This week, we serve to amplify indigenous voices raised in opposition to the Nevada Thacker Pass lithium mine project.
First, an excerpt from the October 1 Press release:
Second, a more general statement from the People of Red Mountain. Images added by DP, relayed from the Protect Thacker Pass website:
Now comes Ugandan climate activist Vanessa Nakate, speaking at the Youth4Climate Conference Milan. The image links to a video, as relayed from Democracy Now.
The video also includes Greta Thunberg’s “Blah, Blah, Blah” speech, misleading as a transcript, but very clear and powerful via the video.
Neither Nakate nor Thunberg (nor the thousands of youth climate activists who later marched in the streets) are fooled by the feckless slogans and cynical accounting games presently masquerading as climate policy.
A few days after her speech and not far from Milan, Italy’s Genoa province experienced close to three feet of rain within 24 hours; a new European record, whatever that means.
How long shall the land mourn?
We stay with The Ecological Citizen this week, with a plea from editor Eileen Crist to stop tying ourselves up in identity knots and stand solidly on the hard reality (and responsibility) of shared common ground. Image added by DP.
Now come the editors of the invaluable journal, The Ecological Citizen, with an appropriately blistering critique of Faroe Islander attempts to represent the indiscriminate slaughter of whales and dolphins (during a hunt known as The Grind) as “indigenous tradition”. Excerpts below.
The non-violent civil disobedience campaign to prevent the mercenary commodification of Vancouver Island’s last remaining remnants of ancient old-growth forest continues into a new season.
Now comes Pacheedaht Elder Bill Jones with a letter written several months ago, yet with every word ringing true today.
A useful chronology here.
How to help.
Now comes Amitav Ghosh with an exceptionally timely essay in the forthcoming issue of Orion. The entire essay (and indeed this entire issue of a revitalized/radicalized Orion) is worthy of close attention.
The closing paragraphs excerpted below, with images relayed from the website of artist Scott Hocking, documenting his 2006 installation titled Animals.
About the “Animals” installation, Hocking writes:
ANIMALS is a collaborative mixed media installation of over 40 painted fiberglass animals – a response to politically correct and decorative public art contests, hosted by cities and towns worldwide. Each animal is altered based on the circumstances or environment true to that animal, and then painted in an arbitrary pc manner.
We have recently returned from a Maine island sanctuary & reading retreat where we devoured books and local food in more or less equal abundance. Among the books, we highly recommend To Speak For the Trees by the brave and brilliant Diana Beresford-Kroeger.
We relay the introduction from the publisher’s website below, with a single image added by DP.
During these fading days of summer, we offer the following powerful passages from an essay by Lyla June Johnson, an Indigenous public speaker, artist, scholar and community organizer of Diné (Navajo), Tsétsêhéstâhese (Cheyenne) and European lineages from Taos, New Mexico. Her songs, poem and essays focus on Indigenous rights, supporting youth, traditional land stewardship practices and healing inter-generational and inter-cultural trauma. Images added by DP.
Five years after water protector Berta Cácere’s brutal murder, Honduran courts have finally brought a degree of justice in convicting the alleged “mastermind” behind the plot, Roberto David Castillo Mejía, military intelligence officer and former general manager and president of the Desarrollos Energéticos (DESA) hydroelectric company.
“This historic ruling takes on even greater importance because it highlights the value of the defence of nature and the rights of indigenous peoples and rural communities. It is a landmark ruling that exposes through the courts the responsibility of companies, not only of their devastating role in the destruction of vital resources, but also in the persecution and elimination of people and organisations that oppose their destructive greed. The ruling highlights the strength of unity and struggle in the demand for truth and justice; a struggle that had as great protagonists the courage and dignity of her family, of COPINH, of all the people who gave themselves to this cause of humanity. I join in the joy that Berta vindicated, the joy of victories. This is a victory with the taste of a feat, because achieving truth and justice in the courts that have historically favoured the crimes of power is a feat. This victory is transcendental, but it does not mean the end of the road in the fight against impunity for the assassination of our comrade Berta“, said Reynaldo Villalba, Vice President of the International Federation for Human Rights.
In memory of Berta’s fearless Lenca spirit, we relay links and writings from an earlier DP:
BERTA CÁCERES, SHAKER OF THE HUMAN CONSCIENCE
From her speech in acceptance of the Goldman Prize, the year before she was murdered:
And finally, a video of the entire speech: Berta Cáceres, presente!
Now comes Christof Mauch, director of the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society, with excerpts from an essay that sketches the outline of his 2019 booklet, Slow Hope: Rethinking Ecologies of Crisis and Fear.
Images are from a related exhibition by artist Mandy Martin.