World

Trump’s new NAFTA? NO Thanks!

Global Exchange - Tue, 08/15/2017 - 11:33

 

NAFTA renegotiations with Canada and Mexico, triggered by Trump last May –officially start on August 16th.

We are deeply skeptical of Trump’s intentions because his racist, plutocrat agenda infuses everything he touches. So even when he moves on issues where we might imagine common ground – such as questioning NAFTA and wanting it renegotiated – it becomes tainted and unacceptable.

Ted Lewis of Global Exchange and Will Wiltschko of the California Trade Justice Coalition make that case in an SF Chronicle oped published this morning.

“Trump’s 2016 message on trade was blunt and exuded animosity toward Mexicans and other foreigners, but it resonated with millions of Americans, especially in places where life has changed for the worse since NAFTA was ratified almost a quarter century ago.  But Trump’s new NAFTA won’t help people in places where good jobs have vanished and today’s wages don’t keep up with living costs.”

Trump’s “update to NAFTA” is a fraud.  Please read the oped and join us in contacting congress to let them know we’ll be saying no to any attempt by Trump and his billionaire cronies to make a bad thing worse.

Categories: World

Tell Trump: Don’t Provoke a War with North Korea

Global Exchange - Thu, 08/10/2017 - 13:14

 

As tempers flare and tensions rise rapidly with North Korea, we wanted to give some resources on allies who are working to de-escalate what is a dangerous situation.  Here is how you can get involved:

Continue to check our  website and facebook page for updates on additional actions you can take.

Categories: World

What is happening in Venezuela?

Global Exchange - Fri, 08/04/2017 - 14:31

What is happening in Venezuela?

It is a perplexing question and one that we have been discussing a lot lately at Global Exchange. We are alarmed over deepening conflict and concerned about the dire conditions facing Venezuelans. We are also worried and sometimes divided about apparent anti-democratic moves by the government and the best path ahead — as are many other observers in Latin America and around the world.

In our efforts to understand what is happening in Venezuela we have spoken with people on the ground and are reading widely — beyond mainstream US sources. To help expand and deepen debate and understanding we wanted to share some of that with you.

One thing we are clear and unified about is this: The United States has no business intervening in Venezuela’s internal conflict. On the rest, we are posting here because we are curious what your analysis is too, so here’s to hoping for a vibrant and civil debate.

The case against US intervention is clear and is well laid out here in an article from the Independent called:  Venezuela may be on the brink of civil war and the US – for once – should keep its nose out.

Mark Weisbrot, director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research shares why he believes that: “More Severe Sanctions Against Venezuela Would Only Worsen Crisis and Possibly Violence.”

Here are two articles from NACLA, a long trusted source of critical reporting on Latin America.

Critiquing Maduro from the Left By Steve Ellnerd
What’s Left of the Bolivarian Revolution By Sujatha Fernandes

Contributors to the left-independent, Jocobin Magazine have presented a variety of analysis both critical of the government and supportive of popular initiatives it undertook in recent decades.

Which Way Out of the Venezuelan Crisis? By George Ciccariello-Maher
Why “Twenty First Century Socialism” Failed By Eva María
Being Honest About Venezuela By Mike Gonzalez

Add a comment and let us know your thoughts.

Categories: World

For Second Consecutive Week Activists Shut Down Kinder Morgan Richmond Terminal; Demand Halt to Trans Mountain Tar Sands Pipeline

Global Exchange - Wed, 08/02/2017 - 17:31

Global Exchange Executive Director, Jeff Ordower, seated right.

. . .

First thing Monday morning, I joined six other activists who locked their arms into steel barrels in front of the Kinder Morgan terminal in Richmond. For three hours, we stopped all trucks from coming in or out of the terminal. Eventually the police and fire department arrived and cut two of us out, allowing oil to again move.

Activists with Diablo Rising Tide blocked the terminal in solidarity with First Nations People for the second time in two weeks, demanding that the company halt its new Trans Mountain pipeline in Canada. In what many environmental and Indigenous activists are starting to call the “Standing Rock of the North,” the controversial project would triple the capacity of an existing pipeline from Edmonton, Calgary to Burnaby, British Columbia — an increase to 890,000 barrels per day. This project is based on the extraction of tar sands oil, one of the world’s dirtiest fossil fuels.

The growing Bay Area resistance to this Kinder Morgan pipeline stands with over 140 tribes comprising The Treaty Alliance Against Tar Sands Expansion. The groundbreaking alliance of Indigenous nations formally opposes all tar sands pipelines crossing their traditional lands and waters. The recently elected government of British Columbia also opposes the project.

“Our First Nations relatives are not going to allow the Trans Mountain pipeline to go through their territories in Canada,” said Pennie Opal Plant of Idle No More SF Bay. “Investing in any fossil fuel infrastructure is foolish. We all know that we must transition off of fossil fuels in order to prevent catastrophic climate change. Why waste so many resources on a losing proposition?”

Kinder Morgan, a spin-off from Enron, is one of North America’s largest energy infrastructure companies. The company claims it will start construction on its 715-mile Trans Mountain pipeline in September despite fierce opposition to the project from numerous First Nations and other communities and cities along its path.

“We salute all the water protectors, coast protectors and climate warriors on the front lines of these pipeline battles, standing up for Indigenous rights, the water and a safe climate,” said Grand Chief Serge Simon of the Mohawk Council of Kanesatake on behalf of the Indigenous Nations who have signed the Treaty Alliance Against Tar Sands Expansion. “Resistance to Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain Expansion tar sands pipeline and tanker project will be strongest in British Columbia, but it won’t stop there: Kinder Morgan can count on fierce resistance all over North America by Indigenous People and their allies.”

“This is clearly just the beginning,” said Patrick McCully of Rainforest Action Network. “This is the second week in a row that activists are blockading this facility — and you can expect protests up and down the West Coast as banks and oil companies continue to try and profit from climate chaos and human rights violations that will be caused by these disastrous tar sands pipelines. Companies like Kinder Morgan are on notice. Banks like JPMorgan Chase are on notice. Get out of tar sands. Get out of extreme oil. Get out of the climate change business and get on the right side of science and history.”

Our friends at Rainforest Action Network are also fighting the financing of this project as well, for without money, nothing can be built. Check out their report and learn how you can hold a Trump-supporting big bank like JP Morgan Chase accountable for destroying indigenous lands.

https://www.ran.org/5_things_you_need_to_know_about_the_trans_mountain_pipeline

Categories: World

What is ‘Socially Responsible’ Travel?

Global Exchange - Mon, 07/31/2017 - 18:15

 

At Global Exchange Reality Tours, we talk a lot about ‘socially responsible’ travel. But what does this mean, exactly? What is socially responsible travel, and how do you make sure you are doing it as a traveler?

Below, we’ve put together a set of attitudes and behaviors that we believe make up some of the core ingredients of socially responsible travel. Read on to travel wisely and ethically on your next trip abroad.

Ingredients of Socially Responsible travel

* Before leaving home, learn as much as possible about the country you are visiting – the culture, rules, norms, values, history, language, etc. While in-country, always keep these things in mind and respect important norms and values.

* Support locally-owned businesses to ensure that the money you spend remains in the country you visit. A major problem of modern day tourism, especially amongst large, international tour companies, is that much of the profit does not remain in-country, instead flowing to foreign companies and individuals. This means staying in locally-owned lodging, eating in locally-owned restaurants, and using local guides and tour operators.

* Ensure fair wages and tips are being paid to your guides and drivers. Ask if tips are included in your tour, excursion, drive, etc. If tips are not included, ask what people generally give or what is fair. Likewise, if you don’t know or have doubts about the treatment of workers, ask and speak with ownership/management. If you discover something malicious, report the company to local authorities and post your findings to travel review sites such as TripAdvisor.

* Refrain from harmful volunteering. If you do want to volunteer, first do proper research on the volunteer group and the work itself. Make sure it is truly contributing positively to the community. Learn about how some volunteering, although well-intentioned, can actually have negative effects on local sustainable development.

* Learn some of the local language – even just a few words or phrases – and attempt to use them. Don’t simply assume people understand english or want to speak it with you.

* Give mindfully. Consider donating to reputable local organizations rather than giving money to individuals on the street, especially children as they can be victims of trafficking and/or exploitation. Donate to organizations, programs, National Parks and communities that you visit.

* Always remain aware of your privilege. Even if you do not consider yourself rich, the ability to travel internationally is a luxury and a sign of having money. It is important to keep in mind that most people around the world do not have this ability, and there are inevitably power dynamics at play when it comes to this. Also, it is important to keep in mind uncomfortable realities of history, especially as it relates to colonialism, race and economic exploitation throughout both recent and past history that have given rise to and exacerbated these power dynamics and economic differences.

* Always ask before taking photos or videos of people.

* Respect the local environment.  Always clean up after yourself. When camping, bring out what what you bring in. Protect wildlife and habitats by not purchasing products made from endangered plants or animals.

* Support fair trade and fair wage. Purchase local handicrafts and products to support the local economy using the principles of fair trade. Bargaining for goods should reflect an understanding of a fair wage.

* Never participate in sex tourism and refrain from all trafficking in illicit drugs, arms, antiques, protected species, and products or substances that are dangerous or prohibited by national regulations.

* Ask questions and listen more than you talk. Don’t give unsolicited advice.

* Bring it home: change your purchasing behavior, the companies you support, the way you live, how you vote, and consider continued support of organizations or communities you visited.

Learn more about Global Exchange Reality Tours

 

Categories: World

IUSY World Festival condemn heavy verdict against 24 Western Sahara’s activists

International Union Of Socialist Youth - Mon, 07/24/2017 - 06:59

In the early hours on June 19, the Moroccan court in Sale pronounced heavy sentences against 24 Saharawi political prisoners, ranging from 4 years to life in prison. The group was arrested in November 2010, after clashes erupted in the Western Sahara when Moroccan security forces dismantled Saharawi camp of Gdeim Izik, where thousands of […]

The post IUSY World Festival condemn heavy verdict against 24 Western Sahara’s activists appeared first on International Union Of Socialist Youth.

Categories: World

Take Action and Stand in Solidarity with the People of Haiti!

Global Exchange - Fri, 07/21/2017 - 18:00

 

Our friends at the Haiti Action Committee has sent us this urgent alert and call to action in solidarity with the people of Haiti:

The people of Haiti need our solidarity in the face of the increasing violence of the fraudulently imposed government of Jovenel Moise.

For context, in November of last year, the government of Jovenel Moise, was essentially imposed on the Haitian people, the second presidential election in a row with widespread fraud and impropriety. Moise’s government is attempting to rebuild the brutal and corrupt Haitian Military, which was disbanded by President Jean-Bertrand Aristide in 1995. Some of you may remember the 2004 coup of the elected government. That was the remnants of army that was responsible for thousands of murders during that time. Many of those responsible for the killings are members of the current police forces, which is bad enough, reconstituting the army is unimaginable.

Last Thursday, in Petionville, Haiti, near Port-au-Prince, a young book vendor was shot to death by a police officer in front of horrified witnesses. The police used tear gas and batons against a crowd outraged by the murder and the quick, forcible removal of the body in a perceived attempt at a cover up. This is the latest of recent extra-judicial killings by the Haitian police and paramilitary forces.

Moise’s interest in reconvening the military takes place at a volatile moment in Haitian society. The Haitian police and other government paramilitary forces, accompanied by UN occupation forces, have carried out criminal attacks against protesting teachers, students, factory workers, market women, street vendors and others who are also victims of government extortion, theft of land, money and merchandise.

The list of incidents is long and egregious and includes:

  • On July 10 – 12, 2017, there were three days of peaceful protest for an increase in the minimum wage. Despite the protestors’ pacifism, Haitian police attacked the workers from an industrial park in Port-au-Prince with tear gas, batons and cannons shooting a liquid skin irritant.
  • On June 12, 2017, the government-appointed rector of the Haitian State University used his car to hit and run over a protesting university student. The government prosecutor has ignored the complaint filed by the students against the rector and is instead pursuing the victim’s colleagues in a blatant attempt to harass and intimidate them.
  • In May 2017, a food vendor in was killed after he was deliberately hit and run over by a car of the municipal paramilitary forces according to outraged witnesses.
  • On March 20th, 2017, police officers were videotaped shooting at the car carrying President Aristide and Fanmi Lavalas presidential candidate Dr. Maryse Narcisse as they returned from court. The police officers were reportedly observed returning to the national palace; there was no condemnation of this blatant assassination attempt by the government.

Adding a newly organized Haitian Army to this mix is a sign that the Haitian government is planning on more repression. The Haitian military’s purpose was to protect Haitian dictatorships and to attack any challenges by the Haitian people. Whether under the Duvalier dictatorships from 1957-1986 or when the military overthrew the democratically elected Aristide government in 1991, leading to the killing of over 5000 people, the military has been a central anti-democratic institution in Haitian society. When then-President Aristide disbanded the narco-trafficking Haitian military in 1995, the Army was eating up 40% of the national budget in a country with fewer than two doctors per 10,000 people.

Now this infamous military is being restored just as the United Nations is said to begin a staged withdrawal of its troops. This is similar to what happened following the U.S. occupation of Haiti from 1915-1934, a period in which 20,000 Haitians were killed. As the U.S. forces withdrew, they left in place a neo-colonial army with Haitian faces to do their bidding and continue the repression of popular discontent.

Haitians are saying NO to the restoration of an additional repressive military force. They are demanding an end to police terror and an end to impunity. Please join us in supporting the resistance by joining the resistance and contacting your member of Congress, the UN Mission in Haiti or the US State Department and telling them to:

  • Say No to the Restoration of the brutal Haitian military!
  • Hold the US and UN occupation accountable for the terror campaign by the Haitian police and security forces they train and supervise!
  • Say No to impunity for police terror in Haiti!

Contact:

  • US State Department: HaitiSpecialCoordinator@state.gov
  • Your Member of Congress: 202-224 3121
  • UN Mission in Haiti: minustah-info@un.org

We are sending this update right now as we think it is very important to be on the right side during this crisis in Haiti. The Haitian Government is extremely skilled at working with US Based progressive and organizers and distorting their repression on the ground.

Categories: World