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By Julia Burke
October 15th, 2014
Ali Abd El Rahman has been in the United States for only a few days, but it’s the longest he’s ever lived without having to go through a military checkpoint.
El Rahman lives in Jerusalem, and as a Palestinian, his actions, resource use, transportation, and work are under Israeli government control. He doesn’t even have a legal passport; the Israeli government issues Jerusalem Palestinians travel documents that require a lot of explanation when he attempts to cross international borders.
By Jovanna Garcia Soto
October 9th, 2014
In the morning of September 30, 2014, members of the National Police and military conducted an eviction in the Afro-descendant and indigenous (Garifuna) community of Barra Vieja, Tela, in northern Honduras. Members of the Black Fraternal Organization of Honduras, or OFRANEH, are demanding respect for their right to their ancestral home and an immediate return of the usurped lands.
Miriam Miranda’s journey from Honduras for the People’s Climate Justice Summit put her on the podium in front of thousands of people in New York this weekend. A leader of the Black Fraternal Organization of Honduras (OFRANEH, a Grassroots International partner), Miriam and her community have been on the front lines of work for climate justice. She boldly told the crowd, “We cannot accept nor perpetuate this supposed development which does not take into account or respect nature and the earth’s natural resources… We should and must have the obligation to leave water, air, food and secure the safety for our sons and daughters and other living things.”
by Jen B.
Human rights defenders in Haiti risk their lives to protect the basic rights of Haitian citizens. Exile, intimidation, death threats, and assassinations have become part and parcel with human rights work in Haiti. Since January 2014, 15 local human rights defenders have been the targets of physical attacks and death threats that aim to end their critical work.
Making the connections between the bombing of Gaza, the ongoing occupation of Palestine, violence faced by black communities in the United States, migrant rights and climate disruption may seem like a tall order. But that is what happened on a recent Learning Call facilitated by Grassroots International co-sponsored by the Climate Justice Alliance, the US Food Sovereignty Alliance and Grassroots Global Justice Alliance. (Grassroots International is a member of and works with these coalitions.)
Listen in by clicking the link here:
Although the damaging impacts of hydroelectric development are widely known, the Brazilian Ministry of Mines and Energy reportedly plans to construct 168 new dams by 2021, including the massive Belo Monte Dam.
In the weeks of escalating violence in Gaza, updates from our partners on the ground there have become increasingly dire, desperate and sadly detailed in their listing of dead and displaced. The article below summarizes much of what we have heard.
After almost three weeks of bombing, the death toll in Gaza rose to more than 1,030 on Sunday. The Palestinian poet Jehan Bseiso writes, "There’s more blood than water today in Gaza."
Haaretz notes, "After two and a half weeks of bombardments from the air and ground, roughly two-thirds of the Gaza Strip’s inhabitants — 1.2 million people — are suffering from severe disruptions to the water and sewage systems, according to Emergency Water Sanitation and Hygiene, a coalition of around 40 humanitarian groups operating in the occupied territories. In addition to the damage of the central pipeline and the reservoirs — which affects cities and villages throughout Gaza — home pipes and water containers on roofs have been damaged by the bombardments."
The names of four children jutted out from my computer’s screen like daggers on the list of the dead by name as I refreshed it. Memories of children laughing while flying kites on a beach in Gaza flooded my mind. Are these the same Bakr children I knew, and are they now among the 211 dead in Gaza?
Of course it doesn’t matter if I heard the laughter of Ahed (10), Zakaria (10), Mohammed (11), and Ismail (9) when I spent time with the Bakr family known so well in Gaza’s fishing community. It matters that their parents and loved ones knew their laughter by heart, and will likely spend a lifetime trying to recall the innocent ring of it.
For the first time in Brazilian history, a decree will grant legal rights to people impacted by mega-dam projects. Tarso Genro, Governor of the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul, signed the decree creating a State Policy of People Affected by Hydroelectric Projects on June 23.
Grassroots International joins our partner, Movement of People Affected by Dams (MAB), in celebrating this huge victory. MAB played a key role in pushing for the rights of communities displaced or disrupted by dams, and works for the rights of dam-affected communities nationwide.