Posts Tagged ‘rebecca sommer’

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

NAMIBIA: INDIGENOUS SEMI-NOMADIC HIMBA AND ZEMBA MARCH IN PROTEST AGAINST DAM, MINING AND HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS

Saturday, November 24th, 2012

By Rebecca Sommer

Namibia, 23 Nov 2012: Hundreds of semi-nomadic Himba from Omuhonga and Epupa region marched today from their villages to Okanguati, a small town about 120 km away from Opuwo, to protest against Namibia’s human rights violations against them.

(Photo © Rebecca Sommer) Chief Hikuminae Kapika signing the invitation to the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights and fundamental freedoms of Indigenous Peoples to visit them

(Photo © Rebecca Sommer) Chief Hikuminae Kapika signing the invitation to the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights and fundamental freedoms of Indigenous Peoples to visit them

These violations, documented and signed by the Himba chiefs of the entire Himba territory (Kaokoland) in two historic Declarations have been submitted by Earth Peoples to the United Nations on February 23rd in 2012.

The Himba from Epupa and Omuhonga also wrote an invitation letter to the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which was forwarded to him on their behalf by Earth Peoples.

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights and fundamental freedoms of indigenous people, James Anaya, visited the Himba in September 2012, where a Himba spokesperson read aloud the “DECLARATION BY THE TRADITIONAL HIMBA LEADERS OF KAOKOLAND IN NAMIBIA” to him. You can read the UN Special Rapporteur’s statement about his country visit to Namibia here.

“We invited Namibian Broadcasting Cooperation (NBC) to come, but they refused to attend our protest manifestation” said Motjimbika Mutambo, a respected community leader from Himba village Omuhonga.“We handed our petition and demands to our elected Epupa Regional Councillor, the Honorable Muharukua, with the expectation that he will forward it to the President” Mutambo added.

Councillor Muharukua, who is a Herero, explains the problems of the Himba people in this Video with English subtites

(Photo © Rebecca Sommer) Muhapika Munjombara signing the "DECLARATION OF THE MOST AND DIRECTLY AFFECTED OVAHIMBA, OVATWA, OVATJIMBA AND OVAZEMBA AGAINST THE OROKAWE DAM IN THE BAYNES MOUNTAIN

(Photo © Rebecca Sommer) Muhapika Munjombara signing the Himba Declaration

“We don’t understand why we have to repeat ourselves over and over again, and the Government of Namibia is not listening to us, and is continuing to push for the construction of the dam in the Baynes Mountains without our consent. We collectively refused the money offered to our communities and families that would have to relocate” said Hikuminae Kapika, the Chief from the area of Epupa and Omuhonga. “We have these big mining companies making holes in our land, making roads where we graze our herds, and we don’t want that. We don’t know what they are digging out, we have no idea what they do to our water and land, and we don’t want them here. Nobody asked us for our permission.” He added.

“If the government is going to build the dam they better kill us first before they do that. This is our land. We are the original inhabitants and true owners. But since independence, the Government of Namibia has dispossessed us from our rights to our land, and our rights to decide what is being done with and on it.” Said Muhapika Munjombara.

Members of the indigenous peoples Zemba also attended the protest march. They also submitted through Earth Peoples their Human Rights violation Declaration to the United Nations.

In the Zemba Declaration,  it is stated:

Zemba/Ovazemba  (Photo © Rebecca Sommer)

Zemba/Ovazemba (Photo © Rebecca Sommer)

In the past our appointed leaders had to belong to the royal house, but that has changed over the time. Today, we elect our leaders. But to our great grievance, Namibia denies us not only our rightful place as legitimate Namibian citizens, with untrue claims that we are refugees from Angola, but also denies us our right to our land, and to choose our own representatives and leaders.

We demand that we get our right to choose our own representatives and leaders, and to be allowed to administer our internal affairs, including our territory and land, and to rule our affairs with our own customary laws and traditional courts.

We demand that the Government of Namibia recognizes without delay our chief as the legally recognized Zemba Traditional Authority.

TO READ:

DECLARATION OF THE ZEMBA PEOPLE OF NAMIBIA
DECLARATION OF THE MOST DIRECTLY AFFECTED OVAHIMBA, OVATWA, OVATJIMBA AND OVAZEMBA AGAINST THE OROKAWE DAM IN THE BAYNES MOUNTAINS
DECLARATION BY THE TRADITIONAL HIMBA LEADERS OF KAOKOLAND IN NAMIBIA

Himba women at human rights meeting with Earth Peoples (Photo © Rebecca Sommer)

Himba women at human rights meeting with Earth Peoples (Photo © Rebecca Sommer)

To watch Video of cultural Himba dance during one of Earth Peoples human rights awareness raising meetings in Omuhonga CLICK VIDEO
To watch other videos about Himba human rights complaints, click here

Himba Human Rights Protest March in Namibia (Photo©Earth Peoples)

Himba Human Rights Protest March in Namibia (Photo©Earth Peoples)

Himba + Zemba Human Rights Protest March in Namibia (Photo©Earth Peoples)

Himba + Zemba Human Rights Protest March in Namibia (Photo©Earth Peoples)

Himba + Zemba Human Rights Protest March in Namibia (Photo©Earth Peoples)

Himba + Zemba Human Rights Protest March in Namibia (Photo©Earth Peoples)

Himba + Zemba Human Rights Protest March in Namibia (Photo©Earth Peoples)

Himba + Zemba Human Rights Protest March in Namibia (Photo©Earth Peoples)

Himba + Zemba Human Rights Protest March in Namibia (Photo©Earth Peoples)

Himba + Zemba Human Rights Protest March in Namibia (Photo©Earth Peoples)

Himba + Zemba Human Rights Protest March in Namibia (Photo©Earth Peoples)

Himba + Zemba Human Rights Protest March in Namibia (Photo©Earth Peoples)

Himba + Zemba Human Rights Protest March in Namibia (Photo©Earth Peoples)

Himba + Zemba Human Rights Protest March in Namibia (Photo©Earth Peoples)

Himba + Zemba Human Rights Protest March in Namibia (Photo©Earth Peoples)

Himba + Zemba Human Rights Protest March in Namibia (Photo©Earth Peoples)

Himba + Zemba Human Rights Protest March in Namibia (Photo©Earth Peoples)

Himba + Zemba Human Rights Protest March in Namibia (Photo©Earth Peoples)

Himba + Zemba Human Rights Protest March in Namibia (Photo©Earth Peoples)

Himba + Zemba Human Rights Protest March in Namibia (Photo©Earth Peoples)

Himba + Zemba Human Rights Protest March in Namibia (Photo©Earth Peoples)

Himba + Zemba Human Rights Protest March in Namibia (Photo©Earth Peoples)

Himba + Zemba Human Rights Protest March in Namibia (Photo©Earth Peoples)

Himba + Zemba Human Rights Protest March in Namibia (Photo©Earth Peoples)

Himba + Zemba Human Rights Protest March in Namibia (Photo©Earth Peoples)

Himba + Zemba Human Rights Protest March in Namibia (Photo©Earth Peoples)

Zemba at Human Rights Protest March in Namibia (Photo©Earth Peoples)

Zemba at Human Rights Protest March in Namibia (Photo©Earth Peoples)

Himba + Zemba Human Rights Protest March in Namibia (Photo©Earth Peoples)

Himba + Zemba Human Rights Protest March in Namibia (Photo©Earth Peoples)

Himba + Zemba Human Rights Protest March in Namibia (Photo©Earth Peoples)

Himba + Zemba Human Rights Protest March in Namibia (Photo©Earth Peoples)

VIDEO: Rio+20 – Indigenous Peoples – Protest March – Free Land Camp – Peoples Summit – June 2012

Thursday, July 5th, 2012

This Audio-Visual Report was filmed by Rebecca Sommer in June 2012, at the Free Land Camp (Alternative space for Indigenous Peoples of Brazil) in the Peoples’ Summit during the UN Conference on Sustainable Development – Rio +20.

Chief Raoni and other indigenous leaders demand access to UN Rio+20 (Screenshot of VIDEO © Rebecca Sommer)

Chief Raoni and other indigenous leaders demand access to UN Rio+20 (Screenshot of VIDEO © Rebecca Sommer)

– Protest march and occupation of the headquarters of BNDES against the construction of Belo Monte Hydroelectric dam.
– Protest march in front of the Rio Centro (Place of the UN Conference in Rio +20) with the goal to deliver their Indigenous Free Land Camp Declaration.
– the struggle of the Brazilian Indigenous Peoples for the UN and the Brazilian Government to hear their grievances and demands, since most of them were almost excluded from the official discussion of the Rio+20 UN Conference. Several traditional leaders had no credentials to enter and participate in discussions in the UN event.

The traditional leaders were also disappointed by the indifference of the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights that had not responded to their request for a meeting with her during the Conference.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE VIDEO

CLICK HERE TO READ THE DECLARATION

Pirakuman Yawalapiti (Screen shot from video © Rebecca Sommer)

Pirakuman Yawalapiti (Screen shot from video © Rebecca Sommer)

VIDEO: BRAZILIAN INDIGENOUS PEOPLES DECLARATION RIO+20 (ATL) FREE LAND CAMP – PEOPLES SUMMIT

Thursday, June 21st, 2012

(non-official translation into English by Earth Peoples)

PEOPLES SUMMIT FOR SOCIAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE

AGAINST THE MERCALIZATION OF LIFE, IN DEFENSE OF THE COMMONS

LETTER OF RIO DE JANEIRO

FINAL DECLARATION OF FREE LAND CAMP IX LIVING WELL / HEALTHY FUL LIFE

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 15 to 22 June 2012

We, more than 1,800 leaders, representatives of indigenous peoples and organizations present (APIB – Articulation of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil – COIAB, APOINME, ARPINSUL, ARPINSUDESTE, indigenous peoples of Mato Grosso do Sul and Guasu ATY), COICA – Coordinator of Indigenous Organizations Amazon Basin, IOTC – Andean Coordinator of Indigenous Organizations, CICA – Indigenous Council of Central America, and CCNAGUA – Guarani Continental Council of the Nation and representatives of other parts of the world, gathered in the parallel space of organizations and social movements, the Free Land Camp IX, at the Peoples Summit, during the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio +20).

After intense debates and discussions held during 15-22 June on the various issues that affect us, the violation of our fundamental and collective rights as a peoples, we express as one united voice our cry of indignation and outrage to the governments, corporations and society in the face of severe crises which beset the planet and humanity (financial crises, environmental, energy, food and social) as a result of the predatory neo-development process of the commodification and financialization of life and Mother Nature.

It is thanks to our resilience that we keep our people alive as a (distinct) peoples, with our rich, ancient and complex knowledge systems and our understanding of all live that guarantees existence, with its currently vaunted Brazilian biodiversity, which explains that Brazil is the host two major conferences on the environment. Therefore, the (Indigenous Peoples) “Free Land Camp” is of fundamental importance in the Peoples’ Summit, the space that allows us to reflect, share and build alliances with other peoples, organizations and social movements in Brazil and the world, who like us, believe in other forms of living than the one imposed upon us by the capitalist and neoliberal development model.

We advocate and defend plural and autonomous forms of lives, inspired by the model of Living Well/ Healthy Life, where Mother Earth is respected and cared for, where humans are just another species among all the other compositions of the multi-diversity of the planet. In this model, there is no room for so-called green capitalism, or to new forms of appropriation of our biodiversity and our traditional knowledge.

Considering the importance of the Peoples’ Summit, we elaborated this Declaration, to clarify in it the main problems that affect us today, and to indicate ways on how to establish new relations between States and indigenous peoples, with the vision to construct a new model of society.

Repudiations

In accordance with the discussions at the Peoples Summit, we repudiate the structural causes and false solutions to the crises which beset our planet, including:

· We reject impunity and violence, imprisonment and murder of indigenous leaders (in Brazil, where Kayowá-Guarani, Argentina, Bolivia, Guatemala and Paraguay, among others).

· We reject major projects in indigenous territories, such as dams – Belo Monte, Jirau and others; transposition of Rio S. Francisco, nuclear power plants; Canal do Sertão, ports, national and international Highways, production of biofuels, the road within TIPNIS in Bolivia, and mining projects throughout Latin America).

· We condemn the action of financial institutions such as BNDES – National Bank of Economic and Social Development, which finances large projects with public money, but does not respect the right of the affected populations to be consulted, including 400 regions in Brazil, and in all countries that BNDES operates, including Latin America and Africa.

· We reject REDD contracts, and carbon credits that are false solutions that do not solve environmental problems but seek to commodify nature and ignore the traditional knowledge and ancient wisdom of our peoples.

· We reject the reduction of indigenous territories.

· We reject all legislative initiatives that aim to weaken indigenous rights in order to serve the interests of big business, through the relaxation or distortion of indigenous and environmental legislation in several countries, such as the PEC 215 and the Forest Code in the Brazilian Congress and the proposed changes in Ecuador.

· We condemn the repression suffered by the Bolivian relatives at the Ninth March “Defense of Life and Dignity, Indigenous Territories, Natural Resources, Biodiversity, Environment and Protected Areas, the Compliance of CPE (Political Constitution of the State) and respect for democracy.” We express our solidarity with the relatives killed and arrested in this crackdown by the Bolivian state.

· We demand that dialogue between the United Nations and the Brazilian Indigenous Movement must be facilitated in an respectful manner by the UN system, such as that our representation that defends Collective Rights must be supported and legitimized by the Indigenous Peoples of Brazil.
.

Proposals

· We call for the protection of indigenous land rights. In Brazil, more than 60% of Indian territories were not demarcated and ratified. We demand the immediate recognition and demarcation of indigenous lands, including policies to strengthen the demarcated areas, including the removal of farmers and others that are invading other territories.

· We demand an end to impunity for the murderers and persecutors of the indigenous leaders. Indigenous leaders, women and men are murdered and the criminals continue to be free, and no action has been taken to charge them. We request that the instigators and executors that committed crimes (murder, robbery, rape, torture) against our people and communities are tried and punished.

· We demand the end to the criminalization of indigenous leaders. That the struggles of our peoples for their land rights are not criminalized by governmental authorities that should instead ensure the protection and implementation of indigenous rights.

· We demand the guarantee of the right to consultation and free, prior and informed consent of each indigenous people – in accordance with the ILO Convention 169, according to the specificity of each people, strictly following the principles of good faith of this binding Convention. We need to be respected and strengthened in the institutional fabric of each of our peoples, to have our own appropriate mechanisms for deliberation and representation, and to be enabled to participate in consultation processes with states.

· We call for the expansion of indigenous territories.

· We call for transparent and independent monitoring of watersheds.

· We call for the recognition and strengthening the role of indigenous peoples in the protection of biomes.

· We ask for the urgent demarcation of land for the people without assistance and camped in precarious situations, such as on riverbanks, roadsides and areas without sanitation infrastructure. In Brazil alone, there are hundreds of indigenous camps in this situation. 40% of the population of these camps are children.

· We call for the improvement of health conditions of indigenous peoples, such as in Brazil, to increase the budget of SESAI – Special Secretariat of Indigenous Health, the implementation of financial administrative and political autonomy of DSEIs (Special Indigenous Health Districts), and to guarantee the rights of indigenous peoples with disabilities.

· We want an Indigenous Education that respects the diversity of each nation and culture, with special and differential treatment for each language, customs and traditions.

· We demand that states implement effective policies to guarantee appropriate indigenous education, as etnoeducacionais territories in Brazil.

· We want an indigenous education with components of environmental education that promotes environmental protection and sustainability of our territories.

· We demand conditions for the development of our traditions and ancient ways of production.

Finally, it won’t be the false solutions that are proposed by governments – the so-called green economy, that will pay off the debts of States with our people.

We reiterate our commitment to unity of indigenous peoples as demonstrated in our alliance within our communities, with indigenous nations, organizations, the Indigenous Caucus and others.

THE SALVATION OF THE PLANET IS IN THE ANCIENT WISDOM OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLES

RIO DE JANEIRO, 20 JUNE 2012

APIB – Articulation of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil, COICA – Coordinator of Indigenous Organizations of the Amazon Basin, IOTC – Andean Coordinator of Indigenous Organizations, CICA – Indigenous Council of Central America, and CCNAGUA – Guarani Continental Council of the Nation

TO WATCH VIDEO (Audio-Visual Report):CLICK HERE

To download the Declaration in its original (Portuguese) click:HERE

Indigenous "Free Land Camp" (Photo © Rebecca Sommer)

Indigenous

VIDEO: PROTEST of THE PEOPLE inside UN CLIMATE CHANGE NEGOTIATIONS COP17

Monday, December 12th, 2011

TO WATCH VIDEO CLICK HERE: Hundreds of Activists Protest Inside COP17 demanding CLIMATE JUSTICE NOW!


This video filmed by Rebecca Sommer (© Sommerfilms) shows parts of the CLIMATE JUSTICE NOW! (CJN!) movement’s press conference, and our protest inside the halls at the last day of the UN Climate Change negotiations COP17. Kumi Naidoo , executive director of Greenpeace (member of CJN!) was banned from UN premises after leading this protest. Many others, such as Anne Petermann (member of CJN!) have been thrown out as well., their UN badges revoked because they participated ion the protest. Background why the people protested: A central piece of what is being negotiated here at COP17 is the Green Clmate Fund, with a goal of raising $100 billion for adaptation and mitigation projects, but most of the funding is being linked to programs like carbon markets and offsets (REDD+, CDM), which allows companies to continue polluting and ignores the need to drastically reduce our use of fossil fuels, and not simply try to offset them with other projects.
Protesters have said they want that their voices are heard.
They are calling for the World Bank to be taken out of climate finance, a reference to the predominance of private financing and market mechanisms in all funding solutions for climate change reduction projects being discussed at the conference. A central piece of what is being negotiated is the Green Clmate Fund, with a goal of raising $100 billion for adaptation and mitigation projects, but most of the funding is being linked to programs like carbon markets and offsets, which allows companies to continue polluting and ignores the need to drastically reduce our use of fossil fuels, and not simply try to offset them with other projects.
Protesters are also calling for a recognition of historic climate debt: that developed and Northern countries have predominantly been the cause of man-made green house gas emissions, and that they have the responsibility to take a frontline position in cleaning up the problem. This historic reality was included in Kyoto Protocol, but Canadian Environment Minister Peter Kent recently called such demands “guilt money”

VIDEO: PABLO SOLON warning about what happened at COP17 (September 10th, 2011)

Sunday, December 11th, 2011

Pablo Solon, former Ambassador and Bolivia’s lead negotiator at the UN Climate Change negotiations explains why the negotiated text of the UN Climate Change negotiations are a “Bad Deal”.
To watch VIDEO: PABLO SOLON explains the “Bad Deal” UNFCCC COP17 (September 10th, 2011)(filmed by Rebecca Sommer)
 PABLO SOLON explains in Rebecca Sommer's video the "Bad Deal" UNFCCC COP17

VIDEO: BELO MONTE (side event Cochabamba, Bolivia)

Saturday, May 15th, 2010

Side event about the hydroelectric dam BELO MONTE (Brazil, Amazon, Xingu River ) took place April 2010, at the World’s Peoples Conference on Climate Change and Mother Earth Rights, in Cochabamba, Bolivia.
The goal of the event was to build international solidarity to stop the dams in the amazon, and to raise awareness. The Belo Monte Dam would be one of 258 new dams, that Brazil is planning to build in the Brazilian amazon. Belo Monte would be the 3rd largest dam of the world ! Videos by Rebecca Sommer.

VIDEO: part 1
part 2
part 3