop the Wall Campaign Members Tell Their Stories
With thanks in part to $80,000 dollars in generous donations made to Grassroots International in response to the Gaza Crisis, our partners in Palestine have begun the process of rebuilding their communities.
For a Grassroots International staff member and Board member, this International Women's Day offered a real glimpse at global solidarity. The two women, along with 58 other activists, writers and thinkers stepped across the rarely penetrable border into Gaza. Delegates hope to meet with their counterparts, including a number of Grassroots International partners, visit to the urban gardens of the Palestinian Agricultural Relief Committees (PARC), and meet with the Gaza Community Mental Health Program (GCMHP), whose building was severely damaged during the Israeli attack.
The information below is adapted from a press release by Code Pink.
GAZA CITY, GAZA STRIP - A 60-member aid delegation was allowed entry into war-torn Gaza today through the Egyptian border crossing today. Two Grassroots International staff and board members (in the middle of the photo above) are part of the delegation, which includes Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Alice Walker.