The history of mining in Mexico is a long one. The riches of the Mexican sub-soil were a major motivation for Spanish colonizers and the mining industry is often accorded an important place in events leading to the Mexican Revolution; the 1906 bloody repression of striking miners working for U.S. Cananean Consolidated Copper in Sonora is often cited as a precursor to current labor struggles in Mexico. The authors of the Mexican Revolution sought to make a reality of the ideal that those who work the land should have control over it. In order to protect its land from foreign interests, Article 27 of the 1917 Mexican Constitution dictated that the land, the subsoil and its riches were all property of the Mexican State. More importantly, Article 27 recognized the lasting collective right of communities to land through the “ejido” system and limited private land ownership.
Colombia’s chief prosecutor stood between the white plastic-sheathed remains of two dismembered teenage sisters. On the rust-colored dirt around him lay remains of nearly 60 newly unearthed victims of paramilitary death squads.
The dangerous herbicide Agent Orange is still contaminating soil and fish in Vietnam at an alarming rate, a Canadian environmental firm has found.
This press release comes from the mine workers’ union at the Cerrejon coal mine where Colombian coal is mined then shipped and consumed in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and the States.
NATIONAL UNION OF WORKERS IN THE COAL INDUSTRY “SINTRACARBON”
Personería Jurídica No. 000109 del 18 de enero de 1996
PRESS RELEASE No.DPP055 –010507
¡FOR A CLASS-CONSCIOUS AND COMBATIVE MAY 1!
¡AGAINST THE URIBE GOVERNMENT AND ITS SERVILE POLICIES! EVERYONE TO THE STREETS!
May 1 commemorates International Workers Day, in homage to the martyrs of Chicago who, 121 years ago in 1886, struggled heroically against capitalist exploitation and to achieve the dream that all workers in the world should have a humane work-day. Through their struggle they succeeded in establishing the norm of 8 hours of work, 8 hours of study, and 8 hours of rest. However, the response of the U.S. bourgeoisie was total, cruel and savage repression against the movement’s leaders, who were condemned to death by hanging.
All of us, and all of our families, have the obligation to march on that day, not only to pay posthumous homage to the Martyrs of Chicago, but also to protest the servile policies of the Uribe government. Its policies benefit the multinationals, the North Americans, and a few Colombians who choose to collaborate and to take advantage of the situation.
Uribe’s fascist government is taking away the few rights that we had enshrined in the Constitution that created our Social State of Law, to impose instead his policies of “democratic” security. Under this mantle, the state absolves itself of all responsibilities, and Colombian citizens have to live under the law of the jungle. Everyone must individually protect their safety and rights, and defend themselves as best they can.
We Colombians must understand that we have to mobilize against the paramilitaries, in the country as a whole and in our city. We must mobilize against budget cuts that undermine education, health, and basic sanitation. We must protest the Free Trade Agreement and the undermining of the laws protecting our pensions and the just investment of the royalties paid by the multinationals. We must protest the multinationals’ policies that destroy the cultural patrimony of the Afro-Colombian and indigenous communities surrounding the Cerrejón coal complex.
For all of these reasons, Sintracarbón invites all workers, contracted workers, and community members, social, popular, peasant, indigenous, student, and other organizations, to turn out on May Day in all the towns of the Guajira, along with their families.
¡DEPARTAMENTO DE PRENSA Y PROPAGANDA!
While mistreatment of Afghan detainees has made the news this week, a Toronto-born Canadian is about to be put on trial by a U.S. military kangaroo court at the notorious Guantanamo prison camp for “crimes” he committed as an “illegal combatant” between the ages of 10 and 15.
View the protest photos and video clip at the link above.
Panzós: 25 years later… is a breathtaking exhibit featuring original painting, descriptive banners, and portrait, journalistic and forensic photography by Guatemalan artist Marlón García Arriaga. The exhibit centers around the lives, opinions and actions of the survivors of the Panzós massacre -especially the women survivors, who have been at the forefront of the resistance. The story vividly told through the exhibit is a story that all Canadians must experience, feel and understand. This is the hope of the artist who says he is searching for Canadian conscience in a Guatemalan genocide.
Reading the recent draft publication of the Canadian Forces’ first-ever Counter-Insurgency (COIN) manual, I could not help but draw comparisons between the police-state-like mentality which characterizes the document, and the invasive nature of Western medicine, which tends to surgically remove or symptomatically treat diseases without showing much concern for the root causes of the ailment.