Volume 21, Number 2
N.O. Dollar Day
Readers & writers
Journal of 21st Yr
2008: What's New?
Waiting for War
Iraq War Vet
Dylan & Wainwright
Charlie Wilson's War
César cuauhtémoc garcía Hernández
NYT on Kosovo
NOTE: Z Magazine subscribers and sustainers have access to all Z Magazine articles here and in the archive. The latest Z Magazine articles available to everyone are listed in the Free Articles box at the top of the table of contents, and are starred in the list below. Questions? e-mail Z Magazine Online.
Climate Change Negotiations
Bali: The Official Roadmap to Disaster
The 13th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC or COP 13), which took place at the Bali International Convention Center in the elite Indonesian playground of Nusa Dua over December 3 to 14 ,was an intense affair. Some have praised the outcomes of the process, which resulted in consensus on a Bali Roadmap, an agreement to continue climate change negotiations with a deadline of 2009 for a new plan to succeed the Kyoto Protocol that expires in 2012. Others have condemned the conclusion as acquiescing to the United States with a process moving much too slowly to match the urgency of the situation.
Those pleased with the Bali Roadmap feel that the fact that consensus was reached was a significant accomplishment and that talks were successful at forcing the U.S. to get on board or "get out of the way,” as a delegate from Papua New Guinea demanded. Indeed, it was after being loudly booed for continuing to block consensus that U.S. climate negotiator Paula Dobrianski finally agreed that the U.S. would join the Bali Roadmap.
"This is a real breakthrough, a real opportunity for the international community to successfully fight climate change,” said the Indonesian environment minister and president of the conference, Rachmat Witoelar. He added, “Parties have recognized the urgency of action on climate change and have now provided the political response to what scientists have been telling us is needed.”
Many organizations, indigenous peoples, and social movements in Bali, however, found the results deeply troubling and charged that they were actually a large step backward since they abandoned firm targets on emissions reductions while more firmly entrenching profit-driven market-based mechanisms such as carbon trading.
Banner at December 8 Day of Action march
The U.S. was widely criticized during the two weeks of talks for hijacking, obstructing, and impeding the negotiations—historically the role of the U.S. in climate talks—by advancing the interests of big business and opposing hard emissions reductions targets. “Governments must continue to stand up to this lame-duck U.S. president with his malicious agenda. Industrialized nations must now immediately set ambitious targets to cut emissions, forging ahead on a national and international level, confident that soon a new U.S. administration will be in place,” said Ailun Yang of Greenpeace China.
While the argument that a Democratic victory in 2008 would mean real U.S. action on global warming has a fair number of adherents, the history of U.S. action to block progress on climate change dates back to Democratic Vice President Al Gore. When Gore was VP, and actually had the power to make a difference on the issue, he hijacked the Kyoto Protocol negotiations in 1997, bullying the other delegates into dropping the emissions reductions targets to the paltry and insufficient 5.2 percent below 1990 levels that made it into the final language. His more destructive act, though, was to insist on the inclusion in the agreement of market-based approaches to climate change mitigation—most notably carbon emissions trading and carbon offsets. To add insult to injury, after coercing the world to go along with their controversial market-based approach, the U.S. refused to sign on.
Halting False Solutions
It was with an understanding of this abusive pattern of U.S. domination and global submission that non-governmental organizations and indigenous peoples organizations from around the world came to Bali. The goal of many NGOs at the UNFCC was to halt the forward motion of “false solutions” to climate change that had become the major foci of much of the negotiations. The one banner that stood out in contrast to the come-ons for carbon offsets, clean coal, nuclear power, and biofuels was a banner depicting a clearcut that read, “Carbon Markets: The Convenient Lie.” This banner, atop the booth of the Global Forest Coalition, raised a lot of eyebrows, but became the rallying cry of many organizations and indigenous groups.
Demonstration outside UNFCCC conference
With deforestation and forest degradation contributing around 20 percent of global carbon emissions, addressing deforestation is a key component of reducing carbon emissions. REDD, however, proposed to include forests in the carbon market by funding forest protection for the purpose of “offsetting” emissions being spewed by industries in the North.
A letter opposing REDD, signed by 60 organizations, indigenous groups, and civil society organizations from around the world, describes the potential injustices that could occur: “The proposed REDD policies could trigger further displacement, conflict and violence, as forests themselves increase in value they are declared ‘off limits’ to communities that live in them or depend on them for their livelihoods. Women and indigenous peoples are the least likely to profit from the destruction of forests and therefore also the least likely to receive compensation. Carbon finance mechanisms result in forests being transferred or sold off to large companies who aim to acquire profitable ‘carbon credits’ at some point in the future.”
Indigenous people likewise view REDD as a major threat to sovereignty. The International Forum of Indigenous Peoples on Climate Change expressed their profound concern in a statement on REDD: “REDD will not benefit Indigenous Peoples, but, in fact, will result” in more violations of indigenous peoples’ rights. It will increase the “violation of our Human Rights, our rights to our lands, territories and resources, steal our land, cause forced evictions, prevent access, and threaten indigenous agriculture practices, destroy biodiversity, and culture diversity and cause social conflicts. Under REDD, States and Carbon Traders will take more control over our forests.”
Parallel to the REDD scheme, the World Bank launched their Forest Carbon Partnership Facility during a press conference at the UNFCCC featuring World Bank president and former U.S. trade representative Robert Zoellick, who is also one of the authors of the neo-con blueprint for empire—the Project for a New American Century. EU countries threw tens of millions of dollars (U.S.) at the Bank for this Facility. Even the Nature Conservancy tossed in some $5 million. Simone Lovera, managing coordinator of the Global Forest Coalition and a specialist in international environmental law, summed up the Facility, “Northern donors can give generous grants to an institution controlled by Northern donors while pretending they are green and helping developing countries. Northern consumers can continue to waste energy as it is very clear that the Facility is targeted towards promoting carbon offsets. And the World Bank can make millions of dollars [in commissions] out of channeling all this money.”
Because the Facility is directed at reducing deforestation, Lovera further points out that the funds will largely benefit those countries with the highest deforestation rates, while those that have been good at conserving their forests will be left out. She also cautions that this fund is likely to result in forest blackmail, with countries threatening to cut their forests unless they are handsomely compensated for their lost potential profits from logging. If this strategy of compensating a company for lost profits from prohibited bad behavior sounds familiar, that is because it reflects a model perfected by the North American Free Trade Agreement in which Robert Zoellick was instrumental.
Both REDD and the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility also came under sharp criticism for failing to address the underlying causes of deforestation. There are no provisions in either plan, for example, to address increasing consumption of wood products in industrialized countries. Quite the contrary, at the same time that so much emphasis was being placed on the need to reduce deforestation, countries and companies were jostling for position in the lucrative business of manufacturing ethanol from cellulose-based sources such as trees. “On the one hand, negotiations are under way to reduce emissions from deforestation while, at the same time, efforts are being undertaken to perfect the technology to make fuel out of trees. It doesn’t take a genius to understand that creating a massive new demand for wood to manufacture liquid fuel is not a great way to reduce deforestation,” stated Dr. Rachel Smolker, research biologist for the Global Justice Ecology Project (GJEP). Smolker was the lead author of a 70-page report on agrofuels entitled “The Real Cost of Agrofuels: Food Forests and the Climate,” co-produced by GJEP and the Global Forest Coalition. The report, which was officially launched at the climate convention, details the impacts of agrofuels on forests and forest-dependent peoples.
Polar Bear action outside UNFCCC meeting
Throughout the conference indigenous people encountered a wall of resistance. They were barred from reading statements to the assembly and when UNFCCC executive secretary Yvo de Boer held a meeting with organizations and civil society groups, the indigenous delegation was given the wrong place and time. When they arrived late to the meeting, they were forcibly prevented from entering by UN Security. Indigenous groups charged that this treatment was representative of a systematic exclusion of indigenous peoples from UNFCCC. “There is no seat or name plate for indigenous peoples in the plenary; not even for the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, the highest level body in the United Nations that addresses indigenous peoples’ rights,” stated Hubertus Samangun, the focal point of the Indigenous Peoples delegation to the UNFCCC and focal point for English Speaking Indigenous Peoples of the Global Forest Coalition.
After they were forcibly blocked from meeting with de Boer, indigenous delegates held a press conference to condemn the climate change negotiations as catering to industrialized countries at their expense. “This process has become nothing but developed countries avoiding their responsibilities to cut emissions and pushing the responsibility onto developing countries. Projects like REDD sound very nice but they are trashing our indigenous lands. People are being relocated and even killed; my own people will soon be under water. The money from these projects is blood money,” stated Fiu Mata’ese Elisara-Laula of the O Le Siosiomaga Society of Samoa.
The feeling of being excluded from the official process was also shared by numerous NGOs and civil society groups who are not members of the Climate Action Network (CAN), the officially sanctioned NGO body that includes such huge conservative organizations as World Wildlife Fund, the Nature Conservancy, and Conservation International. CAN has been criticized for supporting market-based approaches to climate change mitigation and for backing REDD.
Die in during climate change convention
The coalescence of alternative voices also included the formation of a Climate Justice Caucus, which met daily during the conference. Numerous protests were held as well, the most notable of these was a very vocal and militant demonstration during the World Bank’s launch of the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility. Demonstrators staged a die-in with individuals representing different peoples, ecosystems, and island nations that are threatened with extinction due to the official focus on market-based false solutions to climate change. The chants of hundreds of protesters included, “World Bank: Hands Off” and could easily be heard inside the official proceedings.
On December 8, groups around the world participated in an international day of action on climate change. In Bali the Indonesian Friends of the Earth group WALHI organized a rally and march in the city of Denpasar. Thousands marched through the streets in a highly diverse assemblage of activists and movements united in the call for immediate and effective action on climate change.
At the end of the two hard weeks of joint activities to demand effective and just climate change solutions, climate change organizations and anti-corporate globalization groups joined together with civil society groups and indigenous peoples organizations to formalize their collaboration under the name Climate Justice Now! as a vehicle through which to continue future joint efforts on climate change.
The emergence of this new global climate alliance, which includes not just climate campaigners, but also indigenous groups and social movements as well as some of the global justice organizations that helped build a powerful worldwide movement against the WTO and other unjust trade agreements, is a major step toward the kind of widespread global protest that needs to be brought to the doorstep of the climate negotiators. If governments are incapable of taking real action to stop climate change on their own, perhaps a mass mobilization of the public can help persuade them. As the Guardian commented in 2000, “what has been singularly lacking [in the climate change debate] has been any widespread popular campaign. There have been no Seattle-style protests…. Politicians respond to pressure. When they have big, angry demonstrations outside their conference centers, it focuses their minds….”
Anne Petermann is co-director of the Vermont-based Global Justice Ecology Project (www.globaljusticeecology .org) and the North American Focal Point for the Global Forest Coalition (www.globalforestcoalition.org). Orin Langelle also contributed to this article and provided the photos. Langelle is co-director of GJEP and media coordinator for the Global Forest Coalition.
Z Magazine Archive
AnnouncementsLABOR - May 1 is May Day. Workers of the world will celebrate the 124th anniversary of International Worker’s Day. Born out of a call for an 8-hour workday in the United States, this day is an opportunity for all workers to show their solidarity with one another, as well as to renew the call for labor rights.
FARM CONFERENCE - The Farm Conference on Community and Sustainability will be held May 24-26 in Summertown, TN, in partnership with the Fellowship of Intentional Communities. Tour green homes, see sustainable food production, learn about solar installations, alternative education, midwifery, and more.
Contact: Douglas@thefarmcommunity.com; http://www.thefarmcommunity.com/.
PALESTINE - The Conference of the Palestinian Shatat in North American will be held June 3-5 in Vancouver. The conference will examine the future of the Palestinian liberation movement.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.palestinianconference.org/.
LABOR - The Pacific Northwest Labor History Association’s 45th annual conference will be held May 3-5, in Portland, OR. This year’s theme is Labor Under Attack: Learning from the Past and Preparing for the Future. A call for presentations, workshops and papers is currently underway.
Contact: PNLHA, 27920 68th Ave. East, Graham, WA 98338; 206-406-2604; PNLHA1@aol.com; http://www3.telus.net.
MARIJUANA - On the first Saturday of May marijuana legalization activists will hold informational and educational events, rallies and marches in over 300 cities around the world.
ECONOMICS - The Union For Radical Political Economics will hold its 39th annual conference May 9-11 in New York City.
RECLAIM THE DREAM - The 2013 Poor People’s Campaign & March from Baltimore to Washington D.C. will be May 11. Communities, schools and unions interested in participating are encouraged to contact the Baltimore People’s Assembly.
Contact: 410-500-2168; 410-218-4835; BaltimorePeoplesAssembly@gmail.com; Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Baltimore and the Baltimore Peoples Power Assembly, 2011 N. Charles St., Baltimore, MD 21218.
MOTHER’S DAY - The 17th Annual Mother’s Day Walk For Peace will be May 12th, in Dorchester, MA. The walk began in 1996 for families who had lost children to violence. The day has become a way for thousands of people to financially support the work of the Louis Brown Peace Institute.
Contact: http://www.ldbpeaceinstitute.org/; http://mothersdaywalk4peace.org/.
NATO 5 - An International Week of Solidarity with the NATO 5 has been called for May 16-21. Supports call on supporters to raise awareness of the NATO 5 and support funds for the defendants on the one-year anniversary of their preemptive arrests.
Contact: email@example.com; https://nato5support.wordpress.com.
MOUNTAINTOP - The 2013 Mountain Justice Summer Activist Training Camp will be held May 19-27 in Damascus, VA. It will be a week of workshops, field trips to view Mountain Top Removal coal mines, direct actions, and service project.
FEMINIST SCI-FI - The feminist science fiction convention WisCon 37 is scheduled for May 24-27 in Madison, WI.
Contact: WisCon, ? SF3, PO Box 1624, Madison, WI 53701; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.wiscon.info/.
ANARCHY FEST - A month-long Festival of Anarchy is scheduled for May in Montreal. The festival includes The Montreal Anarchist Bookfair (May 19-20).
Contact: http://www.anarchistbookfair.ca/; http://www.radicalmontreal.com/.
LABOR - The International Labor Rights Forum will present: Down the Supply Chain, Driving Corporate Accountability, on May 22 in Washington, DC. The Labor Rights Awards Ceremony and Reception will honor pioneers in supply chain worker organizing, working solidarity and international labor rights policy.
MULTICULTURE - The 26th annual National Conference on Race & Ethnicity in American Higher Education (NCORE) will take place May 28-June 1, in New Orleans.
Contact: SWCHRS, 3200 Marshall Avenue, Suite 290, Norman, OK 73072; 405-325-3694; email@example.com; www.ncore.ou.edu.
MEDIA - The 2013 Alliance for Community Media Annual Conference will be held May 29-31, in San Francisco, CA. Participants will include educators, community leaders, media professionals, journalists, nonprofit leaders, policymakers and students.
RADIO - The 38th Annual Community Radio Conference is schedule for May 29-June 1, in San Francisco, CA, with discussions and workshops.
Contact: 1101 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Suite 600, Washington, DC 20004; 202-756-2268; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.nfcb.org/.
BRADLEY MANNING - On June 1, a rally will be held at Fort Meade in support of Bradley Manning.
BIKES - Bikes Not Bombs is holding its 24th annual Bike-A-Thon and Green Roots Festival in Boston, MA on June 3, with several bike rides scheduled, music, exhibitors and more.
Contact: Bikes Not Bombs, 284 Amory St., Jamaica Plain, MA 02130; 617-522-0222; email@example.com; www.bikesnotbombs.org.
LEFT FORUM - The 2013 Left Forum will be held June 7-9, at Pace University in New York City.
Contact: 365 Fifth Avenue, CUNY Graduated Center, ? Sociology Dept., New York, NY 10016; http://www.leftforum.org/.
VEGAN FEST - Mad City Vegan Fest will be held in Madison, WI, June 8. The annual event features food, speakers, and exhibitors.
Contact: 122 State Street, Suite 405 B, Madison, WI 53701; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://veganfest.org/.
ADC CONFERENCE - The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) holds its annual conference June 13-16, in Washington, DC, with panel discussions and workshops on civil rights, media and other topics.
Contact: 1990 M Street, Suite 610, Washington, DC, 20036; 202-244-2990; email@example.com http://convention.adc.org/.
CUBA/SOCIALISM - A Cuban-North American Dialog on Socialist Renewal and Global Capitalist Crisis will be held in Havana, Cuba, June 16-30. There will be a 5 day Seminar at University of Havana, plus visits to a cooperative, urban garden, community development project, social research centers, and educational & medical institutions.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.globaljusticecenter.org/.
NETROOTS - The 8th Annual Netroots Nation conference will take place June 20-23 in San Jose, CA. The event features panels, trainings, networking, screenings, and keynotes.
Contact: 164 Robles Way, #276, Vallejo, CA 94591; email@example.com; http://www.netrootsnation.org/.
MEDIA - The 15th annual Allied Media Conference will be held June 20-23, in Detroit.
Contact: 4126 Third Street, Detroit, MI 48201; http://alliedmedia.org/.
GRASSROOTS - The United We Stand Festival will be hosted by Free & Equal, June 22 in Little Rock, Arkansas. The festival aims to reform the electoral process throughout the U.S.
SOCIALISM - The Socialism 2013 Conference is scheduled for June 27-30 in Chicago, featuring talks and panel discussions.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.socialismconference.org.
LITERACY - The National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE) will hold its conference July 12-13 in Los Angeles under the heading, Intersections: Teaching and Learning Across Media.
Contact: 10 Laurel Hill Drive, Cherry Hill, NJ 08003; http://namle.net/conference/.
IWW - The North American Work People’s College will take place July 12-16 at Mesaba Co-op Park in northern Minnesota. The event will bring together Wobblies from branches across the continent to learn new skills and build One Big Union.
PEACESTOCK - On July 13th, the 11th Annual Peacestock: A Gathering for Peace, will take place at Windbeam Farm in Hager City, WI. The event is a mixture of music, speakers and community for peace. Sponsored by Veterans for Peace.
Contact: Bill Habedank, 1913 Grandview Ave., Red Wing, MN 55066; 651-388-7733; email@example.com; http://www.peacestockvfp.org.
CHILDREN’S DEFENSE - July 15-19, join clergy, seminarians, Christian educators, young adult leaders and other faith-based advocates for children at CDF Haley Farm in Clinton, Tennessee, for five days of spiritual renewal, networking, movement building workshops, and continuing education about the urgent needs of children at the 19th annual Proctor Institute for Child Advocacy Ministry.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.childrensdefense.org.
ACTIVIST CAMP - Youth Empowered Action (YEA) Camp will have sessions in July and August in Ben Lomond, CA; Portland, OR; Charlton, MA. YEA Camp is designed for activists 12-17 years old who want to make a difference in the world.
Contact: email@example.com; http://yeacamp.org/.
LA RAZA - The annual National Council of La Raza (NCLR) Conference is scheduled for July 18-19 in New Orleans, with workshops, presentations and panel discussions.
Contact: NCLR Headquarters Office, Raul Yzaguirre Building, 1126 16th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036; 202-785-1670; www.nclr.org.
LABOR - The Eastern Conference For Workplace Democracy: Growing Our Cooperatives, Growing Our Communities, will be held at Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA, July 26-28.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://east.usworker.coop/.
WOMEN/LYNNE STEWART- Radical Women is asking for support letters and cards to be sent to Lynne Stewart. Stewart is a civil rights attorney and political prisoner who is currently in jail. She has breast cancer and authorities have denied her request for transfer from her Texas prison to the New York City hospital where she received medical attention during a prior bout of breast cancer. Send messages and cards to: Lynne Stewart 53504-054, Federal Medical Center Carswell, P.O. Box 27137, Fort Worth, TX 76127.
Contact: 747 Polk Street, San Francisco, CA 94109; 415-864-1278; RadicalWomenUS@gmail.com; http://lynnestewart.org/; http://www.radicalwomen.org/.
HAITI/WOMEN - Haiti’s government is considering a legal reform measure that would prohibit and punish all sexual assault, including marital rape. MADRE and the International Campaign to Stop Rape & Gender Violence in Conflict are launching a petition to raise international support for this push to address violence against women in Haiti.
Contact: 121 West 27th Street, #301, New York, NY 10001; 212-627-0444; email@example.com; http://www.madre.org.
SYRIA/MIDDLE EAST - The Middle East Children’s Alliance (MECA) is currently seeking funds to assist more than 200,000 refugees fleeing violence in Syria.
FOLK FESTIVAL - The Falcon Ridge Folk Festival will be held August 2-4, in the Berkshires, NY.
Contact: http://www.falconridgefolk.com/; firstname.lastname@example.org.
WAR RESISTERS - The War Resisters League will hold its 90th anniversary conference, Revolutionary Nonviolence: Building Bridges Across Generations and Communities, August 1-4, at Georgetown University. The event will focus on the U.S.’ long history of antimilitarism.
Contact: 339 Lafayette Street, New York, NY 10012; 212-228-0450; email@example.com; http://www.warresisters.org.
POPULAR ECONOMICS - The Center for Popular Economics is holding its 2013 Summer Institute August 4-9 at Hampshire College in Amherst, MA. No background in economics is needed for this intensive training. This year’s theme is, The Care Economy: Building a Just Economy with a Heart.
Contact: Center for Popular Economics, PO Box 785 Amherst, MA 01004; 413-545-0743; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.populareconomics.org.
VETERANS - Veterans for Peace is holding the 28th annual convention August 6-11 in Madison, WI. This year’s theme is, Power To The Peaceful.
DEMOCRACY - The Democracy Convention will take place August 7-11 in Madison, WI. The convention brings together nine conferences including topics such as media, education, defense, race, environment and others.
MEN - The 38th National Conference on Men & Masculinity: Forging Justice: Creating Safe, Equal and Accountable Communities, presented in partnership with HAVEN, will be held in Detroit, MI, August 8-10.
Contact: email@example.com; http://www.nomas.org/.
OCCUPY - An Occupy National Gathering will be held in Kalamazoo, MI, August 21-25.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://occupynationalgathering.net/.
COMMUNITIES - The Communities Conference is a networking and learning opportunity for co-operative or communal lifestyles, with workshops, events and entertainment; scheduled for August 30-September 2 at the Twin Oaks Community in Louisa, Virginia.
LABOR DAY - The 29th annual Bread and Roses Festival, a celebration of the ethnic diversity and labor history of Lawrence, MA, will be held September 2, in honor of the 1912 Bread and Roses Strike. There will be music, dance, poetry, drama, ethnic food, historical demonstrations, walking & trolley tours.
Contact: PO Box 1137, Lawrence, MA 01842; 978-794-1655; http://www.breadandrosesheritage.org/.
OCCUPY WALL STREET - September 17 is the two-year anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Events are planned in New York City and worldwide.
TEACHERS - The 13th Annual Conference, “Teaching for Social Justice: The Politics of Pedagogy,” will be held October 12 in San Francisco, CA. The free event features workshops, resources, and free childcare.
Contact: 415-676-7844; email@example.com; http://www.t4sj.org/.
HAITI - International Action, which brings clean water and chlorinators to Haiti, seeks office space capable of housing up to six people and their office equipment.
Contact: Zach Bremer, Zbrehmer@haitiwater.org; 202-488-0735; http://www.haitiwater.org/.
MEDIA - The Union for Democratic Communications and Project Censored are sponsoring a joint conference on media democracy, media activism and social justice to be held November 1-3 at the University of San Francisco. Proposals for presentations, workshops and panels from activists and critical scholars are invited.