Report: Statement from the Black & Green Forum & 2nd Solidarity Eco-Camp in the Philippines
ECO CAMP BACKGROUND
Eco-Camp is an activity organized by Mobile Anarchist School with the help by Local Autonomous Network (LAN) both active in the Philippines. Last April 2012 was the first camping held in Tanay Rizal, Philippines. It was attended by various collectives and individuals totaling around 40 people who participated the various activities and discussions in the camp. The objective of the eco-camp was to discuss the different issues confronting our current society and to find solidarity actions that can help expose and popularize our issues.
After series of activities in 2012, the LAN decided to expand its activities on ecological issues due to concrete manifestation of the crisis impacting the archipelago.
The second eco-camp gathering was organized by LAN and the Mobile Anarchist School in March 2013 to heighten our education campaign and to strengthen the relationship with other affinity groups and build an international network better able to work towards intensifying our impact by making solidarity actions globally.
We invited anarchist from Indonesia, Germany, Greece, Japan, and U.S.A. to join us in the Philippines for six-day activities to share our experiences, ideas, and discuss the possibility of organizing future actions on these important issues detailed here.
The first event was the Black and Green Forum which provides education and popularization campaign of LAN, and its objectives to provide analysis on ecological issues based on the perspective of a non-hierarchical and anti-authoritarian framework and to share alternatives which already being done by anarchist and autonomous activists in the local and international level.
The Black and Green Forum was carried out in collaboration with Third World Studies Center- University of the Philippines (TWSC – UP) and entitled “Anarchism: Ecological Crises, Climate Change and Direct Action”.
In recognition that Food not Bombs is one of among effective methods of anti-authoritarian actions an activity was organized after the Black and Green Forum to spread information with regards to history, experience and insights of the Food Not Bombs global movement.
After the two events in Quezon City, activists witnessed the industrial wastewater discharge into creeks and tributaries of Laguna Lake. The next day, activists once again meet for four days at the Second Solidarity Eco-camp in Tanay, Rizal. These activities culminated to adoption of this common statement where the specific context of most localities detailed below was critically discussed.
Mining surfaced as one of the major issues being addressed by the network in their respective localities due to its various social and environmental impacts. But generally, autonomous and anarchist activists are responding to multiple and interconnected social and ecological issues.
The massive destruction of the ecology of the archipelago is directly attributed to investments of corporations who are up to extract natural resources to gain more profit.
The marginalized communities in the global south such as the majority of urban and rural poor communities in the Philippines constantly experience the negative impacts of environmental destructions; the changing weather pattern already claimed 300,000 of lives on the annual basis, it destroyed billions of assets and it caused massive losses in various sectors such agriculture. Floods and landslide have become common and the government has shown that it will not provide concrete and long term solutions.
Despite of very destructive and hazardous impact of mining, the government allowed it to operate and even give more incentives to corporations, the corrupt government is assisting the destructive enterprise of these profit-hungry institutions through legislations and coercive processes.
Mining corporations in the Philippines such as Sagittarius Mines/Xtrata, Philex and among others should be held liable to the destruction of the environment, murdering people and displacing communities. The said corporations and the likes should be kick-out of the archipelago and made them pay for the damages and violence they incurred.
In general, lakes, rivers, bays, forests (upland and mangroves) and other ecosystems are being used and exploited in favor of the capitalists to the demise of marginalized communities. We encourage people and community to directly take action in defending and reclaiming their lives by protecting their own habitat.
JUSTICE FOR THE VICTIMS OF STATE VIOLENCE
Like any government in the world, the Philippine Republic is guilty of executing people both political and innocents. The Philippine government is harboring criminals that terrorize and rob people. The Philippine National police (PNP) and the military (Armed Forces of the Philippines) are supposed to protect the people; but we are all aware that these institutions violate people’s dignity and life and getting away with it.
The history of Indonesia is a history of agrarian conflict which has endured since colonial times, and continues to the present day. Conflicts which remain unresolved or which are even deliberately cultivated to reinforce structures that benefit political and business elites. And then, as part of these conflicts, acts of violence emerge, by state security forces against the people, legitimized in the name of the law. When peasants and those defending the people’s rights are prosecuted, terrorized, intimidated, arrested or shot, it is a clear example that the state prefers to solve its problems with violence.
Meanwhile, the people who are standing in the way of capital’s expansion are themselves labeled as violent, under the pretext that state security forces are merely maintaining security and stability (for capital). Another source of violence comes from those elements of society whose discourse supports that of the state and corporations, with their slogans about resistance, saying that resistance should be non-violent, meaning that the people do nothing in the face of the state’s treachery. The actions which the people take in defending or reclaiming what is rightfully theirs is not violence. It is their struggle, just as in the colonial era people took up arms to fight for independence.
The Forum for Communication between Agrarian Communities (FKMA) was conceived, formulated and formed by peasant farmers and other communities that have been victims of the collusion between the state and corporations to seize agrarian resources (living space).
ECOLOGICAL DESTRUCTION BY CORPORATION AND STATE (MINING PROJECT & RADIOACTIVE CONTAMINATION)
The Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident is the second largest nuclear disaster after Chernobyl. Approximately 30,000 people died of its accident, and currently, around 150,000 people still live in evacuation under government order or by their own choice and certain number of those people cannot go back to their home town forever because of high level of radioactive contamination.
Although it was triggered by a large earthquake and tsunami, this accident was definitely a human disaster. It means that an electric company and the national government are responsible due to a series of underestimations sustained by a “myth of safety”, such as that of the height of a possible tsunami, the possibility of a “station blackout,” and duration of power failures. In addition, confusing and misleading information, and also a deliberate concealment of information occurred.
In the background of this, there is the “Atomic Village” or “Atomic Circle,” a very closed relationship among politicians, government offices, academics, industrial leaders, and the media. Japan, has had no true independent regulator of nuclear issues. This disaster revealed out that Japan is the society simply determined by the economic growth led by the state policy.
In response to all these incidents, unprecedented enormous protests against nuclear society have been happening in Japan to get our destiny back to our own hands. The struggles are work in progress.
[Further information regarding the protests]
The German state as one of the powerful leaders in Europe and also in the world has to defend its capitalist interests by any means necessary. In the ongoing economical crisis in Europe, Germany is on the one side mainly responsible for the tragic situation in countries like Greece, Spain or Portugal where poverty and social exclusion is growing every day. On the other side the state and some of the big corporations make profit from this economical situation.
But concerning to one of the main topics (mining) at the Eco Camp, the German business is actively participating in the overexploitation of natural resources around the world and of course also in the Philippines. Since over 10 years the “Commerzbank “gave credits to the mining company Lepanto to support gold digging in the Cordillera region.
This area and their people are strongly affected through the environmental pollution. In the Tampakan area in Mindanao a Gold and Copper project was developed by the big Swiss mining company “ Xstrata“, one of the shareholders is the „Deutsche Bank“. This bank also gave loans to “Atlas Consolidated” to finance their copper mine in Toledo City, Cebu. But also other big companies, like for example “DHL“ try to make substantial profits out of this dirty economical practice. They provide everything what is needed to take care of the mining sector needs. These short examples show how German companies are involved in international mining.
Some additional short notices should highlight that Germany tries to consolidate their leading position as good as possible. Germany and their military forces intervene in different international conflicts, for example in Afghanistan, Syria or since some weeks in Mali.
Furthermore Germany takes part in developing new strategies of modern warfare to control social uprisings. In the middle of the country is the most advanced training center in Europe for practicing war and counterinsurgency. But beside this practice of prevention they do everything to fight possible enemies. Surveillance, repression and police brutality are only some ways to secure their power.
The struggle against capitalism is global. For international solidarity.
Let’s light up the fire of revolt. For social revolution!
The U.S. is in the last days of empire and is forcing a crisis on the population. The 2010 census shows that one in two Americans are struggling to survive. Several million people are homeless and half of all prisoners on Earth are locked up in U.S. jails. While the two political parties pretend to argue over policy they really share the same goals of supporting transnational corporate power.
Since Americans are in a period of what may be the final transfer of capital from the taxpayers to the elite the authorities are taking every measure to protect their interests from civil unrest. Federal and Sate governments are implementing policies to aid in a rapid increase in mining, oil extraction, timber harvesting and many other ecologically damaging activities which are also inspiring resistance. New legal policies give the president the power to kill or detain anyone including Americans without trial. For the first time since the civil war the military is empowered to wage war against the American people. Local police have been militarized with new equipment, training and powers.
The current economic crisis has inspired a new wave of anti-homeless laws and other forms of criminalization of the poor. The technology for surveillance is so sophisticated the authorities are able to monitor nearly all electronic communications and monitor nearly every movement of anyone considers a threat.
Protests in the U.S. against the policies of the state and corporations have been frequent but Occupy Wall Street surprised both the activist community and the security forces. Many people who had never considered participating in a protest where moved to join because of their personal conditions. Many of the new protesters had voted for Obama believing here would bring change but he continued the policies that caused them to lose their jobs and homes. Occupy Wall Street also frightened the elite inspiring bans or limitations on the sharing of food in public spaces. This has in some cases caused the local community to support groups like Food Not Bombs. In late December 2012 a public interest law firm received nearly 200 pages of F.B.I. documents showing that the Obama administration was worried and started to monitor activists months before the occupations started. These documents show that the F.B.I. organized with private security to implement a wide range of disruptive tactics including organizing bombing plots in the name of occupy and a suggestion that the people considered to be the leaders be killed using suppressed sniper rifles. Since the disruption of occupy resistance in the United States has been in disarray. Efforts to regroup have been derailed by covert means within the movement.
After the evictions and disruption of the occupy movement many activists refocused their attention to stopping the XL Keystone Pipeline, the rapid increase in coal mining and the associated rail lines and super ports. There is also an increase in protests and direct actions against the rapid increase in hydraulic fracturing or fracking though no wide spread campaign of sabotage by the public has occurred yet. Fracking is a process of pumping toxic chemicals into the earth to force carbon to the surface. The contamination to fresh water and the surrounding ecosystem is already driving many into poverty as their land and homes have become worthless. This crisis is likely to grow dire when the tens of thousands of wells already in operation run dry during the decade and the small amount of profit shared with local land owners also evaporates.
It is very important that the Anarchists and other opponents of corporate and government domination start to work together and consider new strategies of resistance while at the same time organizing systems of mutual aid as the economy continues to collapse and the repression increases.
Millions more will become homeless and hunger is sure to increase in the United States. The new police state policies like the deployment of the military in local communities, advanced methods of surveillance and the promised use of over 30,000 drones patrolling American skies will make resistance challenging. Reaching the public with counter information and working with them to implement some effective strategies of resistance while building an alternative to the failing system will require reflection and critical thinking in the anarchist community.
Recent events like Katrina and Sandy, the occupations, increase in projects like community gardening show that the best hope for Americans can be found in the ideas of the anarchist community.
“THE MINES OF HALKIDIKI ARE A GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY THAT SHOULD NOT GO WASTED”
Soil, water and air are priceless, and belong to all of us. Gold, on the other hand, is an abstract concept that, especially today, acquires value when it functions as ‘money’, when it is used as an effort to counterbalance the ‘over-the-top money’, money invented out of thin air, that came into being three decades ago through bank lending and the stoke exchanges’ system of speculation and gambling. We have to point out the fact that only the 10% of the world’s extracted gold deposits is actually put in some tangible use. At the same time, the quantity of gold that is being used as ‘money’ in stoke exchanges and in the international monetary system is seven times more than the real quantity of gold which can be found in the planet.
‘Development and progress’ is the echo following the announcements concerning the goldmines, as well as the wind turbines on Lesvos and Limnos islands, and elsewhere, the waste incineration factories; all these plus innumerable other such crimes are presented as the antidote to the crisis, the same crisis that the development itself created. The case of the goldmines is the most extreme one, out of all these ‘developing crimes in the name of progress’, due to the fact that no one even dares to oppose the destruction that they are about to cause, but also because—as we all know by now—the multinationals will draw all the profit, apart from a short-term small portion that will go to a few hundred workers. Furthermore, it is not coincidental that this scandalous transaction scam of the northern-eastern Halkidiki mines took place during a period of affluence, at a time when no one paid any attention, while the realization of the mega-project, the actual construction of the mines, is pushed forward now, amidst the crisis. Here, we are faced with blunt blackmail: we have to either accept such a plainly and straightforward destructive proposition, or else we will not manage to survive.
The whole problem with the capitalistic growth is not simply that there are some businesspeople and politicians who are squeezing exorbitant profits out of everybody else, and in order to do so—always in the name of the profit—they will destroy the environment, but the plain fact that our lives are being governed by an international money mafia that kills humans, animals and the Earth. The true face of progress is one of a vicious circle that will constantly dictate even harsher terms in order to exploit more each time. Development manages to achieve this through the breaking up of communities and the weakening of individuals, bonding them tighter and tighter to the chariot of this mechanism of death and destruction called capitalism. Consequently, this ongoing collapse gives birth to certain types of people who fall prey to the blackmail—because they are so desperately looking for single-handed solutions that seem to be in their own self-interest—and eventually believe that their interests are the same ones with those of multinational corporations. They do not care about the impact that their choices have on the whole of society, the consequences of which will soon knock also on their door.
The system wishes to incapacitate us so that we are in no position to decide for ourselves. Its whole existence depends on whether we choose to bind ourselves to the dynamic engine of capitalism, in order to survive or even enjoy a share of the profits of the capitalistic growth. If we want to stand against this dictatorship of money, if we want to build another world, we cannot succumb to this blackmail of crisis that is offering further disasters and is driving us towards the desperate pursuit of a personal bailout while threatening entire communities with mass destruction. We can neither hand over our future to any sort of saviors. On the contrary, we must fight to defend common goods and resources. We must fight to put an end to the activities of these mega-companies and of all the politicians who are in their payroll. We must struggle to prevent the destruction of people’s communities.
Social solidarity, collective consciousness and human values are our weaponry.
We must meet and discuss:
Which goods are necessary?
Which are the values that we should fight for?
How do we take decisions? How can we, ourselves, organize and take charge of our lives?
Whoever is silent is an accomplice to the crime…
OPEN COORDINATIVE OF THESSALONIKI AGAINST THE GOLDMINES
Tags: #Occupy, Anti-Nuclear, Black & Green Forum, Deutsche Bank, Food Not Bombs, Fracking, Fukushima, Greece, Indonesia, Japan, Mining, Nuclear Disaster, Philex, Philex Gold, Philex Mining, Philippines, USA, Xtrata Ltd
This entry was posted on Friday, April 12th, 2013 at 11:54 am and is filed under Eco Struggle.