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Healthcare is a Human Right campaign calls for transparency in Green Mountain Care financing process

VWC - Wed, 01/28/2015 - 10:21pm

Today, Healthcare is a Human Right supporters were back at the statehouse calling for transparency and participation in the process of developing equitable financing for Green Mountain Care.

Traven Leyshon of Middlesex, testified at an early morning joint House and Senate healthcare committee meeting, alongside other healthcare advocacy groups (See below for attached testimony). Leyshon called on legislators to pick up the Governor’s financing proposal, but pointed to the removal of Governor Shumlin’s tax loophole for the top 1% of Vermont income earners, and the need for a graduated payroll tax as necessary to ensure the system is based on individuals and businesses’ ability to pay. He also called out the lack of transparency reflected in the Governor’s report:

“It is almost impossible to discern what administrative cost savings and existing state funding the Governor’s calculations exclude, and why...we have come to conclude that it was highly inappropriate that the state’s contract with [economic modeler] Jonathan Gruber did not include delivery of the actual model and model interface that was used to calculate the Governor’s financing scenarios...We believe that the administration, legislators and the GMC Board should be given full access to this tool paid for by Vermont taxpayers, as should the general public.”

Later in the day, over twenty HCHR supporters joined Washington County State Senator Anthony Pollina for a press conference reiterating our demand for transparency and participation in the financing process.  “I was here on January 8th, demanding our legislature move ahead with Act 48," said Anna Gebhardt of Burlington, referring to her participation in the Statehouse sit-in for universal healthcare, "and I’m back today to say that the healthcare crisis in our communities has not gone away - we must move forward with Green Mountain Care.” Click here for a short video of Anna's presentation from today.

Jess Fuller called on legislators to remain accountable to Act 48 by holding public hearings on the Governor’s financing proposal at times when working people can participate.  Matt McGrath further emphasized the urgency to move ahead with the full implementation of a universal, equitably financed healthcare system, not piecemeal reform, and re-committed to organize and mobilize in our communities to ensure those impacted by this crisis have their voices heard. 

AttachmentSize Jan 29 2015 HCHR Testimony: Traven Leyshon368.37 KB
Categories: Grassroots Newswire

CRC Students Attend Town Hall meeting on 21st Century Policing

Labor/Community Strategy Center - Wed, 01/28/2015 - 3:33pm
A delegation of the South Los Angeles students and alumni of Manual Arts attended Congress woman's Karen Bass Congressional Hearing on 21st Century Policing. The conversation elevated theories of investing in services such as our schools, housing, public transportation not maintaining and expanding the policing forces in the city.

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Categories: Grassroots Newswire

Reflections on the People’s Summit on Climate Change and our Climate Justice Movement

GGJ Blog - Thu, 01/15/2015 - 10:12am

by Sacajawea (Saki) Hall, Cooperation Jackson and the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement

While attending the People’s Summit on Climate Change in Lima, Peru as a member of the Grassroots Global Justice Alliance delegation, my mind was focused on the relationship between the intensifying struggles at home with the deepening struggles throughout the world. I couldn’t help but think about how the intense protests against police violence and for greater living wages and worker protections, amongst others, could strengthen the struggle for system change being demanded throughout the global south to halt climate change and its escalating dangers. Lima affirmed that my work through Cooperation Jackson to create alternatives to the extractive economy in the heart of the United States by building economic democracy rooted in cooperative economics and social solidarity as a model, can be and is a significant contribution to the global struggle for a just transition.

In an article, “Notes for Understanding the Lima Outcome” Pablo Solon provides an analysis of the document coming out of the United Nation’s climate talks. Lima marked the 20th year of the Framework Convention on Climate Change, or Conference of Parties (COP) and the draft document coming out of the negotiations will be finalized in Paris this year as the governing international treaty on climate change. Solon states, “In synthesis, an “agreement” that does not close the emissions gap for this decade, that continues with voluntary contributions with no clear targets for the next decade, has no strong compliance mechanisms and more cheating carbon market mechanisms, puts the future of humanity and life as we know it on our planet Earth in serious jeopardy.” [Emphasis mine.] I arrived in Lima knowing a lot was at stake, and left clear that we are in a state of emergency. We have to step up our game and engage in more radical thought and action to address the gravity of our current situation.

Systemic Violence from the State and Capitalist System

I consider myself knowledgeable about the various forms that state violence manifests. I relate the struggle against poverty, for reproductive justice, racial justice, as fights against state violence, but this trip translated terms I hear all the time like environmental racism and genocide specifically into environmental and ecological violence. While this seems obvious, and I laughed at myself realizing surely its been said and quickly did a google search, it was my first time thinking of it that way and I couldn’t remember hearing the term. Violence is not only a physical and immediate brutal act of aggression, but a deliberate act that threatens life and shows no regard for it. Displacement, natural disasters, the human response to natural disasters, exposure to chemical toxins, loss of biodiversity, access to clean water and other impacts perpetrated by governments and corporations have to constantly be framed as environmental and ecological violence to define the severity and the urgency of our response.

Putting climate change and its effects in the context of violence not only broadens the definition, but broadens the need for radical action and see it as self-defense.

Climate Justice and Human Rights

A major highlight of the gathering in Lima was the Global People’s March in Defense of Mother Earth on December 10th, International Human Rights Day. Although this mass mobilization took place on Human Rights Day, it was not apart of the messaging of the march. This made me realize that the human rights language and framework I’ve grown accustomed to at other gatherings that are parallel or outside alternatives to the United Nations was not present in Lima. Climate Justice as human rights were talked about in some spaces, but it was not central to the gathering as if it could not be used in the face of such blatant human rights violations and posturing. The irony was glaring as the United Nations process continued to be hijacked by corporations and watered down by states like the U.S with false solutions that contradict human rights principles and standards and even worse, further the human rights violations echoed by everyone at the People’s Summit and march. In fact there are no references to human rights in the final draft document, only in the preamble, which is not legally binding.

Although the tension between embracing human rights and rejecting the United Nations made sense, it didn’t sit right with me. Heavily recognizing the conditions imposed on our communities as human rights violations and asserting our rights as human rights seemed critical to me. Reading a reflection on Human Rights Day by Ajamu Baraka, a long-term US based human rights organizer, helped to contextualize the utter abuse and disregard for human rights in the COP 20. This quote from Baraka is instructive, “As a result of the cynical use of human rights by Western states, particularly the last two administrations in the U.S., there is deep dissatisfaction with the human rights idea. This is occurring right at the historical moment when the idea of human rights could provide an alternative ethical and policy guide for countering the global economic, political and social crises that governments and tens of millions of people are experiencing. Without a radical “de-colonization” of its basic tenets, methodologies and institutions, the orthodox human rights framework is unable to offer anything more than bland reforms and a “de-politicized” politics.”

As I reflected on the minimal presence of a human rights framework at the People’s Summit as dissatisfaction and even a rejection of it, I realized the value I placed on it is based on different type of human rights framework. My human rights training is rooted in the idea of a people’s centered human rights framework. I see the power and necessity in a people’s centered human rights framework that is able to do what Baraka speaks of “provide an alternative ethical and policy guide for countering the global economic, political and social crises…” At the same time I negotiate the contradictions with the existing legal and institutional frame based on understanding the values and limits of it.

A people’s centered human rights framework grows out of what oppressed people define for ourselves based on our struggles and goes beyond the limits of international legal text, it confronts white supremacy, settler-colonial capitalism, patriarchy and other systems of oppression that deny us our human agency and dignity. This framework is grounded in the understanding that we can only realize our full human rights when we change social relationships, structures and institutions.

In order to reclaim the mantle and strategic importance of the human rights framework, we have to get at the sources of the problem. One of the critical sources currently limiting the human rights framework is the doctrine and politics of “American Exceptionalism”. This doctrine maintains that the United States is simultaneously “a beacon on a hill” and the worlds rightful police force. And as a result, it can and must dictate the world’s agenda, and the rules and regulations that it imposes to implement this agenda, while it itself is immune to these rules and regulations.  We have to challenge this exceptionalism and the image that prevails of the U.S. exemplifying human rights and therefore the rightful international defender of it. We have to put forth our people-centered human rights framework, link it with the emerging Rights of Mother Earth Framework and the concept of “buen vivir” (roughly translated as “living well together”) and reclaim our agency, social space, and the right to live in harmony with each other and our provider and sustainer, Mother Earth.

Critical Questions

For me, critical questions going into Lima and coming out are, how do we challenge and confront the discourse as well as the policies, practices and implications? How do we make our solutions real with concrete, successful, examples? What do we need to do between now and COP 21 in Paris and beyond? What shifts will we need to make to confront the aftermath and consequences of the international protocols set to come out of Paris?

Answers to this question in theory and practice are developing all over the world, including here in the U.S. Cooperation Jackson is putting forth our ideas that we hope can be a model for other parts of the country. For us, answers to these questions are deepening through our alliances and networks like the Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, Climate Justice Alliance and the Our Power Campaign. As a pilot site of the Our Power Campaign we are deepening our praxis to support our development of concrete solutions for a just transition.

Reflecting on Lima and events at the end of 2014, I think we need to strengthen our work around shifting the narrative, step up our collective action here in the U.S. and strategically come up with sustained coordinated global action to bring about the systems change we call for. At the same time, deepen our relationships and exchanges here in the U.S. and with international allies to continue developing alternatives to the extractive economy and examples of our solutions. We need to leverage international gatherings this year, like Paris and the World Social Forum in Tunisia to plan targeted coordinated actions and exchanges.

I see placing our struggles in the context of systemic violence and human rights as challenging the discourse that validates the false solutions presented as so called “climate action” coming out of the UN COP process. Being clear about what we are up against, the violent nature of oppression and who perpetrates it is critical to putting forth our own narrative. Not only climate change is life threatening, but the “climate action” in the form of REDD, Climate Smart Agriculture, Carbon Markets and the like are acts of violence against Mother Earth and our communities. We must intensify our resistance by finding every way to confront and disrupt the destructive, extractive economy. This includes incorporating the lessons from the mass non-compliant movements of the 20th century that we see potentially re-emerging through the current fight against police violence and campaigns for better wages and employee protections.

The human rights framework not only directly confronts systems of oppression and the actors that perpetrate it, but also offers an alternative policy. A crucial component of Cooperation Jackson’s work to build economic democracy and sustainable communities includes our effort to make Jackson, Mississippi a human rights city with a human rights commission and charter developed through a people’s centered process. In creating a human rights city, a system can be set up to protect the advances we make in economic democracy and structuring sustainable communities. If we are truly talking about changing the system and a just transition, it has to include developing an alternative set of principles, values, morals and policies. The people’s centered human rights framework demands that all rights are universal, interdependent, indivisible, and inalienable. It demands a system that ensures the rights of people and the rights of nature are equally respected, policies that protect these rights, and a system that is obligated to fulfill these rights by creating the conditions and providing the resources necessary.

I’m looking forward to the road to Paris, but even more so to the road beyond. I’m exciting about the possibilities. We have our work cut out for us in such challenging times, but it is our duty to win!

No to Fast Track for the TPP

PCASC and our friends at PCHRP (Portland Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines)

On Saturday, January 3, PCASC joined with the Oregon Fair Trade Campaign and other organizations to urge Sen. Ron Wyden to abandon his support for fast tracking the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Fast tracking could further limit debate and hasten the passage of the agreement, negotiated in secret and described as “NAFTA on steroids.”

More than 20 years later, the devastating effects of North American Free Trade Agreement are well documented. NAFTA has displaced farmers and increased poverty in Mexico. Subsequent free trade agreements (FTAs) have had similar impacts on countries in Latin America and across the globe.

Categories: Grassroots Newswire

Job Announcement: Community Organizer

Chinese Progressive Association - Tue, 01/06/2015 - 9:15pm

posted January 6, 2015 

Community Organizer (Full-Time)

Organizational Description

Founded in 1972, the Chinese Progressive Association - San Francisco (CPA) is a grassroots membership-based organization that empowers the Chinese community in San Francisco and promotes justice and equality for all people. CPA’s campaigns and programs improve the working and living conditions of low-income immigrants and mobilize community members to have a stronger voice in policies and decisions that affect their lives. Our core strategies are organizing, leadership development, and alliance building.

Job Description

Join the dynamic staff at CPA as a Community Organizer with the Tenant Worker Center, where you will organize and empower Chinese immigrants to fight for justice and build a vibrant movement for social justice centered on the experiences of working-class immigrant communities. Additionally, you will work with staff to develop the future direction of Chinese immigrant worker organizing through strategic campaigns.

As a Community Organizer with CPA, you will be responsible for part of CPA’s Tenant and Worker Center’s membership and base-building, leadership development, strategic services, and alliance work. The work requires extensive collaboration with other CPA staff, member leaders, and allies. This position is supervised by the Lead Organizer of the Tenant Worker Center.

The ideal candidate is a passionate, skilled and creative organizer; bilingual and bicultural; a self-starter and great team player with a long-term commitment to the social justice movement. 

Specific Responsibilities:

Key Leadership Roles and Responsibilities

  • Support and/or lead the development and strategic direction of CPA’s worker organizing (depending on experience)
  • Support TWC campaigns, including outreach, mobilization, and campaign strategy
  • Support and/or lead alliance work with CPA’s allies in labor unions and community worker centers 

Joint Leadership Roles and Responsibilities Shared with Tenant Worker Center Team

  • Actively participate in CPA organizational campaigns, activities, and strategy discussions
  • Develop the leadership of members, including:
  • Recruit community members to participate in CPA campaigns and activities
  • Build 1-on-1 relationships with member leaders
  • Develop and implement leadership goals, plans, and accountability 
  • Support and organize member leaders to participate and lead campaigns
  •  Conduct Political education and organize community-building events
  • Support CPA’s wage clinic and other service provision to the community
  • Coordinate and help implement strategic services to community for workers rights intake, vocational training program, etc.
  • Conduct workers rights consultations with workers experiencing wage theft and other labor violations
  • Plan and conduct outreach workshops and activities 
  • Support other CPA campaigns, programs and organization-wide activities as needed
  • This position may also include spending time on organizational-wide (such as electoral campaigns) and fundraising tasks as determined by organizational priorities and your supervisor.  


  • Commitment to social, economic and environmental justice and bottom-up social change
  • Knowledge of issues impacting working class Chinese immigrants in San Francisco
  • Minimum 1-year previous community or union organizing and campaign experience, 2 years or more worker organizing experience preferred.  
  • Fluency in English and either Cantonese/Mandarin (at least one, both preferred), literacy in Chinese is strongly preferred
  • Ability to work effectively with working class Chinese immigrants 
  • Experience in leadership development and education preferred
  • Good team player and problem-solver 
  • Takes responsibility and initiative in work
  • Can work effectively independently and as part of a team
  • Strong organizational and communication skills 
  • Flexibility to work some evenings and weekends

Salary & Benefits

This position is full-time, exempt, and includes competitive benefits. Salary DOE.

How to Apply

Position is open until filled. Applications will be reviewed as received.

Send resume and cover letter to:

Le Tim Ly, Program Director, c/o Hiring Committee
CPA, 1042 Grant Avenue, 5 Fl.,
San Francisco, CA 94133

By fax: 415-391-6987; or
Email: apply@cpasf.org. Subject Line should read: Community Organizer Position. PDFs preferred.

Chinese Progressive Association is an equal opportunity employer. People of color, women, immigrants, youth, LGBTQ, and differently-abled people are encouraged to apply!

page files:  CPA_Community_Organizer_Job_Announcement.pdf
Categories: Grassroots Newswire

Lima, the People’s Summit, and the Road Ahead

GGJ Blog - Mon, 01/05/2015 - 1:20pm

By Kali Akuno, Cooperation Jackson and the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement

2014 was a critical year for the Climate Justice Movement, which is arguably the most important social justice movement of our time. In the minds of many 2014 will be duly noted as the year when the movement transformed from being a resistance movement focused on altering the policies and practices of the national states and trans-national corporations, to one that is beginning to focus on system change and a just transition from the extractive economy.

This transition is in large part the result of grassroots resistance from Indigenous peoples, oppressed peoples, and working class forces throughout the world who have pressed for immediate action to address clear and present dangers and clear the way for a sustainable future. One of the leading forces in North America helping to lead this charge has been the Grassroots Global Justice Alliance (GGJ), which is composed of nearly 60 grassroots organizations from throughout the United States, including the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement (MXGM).

In early December, I had the honor and the privilege of being a delegate on the GGJ delegation to Lima, Peru for the People’s Summit on Climate Change to continue the push for a just transition and system change. The People’s  Summits are traditionally the social movements and civil society alternative to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, more commonly known as the Congress of Parties or COP. This People’s Summit, however focused little on COP 20 (for the 20th year of the UN Framework Negotiation process), and instead focused its attention on building links between social movements, confronting state repression, and promoting alternatives. It also focused on expanding the movement and promoting a just transition from the extractive economy on a global scale to wholeheartedly reject the final climate change framework that is expected at the COP 21 in Paris, France in 2015. To expand the movement and make the rejection as clear as possible, the majority of the civil society
organizations and social movements who participated in the People’s Summit are now building what is being dubbed “the Road to Paris”, which will culminate in a demonstration on the last day of the COP 21 negotiations. This demonstration is projected to top the one in New York City in September 2014 and be the largest in history against Climate Change.

The world will desperately need it, because the framework that is set to be agreed upon in Paris next December is nothing short of a crime against mother earth and humanity. What the final framework sets in place is in effect the recolonization of much of Africa, Asia, and Latin America in the name of “preservation”. Under the final framework the wealthier nations of North America, Europe, and East Asia along with transnational corporations are being allowed to “buy” the remaining forests and wetlands of the world to allegedly “protect” them from deforestation and encroachment. What it really amounts to is allowing these nations and corporations to continue polluting the earth at the same rate they currently are, and holding these forests as “offsets”. This practice is already threatening millions of Indigenous people throughout the planet, and is ensuring that the remaining “commons” are owned and controlled by the imperialist powers and the transnationals as conditions continue to worsen as they refuse to stop

march on the path to extinction. One of the most callous parts of the final framework is that the United States had human rights utterly removed from the negotiated text! Keep in in mind, that this is a United Nations document, which allegedly created to protect the human rights of everyone on the planet. This demonstrated how far capital is willing to go to put profits over people and the planet itself.

If anything, COP 20 demonstrated how desperately we need system change, and how critical a just transition is to get us there. From the perspective of Cooperation Jackson, a just transition is about creating an “economy for
the people and the planet” through economic democracy, which must be rooted in cooperative economics and social solidarity, and the utilization ofproductive processes that are not dependent on the extractive economy. Through the work of Cooperation Jackson, my contributions towards a just transition in 2015 will support the “Road to Paris” in the following ways:

  1. It will focus on instituting practical alternatives in the form of Cooperation Jackson’s organic Urban Farming and Recycling Cooperatives.
  2. It will focus on continuing to expand and deepen the human rights framework Cooperation Jackson lead the city of Jackson to adopt in December 2014, to include the Rights of Mother Earth.
  3. It will focus on getting the city of Jackson to adopt “zero waste” policies and practices, and to gradually become a zero waste city in 10 years.
  4. It will focus on hosting a People’s Assembly on a Just Transition in September 2015 to create greater community and regional buy-in for the framework.

The future is truly in our hands. We have to ensure that our children’s children and their children’s children inherit a world of abundance for themselves and all our relations.

First day at Cumbre De Los Pueblos 2014

GGJ Blog - Mon, 12/22/2014 - 2:19pm

Conferencia Internacional de Sistemas de Produccion Ecologica y Cambio Climatico

by Arturo Trejo, Southwest Workers’ Union

When I was introduced to agroecologia by the Roots of Change Cooperative in San Antonio, the concept seemed very simple; a discipline of climate consciousness, land sustainability in agriculture—of both urban and rural—and the practice of food sovereignty.  In the inter-disciplinary concept that Roots Of Change Cooperativa has set in it’s community is to thrive and accomplish work on it’s own land; by opening the work to community volunteers (collectivism), using techniques of reusable sources for regional and local crops; compost, sowing seeds, seasonal crops; and food justice for local farming and access to fresh, organic and non-GMO foods.

Day one and those that followed at Cumbre De Los Pueblos in Lima, Perú, has given me a new approach of such praxis of agroecologia. My envisioned questions are, “What is agroecologia in Latino America?” “What is agroecologia for a new-coming member of the community?” and “How do we transition such rooted concept in Sudamerica to an urban community?”  As an advocate from the US urban perspective of agroecológia through Roots Of Change Cooperativa, these discussions at the Cumbre De Los Pueblos; I will witness a new outlook of grassroots and political action.

The title of the conference Conferencia Internacional de Sistemas de Produccion Ecologica y Cambio Climatico (Conference of the International Systems of Ecological Production and Climate Change), reflected on work of adaptation, self-sustainability and self-management of the lands of Perú. Biodiversity was a main topic during these dialogues, at a time when the Northern Western agriculture focuses on the production of mono-crop for our diets and promises the land to privately owned US companies, Western culture dismissed the current exploited land of Sudamerica from it’s own crops and import it to our markets. The trend of quinoa in our diet has been a proof of this argument, such grain has been taken away from it’s own land and sold in a large profitable-margin; a similarity in the trails of NAFTA, where maize, a native crop of Mexico, is taken and re-sold to it’s own producer; quinoa is at the same pedestal of it’s own economy.

Three speakers stood out to me and gave a new value into the meaning of agroecológia, Board Director, Gladys Rurush of the ARPO ANCASH (http://www.anpeperu.org), agrarian reform advocate Victoriano Fernández of the city of Huánuco  and agrícola leader Faustino Morales of the ARPPE Piura is a second base organization that belongs to ANPE PERÚ along with 12 agricultural associates—who explained, the input and outcome of biodiversity in their land, has helped the development of new techniques of water supply, nurtured crops and leadership. Such leadership has established Juntas Directivas (Board Directors) in the transformation, as well, as the local and national socio-economic impact of Perú.

An example of transformation, in a time frame of 5 years, she went from picking one box of mangos to now successfully collecting up to 10-15 boxes. She continues her new methodology as a campesina in the low lands of 2,5000 km to the higher lands of 3,000 km above sea level.  As Victoriano followed, he emphasized the importance of the organic versus natural. His objective was to reinforce his community’s decision of being a commune of libre de transgenicos (GMO-free) farmers; supporting it by their continuous growth of local crops, like humus. The validation of Eco-Ferias (Eco-Fair) where seed trading and other exchange of their work; my interpretation of a Farmer’s Market, as a member of the audience asked why should campesinxs pursue these new trends of local fairs, as he simply replied, it sustains our work, and it challenges the extractive corporations.

During the end of the conference, Faustino explained in a very brief manner, it is about the development of a local, a collective society and the survival of their culture.

My three new understandings of agroecológia are simple and bigger; human participation, through Gladys diverse talks of non-binary labor and harvest. I learned, biodiversity does not occur naturally, for it is a tool of engineering of soil enrichment, resilient vegetation and self-sustainability. Gladys tackled the importance of womyn in the role of labor, decisions making and leadership, as her organization is a non-patriarchal and non-hierarchal. In the subject of economy– mainly local– as Victoriano said, “Eco-ferias (local eco-friendly fairs) are the window to our production and harvest,” with such demand of organic foods and communal labor availability for the manner of practicing self-management and self-sustainability. Ending with the subject of society, in which Faustino found all their labor credible to be inclusive and broader. There is no need for transnational corporates to hold the socio-economical survival of Perú and kidnap their lands with contaminated water, exploited soil, mining and GMOs.

From Lima, Perú,

From San Antonio,TX to Lima: Peru the Pueblos Call for System Change NOT Climate Change

GGJ Blog - Mon, 12/22/2014 - 2:18pm

by Diana Lopez, Southwest Workers Union

The Cumbre de los Pueblos in coordination with COP20 took place in Lima, Peru the second week of December. The summit split into 5 tracks which all addressed a piece of climate change, from food to rights of mother earth to alternative energy and economies. While the People’s Cumbre was happening at the Parque de la Exposision, down the street the 20th Conference of the Parties/ Meeting of the Parties, referred to as COP 20 held hundreds of politicos and heads of state that were meeting in reference to the Kyoto Protocol.

The overall mood of the Cumbre was very solutions-based and highlighted local work, although there seemed to be three different moods depending on who was leading the workshop. On one level you have global funders, who made space for their grantees to speak about their work.  On another there were more academic, technology and policy spaces and finally there were the organizer spaces, which were self-organized and concentrated on front line experiences, movement building and alignment around solutions.

People seem tired and frustrated talking about policy and what the government should be doing. While its important to know and keep track the policies that will ultimately affect our communities the most, people are passionate about shifting towards a systemic change framework. The UN process does not provide that space for people to create and build together while uplifting local solutions and struggle. During the trip the GGJ delegation and SWU focused on the Cumbre to build on existing relationships with social movements from the South and to share our local solutions.

The pueblos are interested in learning how to integrate new sustainable technology into traditional farming practices while still healing mother earth. We are talking about fighting against the extreme corporations that continue to destroy communities while developing an alternative space where our people can thrive and begin the healing of Pachamama.

The message is clear that in order to really create solutions to climate change we must also talk about the disparities among funding, patriarchy within our own movement and the role US plays in the destruction of communities. 

One of the main reasons why I participated was to exchange knowledge around how we create systemic change. A central question I have is “What is the work that needs to happen on the ground these next few years to begin to see small shifts within our communities?” The other piece is strengthening our ties with the global south people’s movements and talking about aligning the work happening on the ground in the US. This year we have been through heartache around police violence and the attack of women, students and over all people of color so part of this is also addressing violence and gender issues within our community. If corporations and governments value power and money over everything else what makes us believe that they will fight for mother earth. These are only a few initial questions and thought that will lead us the our next work of implementing our goals at the local level while maintaining a national/global vision for change.

After the weeks of the 20th Meeting of the Parties the final negotiations coming out of the UN meetings did not meet the standards for the pueblo and truthfully an agreement will probably never fully focus on community and mother earth healing while corporations and trans-national organizations are the only ones that have access to those spaces. Leading up to Paris COP 21, where a climate agreement is scheduled to come out, there needs to be an increase in negotiators that value the local expertise of the community and that will fully focus on community solutions and not corporate bail outs. And while our allies will continue to represent our communities on the inside we will support on the outside by voicing our demands, uplifting front line struggles and building the community we want to see.

We are saying Enough is Enough. No War, No warming, its time to Build an Economy for the People and the Planet!

This Stops Today! DRUM and CAAAV Rally in Queens Against Police Violence on Black Communities

CAAAV - Tue, 12/16/2014 - 3:33pm

In an effort to engage immigrant and refugee communities on the systemic police violence on Black communities, folks from CAAAV, DRUM, Adhikaar, Sunset Park CopWatch, Jackson Heights CopWatch, Nodutdol, Min Kwon Center, Jews for Racial and Economic Justice, Justice Committee, War Resisters League, and BAYAN-USA, took over Rego Park Center Mall.

25 folks did a people’s mic inside Burlington Coat Factory with the statement: “We are here in solidarity with Eric Garner and all Black lives subject to police violence. We call for police demilitarization, federal charges on Dan Pantaleo for the murder of Eric Garner, and the removal of NYPD Commissioner Bratton. We stand with Black trans communities, Black women and men targeted by police violence and the policing of bodies. This Stop Today!”

Customers and employees joined us in the people’s mic and chanting! Then, 80 folks took the corner of 63rd and Queens Blvd. to rally and pass out flyers in English, Spanish, and Chinese. At the end, the rally marched over to Junction Blvd. and held Junction for a few minutes. #ThisStopsToday #BlackLivesMatter

For photos, check out our facebook photo album. For video, check out Mansee Kong‘s video here and Kyoko Takenaka‘s video here.

Statement from Angela Zhuo, Youth Leader at CAAAV’s Asian Youth in Action

” Hi, my name is Angela. I’m with CAAAV; we are a pan-Asian organization that works around police violence. As Asians and immigrants, we know the racicsm we face isn’t the same as the struggles that Black communities go through.

But Asian communities are working in solidarity to end racism, not just for us but for all. The police have been using their power excessively. We must unite against our common enemy. Join a community organization, go to an action, tell your friends. Every little thing helps. Together we can show them our power. Together we can police brutality.”

Statement from Fahd Ahmed, Director of DRUM- Desis Rising Up & Moving

“As Immigrant communities we know

That we stand on the shoulders of the struggles of black communities Despite laying the foundation for our rights in this country Black communities still remain the most brutalized We are here to say That black lives matter All black lives matter Black children Black women Black men Our Black queer families Our Black trans families Thank you to the people of Ferguson Thank you to the youth in the streets Thank you for leading the way Thank you for showing that we can’t go quietly into the night No more business as usual In the words of our brother eric garner This stops today! This stops today! This stops today!”

Statement from Candice Sering, Gabriela NY and Bayan USA

“My name is Candice Sering here on behalf of GAB NY and Bayan USA. The Filipino community stands in solidarity with the Black community in the struggle for justice and liberation. We understand that it is our duty to band together in the struggle to fight against the oppressive state represented by the NYPD. We may not experience the same consistent oppression as the Black community but if we don’t take action, our complacency perpetuates this systemic racist system. Our Asian elder was beaten by NYPD uptown, and our Asian sister was left in the street with a broken jaw after falling out of an LAPD car. But we know we don’t need to wait for it to affect our individual community. We will continue to fight alongside our Black brothers and sisters and shut it down till we get justice!

Black lives matter! Black power! Black self determination! Smash white supremacy! Long live international solidarity!”
Categories: Grassroots Newswire

CAAAV Statement to Asian and Asian American Communities on the murder of Akai Gurley by NYPD Officer Peter Liang

CAAAV - Fri, 12/12/2014 - 5:24pm

On November 20th, NYPD rookie Officer Peter Liang shot and killed Akai Gurley, an unarmed, Black, 28-year old father, while conducting a vertical patrol in the Louis H. Pink Houses in East New York.

We put out this statement to be clear: that the murder of Akai Gurley is a part of the systemic targeting of Black people by the police, and that Officer Liang must be indicted. As a police officer, he is a part of the institutional injustice we see everyday with law enforcement. We demand an indictment of Officer Liang, just as we have with Darren Wilson and Dan Pantaleo.

To be clear, the problem is not just individual police officers; the problem is systemic. The NYPD’s vertical patrols of public housing have led to unwarranted harassment of the residents and guests of those buildings, as part of the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk policy. When the police abuse their power, kill, and aren’t held accountable for their actions, officers are affirmed that they can kill with impunity. When, as a society, we are taught to equate “Black” with “criminal” and there is no overhaul of the so-called criminal justice system, then police officers and other armed vigilantes will continue to kill unarmed Black people every 28 hours.

Without a complete and thorough overhaul of these systems, we will have more Akai Gurleys and more Officer Liangs, more Darren Wilsons and Mike Browns, more Rekia Boyds and Dante Servins.

CAAAV: Organizing Asian Communities has been part of the anti-police brutality movement for decades because of our core belief that Asian and Asian American communities cannot be complacent with the current inherently flawed criminal justice system. We understand that the political and economic foundation of this country is rooted in anti-Blackness and that the criminal justice system is an extension of this foundation.  Asian and Asian American communities who are often positioned as proof that racial uplift is possible despite this foundation, have more to gain from seeking justice than maintaining the status quo.

CAAAV puts out this statement with honesty and intention to highlight why we are calling for structural overhaul and police accountability, and to ensure there is no confusion in our communities on where we need to stand on the killing of Akai Gurley and others. The fact that Officer Liang is an Asian American shouldn’t mean that Asian Americans don’t call for justice for Akai Gurley. Quite the opposite — it should force us to examine how each of us is complicit in maintaining the status quo.

CAAAV, along with the hundreds of thousands of people who have taken the streets, are demanding an overhaul of this system. #BlackLivesMatter and we will not stand for the loss of Black life, dignity, and opportunity at the hands of the state.

We hope you will join us to demand justice for Akai Gurley.

#ThisStopsToday #BlackLivesMatter #ShutItDown

Categories: Grassroots Newswire

EMEAC ANNUAL LETTER - Its been a busy year!

East Michigan Environmental Action Council - Wed, 12/10/2014 - 10:13am
Together we are making a difference!Dear Friend:
As 2014 comes to a close, we send you well wishes for the new year and invite you to DONATE NOW with a tax deductible gift.
We have been busy this year, thanks to your support!

EMEAC covered new and bold ground in environmental and climate justice work in 2014. For example, our Young Educators Alliance (YEA) hosted our very first Our Power Detroit (click to watch video) and brought over 150 young leaders from around the nation to participate in and lead conversations at the Our Power Campus at the Cass Corridor Commons (June 27-29th). The weekend was full of workshops, discussions, activities and conversation. Saturday Night saw a concert headlined by YEA.  The Water Is Life Community Action was a demonstration on Our Power in effect.  We worked with the People's Water Board, We The People of Detroit, Detroit 2014: Building a National Network and other local change agents to help bring the city's first Relief Station to life.
Charity Hicks Presente!

This action was inspired and spirited by Charity Hicks, EMEAC's Policy Director, who transitioned after the gathering on July 8th, 2014. May her spirit live on through OUR POWER.

EMEAC and DBCFSN team up for healthy kids Members, friends and supporters have helped EMEAC create engaging and interactive learning experiences with children and families to deepen relationships with nature and to learn about healthy lifestyles -- characteristics we consider important in creating an environmentally just world.

Over the summer EMEAC hosted three Fellows from the University of Michigan: Dominique Mathews, Brittany Anstead and Todd Ziegler who helped to move our climate justice work forward specifically in evaluations, social media and youth workshop development.

EMEAC staff also continued to work collaboratively with other local,
EMEAC's Rackham Arts of Citizenship Fellow
Brittany Ansteadstate and national allies to bring about greater awareness of issues facing communities impacted by environmental injustices.  As a steering committee member of the Climate Justice Alliance, EMEAC has worked with many grassroots groups around the country to move toward what we call a Just Transition from heavy reliance on polluting fossil fuels to greater use of more sustainable, renewable forms of energy, while consuming less.  You will be able to read more about our great work in our 2014 Annual Report, which will be sent out the end of January. 

 Please support us!
In 2015 we will continue to foster collaborations among environmental and justice groups in an effort to create and support green and just solutions to race, poverty and environmental concerns in southeast Michigan.  With your donation of $35, $50, $75 or more we will be able to build space for Detroit and grassroots leaders nationwide to model share, to expand digital justice capacity and cultivate the next generation of earth's caretakers.  We hope that you will help us make all of our programs possible with your gift.  Please click here to donate online or send your contribution to EMEAC 4605 Cass Ave Detroit, MI 48201.

On behalf of the EMEAC staff and Board of Directors we wish you a peaceful holiday season and a Happy New Year.
Categories: Grassroots Newswire

Report from Rights of Nature International Tribunal, Lima, Peru

GGJ Blog - Wed, 12/10/2014 - 9:49am

Part 1 of a series by Dania Flores – Environmental Justice League of Rhode Island

Dania Flores is one of 12 members on the Grassroots Global Justice Alliance delegation to Lima, Peru for the People’s Summit on Climate Change. 

Monday December 8, Day 1: After preparing with each other by conference calls for the past month, we finally were all together for our first morning meeting at 7AM in our great Hostal Las Camelias. We started the day by hearing some context on what had happened in the last 3 days, including the Rights of Nature International Tribunal and the work of people inside and outside the UN negotiations, the difference in the dynamics. Tom Goldtooth described it as “Schizophrenic” – like night and day: the agenda of the UN is about extraction, market and remediation/mitigation, a capitalist one. Here at the peoples summit we have a conversation about sustainability and life one of respect, human rights and nature rights, that painted a frame work for us of what it was to come. Last night we had dinner and bonded, we all had been very excited of the different things we are about to witness and also be part of, I am loving this… We are loving this.

Report on the Rights of Mother Nature Tribunal.

To see the list of judges on the diverse international panel, and the cases and lead presenters, visit this website: http://therightsofnature.org/lima-2014-tribunal/

As the world looks to Lima, Peru for the 20th UN COP on Climate Change, the International Rights of Nature Tribunal convened in Lima. The Tribunal heard twelve international cases that were aligned with UNFCCC COP 20 priorities. What was unique to this hearing is that each case was reviewed within a framework based on Rights of Nature and the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth.

“We the people assume the authority to conduct an International Tribunal for the Rights of Nature. We will investigate cases of environmental destruction which violate the Rights of Nature,” declared Prosecutor for the Earth, Ramiro Avila during the opening of the world’s first Tribunal on the Rights of Nature on Friday January 17, 2014 in Quito, Ecuador.

Indigenous rights activist Casey Camp-Horinek (Ponca from Oklahoma, USA) and Patricia Gualinga, an indigenous of the Amazon and director of Sarayaku, provided expert witness testimony on the critical importance of Rights of Nature.

The Global Alliance for Rights of Nature was founded at a gathering in Ecuador in 2010, two years after Ecuador became the first nation in the world to adopt Rights of Nature in its Constitution and Bolivia passed its Law of the Rights of Mother Earth. Across the United States dozens of communities have adopted local rights of nature laws within the framework of a Community Bill of Rights in recent years. Click here for more on the declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth.

The Rights of Nature movement draws on the wisdom and cosmovision of indigenous peoples in positing a new jurisprudence that recognizes the right of nature in all its forms to exist, persist, evolve and regenerate.

One of the most impacting stories was the Yasuní National Park Oil drilling struggle. Anyone would think that if you have a national park that is conserved and preserved as a nature preserve, this would mean to keep and safeguard the natural state. But this case has been a perfect example of governmental land grabbing with a legal instrument, and instead of saving it for the preservation of the planet, it has been sold to the powers of the capitalist elite who have criminalized community organizers. By labeling organizers as “terrorist” the elite have twisted the stories of social fights to stop a public referendum that is guaranteed by the constitution and by standards of the law of Ecuador. Click here to learn more about the Yasuni struggle to defend their land

We believe that the process here at the People’s Climate Summit “CUMBRE DE LOS PUEBLOS” is a more legitimate process and a real democratic one, anyone was welcome to be there, everyone heard the evidence and listen to the victims. We also believe that the real experts and the ones who know about the real consequences of these violations are the people on the ground. We also agree that the people on the front lines should be the people leading the way to the solutions.

We also heard testimony of some of the issues in the North by Indigenous rights activist Casey Camp-Horinek (Ponca from Oklahoma, USA). She explained the issue of fracking, comparing the fracking process of shattering the shell to “cracking and breaking the bones of Mother Earth.” She also stated that in the last year they had counted more than 400 Man Made earthquakes, that started days after the fracking process had started. Here is some of her testimony:

Our Mother Earth is the source of life. Water is her lifeblood. The well-being of the natural environment predicts the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual longevity of our communities.

Mother Earth’s health, her nature, and that of our Indigenous Peoples are intertwined. As Indigenous Peoples, we are of the Earth and the Earth is of us. Mother Earth is life. This inseparable relationship must be respected through rights-based instruments for the sake of our future generations and for the well-being of the Earth herself, for all people and all life.

Our Indigenous Peoples believe that our system of governance must reflect our belief in balance and harmony. We believe in the equity of all of Creation, not just ourselves. The animals, plants, rocks and all elements have as much right to exist as people do.

This didn’t mean that we could not harm another living creature, since we require food from the plants and animals, but that we are to respect the sacrifice made by the animals and plants. These sacrifices were part of the Original Instructions to respect each other, to care for each other, because we are related to each other, as brothers and sisters.

We believe by observing the Natural Laws of Mother Earth, we would be able to learn the right way to life – the good way of living, to find balance and harmony with Nature.

Indigenous Peoples are very lawful people. From the Haudenosaunee Indigenous Peoples of North America, to our Ponca Peoples; we recognize our responsibilities and duties to the natural laws of Creation, as defined by our Original Instructions. Our Original Instructions declares and teaches us of the four sacred elements of life: air, light/fire, water and earth and its pollen and seeds in all their forms must be respected, honored and protected for they sustain life. Our Natural Law teaches us to respect all Creation, from Mother Earth and Father Sky and to all Life that have their own laws, and who have rights and freedom to exist. We are taught we must treat this sacred bond with love, compassion and respect without exerting dominance, for we do not own our Mother.

After the report we had a strong address by our member Tom Goldtooth of Indigenous Environmental Network about REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) and the consequences that this devastating false solution is presenting to all of us. In his words he told us “the deceptive climate ‘solution’ being proposed for California and the rest of the world from the horn of Argentina to the tip of the Artic in America and in all the other continents in the world, this false and dangerous solution is already being implemented within the UN climate negotiations and the World Bank. It sounds good on paper, but the reality is that REDD enforces the global colonization of Mother Earth; allows the polluting industry to expand its toxic emissions creating local toxic hotspots in faraway places; and creates a stolen future for Indigenous peoples, local forest dependent communities, communities living next door to a fossil fuel polluting industry, and a stolen future for the environment and all life. This is another scam by the capitalists and neoliberal governments run by the transnationals and multinational corporations.”

Many of us that were present at the tribunal are still in shock from the statements, stories and crude realities of each of the victims, and also the opinions, knowledge and passion of the experts.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of Dania’s report from Lima

COP 20: Conference Of Phony climate “solutions”

GGJ Blog - Wed, 12/10/2014 - 12:39am

by Matt Feinstein, Worcester Roots Project

COP 20, the Conference Of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), is meeting in Lima, Peru to advance false solutions to climate change. These solutions are market-based and flawed by the same economic system that has created this climate crisis. Or they are technological fixes such as “climate-smart agriculture” that will strengthen agribusiness and other large corporations at the expense of indigenous peoples, farming communities and poor folks. As an activist with No REDD+ Africa in Kenya, Ruth Nyambura, states, “market mechanisms are not solutions to the climate crisis. A primary mechanism that the UN proposes, REDD+ (Reducing of Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation), is not a solution, in fact it violates the rights of indigenous people and mother nature. The market is made for profit, not to safeguard nature.”


This movement to stop REDD+ is one of the strongest campaigns represented here in Lima at the People’s Summit on Climate Change – a four-day conference convening hundreds of organizations from around the world, including Grassroots Global Justice Alliance. As Indigenous Environmental Network coordinator, Tom Goldtooth explains, “REDD+ means the privatization of nature on a scale so massive that it boggles our minds.” He goes on to say “REDD+ is like carbon stocks,” allowing corporations and governments to continue to pollute by purchasing credits that are then often used to fund the false solutions such as large unsustainable agrofuels.

When asked what one can do about stopping REDD+, Ruth brings a systemic critique. “Divestment can have an impact, but let’s be careful about focusing on the individual. Real system change comes from strong grassroots organizations.” Tom Goldtooth adds to this, “We have to organize. We have to mobilize our resistance. We have to be strategic.”

Energy Sovereignty

Similar to food sovereignty – where people have local control and can ensure sustainability of resources – energy sovereignty is a central theme here at the People’s Summit on Climate Change. Juan Pablo Soler from Friends of the Earth Latin America outlines the destructive and extractive energy industries that are displacing people and destroying the earth: fracking, incinerators, big hydro-electric dams, petroleum extraction, agrofuels (palm and other large unsustainable “biofuels”), mines and nuclear plants. Instead of this devastation, speakers at the summit call for more movements in favor of protecting water sources and declaring indigenous land free of mines and dams. It is also important that these struggles be led by the people most affected by the climate catastrophes. Campesina and indigenous women are at the forefront of many panels, workshops, marches and cultural events here at the Summit.

Speakers have brought concrete examples of struggles from all over the world. People in Uganda are resisting large hydroelectric dams that are displacing communities and agrofuels that are causing huge deforestation. They come out of decades of struggle and expulsion by conflicts around oil extraction. Isaac “Asume” Osuoka from this movement says, “people should decide on their own local energy sources and be able to say no to big technologies. We are glad to announce that Shell representatives were confronted by activists this week inside the COP.” Meanwhile in Nigeria, Godwin Ojo reports that the international struggle against Shell has shown results. “Shell is running, but we won’t let them run away until they clean up their mess. Dirty energy as no place in the energy future,” he adds. In other places, the extractive industries have just begun. Edo Rahman from Indonesia reported that even though only 5 mines are active now, over 10,000 mining permits have been approved. Several countries such as Bolivia and Ecuador report of plans for large scale fracking.

Bringing it Home

What does all this destruction in Latin America have to do with people in our communities in the US? Grassroots Global Justice Alliance delegate, Diana Lopez, of Southwest Workers Union makes this connection for us while speaking at the Summit. She says that extractive industries and chemical agriculture are, for example, affecting people farming in both rural and urban areas. In San Antonio, people are struggling against GMOs, trying to save their natural seeds, and grow their urban farm cooperative. As Diana points out, in order to have a just transition as we propose in the Our Power Campaign, “we need sovereignty over our seeds, food and education and need to grow our movement against false solutions.” And, as many community organizations are pointing out at this summit, this principle also applies to our energy system. People here at the summit are not falling for the tricks, false solutions or techno-fixes being discussed inside the gates of the COP 20. We are building community-led real solutions that corporations cannot hijack, that favor life and justice.

#OurPower #PeoplesClimate #CumbredelosPueblos

#NoREDD #NoCarbonOffsets #NoClimateSmartAgriculture #FalseSolutions #SolucionesFalsas  #TrampasClimaticas

Healthcare is a Human Right Campaign responds to leaked healthcare financing proposal

VWC - Fri, 12/05/2014 - 3:51pm

For Immediate Release: December 5, 2014

Contact: Keith Brunner, 802-363-9615, keith@workerscenter.org

Healthcare Is a Human Right Campaign calls for equitable financing, condemns any cost-shift to workers and patients

The Healthcare is a Human Right Campaign released the following statement today in response to recent information concerning Governor Shumlin’s proposal to finance Green Mountain Care:

“The Healthcare Is a Human Right Campaign urges the Governor to refrain from financing healthcare reform through a massive cost-shift to workers and patients. Vermont cannot afford to reduce the contributions of big businesses to our healthcare system. We remind the Governor of the legal obligation, set out in Act 48, to finance healthcare in an equitable way, based on ability to pay. It is unconscionable to make workers, low and middle income individuals, and small businesses shoulder the burden of paying for a healthcare system that is supposed to be a public good shared equitably by everyone.

The Healthcare Is a Human Right Campaign is deeply concerned about a report in the VT Digger (“Single Payer Financing Likely to Start with 8 Percent Payroll Tax, Dec. 4, 2014), which suggests that Governor Shumlin’s financing proposals will dramatically reduce large businesses’ healthcare contributions, with a flat payroll tax of 8% raising less than half the total amount needed for the new system. Large businesses currently spend around 20% of their payroll costs on healthcare premiums, contributing around three-quarters of premiums costs of all privately insured residents. The Campaign is concerned that a flat payroll tax, combined with a proposed individual healthcare “fee,” would entail a huge cost-shift to workers and small businesses. Paying for over half of the system costs through an “income sensitive healthcare fee” on individuals, capped at the high end (as reported in the VT Digger), would benefit both large businesses and the wealthiest Vermont residents, who would pay proportionally the same as middle income earners. Unearned income, assets and other wealth would be exempt, yet the poorest residents would be subject to premium or fee payments.

The Healthcare Is a Human Right Campaign opposes any financing plan that creates exemptions for high income earners and wealthy individuals, as this directly contradicts the principle of equity. Moreover, the Campaign objects to charging “premiums” or “fees,” which are private payments that perpetuate the current insurance system, and fail to establish a publicly financed healthcare system, paid for through equitable taxes.

The Campaign reminds elected officials that how the healthcare system is paid for also has significant implications for whether people can get access to care. We are deeply concerned that the proposed low-value health benefits, also reported in the VT Digger, would adversely impact people’s access to care, and lead to a further cost-shift to those who can least afford it. Any healthcare system that requires individuals to pay up to 20% of healthcare costs out-of-pocket will force people to forgo needed care. Deductibles and co-pays place the burden of paying for our healthcare system on sick people, pushing patients into debt. When combined with a private fee or premium, 20% cost-sharing constitutes an unprecedented and unconscionable cost-shift to patients, workers, and all low- and middle income Vermont residents.

The people of Vermont desperately need a universal, publicly financed healthcare system that enables everyone to get the care they need and contribute what they can. Such a system can only work if it is financed publicly and equitably, and if it provides all needed care, without cost barriers. The Healthcare Is a Human Right Campaign urges the Governor to put forward proposals that meet the human rights principles in Vermont law.  We represent thousands of Vermont residents, and we are ready to fight for a plan that is universal, equitable, and works for all people.”



The Healthcare Is a Human Right Campaign issued its own financing proposal for universal healthcare in 2012: http://www.workerscenter.org/sites/default/files/gmcfinancingplan-vwcproposalfinal.pdf

A summary of this proposal is available here: http://www.workerscenter.org/sites/default/files/hchr_finance_1pager.pdf

Categories: Grassroots Newswire

Two Ways to Support NNIRR on #GivingTuesday

NNIRR - Tue, 12/02/2014 - 12:15pm
Story Type:  Blog Story Author:  NNIRR

Two Ways to Support NNIRR

read more

Categories: Grassroots Newswire

Make Your Year-End Gift to POWER!

POWER wishes Happy holidays and a powerful New Year to all of our supporters, donors, allies and members!

Help POWER’s members realize their potential as leaders within the merged organization so that Causa Justa :: Just Cause can become a regional force! Through this merger POWER and CJJC are building the power of African American and Latino communities across the Bay Area to win racial justice and development without displacement for all!

Please consider making a year-end donation to POWER’s Leadership Fund. Your gift will allow 100 core POWER members to access special training and support as they take on advanced leadership roles in the merged organization. Make sure you donate before December 31, 2014!

Any donations dated after 12/31/14 should be made out to Causa Justa :: Just Cause.

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You may also mail your donation:

2145 Keith Street
San Francisco, CA 94124

Our heartfelt thanks!



Categories: Grassroots Newswire

2014 Shirley Chisholm Lights of Freedom Awards - Tuesday, December 2nd

CVH - Sun, 11/30/2014 - 3:33pm

Community Voices Heard's Annual Lights of Freedom Awards is taking place on Tuesday, December 2nd.

Feature This:  No, Do not Feature
Categories: Grassroots Newswire

A10 – The Decade for People of African Descent Initiative

Malcolm X Grassroots Movement - Sun, 11/30/2014 - 1:47am

The Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, Cooperation Jackson and the struggle to advance the International Decade for People of African Descent 

On December 10th, the United Nations (UN) will announce the launch of the  International Decade for People of African Descent. The International Decade will start January 1st, 2015 and end December 31, 2024 (see http://www.un.org/en/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A/RES/68/237 for more details).


The International Decade for People of African Descent is a follow through initiative of the World Conference against Racism, Xenophobia and Related Intolerances, last held in 2001 in Durban, South Africa (see http://www.un.org/WCAR/ for more details). Although the International Decade is being “officially” called by the United Nations and its member states, it is happening because grassroots and “civil society” organizations from around the world have applied constant pressure and demands on the United Nations and the members states – particularly those on the African continent, the America’s, the Caribbean, and the Europe Union.


The Malcolm X Grassroots Movement (MXGM), along with the December 12th Movement International Secretariat (D12), the Durban Declaration and Program Watch Group (DDPA Watch), and the Latin American and Caribbean Community Center (LACCC), have played leading roles in the United States in maintaining this pressure and advancing various programmatic demands and follow through from the United Nations and the member states.

The Malcolm X Grassroots Movement has been instrumental in advancing the Durban Declaration and Program of Action (DDPA) in the United States to raise key structural demands on the government (see http://www.un.org/WCAR/durban.pdf for the document). The primary demand raised by the organization has been for the creation of a National Program of Action for Racial Justice to address the systemic aspects of racial inequality and inequity at the heart of the settler-colonial project that is the United States. This comprehensive plan, if backed with sufficient political force, could serve as a “Marshall Plan for Black people” that would address racial profiling, mass incarceration, chronic health disparities, education disparities, housing inequities, and a range of other economic, social, and cultural rights issues (see https://mxgm.org/the-national-plan-of-action-for-racial-justice-short-explanation-of-what-it-is/ for more details).


One of our first calls for a National Program of Action was issued in 2010, in the midst of organizing for Justice for Oscar Grant (see https://www.scribd.com/doc/229245915/Contributions-Towards-a-Way-Forward-Open-Letters-to-the-Oscar-Grant-Justice-Movement and http://peopleshearing.wordpress.com/ for more details). The call was raised to a higher profile in 2012 and 2013 in the midst of organizing for Justice for Trayvon Martin and the #Every28Hours education campaign (see https://mxgm.org/trayvon-martin-is-all-of-us/ and https://www.scribd.com/doc/218033925/Operation-Ghetto-Storm for more details). The broad based Justice for Mike Brown campaign has picked up the demand is helping to elevate it to a new level.

The Malcolm X Grassroots Movement and Cooperation Jackson, one of the primary vehicles created by the organization to execute the Jackson-Kush Plan (see http://navigatingthestorm.blogspot.com/2012/05/the-jackson-kush-plan-and-struggle-for.html for more details), will be spearheading a series of events in January 2015 to kick off the decade and raise broad awareness regarding the International Decade, press the demand for a National Program of Action, strengthen the movement for self-determination and advance the struggle for economic democracy. The Malcolm X Grassroots Movements core programming for the Decade will be conducted in Jackson, Mississippi in conjunction with Cooperation Jackson at the Chokwe Lumumba Center for Economic Democracy and Development located at 939 W. Capitol Street, Jackson, MS 39203 (see https://cooperationjackson.squarespace.com/lumumba-center/ for more details).


We encourage all people of African descent to support our efforts and join us utilizing the International Decade to advance our international struggle for reparations, economic development, and self-determination.

For more information visit www.CooperationJackson.org or www.MXGM.org or contact Cooperation Jackson at CooperationJackson@gmail.com or call 601.208.0090.

Additional Resources and Background on MXGM’s Work and Contributions

A Decade for US: Utilizing the Decade for People of African Descent



Preserving Inequality: Obama and the Durban Review Conference



African, Asian and Latin American Majority maintain solidarity in Geneva



UN “sabotaging” meeting on racism, activists say



Durban + 10 Coalition Statement



Kali Akuno at Durban Review Press Conference – April 2009


Categories: Grassroots Newswire