Welcome to the Tuesday, August 30, 2011 issue of this Peace&Justice action email! To alter your profile, follow the steps at the end, where your profile is listed.
This newsletter starts with an action to help stop Syria’s crackdown on its own people, as well as Sudan’s violent eruption – possible ethnic cleansing - with its people in the Nuba mountain region. In addition there is a small step that can help protect one of our most basic human rights – water. And for a change of pace, you can even send a thank-you for action that was heeded.
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CALL ON UNSC TO ACT ON SYRIA
Syria’s crackdown on its own people has been appalling. While many world leaders have condemned Syria, the wheels of action move slowly. Citizens for Global Solutions have a petition urging the U.N. Security Council to clearly denounce Syria’s action and refer Syria to the International Criminal Court. While there is movement in this direction, it needs to be expedited by a strong global public voice.
Urge the UN Security Council to take strong action on Syria.
The famine in Somalia is well known by now so I will just mention that if you want to donate be sure to do it through a reputable organization. For a good general analysis of the many factors that have played into this famine, see the background article.
TAKE STRONGER POSITION AGAINST VIOLENCE IN SUDAN
While Darfur remains our longitudinal focus in trying to resolve atrocities committed by a government against its own people, there is currently no new explicit web action available. For the latest developments, see http://www.untilall.org/Darfur.htm#B2.%20CurrentStatus.
However, the people in the Nuba mountains in the South Kordofan state of Sudan are finding a horrific history possibly repeating itself. During 1992-95, this area was where Sudan perfected its form of ethnic cleansing. And reports indicate it is happening again, since June, although access is highly restricted. But for those who have been following this newsletter, you will recall that the Satellite Sentinel project (Sentinel Project Report and images) was set up, and it has images of mass graves around South Kordofan’s capital, Kadugli, which corroborate the reports that have been received.
Thus below, are two separate actions that can be taken to strengthen the international voice for practical steps to reduce the civilian deaths and displacement:
1. Tell US President Obama To Fully Engage in Issue (open to all countries):
2. Tell Canada To Strengthen Its Position Regarding Sudan (Canada only):
TELL NIKE & ADDIDAS TO LIVE UP TO DETOX CHALLENGE
Clean water is not only a basic human right - it is perhaps the world’s most threatened essential resource. Many people rely on the water from rivers and lakes for drinking, for farming, and for foods like fish and shellfish. Yet these vital water sources are often treated by industry as if they are private sewers.
The textile industry is chemically intensive - using a number of different chemicals for everything from dyeing fabrics to printing and finishing. The wastewater from these processes is often toxic and can contaminate important waterways. This hazardous discharge can negatively affect human health, wildlife, and the environment. There is irrefutable evidence of the unalterable damage that can be done to children from toxic concoctions (CBC’s Toxic Legacies [The Nature of Things]).
Greenpeace investigations found two textile factories in China that were discharging a range of hazardous chemicals into the Yangtze and Pearl River deltas.
Greenpeace then challenged some of the leading sports companies - Nike, Addidas and Puma - to publicly take up the Detox Challenge, aiming for a goal of a toxic-free future. The action below was to sign a petition supporting this cause. But in the time to put this newsletter together, all three have committed to this challenge. Thus the action is now obsolete. But remember – they are simply words on paper – so stay tuned to see who really lives up to detoxing its legacy.
Take Action (Now obsolete but you can read the latest update):
Tell Nike and Addidas to Detox
THANK OBAMA ADMINISTRATION FOR WHALING STANCE
Advocacy normally spends most of its time placing demands on people and institutions. So it is nice to able to send a thank-you when a clear positive step has been taken. In this case, the International Whaling Commission has finally decided to increase transparency and put an end to vote buying of commissioners, an issue this newsletter has been following. The United States stance against IWC commissioner vote buying played an instrumental role in this year's meeting.
Thank Obama for Whaling Stance
=== FOLLOW-UP TO PREVIOUS ISSUES ===
Haiti’s Recovery Stalled
Reconciliation in Sri Lanka: Harder than Ever
=== ARTICLES OF INTEREST ===
Syria’s Tenacious Protestors
I continue to stand in awe by the significant number of Syrian protestors, knowing how brutal their government has been to the protestors in its continual crackdowns. Hopefully their persistence will pay off as international pressure continues to build for Syria’s president to change course.
Washington Post Aug. 5 article
Fear, Inc. – Islamophobia as a $40 Million Business
The Center for American Progress has just released a seminal report that traces the spreading of disinformation and inflammatory rhetoric about Islam to five US groups backed by seven US organizations, granting them over $40 million. Every religion has its good and bad aspects; raising up such concerns is healthy. But spreading disinformation diminishes a societal fabric, and in this case, our global fabric. The person responsible for the recent shooting massacre in Norway, Anders Breivik, extensively used material from these sources in his anti-Islam polemic.
Shinawatra victory bodes well for Thailand’s poor
Recent upheavals in Thailand may finally look more promising as Thailand first women prime minister has taken office with a majority of seats. If she remains in power (military coups are nothing new and her political base is rural) it will be promising for Thailand’s rural poor. In the long term it may be difficult to sustain her power base against a well-entrenched elite.
New Internationalist blog on Thailand
Globalization – a different view
It was not surprising to see a Wall Street Journal article on globalization, but it was interesting to see its focus – a history of environmental exchange. While it is only a sketch, it show some of the unintended consequences:
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UWAA: This endeavour is being placed under the overall rubric of “Until Well-being is Achieved for All.”
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