Part 1 of Ecological & Economic Transformation in Haiti & Jamaica, a Left Forum panel discussion featuring Haitian Labor Activist Kiki Makandal, Teamsters Union 808 leader Christophe Silvera, Colia LaFayette Clark, of HUERA, and BAR contributor Pascal Robert, moderated by Cecile Lawrence, from the Green Party of New York.
Part 2 of Ecological & Economic Transformation in Haiti & Jamaica, a Left Forum panel discussion featuring Haitian Labor Activist Kiki Makandal, Teamsters Union 808 leader Christophe Silvera, Colia LaFayette Clark, of HUERA, and BAR contributor Pascal Robert, moderated by Cecile Lawrence, from the Green Party of New York.
Part 3 of Ecological & Economic Transformation in Haiti & Jamaica, a Left Forum panel discussion featuring Haitian Labor Activist Kiki Makandal, Teamsters Union 808 leader Christophe Silvera, Colia LaFayette Clark, of HUERA, and BAR contributor Pascal Robert, moderated by Cecile Lawrence, from the Green Party of New York.
A Black Agenda Radio commentary by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon
African slaves in the US, the Caribbean and Brazil ran away whenever they could. In favorable situations, escaped slaves called maroons were able to form villages and settlements and defend themselves against their former masters. The most successful maroon settlement was Brazil's Palmares, which held out for a hundred years ending in 1695
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This is your last chance for a while to savor Mr. Maxwell’s long, long view of Jamaica and the surrounding planet. “Last month made it 58 years hard labor and there is nobody in Jamaican journalism, living or dead, who has spent more time at it.” This one is a gem – as always.
Five centuriesof European domination has brought the world ever-increasing disparities in wealth and every other measure of the human condition. The rich nations and their servants preach a capitalist gospel that would condemn nations like Jamaica to centuries more of hell. “We are told that we must make sacrifices, must reduce the taxes paid by the rich to attract ‘development’ while we watch our jobs outsourced to the Dominican Republic, China, Salvador and other happier hunting grounds, where labor costs are infinitesimal and labor unions non-existent.”
After five centuries of producing bananas and sugar for the profit of Europeans, Africa and the Caribbean must now embark on a breakneck campaign to produce food for their own hungry millions. That also means freeing th soil of the great “biocide,” Roundup. Roundup and its chemical cousins kill everything, and wreak havoc on human cells, as well.
“People who habitually describe other people as 'human resources' scare me,” writes the author. Disrespect for Jamaica's people – by the people's own government – has contributed to the flight of 80 percent of the island's graduates. A civil service exodus may be next. “We are being asked to beat up civil servants while allowing the wealthy to behave like 18th century plantation owners and slave-masters.”
Veteran journalist John Maxwell was there at the beginning: 1959, the start of the Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation. “For the first time at last, it wasn't really necessary to listen to the BBC.” Successive governments, especially those of the Jamaica Labour Party, attempted to varying degrees to shape the JBC to their own political purposes. But, says Maxwell, “It is my opinion that in its short periods of independence, the JBC helped begin the transformation of Jamaica from an ignorant colonial backwater into a civilized society.”
If you give those Americans an inch, they’ll steal your whole country out from under you. Raul Castro said he was willing to put “everything” on the table in future talks with Washington. But hostile-minded analysts interpreted Raul’s remarks as meaning he’d throw Cuba’s sovereignty and social system into the pot. Former leader Fidel was quick to clarify: putting “everything on the table” did not mean bowing to unreasonable demands from a superpower that is still a “squatter” on Cuban soil at Guantanamo Bay, and continues the world’s longest economic blockade against Cuba.
The movement to subjugate women, in the name of religion and the family, is on the march everyplace, including the Caribbean, Jamaica's eminent John Maxwell informs us. Jamaican lawmakers have enacted measures similar to those of their brothers in Afghanistan making husbands in many instances practically immune to charges of raping their wives.
Corporate exploitation of Jamaica’s bauxite, an essential component of aluminum, has ravaged a tropical paradise. In addition to mangling the landscape and silting the once-pristine rivers, bauxite mining has degraded the social order. “Bauxite owned 19% – one in every five acres – of Jamaica's farmland, some of the best, removing it from economic production and driving the communities that lived on it into exile into the ghettoes of Kingston, Brixton and Brooklyn.” The ecology of the land is also the ecology of the society. Reparations are due.
Tourism is Jamaica's biggest source of foreign exchange, but tourist dollar madness threatens to destroy the country. "The hotels are closing down turtle nesting sites and hotel excrement and spoil are killing our reefs at an increasing pace." While the government entertains all manner of schemes to lure tourists and separate them from their money, the nation's "rivers, streams and beaches are polluted by wastes of all kinds." The tourist industry workforce live in deplorable conditions, because there is "no social development to match the commercial development."
The author, a renowned environmentalist as well as veteran journalist, bemoans Jamaica's failure to make the right development decisions at the right time. Kingston Harbor is being prepared to receive supercargo ships from the far East, yet "soaring energy costs are threatening to...force some overseas manufacturing to return closer to North America." In other words, as Jamaica gets ready to receive more goods from China, "oil prices and transport costs will soon cancel out the advantages of low-wage driven globalization." The result: destruction of the environment of Kingston Harbor for an out-of-date reason.
What do you call cheap "replacement workers" summoned by management? From the HBO series "Treme".
Actor, rapper & human rights activist Yasiin Bey, aka Mos Def graphically demonstrates a little of what Uncle Sam's untried, un-accused, unsentenced but permanently incarcerated prisoners at Guantanamo Bay & elsewhere undergo every day... not for the faint of heart. From the Guardian, where you can find much more real journalistic coverage of the NSA and more.
NSA whistleblower Ed Snowden in his own words, explains who he is, why he chose the truth & exile. Interview by the Guardian's Glenn Greenwald in Hong Kong.
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Was the US and NATO's Libyan intervention a humanitarian campaign to protect Libyans against Muammar Gaddafi’s threats of mass violence and genocide, or was it a cynically “rehearsed military expedition” to force regime change and wield Western authority in the region? Far from being an action to save lives, NATO’s “indiscriminate” bombing of civilian targets and cities such as Sirte (Gaddafi’s birthplace) resulted in genocide, ethnic cleansing, crimes against humanity, and civil war..
The year that saw an African American run for the presidency as a viable contender also witnessed a truly remarkable silence. While millions of words written about the political ascent of one black man, there was virtually nothing about the descent of black leadership into well-nigh total ineffectiveness. Barack Obama’s personal itinerary was mapped in the minutest detail. The larger itinerary of African Americans was mostly ignored.