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Thread: Evo Morales Speaks For the Indiginous Life On Planet Gaia

  1. #21

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    Senor Mundaca - your history is as biased as your politics.

    Howzabout we start with Potosi - the legendary "rich mountain" of silver ore. A physical El Dorado to the rapacious Spanish.

    Tens of thousands of indigenous Bolivians were worked to death by the conquistadores in the service of nothing more than European imperialist greed.

    When healthy adult Bolivians became scarce (they were mostly dead), the Spanish shipped in African slaves as acémilas humanas. "Human mules."

    The, ahem, "enlightened" Europeans worked at least 30,000 African slaves to death as well.

    All this was approved as God's Work by the Catholic Church.

    Btw I've been to Bolivia three times. It's a uniquely beautiful country.
    Last edited by Jan Klimkowski; 03-15-2010 at 09:31 PM.
    "It means this War was never political at all, the politics was all theatre, all just to keep the people distracted...."
    "Proverbs for Paranoids 4: You hide, They seek."
    "They are in Love. Fuck the War."

    Gravity's Rainbow, Thomas Pynchon

    "Ccollanan Pachacamac ricuy auccacunac yahuarniy hichascancuta."
    The last words of the last Inka, Tupac Amaru, led to the gallows by men of god & dogs of war

  2. #22

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jan Klimkowski View Post
    Senor Mundaca - your history is as biased as your politics.

    Howzabout we start with Potosi - the legendary "rich mountain" of silver ore. A physical El Dorado to the rapacious Spanish.

    Tens of thousands of indigenous Bolivians were worked to death by the conquistadores in the service of nothing more than European imperialist greed.

    When healthy adult Bolivians became scarce (they were mostly dead), the Spanish shipped in African slaves as acémilas humanas. "Human mules."

    The, ahem, "enlightened" Europeans worked at least 30,000 African slaves to death as well.

    All this was approved as God's Work by the Catholic Church.

    Btw I've been to Bolivia three times. It's a uniquely beautiful country.
    My history is easly evident and observable, seńor Jan.

    All you have to do is to go to a library, or search for kewords as "aztecas", "Mayas", "Incas", "Bishop Las Casas", "Motolinia", "Encomienda", "Chiquitos", "Misiones de Chiquitos", etc., or better: a good book about the American History. It will not bite you, I guarantee....

    About Potosí: the silver mines where discovered after the conquest, in lands that where part of Spain by that time, so is not a "robbery" as some official history claim (including our own Bolivian official history).

    What you don't know and nobody tell you, is that indigenous miners in Potosí where PAYED by his work, and there was only a temporary work: after some months, they where free to go.
    Problem was the PRICE they payed to the workers: the price was mostly stablished by the vicerroy administration in Lima (Perú) according the minimun salary in the city of LIMA. But Potosí was the most expensive city in the world by that time, so the minimun salary was only enough for about two weeks of the month.
    That's why no many indians want to come to work and the one it does, was obligated by debts to pay the taxes to the crown (Indigenous was the only obligated to pay taxes: creoles and spanish where free from that obligation).

    The main problem (and the reason for the scarse workers) was the obligation to release them when his time was accomplished. In order to have more workers, mine administration give some extra benefits to the workers, as to give a free amount of coca and some free food, also. That lead to enrichment of many indigenous coca traders (cocanis), many of them richer than any spanish (The rebelion of Tupac Katari, was payed by his wife Bartolina Sisa, one of the richest cocani of Bolivia in those times)

    About the 10000 indigenous died in Potosí: evry ancient mine take a death toll, but 10000 is only part of the folkore. Who count them...??.. in what period of time..???...
    Negro people where not good workers for Potosí, due that the hig altitude of the city. So indigenous where better. Negros where mostly used in agricultural tasks, and Bolivia recived not many of them. The negro community is very little in Bolivia.

    The so called "human acemiles" where people dedicated to transport in their back things as food and coca, in those roads too much narrow for a cart. It was a very hard work due to the hills and mountains, but as I sayed, not forever.

    If you have visited Bolivia, next time pay attention to a good history book, not folkore. Folkore is fun, but not accurate or true. Even official Bolivian history has incorporated many of them, according the Independence War view.
    - I hope you have visited the Chiquitos Missions also: a completly different view of spanish conquest.

    Many of the legends about spanish cruelty (some of them are true, also. Specially when they punish rebels, to set an example) where tailored to create hate during the Independence War, hate against "the enemy", to justify to slaughter them. Latter, 15 years of war automatically create many reasons to hate them.

    But is very interesting that the first rebelions where not performed against the spanish, but against THE FRENCH ....!!!! (Napoleon was ruling Spain by that time, and we don't want to obey him). After the first battles and deaths suffered against spanish army (under french obedience), the wrath created by the loses and some smart university creoles lead to change the objetive: the Independence.

    And without the help recived from England ( mortal enemy of Spain and France by that time), the Independence cannot be posible (they send weapons, money and even military generals and crew to help the libertadores, using the link of the masonery). I bet you don't knew that, either. You will not find it in our countrie's official history books.:D
    Last edited by Ruben Mundaca; 03-15-2010 at 11:33 PM.

  3. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ruben Mundaca View Post
    About Potosí: the silver mines where discovered after the conquest, in lands that where part of Spain by that time, so is not a "robbery" as some official history claim (including our own Bolivian official history).
    Sorry, I can't be assed even to debate this nonsense so instead I'll paraphrase Pierre-Joseph Proudhon: all imperialist property is theft.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ruben Mundaca View Post
    But is very interesting that the first rebelions where not performed against the spanish, but against THE FRENCH ....!!!! (Napoleon was ruling Spain by that time, and we don't want to obey him). After the first battles and deaths suffered against spanish army (under french obedience), the wrath created by the loses and some smart university creoles lead to change the objetive: the Independence.

    And without the help recived from England ( mortal enemy of Spain and France by that time), the Independence cannot be posible (they send weapons, money and even military generals and crew to help the libertadores, using the link of the masonery). I bet you don't knew that, either. You will not find it in our countrie's official history books.:D
    I can only assume your point is that one imperialist power was slightly less rapacious and ruthless than the others.

    Not much of a point when you're being worked to death...
    Last edited by Jan Klimkowski; 03-16-2010 at 06:08 PM.
    "It means this War was never political at all, the politics was all theatre, all just to keep the people distracted...."
    "Proverbs for Paranoids 4: You hide, They seek."
    "They are in Love. Fuck the War."

    Gravity's Rainbow, Thomas Pynchon

    "Ccollanan Pachacamac ricuy auccacunac yahuarniy hichascancuta."
    The last words of the last Inka, Tupac Amaru, led to the gallows by men of god & dogs of war

  4. #24

    Default

    Sorry, I can't be assed even to debate this nonsense so instead I'll paraphrase Pierre-Joseph Proudhon: all imperialist property is theft.

    .... Including Inca's Imperialist property, of course. Maybe you don't know either but Inca was an emperor, and gain his emire not giving candy to his enemies, but slaughtering them all.

    Of course, in those times your's and Proudhon's morality doesen't care to anybody. Not to the Inca or Aztecas, for shure.


    I can only assume your point is that one imperialist power was slightly less rapacious and ruthless than the others.

    Not much of a point when you're being worked to death...[/QUOTE]


    - That is one of your problems, seńor Jan. You make too much "assumptions" and read less history.

    - Indigenous people doesen't "work to death". At least, not much more than any european peasant in those times (normal journey was about 10 hours a day.) Sorry. Those times OIT doesen't exist.

    But you are in contradiction with your own "assumptions". If they where slaves (as you "assume") then their lifes where well keeped by their masters.

    ... Because you know seńor Jan, a slave is an expensive investment that any master don't want to lose ( specially when "healthy and adult Bolivians become scarce"). Offer and demmand, seńor Jan.
    Last edited by Ruben Mundaca; 03-16-2010 at 10:36 PM.

  5. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ruben Mundaca View Post
    In fact, spanish conquest (with all their limitations and diseases) bring a much better life for indigenous people in almost evry place in America. Aymaras where able to have their own land and keep most of their production (formerly, evrything belongs to the Inca). When spanish left America and specially, Bolivia, they leave behind a rich country (rich by those standards), richer than Argentina and Chile for shure, despite de destruction and poverty that bring 15 years of independence war. Now is the 2d.poorest country in American continent.

    But Morales want money, and one way to gain it is to keep blaming spanish and europeans. He recive gifts, collaboration, grace remission of debts, and the sympathy and tears of ignorants.
    It's very easy to exploit a history of ethnic dispossession - nationalism is so obviously good for one's people that it is adopted much more readily by people than more abstract political ideas (making all the more criminal what has been imposed on today's Europeans in an age when we all thought acknowledgement of indigenous peoples' rights was universal and going to be universally applied). But when African, South American and Asian leaders exploit manufactured 'White guilt' for good ends like debt cancellation they only get away with it because tptb are first and foremost the rulers and exploiters of Europeans and European-derived peoples. Anti-White leaders like Morales in South America, and nationalist politicians in Europe who exploit tptb's tolerance of anti-Islamic rhetoric should consider that they play a risky game. Tptb have been manipulating those kinds of politics for a long time. Carl Schmitt:

    Indigenous defenders of homeland soil, who died pro aris et focis, national, patriotic heroes who went into the woods, everything which was the reaction of a telluric force in the face of foreign invasion, has now fallen to an international and supranational steering committee, which helps and supports in the interest of its own specific cosmic-aggressive ends - and which protects and abandons accordingly. The partisan ceases to be merely defensive. He becomes a manipulated tool of worldwide revolutionary aggressiveness. He thereafter becomes incensed that he had been deceived about that for which he took up his struggle, which defined his telluric character and bestowed legitimacy on his partisan irregularity.
    Every Briton persuaded that Nick Griffin is right about the threat 'Islamisation' poses to Britain is a Briton primed to accept the next campaign of war propaganda against Iran, Syria or Pakistan mounted by an establishment that is just as hostile to Britain's traditional people and culture as it is to the Muslim world. And if Morales is prepared to scapegoat Europeans might he not one day face the wrath of a global elite which finds it convenient to decide that scapegoating and victimisation of Europeans is just as evil as racism against peoples who don't happen to be White?

  6. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by David Guyatt View Post
    That an interesting slant on history Ruben. By which I mean the idea that the Spanish Conquistadors and the Europe-nization of Latin America was ultimately beneficial.
    Ruben only addresses certain objective economic and cultural aspects. And whatever the benefits of those European contributions, even if they are found to increase the carrying capacity of land still under the control of the indigenes to the extent more of 'em may live today than otherwise could, it's very unlikely that in the long run the indigenes will benefit from events that included their losing control of their homeland. The peoples of multi-ethnic empires tend to be blended out of existence. To the degree (precisely) that South America's Amerindian leaders also allow European, Asian, and African-derived peoples in South America to form sovereign territorities of their own I would support secessionist movements. This is objectively fair while Morales's scapegoating of Europeans is clearly not principled.

    But what is now evident is that European civilization and its Anglo-American arm are doing more harm than ever before. In the age of the Enlightenment, Europe had many laudable things going for it. But this surely is not the case today where the dominant factor is, well, to dominate and plunder.
    [and addressing Lemkin's screed]

    It's not European civilisation doing this, much less Lemkin's 'gringoes' -- we are the first victims of the regime, its most dominated and plundered. The attempts of the global financiers to bring Asia, Africa and South America under their heel follows their having gained control of Europe and Europeans. Our lands and resources were raped first; our people were the first modern wage slaves; our corrupt governments have been running up unpayable debts to these gangsters for centuries; our cultures were the first to come under systematic attack because they tended to bolster local and traditional tendencies; and finally and most importantly -- and it could only come after the cultural attack and not meet with violent resistance -- no race-civilisation-continent has ever faced the race-replacing migration today's Europeans endure.

    For all that the colonisation of Venezuala by Europeans was wrong by our standards Venezuala today has a president who speaks explicitly for the rights of its native and majority people and whom Amy Goodman, Peter Lemkin, myself, and even European leaders do not see fit to attack on that account -- it's considered good. Europeans, who face a much more clear and present demographic challenge, can only dream that nationalist politicians who speak for us would draw the support of Goodman, Lemkin and the establishment politicians. Any one of the leading European nationalist politicians might have made all those responses to Amy Goodman, but because he defends a people that happens to be White he wouldn't be invited onto 'Democracy Now' -- Goodman's brand of anti-racism, like Lemkin's, being quite unashamedly biased against White peoples' interests, which is to say objectively racist.

  7. Default As Glaciers Melt, Bolivia Fights for the Good Life

    http://www.commondreams.org/view/2010/03/22-7

    Published on Monday, March 22, 2010 by YES! Magazine As Glaciers Melt, Bolivia Fights for the Good Life

    Bolivia is watching its glaciers melt, early casualties of a changing climate. As communities struggle to adapt and the government tries to pioneer an alternative way forward, rural Bolivians believe the answer lies not in consumerist striving to live better, but in learning to live well.

    by Jessica Camille Aguirre

    Don Alivio Aruquipa is smiling as he gestures around his community. Behind him, groups of yelping children kick a soccer ball around a sloping green plaza. Every so often, the ball goes flying off the mesa into a plot of cultivated land below, and the children send someone to go retrieve it.
    Looming over the verdant square that stretches among squat square buildings is Illimani, a blue, breathtaking colossus of craggy rock and snow. On the other side of the mountain sits La Paz, the burgeoning capital city of Bolivia. But here, in the village of Khapi, the hush of remote tranquility is interrupted only by children's cries.

    Alivio, stocky and affable, is one of Khapi's community leaders. He turns somber as he explains how yellow water is beginning to come down from Illimani. The animals don't like it, he says; they get sick or they refuse to drink. The water flowing down from the mountain has also become unpredictable, he adds. It has become impossible to know when to plant the crops.
    Khapi is a village of 40 families in the western part of the Bolivian altiplano; its residents rely on agriculture to survive. It is the closest community to Illimani (the name for both the mountain and the glacier atop it, which provides water not only to Khapi but also to La Paz). For as long as anyone who lives here can remember, the community has relied on water from the glacier to drink, wash, cook, and cultivate food. But now Illimani is disappearing.
    Disappearing Glaciers

    The melting of glaciers worldwide is one of the starkest effects of global warming. In the Cordillera Real mountain range, part of the Andes, glaciers have lost 40 percent of their volume between 1975 and 2006. The glacier Chacaltaya, which sits approximately 20 miles from Illimani, has disappeared completely. Five years ago Chacaltaya was proudly heralded by Bolivian tour agencies as the highest ski slope in the world. Now the Bolivian Ski Club's welcome sign angles forlornly on a barren incline.
    Bolivia, which is home to 20 percent of the world's tropical glaciers (glaciers that are located at high altitudes around the equator), is clearly panicked by the rapidity of glacial melt. Bolivia's tropical glaciers are especially susceptible to climactic changes: they depend on the increasingly erratic rainy season to regenerate, and their altitude compounds the effects of rising temperatures. Edson Ramirez, one of Bolivia's most respected glacier experts, predicted that Chacaltaya, at least, would last until 2015. Now, some scientists express doubt that any Andean tropical glaciers will exist in 30 years.

    The trouble is that the tropical glaciers depend on seasonal regularity. In tropical zones south of the equator, seasons are generally divided into rainy and dry: dry is May through November (southern winter) and rainy is November through April (southern summer). During the rainy season, glaciers accumulate moisture and ice mass. This thaws during dry season, filling streams and rivers with fresh water precisely when it is most needed.
    "Water Is Life."

    When speaking about climate change, people in Bolivia use this refrain with reliable predictability. It is an uncomfortable, unavoidable aphorism. The glaciers are an indispensable part of the national water supply system; as much as 30 percent of the water supply for the 2 million residents of La Paz and its sister city of El Alto come from glacial melt. On a global scale, the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center estimates that 75 percent of the world's freshwater is stored in glaciers.
    But warming temperatures mean that the glaciers are melting at a rate that outpaces their ability to accumulate mass during the rainy months. The consequence is that an important source of water is dwindling dangerously.

    And Khapi isn't just struggling with a deteriorating water supply. As a community that relies on intimate knowledge of weather patterns in order to survive, erratic weather has introduced unforeseen challenges to food production. Sagrario Urgel, with Oxfam Bolivia, is particularly worried about the effect of unpredictable weather on rural communities like Khapi: "They don't have ways to anticipate things like they had before, for the times of planting and harvesting," she explains, "and all of this change in climate is causing considerable crop losses."

    Javier Cortez, a farmer in Khapi, bemoans that he is forced to use chemicals that he considers poison to protect his crops from new plagues. Some community members are bewildered but pleased that a few crops-avocadoes, for example-that could once be cultivated only lower in the valley now grow in the village.
    But most are concerned about the new pests and the unreliability of water.
    "The weather is already changing," Don Alivio laments. "In the old days the rain would come down for a whole week, it would rain slowly ... Now, how does it rain here? Only for two or three hours. It rains tremendously with storms, with hail-sheesh, it plows our crops too."

    Khapi is the first community in a chain of villages that descends down a lush valley on the northern side of Illimani. Don Alivio estimates that more than 40 communities rely on the water that comes down from the glacier. On hot sunny days, they say, the water rushes down in torrents. It has forced many towns to build heretofore-unnecessary bridges. But most days, it trickles down at an exasperatingly meager rate.
    Living Better, or Living Well?

    For many of the people that live at the glacier's foot, the disappearance of Illimani means more than a threat to the water supply. The glacier plays an important role in the cultural and spiritual lives of Khapi residents, and many describe its retreat as equivalent to the loss of a family member...
    Maria Teresa Hosse is the director of the Center for Andean Communication and Development (CENDA). Audacious and outspoken, Hosse explains climate change as the result of a fundamental loss of relationship to the Earth. Speaking at a climate change meeting in La Paz last December, Hosse spoke about capitalism as the root of the rupture between humans and the environment. She has been working with climate change adaptation in Bolivia for more than 20 years, and she moved easily around the conference, chatting casually to community organizers and UN representatives alike. "The most important thing about the Andean culture is that it doesn't demand individualism; in fact it's more important to be part of a community," she says. "It doesn't pursue profit, it's much more important to vivir bien."

    The concept of vivir bien (live well) defines the current climate change movement in Bolivia. The concept is usually contrasted with the capitalist entreaty to vivir mejor (live better). Proponents argue that living well means having all basic needs met while existing in harmony with the natural world; living better seeks to constantly amass materials goods at the expense of the environment.

    The concept of vivir bien is gaining momentum as communities and social activists across Bolivia are meeting to talk about climate change. The underlying conviction is that climate change is caused by an absence of communication between society and nature. Many groups emphasize what they see as ancient Andean sensibilities-they propose a resurgence of communitarian-based consciousness with regard to resource consumption.
    "From the Andean perspective of the cosmos, Illimani is a representation," Javier Villegas, a member of the national indigenous organization CONOMAQ (National Council of Ayllus and Markas of the Qullasusyu) says. He explains the significance of glaciers: "It's an Apu, a deity; a big being that is there that we respect. It is like a god to us."

    Javier is sitting with Felix Iarme Poma, an indigenous community leader from the Cochabamba valley, and they fidget as they try to articulate what pachamama, usually translated as "Mother Earth," actually means. Their discomfort seems akin to how a Catholic might feel if pressed to define the soul. Felix, wearing a bright hand-woven poncho and a hat adorned with a burst of colorful flowers, explains that paying respect to the Earth is fundamentally important to ensuring a sustainable future: "For example, to do the planting, we give respect to the pachamama, to our wakas [places in nature that are considered sacred]. It's so that forever-for the people that produce-the rains will come through our mountains."
    CONAMAQ and other national indigenous groups have drafted statements that demand recognition of the rights of pachamama. They are trying to incorporate traditional lifestyle models into national sustainability strategies. They believe that protecting the ability to vivir bien is a more compelling call to action than scientific data.

    In Khapi, many of the younger community members are moving to the cities of La Paz or El Alto in search of work. They are anxious about the prospects for their village as the water supply dwindles and uncertainty abounds. Don Max is one of the elders of Khapi, and his voice breaks as talks about the future: "Now what water will we use to take care of our crops? With what will we live? And our children, with what? That's why they've gone to the cities-our children have gone."
    A Different Model

    Evo Morales is positioning to become a climate hero on behalf of the global South. The first indigenous president of Bolivia-who is usually clad in an embroidered blazer and who is committed to honoring ancient customs with state pomp-received the title "World Hero of Mother Earth" from the United Nations General Assembly last October.
    In a time of global climate defeatism, the Morales administration is now setting its sights on establishing Bolivia as a forum for alternative approaches to developing climate change solutions. To that end, Morales recently announced a people's climate conference to take place in Bolivia in April.

    "For us, it's the vivir mejor model that has failed: the model of unlimited development, of industrialization without borders, of modernity that devalues history," Morales declared in November of 2008. At last year's climate change summit in Copenhagen, Bolivia remained one of five countries that declined to sign the concluding statement. The government's objection, announced by Bolivia's UN ambassador Pablo Solon, was that rich, industrialized nations had put together an agreement without consulting leaders from the rest of the world. In an interview with Democracy Now! in Copenhagen, Morales asked, "If the leaders of countries cannot come to an agreement, why don't the peoples then decide together?"
    Shortly afterward, he announced an alternative summit, officially titled the First World Conference of the People on Climate Change and the Rights of the Mother Earth.

    Among Bolivia's demands are the establishment of an international climate justice tribunal, a global referendum on mitigation strategies, and the ratification of legal rights for the pachamama. Bolivia also demands that the international community recognize a historic climate debt owed by industrialized countries to developing countries. (In 2000, a recent Oxfam report notes, Bolivia was responsible for 0.35 percent of global GHG emissions, compared to the United State's 16 percent and the European Union's 12 percent.)

    But Morales faces a confounding paradox in one of the poorest countries of the Western hemisphere, where 65 percent of the population lives in poverty: should the government exploit the country's abundant natural resources for the sake of economic development or maintain those resources in the name of sustainability? Marcos Nordgren, a climate change policy expert at the Center for Research and Promotion of the Peasantry (CIPCA) is wary of many national development schemes: resource exploitation, he explains, is equally damaging whether managed by a multinational corporation or a government.

    Many around the world laud Morales for his anti-capitalist rhetoric and apparent commitment to protecting the environment; for many, his inauguration as a UN climate hero cemented him as a beacon of hope. Meanwhile, many Bolivian environmentalists remain skeptical of government plans for development, and it is unclear whether Bolivia will escape its history of unsustainable resource exploitation.
    But the deeper question is whether a government can catalyze a movement that is fundamentally grassroots; or, indeed, whether it ought to try.
    Khapi's Future

    In Khapi, Don Alvio and other community leaders had been asked to discuss their trips to international climate conferences with members of visiting organizations. Khapi has recently received attention in media and climate circles as a bleak augur of the effects of glacial melt. Khapi residents say that Illimani will be extinct in 15 to 40 years. They believe that they can continue to survive here, but only with the assistance of international organizations or the government. Otherwise, they say, their way of life is gone.

    As the sun slowly set over the snow-capped ridge, Don Alivio began to recount his experience at a conference in Sweden. Gesturing profusely, he resorted to Spanish when Aymara, the indigenous language spoken in Khapi, failed to adequately illustrate his thoughts. Arms waving, he described a Swedish supermarket in detail. He mimed a cash register for his listeners, his presentation dotted with Spanish words: "robot," "highly developed," and "automatic."

    As we left, my Danish colleague turned to me in astonishment. "That's my world he's talking about," he said. It's mine too.
    We left Khapi early in the evening. It was understood from the beginning that the visit had to be short; later that night an important ritual was taking place. Four men were to partially scale the craggy face of Illimani to make an offering to the glacier. They would play music and ask for a good season. Then the men would file down, as the sun rose, to be greeted by their community.

    This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License
    Jessica Camille Aguirre wrote this article for YES! Magazine, a national, nonprofit media organization that fuses powerful ideas with practical actions. Jessica is a researcher and project coordinator with the Democracy Center, based in Cochabamba, Bolivia.
    Last edited by Keith Millea; 03-22-2010 at 07:55 PM.
    "You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”
    Buckminster Fuller

  8. #28

    Default Message to Bolivia: Nature’s Rights Are Also Human Rights

    Message to Bolivia: Nature’s Rights Are Also Human Rights

    April 18, 2010 By Eduardo Galeano
    Eduardo Galeano's ZSpace Page / ZSpace
    [Message of the author of the Open Veins of Latin America to participants of the First World Peoples’ Summit on Climate Change and Rights of Mother Earth in the Bolivian city of Cochabamba from April 19 to 22, as an alternative to the Copenhagen Climate Change Summit]

    Sadly, I will not be able to be with you. Hopefully, all that is possible, and also the impossible, will be done so that the Summit of the Mother Earth becomes the first phase towards the collective expression of people who do not direct world polices, but suffer from them.

    Hopefully, we will be able to carry forward the two initiatives of companion Evo (Morales, President of Bolivia)— the Climate Justice Tribunal and the World Referendum against a system of power founded on war and on waste, which scorns human life and auctions our worldly goods.

    Hopefully, we will be able to speak less and do much. The wordy inflation, which in Latin America is more damaging than monetary inflation, has done us, and keeps inflicting, grave damages. And also, and above all, we are fed up with the hypocrisy of the rich countries, which is leaving us without a planet while it delivers pompous discourses to conceal the hijacking.

    There are those who say that hypocrisy is the homage that vice pays to virtue. Others say that hypocrisy is the only proof of the existence of the infinite. And the babble of the so-called “international community”, that club of bankers and war-makers, proves that both the definitions are correct.

    I want to celebrate, for a change, the force of the truth that words radiate and the silences born of human communion with Nature. And it is not by chance that the Summit of the Mother Earth is being realised in Bolivia, this nation of nations that is rediscovering itself after two centuries of a life of falsehood.

    Bolivia has just celebrated ten years of a popular victory in the water war, when the people of Cochabamba were able to defeat an all-powerful Californian company, owner of the water by the grace of a government which said it was Bolivian and was very generous to those from afar.

    That water war was one of the battles that this land saves for the defence of its natural resources: that is in defence of its commonness with Nature. Bolivia is one of the American countries where indigenous cultures have been known to survive, and those voices now resound with more force than ever, despite the long period of rejection and persecution.

    The world, bewildered as it is and stumbling like a blind person in a shoot-out, will have to hear those voices.

    These tell us, mere humans, that we are part of Nature, related to all that have legs, feet, wings or roots.

    The European conquest condemned the indigenous people who lived in that communion for idolatry and, for believing in it, were whipped, beheaded or burnt alive.

    From the time of the European Renaissance, Nature was converted into a merchandise or into an obstacle to human progress. And till now, that divorce between Her and ourselves has persisted, to the point that there still are people of good faith who are moved by poor Nature, so badly treated, so hurt, but they see Her from the outside. The indigenous cultures see Her from the inside.

    Seeing Her, I find myself. Whatever I do against Her, is done against myself. In Her, I find myself; my legs are also the road that it walks.

    Well, we celebrate this Summit of the Mother Earth. And if only the deaf do listen: human rights and the rights of Nature are two names of the same dignity.

    Translated by Supriyo Chatterjee
    Source: Rebelíon
    "I think it would be a good idea." Mahatma Gandhi, when asked what he thought of Western civilization.

    The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways; the point is to change it.
    Karl Marx.

    "Well, he would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies, 1963, replied Ms Rice Davies when the prosecuting counsel pointed out that Lord Astor denied an affair or having even met her.

  9. Default

    http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2010/04/19-0
    Published on Monday, April 19, 2010 by The Guardian/UK Bolivia Climate Change Talks to Give Poor a Voice

    by Andres Schipani in La Paz and John Vidal


    Rafael Quispe is gearing up for his trip. He packs a small leather bag, puts on his black poncho, an alpaca scarf sporting the rainbow-coloured, chequered Andean indigenous flag and his black hat. "This will be an important gathering, a very important gathering. It is about saving our Mother Earth, about saving nature," he says.

    Melting Andes glaciers pose a threat to Bolivians. At least 15,000 people from worldwide indigenous movements and civil-society groups, as well as presidents, scientists, activists and observers from 90 governments, are expected to attend what is being called the "Woodstock" of climate change summits.

    Quispe, an Aymara indigenous leader, is heading for Bolivia's central city of Cochabamba for the World People's Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth, the grassroots alternative to last year's ill-fated UN talks in Copenhagen.

    At least 15,000 people from worldwide indigenous movements and civil-society groups, as well as presidents, scientists, activists and observers from 90 governments, are expected to attend what is being called the "Woodstock" of climate change summits.

    "According to some analyses, about 80% of the world's pollution comes from developed nations and harms, mostly, developing nations. So we feel we have to do something, we must be heard, we must be compensated," says Quispe, who last December lobbied the case of his community at Copenhagen.

    "The COP15 was a total failure, so brother President Evo Morales has decided to call for this climate change conference to do something about it. We the people are the ones that should take the lead on how to tackle the climate crisis," says Quispe.

    Even if the Cochabamba meeting will have no bearing on the UN climate talks, the idea is to give a voice to the world's poorest people – those most affected by climate change – and to make governments more aware of their plight.

    The main goal is to present draft proposals to the UN climate meeting due to be held in Mexico later this year.

    Morales will also use the meeting to announce what could be the world's largest referendum, with up to 2 billion people being asked to vote on ways out of the climate crisis. Bolivia wants to create a UN charter of rights and to draft an action plan to set up an international climate justice tribunal.

    "The only way to get climate negotiations back on track, not just for Bolivia or other countries, but for all of life, biodiversity, our Mother Earth, is to put civil society back into the process. The only thing that can save mankind from a [climate] tragedy is the exercise of global democracy," said Bolivia's UN ambassador, Pablo Solon.

    "There will be no secret discussions behind closed doors. The debate and the proposals will be led by communities on the frontlines of climate change and by organisations and individuals from civil society dedicated to tackling the climate crisis," he added.

    Bolivia is playing an increasingly important role in the climate negotiations by leading attempts to force developed countries to slash their emissions further than they have so far pledged.

    It was one of seven countries that refused to sign up to the deal that emerged from Copenhagen, incurring the wrath of Britain and the US, which this month withdrew $3.5m (Ł2.3m) of climate aid from Bolivia.
    Last April, the UN general assembly approved Morales' initiative of launching the International Mother Earth Day every 22 April to protect the rights of the Andean divinity, Pachamama (Mother Earth), and of "all living beings".

    "What is behind all this discussion is that we have broken the harmony with Mother Earth, with nature, and because we have broken that harmony we are now suffering the consequences of climate change," said Solon.

    In an office plastered with images of Che Guevara, Quispe says Bolivia is taking the initiative because of its indigenous constituency. "Things are moving in a bad direction. Governments know it, scientists know it, but things are not changing. I would say this is the only scenario to make a balance between the pressure that at this moment the corporations are putting on governments, versus the pressure that can emerge from civil society."

    © 2010 Guardian News and Media Limited
    Last edited by Keith Millea; 04-19-2010 at 06:06 PM.
    "You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”
    Buckminster Fuller

  10. Default Indigenous People and the Environment

    http://www.counterpunch.org/peltier04212010.html
    April 21, 2010
    Remarks to the People's Conference on Climate Change

    Indigenous People and the Environment

    By LEONARD PELTIER
    My warmest regards to our host, Bolivian President Evo Morales.
    To Presidents Rafael Correa, Daniel Ortega, Hugo Chavez, and other esteemed Heads of State; national representatives; and all concerned citizens in attendance at the People’s Conference on Climate Change: I send warm greetings and thank you for your participation.

    Today, environmentalists are often portrayed as marginal intellects and labeled “lunatic fringe,” rather than progressive thinkers with the ability to foresee the true cost of destructive corporate practices. I applaud your intent to ignore your detractors and admire your efforts to refine the proposals from the Copenhagen meetings—in particular, towards the creation of a world tribunal for climate issues and a global referendum on environmental choices. I know the calculus of this work is difficult to solve. Listening to the voices of so many to create a common solution is a unique and difficult challenge, but also a special opportunity. I offer prayers for your success.

    My name is Leonard Peltier. I am a citizen of the Dakota/Lakota and Anishinabe Nations of North America. Like many of you, I am a tribal person. As Aboriginal peoples, we have always struggled to live in harmony with the Earth. We have maintained our vigilance and bear witness to a blatant disregard for our planet and sustainable life ways. We’ve seen that the pursuit of maximized profits through globalization, privatization, and corporate personhood has become a plague that destroys life. We know that it is not only the land that suffers as a result of these practices. The people most closely associated with the Earth suffer first and most.

    The enormous pressures of corporate profits have intruded on our tribal lands, but also on our ancient cultures—even to the extent that many Indigenous cultures have virtually disappeared. Just as our relatives in the animal kingdom are threatened, many more cultures are on the brink of extinction.

    In America, we are at ground zero of this war for survival and most often have been left with no mechanism to fight this globalization monster. On those occasions when we are forced into a defensive posture, we are disappeared, tortured, killed, and imprisoned. I myself have served over 34 years in prison for resisting an invasion intent on violating our treaties and stealing our land for the precious resource of uranium. The same desire for uranium has decimated and poisoned the Diné Nation of Arizona and New Mexico. The quest for land for dumping and hiding the toxic waste from various nuclear processes has caused a war to be waged on the Shoshone people of Nevada, as well. These are just a few examples of what “progress” has meant for our peoples. As many can attest, the same struggle is occurring throughout Central and South America. While my defense of my tribal lands made me a political prisoner, I know I’m not at all unique. This struggle has created countless other prisoners of conscience—not to mention prisoners of poor health and loss of life way, as well as victims of guilt and rage.

    To live as we were meant to live is our first right. To live free of the fear of forced removal, destroyed homelands, poisoned water, and loss of habitat, food sources, and our overall life way is our righteous demand. We, therefore, continue our struggle to survive in the face of those who deny climate change and refuse to curb corporate powers.

    It is time for all our voices to be heard.

    It is time we all listen, too—or else our collective Mother will dramatically and forcefully unstop our ears.

    The Indigenous Peoples have been the keepers of knowledge and wisdom—long ago bringing forth foods, medicines, and other products from which the world population still benefits. The loss of our lands and cultures, therefore, is a loss for the entire human family. We are all citizens of Earth and this planet is our only home. What affects one, affects us all. We are all interconnected and our fates are intertwined.
    We can indefinitely survive here, but only if we work together to adopt sustainable models for living responsibly. We cannot continue to destroy Creator’s work, or allow others to do so, in the belief that there will be no consequences.

    I pray for a new age—a new understanding, consciousness, and way of being—a new path for all the peoples of the world.
    Aho! Mitakuye Oyasin!
    (Thank you to all my relations. We are all related.)

    In the Spirit of Crazy Horse,
    Leonard Peltier 89637-132
    USP-Lewisburg
    US Penitentiary
    PO Box 1000
    Lewisburg, PA 17837
    USA

    For more information on Leonard Peltier visit the Leonard Peltier Defense-Offense Committee website.
    Last edited by Keith Millea; 04-21-2010 at 05:07 PM.
    "You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”
    Buckminster Fuller

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