Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Posts Tagged ‘union-busting’

Compare And Contrast: Colombia And Venezuela

Posted by Phoenix Woman on September 29, 2011

First, Colombia:

We have known for years about the dangers of being a trade unionist in Colombia, of the murders of organizers and labor officials. The murders have increased in frequency in the years since the US negotiated a trade deal with Colombia. They are well documented.

Now, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka has put names to the tragedy. In a letter to President Obama, Trumka says that 22 union activists have been killed in Colombia this year, including 15 since a so-called “Action Plan” designed to crack down on union violence was instituted in the country. All of their names are in a fact sheet at the end of the letter.

Trumka added that six Catholic bishops have been killed in Colombia in 2011.   The Bishops Conference of Colombia believes the killings occurred because of “their courageous commitment… with the prophetic denunciation of injustice and the cause of the poorest in the country.”

Now, Venezuela:

On a hillside overlooking Caracas, Venezuela, Pedro Echavez feeds sweet potato greens to his rabbits. These animals are raised for their meat, but their droppings also fertilize Echavez’s black bean and vegetable plots. This four-acre farm produces enough food to provide 80 percent of the diet for the sixteen people living in his community.

[...]

The Venezuelan equivalent of the US Department of Agriculture is overseeing the project. Yet, unlike the USDA, which gives around $20 billion in subsidies to the largest producers in the United States annually, Venezuela is giving 4.3 billion bolívares fuertes ($1 billion) in low-interest credit solely to small and medium-sized grain producers. Another 13 billion bolívares fuertes ($3 billion) is set aside for fruit and vegetable operations, as well as growers of crops like coffee, cacao and sugar cane. A portion of what farmers grow will be used to pay off the loans, and much of this produce will be locally packaged, processed and sold at state-owned supermarkets.

President Hugo Chávez’s leftist Bolivarian Revolution has embraced the idea of food sovereignty, or the right of a people to define their own food and agriculture policy. The food sovereignty movement is a global one, and the organization at the forefront, La Via Campesina, counts 300 million members. Venezuela is one of many countries, including Ecuador, Bolivia, Mali and Nepal, that have, in response to this grassroots movement, developed a legal framework for food sovereignty.

Tell your congresscritters to oppose the trade deal with Colombia. The fact that this nation’s bloodsoaked ruling classes are feted by the US’ elite, while the far more democratic and human Chavez is demonized by corporate-owned American media and corporate-owned American politicians, shows just how amoral is our leadership.

Posted in Colombia, farming, food, global food crisis, unions, Venezuela | Tagged: , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

DeVos Family Behind School Privatization Push Disguised as “Choice”

Posted by Phoenix Woman on May 9, 2011

From http://devos.wordpress.com/2006/10/20/blackwater-usas-erik-prince-dick-devos-brother-in-laws-in-arms/

Another day, another unearthed set of right-wing billionaires out to destroy the foundations of America.

You’ve heard of the Koch brothers, Charles and David, and their father Fred (who helped found and fund the John Birch Society). Now meet the family behind Amway, Blackwater (now Xe) and the decades-long plot — in the name of vouchers and “school choice” — to destroy free public education in the United States.

I speak of the DeVos Family:

The decades-long campaign to end public education is propelled by the super-wealthy, right-wing DeVos family. Betsy Prince DeVos is the sister of Erik Prince, founder of the notorious private military contractor Blackwater USA (now Xe), and wife of Dick DeVos, son of the co-founder of Amway, the multi-tiered home products business.

(Let me stop right there and urge you, unless the name “Erik Prince” is already burned irrevocably into your memory, to go check out this article in The Nation to find out a bit more about him. You can also go here and here to learn more about this dangerously rich, dangerously militant Dominionist Rushdoonyite Christian. And if you don’t know who R.J. Rushdoony is, go here first.)

So what have the DeVoses and their buddies been doing? Stuff like this: Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

 
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