Help Save Yasuni Park … Protect the rainforest ~~ News


Amazon Watch Supports the Call to Save Yasuní, the Last Wonder of the Amazon!

Save Yasuní, the Last Wonder of the Amazon!

Sign the petition to #SaveYasuniNow – the most biodiverse part of the Amazon. Join the fight. Protect the rainforest.

Supporting Indigenous Peoples. Protecting the Amazon.

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Amazon Watch 2/17/2014

Gas Company To Drill in Manu National Park Buffer Zone, Imperiling Indigenous People

February 4, 2014 | David Hill | Source: Mongabay.com

Map of gas operations in the KNN Territorial Reserve and Manu Buffer Area. Map credit: David Hill

 Mongabay.com

Map of gas operations in the KNN Territorial Reserve and Manu Buffer Area. Map credit: David Hill

The Peruvian government has approved plans for gas company Pluspetrol to move deeper into a supposedly protected reserve for indigenous peoples and the buffer zone of the Manu National Park in the Amazon rainforest.

The approval follows the government rescinding a highly critical report on the potential impacts of the operations by the Culture Ministry (MINCU), the resignation of the Culture Minister and other Ministry personnel, and repeated criticism from Peruvian and international civil society.

A subsequent report by MINCU requested that Pluspetrol abandon plans to conduct seismic tests in one small part of the reserve because of the “possible presence of [indigenous] people in isolation,” but didn’t object to tests across a much wider area. In addition to the seismic tests, the planned operations include building a 10.5km flow-line and drilling 18 exploratory wells at six locations—all of them in the reserve which lies immediately to the west of the Manu National Park and acts as part of its buffer zone.

The government approved the plans on January 27th when the Energy Ministry issued a resolution on the operation’s Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), written by Pluspetrol together with consultancy Environmental Resources Management.

The decision was swiftly condemned by AIDESEP. The national indigenous organization accused the government and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), which has played a key role in gas operations in that region to date, of violating their commitments.

Continue Reading »

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Canada Orders Enforcement Action to Proceed Against Chevron in Ecuador Pollution Case

Toronto, Canada – Indigenous and farmer communities in Ecuador scored a major victory over Chevron today when an Ontario appeals court ruled they have the right to pursue enforcement of a $9.5 billion Ecuadorian court judgment against Chevron’s assets in Canada.

The court also ordered Chevron’s two Canadian subsidiaries to pay $100,000 in costs to the Ecuadorians.

“After all these years, the Ecuadorian plaintiffs deserve to have the recognition and enforcement of the Ecuadorian judgment heard in an appropriate jurisdiction,” said the decision issued by a three-judge panel of the Court of Appeal of Ontario.  “At this juncture, Ontario is that jurisdiction.”

The decision, a copy of which is here, was lauded by the leaders of the Ecuadorian communities and their lawyers.

“This order will allow us the opportunity to hold Chevron accountable for fleeing the scene of its environmental crimes in Ecuador after a valid judgment was entered against it,” said Pablo Fajardo, the lead Ecuadorian lawyer for the villagers.

Humberto Piaguaje, a Secoya indigenous leader who is the director of the Assembly of Affected Communities, said: “This decision is momentous.  It proves Chevron cannot hide behind legal technicalities to avoid justice.”

Continue Reading »

Marco Rubio


Senator Marco Rubio Speaks out against Progressive Socialism, Big Government and our climbing national debt at Tax Day Tea Party Rally in Tampa, April 15, 2011. Event hosted by the Tampa 912 and Tampa Tea Party, partnered with 14+ Tea Party and Grass Roots Organizations, including “Americans For Freedom” founder Michael Pinson.

Friday, May 7, 2010 15:54 ET

Immigration flip-flop will cost Marco Rubio

The U.S. Senate candidate changes his position to fall in line with the Tea Party crowd

By Joy-Ann Reid

This originally appeared on Joy-Ann Reid’s Open Salon blog.

Marco Rubio has changed his mind about the Arizona immigration law, which he now supports whole-heartedly, to the point of actually advocating the deportation of children to Latin American countries where he admits the culture would be alien to them. In doing so, he may be joining an ignominious club, and so marginalizing himself in the quest for the votes of hardline conservatives that he loses all hope of gaining ground among Florida moderates.

Rubio has locked up conservative Republican votes for November. But to win, he needs to expand his base to include independents, who in Florida tend not to be nearly as right wing as Rubio’s new BFF, Jim DeMint (of South Carolina), or even as the state’s legislature, whose minority rule is cemented by gerrymandered districts. By moving to the far right in the immigration debate, Rubio may make Ann Coulter happy, but he could harm himself with fellow Hispanics (Rubio is Cuban-American, but the fastest growing group of Florida Hispanics are Puerto Rican, and their numbers are numerous in the critical central portion of the state) as well as with suburban whites, and younger voters, who tend to hold more moderate views.

And it can’t be stated enough that Rubio’s new stance on immigration ends, probably for all time, the possibility that he can be the right’s fishing lure to reel in Hispanic votes in 2012. Nearly seven in ten Hispanic-Americans are of Mexican origin, and the vast majority (just like the majority of all Americans, including Republicans) favor the “path to citizenship” that Rubio now stringently opposes. Thanks for playing, Mr. Rubio.

From Sara Haile-Mariam at Campus Progress:

Via Ben Smith, Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), former speaker of the Florida House of Representatives said in an interview with Human Events’ Jason Mattera today:

“And that’s why I’ve always believed that, no matter how well-intentioned it is. I understand the human stories that we’re going to…We’re gonna….There are going to be stories of very young kids that were brought to this country at a very young age who don’t even speak Spanish that are going to be sent back to Nicaragua or some other place. And it’s gonna feel weird and I understand that. The goal here is to have an immigration policy that works.”

It’s “gonna feel weird”? Really, Marco? That’s all you’ve got??? Campus Progress, your witness:

Rubio’s scenario of an ideal immigration system would require securing federal funding to deport over 65,000 young people who are undocumented citizens. It would require some sort of system to identify them, hunt them down, and facilitate their deportation. The proposal doesn’t sound weird as much as it sounds wrong.

Tell me about it. Rubio’s revised position on the Arizona law puts him squarely in opposition to himself, since he used to be considered a moderate on immigration, and even was accused by rabid anti-immigrationists in Florida of slow-walking related bills when he was Speaker of the House. This was Rubio in December:

“They’re God’s children, but they’re here illegally,” he recently told a Republican club in northwest Florida. “You can’t round up 11 million people because we don’t live in a police state. But you can’t grant amnesty either because if you do, you will destroy any hope of having a legal immigration system that works. You will send a message that all you have to do is come into this country, stay here long enough and we will let you stay.”

But Rubio now says you can indeed round them all up and deport them, and we should do so right away, including children who came into this country illegally without their knowledge, because they were kids, to which Ms. Haile-Mariam asks:

What I’d like to know is what I’m supposed to tell young people like Juan, Felipe, Gabby and Carlos collectively known as the Trail of Dream Walkers. These four young people walked from Florida to Washington, D.C., in support of immigration reforms like the DREAM Act, federal legislation that would provide three of them with a path to citizenship through education or military service.

Incredibly, Rubio has now taken a position to the right of Linda Chavez, the conservative, self-described “most hated Hispanic in America,” who wrote a stinging rebuke of the Arizona law this month, even attacking it’s grammar. Rubio had denounced the law for a time, too, with back-up from Jeb Bush. And not for nothing, but the law’s sponsor has ties to white supremacists and anti-Hispanic bigots, something obviously lost on Mr. Rubio, who now appears to be taking different advice than that offered by Jeb. He is, apparently, oblivious to the irony that his people, Cuban-Americans, have had the most liberal immigration policy applied to them, including allowing them to enter the U.S. without visas, via Mexico.

In South Florida, among the strongest supporters of immigration reform, including more liberal rules for admitting Haitian refugees into the country are Cuban-Americans, including all three Cuban-American members of Congress. Rubio has now also placed himself to the right of his own community.

Is Rubio becoming the Latino Clarence Thomas?

There is a reason why more blacks and Hispanics don’t join the Republican Party and the “conservative movement.” It’s not just their ideas, which often seem hostile to people of color, and which have had very real, negative consequences, not just for minorities, but for America. It’s that in order to be in the club, you have to sell a little too much of your soul, by becoming an ethnic parody (see Michael Steele) or by openly repudiating your own ethnic group in the strongest, harshest terms, in order to prove that you have more fealty to their notion of America, which often translates to a particular white historic and corporate elite, than to people who look like you. In an ideal world, there should of course be no ethnic tribalism in a pluralistic, multi-ethnic society. But America has not reached that ideal, and empathy for others, whether in your own ethnic group or not, is at minimum, a sign of civilization. To the right, however, empathy is seen as a threat, particularly when those being empathized with are not, to be blunt, white.

Too harsh?

Well think about the African-Americans who have earned favor among right wing Republicans: Alan Keyes, whose bug-eyed denunciations of Barack Obama (and his supposed threat to the republic) and zealous advocacy of the founding fathers, with no reference to the fact that had he been among them, they would have considered him a rank inferior, and enslaved him, have not stopped him from being taken seriously on the right; Clarence Thomas, whose self-pitying malevolence extends not just to affirmative action, which he grouses at having benefited from, but to anyone who isn’t at the economic apex of society; plus the equally bitter Ward Connerly, the reverse Robin Hood of affirmative action politics, who was indirectly responsible for Jeb Bush’s imposition of “One Florida” on this state.

Other conservative African-Americans, like Star Parker, excel at banging on about “welfare queens” and “race hustlers,” while contributing nothing, beyond the books they’re trying to sell (and the occasional long shot run for Congress), to the cause of improving struggling inner city communities.

There’s Allen West, whose clownish performances as the lone black member of the “tea party movement” have a Dave Chappelle quality to them that really make me miss the former Comedy Central show.

And let’s not even get started on Michelle Malkin, an Asian-American supporter of the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II

Likewise, conservative Hispanics are prized by the right for their willingness to condemn fellow Latinos for daring to come to this country and mow the lawn and pick tomatoes. But that has proved to be a brand of cognitive dissonance most people find difficult, if not impossible, to accept. In fact, there are notable exceptions; people who refuse to be the spokesmen for bigotry or extremism just to please the far right (think Michelle Bernard of the Independent Womens Forum, JC Watts, who left Congress saying he was tired of being a photo-op, and Gen. Collin Powell, the one Republican of any ethnicity with the cojones to denounce Rush Limbaugh without fear or apology).

Which brings us back to Mr. Rubio, who by the time we get to November, might not have much of his soul left to sell, or for that matter, much of a path to victory.

Modern Slavery :


 

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Florida’s tomato farms supply 50% of all U.S. fresh tomatoes1 but have also been called America’s ‘ground zero for slavery.’ Countless workers have been found held against their will, threatened with violence and forced to haul hundreds of heavy tomato buckets a day for little to no pay.

And right now is the worst part of Florida’s tomato picking season – the days are hot and the vines have nearly been picked clean making it hard to fill quotas. In these final days, there is also tremendous pressure for tomato farms to turn a profit making conditions ripe for worker exploitation.

It’s important that we act now.

A new solution called the Fair Food Program has been proven successful in the fight against modern slavery in Florida’s tomato fields. But a major U.S. supermarket chain, Publix Super Markets, is refusing to support the Fair Food Program. Publix continues to buy tomatoes from growers that are not partners of the Fair Food Program and where workers still toil beyond the reach of its proven protection from modern slavery.

Tell Publix Super Markets’ CEO William Crenshaw to join the fight against slavery in the U.S. tomato industry.

After decades of abuse, Florida’s farmworkers finally have a chance in the fight against exploitation with the Fair Food Program, demanding a policy of zero tolerance for human rights abuses, including slavery, on tomato farms.

The White House recently called the exciting new program “one of the most successful and innovative programs” in the world today in the fight to uncover – and prevent — modern-day slavery, and just last week United Nations investigators called it “impressive” and praised its “independent and robust enforcement mechanism.”

Leading brands including Subway, Whole Foods Market, McDonald’s and Trader Joe’s have already joined the fight against forced labour and now only buy tomatoes from growers who comply with the following Fair Food Principles:

  • A code of conduct for tomato growers;
  • Complaint mechanisms for farmworkers;
  • Education sessions to help workers understand their rights; and
  • Regular auditing of farm operations.

It’s been four long years of public pressure but Publix, one of the largest purchasers of local tomatoes, still refuses to take responsibility for their supply chain. 

Tell Publix to make the right decision to join the Fair Food Program and ensure our tomatoes meet the highest human rights standards in the food industry today.

Will Publix Super Markets, which prides itself on making Fortune’s “Best Companies to Work For” list, continue to turn a blind eye and give excuses, or will it leverage its vast market influence and lead the way in cleaning up slavery in the tomato supply chain once and for all?

We think Publix will make the right choice, but it won’t happen without broad public support. Once you’ve sent your message to Publix, please forward this email on to your friends and family, urging them to join the fight that is ending slavery in the U.S. tomato industry.

Thank you for your support,

Debra, Kate, Ryan, Mich, Hayley, Nick, Jess, Amy and the Walk Free team.

Save the Date – Jan 11 and 12 Treasures coming to south Florida!


NMAAHC -- National Museum of African American History and Culture

NMAAHC — National Museum of African American History and Culture

Save Our African American Treasures

Saturday, January 11th, 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Sunday, January 12th, 12:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

African-American Research Library and Cultural Center
2650 Sistrunk Blvd.
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33311
The program is free and open to the public, all are welcome.

NMAAHCpicturearray of photos 2010-12392.jpg

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture will host “Save Our African American Treasures: A National Collections Initiative of Discovery and Preservation,” a two day program to help south Florida residents identify and preserve items of historical and cultural significance.

Participants are invited to bring up to three personal items for a 15-minute, professional consultation with experts on how to care for them. The specialists will serve as reviewers, not appraisers, and will not determine an item’s monetary value. Objects such as books, photographs, ceramics, metalwork and textiles no larger than a shopping bag (furniture, carpets, firearms and paintings are excluded) can be reviewed.

The “Treasures” program also includes the following activities:

All Day Saturday and Sunday!

Hands-on Preservation: In this hands-on activity, participants are invited to learn how to properly store letters, pack garments and prepare photographs for preservation storage and presentation.

Community Partners Expo: Learn more about the wonderful resources available in South Florida! Community Partners will distribute materials and answer questions from members of the public.

Saturday 11:00 a.m. / Sunday 12:30 p.m.

Black Broward Speaks: A presentation from three local repositories on how each acquired, preserved and made accessible an extensive collection of photographs of blacks in Broward County, dating as far back as the 1890s. Photographs depict the agricultural past, civil rights struggles, thriving business communities, and social life.

Saturday 12:00 p.m. / Sunday 1:30 p.m.

Personal Collection Disaster Planning: When a disaster strikes, personal keepsakes are among the top items to be saved. Unfortunately, these items are often forgotten until after the damage has been done. This discussion will provide information on the necessary steps to care for your treasures before, during and after disasters.

Saturday 1:00 p.m. / Sunday 2:30 p.m.

Saving Your Family Photographs and Papers: Great Aunt Mary left you with the responsibility of preserving the family photographs and papers — now what do you do? Learn how light, heat, and humidity affect your family collections. Discover some simple things you can do to be a good steward of your family paper and photography collections.

Saturday 2:00 p.m. / Sunday 3:30 p.m.

Preserving Digital Memories: Digital photographs and other new media are fragile and require special care to keep them useable. As new technologies appear for creating and saving our personal digital information, older ones become obsolete, making it difficult to access older content. Find out more about the nature of the problem and learn some simple, practical tips for preserving your digital memories.

Saturday 3:00 p.m. / Sunday 4:30 p.m.

Preserving Clothing and Textiles: What is a “textile” in the museum world? Rag dolls, flags/banners, hats, lace, linens, needlework, quilts/blankets, uniforms, upholstery/curtains — think fabric. Come and get some tips on how to better preserve your daughter’s christening gown, your grandmother’s wedding dress, or your father’s military uniform from a professional who works in the field of textile preservation.

For more Treasures event information, visit nmaahc.si.edu/Programs/FLTreasures, email treasures@si.edu or call (877) 733-9599.

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“Save Our African American Treasures” is made possible with support from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

Petition: Stop voter suppressio​n in Florida


Rick Scott’s administration has just made their next move in the attempt to suppress voting rights in Florida.

The Secretary of State issued a directive — without much (if any) input from regional election supervisors — that limits the locations at which Floridians can drop off absentee ballots to elections offices only, instead of remote drop off sites that are more convenient for voters.

Put simply: Rick Scott’s administration once again has just made it harder for folks in Florida to vote.

The next big election in Florida is coming up on January 14th — a special election primary to fill the vacant seat in Florida’s 13th congressional district. We have a great candidate in Alex Sink and it’s another prime pickup opportunity for Democrats.

Every Floridian in that district should be able to make their voice heard without worrying about these new restrictions. These limitations are unnecessary and can have a dramatic impact in suppressing the vote. For instance, in 2012, 42% of all ballots were dropped off at these remote sites closer to where voters live.

We cannot let slick Rick try to rig another election. Join me in calling on Rick Scott and Florida Republicans to retract these new voting restrictions immediately.

The right to vote in this country is non-negotiable. Any changes we make to our election structure should make it easier for people to vote, not harder.
Thank you for standing with me against these new restrictions.
Debbie