Day 1 refugee camp, France

Guest Post from Colette Ní Eachtarn (a friend who doesn’t have a blog… yet. Her words need to be heard)
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Day on the ground in ‘The Jungle‘, Calais, France.

Day 1 – up at 6.45am and home at 6.45pm! Was a long but really worthwhile day full of hard work, co-operation and smiles. Continue reading Day 1 refugee camp, France

Grief, My First Year On This Remarkable Journey

Loosing a parent hurts and grieving is hard work, I know this because my Dad died about ten years ago. Loosing my mother recently has been more impactful than I could have imagined, it is not a strain to say that it has been a life-changing event for me.

My “normal” has gone and won’t be coming back, Continue reading Grief, My First Year On This Remarkable Journey

Yes, you can make a difference!

I received the newsletter (copied below) from the good people at Food and Water Watch – a watchdog site in the USA that enable people like you and me to make a difference on matters that concern us – safe food and water for the generations to come as well as ourselves. Being an “armchair acitivist” is easier with the internet, however it still takes an effort and requires us to pay attention, to read relevant information and to not become so overwhelmed that we feel as though it’s all too much and we then give up. That’s why I love sites like Food and Water Watch and Avaaz – they encourage and allow me to make a difference without becoming overwhelmed, I don’t give up and I can make a difference, so can you!


Let’s keep on doing it – together WE DO MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

FOOD AND WATER WATCH NEWSLETTER

As I prepare to share Thanksgiving with my family this year, I’ve been thinking about the many things I am truly thankful for, and you’re at the top of the list. Thank you for all that you do to protect your food and water.

When I started Food & Water Watch just seven years ago, I knew that we would face many challenges, and I could only hope that our then-tiny organization would be able to tackle them. Now, seven years later, while the challenges are still great, I am confident that thanks to our nearly 80 staff around the world, and half a million dedicated supporters like you, we can truly stand up and fight back to protect our essential resources.

The power of you and your neighbors working together has shown us throughout this past year that we can take on the corporate control of our food and water, and together we can win.

From shutting down Walmart’s support lines asking them not to carry genetically engineered sweet corn to helping Longmont, Colorado, become the first city in the state to ban fracking, you’ve shown both politicians and corporations that together we are strong and committed to fighting for what’s right. Additionally, supporters like you have helped us move our work forward on the state and federal level by:

  • Taking over 1 million actions online, from asking state legislators for fracking bans to demanding that the FDA investigate pet food-related deaths
  • Making nearly 40,000 phone calls to local, state, federal and corporate decision-makers
  • Hosting over 350 events in communities all across the U.S., from film screenings and activist meetups to rallies and petition deliveries

As a result of all of this amazing work, we’ve shared many victories that our organizers are very excited to celebrate with you in the coming month. But, before we begin discussing all of the things we’ve accomplished, I wanted to take a moment and recognize the people who made our victories possible. It’s people like you, from Maine to California, who work tirelessly alongside our organizers to help advance our goals. You don’t do it for personal recognition, or money, but because you believe, like I do, that we must fight for the kind of world we want and not just settle for the best that we can get.

You inspire me every day, and help me see the incredible future that lies ahead for our movement. In fact, it was you that I had in mind when I wrote my latest book, Foodopoly, which is being released in December. You and I know that the food system is broken, and it didn’t happen by accident. A handful of corporations now control most of the food on store shelves, and we aren’t going to be able to shop our way out of this system.

I have often said that I wish I could thank each of you in person, and as I travel around the country in 2013 for my book tour, I hope that I will have the opportunity to meet many of you. But in the meantime, during a season that is predicated on giving thanks, I can think of nothing else that I am more thankful for than your involvement with Food & Water Watch, and nothing that I look forward to more than working with you in the coming years.

Thank you from all of us,

Wenonah Hauter
Executive Director
Food & Water Watch
act(at)fwwatch(dot)org

Another Referendum

We have another referendum approaching and we have the opportunity to make our opinions count. I have always felt that it is important to vote. There have been times when I truly wonder whether it really makes any difference to vote, the same policies seem to be in place no matter which of the parties get in however I will not give in to disinterest or frustration, I will always exercise my right to vote no matter how disillusioned I feel.

If everybody who really feels disenfranchised were to become engaged and vote then perhaps things would finally change – I live in hope!

I have copied here a blog piece by John Perkins, writer of The Economic Hitman, I think it’s worth a read.

Ireland’s Referendum- an Opportunity for Change

On May 31 Ireland will put the EU’s new treaty for fiscal discipline to a referendum, giving Irish voters a chance to overturn this controversial agreement. The crisis in Ireland is symbolic of ones facing many European countries, as well as the United States, and is a direct outgrowth of policies implemented against developing countries when I was an economic hit man (EHM). The upcoming decision by Irish citizens is a harbinger for other countries around the world, as well as crucial to Ireland’s financial future.

If voters agree to sign this treaty for fiscal discipline, it will obligate Ireland to run low government deficits and maintain drastically reduced levels of public debt; in other words, the country will be forced to implement even stricter austerity measures on its already beleaguered citizens. It is important to remember that Dublin accepted international aid in 2010 in order to deal with a huge budget deficit brought on by the previous government’s pledge to bail out Irish banks for billions of dollars in bad loans. The Irish Government has been “asset stripping” –selling off public resources, including gas from the west coast, utilities, and forests in attempts to reduce the debt. This is an old tactic that was perfected by economic hit men in countries throughout Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East during the 1970s and 1980s. Many Irish are vehemently protesting such acts and are opposed to signing the EU treaty, declaring them a loss of sovereignty for a nation that fought a bloody battle for full independence less than a century ago.

The Awaken Ireland Movement is an example of an approach aimed at empowering the people to create a different future, bringing the people together in a community-based grassroots movement to share information on viable alternatives and to encourage conversations towards a vision for a better future. The challenge will be to base the movement on formulating realistic solutions at local levels in ways that respect differences and allow a voice for the many. Austerity measures are killing the European economy. Not surprisingly Goldman Sachs and other investment organizations are at the root of the problem; they are strategically staffing Europe’s government and the Central Bank with hard-hearted investment bankers more interested in the concerns of the financial sector than those of the people. These ex-European Commissioners and former central bankers are helping the banks gain access to those in power.