Other Worlds has launched a fundraiser for our Hatian land rights campaign on Global Giving! We are so thankful for the donations received so far. We must raise $5,000 in order to have a permanent spot on the Global Giving site, which will increase the visibility of Haitians in the struggle to keep their lands and keep farming. 

A grassroots movement for secure land tenure and food sovereignty is growing throughout Haiti, and Other Worlds has committed to bolstering it. We will be building campaigns of political support in both the global North and South, and garnering much-needed funding, technical support, and visibility for the frontline communities and ally organizations in Haiti.

Read more about the issues facing Haitian peasant farmers and make a donation on our fundraising page.

 

Throughout the world, solutions to some of the greatest challenges of the day are either nascent or fully thriving. Organized people's movements - sometimes with help from supportive government - are changing the structures which cause violence, poverty, inequality, and environmental destruction. At the same time, they are creating better quality of life in their communities.  In other instances, people are preserving ancient cultures where individuals live in relative equity and harmony with other life and their communities, and without expectation of profit. 

Join us to learn more and become a part of this inspiring movement:

We are thrilled to announce our latest book, Fault Lines: Views Across Haiti's Divide by Beverly Bell, published by Cornell University Press. You can find out more about the book, read an excerpt, and order it online by visiting the book's website.

We continue to support indigenous peoples in Honduras who are defending their lands and rivers, and to challenge US-supported attacks on them by the Honduran government. Honduran movement leaders from the Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH) have been specifically targeted by the government and international dam companies.

Check out Other Worlds' book & educational tool, Harvesting Justice: Transforming Food, Land, and Agriculture in the Americas, which explores the growing movement to reclaim the food system from multinational agribusiness and put it back into the hands of people. Accompanying the book is a popular education curriculum called Sowing Seeds, and a weekly blog series! And, find more resources and action steps on the Harvesting Justice website.

Four and a half years after the devastating 2010 earthquake, read about how Haitian grassroots movements are continuing the struggle for a just reconstruction on our Another Haiti is Possible blog.

Visit our blog, below, of articles by and about our allies building grassroots alternatives around the world (click here for full blog history).

Alternatives Blog

THE ATTACK ON HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS IN HAITI

January 28, 2015

An Interview with Jackson Doliscar, Part II

By Beverly Bell

Jackson Doliscar organizing earthquake-displaced people to claim their right to housing. His work almost cost him his life. Photo: Ed Kashi, American Jewish World Service

Community organizer and rights defender Jackson Doliscar speaks to efforts of the Haitian government to silence advocates of human rights and land and housing rights, (See part I of Doliscar’s interview.) The attacks are part of the government’s strategy to leave opposition movements defenseless.

The cases that Doliscar discusses here are only a few of the many instances of violence and illegal imprisonment that the government of Michel Martelly has perpetrated since taking power in a fraudulent election three years ago. Other cases even include the public assassination of the coordinator of the Coalition of Haitian Human Rights Organizations (POHDH by its Creole acronym), Daniel Dorsainvil, and his wife, Girldy Larêche, on February 8, 2014.

The Martelly Administration is becoming increasingly autocratic, including disregarding elections and instead ruling by decree. Nevertheless, the US government continues to provide political and financial support, even including assistance to the lawless police.

The New Disruption: Only rank-and-file workers can build a better labor movement.

January 21, 2015

By Chris Maisano

Cross-posted from Jacobin

Originally posted on January 19, 2015

Michigan timber workers reading the bulletin board at strike headquarters in 1937.

Ted Fertik is terrified by the possibility that US unions may soon lose the agency shop. I don’t blame him — it’s a pretty scary prospect. Most unions today are not well positioned to mitigate the potential impact on their organizational and financial wherewithal.

If the recent experience of AFSCME in Wisconsin is any guide, they should expect to see a substantial portion of their membership base evaporate more or less overnight. Income from dues and fees would be drastically reduced, and unions would struggle to fund many of their current day-to-day activities. I certainly don’t relish the thought that this could happen sometime in the very near future.

Despite these completely valid fears, one should not make the claim, as Fertik does, that “the possibility of the demise of the Wagner Act might mean the demise of worker organization tout court.” To begin with, the end of agency shop would not spell the death of the Wagner Act, which would still allow workers (union and non-union alike) to engage in protected concerted activity, as well as the recognition of members-only unions.

It’s been five years since Haiti’s earthquake. And the ‘redevelopment’ hasn’t been about helping Haitians.

January 16, 2015

The rebuilding of Haiti is not working.

By Nixon Boumba

Cross-posted from Washington Post

Orignially released on January 12, 2015

Anti-government protesters in Port-au-Prince last month called for President Michel Martelly’s resignation. (HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP/Getty Images)

Five years ago this month, a terrible earthquake struck my country. I was in the capital city, Port-au-Prince, when suddenly the earth shook and buildings around me and across the city collapsed—taking with them hundreds of thousands of lives and the hopes of my nation. The world stood with us that day and in the weeks and months that followed. Donations poured in; the United States and many other governments pledged to help us rebuild Haiti. But five years into the reconstruction, as a Haitian, I must ask: For whom are we rebuilding our country?

Duluth City Council Unanimously Passes Seed Sharing Resolution

January 15, 2015

By Cat Johnson

Cross-posted from Shareable

Originally posted December 22, 2014

Photo by Dan Kraker/MPR News

Seed activists can put a mark in the win column. Recently, the city council in Duluth, Minnesota passed a resolution supporting seed saving and sharing in the city (see video below of the council meeting). They also requested changes in state seed law to allow seed sharing without cost or germination testing.

FIVE YEARS AFTER THE EARTHQUAKE IN HAITI, THE SAD STATE OF DEMOCRACY AND HUMAN RIGHTS

January 11, 2015

An Interview with Human Rights Organizer Jackson Doliscar

By Beverly Bell

Jackson Doliscar, community organizer and human rights defender.

Some things never change. In Haiti, no matter the century or decade in question, one can be certain that: the state and elite are trouncing the rights and needs of the majority, the population is protesting to demand land and justice, and the international community is taking the wrong side.

Five years after the earthquake that killed an estimated 200,000 to 300,000 (no one knows for sure) and rendered 1.9 million more people homeless, the fraudulently elected administration of Michel Martelly has abandoned any pretense of democracy. Having failed to hold elections three years in a row, instead letting national and local elective seats become vacant, the government now rules by decree. It is also attacking and killing human rights defenders. The elite, in combination with foreign corporations, are seizing land for agribusiness, mining, tourism, and free trade zones. The grassroots has taken to the streets to demand democratic government and an end to foreign occupation by the UN. Social movements are also mobilizing for defense of land, housing, and rights. The US has, until recent months, staunchly supported the government. It has backed this support with “security” funding, including more than $7 million for the police in 2015, for a nation not at war against anyone but its own people.

Jackson Doliscar is a community organizer and human rights defender. Since the earthquake, he has been the primary outreach worker in an international campaign for the right to housing for those left languishing under tents, through the Force for Reflection and Action on Housing (FRAKKA, by its Creole acronym). This is the first in a two-part series.

The Coalition of Immokalee Workers and the Fresh Market Announce Partnership for Fair Food

January 9, 2015

Specialty Grocer to Join CIW’s Fair Food Program, Increase Purchases from Participating Florida Growers in Support of Groundbreaking Human Rights Initiative

PRESS RELEASE: JANUARY 8, 2015

The Coalition of Immokalee Workers

Agreement breaks important ground with two critical new provisions — increased purchases from Florida growers and commitment to support the Fair Food Standard Council’s work monitoring and enforcing the Fair Food Code of Conduct!

IMMOKALEE, FL – The Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) and Greensboro, N.C.-based The Fresh Market are proud to announce their national partnership to support fair farm labor conditions and verifiable, worker-driven social responsibility in US agriculture.

TRANSFORMING POWER, PROTECTING THE ENVIRONMENT IN EL SALVADOR

January 8, 2015

An Interview with Social Movement Leader and Parliamentarian Estela Hernandez

By Beverly Bell

The social movement La Coordinadora is organizing to protect lands and waters - including the Bay of Jiquilisco, pictured here - from corporate development, instead promoting ecological health and sustainable livelihood. Photo: Erika Blumenfeld, EcoViva

La Coordinadora of the Lower Lempa and the Bay of Jiquilisco in El Salvador is a grassroots, community-led organization of 27,000 families in more than 100 communities. It is transforming economic and political power and the health of the environment, across the department of Usulután. Pillars of La Coordinadora are participatory democracy, empowerment of women and youth, and – still in the works - education and health care for all. The communities are generating income through a green economy based on ecological agriculture and fishing. La Coordinadora is working to build food sovereignty, protect ecosystems, and preserve the largest remaining mangrove forest in the area.

Estela Hernandez is a leader of La Coordinadora and its affiliated non-profit organization, the Mangrove Association. She is also an elected member of the national legislature. There, Hernandez sits on the Environment and Climate Change Commission, the body that drafts environmental legislation.

I Can't Breath Until Everyone Can Breathe

January 7, 2015

By Gerald Mitchell, Cross-posted from YES! Magazine

Originally Released  on December 26, 2014

A Milwaukee Black Lives Matter march. Photo by Light Brigade.

The late Maya Angelou said: “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” When it comes to injustices like those we saw in Ferguson, we’re all part of the problem—and the solution.

When Words Cost Lives

January 6, 2015

By Carol Polsgrove

Carol Polsgrove on Writers' Lives

I came across El Sonar de las Mujeres de la Tierra y el Mar in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico, in a store featuring memorabilia of the Zapatista rebellion: tee-shirts, posters, cards but also books, among them this one, pointed out to me by the man behind the counter, Tim Russo.

Proposed Labor Laws in Chile Lauded as 'Enormous Step Toward Social Equality'

December 30, 2014

by Deirdre Fulton, staff writer, commondreams.org.

Released December 30, 2014.

http://commondreams.org/news/2014/12/30/proposed-labor-laws-chile-lauded...

 

'Today we are marking a new milestone—we are clearing a debt that we have hold toward the workers of Chile,' says president Michelle Bachelet

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