On 1 June 2009, the global environmental advocacy organization Greenpeace released the findings of a 3-year undercover investigation of the Brazilian cattle industry. The report, “Slaughtering the Amazon,” traced the convoluted supply chain of leather and beef products from cattle ranches to the recent and illegal deforestation in the state of Pará at the heart of the Amazon rainforest.
Retired Colonel Lucio Gutiérrez won the 2002 presidential elections in Ecuador after emerging as a popular ally of the poor during the years following a 2000 coup d’etat. A series of decisions followed his becoming president that increased the country’s International Monetary Fund debt and approved exploitation of oil on indigenous land.
In Orakei, Auckland, New Zealand, there is a coastal piece of land that overlooks Waitemata Harbour called Takaparawhau in Māori and Bastion Point in English. Before the colonization of the land by the British Crown, it provided shelter, rich fishing and farming areas for the Ngāti Whātua people, a Māori iwi (tribe).
The League of Communists of Yugoslavia (LCY) wanted to situate Yugoslavia in a balance between the Soviet dominated Eastern Europe and US dominated West. In order to ensure this global placement, Yugoslavians exercised an economic reform program during 1964-65. LCY utilized market mechanisms to overcome stagnation and stimulate economic growth, but employment and a growth in wage disparity ensued instead. Members of the Yugoslavian Student League as well as professors and editors of dissonant magazines established spaces for critique and set the stage for nonviolent
In the early 1900s livestock, often the currency of exchange, formed the foundation of the Kenyan Kamba tribe’s economy. A family’s herd size determined its wealth. As Britain colonized Kenya, this localized provisioning enabled the Kamba to remain relatively self-sufficient.
In March of 2011 the Brandon University Faculty Association’s (BUFA) collective agreement with the Brandon University expired. Entering into negotiations was delayed due to a declared state of emergency. The Assiniboine River was rising, flooding the lower portion of the city and causing parts of Brandon to be evacuated. Negotiations did not commence until May 18, 2011.
On 1 June 1961, Isaac Coggs, the only African American Member of the Wisconsin legislature, introduced a Humans Rights bill with two civil rights provisions: a fair housing law and a plan to reorganize the Fair Employment Practices Commission. Though Governor Gaylord Nelson supported the bill, it was met with resistance in committee, facing amendments to kill or cripple it. Opponents of the bill argued that real estate
brokers and home sellers should have the right to decide to whom they should sell homes.
Along the Whanganui River, which flows through the North Island of New Zealand, lies a contested piece of land that indigenous Māori call Pakaitore. The government calls this same land Moutoa Gardens, a public park they created in memorial to those who died in the Battle of Moutoa Island in 1864.
On 28 September 1995 the Mersey Docks and Harbour Company fired 329 port workers in Liverpool, England, for joining a picket line in solidarity with fellow port workers in Torside. The Torside workers were fired for protesting against the “free-market” style of labor, in which there was no job security, no wage security, and a constant change of working hours. In this format, workers could be phoned at any time and asked to come in to work.
During World War I, the New Zealand government seized burial grounds and traditionally valuable land from the Tainui Awhiro people to build an air base and bunker. Ten years after the end of the war, in 1928, the Public Works Act codified the government’s justification for keeping the land.
On 6 August 1996, Argentinean General Fuel Company, also known as Compañía General de Combustibles (CGC), signed a contract with the Ministry of Energy and Mines in Ecuador without consultation of Kichwa natives of Sarayaku. The contract allowed CGC to exploit and explore 200,000 hectares of Block 23.
In October of 1998, environmental groups organized protests against Home Depot, the world’s largest do-it-yourself hardware and supply store. The protests were in response to the purchasing and selling of old-growth wood (OGW), or wood from endangered, never before forested regions. In part the impetus for this campaign was that Home Depot had not fulfilled a promise made to Rainforest Action Network (RAN) and other environmentalist groups one year prior to stop the selling of OGW.
On 6 April 2006, a group of people dressed as large chickens entered McDonald’s fast food restaurants in seven cities around the United Kingdom. These chickens were a part of Greenpeace’s campaign against McDonald’s use of soya, a soybean plant, to feed its chickens.
Native American and environmentalist groups block nuclear waste site in Ward Valley, California, 1995-2000
In March of 1988, U.S. Ecology, a national dump operating company, decided upon Ward Valley, California as the most desired location for building a new nuclear waste dump. Because this was federal land in the state, the government of California needed to buy Ward Valley land from the Bureau of Land Management in order to give U.S. Ecology the rights to build the dump. The Valley, however, is located in the Mojave Desert, an area home to an endangered species of desert tortoise considered sacred to a number of Native American tribes.
In the early 2000s Citigroup was the world's largest project finance bank, with customers in over 100 countries and territories. Citigroup provided the finances for thousands of projects; some of these projects were deeply damaging to the environment. Citigroup was indirectly related to the Camisea pipeline in Peru as a financial advisor, as well as the Chad-Cameroon pipeline under construction by Exxon, Chevron and numerous central African oil companies.
U.S. Anti-nuclear activists partially block establishment of nuclear power plant in Limerick, PA, 1977-82
In the early 1970s, the state of Pennsylvania proposed a plan for building a nuclear power plant in Limerick, PA, to provide power to residents in Montgomery County, PA. Around that time, the Environmental Protection Agency declared that the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) must conduct a study to determine the impact a nuclear power plant would have in the town of Limerick, and the surrounding county.
Rainforest Action Network defends Indonesia's people, forests, orangutans, against General Mills, 2010
Indonesia's people, orangutans, and rainforest are threatened by the widespread planting of trees that produce palm oil for making processed food by giant corporations such as General Foods.
The Canadian General strike of 1976 was a result of the Bill C-73 passed by Prime Minister of Canada, Pierre Elliott Trudeau, and the House of Commons in Ottawa on 14 October 1975. This bill limited wage increases to 8% the first year, 6% the second year, and 4% the third year after its enactment.
The majority of the provinces of Canada accepted the bill by spring of 1976, but within eighteen months they began to withdraw from the program. Despite its introduction in 1975, it was not until 1976 that the Anti-Inflation Board (AIB) began to roll back workers' wages.
South Korean activists win rights in Seoul for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered students, 2011-2012
South Korea was one of the countries to vote in favor of Resolution 17/19 on “Human Rights, Sexual Orientation, and Gender Identity,” which was adopted by the United Nations Human Rights Council in June 2011. Yet, on a local level, there was still much controversy when the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education drafted a students’ human rights ordinance on 7 September 2011. The ordinance contained articles that specifically addressed the right of LGBT students to not be discriminated against.
In the fall of 2006, the University of California Berkeley administration began implementing plans to build a new sports training facility that would be adjacent to the current stadium. The new building would provide more sophisticated gym equipment for visiting athletes, more weight rooms, and 911 parking spaces. It would also “retrofit” the seismically unsafe Memorial Stadium (built on a dangerous fault line). All this would make up the new Student-Athlete High Performance Center
In November of 1960, the United States and British governments reached an agreement on the use of the Holy Loch in the Firth of Clyde, Scotland as an overseas base for the US Navy. The governments believed the U.S. military required an overseas nuclear base for refit and crew overturn for its new Polaris missile submarines, built to serve as a deterrent to Soviet military might.
Undergraduate students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison founded the Student Labor Action Coalition (SLAC) in 1994 after watching a video in a sociology course about the lockout of 700 workers at A.E. Staley, a sweetener company in Decatur, Illinois. They formed the organization to support the workers’ campaign there, and later spread to university campuses across the country.
In the fall of 1998, Harvard students began a Living Wage Campaign that would last for almost four years. The Campaign was headed by the Progressive Student Labor Movement (PSLM) and aimed to help all Harvard employees receive a “living wage”. The demands of the LWC were that each Harvard employee (janitors, security guards, cafeteria workers, etc.) receive a wage of $10 per hour or more. Most workers were receiving the minimum wage at the time, which was around $6.50. In 1998 Cambridge, MA, this was not enough to get by individually, let alone to support a family.
On 28 February 2006 Meher Bhargava, a lawyer and wife of Indian National Congress leader Luv Bhargava, was shot. She was defending her daughter-in-law against the lewd comments of a group of men on the street in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India.
Meher Bhargava was hospitalized, but died on 25 March. The day that she was shot, Sunny Rawat confessed to the murder but he retracted his statement the following day. It wasn’t until after her death that Congress began to mobilize to demand justice for Bhargava’s murder.
In April of 2006 Chilean high school students had many complaints against the government and the way it ran the public school system. Chief among their concerns included bus fares and university exam fees. Over the previous few years, there had been isolated protests throughout the city, but none had gathered very much momentum. In 2006, however, in the first major social movement since “Chileans overthrow Pinochet regime,” the students took the general public by surprise.