Archive for January, 2017

TRUMP PLANEJA CORTES NOS APORTES PARA A ONU E SUAS ORGANIZAÇÕES

Tuesday, January 31st, 2017

Ainda é conversa de corredor, mas parece que Trump vai mesmo cortar o dinheiro que os EUA mandam para a ONU e suas organizações. É possível que saia uma ordem executiva com uma lista de critérios para o corte dos fundos para organizações internacionais. Um destes critérios é o reconhecimento da Autoridade Palestina como membro pleno. Uma das organizações que reconhece a Palestina é a UNFCCC, a Convenção do Clima. Hoje, a pingada anual dos EUA de US$ 4 milhões para a UNFCCC representa 20% do seu orçamento. Esta é uma das possíveis medidas para que Trump consiga uma de suas metas: cortar 40% das verbas que os EUA pingam nas várias organizações internacionais

http://www.climatechangenews.com/2017/01/25/trump-planning-review-of-un-treaties-funding-report/

GOVERNO VAI MEXER NO PROJETO DE CÓDIGO DA MINERAÇÃO

Tuesday, January 31st, 2017

Em 2013, o governo mandou para o Congresso um projeto de lei redefinindo o Código de Mineração. O texto havia sido quase que inteiramente elaborado pelas empresas mineradoras e abrangia alterava aspectos do licenciamento ambiental, mexia no tamanho e na repartição dos royalties e redefinia a duração de concessões e os processos de obtenção e renovação. Um mimo para as grandes mineradoras. Na semana passada apareceu a notícia de que, pelas dificuldades encontradas para aprovar o texto, o governo vai retirar o projeto de lei, dividi-lo em três partes e mandar outra vez. Assim espera que o trambolho passe mais fácil.

É bom ficar de olho no que vem por aí.

http://economia.estadao.com.br/noticias/geral,uniao-vai-refazer-codigo-de-mineracao,70001643479

The Geneva Peace Talks on Syria and the Kurds

Saturday, January 28th, 2017

By Kamran Matin, 12/12/2016

Syria’s catastrophic civil war has entered its sixth year. Hundreds of thousands of Syrians have lost their lives or been injured and millions more displaced. The country’s infrastructure is in ruin and its social fabric has disintegrated. And yet, all attempts at a peaceful resolution of the conflict have so far failed.

In fact, the prospects of a negotiated peace appear even more remote since it might be argued that following recent victories in East Aleppo the Assad regime might be less interested in a negotiated peace.

However, these victories, as significant as they might be, cannot possibly lead to a return to the pre-2011 situation restoring the Ba’ath regime’s effective control over the whole of Syria’s population and territory.

Given the depth of enmity that separates the government and a large portion of the Syrian population, the scale of Syrian state’s resources, and the size and number of the opposition groups and their foreign backers, any long lasting peace could only be achieved through some form of peace process. This is also the general lesson of the past cases of civil wars across the world.

As we all know there have been many peace initiatives and actual negotiations over the past five years or so. From the first peace proposal by the Arab League in November 2011 to the Geneva III peace conference in February 2016, there have been at least thirteen peace talks and ceasefire initiatives but none of them has been successful in terms of its own stated goals.

Here I don’t have time and space to consider the structural and conjunctural reasons for the failure of the previous peace negotiations. Rather, I want to focus on one counterintuitive feature that all previous peace talks have had in common, namely, the exclusion of the Kurds and their main political parties and representatives.

The main reason for the consistent exclusion of the Kurds from various peace initiatives is well known: Turkey’s open diplomatic and geostrategic blackmailing of the UN and western powers involved in the peace initiatives. Unfortunately, thus far both the UN special envoy for Syria and the US and its coalition partners have succumbed to Turkey’s pressures.

The fact that the exclusion of the Kurds is detrimental to the peace process is obvious: no conflict can possibly be resolved when a major party to that conflict is absent from the negotiating table.

But rather than elaborating on the negative impact of the Kurds’ exclusion from Geneva peace talks and previous peace initiatives I’d like to argue what positive impact their inclusion might have on any future peace talks.

Most peace initiatives to end civil wars face two main challenges: convincing the combatants to accept and implement a peace settlement; and designing credible guarantees on the terms of the agreement.

Academic research shows that the second element, that is, implementation guarantees, are actually the more important element and often more difficult to address not least because they need external assistance.

Given the complexity of the Syrian civil war, the multiplicity of combatant groups and the number of external states with a stake in the conflict a conventional sequential approach to these two elements is likely to be rather difficult.

In other words, belligerent parties are unlikely to agree on a peace settlement before a clear mechanism of implementation is developed. And no implementation mechanism will be developed or seen as credible by all sides unless a peace settlement is clarified and agreed upon.

The logical question of this circumstance is that in Syria’s case the two stages of the peace process, that is, peace settlement and implementation guarantees, have to be combined into a single process.

This would be similar to the basic framework of the successful negotiations between Iran and P5+1 over Iran’s nuclear project according to which all parties agreed that ‘nothing is agreed until everything is agreed upon’.

So, the question is how exactly can the presence of the Kurds in the Geneva peace talks or any other future peace initiative facilitate this process?

In my opinion the answer primarily lies in the basic political vision for a future Syria that Syrian Kurds offer; a vision that is now being practically implemented in large parts of Northern Syria through the political framework of the ‘Democratic Federal System of Rojava – Northern Syria’.

The democratic federal system that Syrian Kurds in close collaboration and consultation with other ethno-cultural communities inhabiting Rojava have developed is marked by four main features: decentralisation of power, formal recognition of Syria’s ethno-religions diversity, gender equality, and bottom-up, local self-administration.

This model of governance therefore enshrines democracy at political, cultural, societal, and gender levels. As such democratic federalism stands in stark contrast to Syria’s current unitary, centralised, and ethnicised state which is by definition politically undemocratic, culturally repressive, and administratively over-centralised. More importantly, these features are arguably the root causes of not only the current tragic conflict in Syria but also of the systemic crisis and unprecedented levels of violence that have engulfed much of the Middle East.

Now, to return to the original question why this vision for Syria’s future can enhance the prospects of a peace settlement?

It seems to me that it can do so because the Kurdish model of democratic federalism addresses the main concerns of all sides through a structural devolution of power to different regions and districts of varying territorial scale. And perhaps more importantly it minimises the medium and long-term role of external actors in relation to the implementation of the peace settlement.

This is crucial because arguably the main reason for the failure of the previous peace efforts has been not just the vagueness of the substantive content of the proposals for the future shape of Syria as a political entity but also lack of effective and credible implementation guarantees. Such guarantees have been very difficult to provide precisely because the potential external guarantors, i.e. the majority of the foreign and regional backers of the Syrian regime and different opposition groups, have rather divergent interests and aims and hence are unlikely to commit to any concrete mechanism of implementation before maximising their strategic gains. This latter circumstance has been the primary reason for the failure of previous peace initiatives and the continuation of the conflict.

By developing and implementing a de-centralised form of self-administration based on councils of varying scales culminating at cantons, different ethno-religious and linguistic communities inhabiting different parts of Syria are empowered to run their own affairs through local and regional political and administrative structures that have high levels of autonomy but remain part of a radically democratised Syria as a sovereign and united, but not unitary, state.

Such a system therefore immediately removes two major fear factors that many observers have identified as the main reasons for the continuation of the conflict: the Alawite community’s fear of being subject to a Sunni majoritarian rule that can easily degenerate into a majoritarian despotism repressive of cultural and national diversity as the examples of Turkey, Iran, and, post-2003 Iraq, clearly shows.

And equally importantly, it also minimises the fear of the Sunni majority of a return to the Ba’athist form of a brutal and arbitrary form of Alawite minoritarian autocracy.

Clearly this process is not entirely self-driven and a degree of international monitoring and assistance is required especially at the early stages. But this is likely to be minimised since under the democratic federalist model the scope and practical task of implementation itself are sub-divided and delegated to the actual stake-holders.

In short, Rojava’s experience of democratic federalism and its exemplary practice of peaceful inter-ethnic coexistence and popular self-governance can bring to the negotiating table precisely those substantive ideas and inspirations that have so far been absent from the attempted peace initiatives.

For this to happen European Parliament, other EU organs, and influential western states ought to take necessary steps to ensure the genuine representation of Syrian Kurds and their legitimate political representatives in any future peace talks on Syria.

Kurdish-Syrian people must be included in peace talks

Saturday, January 28th, 2017

The Syrian Kurdish YPG militia and its political arm the PYD will not be invited to planned peace talks in Kazakhstan, a PYD official said on Tuesday, an outcome that would leave a key player in the conflict off the negotiating table.
Syria’s government and rebel forces started a ceasefire on Dec. 31 as a first step toward face-to face negotiations backed by Turkey and Russia, but the date and its participants remain unclear.
The truce is also under growing strain as rebels have vowed to respond to government violations and President Bashar al-Assad said on Monday the army would retake an important rebel-held area near Damascus.
“We are not invited. That’s for sure,” Khaled Eissa, a PYD member told Reuters in France. “It seems there were some vetoes. Neither the PYD or our military formation will be present,” he said.
Assad’s ally Russia had previously sought the PYD’s presence at other negotiations in Switzerland.
But Turkey, which opposes Assad, regards both the YPG and PYD as extensions of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) separatists in its own territory and has said two groups should not be represented in Astana.
The Syrian Kurds aim to cement the autonomy of areas of northern Syria where Kurdish groups have already carved out self-governing regions since the start of the war in 2011, though Kurdish leaders say an independent state is not the goal.
“What we have been told is that there will only be a limited number of armed groups and not political groups,” Eissa said, adding that for a comprehensive peace deal in Syria the Kurds would at one point have to be invited to the negotiating table.
The main Syrian political opposition umbrella group that includes about half a dozen armed groups, the Riyadh-backed High Negotiations Committee, is meeting in the Saudi capital later this week to discuss the Astana talks, although it is also unclear whether Moscow intends to invite them, diplomats and opposition officials said.
Ankara intervened in Syria last year in support of rebel groups fighting under the Free Syrian Army (FSA) banner sought to drive Islamic State from positions it had used to shell Turkish towns, and also to stop YPG expansion.
The YPG and its allies backed by a U.S.-led coalition is fighting against IS militants around the group’s Syrian bastion Raqqa, while Turkish-backed rebels are fighting the jihadist group further northwest near areas under Kurdish control.
(Reporting by John Irish; Editing by Andrew Heavens)

Kurds / Indigenous Peoples

Saturday, January 28th, 2017

Where do they come from?

The Kurds are one of the indigenous people of the Mesopotamian plains and the highlands in what are now south-eastern Turkey, north-eastern Syria, northern Iraq, north-western Iran and south-western Armenia.

Today, they form a distinctive community, united through race, culture and language, even though they have no standard dialect. They also adhere to a number of different religions and creeds, although the majority are Sunni Muslims.

Statement from the family of Arthur Manuel on his passing

Wednesday, January 18th, 2017

Arthur_ManuelOn Wednesday January 11, 2017 at 11:00 PM, Arthur Manuel, our beloved father, grandfather, husband, brother, uncle, warrior, and teacher passed away. Arthur was one of our most determined and outspoken Secwepemc leaders and activists—a pillar in the resistance, known globally for his tireless advocacy for Indigenous Peoples’ right to self-determination. He passed on into the spirit world surrounded by many generations of his loving family.

Arthur was the son of Marceline Paul of the Ktuanaxa Nation and George Manuel of the Secwepemc Nation. George was a political leader and visionary who served as president of the National Indian Brotherhood and the World Council of Indigenous Peoples.

Arthur was born into the struggle and groomed to be a leader and defender of Indigenous rights and title. Coming up as a young leader in the 1970s, he served as president of the National Native Youth Association, leading the occupation of Indian Affairs. He attended Concordia University (Montreal, Quebec) and Osgoode Hall Law School (Toronto, Ontario).

He returned to his community and was elected Chief of Neskonlith Indian Band, Chair of the Shuswap Nation Tribal Council, and Chair of the Assembly of First Nations Delgamuukw Implementation Strategic Committee. He was a long-time co-chair of the North American Indigenous Peoples Caucus of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues and former co-chair of the Global caucus. He was active in the Defenders of the Land and Idle No More movement and as a board member of the Seventh Generation Fund for Indigenous Peoples. He was one of the main strategic thinkers of the decolonization movement in Canada. As the spokesman for the Indigenous Network on Economies and Trade, he convinced the World Trade Organization to recognize that Indigenous peoples are subsidizing the BC lumber industry through the non-recognition of Aboriginal title. He was co-author, along with Grand Chief Ronald Derrickson, of the award-winning Unsettling Canada: A National Wake-Up Call, with a foreword by his friend and fellow activist Naomi Klein.

He worked selflessly in defence of Indigenous territorial authority and he fiercely opposed any termination of Indigenous land rights. He rejected provincial and federal authority over unceded Indigenous land, and challenged the extinguishment of Indigenous title through the BC treaty process. He fought climate change, battling the imminent threat of pipelines across Secwepemc territory.

He was a world traveller who connected Indigenous nations across the globe to unite in a common vision and defend their rights. He was gifted a button blanket by the Nuxalk nation and has received countless honours for his work around the world.

Arthur was also a teacher and a mentor to many. He was a source of knowledge for youth and young leaders. Through his fierce love for his people, he shone a light on the path to justice for a new generation of activists.

He’s a residential school survivor, having attended the Kamloops (Kamloops BC), St Eugene’s (Cranbrook BC) and St. Mary’s (Mission BC) residential schools.

Arthur is survived by his life partner, Nicole Schabus, by his sisters Emaline, Martha, Doreen, and Ida, his brothers George, Richard, and Ara, and by his children, Kanahus, Mayuk, Ska7cis and Snutetkwe. He is predeceased by his parents, sister Vera, brother Bobby, beloved son Neskie and his grandchildren Napika Amak and Megenetkwe.

In his most recent article on Canada’s 150th celebration, published only a week before his death, Arthur insisted again that Canada was built entirely on the theft of Indigenous lands.

“Our Indian reserves are only .02% of Canada’s land and yet Indigenous peoples are expected to survive on them. This has led to the systematic impoverishment of Indigenous people and the crippling oppression that indigenous peoples suffer under the current colonial system.

The .02 land based is used to keep us too poor and too weak to fight back. It is used to bribe and co-opt the Indigenous leadership into becoming neocolonial partners to treat the symptom of poverty on Indian reserves without addressing the root cause of the problem, which is the dispossession of all of the Indigenous territory by Canada and the provinces.” – First Nations Strategic Bulletin, August-December 2016 Issue

Wake: Friday, January 13th 5:00 PM and Saturday, January 14th, Adams Lake Indian Band Gymnasium, 6349 Chief Jules Drive, Chase, BC

Funeral Services: Sunday, January 15th 10:00 AM, Adams Lake Indian Band Gymnasium

Media contact: Russell Diabo at 613-296-0110 or rdiabo@rogers.com
Donations to support Arthur’s service can be sent to jacksoncrick7@yahoo.ca
Condolences to the family and photos of Arthur can be sent to erfeltes@gmail.com

Syrian Prof: Arabs Migrate for ‘Sluts’ and Welfare, Attack When They Don’t Get It

Friday, January 13th, 2017

A Syrian professor has asserted that Arab migrants see “slut” German women as fair game for assault and warned that the country is set to see “big social conflicts” as a result of Angela Merkel and EU open border policies.
Prof. Bassam Tibi said that the mass sex attacks in Cologne were a result of the migrants’ “value system”: furious at not being given a luxury lifestyle, they intended to “humiliate” Germans.

The professor, who now lives in Germany, said that Arab men come expecting “great apartments, blonde women and the welfare state”.

The political scientist noted that tax payers are providing migrants with far more than they could expect even with wages in their homelands, but warned they find the hospitality “insufficient”.

Pointing out that two-bedroom apartments are a luxury in Cairo, the professor noted that he knows 16-year-old migrants, each with two-bedroom apartments to themselves at the expense of German tax payers. These boys remain dissatisfied however, as they had hoped for cars too.

Interviewed by Basler Zeitung, Professor Tibi said that migrants were expecting to be given a luxury lifestyle, one comparable to portrayals of rich Europeans shown in the Arab media. He predicted that migrant disappointment with their standard of living is likely to cause the country problems in the future.

“Think even of the grateful Syrians who took the famous selfies with Merkel. [One of them] was on TV a few weeks ago and declared that he was now very disappointed with her. He wants a job, a secure income and an apartment. We will see big social conflicts,” the professor warned.

Asked how he could be sure of this, Professor Tibi stated that as well as the fact the state cannot meet their high expectations, the migrants have a “value system that is incompatible with modernity”.

The professor revealed that Arabs believe themselves to be honourable and that Germans are not, as German women are allowed to “sleep with everyone”.

Professor Tibi pointed to a number of factors that he believes led to the mass sex attacks in Cologne. He said migrants knew their behaviour was criminal but that they think “German women are sluts”, and felt they would face no punishment.

The decorated academic said that police’s “fear of the racist accusation” is greater than their fear of the decline of public order. This, he contends, leads migrants to view German police as “wimps”.

Professor Tibi argued that sexual assaults on German women are driven by vengeance for not being given nice cars and flats. He also pointed to Syrian culture as playing a part.

The “Islamology” founder disclosed: “Rape of women is a weapon of war in Syria. All warring parties do that. The refugees who come here, come from this culture and not all are victims.

“If such men do not get what they expect, they are angry. In the culture I come from, you want to humiliate people who make a mad.

“In the Orient, to humiliate a man, one rapes his wife. My guess is that these young Muslim men wanted in Cologne to humiliate the women, and behind this humiliation is the humiliation of the German man. The woman is an instrument for it.”

Earth Peoples co-founder Arthur Manuel passed away, 66-years-old.

Friday, January 13th, 2017

Dear Earth Peoples.
Arthur Manuel was always working hard.
Tiokasin Ghosthorse brought me to collaborate with Rebecca Sommer, one of my best friends… and this is where I met Arthur. I was very glad to from the start. I was in line with him in the cafeteria at the UN during the indigenous peoples caucus for the Earth Peoples partners event. I got some coffee and was going to sit down at the table he was at. Arthur said with warning…you might not want to sit there. I said oh is this seat taken? He said no its just that you might not want to be associated with me. A lot of people do not like me.
I looked around over my shoulders and said.. jokingly I said….want me to beat them up for you? He laughed a lot. That was the comical and genuine relationship that I had with him from the start. He is someone I am honored to say has changed my life and i can call him my favorite person and a best friend. I am so thrilled that I had the opportunity to know Arthur.
Arthur was my Earth Peoples brother, a child of our mother Earth and I loved him very much. I always looked up to him for saving the world. I remember saying to Arthur that I hope that I can somehow make a difference in the world like he does. I would like to make my life meaningful. He said Elaine, You don’t want to do what i do. He said… I am not complaining but Elaine, you have the creative arts and you can work in that medium and be effective. As you do…. and it seems more fun. That meant a lot to me. I appreciate that with all of my heart. I hope that i can send that message through my art so that I can make him proud and maybe send some laughs too.
He lives forever in our hearts. He lived. I only hope that I can too live a life that makes the ancestors proud  as was well.

Book Arhur ManualHis last writing to me was when he signed his book
Unsettling Canada
for me with the words “May the world be good to you my friend.
-Arthur”

He will be greatly missed!!!

Elaine+Arthur

2017 will be just another year in the process of turning Germany into a perfect prison, a prison of the mind, and a real prison too.’

Friday, January 13th, 2017

2017 will be just another year in the process of turning Germany into a perfect prison, a prison of the mind, and a real prison too.’

by Maggie Zhou

‘2017 will be just another year in the process of turning Germany into a perfect prison, a prison of the mind, and a real prison too.’
‘I suspect there is a deliberate plan to fragment and weaken society so that we will accept all security measures from above. The same people that have put us into this precarious and increasingly dangerous situation will offer to save us!’
‘Whenever somebody is to be destroyed (socially), you must only hint that he’s thinking or saying something which was also said in the Third Reich. Very effective! A German writer once called this behavior the Nazi-Keule, the “Nazi bludgeon.”‘
‘So the feeling of national unity has been erased, and completely absent in younger people. Germans would rather let their society slip into chaos than accused of being Nazis.’

Article: Deutschland on the eve of 2017
2017 will be just another year in the process of turning Germany into a perfect prison, a prison of the mind, and a real prison too.

What Would Europe Look Like If All The Ice On Earth Melted …

Sunday, January 8th, 2017

Interactive map from National Geographichere
Video here