Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell. Edward Abbey

25 January 2010

We need a new vision for the world

Arundhati Roy:  "It makes you wonder — is the last stop of every revolution advanced capitalism? Think about it — the French Revolution, the Russian Revolution, the Chinese Revolution, the Vietnam War, the anti-apartheid struggle, the supposedly Gandhian freedom struggle in India… what’s the last station they all pull in at? Is this the end of imagination?"

The interview was conducted in 2007 but is as relelvant today, if not more so:

The albatrosses of Midway Atoll

Photographs of dead albatross chicks taken in the Midway Atoll - one of the world’s most remote marine sanctuaries - show stomach contents comprising mostly colourful plastic. The images are stark reminder of the fact the the planet is a closed system and every piece of plastic created will eventually be dumped ... somewhere ... even if it's 4000 km from the nearest continent!

There's copyright on all the pics, so the best way to see these mind-blowing images is to visit Chris Jordan's website:

An image of an albatross chick with a large red plastic cigarette lighter in its stomach really moved me. This is the new Battle of Midway.

Nesting babies are fed pieces of plastic by their parents, who soar over the North Atlantic collecting what looks like food to them but is actually floating human debris. Every year thousands of albatross chicks die on Midway from starvation, toxicity, and choking.

If you're not yet in tears, let me add that plastic is not the biggest threat to the survival of the Midway albatrosses. That dubious honour goes to longline fishing.

22 January 2010

APF and EarthLife activists assaulted at NERSA hearings


This morning, the NERSA public hearing into ESKOM’s application for tariff increases got underway at Gallagher Estate in Midrand. Both Earthlife and the APF were present, having made written submissions and requests for presentations in opposition to ESKOM’s application.

Not long after proceedings began, a small group of Earthlife activists silently placed several posters on the walls inside the venue. Almost immediately, Gallagher Estate’s private security personnel arrived and tore down all the posters, whilst forcibly escorting those activists identified as the ‘perpetrators’, outside the venue. They then locked the doors and when a larger group of APF activists arrived, refused them (alongside the Earthlife activists already outside) entry.

Despite repeated attempts by these activists to point out the public nature of the hearing, and thus their right to attend, the private security personnel continued to lock them out. When the gathered activists then started toyi-toying, the SA Police Services were called. Three of the APF/Earthlife activists tried to reason with the police and to inform them of their democratic right to participate in the public hearing going on inside the building. The police then assaulted, arrested and hauled them off to the Midrand police station where they were charged with public violence and resisting arrest.

The names of the three activists are Makoma Lekalakala, Mashao Chauke and Nomaliza Xhoma. At present they are being held at the Midrand police station while a lawyer engaged by Earthlife and the APF continues attempts to get the charges dropped.

For further comment/information contact: Ferrial Adam of Earthlife on 0741813197

20 January 2010

Haiti still paying for resisting colonisers?

Crises are often abused as a pretext for pushing through policies that you cannot push through under times of stability. I cannot write anything more passionately or succinctly than some of the wonderful articles embedded below, outlining the tragedy that is Haiti today.

The great journalist and environmental resistor John Maxwell has written a moving piece in the Jamaican Observer about how the west has crushed Haiti.

It is my contention that the modern world was born in Haiti

Quote from the article:
"Imagine, Niggers Speaking French!" William Jennings, US secretary of state to Woodrow Wilson and fundamentalist lawyer, when speaking about Haitians and preparing to invade their country some 90 yrs ago.

Naomi Klein of the wonderful DemocracyNow has written a powerful piece:

Capitalism Alert: Stop Them Before They Shock Again
“We have to be absolutely clear that this tragedy—which is part natural, part unnatural—must, under no circumstances, be used to, one, further indebt Haiti and, two, to push through unpopular corporatist policies in the interest of our corporations. This is not conspiracy theory. They have done it again and again.”

For those with ADD, here are some brilliant cartoons about Haiti:

18 January 2010

Dennis Brutus: you will be missed

I only heard today that one of SA's greatest rebel voices has gone quiet.

Dennis Brutus (28 November, 1924 - 26 December, 2009)

I never met him, but I read many of his poems and always listened intently when I heard him speak via footage.  Good bye fearless Dennis. If only all revolutionaries were half as brave as you, we could solve this climate quandary.

Dennis in some of his last video interviews:

* Dennis Brutus Part One:
* Dennis Brutus Part Two:

On Copenhagen from his hospital bed: