Forests much more than Trees
Posts Tagged ‘VIDEO’
Excellent Part I of a series by Nick Breeze, on disappearing arctic sea ice, thawing methane hydrates, and what these increasing sources of climate instability threaten. Watch out for Part II.
To watch VIDEO Arctic Methane: Why The Sea Ice Matters : PART 1
By Rebecca Sommer
When I first saw the film, I felt that it would be useful to screen it within the “holy walls” of the United Nations, where criminals are paving the way to “green” everything under the overall name “Green Economy” – and to force every negotiating party and sell-out NGO to sit in the room and watch Ulrich Eichelmann’s “Climate Crimes”.
The film doesn’t cover every detail of the multi layered criminal climate change-climate protection measurements that our governments and their international secretariat (the UN) are meddling with to make their “business” ideas to become international law, but Climate Crisis does show powerful images of unique ecosystems and species and people who are living within that nature, and how they are threatened, suffering and negatively affected.
The film makes aware that the supposedly ‘green energies’ such as biodiesel, biogas and hydroelectric dams are neither ecologically sensible nor sustainable, but are in fact crimes against nature.
The film shows us that on all continents our last remaining natural areas are doomed by these false solutions that are aiming to protect the climate, but in fact do the opposite of what we are told.
Climate Crimes reminds us that thousand of species are threatened by monoculture-agriculture everywhere, including in the last remaining natural environments in Germany. (And that many German companies and banks, often with the support of politicians, are involved in environmental crimes in other parts of the globe as well).
It showed really interesting and for our anti-dam movements very important film footages relevant to the Belo Monte dam in Brazil, and as I have been on the ground in the Belo Monte area for years, I can say that he and his camera team explained the horrific environmental issue best (of all films made so far), through extraordinary powerful and truthful images that explain why the Big Bend (Volta Grande) of the Xingu River is unique and so very important to preserve. The Big Bend part of the Xingu River will dry up if the mega dam would be finalized.
The film also covered the Ilisu dam issue at the Tigris River, which would flood Hasankeyf, one of the oldest cities in Anatolia in Turkey. Hasankeyf is renowned for its extensive cave dwellings and historical buildings dating from the fourth century, built on the border between the Eastern Roman and the Sassanid Empire. Climate Crimes shows how the blocking of the water of the Tigris River already has impacted the Mesopotamian Chibayis marshes downstream near Basra in southern Iraq, and even so the area was partly recovered would become a desert again, if the dam in Hasankeyf would be constructed.
The film also encouraged, by showing the local protest against the Ilisu dam, and timely with the films release, the anti-dam movement gained a victory as the Turkish high court ordered this year a halt to the construction of the Ilısu Dam because the Turkish government had not conducted the legally required Environmental Impact Assessment (ÇED).
Sounds all too familiar, the same happened with the Belo Monte dam, dam’s are halted, allowed to continue, halted again and allowed to continue again. Only the long breath of the anti-dam movements and time will tell who will win at the end. Nature, water, animals and people, or greed and destruction.
I applaud Ulrich Eichelmann for the film Climate Crimes, and that he has turned his back to WWF, which belongs to the business – criminals while wearing a “green” suit.
VIDEO: As Gitmo Turns 11, Al Jazeera’s Journalist Sami al-Hajj on 6-Year Ordeal of U.S. Detention, TortureFriday, January 11th, 2013
VIDEO on Democracy Now!
On the 11th anniversary of Guantánamo Bay’s use as a prison for foreign detainees, we air a Democracy Now! exclusive interview with Sami al-Hajj, the only journalist held at Guantánamo. The Al Jazeera cameraman was arrested in Pakistan in December of 2001 while traveling to Afghanistan on a work assignment. Held for six years without charge, al-Hajj was repeatedly tortured, hooded, attacked by dogs and hung from a ceiling. Interrogators questioned him over 100 times about whether Al Jazeera was a front for al-Qaeda. In January 2007, he began a hunger strike that lasted 438 days until his release in May 2008. Now the head of Al Jazeera’s human rights and public liberties desk, al-Hajj sits down for a rare interview with Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman in Doha, Qatar. [includes rush transcript]
Article by John Ahni Schertow, Intercontinental Cry
(Video link from An Baccaert, Cristiano Navarro and Nicolas Muñoz below)
In the southern region of Mato Grosso do Sul, on the border of Brazil and Paraguay, the most populous indigenous nation of the country silently struggles for its territory, trying to contain the advance of its powerful enemies.
Expelled from their lands because of the continuous process of colonization, more than 40,000 Guarani Kaiowá now live on less than 1% of their original territory. On their lands today, there are thousands of hectares of sugarcane put in place by multinational enterprises that portray ethanol to the world as an “environment friendly” and “clean” fuel.
Without their lands and forests, the Guarani Kaiowá have for years coexisted with a malnutrition epidemic. And with no alternative means of subsistence, adults and children are exploited in the cane fields, exhaustively working day-in, day-out. In the production line of the so-called “clean” fuel, the Federal Public Prosecutor constantly sues the owners of the plantations because of their child labor and slave labor practices.
Amid the delirium of the “green gold fever” (the way people refer to sugarcane), indigenous leadership finds death as their fate–death ordered by the big farmers.
“The Dark Side of Green” [Original title: À Sombra de um Delírio Verde] tells the story of how the Guarani-Kaiowá indigenous people in Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil, are hit by a booming ethanol sector.
The introduction starts with Orlando Juca, a 52-year old man who has to get up every day at two in the morning, to catch a bus that takes laborers like him to the sugarcane fields. We see him walking through the dark night with a bad leg. He was crippled by an accident but he cannot stop working because he has to maintain his family. His only son who helped him supporting the family, died in a sugarcane field.
The camera follows Juca’s daily journey and shows how the cane choppers arrive by daybreak at the plantations that have been burnt during the night, to facilitate the harvesting. Juca explains that harvesters are paid by weight and have to work long hours every day to earn something.
Mato Grosso (the Brazilian state where the film is made) means “thick forest” in Portuguese. The Guarani-Kaiowá lived here long before the trees were cleared for cattle ranches and soy plantations that stretch endlessly towards the horizon. Today, the expanding sugarcane monocultures are a new threat to their traditional way of life.
The film illustrates the natural habitat that just a few Guarani-Kaiowá communities have preserved. This traditional lifestyle is at stake: the hunting and collecting food in what is left of pristine forests; the cultivation of small patches of land and the fishing in clear rivers.
Misfortune clouds transfer us to the urban jungle of Sao Paulo, the economic heart of Brazil. Climate change and energy shortages are creating an unprecedented thirst for alternative energy, with ethanol leading the way. Brazil is pioneering the use of ethanol as a vehicle fuel. The congested streets of Sao Paulo are packed with cars that run off both agro and fossil fuel mixtures. Ethanol already replaced half of Brazil’s petrol consumption.
Currently a promotional clip is being developed that will include President Lula announcing a pact between the U.S. and Brazil to stimulate the ethanol production. The clip must show the megalomania of the ethanol fever and the powerful business that is behind it. Miss Geraldine Kutis is the international advisor for Unica, the largest association of sugar and ethanol manufacturers in Brazil. The aim of Unica is to spread the green gold fever around the world. Kutis talks about Brazil’s objective to turn ethanol into a global commodity. Unica is opening offices in the world’s economical and political power centers (Washington, Brussels and Beijing) to weigh upon decision-making. The camera zooms into the spinning stock market that symbolizes the greediness of the business. As Geraldine Kutis puts it: “In terms of expansion… the sky is the limit!”
Subsequently, the film heads back to the state of Mato Grosso do Sul, where machines are paving the way for many new ethanol mills that are financed by foreign venture capital. Rising demand for ethanol is a golden opportunity for local landowners and for the agro industry. Growing sugarcane is so profitable that its acreage is expanding rapidly. Land values have at least doubled over the past year. Eduardo Corrêa Riedel, vice president of Famasul, the agriculture federation, gives us some exact figures.
But not everybody is applauding the ethanol boom in the region. Labor union leader Onorail Jerônimo Porto highlights its dark side. He warns for the excessive use of toxic agrochemicals and shows us the dirty sewage coming from the ethanol mills. Onorail’s concern for the sewage leaking into the rivers and contaminating them, leads us to Kaiowá-leader Jorge Gomes, who metaphorically expresses the crucial importance of clean rivers.
Kaiowá is a Guaraní word, meaning ‘forest people’. The Kaiowá are a deeply spiritual people, seeking the ‘land without evil’, a place revealed to them by their ancestors. In Mato Grosso do Sul, the Guarani-Kaiowá are desperately campaigning to protect their land that is crucial for their survival. Profesor Antonio Brandt reveals how surprised the Spanish colonizers were by the quantity and the variety of food they found in the Guaraní communities. Without land and natural resources, these people cannot hunt or cultivate sufficient food. More than ninety percent of the Guarani-Kaiowá now depends on food baskets from the government. But these food supplies are insufficient to cover their daily needs. Many children are undernourished and suffer from poor water quality. Since 2005, more than fifty Guarani-Kaiowá children have died after suffering malnutrition.
For Kaiowá-leader Carlito de Oliveira it is clear that only land can guarantee food sovereignty for his people. Public Prosecutor Charles Pessoa explains how the indigenous people have been expelled from their traditional territories throughout history. They were pushed into reserves, created by a developing society and, so he states, the lack of land is the main cause for their misery. Today, some reserves, such as that of Dourados, are comparable with the slums in Brazil’s big cities. The rapid expansion of the sugarcane production has exacerbated the problem. Indigenous reservations have become cheap-labor havens for the ethanol industry. Adel Fernandez Villalva states that almost all men work in the ethanol factory because they have no other choice. They have no education, no land and no tools. They compare themselves with imprisoned monkeys.
A video from the Labor Ministry illustrates the hazardous accommodation and the degrading, slave-like conditions these men have to endure.
Since work in the sugarcane fields is so tough, it’s mostly youngsters, in their late teens and early twenties who are being recruited. Poverty and despair is what drives these teenagers away from school and into the cane fields. The same happened to Reginaldo Ferreira Rossato, who was recruited when he was just 16 years old. His contractor gave him a drug to endure the very tough machete cutting. Labor Ministry Prosecutor Cícero Rufino Pereira confirms that indigenous adolescents are indeed recruited in the Mato Grosso factories.
At this the point the film returns to Orlando Juca, the sugarcane harvester from the introduction. Orlando’s son was only fourteen when he was seduced to leave school and earn money in the sugarcane fields. He died in an accident at the age of fifteen. He got contracted under a false identity, according to which he was 23 years old. The factory never recognized the kid’s real identity and therefore Orlando Juca is denied any indemnification whatsoever.
When Kaiowá-leader Carlito de Oliveira starts crying, the despair is complete. Professor Antonio Brandt insists that the only solution is to demarcate territories. He notes that the Kaiowá are demanding small areas and the return of these lands will not impede the agro-business. Yet, they are not even obtaining that. Famasul’s vice president Eduardo Corrêa Riedel: “Land demarcation is done. If you go back to the origins of Brazilian civilization, then we should give all the land back to the indigenous people.”
The case of Nanderu Marangatu (2005) illustrates the almightiness of the landowners: through local justice departments they manage to retake land even after it is homologated as indigenous territory. The copyright holder of the stock-footage is a Dutch public broadcasting company LLINK and is provided royalty-free.
Despite the brutal repression of those re-occupying their native land and many indigenous leaders having been (and still being) assassinated, the ardor of resistance grows.
Original title: À Sombra de um Delírio Verde Documentário
Production: Argentina, Belgium, Brazil
Time: 29 min
Release Year: 2011
Direction, script and production: An Baccaert, Cristiano Navarro and Nicolas Muñoz
Narration in Portuguese: Fabiana Cozza
Music composed by Thomas Leonhardt
Visit the film’s official website
In his most extended interview in months, Julian Assange speaks to Democracy Now! from inside the Ecuadorean embassy in London, where he has been holed up for nearly six months. Assange vowed WikiLeaks would persevere despite attacks against it. On Tuesday, the European Commission announced that the credit card company Visa did not break the European Union’s antitrust rules by blocking donations to WikiLeaks. “Since the blockade was erected in December 2010, WikiLeaks has lost 95 percent of the donations that were attempted to be transferred to us over that period. … Our rightful and natural growth, our ability to publish as much as we would like, our ability to defend ourselves and our sources, has been diminished by that blockade.” Assange also speaks about his new book, “Cypherpunks: Freedom and the Future of the Internet.” “The mass surveillance and mass interception that is occurring to all of us now who use the internet is also a mass transfer of power from individuals into extremely sophisticated state and private intelligence organizations and their cronies,” he says. Assange also discusses the United States’ targeting of WikiLeaks. “The Pentagon is maintaining a line that WikiLeaks inherently, as an institution that tells military and government whistleblowers to step forward with information, is a crime. They allege we are criminal, moving forward,” Assange says. “Now, the new interpretation of the Espionage Act that the Pentagon is trying to hammer in to the legal system, and which the Department of Justice is complicit in, would mean the end of national security journalism in the United States.”
VIDEO: SHAMEFUL how Accused WikiLeaks Whistleblower Bradley Manning has been abused and how US tries to break him to testifyTuesday, December 4th, 2012
Bradley Manning, the U.S. Army private accused of leaking hundreds of thousands of classified documents to the whistleblowing website WikiLeaks, has testified for the first time since he was arrested in May 2010. Speaking Thursday at a pretrial proceeding, Manning revealed the emotional tumult he experienced while imprisoned in Kuwait after his arrest in 2010, saying, “I remember thinking, ’I’m going to die.’ I thought I was going to die in a cage.” As part of his testimony, Manning stepped inside a life-sized chalk outline representing the six-by-eight-foot cell he was later held in at the Quantico base in Virginia, and recounted how he would tilt his head to see the reflection of a skylight through a tiny space in his cell door. Manning could face life in prison if convicted of the most serious of 22 counts against him. His trial is expected to begin in February. He has offered to plead guilty to a subset of charges that could potentially carry a maximum prison term of 16 years. “What’s remarkable is that he still has this incredible dignity after going through this,” says Michael Ratner, who was in the courtroom during Manning’s appearance. “But I think all these prison conditions were — sure, they were angry at Bradley Manning, but in the face of that psychiatric statement, that this guy shouldn’t be kept on suicide risk or POI, they’re still keeping him in inhuman conditions, you can only ask yourself — they’re trying to break him for some reason. The lawyer, David Coombs, has said it’s so that he can give evidence against Julian Assange and WikiLeaks.” Ratner is president emeritus of the Center for Constitutional Rights and a lawyer for Julian Assange and WikiLeaks.
Watch Seeds of Freedom, a film exploring the history of the corporate takeover of seed, the introduction and spread of GMOs, and the impact that this is having on communities across the world. Help us spread the word!
NAMIBIA: INDIGENOUS SEMI-NOMADIC HIMBA AND ZEMBA MARCH IN PROTEST AGAINST DAM, MINING AND HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONSSaturday, 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.
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
“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:
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.
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
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
By Amy Goodmann © Democracy Now!:
“It’s Global Warming, Stupid”: As Bloomberg Backs Obama, News Media Ends Silence on Climate Change
The link between climate change and the devastation wrought by Superstorm Sandy across much of the Northeast was brought into focus Thursday when New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg endorsed President Obama, citing his policies on the environment. Just days before the elections, Bloomberg wrote: “We need leadership from the White House — and over the past four years, President Barack Obama has taken major steps to reduce our carbon consumption.” Bloomberg’s endorsement is particularly striking because much of the news media has barely mentioned climate change even in the lead-up or aftermath of the superstorm. There were also no questions addressed to the presidential candidates on climate change in the course of the presidential debates. One of the news outlets that has broken the silence on climate is the magazine Bloomberg Businessweek, whose cover story this week is called “It’s Global Warming, Stupid.” We’re joined by the story’s author and the magazine’s assistant managing editor, Paul Barrett. [includes rush transcript]