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By Carol Schachet
May 25th, 2016
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:
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 Dilma has been withdrawn from office for 180 days pending the results of Supreme Court proceedings.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.
This Mother’s Day we celebrate three women who find the courage to overcome the great adversity they face as they work to improve the lives of their families and of their communities. Juslene, Esperanza and Samiha are three inspiring mothers who, working with Grassroots International’s partners in Haiti, Honduras and Palestine, are key leaders within their communities.
Berta Cáceres – indigenous, environmental, and human rights defender and fierce feminist who was assassinated in Honduras on March 3rd, 2016 – was, among so many other things, a mother in resistance. She inherited this from her mother, who was an inspiration to her, and she passed this down to her own daughters and son.
Berta’s mother, Austra Bertha Flores Lopez, worked as a midwife and served as mayor of their town and then governor of their state. She taught her daughter about fighting for justice from the time she was a child. During the period of intense violence of the 1980s, Austra took in and cared for refugees from El Salvador, showing her children what real solidarity looks like.
Grassroots partner, the Popular Peasant Movement (MCP), recently won renewed funding by the Brazilian state of Goiás to build and renovate 1,000 homes for small farming families. For the MCP, this marks a major milestone for advancing farming family rights and recognition by the state of the crucial role that small farmers play in society.
The signing of the ‘My House, My Life’ agreement on April 5th in the state capital, Goiânia, was attended by members of the MCP, the Governor of the State of Goiás, Marconi Perillo, and representatives from the federal government and state financial institutions.
By Jovanna Garcia Soto
April 25th, 2016
Right wing forces in Brazil are using all kinds of sneaky tricks to remove the democratically elected President Dilma Rousseff and take power. They have the backing (both official and unofficial) of major corporations, the Brazilian elite and the media (especially the Globo Network who monopolizes media in Brazil.)
On this Earth Day and every day, Grassroots International is honored and humbled to stand together with the social movements around the world that are most impacted by ecological destruction, and that are at the forefront of struggles for ecological justice. As members of the Grassroots Global Justice Alliance and the Climate Justice Alliance, we are proud to share an important report released this week.
This month Grassroots International has been able to make several grants to movements in Honduras that are organizing in response to the assassination of Berta Cáceres, an indigenous environmental leader who was killed on March 3. Plus, we’ve added our voice (and thousands more!) to calls for justice for Berta and her community – and several financiers have pulled out of the controversial dam project threatening the Lenca peoples’ sacred and beloved Gualcarque River.
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
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.