By Nicola Bullard with Gopal Dayaneni
September 16th, 2009
This is the time of year when gardeners start to reap their rewards—fruits and vegetables that make for a healthy feast. But for the people of Gaza, gardens produce a serving of self-sufficiency, too.
Urban gardens usually bring to mind savvy urbanites indulging in an organic lifestyle—witness Michelle Obama and her model urban garden at the White House. Although urban gardens in the West may not be a total indulgence—Ms.
By Salena Tramel
August 11th, 2009
I spent the better part of last week crisscrossing Haiti’s arid Northwest with Grassroots International’s partner the National Congress of the Peasant’s Movement of Papay (MPNKP). MPNKP is best known to our allies and friends for their Creole Pig Repopulation project that we have supported for many years, and I was excited to follow up with families in far-off rural areas that our organization has not yet visited.
Throughout our time on the ground together, it became clear to me that it’s not just about the pigs—it’s about the organizing. The pig repopulation project represents this organizing.
Last April my colleague Saulo Araujo (Program Coordinator for Brazil & Mesoamerica) and I visited Honduras. What impressed us the most was the strength and vibrancy of social movements, like our partners the Via Campesina (Central America) and COCOCH (the Honduran Coordinating Council of Peasant Organizations), and our allies like COPINH (Civic Council of Indigenous and Popular Organizations of Honduras) and OFRANEH (Honduran Black Fraternal Organization). And especially the strong and resilient women in the forefront of struggle. Afro-Hondurans like Leoncia and Wendy, Lencas like Pasqualita, and Mestizo women like Analina and Berta
At a candidates forum convened by the Via every single presidential candidate attended.
Our colleagues in the Brazilian Movement of People Displaced by Dams (MAB) just sent some wonderful news that I want to share with you. After a week of intense work gathering support from Brazilian and international organizations, 14 MAB members are now free, although another four still remain in jail.
The original group of 18 activists was arrested for demonstrating on behalf of families displaced by the Tucuruí Dam in the Amazon region. The group of peasant families called on the Brazilian government to stop the mega-dam project and instead provide infrastructure projects--such as roads, schools and health clinics--and to open lines of credit for agriculture and fishing farming.
Two new reports are available from Other Worlds, a multi-media education and organizing collaborative.
Last month I was in Istanbul to participate in the People's Water Forum that was being held simultaneously with (and challenging) the World Water Forum. The latter is organized by water corporations through their front, the World Water Council, and with the support of multilateral financial organizations like the World Bank and the World Trade Organization.
Not for the world's people for sure. And especially not for the increasingly thirsty billions who lack acess to clean and safe water for drinking, cooking, and growing food; or for those that have been displaced by huge mega dam projects or suffered from water diversions for agribusinesses and bottled water corporations. This was amply evident when the World Water Forum (WWF) denied permission to the United Nations General Assembly President, Father Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann (from Nicaragua) to speak at its 5th gathering in Istanbul, Turkey this past week.