Thursday, December 31, 2009

Transformation of Goa and Options before Youth

At the onset let me underline that there is no homogeneous category of youth. The mere certain age group does not form a uniform group particularly when there exists sharp economic inequalities. There are well known categorizations based on ethnicity, caste, migration, occupation, education, economics etc. Very often these categories remains unfocused and it gets presumed that Youth as homogeneous category. This is no different in Goa. The most important category of difference is class and from this difference emerges the direction of activism.

Tourism and transformation of Goa

The kind of transformation Goa is witnessing is as leisure destination designed to for purchase by super rich of India and the World. The huge handing over of lands tilled by the local people for tourism purposes had provided unexpected knocks. Villages are forcefully evicted and parceled out for super rich pleasures. Segregated lifestyles are publicly displayed. Coercion is introduced to uproot people from their lands. Private goons are deployed to instill fear in the local people so that they do not protest the violent takeover of their lands. Ministers in the government of India, cricket Stars, Lawn tennis stars, black marketers all are in the bee line to get 93 square meters of piece of Goas’ land by the view of Arabian Sea. And they are willing to shed India shining bucks; Minimum investment is One and half crore and maximum sky above their head is the limit. The lands that are targeted are mostly of tribal People. Nauxi and Bambolim in Tiswadi taluka are the cases in focus. One such project is Aldeia de Goa. This is a conquest of 140 acres of Goa's coastal land now under the process of converting into residential cum super luxury starred holiday venue. The two villages are converted into ‘camps’. Local people are systematically forced to vacate their residences while large number of People from various parts of India is brought in to work as casual laborers and as members of the private securities.

Increasingly tense communities

This has created tense situation. Everyday there are fights and they are reaching to dangerous levels gradually. State government has sold itself and its people to super rich of the world. Judiciary, Bureaucracy, Police, Politicians have all been purchased and they speak and act according to their masters’ voice. Police intervene to defend the projects of the super rich; so when the local people go to Police station to complain about threats to their life and livelihood they are being arbitrarily arrested and put inside the lock up. Peoples’ dwelling houses are planned to be demolished, papers of their consent are manufactured by forcing people to sign documents in the night under force i.e. duress. Huge cash is used as enticements for those showing signs of resistance to the corporate interests. Bull dozers are moved in and so the excavators. Thousands of years of Heritage are finished off in an hour’s time by flattening the green hills to suit the ugly corporate tastes. Fresh water ponds are buried, wells are fenced off, new roads are built to create beach access and to circumvent Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) laws. Plans are faked, in the industry manufactured plans existing houses are erased from the maps and so the titles of the locals. Local people who are fishermen are supposed to get out from the locality as the super rich now desire to drive scooter in the Arabian Sea. Nets of the fishermen are hurdles that are to be done away with; sooner the better. The super rich has fancies that are strange; they want to own their private boats and get them inside the shore so plain lands are dug to create underground facilities. And Super rich has fancies for artificial greenery, so cut thousands of coconut trees, cashew trees and all other variety of trees and in their place plant exotic species of grass. And the super rich want the golf course and it needs huge amounts of lands. Indian State has preserved British gift of Land Acquisition Act 1894, land is acquired for public purpose never mind that constitution of India preaches equality yet super rich are privileged in getting land by uprooting Adivasis. Adivasis after all are perhaps illegitimate citizens of India, is it not? If not, then the treatment meted out to People in Bambolim, Nauxi, Cacra, Odxel, Aivao, Mariel etc. does not justify. Not to forget the second mischief committed by the landlords by handing over the land to builder mafia. Their first mischief was to get these tribal lands on their names from Portuguese Colonial times onwards.

Money bags have drugged the authorities in Goa and India into deep slumber. It does matter how much you scream, they have plugged in earphone with soothing tunes of Capital. You have to become homeless, you have to become landless, you have to become desperate, you have to follow Farmers in Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra and commit suicide. They tell you all the time till your ears go deaf that you have to go to make way, you have to sacrifice to get development, and you have to die to give life to super rich. You have to.

Options before Youth

Now you are a youth and you have an option to think. You have an option to relate and know. You have an option to choose as where you are going to put your next step. You have an option either to put you step ahead or choose to be coward and offer your self as sacrificial goat at the development alter. You have an option to lead a life with courage and valor, or to succumb meekly before the World’s super rich. If you do succumb then the super rich will pay you rich tributes of contempt. They will write their history and record that this was a land inhabited by bunch of cowards. They will show your bones if they are around, to their grand children and point you must never become like them, or they may tell their great grand children that there was no one staying in this land and we – the super rich of the world are the first settlers here. They will erase your history just the way they are seeking to erase your present existence. Your Existence is threat to them. Your existence in dignity is threat to them, they may exercise yet another option – enslave you and declare themselves as masters and you’ll- the servants. If you make any fuss then you will be treated according.

What if you choose the option to resist your erasure as community? What about if you tell them that your land and sea is precious and the money bags hold no taste? What if you decide and tell the super rich of World that we are the super rich in our way of life and their invasion is most undesirable thing to happen in the history of their generations of living? What if you decide to take cue from Elephant and Ant story and bite hard the ears of the State? What if you feel it is worthless to get enslaved and it is better to live on our feet than crawl on our knees? What if all these questions become reality in 21st century Goa? What about if earthquake currents generate tsunami tides and wash away all the super rich from Goa’s surface and reclaim its mountains, land, rights over fishing in Arabian Sea never again to go in the hands of State and landlords not in the control of People? What preparations are you making in case that moment of reckoning visits us all?

You are young and you have a style. You are young and you have sizzling blood in your veins. You are young and you are full of courage and compassion. You are young and you have a job at hand. You are young and you are smart. You are young and you have an option. Option, either to follow your ancestors, or take up life’s challenge or Option to succumb to the fear of Super rich of the world and there by descent into life of humiliation and insults. I hope you are going to make the brave options. And you will make it soon before we are run over by forceful take over of our land and our livelihood.

Movements all over the world are confronting super rich take over of the planet earth. There are numerous ways in which communities are asserting themselves. Hundreds of youth have made option to dare, confront and plunge into great fight for survival. Depending upon the background from where youth comes, they have made options. Super rich youth are trained to control the planet earth and in the process exploit nature as well as People. Youth like me coming from receiving end of development process have made an option to challenge the notions and practices of development that hands over control of land to super rich of the world. Now it is your turn. Opt now!


Sebastian Rodrigues

THREE MOVEMENTS THAT INFLUENCED MY CHILDHOOD

By Sebastian Rodrigues


Introduction

The first ten years of my life between 1973 to 1983 three movements moved my childhood. Toddy tapers movement through my father Luis Rodrigues, Fisherman’s movement, popularly known as Ramponkar’s movement through my mother Claudina Rodrigues, and Church employees movement through my grand uncle Assis Fernanades. This paper is brief recounting of my childhood memory and contextualizing the same in the wider complex canvas of Social Movements in Goa.

Toddy Taper’s Movement

The late Seventies and early Eighties saw Toddy tapers movement at its peak. Movement began soon after Goa’s liberation with Rahul Bose[1] and Fulgence Rodrigues taking lead in organizing the Toddy Tapers community of Goa whose life and economy revolves around the coconut tree. My father Luis Rodrigues began his taping coconut trees in Bardez Taluka’s Siolim and Badem Villages in 1967[2]. My father came in touch joined Toddy Tapers Union in later seventies. The main reason for joining the union was security of his job as land lady was putting pressure to stop taping of coconut trees that were leased out to him. Union activities gave much wider expose to him as he participated in various union activities including morchas and rallies in Panjim. Rahul Bose used to visit our house to meet my father in early eighties. He used to speak to me too. I remember him discussion the issue of medium of instruction with me then after he realized that I was studying in Marathi medium at Government primary school. He was the first to influence my life. My father along with two other Toddy tapers from tapped the coconut trees on the force of Union Power for nearly six years without paying taxes to the State as Landlady from Siolim refused to accept yearly fees meant for her. The movement that was defending right to tap coconut trees did left impressions on my childhood memories. Mathany Saldhana and Christopher Fonseca were the names that I heard repeatedly in my childhood.

Fishermen’s Movement

My mother Claudina Rodrigues comes from the family in Pernem Taluka’s coastal village of Mandrem. They followed occupations of toddy tapping as well as Rampons- indigenous method of collective fishing in non-mechanized manner. Late Seventies and early eighties witnessed introduction of mechanized fishing – trawlers. This brought about clashes with the traditional fishermen – Ramponars. Again fishermen were united though the efforts of Mathany Saldhana. Organisation called Goenchea Ramponkarancho Ekvott was formed and agitation was launched. While the agitation was on, number of violent clashes did take place between the Ramponkars and Trawler owners. Pernem Coast was one of the sites of these clashes. On one occasion Trawler tied Rampon boat with team of around ten fishermen on board from Mandrem and taken in the deeper waters and there violent clashes took place. Number of Ramponkars was injured. Amongst those injured was my Mother’s brother-in-law Custodio Fernandes from Mandrem. Soon after this clash the State leaders of the Fishermen’s movement visited the Mandrem village. I, that time a child happened to be there in Mandrem along with my Mother and witnessed the tense situation in the village. Very soon after few weeks Ramponkars of the neighboring village of Harmal captured another trawler and burnt it. The tension further intensified. The tension continued some years as Trawlers continued to violate 5 Kms from coast ban on fishing in routine manner.

Church Employees Movement

In 1983 I left my family and my village of Siolim to study in standard V at a school then was called Dr. Agusto Souza High School at Assagao. I was sent to stay with family of my grand uncles in Assagao. I stayed entire one year in Assagao with weekly visits to Siolim. This year is another important year in my life; it witnessed yet another movement enter my life – this time Church employees movement. One of my youngest grand uncle Assis Fernandes[3] was working in St. Cajetan’s Church in Assagao. At that time church employees from different parts of Goa were being organized. Assis was one of the active persons involved in organizing work. He involved me in lot of church work- both inside the cemetery as well as in the liturgical services. On evenings he would take me on his cycle on touring different churches in Bardez. I remember my visits with him to Churches such as Badem, Vagathore, Anjuna, Parra, Arpora, Calangute, Tropa, Sodiem, Mapusa and Candolim. I witnessed him speaking about need to organize church employees. Church in Goa was not paying wages that was able to support the livelihood of its workers, and also there was no job security. Around this time Chistopher Fonseca stages hunger strike in Panjim to press for the demands of the church employees. The whole one year did bring me another first hand experience of a labour struggle within the Institutional Church.

Conclusion

The three movements not just provide me early exposure to variety of movements but more importantly it went to shape my life and options I would make in life. This experience can be best summarized as first the movements entered my life and then I moved into movements. This of movements is not just my personal case but the phenomena that generation in Goa witnessed - those born in early seventies. One only needs to value this experience and enter history as its subjects as against objects.[4]

Note: This paper was presented at two days National History Seminar on Struggle for Assertion, Civil Liberties, Integration, Liberation and Rights in Goa Through the Ages” at CES College, Cuncolim, Goa on March 13-14 2007.



[1] Rahul Bose is from Bangladesh settled in Canacona Taluka’s Loliem Village. According to Sushila Mendes, Lectures in History at Government College, Quepem, He was involved in founding of All Goa Toddy Tapers’ Association. He was associated with Sushila Mendes' father who was a lawyer in organizing Toddy Tapers since 1962. Sushila Mendes disclosed this while intervening in a discussion on this paper at History seminar at Cuncolim College on March 14 2007.

[2] Luis Rodrigues has been a Toddy Taper for the past 40 years. He continues to Tap the coconut trees till date but in different land and different land lord in Siolim.

[3] He retired after working for 50 years in St. Cajetan’s Church, Assagao.

[4] Idea of Subjects and Objects is from Paulo Freire’s ‘Pedagogy of the Oppressed’.

Mining again in Selaulim dam reservoir

According to the reports coming in mining activities has resumed inside the Selaulim dam reservoirs in Taluka. Selaulim dam supplies water to large part of South Goa including to the cities of Margao and Vasco. The mine is located in Curdi village. Few years ago Sunita Narayan of CSE Delhi was attacked on this particular mine when she visited there to investigate mining activities along with Selesian priest Philip Neri de Sousa. After complaints to the authorities this mine was stopped. Goa Assembly debates and decision also witnessed protests against mining taking place inside Selaulim dam. But alas, miners in Goa cares a hoot to Goa Assembly as well as to the common people as they are in a hurry to plunder.

Sebastian Rodrigues

Bishop: Stop plunder of natural resources

Gomantak Times, December 30, 2009, Panaji

By staff reporter

Panjim: Archbishop Filipe Neri Ferrao yesterday dealt body blow to those responsible for what he called “plundering of natural resources”, but let MLAs and cabinet ministers off with a light rap on the knuckles.

Speaking at the annual Christmas gathering held at the Archbishop’s Palace, Rev Ferrao said, “In our day, there is a growing awareness that world peace is threatened not only by the arms race, regional conflicts and continued injustices amongst peoples and nations, but also by a lack of due respect for nature, by plundering of natural resources.”

The speech of the Archbishop, widely regarded as a pointer to the ills that plague the State, was listened to with rapt attention by Governor SS Sidhu, Chief Minister Digambar Kamat, Leaader of the Opposition Manohar Parrikar, PWD Minister Churchill Alemao, Power Minister Aleixo Sequira, Revenue Minister Jose Philip, Water Resources Minister Felipe Neri Rodrigues, Urban Development Minister Joaqium Alemao, Home Minister Ravi Naik, Deputy Chairman of State Planning Board Dr. Wilfred de Souza, industrialist Srinivas Dempo, judges, bureaucrats and members of the community.

The Archbishop went straight to the heart of the matter and in less than a minute it was clear that his focus this year was on the environment, specifically the uncontrolled mining of iron ore.

Presently, over 300 applications for renewal of existing mining leases or fresh ones are pending before the Mining Department. Besides, the government has proved to be powerless in curbing illegal mining.

As we care for creation, we realize that God, through creation, cares for us. Unfortunately, this reciprocity was not always observed,” he read from a printed version, which is usually the norm on this occasion.

“It (creation) has indeed been continuously marred by neglect – if not downright misuse – of the natural goods that God has given humankind,” he emphasized.

This year, political leaders were spared the embarrassment of being blamed for environmental degradation with Archbishop acknowledging that they are seized with the problem, but emphasized that more needs to be done.

We see our legislators and politicians sometimes giving an ear to the aspirations of the people, as platforms are offered to make their voices heard. We also see them paying attention to the ecological balance and sustainable development which this land is so much in need of….but we know that this is not enough,” he said.

Speaking out his mind and virtually setting the agenda for the New Year, the Archbishop listed some of the environmental problems facing the State when he said that the dwindling agricultural land, desertification of farming space, erosion of our beaches are some of the ecological problems that merits attention.

While many paint a picture of doom, the Archbishop saw a glimmer of hope. Referring to the recent environment summit at Copenhagen, he said it was a “significant international expression”

“Thankfully there is also a common political will to take steps to slow down such degradation,” he added.


Monday, December 28, 2009

Mining inside Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary FIR copy

From: By Hand Delivery

Shankar Raghunath Jog,

Margawadi, Sancordem,

Via TISKA, GOA ...Pin: 403406.

Phone No. 2611499 & 2611032.

Date: 19th November, 2009.

To,

The in-charge/Inspector

Ponda Police Station,

Ponda, Goa.

Sub: First Information Report of Criminal offence of environmental destruction in Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary at Darbandora, Goa.

Sir,

This is to inform you that mining operations are intermittently being carried out at Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary in village Darbandora, Goa, without ‘Environment Clearance’ from the Ministry of Environment & Forest, Govt. of India, as required under provisions of ‘Environment (Protection) Act, 1986’. This is a cognizable criminal offence punishable under sections 15 & 16 of this Act attracting 5 years imprisonment.

The person/s carrying out this mining operation are unknown to me, but I have noticed that Earth excavating machinery is used to excavate and trucks are carrying the material to unknown destination.

It is therefore requested that immediate action be taken to stop this illegal operation and to apprehend the culprits.


Yours faithfully,


Sd/-


(Shankar R. Jog)


Copy by post to:

1. D.I.G. Police Headquarters, Panaji.

2. Chief Conservator of Forest, Govt. of Goa,

Maratha Samaj Building, Panaji.

3. Director, Mines & Geology, Govt. of Goa,

Udyog Bhavan, Panaji.


FIR copy against mining inside buffer zone of Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary

From: By Hand Delivery

Shankar Raghunath Jog,

Margawadi, Sancordem,

Via TISKA, GOA ...Pin: 403406.

Phone No. 2611499 & 2611032.

Date: 19th November, 2009.

To,

The in-charge/Inspector,

Ponda Police Station,

Ponda, Goa.

Sub: First Information Report of Criminal offence of environmental destruction at Darbandora, Goa.

Sir,

This is to inform you that mining operations are intermittently being carried out at T. C./Leases No. 7/59 situated in village Darbandora, under survey number), 36/1 and 37/1 without ‘Environment Clearance’ from the Ministry of Environment & Forest, Govt. of India, as required under provisions of ‘Environment (Protection) Act, 1986’. This is a cognizable criminal offence punishable under sections 15 & 16 of this Act attracting 5 years imprisonment.

It is therefore requested that immediate action be taken to stop this illegal operation and to apprehend the culprits.

In this connection, it is further brought to your notice that earlier a complaint was registered in your office under Cr. No. 289/2007 for this offence, however, to my knowledge no action is taken so far to apprehend the culprits. And as there is no action from your department the culprits are daring to commit this offence again.

It is also brought to your notice that carrying out mining operations in these T. C.’s is contempt of Hon. High Court of Bombay at Goa in accordance with order dated 7th June, 2006 in Writ Petition no. 78/2006. And in the event there is no positive action from you, you may also be a party in the contempt of court proceedings, which I intend to start.

It may also be noted that it is hardly possible to carry out these mining operations without consent/knowledge of concerned land owners and power of attorney of T. C./Lease holders, Shri. Dinar Tarcar, who is also the Managing Director of M/s Minescape Earthmovers Pvt. Ltd., Campal, Panaji, a mining company.

It is, therefore, once again requested to take immediate action to stop this illegal action, to investigate and to apprehend the culprits.

Yours faithfully,

Sd/-

(Shankar R. Jog)



Copy by post to:

1. D.I.G. Police Headquarters, Panaji.

2. Director, Mines & Geology, Govt. of Goa,

Udyog Bhavan, Panaji.

3. Goa State Pollution Control Board, Panaji


Sunday, December 27, 2009

Time to heal

I can feel the mountain’s feel

I can see the trucks to fill

Bulldozers ready, job to kill

Capitalist enjoy the ugly thrill

Save the mountain; Life and shrill

Wretched of the world commence the drill

Now or never; question of a meal

Enough is enough trade link sawmill

Trade is dirty, life to steal

Stop for once menacing deal

Give the planet time to heal.



Sebastian Rodrigues

Violence as Policy

Student needs attention

No need of condemnation


My childhood violated

innocence of heart shattered

Things carried on and on.


Thanks to crazy mood

Originality of throat robbed

Shame once and for all.


Heart’s cry loud and clear

Struggles to say “my dear”

Violent cast utter disgust

get the hell out

From my heart.


Deeply entrenched and stuck

Smile at downfall

Sarcastic at success

Fear and terror as gift

Net gains empty glass

Lost deposits; misery of class

rub nose with salt.


Violence of brain summons halt

Ravaged heart seeks to reconcile

Hand-in-hand desires to fly

Personal tragedy to political strategy

‘No to violence Yes to peaceful study’

This be reflected steadily.


School, College and University

Adopt an attitude - universality

Dead end to violence as policy.



Sebastian Rodrigues

Mining in Bondla wildlife sanctuary

Bondla wildlife sanctuary in Goa has become the target of violent illegal mining activity. Goa government role role is more akin to new born closed eyed breast feeding baby cats. The contractor- Dinar Tarcar - here is politically close to ruling congress party enjoys blessings of Goa Chief Minister and even has been president of its youth wing in Goa, is tying to make hay while the sun of China boom shines; just like several hundred others in Goa today.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Agitations against mining in Goa

By Sebastian Rodrigues
November 2, 2009

It was 1st April 2001 that my mind first got agitated on the issue of open cast iron ore mine in Goa. It was at one august gathering of environment lovers in Old Goa that one youth –Vassudev Porob- from Pissurlem village of Sattari taluka in Goa got up to intervene in the discussion on Mhadei river diversion by Karnataka Government thereby depriving Goa of water flow. Vassudev Porob sharply focused on his water rich village yet not a single drop existed in village wells due to continuous pumping out of water by mining companies thereby depleting ground water. Hence agriculture was not getting water; cultivation of paddy was becoming impossible. He barely finished speaking for couple of minutes when a scientist and former director of National Institute of Oceanography Dr. Untawale sprang up from his chair to scold Vassudev for speaking against mining in public. I still remember his words “You must never discuss mining in public”. My instincts instantly got me up standing up and challenging Dr. Untawale and to declare that not only we should speak loud against mining industry in Goa but also invited everyone at the meeting to a sit –in or Dharna outside the office of mining company in Goa’s capital city of Panjim.

This for me was my first participation in agitation against mining industry. After that it was huge learning experience, very often understanding through roving of boat backwards in time to know what to expect in future that spread vast open before my mind. Every month one visit to Pissurlem became my discipline for the next three years. Learning was not easy. Every visit would contribute towards weakening of my chest that was already weak with tuberculosis as my first 14 years has been in mining area. Memories of my childhood and playing with dust were constant companion on every time I would visit Pissurlem. It downed on me that while my family was rotting in dust from 1973 to 1987 - till we left the place as sickness refuse to stop hounding us as dust made life impossible – there was none to raise the voice and protest. I was happy that my family survived the ordeals of my childhood and early youth to speak out today.

For the past nine years I witnessed various agitations in mining belt. Also came to know about number of others before that, those that never entered public conscious beyond narrow confinement of their village. Those were the days of mining Raj. Everything was controlled. Everything includes human mind. Press was largely owned by one mining company or the other. And those who protested and got arrested like the revolt of Mayem villagers in Bicholim taluka in 1978-79 hardly found press coverage or reported as merely criminal cases. During this period over 70 people protesting against mining company was arrested and revolt suppressed. One of the silent features of revolts against mining over the past three decades in Goa is that it remained local and was ruthlessly suppressed through arrests by Goa police. In addition of course that it never entered the pages of newspapers and history. So the politics of memory was at play here. The ring masters of this politics were mining companies-state nexus.

Agitations in Goa’s minng belt has been spurred for various reasons. In Pissurlem it was because of refusal of additional bucket of water that a villager Pandurang Porob was attacked by Chopper and causing injuries to his legs. Pissurlem is totally at the mercy of mining companies to supply them with water after village wells, springs, natural tanks, and ponds are rendered dry by unsustainable open cast iron and manganese mining carried on by at least 5 mining companies.

Another villager Hanumant Porob was arrested and imprisoned for protesting against mining silt in the village agricultural fields that once prided itself being highest yield giver in the Sattari taluka. Mining companies have not yielded to the demands of the Pissurlem villagers are compelled to get into mining trucks business themselves. There cannot be any greater tragedy than this one unfolding in Pissurlem.

Colamb village in Sanguem taluka is blessed with people who refused to barter their land for money offered by mining companies. As a result there has been number of protests against the mining companies. Number of times Police force is pitted against them and arrests are effected. There are at least half a dozen charge sheets filed against Colamb villagers in various combination and they now has to regularly report themselves to the Courts in Quepem and Sanguem towns. People from various other parts of Goa – including those from Goa Bachao Abhiyan (GBA), Ganv Ghor Rakhan Manch (GGRM), Goa Foundation, and Nature, Environment, Society and Transformations (NEST) has also regularly visited and offered solidarity to the Colamb villagers. Gawda, Kunbi, Velip and Dhangar Federation (GAKUVED) played important role to support Colamb villagers from 2007 till date and helped to make it State level issue through the morcha it organized on December 10, 2007 Human Rights Day in Quepem. Brother Philip Neri de Souza has played very crucial role in Colamb resistance from 2001 upto 2007. Colamb villagers due to their resolute decision to oppose mining were even threatened with ‘Tadi par’ by then Police Inspector at Quepem Police Station Santosh Desai. ‘Tadi par’ sentence is meant to prohibit the villagers from entering into the administrative jurisdictions of South Goa.

On one occasion nearly ten people from Colamb protesting against mining were arrested, criminally charged and photographed at Quepem Police Station with slates around their necks. This is a practice used on hard core criminals. Industry-Police nexus in this manner sort to de-legitimize and criminalize the protests against mining industry in Goa.

Uncompromising stand of Colamb villagers against mining industry attracted higher level of collusion between Fomento mining company and the Leader of the Opposition Manohar Parrikar and in June 2008 People of Colamb along with author of this article was tagged as Naxalite in the Goa assembly. This however instead of daunting the spirit of the protest of the Colamb villagers further widened across the State of Goa. The jam packed meeting on 23 June 2008 at T.B.Cunha hall, Panjim will be remembered in the books of history as creating a wave of second liberation of Goa from the mining industry.

After this attempt of the mining industry was foiled Fomento filed defamation suit against the author of this article for Rs 500 crore in Calcutta High Court stating that the company is has suffered losses in business after some customers read the blog www.mandgoa.blogspot.com and terminated their contracts to buy ore from Fomentos. This scare tactic again failed as the rising public opinion against mining industry further popularized the online writings of this author.

Dora de Souza, a woman aged 80 plus chained herself to the mine operated by Dinar Tarcar in Maina, Quepem in October 2009. She along with 7 others were arrested – four were beaten up by mining company’s goons led by Subhas Phaldesai, Balli South Goa Zilla Parishad member- criminal cases filed and imprisoned for two days.

Motes Antao from Colamb has been arrested number of times. One month ago he was arrested by Goa Police stationed at Quepem Police Station because he filed application under Right to Information Act 2005 asking the detail information on assets held mining trucks owned by police officials including PI Santos Desai who is currently posted at Margao Police Station. Motes was called at the police station under the pretext of collecting information sought under RTI and detained over some case the Fomento mines manager in Colamb had filed against him ten months earlier.

Lawyer John Fernandes was charged for attempt to murder during a lathi charge on villagers of Ambaulim, Quepem in December 2008. Several people were injured during the lathi charge on villagers that were protesting against dust pollution caused in their village by mining trucks. Several people were arrested and criminally charged. PI Santosh Desai led the Lathi charge on protestors.

Determination of Colamb villagers infused courage to number of other villagers affected by mining industry. Advalpal in Bicholim revolted in May 2008 in spite of earlier compromises with the mining companies. Over 70 people were arrested and criminally charged. Akash Naik, a nine-year-old school boy supported by Goa Foundation in September 2009 got a stay order from Goa bench of Bombay High Court against marauding Sesa Goa mine owned by british corporate Vedanta listed on London stock exchange.

Sirgao villagers in Bicholim taluka revolted against this 40 year old industry in village and filed Public Interest Litigation in Goa bench of Bombay High Court. High Court appointed Nagpur based National Environmental Engineering Institute (NEERI) to conduct a scientific study. NEERI report submitted to the Court stated that agriculture and water bodies are negatively affected by three open cast mines operating in Sirgao village. NEERI in another case in the Goa Bench of Bombay High Court submitted a report that June 2009 floods in Advalpal was caused due to mining activities in the village.

Wide spread nature of protests against mining has led to the emergence of coalition of mining affected villages in August 2008. It is known as Goa Federation of Mines Affected People (GOAMAP). GOAMAP has raised the issue of mining destroying Goa’s ecology and livelihoods at number of forum. On September 22, it raised the issue with banks financing Vedanta mining company at a meeting organized by Bank Track from Netherlands and Urgewald from Germany held at Amnesty International Headquarters in London.

Large number of People across the board has lent their voice and support the movement to defend Goa from being swallowed by mining industry. They are artists, teachers, writers, professionals, People in Media they have done it in the way of their own. Few deserve special mention Kurush Canteenwala who was prison colleague of this author at Margao Judicial Custody in October 2008 has made a video documentary on Goa’s mining struggles titled – ‘Goa Goa Gone’. We both were assaulted in Maina while filming protests led by 82 year old Dora de Souza accompanied by her daring daughter Cheryl de Souza Sanfransisco and other supporters including Fr. Mathias D’Cunha. Police force led by PI Santos Desai colluded with the mining company goons and merely watch protestors being beaten up. He then arrested and criminally charged the protestors and did nothing of those who were involved in the attack though he was a personal witness. Present on the occasion Kurush made superb documentary and few days ago on 30th October 2009 it won national award for best Environmental documentary at Vatavaran Film Festival organized by Centre for Media Studies in Delhi. It is Indian Nation lending its voice to rising wave of voices against mining industry in Goa.

Ramesh Gauns, a teacher from Bicholim has successfully blocked commissioning of Zantye’s iron Ore mine at a village where he has been teaching for the past over two decades – Sarvona in Bicholim taluka. He used agitation modes as well as judiciary to his advantage.

Claude Alvares and Norma Alvares have rendered huge service to the State of Goa. This Alvares couple has several occasions successfully used judiciary against mining industry. Latest has been thwarting attempts by mining industry to mine Goa’s Wildlife Sanctuaries.

Sangamitra Mainkar, Prabhakar Dhage, Wendell Rodricks, Maria Aurora Couto, Venita Coelho, Hartman de Souza are other notable people that has lent their valued loud voices to the protests against mining in Goa. Trade Unionist Christopher Fonseca in Television interview in June 2009 referred to the protest movements against mining as “Prophetic Voices and Goa is lucky to have them.” Voice of protest against mining industry can be heard from Colamb to Sirgao, Nuem-Khola to Advalpal, and Bicholim to Usgao. This is a beginning of change in power relations and power structure in the State of Goa.


THE DRUMS OF WAR

By Dr Oscar Rebello
docoscar67@rediffmail.com

Herald, December 23, 2009

My dear Diggu kaka,

It was with a sense of shock and awe that I heard your
passionate appeal to all of us Goans, on December 19, 2009,
to rise and fight all the "enemies of the State, out to
defame us." Nasty fellows, these critters are, setting up a
huge conspiracy to pulverize us. So, I guess, like Mel
Gibson in 'Braveheart' with war paint on, or like Jake Scully
in 'Avataar' in a blue funk, you will lead us into battle
against these "enemies of the State".

Let's get out all the ammo, get our guns blazing, all arrows
in the quiver and with a "Zayyat Zage" (Let Us Awake) song in
our hearts take to the battlefield.

We'll mobilize all the stakeholders of Goa, and
take this challenge head on -- Hindus, Christians,
Muslims, Saraswats, Bhandari Samaj, Dalits,
"Bhitorle" and "Bhaile", men, women and children
are all at your service, ready to shed their last
drop of blood to defend Mother Goa.

Get the horses, elephants, donkeys, nuts and bolts into action.
We are marching to our death and mighty proud of it.

But whoa, whoa, whoa! Could we hold this enthusiasm under
control for awhile? I'm a trifle confused. I'm ready to do
battle anytime, anywhere but there is a significant question
to which I need an answer. Who is the dickens is this
dangerous enemy of the State we are supposed to fight to
death?

Let's list our usual suspects:

* Is it the real estate barons, lovingly nurtured and tended
to by your government bigwigs, who are set to convert Goa
into one giant urban slum? Who is this big enemy of the
State out to defame Goa?

* Or, is it the narcotic and sex mafia, operating with
impunity and blessed by your authorities, who are
converting our precious youth into bedazzled zombies who
are the fantastical "enemies of the State" out to defame
Goa?"

* Or, perhaps it's our cunning casino industry, rocking the
revenues of Goa and then driving individuals to suicidal
bankruptcy who are our elusive "enemies of the State, out
to defame Goa"?

* Or maybe, just maybe, I've stumbled upon the holy grail! It
could be our benevolent illegal mining lobby. They are
digging out our mineral wealth with such rapacious ferocity
to leave indelible scars on our little Goa. So maybe they
are the "enemies of the State out to defame Goa".

* Or, psst... could it be this brazenly invasive stealth
media -- especially electronic -- who are regularly
exposing our carefully masked marts and who are our Dushman
No 1? The stinking garbage in our core is solely our
problem. How dare these drones expose our dark underbelly,
let them focus only on our superficial glitz and glamour.

* Or, hallelujah. It must be those NGO mosquitoes: the GBA,
the GXE, the SVM, the GGRM et al who are making ordinary
people aware of their rights and teaching all of us the
underlying maxim of democracy, "The poorest in the State
have the first claim to her resources." So, I'm sure it
must be these folksy fishermen and farmers, tribals and
taxi drivers; gram sabhawalas and grandmothers who are the
vicious "enemies of the State out to tarnish Goa."

* Or, wink, wink... nudge, nudge... could the needle of
suspicion point towards your own darling ministerial
brothers-in-arms? Does an insurrection against a police
station or a chest-thumping declaration that Goa is the
"rape capital" of India or the filthy sewers of corruption
many of you wall in classify as being enemies of the State.
Or is this -- shiver, shiver -- a breach of priviledge.

* Or, maybe it is all those prize idiots (including yours
truly) who, swayed by your carefully cultivated "nice guy"
image, danced footsie with you, swallowing hollow promises
hook, line and sinker.

* Or, perhaps it is Manohar Parrikar and Aires Rodrigues, Fr
Maverick and Sabina Martins, Damu Naik and Francis D'Souza,
Rajendra Kerkar and Matanhy, who are exposing all your
government's dirty little sins of commission and omission
(more of commission than omission, of course) and sullying
the fair and lovely image of Amchem Goem, who are the real
traitors.

* Or, maybe it is Goa's tiatrists and poets, writers and
thinkers, activists and editors, who have the relentless
courage to confront your administration and governance who
are the merciless "enemies of the State, out to defame
Goa".

So, in sum, Lord Digambara, please, oh please, tell us who is
the REAL, REAL enemy of the State. Please identity
him/her/it.

I am ready with my grandfather's rifle to cross the
illusionary and unnecessary Golden Jubilee bridge to nowhere
and fight in a swashbuckling game of bravado to vanquish all
our foes.

Let reinforcements come from Delhi, the nukes from Russia,
the healthcare for our wounded from Israel and belly dancers
for some R&R from Anjuna. Just give me a call anytime you are
ready, Chief. Meantime, I'm off shopping for a mirror.

Picture of people on fast to condemn colonial mining plunder of Goa


Photograph of GOAMAP initiated December 19, 2009 public fast to condemn colonial mining plunder of Goa held at Azad Maidan, Panaji. Picture by K.Stalin.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Fast to condemn Colonial Mining Plunder of Goa

December 19 since 1961 observed as 'Goa Liberation Day' by the State in Goa to mark freedom from Portuguese colonial yoke through the Indian Army action "Operation Vijay". However this year in 2009 Goa Federation of Mines Affected People (GOAMAP) observed this day as a day of fast at Azad Maidan, Panjim. The banner that a group of 40 people held read "Stop Colonial Mining Plunder of Goa".

Citizens from various mining affected localities such as Bicholim, Advalpal, Colamb, Morpilla, and Sancorda participated. Besides citizens from other parts of Goa also joined the one day fast in solidarity. Team of around 25 students from Nirmala Niketan College of Social Work in Mumbai currently on study tour to Goa also joined people fasting in solidarity.

Speakers that addressed public meeting at the conclusion the fast came down heavily on the State in Goa, Mining companies and Government of India over the continuing sage of colonial mindset for rule in Goa's mining belt. Mining companies are engaged in aggressive assault on People and Ecology of Goa with permission from government of India's Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) while Goa government's Police force in engaged to provide protection to the mining companies and intimidate people that are involved in protest against mining invasion of their villages and towns. The political nature of rule in Goa's mining belt is Colonial.

Various speakers such as Durgadas Gaonkar of GAKUVED, Ramesh Gauns and Sebastian Rodrigues of GOAMAP condemned the decision of Goa Government to award Chief Minister's Gold Medal to PI Santos Dessai for his intimate engagements in Human Rights violations of People protesting against mining while he was posted at Quepem Police station in 2008-09. This was further evidence of Colonial nature of State in Goa that deserves all round condemnation.

Ramesh Gauns pointed out that one of the mine owners from Goa has been awarded with 'Padma Shree' - highest civilian award from Indian Government some years ago. He was referring to late Vasantrao Dempo, founder of Dempo mining company that is not only created havoc all these years in Goa but also engage in similar nefarious activities in Maharashtra and Jharkhand. Recently in June 2009 Dempos current management sold its Goa mining leases to British mining company - Vedanta for a thorough colonial plunder of Goa.

Anthony D'silva from Ambelim, Salcete also spoke about plunder of Goa's water by mining companies.

At the end of the day the gathered people vowed to launch new movement across the State of Goa to liberate Goa from the clutches of mining industry.

December 19, 2009 day long fast is a beginning of this liberation movement.

Sebastian Rodrigues

Venezuelan President’s Speech on Climate Change in Copenhagen

December 17th 2009, by Hugo Chavez

Copenhagen, Kingdom of Denmark
Wednesday, December 16th, 2009

President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Hugo Chávez:

Mr. President, ladies and gentlemen, Excellencies, friends, I promise that I will not talk more than most have spoken this afternoon. Allow me an initial comment which I would have liked to make as part of the previous point which was expressed by the delegations of Brazil, China, India, and Bolivia. We were there asking to speak but it was not possible. Bolivia's representative said, my salute of course to Comrade President Evo Morales, who is there, President of the Republic of Bolivia.

[Audience applause]

She said among other things the following, I noted it here, she said the text presented is not democratic, it is not inclusive.

I had hardly arrived and we were just sitting down when we heard the president of the previous session, the minister, saying that a document came about, but nobody knows, I've asked for the document, but we still don’t have it, I think nobody knows of that top secret document.

Now certainly, as the Bolivian comrade said, that is not democratic, it is not inclusive. Now, ladies and gentlemen, isn’t that just the reality of the world?
Are we in a democratic world? Is the global system inclusive? Can we hope for something democratic, inclusive from the current global system?

What we are experiencing on this planet is an imperial dictatorship, and from here we continue denouncing it. Down with imperial dictatorship! And long live the people and democracy and equality on this planet!

[Audience applause]

And what we see here is a reflection of this: Exclusion.

There is a group of countries that consider themselves superior to us in the South, to us in the Third World, to us, the underdeveloped countries, or as a great friend Eduardo Galeano says, we, the crushed countries, as if a train ran over us in history.

In light of this, it’s no surprise that there is no democracy in the world and here we are again faced with powerful evidence of global imperial dictatorship. Then two youths got up here, fortunately the enforcement officials were decent, some push around, and they collaborated right? There are many people outside, you know? Of course, they do not fit in this room, they are too many people. I've read in the news that there were some arrests, some intense protests, there in the streets of Copenhagen, and I salute all those people out there, most of them youth.

[Audience applause]

Of course young people are concerned, I think rightly much more than we are, for the future of the world. We have - most of us here - the sun on our backs, and they have to face the sun and are very worried.

One could say, Mr. President, that a spectre is haunting Copenhagen, to paraphrase Karl Marx, the great Karl Marx, a spectre is haunting the streets of Copenhagen, and I think that spectre walks silently through this room, walking around among us, through the halls, out below, it rises, this spectre is a terrible spectre almost nobody wants to mention it: Capitalism is the spectre, almost nobody wants to mention it.

[Audience applause]

It’s capitalism, the people roar, out there, hear them.

I have been reading some of the slogans painted on the streets, and I think those slogans of these youngsters, some of which I heard when I was young, and of the young woman there, two of which I noted. You can hear among others, two powerful slogans. One: Don’t change the climate, change the system.

[Audience applause]

And I take it onboard for us. Let’s not change the climate, let’s change the system! And consequently we will begin to save the planet. Capitalism is a destructive development model that is putting an end to life; it threatens to put a definitive end to the human species.

And another slogan calls for reflection. It is very in tune with the banking crisis that swept the world and still affects it, and of how the rich northern countries gave aid to bankers and the big banks. The U.S. alone gave, well, I lost the figure, but it is astronomical, to save the banks. They say in the streets the following: If the climate were a bank it would have been saved already.

[Audience applause]

And I think that's true. If the climate were one of the biggest capitalist banks, the rich governments would have saved it.

I think Obama has not arrived. He received the Nobel Peace Prize almost the same day that he sent 30 thousand soldiers to kill more innocents in Afghanistan, and now he comes to stand here with the Nobel Peace Prize, the president of the United States.

But the United States has the machinery to make money, to make dollars, and has saved, well, they believe they have saved the banks and the capitalist system.
Well, this is a side comment that I wanted to make previously. We were raising our hand to accompany Brazil, India, Bolivia, China, in their interesting position that Venezuela and the countries of the Bolivarian Alliance firmly share. But hey, they didn’t let us speak, so do not count these minutes please, Mr. President.

[Audience applause]

Look, over there I met, I had the pleasure of meeting this French author Hervé Kempf. Recommending this book, I recommend it, it is available in Spanish – there is Hervé - its also in French, and surely in English, How the Rich are Destroying the Planet. Hervé Kempf: How the Rich are Destroying the Planet. This is what Christ said: it would be easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. This is what our lord Christ said.

[Audience applause]

The rich are destroying the planet. Do they think the can go to another when they destroy this one? Do they have plans to go to another planet? So far there is none on the horizon of the galaxy.

This book has just reached me, Ignacio Ramonet gave it to me, and he is also around somewhere in this room. Finishing the prologue or the preamble this phrase is very important, Kempf says the following, I’ll read it:

“We can not reduce global material consumption if we don’t make the powerful go down several levels, and if we don’t combat inequality. It is necessary that to the ecological principle that is so useful at the time of becoming conscious, ‘think globally and act locally,’ we add the principle that the situation imposes: ‘Consume less and share better.’”

I think it is good advice that this French author Hervé Kempf gives us.

[Audience applause]

Well then, Mr. President, climate change is undoubtedly the most devastating environmental problem of this century. Floods, droughts, severe storms, hurricanes, melting ice caps, rise in mean sea levels, ocean acidification and heat waves, all of that sharpens the impact of global crisis besetting us.

Current human activity exceeds the threshold of sustainability, endangering life on the planet, but also in this we are profoundly unequal.

I want to recall: the 500 million richest people, 500 million, this is seven percent, seven percent, seven percent of the world’s population. This seven percent is responsible, these 500 million richest people are responsible for 50 percent of emissions, while the poorest 50 percent accounts for only seven percent of emissions.

So it strikes me as a bit strange to put the United States and China at the same level. The United States has just, well; it will soon reach 300 million people. China has nearly five times the U.S. population. The United Status consumes more than 20 million barrels of oil a day, China only reaches 5-6 million barrels a day, you can’t ask the same of the United States and China.

There are issues to discuss, hopefully we the heads of states and governments can sit down and discuss the truth, the truth about these issues.

So, Mr. President, 60 percent of the planet’s ecosystems are damaged, 20 percent of the earth's crust is degraded, we have been impassive witnesses to deforestation, land conversion, desertification, deterioration of fresh water systems, overexploitation of marine resources, pollution and loss of biodiversity.

The overuse of the land exceeds by 30 percent the capacity to regenerate it. The planet is losing what the technicians call the ability to regulate itself; the planet is losing this. Every day more waste than can be processed is released. The survival of our species hammers in the consciousness of humanity. Despite the urgency, it has taken two years of negotiations for a second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol, and we attend this event without any real and meaningful agreement.

And indeed, on the text that comes from out of the blue, as some have called it, Venezuela says, and the ALBA countries, the Bolivarian Alliance say that we will not accept, since then we’ve said it, any other texts that do not come from working groups under the Kyoto Protocol and the Convention. They are the legitimate texts that we have been discussing so intensely over the years.

[Audience applause]

And in these last few hours, I believe you have not slept, plus you have not eaten, you have not slept. It does not seem logical to me to come out now with a document from scratch, as you say.

The scientifically substantiated objective of reducing the emission of polluting gases and achieving an agreement on long-term cooperation clearly, today at this time, has apparently failed, for now.

What is the reason? We have no doubt.

The reason is the irresponsible attitude and lack of political will from the most powerful nations on the planet. No one should feel offended, I recall the great José Gervasio Artigas when he said: “With the truth, I neither offend nor fear.” But it is actually an irresponsible attitude of positions, of reversals, of exclusions, of elitist management of a problem that belongs to everyone and that we can only solve together.

The political conservatism and selfishness of the largest consumers, of the richest countries shows high insensitivity and lack of solidarity with the poor, the hungry, and the most vulnerable to disease, to natural disasters. Mr. President, a new and single agreement is essential, applicable to absolutely unequal parties, according to the magnitude of their contributions and economic, financial and technological capabilities and based on unconditional respect for the principles contained in the Convention.

Developed countries should set binding, clear and concrete commitments for the substantial reduction of their emissions and assume obligations of financial and technological assistance to poor countries to cope with the destructive dangers of climate change. In this respect, the uniqueness of island states and least developed countries should be fully recognized.

Mr. President, climate change is not the only problem facing humanity today. Other scourges and injustices beset us, the gap between rich and poor countries has continued to grow, despite all the millennium goals, the Monterrey financing summit, at all these summits as the President of Senegal said here, revealing a great truth, there are promises and unfulfilled promises and the world continues its destructive march.

The total income of the 500 richest individuals in the world is greater than the income of the 416 million poorest people. The 2.8 billion people living in poverty on less than $2 per day, representing 40 per percent of the global population, receive only 5 percent of world income.

Today each year about 9.2 million children die before reaching their fifth year and 99.9 percent of these deaths occur in poorer countries.

Infant mortality is 47 deaths per thousand live births, but is only 5 per thousand in rich countries. Life expectancy on the planet is 67 years, in rich countries it is 79, while in some poor nations is only 40 years.

Additionally, there are 1.1 billion people without access to drinking water, 2.6 billion without sanitation services, over 800 million illiterate and 1.02 billion hungry people, that’s the global scenario.

Now the cause, what is the cause?

Let’s talk about the cause, let’s not evade responsibilities, and let’s not evade the depth of this problem. The cause, undoubtedly, I return to the theme of this whole disastrous panorama, is the destructive metabolic system of capital and its embodied model: Capitalism.

Here’s a quote that I want to read briefly, from that great liberation theologian Leonardo Boff, as we know a Brazilian, our American. Leonardo Boff says on this subject as follows:

“What is the cause? Ah, the cause is the dream of seeking happiness through material accumulation and of endless progress, using for this science and technology with which they can exploit without limits all the resources of the earth.”

And he cites here Charles Darwin and his “natural selection”, the survival of the fittest, but we know that the strongest survive over the ashes of the weakest.

Jean Jacques Rousseau, we must always remember, said that between the strong and the weak, freedom is oppressed. That’s why the Empire speaks of freedom; it’s the freedom to oppress, to invade, to kill, to annihilate, and to exploit. That is their freedom, and Rousseau adds this saving phrase: “Only the law liberates.”

There are countries that are hoping that no document comes out of here precisely because they do not want a law, do not want a standard, because the absence of these norms allows them to play at their exploitative freedom, their crushing freedom.

We must make an effort and pressure here and in the streets, so that a commitment comes out of here, a document that commits the most powerful countries on earth.

[Audience applause]

Well, Mr. President, Leonardo Boff asks... Have you met Boff? I do not know whether Leonardo might come, I met him recently in Paraguay, we’ve always read him.

Can a finite earth support an infinite project? The thesis of capitalism, infinite development, is a destructive pattern, let’s face it.

Then Boff asks us, what might we expect from Copenhagen? At least this simple confession: We can not continue like this. And a simple proposition: Let’s change course. Let's do it, but without cynicism, without lies, without double agendas, no documents out of the blue, with the truth out in the open.

How long, we ask from Venezuela, Mr. President, ladies and gentlemen, how long are we going to allow such injustices and inequalities? How long are we going to tolerate the current international economic order and prevailing market mechanisms? How long are we going to allow huge epidemics like HIV/AIDS to ravage entire populations? How long are we going to allow the hungry to not eat or to be able to feed their own children? How long are we going to allow millions of children to die from curable diseases? How long will we allow armed conflicts to massacre millions of innocent human beings in order for the powerful to seize the resources of other peoples?

Cease the aggressions and the wars! We the peoples of the world ask of the empires, to those who try to continue dominating the world and exploiting us.
No more imperial military bases or military coups! Let’s build a more just and equitable economic and social order, let’s eradicate poverty, let’s immediately stop the high emission levels, let’s stop environmental degradation and avoid the great catastrophe of climate change, let’s integrate ourselves into the noble goal of everyone being more free and united.

Mr. President, almost two centuries ago, a universal Venezuelan, a liberator of nations and precursor of consciences left to posterity a full-willed maxim: “If nature opposes us, let’s fight against it and make it obey us.” That was Simón Bolívar, the Liberator.

From Bolivarian Venezuela, where a day like today some ten years ago, ten years exactly, we experienced the biggest climate tragedy in our history (the Vargas tragedy it is called), from this Venezuela whose revolution tries to win justice for all people, we say it is only possible through the path of socialism!

Socialism, the other spectre Karl Marx spoke about, which walks here too, rather it is like a counter-spectre. Socialism, this is the direction, this is the path to save the planet, I don’t have the least doubt. Capitalism is the road to hell, to the destruction of the world. We say this from Venezuela, which because of socialism faces threats from the U.S. Empire.

From the countries that comprise ALBA, the Bolivarian Alliance, we call, and I want to, with respect, but from my soul, call in the name of many on this planet, we say to governments and peoples of the Earth, to paraphrase Simón Bolívar, the Liberator: If the destructive nature of capitalism opposes us, let’s fight against it and make it obey us, let’s not wait idly by for the death of humanity.

History calls on us to unite and to fight.

If capitalism resists, we are obliged to take up a battle against capitalism and open the way for the salvation of the human species. It’s up to us, raising the banners of Christ, Mohammed, equality, love, justice, humanity, the true and most profound humanism. If we don’t do it, the most wonderful creation of the universe, the human being, will disappear, it will disappear.

This planet is billions of years old, and this planet existed for billions of years without us, the human species, i.e. it doesn’t need us to exist. Now, without the Earth we will not exist, and we are destroying Pachamama as Evo says, as our indigenous brothers from South America say.

Finally, Mr. President, and to finish, let’s listen to Fidel Castro when he said: “One species is in danger of extinction: Humanity.”

Let’s listen to Rosa Luxemburg when she said: “Socialism or Barbarism.”

Let us listen to Christ the Redeemer when he said: “Blessed are the poor for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

Mr. President, ladies and gentlemen, we are capable of not making this Earth the tomb of humanity. Let us make this earth a heaven, a heaven of life, of peace, peace and brotherhood for all humanity, for the human species.

Mr. President, ladies and gentlemen, thank you very much and enjoy your meal.

[Audience applause]

Translated by Kiraz Janicke for Venezuelanalysis.com

Source

http://www.venezuelanalysis.com/analysis/5013

Posted on western-ghats@googlegroups.com e-mail list By Ulhas Kumar RK on December 19 2009