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Another World Is Possible – It’s Called Ecosocialism

Posted on 10 February 2011 by editor

Joel Kovel. Credit:Courtesy of Joel Kovel

Kanya D’Almeida interviews U.S. scholar and organiser JOEL KOVEL

NEW YORK, Feb 9, 2011 (IPS TerraViva) – As the powerful collective energy continues to surge through Dakar, veterans of the World Social Forum (WSF) are taking a moment to examine the history, trajectory and future of the alternative global movement. Continue Reading

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The New Scramble for Africa

Posted on 10 February 2011 by admin

By Thandi Winston

DAKAR, Feb 9 (TerraViva) – Some are calling it the second scramble for Africa – the growing appetite of external interests in securing huge tracts of land in Africa, displacing the small-scale farmers who form the backbone of the continent’s own food security. Continue Reading

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‘Africa’s Women and Children Are Main Casualties of Conflicts’

Posted on 09 February 2011 by admin

By Thandi Winston

DAKAR, Feb 9 (TerraViva) – One of Africa’s leading daughters and feminists, the Nigerian scholar Amina Mama says militarism is spreading, especially in countries like Sierra Leone and Liberia. She says war and conflict are especially affecting vulnerable women and children. Continue Reading

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Oil Companies Out of Nigeria, Activists Say

Posted on 09 February 2011 by admin

DAKAR, Feb 9 (TerraViva) – Nigerian environmental rights groups have been making the case for the expulsion of oil companies from the Niger Delta in the southeastern part of the country.

Gas flare at Rumuekpe, Rivers State. Credit: Israel Aloja / Environmental Rights Action Friends Of The Earth Nigeria

Gas flare at Rumuekpe, Rivers State. Credit: Israel Aloja / Environmental Rights Action Friends Of The Earth Nigeria

Speaking at a meeting organised by a group of Nigerian women’s environmental rights activists, Goodison Jim Dorgu, the Executive Director of the NGO Environmental Health and Safety Network, based in the oil-producing state of Bayelsa, said Nigerian civil society has come to the united conclusion that oil companies responsible for severe environmental degradation should leave without delay.

Other speakers outlined how the oil industry has provoked violence in the oil-rich Niger Delta, with women bearing the burnt of the assaults. Emem Okon, the head of the Women’s Development and Resource Centre in the city of Port Harcourt, alleged that the oil companies’ own security personnel have been involved in attacks on women. She also said the Nigerian army had committed grave violations of human rights.

“In Ogoniland, the government set up the Rivers State Internal Security Task Force, and what these soldiers did was to use women as a weapon of war. A lot of women were raped, a lot of young girls were taken into sexual slavery.”

The head of Friends of the Earth International, Nnimmo Bassey, said environmental justice for the Niger Delta will be a long struggle. “The regime of responsibility has been so well entrenched and there’s the military backing for what the oil companies are doing, the govenment is behind them,” he says.

“There are a lot of restrictions. A lot more work is still going to be done, but one day, when nobody expects it… the people will prevail.”

(END/2011)

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People of Colour United to Defend Migrants

Posted on 09 February 2011 by admin

Ebrima Sillah interviews GERALD LENOIR, executive director of the Black Alliance for Just Immigration.

BAJI brings communities together to support the resistance that U.S. immigrants themselves are organising. Credit: BAJI

BAJI brings communities together to support the resistance that U.S. immigrants themselves are organising. Credit: BAJI

DAKAR, Feb 9 (TerraViva) – The Black Alliance for Just Immigration works to link migrants from all over the world with African-American communities in the United States in order to fight for socio-economic justice.

Far from seeing migrants as potential rivals for jobs as a recession bites deeply into the U.S. workforce, Lenoir says it is in African-Americans interest to support fair and just immigration reform.

Q. What  are the problems of immigration when it comes to Africans in the United States?

A. I think the problem with immigration comes about due to quotas that make it very difficult for people to migrate into the United States.

The United States along with the European powers is distorting their economies within Africa, in fact invading those economies and forcing the flow of migration and also supporting undemocratic regimes that are also forcing the flow of migration because of the lack of rights within the countries of Africa.

So we think that the United States and the West play a very destructive role in terms of the social fabric and the economy of African countries.

Q: What are some of the problems that migrants face after getting to the United States?

A. Racism is very rampant in the United States.  Even though we fought the civil rights struggle, the black power movements of the sixties and seventies, and opened up a democratic space in the United States.

What we’re seeing is that white supremacist groupings are now forming around the issue of immigration and are promoting racial profiling of Latinos and Africans and Afro-Caribbeans and Afro-Latinos and are trying to roll back the rights of people of colour all over the United States.

African immigrants are being caught up in the raids  and the deportations, there are massive raids and deportations going on particularly African immigrants from West African countries are being deported, denied jobs. Patients are being deported…

So we are resisting that and trying to concientise our African-American community to support  the resistance that immigrants themselves are organising. We are trying to bring together our communities together because African-Americans are also impacted by the rise of racism in the United States.

(END/2011)

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‘We Planned for 3,000, We Ended Up With 20,000 People’

Posted on 09 February 2011 by admin

Thandi Winston interviews CANDIDO GRZYBOWSKI, from the Brazilian Institute for Social Economic Analyses.

Candido Grzybowski. Credit: Marcus Vinni/iBase

Candido Grzybowski. Credit: Marcus Vinni/iBase

Sometimes described as one of the most influential intellectuals in Brazil, Candido Grzybowski is a philosopher and sociologist and has been the director of iBase, the Brazilian Institute of Social and Economic Analyses since 1990.

“When we started in 2000, started discussions, it was in the main a reaction to the World Economic Forum, the Davos Forum,” Grzybowski says of the origins of the World Social Forum. “The owners of the world, the big companies with some governments and with a discourse of ‘no alternatives,’ globalisation, neo-liberalisation and so on.

“And for us it was a matter of saying, ‘We cannot continue only to say this is not the solution, we must try to build a thing independent of that, and to give an idea of not just an economic idea of the world we live in, of the planet we live in, of the society we live in, but a social idea of the economy, of power, of everything.

“So it was the social forum.”

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This World Is Impossible

Posted on 08 February 2011 by editor

Mario Lubetkin, IPS Director General. Credit: Abdullah Vawda/IPS TerraVIva

By Mario Lubetkin (*)

The World Social Forum now underway in Dakar was preceded by a series of meetings throughout the year that confirmed the uniqueness of the WSF as a place to discuss the major problems of the world and proposals to address them. IPS has covered this entire process. (http://www.ipsnews.net/) Continue Reading

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Revolutions Are Not Widgets

Posted on 08 February 2011 by admin

Andrea Lunt interviews Kenyan activist ONYANGO OLOO

NEW YORK, Feb 8 (IPS/TerraViva) – Behind the headlines of mass social forums and violent protests, fighting oppression and changing the world requires sustained grassroots action, according to Kenyan social justice activist Onyango Oloo. Continue Reading

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Lula and Wade in Opposite Corners

Posted on 08 February 2011 by admin

By Koffigan E. Adigbli

DAKAR, Feb 8 (TerraViva) – The liberal doctrines imposed on the world’s poorest countries no longer have a place in modern societies, says the former president of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. Continue Reading

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Tunisian and Egyptian Revolutions Inspire Delegates at World Social Forum

Posted on 08 February 2011 by admin

Activists in Dakar are drawing inspiration from the uprisings in Egypt, Tunisia and elsewhere. Crédito: Abdullah Vawda/IPS TerraViva

By Thandi Winston

DAKAR, Feb 7 (TerraViva) – Tunisia’s Jasmine Revolution and the popular uprising poised to overthrow three decades of rule by Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak have galvanised and inspired delegates at the World Social Forum taking place in Dakar, Senegal. Continue Reading

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