Category Archives: Europe

Former UK Royal Navy Commanders call for nuclear cuts to help address Covid-19 pandemic


An article from Move the Nuclear Weapons Money

Three former UK Royal Navy Commanders sent a letter to all UK parliamentarians on April 1 questioning the policy of maintaining a continuous at sea nuclear deterrent.

The commanders note that the £2 billion a year cost of maintaining this nuclear posture and readiness for war appear to be unjustifiable, especially as the economic costs of the coronavirus pandemic are mounting, and while there appears to be no threat of a ‘bolt from the blue’ nuclear attack against the UK, for which the policy is intended to counter.

In addition, the letter questions the decision by parliament to invest even more substantial resources in building new nuclear warheads and the submarines to carry them.

“It is completely unacceptable that the UK continues to spend billions of pounds on deploying and modernising the Trident Nuclear Weapon System when faced with the threats to health, climate change and world economies that Coronavirus poses,” said Commander Robert Forsyth RN (Ret’d), a former nuclear submariner, signatory to the letter and supporter of the Move the Nuclear Weapons Money campaign.

The letter was organised by the Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation and sent to all members of the UK House of Commons, UK House of Lords, Scottish Parliament, National Assembly for Wales, and Northern Ireland Assembly.

(continued in right column)

Question related to this article:
Does military spending lead to economic decline and collapse?

How can we work together to overcome this medical and economic crisis?

(continued from left column).

“This pandemic, and the inability of the British government to either prepare for or effectively respond to such an immediate threat to life, demonstrates the twisted priorities at the heart of nuclear weapons spending,’ said Tom Unterrainer, Director of the Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation. “Rather than work to guarantee real security this government prioritises the acquisition and deployment of weapons of mass murder.”

The signatories to the letter hope that their efforts to question the nuclear ‘Continuous At Sea Deterrent’ will encourage politicians and the wider public to begin to question the morality and the feasibility of nuclear weaponry.

According to Commander Robert Green RN (Ret’d), former nuclear-armed aircraft bombardier-navigator and one of the other co-signers of the letter, ‘Nuclear deterrence is no more than a repulsive, unlawful protection racket used as a counterfeit currency of power, and hugely profitable to the corporate arms industry.’ (Commander Green is also a supporter of the Move the Nuclear Weapons Money campaign).

The letter was supported by a number of UK parliamentarians including Rt Hon Ian Blackford MP (SNP Westminster Group Leader), Lord Green of Deddington, Baroness Sue Miller of Chilthorne Domer and Bill Kidd (Member, Scottish Parliament). Baroness Miller and Mr Kidd are the UK Co-Presidents of Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament (PNND).

“Covid-19 is showing us that humanity’s worst threats- pandemics and climate change are shared globally,’ said Baroness Sue Miller. ‘We should not waste resources on renewing nuclear weapons as we should be using all resources we can in tackling these all too real issues.’

All of the nuclear weapons powers, and those states which are supportive of them, are wasting precious resources on the likes of Trident against the wishes of their peoples, when they should be addressing the real and deadly enemy in the form of COVID19,’ said Bill Kidd MSP, who also serves as the Convenor of the Cross-Party Group in the Scottish Parliament on Nuclear Disarmament.

“With human beings and national economies under genuine threat, it is the duty of governments and parliamentarians to pull back from nuclear war planning and preparation, and to instead cooperate internationally on facing down this deadly pandemic,” concluded Mr Kidd.

Coronavirus: Ministers urged to divert military spending to tackle pandemic


An article from the Peace Pledge Union

Boris Johnson is facing calls to reallocate “defence” budgets towarsd the NHS, social care and community support for people affected coronavirus and isolation.

The Peace Pledge Union  (PPU) said that bombs and guns cannot defend people from a pandemic.

The PPU has repeatedly accused UK governments of endangering the public by wasting money on preparations for war while doing little to prepare for real threats such as climate change or possible pandemics.

The UK government maintains the seventh highest military budget in the world.

The government’s own National Security Capability Review in 2018 listed major outbreaks of disease as one of the most likely threats facing the UK. The threat of pandemics was also identified by the government’s Strategic Defence and Security Reviews in 2010 and 2015.

While some troops  may be involved with tasks such as food distribution, the PPU pointed out that many other UK troops are about to take part in a large-scale NATO training exercise across Europe, which is one of the few major events not to be cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The PPU insisted that the NATO exercise should be immediately cancelled and the costs and people involved reallocated to helping to tackle the pandemic.

(Article continued on the right column)

Question for this article:
Does military spending lead to economic decline and collapse?

How can we work together to overcome this medical and economic crisis?

(Article continued from the left column)

The Peace Pledge Union said that money diverted from military budgets could contribute towards NHS and social care costs as well as initiatives to assist people who are losing their jobs or struggling to pay the rent owing to the coronavirus outbreak, or to support people whose mental health is affected by isolation.

The PPU added that this should mark the beginning of a permanent shift of funding away from armed force and towards measures that really make people safe, tackling problems such as ill-health, poverty and climate change.

Ceri Dare, a Public Health Researcher and member of the Peace Pledge Union (PPU), said:

“We could be facing this crisis, which the government’s own assessments told us was coming, with the weapons we truly needed to win: a resilient NHS, local councils funded to fulfil their responsibilities in Public Health, Social Care for disabled and older people. We could have had a society where the people who make our lives possible, the cleaners, the shelf-stackers, the waste collectors, the social care workers, the delivery drivers, were paid and respected for the vital work they do.

“Instead of this, we are armed only with the useless weapons of war. We cannot battle our way out of an pandemic with bombs and guns. The lies of ‘defence’ ring hollow now. We need what we have always needed, to love and care for one another, to work together as neighbours, as communities, as nations, and we need that more than we ever have before.”

Symon Hill, Campaigns Manager of the Peace Pledge Union (PPU), added:

“In this crisis, everyone needs support from others, some especially so. This costs money. The government can still divert funds away from multi-million pound weapons and NATO training exercises. Let’s fund things that will really help to make us safe. You can’t nuke a virus.”

(Thank you to Joe Yannielli, the CPNN reporter for this article.)

The Peace Brigades International, Guernica Peace Prize


An article by Iratxe Astui in El Correo

The Peace Brigades International (PBI) will receive this year the Guernica Prize for Peace and Reconciliation, which is awarded as part of the commemorative program of the acts of the bombing of the town by the German Condor Legion. The decision to recognize the work done by this non-governmental organization was made with the majority of the votes of the members of the jury table..

Members of the PBI during one of their observations. / E. C.

The jury is composed of representatives of the parties that make up the City Council -Eusko Abertzaleak, PNV and EH Bildu-, as well as the mayor of Pforzheim, a German city twinned with the town hall, the Gernika Gogoratuz Foundation, the House of Culture and the Museum of La Paz of the locality. They announced that the distinction responds “to the outstanding work carried out by the volunteers of the organization and their commitment to the defense of Human Rights.”

(Click here for the original article in Spanish.)

(Article continued in the right column)

Question for this article:

Can peace be guaranteed through nonviolent means?

Where in the world can we find good leadership today?

(Article continued from the left column)

The Peace Brigades International is a non-denominational and independent group, that sends international observers to be eyewitnesses in regions that are experiencing crisis and conflict situations. “These groups protect with their presence people threatened with death or kidnapping through political violence,” they explained. The peacekeeping forces of PBI have acted in Guatemala (1983-1999), El Salvador (1987-1992) and Sri Lanka (1989-1998), as well as in North America (1991-1999), East Tomor (1999-2002) and Haiti (1995-2000).

Likewise, they also developed their work in Northern Nicaragua, Central Africa (2004-2005) and at the World Uranium Hearing in 1992 in Salzburg. The organization is composed of volunteers who “work as a team.” “They live, conceive strategies, write reports and travel together.”

The jury of the Prizes for Peace and Reconciliation that will be awarded on April 26, also highlighted this year, within the section that distinguishes the anonymous work of the workers for basic peace, the work of the international project ‘Kids Guernica “This artistic initiative was created by three Japanese -Toshifumi Abe, Tdashi Yasuda and Kaoru Mizuguchi- and the American, Tom Anderson, in 1995 on the occasion of making a canvas commemorating the 50th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima.

The mural project, in reference to the Guernica of Picasso, “has toured different countries on five continents with the aim of promoting a culture of peace among children around the world,” they explained. The regional town has a good number of works done in different parts of the planet.

Neighbours as friends, not enemies: Nordic-Russian seminar, Oslo, 3.- 4. February 2020


Statement sent to CPNN from Ingeborg Breines

A Nordic-Russian civil society seminar was organized in Oslo 3. – 4. February 2020 by the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Norway, and the Norwegian Peace Association. The theme of the seminar was “Neighbours as friends, not enemies”. The seminar, which gathered some 45 participants from Denmark, Finland, Norway, Russia and Sweden was a follow up to a Nordic peace and dialogue trip to Russia in May 2018. The seminar was held at the Peace Research Institute Oslo, and was funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The organisers are already planning a follow up seminar in Norway in 2021.

Photo from the 2020 dialogue trip – click on image to enlarge

The main intention with the seminar was to strengthen relations between peace activists in the North, discuss common challenges and visions and contribute to mutual understanding and perhaps even help reduce the present tension. The tension between the West and Russia is one of the drivers behind the present militarization and arms’ race, involving both conventional and nuclear weapons.

Participants had open discussions on how to promote peace, disarmament and a sound environment, and agreed to seek ways to continue with practical and strategic forward-looking initiatives and solution-oriented dialogues. Many echoed the words of the Mayor of the border city of Kirkenes that our security lies in the strengthening of people to people cooperation across borders.

The use of enemy images and the demonization of leaders both in mainstream political discourse and media is dangerous as it installs fear and also is meant to influence peoples acceptance of rising military budgets.

Participants agreed that we should not accept that the world’s resources, natural, financial and intellectual, are being misused for military purposes, and that we need to prove that this thinking is dangerous, naive and obsolete. The military actually makes us less safe, both economically and ecologically, by taking so much of the resources that are needed for other purposes and by the enormous greenhouse gas emissions, the radiation and pollution it provides. We cannot allow the military to be an exception to international climate agreements. Instead we must move the money to be able to tackle the real security issues such as the threat to the very survival of humanity and the planet, be it by climate change, environmental degradation, excessive inequality or nuclear weapons.

(Continued in right column)

Question related to this article:

Solidarity across national borders, What are some good examples?

(Continued from left column)

Different alternatives were discussed of how we can contribute to changing attitudes in order to reverse the nuclear and space-arms race, reduce defence spending and get us out of the dominant growth oriented, militarized, confrontational and competitive patterns. In short, how can we build common security, human security, a culture of peace, and non-violence.

Among the concrete suggestions were to:

* continue the sharing of knowledge and ideas,

* get inspiration from each other’s culture and art,

* work for the strengthening of civil society and democratic practices,

* seek ways of producing and consuming which ensures the well being of all and the integrity of the biosphere.

* establish permanent structures for peace, such as ministries and departments for peace to promote peace at all levels,

* cherish and use the UN, diplomacy and multilateral cooperation,

* help implement the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement on climate,

* strive for a non militarized and nuclear free Arctic and Baltic Sea basin,

* maintain the Arctic Council non-militarized and operational,

* gather individual signatures and cities in support of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons,

* continue to warn against nuclear and other hazardous waste and make waste management safer,

* seek closer cooperation between the peace movement and environmental organizations,

* actively learn to work across generations and share knowledge and priorities,

* cross borders and seek new partnerships with “sister” groups and organisations.

Finally, it was considered most vital to build trust between peoples, so essential for real cooperation, and for our survival.

Click here for the final report from the seminar.

Switzerland: Lutheran World Federation marks World Interfaith Harmony Week


An article from the Lutheran World News (non-commercial use)

During the first week of February, the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) is joining with the World Council of Churches  (WCC) and many other faith-based organizations to mark the 10th edition of World Interfaith Harmony Week.

Photo from the celebration at the United Nations

The annual event was first proposed by King Abdullah II of Jordan and adopted unanimously by the UN General Assembly in October 2010. The following year, the LWF Council responded by encouraging all its member churches to enhance understanding, harmony, and cooperation among people of different faiths in their respective contexts.

To mark this year’s event, the LWF’s Program Executive for Public Theology and Interreligious Relations, Rev. Dr Sivin Kit, is participating in a round table discussion entitled ‘Rethinking Interreligious Engagement in a Wounded World.’ The event, to be held on 7 February in Geneva’s Ecumenical Center, is sponsored by the WCC and includes religious leaders from different faith groups alongside diplomats, peace activists and members of grass-roots communities.

(continued in right column)

Question related to this article:
How can different faiths work together for understanding and harmony?

(continued from left column).

Dialogue integral to Christian life and witness

Kit, who was ordained and worked in the multifaith context of his native Malaysia, says: “Dialogue and engagement with people of other faiths, in a humble manner, is integral to our Christian life and witness.”  He adds: “Healthy interreligious relations are particularly relevant in today’s world, where we are not only aware of religious diversity and vitality in society, but also how religion is easily misused for political mileage.”

Personal relationships, practical cooperation and a shared sense of community, Kit believes, are the keys to building trust and improving interfaith harmony. To help promote greater understanding of other faith communities, the LWF is publishing an online reader with a selection of articles exploring some of the key issues at the heart of the Christian’s encounter with believers from other faith communities.

Blessed are the peacemakers

Interfaith dialogue and cooperation to build mutual understanding is a priority for the LWF and a daily reality for members of many of its member churches and World Service country programs in different parts of the globe. In 2018, World Service staff worked closely with Islamic Relief Worldwide  (IRW) to publish a practical guide entitled ‘A Faith Sensitive Approach in Humanitarian Response’. The LWF is currently working with IRW to organize an international conference in October 2020 entitled ‘Welcoming the Stranger, Shaping the Future’.

The World Interfaith Harmony Week, Kit says, is an important reminder “that we need to work harder to cultivate healthy interfaith relations by reaching out to those who are unlike us (and perhaps to those who don’t like us too). This week can serve as an opportunity for us to create safe spaces where people of different faiths can share about the rewards and challenges of living in their respective contexts.”

In some cases, he continues, “these contexts reflect highly secularized environments; in other situations, religious communities are confronted with political instability and even the threat of violence. In times like this, how do we interpret the multifaith reality we live in? Is it a threat to our religious survival or can it be an opportunity for us to be peacemakers?  The answer from the words of Jesus is clear: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God.”

UK: Oxford City Council says “no” to nuclear weapons


An article by Rachel Cordery from Cherwell

Oxford City Council has called on the British Government to sign the International Treaty to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons (TPNW). The resolution, proposed by Councillor John Tanner, was agreed “overwhelmingly” by the City Council on Monday [January 27].

Before backing the Treaty, the City Council want the UK government to renounce its use of nuclear weapons and end the renewal of Trident.

Cllr Tanner said: “Replacing Trident missiles is costing Britain a huge £205 billion, twice the cost of the high-speed rail line, HS2.

“Nuclear weapons are costly, outdated and ineffective. Most countries, including Ireland, Germany and Japan, manage perfectly well without them.”

“I’m thrilled that Oxford is backing this treaty to begin scrapping these weapons of mass-destruction. If there was ever a nuclear war the world would be plunged into perpetual winter and the survivors would all starve to death,” he added after the meeting.

(Continued in right column)

Question related to this article:

Can we abolish all nuclear weapons?

How can culture of peace be developed at the municipal level?

(Continued from left column)

Cllr Maryn Rush, who seconded the resolution, said: “I am concerned about the huge cost to the taxpayers of nuclear weapons, the risk posed by the regular transport of nuclear weapons on Oxfordshire’s roads and the continuing threat of nuclear war.”

Britain has four nuclear-armed submarines, each with eight missiles, each of which carries five independent nuclear warheads. Each warhead is eight times more destructive than the bombs that were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.

Mr Nigel Day, representing Oxford’s Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND), spoke to councillors before the resolution was debated. He said: “Trident warhead convoys regularly travel past Oxford on the A34, supporting the UK nuclear weapons system. We are that close to nuclear weapons.”

The resolution, which had been proposed in September 2019, focused on the City Council’s long-standing commitment to disarmament. It reads: “Oxford City Council has been a long-standing member of the Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA) which has been working for over three decades to promote multilateral nuclear disarmament.

“Oxford City Council is particularly concerned about the huge cost to the taxpayer of nuclear weapons, the risk posed by the regular transport of nuclear weapons on Oxfordshire’s roads and the continuing threat of nuclear war.

“NFLA has worked with Mayors for Peace and the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) to promote the International Treaty to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons (TPNW). Over two thirds (122) of United Nations member states have agreed the TPNW.

“Council regrets that the Governments of the existing nuclear-weapon states, including the UK, refuse to support the Treaty. Council fully supports the TPNW as one of the most effective ways to bring about long-term and verifiable multilateral nuclear disarmament.”

With 122 nations supporting the treaty, Paris, Berlin, Sydney and Los Angeles are among the other cities supporting the TPNW. More locally, Manchester, Edinburgh and Norwich have passed similar resolutions to Oxford.

Spain: Professor Marta Gonzalo Quiroga recognized for her impetus to the culture of peace


An article from the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos

A teacher from FCJS [Faculty of Law and Social Sciences Campus de Madrid] has recently received the ‘Medal of Professional Merit for promoting the Culture of Peace, Dialogue and Mediation’, awarded by the Spanish School of Mediation and the Journal of Mediation.

The award rewards more than 20 years of work in this field from the URJC professor who explains that she felt very grateful for this recognition.

(Article continued in right column)

(click here for a version in Spanish).

Question for this article:

Mediation as a tool for nonviolence and culture of peace

(Article continued from left column)

This medal falls to Marta Gonzalo for promoting mediation with its own scientific autonomy at the Spanish University. In this sense, the teacher recalled that “for a long time now the URJC has opted to introduce mediation and the Culture of Peace.” This fact is demonstrated by the existence of the Own Title of ‘Mediation Expert’ and the University’s membership in various interuniversity research networks in the field.

“We need mediation to be transversal”

Marta Gonzalo considers “very necessary” the impulse of a culture of greater dialogue and understanding, “now we are in a moment in which everything is radicalized and judicialized, we must promote dialogue and negotiation”.

For this teacher “mediation must be transversal and especially exercised by politicians to do their job better and find solutions to the problems of citizenship.”

The delivery of medals was held last Friday 17 and took place within the framework of the Chair of Social Welfare, Communication, Education and Employment UDIMA-EDAE. In the previous edition, personalities such as the former mayor of Madrid, Manuela Carmena and the journalist Irene Villa were awarded.

Cyprus: We have no alternative but peace, President Anastasiades tells Akinci


An article from In-Cyprus

The status quo in Cyprus is not the choice of Cypriots, President Nicos Anastasiades said on Monday, adding that “there is no other choice or alternative but to bring peace to our land” while addressing Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci.

President Anastasiades attended this morning the ‘Imagine’ Head Teachers Conference, organised by the bicommunal Technical Committee on Education, in Ledra Palace, in the presence of Akinci, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative Elizabeth Spehar, the heads of the Technical Committee, as well as Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot head teachers.

In his address, President Anastasiades referred to the peaceful coexistence of Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, he said however that the interventions by third parties “without excluding nobody” led to the problems that followed. “What we are looking for is Cypriots, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, to take on the fate of this country by creating the conditions for peaceful coexistence” and their future, the President added.

He also said that his presence in the conference, together with Akinci, aims at send a message of support for the actions and initiatives of the Technical Committee for Education.

Speaking about the status quo on the island, President Anastasiades said that it does not allow fellow compatriots to enjoy the rights, freedoms and the level of prosperity other EU citizens enjoy. We acknowledge the difficulties but with respect to each other’s sensitivities and concerns and through mutual respect, we ought to merge what we consider to be the joint interests of Cypriots, he added.

The only way to achieve this is by creating a viable and functioning bicommunal federal state, securing our joint future in a united Cyprus, member of the EU, without dependencies on any third parties.

The President called on teachers to continue educating critically thinking and active citizens who will search for creative solutions to the challenges that may arise in the future.

(continued in right column)

Question for this article:

Can Cyprus be reunited in peace?

(continued from left column)

He also welcomed the initiatives undertaken by the Technical Committee, particularly through the ‘Imagine’ programme that brought together more than 4,000 pupils and 650 teaches in the last 2,5 years.

He also pointed to educational activities in schools against racism and in order to develop a culture of peace. Among others, the President said that pupils are being taught Turkish Cypriot literary texts translated into Greek, while Turkish lessons are optional for high school pupils.

Before attending the conference, President Anastasiades made a statement calling for respect towards Cyprus, while saying that the country can not be a vassal of any third country.

He said that without disregarding the ethnic origin, the conference aims to cultivate a culture of peaceful coexistence, “an important element in the framework of the efforts we are making for peaceful coexistence if and when conditions allow us to work as Cypriots in order to solve the Cyprus problem as an independent country.”

These are steps to the right direction, but they are not enough for a Cyprus solution, the President added and called for respect towards Cyprus.

In his address, the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci referred to the importance of cultivating a culture of peace in Cyprus and highlighted the value of education.

Speaking through an interpreter, Akinci said that people may have different views and goals, but it is important to have a culture of peace in order to address these issues.

He also noted the importance of dialogue while trying to solve differences and referred to the need to respect equality, multiple identities and pluralism. All these elements are essential for the federal government to work, Akinci added.

He said that the decision with President Anastasiades to form the bicommunal technical Committee back in 2015 was “the most important decision we took with my friend Nicos.”

He noted finally that the Technical Committee has a long way to go and referred to the curricula and the instruction of Greek and Turkish in the schools. We need to encourage these initiatives in order to see them implemented and have peace, Akinci concluded.

The conference was also addressed by the Heads of the Technical Committee for Education, Michalinos Zembylas and Meltem Onurkan Samani, while professor Tony Gallagher from Queen’s University in Northern Ireland delivered a speech about the transformational leadership for peace.

At Major March in Madrid, Indigenous & Youth Activists Slam Global Leaders for Climate Inaction


A broadcast by Democracy Now (licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.)

We broadcast from Madrid, Spain, where the 25th United Nations climate conference is in its second week and representatives from almost 200 countries have gathered for the final days of negotiations. The summit — known as COP25, or conference of parties — has so far focused on meeting the 2015 Paris Agreement to limit global temperature rise to “well below 2 degrees Celsius,” or 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit. But climate scientists say the talks are failing to produce the drastic measures necessary to address the climate crisis. Since the Paris Agreement four years ago, greenhouse gas emissions have risen by 4%, and this year’s summit shows no sign of arresting that trend.

Full video of broadcast

On Friday, as hundreds of thousands prepared to take to the streets of Madrid in protest, Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg told reporters that the global climate strikes have “not translated into action” by governments. Protesters then marched through Madrid’s city center Friday night in a massive climate demonstration led by indigenous leaders and youth activists. Democracy Now! was there in the streets.

AMY GOODMAN: We’re broadcasting from inside the United Nations Climate Change Conference here in Madrid, Spain, where representatives from almost 200 countries have gathered for the final days of negotiations. The climate summit, known as COP25 for “conference of parties,” has so far focused on meeting the 2015 Paris Agreement to limit global temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius — that’s 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit. But climate scientists say the talks are failing to take the drastic measures necessary to address the climate crisis. Since the Paris Agreement four years ago, greenhouse gas emissions have risen by 4%, and this year’s summit shows no sign of arresting that trend. On Friday, as hundreds of thousands prepared to take to the streets of Madrid in protest, 16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg addressed reporters.

GRETA THUNBERG: We have been striking now for over a year, and still basically nothing has happened. The climate crisis is still being ignored by those in power. And we cannot go on like this. It is not a sustainable solution that children skip school. We cannot go on like that. So, we don’t want to continue, so we would love some action from the people in power, I mean, because people are suffering and dying from the climate and ecological emergency today, and we cannot wait any longer.

AMY GOODMAN: Protesters then marched through Madrid’s city center Friday night in a massive climate demonstration led by indigenous leaders and youth activists. Democracy Now! was there in the streets.

PROTESTERS: ¡Ni una especie menos, ni un grado más! ¡Ni una especie menos, ni un grado más!

VIDYA DINKER: My name is Vidya. I’m from India, the south of India, a coastal community. Coastal communities across Asia are now, you know, getting that bad end of the stick because of the climate emergency. We are here to speak for our people. We know that our governments and everybody in the U.N. is now being controlled by lobbyists with oil companies and fossil fuel companies. This cannot be. We need to cut through, and we need to see that the voice of the people is heard here. There must be a loss and damage fund so that people can cope with climate emergencies.

PROTESTERS: What do we want? Climate justice! When do we want it? Now!

(article continued in right column)

Question for this article:

Sustainable Development Summits of States, What are the results?

Despite the vested interests of companies and governments, Can we make progress toward sustainable development?

Are we seeing the dawn of a global youth movement?

(Article continued from the left column)

GODWIN OJO: I’m Godwin Ojo. I’m from Nigeria, Environmental Rights Action, Friends of the Earth. We are here to stop corporate power. We are here to stop corporate capture of the state, corporate capture of the United Nations, corporate capture of resources. And we want to make the voices of local communities all over the world to count, and to put an end to climate change. Nigeria is highly impacted. All over the south, there is flooding. A lot of people are dying from climate change. And now the farmers are not able to plant because there is rainfall problems in Nigeria.

TA’KAIYA BLANEY: My name is Ta’Kaiya Blaney. I’m from the Tla’amin Nation, which is located in lands illegally occupied by Canada. And I’m here because indigenous youth are on the forefront of climate change. And the climate solutions being proposed by our government are a continuation of indigenous genocide. In the Wet’suwet’en territory, we have Coastal Gaslink invading those homelands and forcibly removing indigenous people from their ancestral territories for LNG, which is, according to these governments, a climate solution because it’s a transition from coal. So we’re here to say that, like, climate solutions and the fight for climate change has to be a fight for indigenous peoples, and it has to be a fight for indigenous rights, because, as indigenous youth, we don’t have a choice to act. This is about our survival.

PROTESTERS: What do we want? Climate justice! When do we want it? Now! What do we want? Climate justice! When do we want it? Now!

JUAN PABLO ORREGO: I’m Juan Pablo Orrego from Chile. And we are marching for fighting climate change and also for, you know, the stop of the repression in Chile, where people are getting hurt. And we are walking for deep changes in our economic systems so we stop hurting the environment and harming people. Chile is a country that is extremely vulnerable to climate change for geographical reasons. You know, we have the driest desert in the world, in the north. So we are being affected severely. We have a desertification process happening in three-quarters of the country. It’s very severe. The river that feeds water to Santiago de Chile has lost 50% of its flow in the last decade. That’s how serious this is. And, you know, this is the 25th conference, and nothing has changed. They have been talking for 25 years, a quarter of a century, and nothing has changed, really, in the ground, and carbon dioxide keeps rising in the atmosphere. So, when are we going to really act — you know, the governments — to change things in the ground? If you go to the COP, the official COP, you’re going to see that all the companies that are guilty for the situation we are in today are sponsoring the COP. So it’s a very powerful greenwashing.

PROTESTERS: ¡Ni un grado más, ni una especie menos! ¡Ni un grado más, ni una especie menos!

ALETHEA PHILLIPS: [speaking Omaha-Ponca] Hello. My name is Alethea Phillips. I’m from the Omaha Tribe of Nebraska. I’m here with SustainUS’ first-ever all-indigenous youth delegation to attend the U.N. climate negotiations. It’s really powerful for all these indigenous people to be coming here to Spain, somewhere that was — that has impacted us so heavily by colonization and the continuation of colonization in the climate crisis. For us, a lot of people at COP, these countries, they have never learned how to live sustainably. They’ve always been based upon a system that takes and needs more and more, whereas indigenous people, like, our traditions have always been sustainable, and because of colonization, that’s been taken away from us. So, for us to be here, it’s not so much that we’re trying to learn how to live sustainably. We’ve always been protectors of the land. We’ve always worked with nature, not against it. So, going forward, it’s really important that we really look to indigenous people as leaders of the climate movement, and not just victims.

TOM GOLDTOOTH: We’re here to build solidarity. We’re here to stand in support of the people of Chile. We’re here to support the people of Colombia and Ecuador and Brazil who are fighting climate capitalism. We have to stand together with the people of the streets and of the forests and the land and the oceans, fighting neoliberalism, fighting imperialism. We’re fighting against the United States and its white supremacy, militarization. We have to look at these things and stand together in solidarity with the people.

AMY GOODMAN: That last voice, Tom Goldtooth, executive director of the Indigenous Environmental Network.

#NousToutes : Tens of thousands march in Paris to condemn violence against women


An article from Reuters

Tens of thousands of people demonstrated Saturday in Paris and other cities in France to say “stop” to sexual and sexual violence and feminicide. Among other personalities present in the procession, actresses Alexandra Lamy and Muriel Robin, as well as former minister Najat Vallaud-Belkacem claim more resources to the government.

The demonstration at the call of feminist collective #NousToutes started on Saturday, November 23, from the Place de l’Opera towards the Nation. Tens of thousands of women and men have broken the streets in Paris – 49,000 according to the firm Occurrence working for a media collective – but also in other cities in France, to say “stop” to gender-based violence and sexual.

According to the feminist collective #NousToutes, the thirty or so marches organized in France brought together “150,000 people”, including “100,000 in Paris”.

“This is the biggest step in the history of France against violence” sexist and sexual, welcomed one of the organizers Caroline De Haas, in a message to the media.

Outside Paris, police or prefectures counted 5,500 demonstrators in Lyon, 2,000 in Rennes, 1,650 in Strasbourg and 1,000 in Bordeaux.

(continued in right column)

(Click here for a French article about this event.)

Questions for this article

Protecting women and girls against violence, Is progress being made?

How effective are mass protest marches?

(continued from left column)

“We need a billion euros”

In the purple tide of the Parisian procession were mingled anonymous, organizations and political parties (family planning, CGT, CFDT, EELV, LFI, PS, Unef, PCF, SOS homophobia), but also many personalities including the former minister Najat Vallaud-Belkacem. “It is urgent to listen to the associations,” she said at the microphone of Alexandra Renard, France 24 journalist present in the event. “When they ask for money, it is because they know that we need to finance emergency housing, psychological support for women and children, we need justice to be better. equipped to move the files forward more quickly, “she adds.

Noting the presence of many children and young adults, the former Minister of National Education – who was also Minister of Women’s Rights from 2012 to 2014 – evokes a “real awareness”, which should have already taken place in 2017 in the wake of the #MeToo movement. “That was not the case, that’s why the street is grappling with this problem now to tell the government ‘we need a billion euros’, it’s a figure that takes into account these victims, those dying women and their children who are barely followed psychologically then. ”

At his side, the actress Alexandra Lamy also participates in the march. In his right hand, a sign says “I believe you, you are not for nothing”. “We hope that the state will provide the means for women to feel listened to, welcomed, and especially to tell them that we are here,” she told our reporter, before calling back the number for women victims of violence, 3919.

“The deal is changed because we are many and numerous, but we must already apply the law,” says meanwhile humorist Muriel Robin. “The Council of Europe has pointed out ‘There are huge shortcomings, things that should be done and not done’, she adds, ‘what are we being told?’ ”

The one who played Jacqueline Sauvage on screen is demanding results. “It falls every two days! Our sisters, our colleagues, our friends, our mother … It is no longer possible, they are assassinations!”

“We have not reached the end yet”

“This is a phenomenon that crosses all our societies and we are more or less advanced, from one country to another, in the repression of this phenomenon,” said Najat Vallaud-Belkacem. “France is not the worst in this area, we have adopted many laws that allow better protection