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FLASHBACK for COP18: Who Really Leads on the Environment? The “Movement” Versus Evo Morales

The Environmental “Movement” Versus the Bolivian Morales Government

September 30th, 2011

by Cory Morningstar

Evo Morales is Bolivia’s first-ever Indigenous president. In his January 2006 inaugural speech, Morales’s focus was the years of discrimination against Indians, and he compared Bolivia to apartheid-era South Africa. Morales hailed the election as the end of the Colonial and Neo-Liberal Era. In October 2009, Morales was named “World Hero of Mother Earth” by the General Assembly of the United Nations.

In December 2009, the Morales government proved the most progressive of all states (in alliance with ALBA and the G77 nations) at the COP15 climate conference in Copenhagen. This union, led by Bolivia, aggressively pursued the scientific targets necessary in order for the world to avoid complete ecological collapse and a global genocide of unparalleled proportions. Ironically (and most revealing), these progressive states led leaps and bounds ahead of the environmental movement itself.

The institutionalized environmental “movement” was united under an umbrella organization/campaign titled TckTckTck, a social media giant, contrived by some of the world’s most powerful corporations and marketing executives. [1] One such TckTckTck partner (there are 280 partners made public) was the Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change consisting of corporations such as Shell, RBF and Coca-Cola. (When this information was uncovered and made public, TckTckTck removed them from their website and scrambled to recover from the PR nightmare.) The Bolivian government’s leadership was so incredibly dignified and courageous that it even put the more legitimate Climate Justice movement to shame.

To get a sense of exactly who the corporate greens really represent (hint – it is not you), consider this: Bolivia, ALBA and the G77 demanded that states not exceed a 1ºC global temperature rise. In stark contrast, the NGOs “demanded” that temperatures not exceed a +2ºC and further “demanded” that world emissions peak by 2019 (meaning that emissions would continue to increase, business as usual, until 2019 at which point we would begin an effort to decrease). TckTckTck includes over 200 international partners including Avaaz, Conservation International, Greenpeace International, World Wildlife Fund (and many more pro-REDD advocates and profiteers) as well as Climate Action Network International [2] who represents (and speaks on behalf of) over 700 NGOs.

Regarding the issue of human rights, the hundreds of corporate NGOs – by campaigning to get the public to accept the global average temperature further rising up to a 2ºC limit – thereby sanctioned/sanctions most all species on this planet to an unprecedented annihilation within decades. [Note: Consider that at under +1ºC, we are already committed to a minimum +2.4ºC not including feedbacks: Ramanathan and Feng 2008 paper. Further, note climate scientist James Hansen’s warning that even 1ºC now looks like an unacceptably high risk.]

Considering that the corporate NGOs are leading us to certain species eradication, one must consider what constitutes criminal negligence. In the United States, the definition of criminal negligence is compelling: “Crimes Committed Negligently (Article 33.1) A crime shall be deemed to be committed with clear intent, if the man or woman was conscious of the social danger of his actions (inaction), foresaw the possibility or the inevitability of the onset of socially dangerous consequences, and willed such consequences to ensue.” “A crime shall be deemed to be committed with indirect intent, if the man or woman realized the social danger of his actions (inaction), foresaw the possibility of the onset of socially dangerous consequences, did not wish, but consciously allowed these consequences or treated them with indifference.” “A Crime Committed by Negligence (Article 33.1): A criminal deed committed thoughtlessly or due to negligence shall be recognized as a crime committed by negligence.” “A crime shall be deemed to be committed thoughtlessly, if the man or woman has foreseen the possibility of the onset of socially dangerous consequences of his actions (inaction), but expected without valid reasons that these consequences would be prevented.” “A crime shall be deemed to be committed due to negligence if the man or woman has not foreseen the possibility of the onset of socially dangerous consequences of his actions (inaction), although he or she could and should have foreseen these consequences with reasonable.”

After the massive failure/corruption of COP15 in 2009, in 2010 Bolivia organized and hosted the World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth, which produced The Cochabamba Accord (April 2010), specifically rejecting REDD: “We condemn market mechanisms such as REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) and its versions + and + +, which are violating the sovereignty of peoples and their right to prior, free and informed consent as well as the sovereignty of national States, the customs of Peoples, and the Rights of Nature.”

The ‘buen vivir‘ (“good life”) ideology, also enshrined into Bolivia’s constitution, was yet another visionary philosophy that secured Bolivia as the conscience of the world on climate change and moral principles. The buen vivir philosophy was presented by the Bolivia delegation at the United Nations in April 2010. In December 2010, the revolutionary “Law of the Rights of Mother Earth” (“Ley de Derechos de la Madre Tierra”) was passed by Bolivia’s Plurinational Legislative Assembly. Bolivia’s ideas, positions and beliefs under the leadership of Morales, were in fact, so advanced both intellectually and philosophically – that most often Bolivia stood alone in the International arena while those lacking courage, ethics, or both, were left behind within the flocks of sheep. In a world where compromise of human life has become status quo – Bolivia, under Morales,  has consistently refused to abandon their principled positions. This from a country that emits approximately one quarter of the CO2 emissions than that of green-house gas leading obstructionist states such as United States and Canada.

History repeated itself in 2010 when, at the 16th Conference of the Parties (COP16), which took place in Cancún, Mexico, Bolivia again stood alone in the International arena as the only one of the UN’s 192 member countries to vote against a deal which effectively sanctioned a global suicide pact. The suffering and devastation that will result from the greatest heist in history is unparalleled desperation, starvation and death on a massive scale.

Compare the Morales Leadership to NGO Avaaz, Which has Launched an International Campaign Against Morales

Avaaz is a member of The Climate Group.

The Climate Group is pushing REDD: http://www.theclimategroup.org/_assets/files/Reducing-Emissions-from-Deforestation.pdf

The Rockefeller Brothers Fund also acts as an incubator for in-house projects that later evolve into free-standing institutions – a case in point being The Climate Group, launched in London in 2004. The Climate Group coalition includes more than 50 of the world’s largest corporations and sub-national governments, including big polluters such as energy giants BP and Duke Energy, as well as several partner organizations, such as NGO Avaaz. The Climate Group are advocates of unproven carbon capture and storage technology (CCS), nuclear power and biomass as crucial technologies for a low-carbon economy. The Climate Group works closely with other business lobby groups, including the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA), which works consistently to sabotage climate action. The Climate Group also works on other initiatives, such as the Voluntary Carbon Standard, a new global standard for voluntary offset projects. One marketing strategist company labeled the Climate Group’s campaign “Together” as “the best inoculation against greenwash.” The Climate Group has operations in Australia, China, Europe, India, and North America. It was a partner to the Copenhagen Climate Council.

http://www.theclimategroup.org/about-us/our-partners/

The U.S. backed Avaaz NGO (Soros funding) has never endorsed the People’s Agreement of Cochabamba. Neither has any other corporate green group.

The Environmental movement? It’s a movement, alright. A movement to protect the world’s wealthiest families and corporations who fund the movement via tax-exempt foundations.

Morales Position on REDD

Morales produced a statement on REDD (September 2010) explaining in more detail his opposition to REDD (available here in Spanish, pdf file – 734.6 kB).

NATURE, FORESTS AND INDIGENOUS PEOPLES ARE NOT FOR SALE


Indigenous brothers of the world:

 

I am deeply concerned because some pretend to use leaders and indigenous groups to promote the commoditization of nature and in particular of forest through the establishment of the REDD mechanism (Reduction Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation) and its versions REDD+ REDD++.

 

Every day an extension of forests and rainforest equivalent to 36,000 football fields disappears in the world. Each year 13 million hectares of forest and rain forest are lost. At this rate, the forests will disappear by the end of the century.

 

The forests and rainforest are the largest source of biodiversity. If deforestation continues, thousands of species, animals and plants will be lost forever. More than three quarters of accessible fresh water zones come from uptake zones in forests, hence the worsening of water quality when the forest condition deteriorates. Forests provide protection from flooding, erosion and natural disasters. They provide non-timber goods as well as timber goods. Forests are a source of natural medicines and healing elements not yet discovered. Forests and the rainforest are the lungs of the atmosphere. 18% of all emissions of greenhouse gases occurring in the world are caused by deforestation.

 

It is essential to stop the destruction of our Mother Earth.

 

Currently, during climate change negotiations everyone recognizes that it is essential to avoid the deforestation and degradation of the forest. However, to achieve this, some propose to commoditize forests on the false argument that only what has a price and owner is worth taking care of.

 

Their proposal is to consider only one of the functions of forests, which is its ability to absorb carbon dioxide, and issue “certificates”, “credits” or “Carbon rights” to be commercialized in a carbon market. This way, companies of the North have the choice of reducing their emissions or buy “REDD certificates” in the South according to their economic convenience. For example, if a company has to invest USD40 or USD50 to reduce the emission of one ton of C02 in a “developed country”, they would prefer to buy a “REDD certificate” for USD10 or USD20 in a “developing country”, so they can they say they have fulfilled to reduce the emissions of the mentioned ton of CO2.

 

Through this mechanism, developed countries will have handed their obligation to reduce their emissions to developing countries, and the South will once again fund the North and that same northern company will have saved a lot of money by buying “certified” carbon from the Southern forests. However, they will not only have cheated their commitments to reduce emissions, but they will have also begun the commoditization of nature, with the forests

 

The forests will start to be priced by the CO2 tonnage they are able to absorb. The “credit” or “carbon right” which certifies that absorptive capacity will be bought and sold like any commodity worldwide. To ensure that no one affects the ownership of “REDD certificates” buyers, a series of restrictions will be put into place, which will eventually affect the sovereign right of countries and indigenous peoples over their forests and rainforests. So begins a new stage of privatization of nature never seen before which will extend to water, biodiversity and what they call “environmental services”.

 

While we assert that capitalism is the cause of global warming and the destruction of forests, rainforests and Mother Earth, they seek to expand capitalism to the commoditization of nature with the word “green economy”.

 

To get support for this proposal of commoditization of nature, some financial institutions, governments, NGOs, foundations, “experts” and trading companies are offering a percentage of the “benefits” of this commoditization of nature to indigenous peoples and communities living in native forests and the rainforest.

 

Nature, forests and indigenous peoples are not for sale.

 

For centuries, Indigenous peoples have lived conserving and preserving natural forests and rainforest. For us the forest and rainforest are not objects, are not things you can price and privatize. We do not accept that native forests and rainforest be reduced to a simple measurable quantity of carbon. Nor do we accept that native forests be confused with simple plantations of a single or two tree species. The forest is our home, a big house where plants, animals, water, soil, pure air and human beings coexist.

 

It is essential that all countries of the world work together to prevent forest and rainforest deforestation and degradation. It is an obligation of developed countries, and it is part of its climate and environmental debt, to contribute financially to the preservation of forests, but NOT through its commoditization. There are many ways of supporting and financing developing countries, indigenous peoples and local communities that contribute to the preservation of forests.

 

Developed countries spend tens of times more public resources on defense, security and war than in climate change. Even during the financial crisis many have maintained and increased their military spending. It is inadmissible that by using the needs communities have and the ambitions of some leaders and indigenous “experts”, indigenous peoples are expected to be involved with the commoditization of nature.

 

All forests and rainforests protection mechanisms should guarantee indigenous rights and participation, but not because indigenous participation is achieved in REDD, we can accept that a price for forests and rainforests is set and negotiated in a global carbon market.

 

Indigenous brothers, let us not be confused. Some tell us that the carbon market mechanism in REDD will be voluntary. That is to say that whoever wants to sell and buy, will be able, and whoever does not want to, will be able to stand aside. We cannot accept that, with our consent, a mechanism is created where one voluntarily sells Mother Earth while others look crossed handed

 

Faced with the reductionist views of forests and rainforest commoditization, indigenous peoples with peasants and social movements of the world must fight for the proposals that emerged of the World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth:

 

1. Integrated management of native forests and rainforest not only considering its mitigation function as CO2 sink but all its functions and potentiality, whilst avoiding confusing them with simple plantations.

 

2. Respect the sovereignty of developing countries in their integral management of forests.

 

3. Full compliance with the Rights of Indigenous Peoples established by the United Nations Declaration on Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Convention No. 169 of the ILO and other international instruments; recognition and respect to their territories; revalorization and implementation of indigenous knowledge for the preservation of forests; indigenous peoples participation and indigenous management of forest and rainforest.

 

4. Funding of developed countries to developing countries and indigenous peoples for integral management of forest as part of their climate and environmental debt. No establishment of any mechanism of carbon markets or “incentives” that may lead to the commoditization of forests and rainforest.

 

5. Recognition of the rights of Mother Earth, which includes forests, rainforest and all its components. In order to restore harmony with Mother Earth, putting a price on nature is not the way but to recognize that not only human beings have the right to life and to reproduce, but nature also has a right to life and to regenerate, and that without Mother Earth Humans cannot live.

 

Indigenous brothers, together with our peasant brothers and social movements of the world, we must mobilize so that the conclusions of Cochabamba are assumed in Cancun and to impulse a mechanism of RELATED ACTIONS TO THE FORESTS based on these five principles, while always maintaining high the unity of indigenous peoples and the principles of respect for Mother Earth, which for centuries we have preserved and inherited from our ancestors.

 

EVO MORALES AYMA
President of the Plurinational State of Bolivia

 

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WHAT MAINSTREAM MEDIA AND NGOs ARE NOT REPORTING

VIDEO: Sept. 30th, 2011: TIPNIS: Indigenous of Western Bolivia support Government (english subs)

“… political opportunists who have infiltrated this mobilization … they took advantage of it in order to discriminate and criticize the changing process … we will tell these political rascals in their presence … here is the people! Here are the real ones who have struggled to defend the changing process! … 20 or 30 years from now … Bolivia will be truly independent … without the intrusion of neo-liberal parties …”

From the article: Bolivia: Amazon protest — development before environment? by Fred Fuentes:

US interference

As the uprising against neoliberalism grew in strength, overthrowing a neoliberal president in 2003, US imperialism sought to use money to increase divisions within the indigenous movements.

In late 2005, investigative journalist Reed Lindsay published an article in NACLA that used declassified US documents to expose how US government-funded agency USAID was used to this effect.

USAID was already planning by 2002 to “help build moderate, pro-democracy political parties that can serve as a counterweight to the radical MAS or its successors”.

The downfall in 2003 of president Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada triggered a step-up in this subversive activity.

A particular target was CIDOB.

The group was in a crisis after Fabricano was accused of profiting from illegal logging and he accepted the post of vice-minister of Indigenous Affairs under Sanchez de Lozada.

Through USAID funding to the Brecha Foundation, an NGO established by CIDOB leaders, the US hoped to further mould the organisation to its own ends.

Referring to comments made by Brecha director Victor Hugo Vela, Lindsay notes that during this time, “CIDOB leaders allied with Fabricano have condemned the cultivation of coca, helped the business elite in the department of Santa Cruz to push for region autonomy and opposed a proposal to require petroleum companies to consult with indigenous communities before drilling on their lands”.

The CSUTCB (divided between followers of Morales and radical Aymara leader Felipe Quispe), CSCB, FNMCB-BS and organisations such as the neighbourhood councils of El Alto (Fejuve), and to a less extent worker and miner organisations, were at the forefront of constant street battles and insurrections.

CIDOB, however, took an approach marked by negotiation and moderation.

It was not until July 2005 that CIDOB renewed its leadership, in turn breaking relations with Brecha.

CIDOB was not the only target for infiltration.

With close to $200,000 in US government funds, the Land and Liberty Movement (MTL) was set up in 2004 by Walter Reynaga.

As well as splitting the Movement of Landless Peasant’s (MST), one wing of which operated out of his La Paz office, Lindsay said Reynaga, like Vega, tried to win control of the “MAS-aligned” CONAMAQ.

Demands

And it is also true that the demands of the Sub Central of TIPNIS, and in particular CIDOB, are far removed from any notion of communitarianism.

Although initially focused on opposition to the highway, protesters presented the government with an original list of 13 demands, then extended to 16, on the day the march began.

Among those were calls for indigenous peoples to be able to directly receive compensation payment for offsetting carbon emissions.

This policy, know as REDD+, has been denounced as the privatisation of the forests by many environmental activists and the Peoples’ Summit of Climate Change organised in Bolivia in 2010.

It has also been promoted as a mechanism to allow developed countries to continue to pollute while undermining the right underdeveloped to develop their economies.

Another demand calls for the replacement of functionaries within the Authority for Control and Monitoring of Forests and Lands (ABT).

This demand dovetails with the allegations made by Morales against CIDOB leaders, and never refuted, that they want to control this state institution.

Much focus has been made of the potential environmental destruction caused by a highway that would open the path to future “coloniser” settlements.

But these arguments have only focused on one side of the equation.

Much has been made of a study by Bolivian Strategic Research Program that concluded that 64.5% of TIPNIS would be lost to deforestation by 2030 as a result of the highway.

Few, though, have noted that the same study found that even without the highway 43% of TIPNIS would be lost if the current rate of deforestation continues.

The biggest cause of this is the illegal logging that continues to occur, in some cases with the complicity of some local indigenous leaders and communities.

An environmental impact studies by the Bolivian Highway Authority have found the direct impact of the highway on TIPNIS to be 0.03%.

But this has to weighed up with the fact that the highway would provide the state with access to areas currently out of its reach.

This would enable not only access to services, but a greater ability to tackle illegal logging and potential narcotrafficking in the area.

At the same time, the government has asked the indigenous communities of TIPNIS to help in drafting legislation that would impose jail terms of 10 to 20 years on those found to be illegally settling, growing coca or logging in TIPNIS.

+++

The manipulation by NGOs and corporations is clear in this interview (below) with Pirakuma Yawalapiti, the Xingu spokesperson speaking on the issue of carbon trading. This dialogue was filmed by Rebecca Sommer of EARTHPEOPLES, a global network for and by Indigenous Peoples. The interview is just one of hundreds that give documented testament to the deliberate manipulation of the threatened people most vulnerable to climate change. To view more videos and further understand the exploitation of Indigenous Peoples in pursuit of the profits behind REDD, please visit  SommerFilms.

 

[In the interview, the NGOs/agencies who Yawalapiti speaks of (that are pressuring the Indigenous communities of Alto Xingu to agree to REDD projects they do not want) are FUNAI – National Indian Foundation Brazil / Fundação Nacional do Índio and IBAMA – Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Resources / Instituto Brasileiro do Meio Ambiente e dos Recursos Naturais Renováveis.]

 

 

[1] The following companies who have already come on board as partners includes Galeries Lafayette, Virgin Group, Yahoo! Music, iTunes, Google, Pernod Ricard, EDF, Microsoft, Zune, YouTube, USA Today, National Magazines, HSBC, M&S, Uniqlo, Lloyds Bank, MySpace, MTV, Bo Concept Japan K.K., Volvo, Kipa Turkey, Claro Argentina, Peugeot, NTV, Universal, Tesco, Sina.com, GDF Suez, Centrica, Oxfam, New Zealand Wine Company, 350.org, Handbag.com, Avaaz.org, Lesinrockuptibles, Harper’s Bazaar, Esquire, Cosmopolitan, EMap, Greenpeace, Commensal, The Atlantic, Fast Company, News Limited, Tesla, Wired Magazine, and RFM Radio.

 

[2] The founding of the Climate Action Network (CAN) in 1988 can be traced back to the early players in the ENGO community, including Michael Oppenheimer of the corporate NGO, Environmental Defense Fund. CAN is a global network of over 700 nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). The stated goal of CAN is to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels. This goal is severely problematic in (at minimum) 2 fundamental ways: 1) There is no such thing as “ecologically sustainable levels” of climate change, and 2) as opposed to states having to respond to approximately 300 groups demanding action on climate change, states instead bask in the comfort of having to deal with only one (that of CAN), which essentially demands little to nothing. CAN has seven regional coordinating offices that coordinate these efforts in Africa, Central and Eastern Europe, Europe, Latin America, North America, South Asia, and Southeast Asia. Members include organizations from around the globe, including the largest corporate greens such as World Wildlife Fund [WWF], Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth.

 

HOW TO RUN A NIGERIAN NGO

October 28, 2012

by Elnathan John- The Dark Corner

 

Everything in Nigeria is a hustle. Government, politics, religion- all a hustle. And the Nigerian godhelps those who help themselves. The key to survival is understanding the rules of the hustle so that by strategically positioning yourself, God can meet you at the point of your need and bless your hustle.

You hear that millions of dollars have been set aside by foreign governments and donors for development in Nigeria. Don’t smile. They don’t love you. For them too, it is a hustle. Don’t wait to hear on radio or TV how this money is being spent. This will be unwise. You need to strategically position yourself to benefit from this foreign aid.

Start an NGO. Get a lawyer to register one at the Corporate Affairs Commission. From experience I will advise that you do your research before registering one. Research major donors- the European Union, DFID, the UN, USAID. Find out what they have agreed to fund for the next few years. Avoid the things that have received much funding in the past few years. Donors can be like children- they can get bored with one thing and without warning, move to another. Plus, there is that evil thing threatening to truncate Europe’s hustle called a recession. Although God is faithful and will protect your hustle from truncation, you need to take proactive steps to avoid being left with a redundant NGO due to lack of funding. Do one of two things: One, give your NGO a broad name that can cover two or more areas. The more the merrier. So instead of registering HIV/AIDS Alliance, register Health Watch Alliance. Instead of registering Alliance against Torture, register Alliance for the Protection of Human Rights. Or two, register multiple NGOs. With this you can never go wrong. You can change the dance as soon as the donors change the tune.

When building the foundations of your NGO, you must be careful the kind of people you invite. You don’t want the type who will suddenly become wild when the aid dollars start flowing in. Make the Board of Trustees your relatives and the parents of your close friends who are too busy, too old or too rich to care how you run your NGO.

Minting Money in an NGO Way

by Anant Kumar

Global Minds

August 9, 2012

We want to open an NGO

In the past five-six years, many people, friends, and students showed interest and contacted me to take my advice about opening a Non Government Organisation (NGO). Most of these people were doing well in their life but their hearts were crying to help people and bring change in the society. They were moved by the poverty, illiteracy, etc, (as expressed by them) and determined to open an NGO to serve the people.

In reality, these people’s hearts were crying to bring changes in their own lives. They wanted to properly utilize their connections. The real motive and drive behind opening NGOs were interesting and it may be summarised, ‘if you do not own an NGO, please register one; if you are unemployed or an entrepreneur, register an NGO or many NGOs because it’s easier to set up and requires no investment in comparison to an industry’. Despite my advice and suggestions (do not open an NGO), most of these people opened an NGO which forced me to rethink ‘what was that strong drive which was stronger than my advice’. I thought to explore and examine the real motive behind it which is discussed below.

NGO

Motive behind opening an NGO

People are opening an NGO because it is a business with sure profit. Most of them were having contacts and were eager to use it. In their opinion, “if one has contacts at a right place, opening an NGO is one of the easiest ways of minting money”. One can mint money in an NGO way if either of the following is true. If you know a powerful person (a politician or a bureaucrat) so well that he will do business with you, if you know some non-resident Indian (NRI) whose heart is bleeding with love and care for India, if you have impressed the international funding agencies, or if you are a powerful person like a politician or a bureaucrat. “Many politicians cutting across party lines and bureaucrats are managing the affairs of NGOs. They run NGO by proxy (in the name of their wife, relative, or friends) while in service and take charge of the organisations after retirement”.   By opening an NGO, one can run a parallel government with the patronage of politicians and senior bureaucrats which can be inferred from the observation by the Panchayati Raj Minister of Odisha that:

at one point of time, it was desired by the Planning Commission to encourage NGO participation in the socio-economic development process with the hope that there will be healthy competition between the government agencies and voluntary organisations. But finally, it has been observed that the NGOs are running a parallel government with the patronage of senior bureaucrats. A new regulatory mechanism has to be thought of to make the NGOs accountable”.

Many NGOs are against this government move to enact the legislation to ensure their accountability and transparency and introduce a measure to involve the elected representatives in their working.    Many heads or owners of NGOs are making profits with a catchy tagline – not-for-profit organisation. The NGO head’s lavish lifestyle, houses, property, foreign trips, and expenses on children educations makes thing complicated and contradicts their claims of social service. Financial management systems in most of these NGOs are weak which permits to mint money by improper ways such as less payment to staff whereas on paper they show full salary (cash back system with every salary cheque under the umbrella “contribution to the organisation” for welfare of employees). Sometimes, one staff is assigned to manage two or more programmes with two appointment letters but they get only one salary as other program’s salary has to be refunded in cash to the organisation. Alternatively, in many NGOs, staff work in projects and salary goes to the head of the NGO whose designation and roles were elaborated in project budget. For most of the government project, there is fixed share and commission by NGOs which goes to politicians, bureaucrats, and other officials. To influence the monitors or evaluators, even money and women are used by few organisations. In few organisations, two parallel financial management systems are in practice, one for themselves (in the name of General Fund) and other for the donors and auditors. Hence, it is difficult to find faults in their financial management system.

Many organisations are easily luring or impressing the donors by showcasing their work without doing anything. There are good numbers of consultants available to develop proposals, write reports, case studies and documentaries which can be sold to donors. Besides, nowadays many awards are also available which one can buy or manage for their organisation. One does not need to worry about transparency and accountability, particularly in respect of the funds received from various sources. One can spend a sizable portion of funds in personal asset building, air travel, and purchase of vehicles. Even most of the training opportunities, fellowships, conference participation and foreign trips are attended by the head of the family and their members. There are instances where donors have sponsored international fellowships and foreign trips to family members or for the senior bureaucrats. Although these trips are shown as training programmes, the real intent is to oblige the bureaucrats so they can grant a project or make a policy in donors or an organisation’s favour.

Under Societies Registration Act (1860), there is a mandate to have seven members in the governing body of the organisation having no blood relation to promote representation of diverse sections of the society. However, to defy this clause, many organisations heads have made their daughters-in-law or other family members the board members who are part of the family but not having direct blood relation. Mostly treasurer posts are confined within the family members and majority of the board members are kept out of fence and everything revolves around one or two members. Rest of the members remain silent signatory to validate the board decisions which they hardly aware of.

If one owns an NGO, they do not need to worry about their children’s career. Just transfer the special skills and prepare them to inherit the NGO. For instance, an NGO in Jharkhand, established in the beginning of 1970s, now is in the process of transferring the leadership to their sons. Interestingly, despite the fact that many staff have devoted decades in the same organisation but they will not get the leadership, title and ownership. In another organisation in Bihar, after the death of its secretary, his wife became the secretary, as his son was minor. After attaining 18 years of age, her son took over the secretary position. It shows that most of organisation’s leadership rotates in the family and board are customary and ornamental without having the real power. Similarly, one need not worry about dowry. According to a study “Expanding Dimensions of Dowry” carried out by the All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA), “Several middle and upper income group families interviewed said that they were trying to organise an NGO for the prospective bridegroom because that is what he had demanded!” The AIDWA study has revealed that this trend is not limited to economically marginalized classes. The study says: they specifically demand NGOs that have been registered for three years – the eligibility criteria for overseas funding.

This situation is not only prevalent in Bihar, Jharkhand, or Odisha, the state of Uttar Pradesh also has the culture of giving dowry in the form of NGO. There are NGO owners who want to employ professionals to run their NGOs and earn money for them. These new professionals think that they are helping underdeveloped community but soon they realize that they have become the part of the “system”. Biswanath Dalei, a lecturer in a private college in Balasore, Odisha, is a harried man – running around to get an NGO registered within a month’s time. “Definitely, he is not in a tearing hurry to be of service to society. The fact is that his future son-in-law is demanding an NGO as dowry in lieu of Dalei’s inability to give Rs 100,000 in cash”. Nowadays, NGO buying and selling is increasingly emerging as a good business and one can buy an NGO in 10-20 thousand depending on how old it is or having FCRA or not.

Conclusion

The paper does not mean that all NGOs are money making entity. Many NGOs have set up examples of transparency. But there is still a long way to go. The only way to stop these people to become the part of minting money in an NGO way is to make strong legislation and monitoring body. Misuse of hundred and fifty years old Society Registration Act is common where anyone and everyone can register an NGO. Society Registration Act needs a thorough review and amendment. The existing legislation and monitoring bodies for NGOs are weak and powerless. There is a need of strong accreditation body to monitor and regulate NGOs to improve transparency, governance, and accountability. The government and planning commission needs to relook their policy on NGO partnership. The Government should also take the responsibility of the development of its people and should stop transferring their responsibility to NGOs in the name of public-private-partnership.

Acknowledgement:

Author is thankful to all those who shared their experience, provided relevant information, and helped in developing this paper. Their names are not mentioned as it might hamper their career.

 

Disclosure: The commentary is based on author’s discussion with various NGO staffs and development professionals. The views expressed in this paper are not against any individual or organisation. Therefore, name of NGOs are not mentioned in the paper.

(Photo © DR)

Opinions voiced by Global Minds do not necessarily reflect the opinions of The Global Journal.

NGO’S AND INREVENTIONISM AS A GEOPOLITICAL INSTRUMENT

by Hannes HOFBAUER

October 01, 2012

Strategic Culture Foundation

The mother of all coloured revolutions was black and white. Its name: «Otpor», «Resistance». Its symbol: a white feast in front of a black ground, red colour was hated. «Otpor» was founded in the beginning of the 1990s in Belgrade. The group understood itself in sharp opposition to the rise of Slobodan Milosevic and his «Socialist Party of Serbia» (SPS). «Otpor’s» battle-cry: «gotov je!», «he is finished». «He» was the big enemy: Milosevic. The first manifestations against his government began in 1988. Their social character was evident. People protested against rising prices for living. These «bread-riots» pointed at the government, but meant the IMF that dictated what they called «reform», the abolishment of state subsidies for housing and goods of daily use. Out of parts of these protesters «Otpor» formed a political group with one single goal: to get rid of whom they called «the autocrat», Slobodan Milosevic.

After the end of the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia the legitimacy of rule and governance was debated widely in a political and philosophical sense. Where rulers of the old type or their supposed revenants did not give way voluntarily, oppositional groups felt legitimated to overthrow the system. This also happened in Serbia. Slobodan Milosevic and his SPS undermined the shock therapy of the IMF in Winter 1990/91 by setting in motion the money-printing machine. The fresh banknotes allowed paying state employers like teachers, doctors and military. Hence he obstructed the restrictive monetary policy, prescribed by the IMF. What was appreciated by vast parts of the people, provoked Western organisations, and he became an enemy of them. «Otpor» repeated its standpoint: «Milosevic has to leave». It took some time until the potential of this oppositional group was discovered by Western financiers.

Civil society intervention

Since the middle of the 1990s masses of so-called Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) have been operating in the countries of ex-Comecon and Yugoslavia. Their «mission» followed slogans of «democracy», «nation-building» or «new governance». They aimed at interfering in politics by supporting local oppositional groups of civil society.

One of the most prominent and strongest «Mission»-organisation to bring Western democracy to Eastern and Southern countries is the American foundation named «National Endowment for Democracy» (NED). Founded by the US-Congress in 1983 and financed by state-money since then, NED has the function to distribute an annual amount of a three-figure million Dollar number to four so-called NGOs: The «National Democratic Institute for International Affairs» (NDI), which stands under the influence of the Democratic Party, its Republican vis-à-vis, the «International Republican Institute» (IRI), the «Center for International Private Enterprise» (CIPE) and the «American Center for International Labor Solidarity» (ACILS), one representing the Chamber of commerce, the other the AFL/CIO-union. These four NGOs, all of them fully backed by state-money and therefore cheating with the «N» in their self-representation as «NGO», work in their respected fields on the ground in Eastern Europe, the Islamic world and elsewhere.

The ideological background of foundations like NED, the United States Agency for International Development USAID, «Freedom-House» or its British variant «Westminster Foundation for Democracy» is rooted in a specific understanding of what they call «universal democracy», which they claim to be spread all over the world. The concept is based on the declared necessity of economic competition and its political administration through democratic institutions. Democratic institutions have to follow the principles of market economy and not vice versa. The ideal, universalistic form of this model of democracy can be described as «constitutive liberalism» in a parliamentary two-party-system under a strong presidency. The electoral freedom excludes the social and economic system and reduces socio-economic debates, if admitted at all, to measures of tax policy.

This understanding of democracy is not compatible with revolutionary processes having taken place in Eastern Europe and North Africa. There the vision of democracy reaches beyond the system of «constitutive liberalism» and its defence of property. On the contrary: revolutions overwhelm such things like property laws and open new radical perspectives. Political and media observers are well aware of this fact and its potential danger. Therefore all missions of civil society-interventions by Western foundations are united by one goal: to direct revolutionary processes in East and South towards the Western understanding of liberal democracy; to pave the way for «constitutional liberalism».

Many democratic elections, for example in Eastern Europe, but also in the Arab world after 1989/91, did not reflect the Western idea of liberal democracy. The outcome were «false results» in the cases of Yugoslavia, Romania, and Slovakia, when leaders like Milosevic, Iliescu, Meciar or Fico received majorities at the ballot-box. The American political scientist and redactor in chief of the influential magazine «Foreign Affairs», Fareed Zakaria, named these democratic elections, when Milosevic or Meciar took legal power, «illiberal democracies». (1) In his view it is not the democracy as such that are in ill health condition, but the constitutional liberalism. He even makes his view more concrete: «Democracy without constitutional liberalism is not simply inadequate, but dangerous». Meciar, Iliescu, Milosevic, Yanukovych… they all won elections and got majorities, some of them more than one time. Nevertheless Western media and politicians call them despots, autocrats, nationalists, communists or national communists. Western foundations like NED, USAID, Westminster or Freedom House see their task in spreading their universalistic claim of a bourgeois, liberally constituted democracy throughout the world. In the societies of transformation they intervene into civil society by moulding local protests into coloured revolution.

How do these interventions function? At the beginning local or national discontent, which almost always is rooted in social problems, has to be «politicised». That means that social revolutionary elements have to be excluded. They could be dangerous for the establishment of a liberal democracy. In a second step cadres are formed. They run through different seminars in «regime change», «liberal democracy», «institution building», «nation building» etc. Allen Weinstein, one of the founders of NED, once stated openly, what the function of organisations like NED was like at the beginning of the 1990s: «A lot of what we [NED] do was done 25 years ago covertly by the CIA». (2) In some cases like in the case of James Woosley this statement can be proved even biographically. Woosley was head of the CIA between 1993 and 1995, before he led the board of «Freedom House».

If the civil society interventions do not fulfil the aim of «regime change», a military intervention can take place, like it did in Yugoslavia in March 1999. Since the rule of Bill Clinton civil mission and military threat go hand in hand. Barack Obama brings this system to perfection.

With the help of Western foundations, the Serbian «Otpor» positioned itself as a more or less successful export model. From Georgia to Ukraine, Belarus and Egypt former activists of «Otpor» hold trainings and seminars in civil resistance to form NGO-units of oppositional groups to overthrow the respective political leaders and governments like Shevardandze, Kuchma/Yanukovych or Lukashenko. Not everywhere the plan is functioning, like the case of Belarus shows. There the local coloured revolutionaries were persecuted and moved to Lithuania or Poland, where they now maintain their infrastructure like radio stations, offices and «universities».

Moscow is warned

In July 2012 the Russian Duma passed a law which obliges civil society organisations to financing transparency. This includes the declaration and control of foreign money. The Western resentment at this law is dishonest in some regards. On the one hand, the civil society interventions of Western foundations for Eastern and Southern coloured revolutions get more and more visible. Their function is evident. Even more: For example NED is publishing openly which NGO is getting how much grants. In its annual statement of accounting (2011) NED notes that it concentrated on subsidising NGOs in Belarus, where organisations like «Freedom of information» (1,23 Mio Dollars) or «Civil Society» (300.000 Dollars) all together received 3,5 Mio. Dollars in 2011.

On the other hand, Russia is not the first country to hinder civil society interventions from outside. So Venezuela closed down the NED-bureau in Caracas in December 2010. And Egypt checked the bureaus of five foreign foundations and brought more than 40 responsible employees (Americans, Germans, Serbians and Egyptians) to the court. They are accused of «illegal activities with illegal money transfers».

After all the experiences with intervening in civil societies in Serbia, Ukraine, Georgia, and Belarus, nobody can be astonished that Moscow is trying to protect its civil society from foreign attempts to implement coloured opposition. Let’s be frank: what would happen if Russian foundations would intervene in Western European civil societies? How would the European Union, for example, react, if Russian of Chinese financial support would be given to – let’s say – groups for national self-determination. They could even use the same political argument Berlin did in the 1990s by supporting Croatian and Bosnian nationalists and their fight against Belgrade. National discontent is widespread in Europe. And easily young people from Greece to the Netherlands could be found to fight EU-establishment with social or national arguments. Russian money could help them to organise. It is for sure that in the case of logistical and financial intervention into EU-inner politics, Brussels would immediately stop the flow of money from outside, for example from Moscow. This restriction would be labelled as a necessary «capital control» to protect EU-European interests, as it is done in other fields of the economy. Moscow is doing exactly the same, but Western media and politicians are defaming the restriction for being «undemocratic» representing «Soviet-type politics». With the new Russian law controlling foreign money flow into civil society organisations, the Western «NGOs are forced to react. USAID is the first to close down its office end of September 2012…

____________________________________

(1) Fareed Zakaria, The Rise of Illiberal Democracy. In: Foreign Affairs 76/6 (1997), 42

(2) Washington Post, 21th of September 1991

Smoke and Mirrors

01/07/2009

The Vegan Ideal

Social change is not something we should expect to make a career out of. Yet this is the allure of the nonprofit-industrial complex (NPIC). As Andrea Smith writes in her book, Conquest: Sexual Violence and American Indian Genocide (South End Press, 2005), a career in the NPIC is invested in perpetuating the existing social order:

At the conference [“The Revolution Will Not Be Funded: Beyond the Non-Profit Industrial Complex”], … activist and scholar Dylan Rodriguez defined the nonprofit-industrial complex as a set of symbiotic relationships which link political and financial technologies of state to create owning-class control and surveillance over public political ideology, including and especially emergent progressive and leftist social movements. He argued that the nonprofit-industrial complex (NPIC) is the natural corollary to the prison-industrial complex (PIC); the PIC overtly represses dissent, while the NPIC manages and controls dissent through incorporating the state apparatus.

Furthermore, I believe that if we are invested in our career, then advancing in our career path becomes the motivation, as opposed to focusing on advancing social change. I think we also begin to rationalize why we get paid. We come to see ourselves as an authority, a professional. We avoid radical work that is deemed too challenging, for it might make us look like less of a professional or turn off our wealthy funders. Hence, our career is tied up in the creation of owning-class control and surveillance over public ideology.

Smith continues:

The NPIC contributes to a mode of organizing that is ultimately unsustainable. To radically change society, we must build mass movements that can topple current capitalist hierarchy. The NPIC encourages us to think of social justice organizing as a career – you do the work if you can get paid for it. A mass movement, however, requires the involvement of millions of people, most of whom cannot get paid to do the work. Or, as Arundhati Roy says, “Resistance does not carry with it a paycheck.” By trying to do grassroots organizing using a careerist model, we are essentially asking a few people to work more than full-time hours to make up for the work that needs to be done by millions of people.

 

Also, because funding comes from foundations rather than from the people we claim to represent, the NPIC does not have an incentive to increase “membership,” or the base. Instead, we become preoccupied with developing what Paula Rojas calls “smoke and mirrors” forms of organizing that looks good to [funders], but that do not really build power.

Many nonhuman animal advocacy nonprofit organizations on all levels claim to have “grassroots” programs, but these programs are not truly grassroots. The agendas and goals of these programs are managed and controlled by the NPIC and the professionals who design these campaigns around the interests of elite funders.

The “grassroots” programs do coordinate many local volunteers, but this coordination is intentionally structured to make the volunteers dependent on the NPIC, which really control and manage the campaigns. As opposed to building a base, these campaigns are exactly what Rojas calls “smoke and mirrors.” Volunteers are manipulated by the NPIC to get “winnable victories” that will impress big funders.

Smoke and mirrors examples I’ve come across include: A national organization using regional organizers to direct local “grassroots” volunteers to write letters, send emails, and make phone in support of some legislation. A national organizations managing a state-wide effort to get “grassroots” volunteers to collect signatures on a petition for some ballet initiative. An international organization using a so-called “international grassroots” program to gets volunteers to protest a multi-national fast-food or supermarket chain. And a national organization running an adopt-a-college outreach program to get “grassroots” volunteers to the distribution of leaflets. There are countless other examples. Basically, just try to think of an example of a nonprofit corporation directing “grassroots” volunteers.

In each case, movement building and community-based organizing are not a part of these supposed “grassroots” initiatives. The “grassroots” volunteers are not directing these campaigns themselves, as such it is not truly grassroots. Rather, these volunteers are being used as free labor to achieve some end for the NPIC (i.e., passing a specific piece of national legislation, getting a specific ballet initiative on the ballet, getting a specific chain to modify the weapons it uses weapons system of exploitation, getting evermore leaflets distributed). When accomplished, these “victories” help the nonprofit corporations maintain existing founders support as well as attracting new funding, which supports the career of those directing the campaigns.

None of these “grassroots” (smoke and mirrors) projects are about empowering the local volunteers to build community-based, self-reliant approaches for working towards social change. In fact, such empowerment is a real threat to the NPIC and, thus, the careers of NPIC professionals.

Stop Imperialism Interviews Wrong Kind of Green

GV Consulting

August 15, 2012

Colleagues and friends Cory Morningstar and Forrest Palmer of Wrong Kind of Green are interviewed by Eric Draitser of Stop Imperialism. Cory and Forrest discuss compromised NGOs, corrupt foundations, green capitalism and western imperialism in a way only they can.

Listen:

http://ericdraitser.podbean.com/interviews/interview-forrest-palmer-and-cory-morningstar_08-12-12/

 

Of Ideology and Philanthropy

In this column (on corporate power), Michael Barker examines the anti-democratic nature of liberal philanthropy. As he notes, many of the organisations that regularly challenge the legitimacy of corporate power are in fact often themselves funded by corporate donors.
December 13, 2011
Ceasefire Magazine

 

Massive not-for-profit corporations, like the Carnegie, Ford, and Rockefeller foundations, created by the world’s leading capitalists, have “gone to great lengths to rationalise the contradiction between democratic principles and elite dominance.” Seen through the eyes of their executives, democracy only functions when it is run by the few for the many.[1]

Education thus takes a key place in the successful promotion of elite governance both on domestic and international planes of action; and although not well known, Edward Berman, professor emeritus at the University of Louisville, has written an important book that examines just this subject.

By briefly reviewing Berman’s study The Influence of the Carnegie, Ford, and Rockefeller Foundations on American Foreign Policy: The Ideology of Philanthropy (State University of New York Press, 1983), this article aims to publicise his vitally important, though oft neglected, ideas on the anti-democratic nature of liberal philanthropy.

While the history of elite governance is long and troublesome, in Berman’s book we are invited to study the honing of such management strategies from the early twentieth century onwards. Today of course the Gates Foundation is the most financially powerful philanthropic body in the world, but until its relatively late arrival on the scene, the Carnegie, Ford, and Rockefeller foundations (the “big three”) had dominated the philanthropic arena.

Indeed, exporting the ideology of the capitalist state has been a key function of these foundations, a duty of care that fell securely on their shoulders as they “represented one of the few sources of unencumbered ‘risk’ capital available during the period from 1945 to 1975.”[2]

As Berman acknowledges, the interest shown by these foundations in creating and financing “various educational configurations both at home and abroad cannot be separated from their attempts to evolve a stable domestic polity and a world order amenable to their interests and the strengthening of international capitalism.” Their simultaneous promotion of elite governance and massive levels of worker exploitation consequently required the forging of a “liberal consensus” among the ruling class and their allied functionaries, which would actively pre-empt radical structural alternatives, and legitimise capitalism – by fostering public acquiesence to elite priorities.

To successfully facilitate the building of this consensus, the creation of right-thinking educational institutions was essential in generating a “worldwide network of elites whose approach to governance and change would be efficient, professional, moderate, incremental, and non-threatening to the class interests of those who, like Messrs, Carnegie, Ford, and Rockefeller, had established the foundations.”

Far-sighted elites evidently recognised the popularity of alternatives to capitalism, so in turn advocated progressive reforms which attempted to find the  “middle ground between the extremes of oligopoly on the one hand and socialism on the other, while encouraging an atmosphere congenial to increased levels of productivity.”[3]

This is not to say that the individuals who launched foundation “education” programs during the Progressive Era were not seriously concerned with improving the lot of the poor and downtrodden: just that many of these people with “a deep and abiding concern for the plight of the poor” failed to tackle the root cause of injustice, that is, industrial capitalism.

Non-Profit Corporate Power: Sheep in Wolf’s Clothing?

November 16, 2010

Ceasefire Magazine

by Michael Barker

Why do corporations give billions of dollars to charitable foundations every year? Does it make their profit-making activities less exploitative? In the first of a monthly series of columns investigating corporate power, Michael Barker looks at non-profit foundations.


Massive corporations wield immense power, and their ability to crush lives is commensurate with their insatiable demands for profit: profit that is derived from, and necessitates, exploitation. Therefore, working to end such anti-social activities should be a top priority for humankind. But if in some bizarre act of humanity a small proportion of the profits derived from capitalism are churned back to the very people who suffer worst from the necessary ill effects of corporate power, what then? Does such charity mean that the institutionalized exploitation of the bulk of human life is not so bad after all?

I would argue that the answer is ‘no’; corporate profit gained at the expense of humans can never be justified by such philanthropic gestures. No doubt such noblesse oblige is allocated by some elites with noble intentions; but if the price for such charity is for its recipients to ignore economic exploitation, then it is hardly distributed with altruistic intentions. Instead it is given with economic intent to profit more handsomely from a workforce, in a manner that assuages each individual capitalist’s desire to feel (and advertise) their own neglected humanity.

THE SLOW AND SILENT GENOCIDE THE US IS CONDUCTING IN HAITI

Posted on July 19, 2012 by

Libya 360

This writing reviews, in two parts, the consequences of US investment in Haiti. It looks at the New York Times investigation into the Caracol industrial park, its anchor tenant, the South Korea’s Sae-A Trading, giving Haiti context with the Bitter Cane documentary on industrial parks in Haiti 40-years ago. The piece illustrates that Washington’s bait and switch use of donation dollars and US taxpayer aid for private profit is a colonial blueprint in Haiti. US intervention is not intended, even when called “Haiti reconstruction” to provide sustainable jobs and infrastructure for Haitians. Caracol itself is window dressing covering the infrastructure the US is building for the mineral and vast oil reserves the US occupies Haiti to exploit.

Ezili Dantò

PART I

July 2012 – A Factory Grows in Haiti
***
The showcase project for Haiti’s earthquake reconstruction is being built far outside the disaster zone, in a location that could jeopardize the country’s key conservation effort.
***
Haiti: Bitter Cane Documentary

Haiti, 35, 40years ago:
“Notice how long ago it’s been since Haitians knew there was gold in Haiti. It’s the same for Haiti’s vast oil, which the US strategically denies. But now that the one-percenters have de-legitimized elections and lined up their puppet government, perhaps sometime soon the New York Times shall suddenly “discover” Haiti oil reserves and what Ezili HLLN has been pointing out for a decade now. Haiti’s mineral riches and oil in Haiti are the economic reasons the US took down Haiti’s democratically elected government in 2004, installed the US occupation behind UN guns with the humanitarian invasion.”

– Ezili Dantò

The constant US bait and switch in Haiti: A Historical Perspective

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

The uninformed, reading the New York times on Haiti two years ago, not the New York Times of Earthquake Relief Where Haiti Wasn’t Broken (July 5, 2012), vilified and marginalized Ezili’s HLLN, said we exaggerated when we pointed out that Western foreign investment in Haiti has mostly meant more Haiti suffering, death, pain and inhuman tribulations. (See, Bitter Cane pt. 6/7.)

The Deborah Sontag’s New York Times investigative report maintains that in the rush to show reconstruction progress the international stakeholders and US State Department building the Caracol industrial park have ignored labor and environmental concerns.

But Haitians who die a thousand deaths for Haiti renewal know there is a hidden war of attrition going on against the Haiti masses. The tyranny is not inadvertent. (US justice for the Haiti cholera victims would be collectively awarding $40million to Paul Farmer pharmaceuticals for cholera vaccines.)

Historically for Haiti, what is called foreign “investment” has always meant the unscrupulous extraction of profits without regards to its consequences on the people or environment and leaving no useful gain in Haiti whatsoever. More malicious, the conditions for US-style (one-percenter) investment requires the Haiti government not to subsidize its own people’s critical public service needs but to leave this to the so-called free market.

Hurting the peasant and poor Haitian to the point of collapse so to force these masses to accept any wage, any pie-in-the sky-promise of jobs and infrastructure, any political condition imposed by the humanitarian invasion is the central focus of US policy in Haiti, not a corrosive side effect, unintended, haphazard, incidental or misguided as the critics of the Caracol industrial project seem to diplomatically say. The failure of US foreign aid in Haiti is structural and ugly. Racism and paranoia inexorably reigns. In the mindless fury the corporatocracy views Haiti as a time bomb which must be defused immediately.

Foreign investment has thus equaled more Haiti suffering – that is, the taking of Haiti peasant lands for building factories, foreign compounds, for mining, other resource extractions and agribusiness that pollutes, contaminates water supplies, crops, and fails to bring sufficient local economic benefits. (More than 15% of Haiti’s territory is under license to North American mining firms and their partners.)

Foreign investment doesn’t ignite ?Haiti development when all capital is flown overseas, the companies pay no taxes and there’s no living wage.

BITTER CANE

Songtag writes:

“the showcase project of the reconstruction effort is this: an industrial park that will create jobs and housing in an area undamaged by the temblor, a venture that risks benefiting foreign companies more than Haiti itself.”

Sontag explains that the Caracol site contains Haiti’s:

“most extensive mangrove reserve and a large strip of coral reef. Before the earthquake, the bay had been picked from 1,100 miles of coastline to become the first marine protected area in Haiti, the only Caribbean country without one. “The fact of having chosen this site, I’d call it heresy,” said Arnaud Dupuy, head of Haiti’s Audubon Society.”

Assembly plant factories caused great damage to Haiti back 40years ago when Papa Doc Duvalier, before his death, allowed their entry. That damage created the slum of Site Soley (although slum hotbeds started with the first US occupation), the primary “unstable” Haiti area given as a pretext for the endless 2004 UN MINUSTAH mission into Haiti. So what troop surge, Blackwater-like private military security or additional military deployment is the US searching a pretext for in the oil and gold-rich North of Haiti?

See-A closed flagship Guatemalan factory against backdrop of antiunion repression, rape, worker abuse, goes to ?Haiti. Having laid the eugenics groundwork, there is no way the United States is not fully aware of the labor and environmental damage projects like the Caracol industrial park will cause. And, combine with the $2obillion worth in gold mining activities also in that area -the tipping point impact, deadly ruptures, further economic and social quakes to come.

Deborah Sontag writes that before “the Haiti deal was sealed, the A.F.L.-C.I.O. urged American and international officials to reconsider.” Her report explains how Sae-A’s labor practices were consistently brought to the attention of officials:

“The A.F.L.-C.I.O. summarized what it called Sae-A’s “worst labor and criminal law violations” in Guatemala, accusing Sae-A of using bribes, death threats and imprisonment to prevent and break up unions and said a local union suspected company officials of involvement in a union leader’s rape never investigated by Guatemalan authorities…labor advocates worry, too, that Caracol will undermine the nearby Codevi industrial park, the only unionized garment operation in the country. Fernando Capellán, the owner of Codevi, said, “They’re going to destroy my jobs to create cheaper jobs in Caracol.”

With this toxic cocktail of conflicts and intentional malice, the only question is: why wouldn’t US officials expect the coming ?bloody showdown and Haiti? battle to clear this Charlemagne Peralte area of foreign dominance?

This Caracol “foreign investment/development” and “opening Haiti for business” US spiel is a REPEAT of the sugar plantation failures and foreign capital promises used to pillage Haiti, exploit, make foreigners rich. Failed sweatshops zones being sold as “development” is too transparent an idiocy for the supporters of the Caracol park to couch and excuse their lack of a moral compass, greed, cluelessness or sheer malevolence with protestations about “a rush to make reconstruction progress!” Wasting millions on ineffective cholera vaccines, instead of  immediately spending the donation dollars on permanent clean water and sanitation infrastructure, was also justified by Washington as “a rush to make progress!”

The damage and death of the old industrial parks are well documented in the Bitter Cane documentary film made clandestinely under the Duvalier dictatorship.

For Ezili’s HLLN, the indigenous revolutionary model and lexicon to end despotism, dependency, the humanitarian invasion and US occupation in Haiti was set long ago by the African Ancestors at the beginning of the Haiti revolution with the Bwa Kayiman call: “stop the imperialist, their Black collaborator and all their evil forces.”

Haitians peasants have no problem with private property ownership, the lakou/konbit and a mix-economy with public controls exercised on critical sectors to the common good, like infrastructure, clean water, sanitation, roads, health care, basic education, food production, adequate housing not being subject to profit as the sole barometer for these  basic needs to sustain life, not luxuries. The documentary uses a Marxist lexicon which may not resonate for this age.  Nevertheless Bitter Cane is a worthy reference point. It provides direct historical context, illustrates the Haiti struggle and how such US industrial parks, racist and neoliberal economic policies in Haiti meant more suffering for Haiti’s masses.

FLASHBACK: How Nonprofit Careerism Derailed the “Revolution”

December 27, 2004

Greens and Greenbacks

by MICHAEL DONNELLY

My good friend Lisa Goldrosen is a veteran of many left causes. Lisa has spent her entire adult life working in various coop endeavors. She has a wonderful collection of buttons and posters from back when America rose from the slumber of the Eisenhower years. She has buttons from the early days of the clean-up of the Hudson River ­ Pete Seeger’s precursor to Greenpeace. More are from the early Civil Rights Movement. Others are from the anti-Vietnam War effort and the SDS era on campus. She has one anti-war poster that could be recycled as is and still be useful today.

Lisa has arranged them all in a wonderful historic collage. She regularly uses it to give history lessons to young radicals here in Oregon. Someone always asks, “Why didn’t I ever hear about this in school?”

Being a 60s activist myself, having grown up in Flint — steeped in the history of the Labor Movement, a Civil Rights activist at fourteen, a UAW member at eighteen and a draft resister/ Conscientious Objector/anti-war activist later — I always enjoy my discussions with Lisa.

Recently, she put my frustrations with the current state of activism in full perspective.

The Three-legged Stool of Counterrevolution

Lisa notes, “The Revolution was derailed by three things: the end of the draft; Roe v. Wade and the rise of the nonprofit sector. Once the children of privilege were no longer subject to any personal pain, it was over. It was a brilliant strategy by predatory capitalism.”

While I’m not sure if Revolution, or even Reform, was/is inevitable, I agree. Once the draft and the possibility that middle-to-upper class kids would be sent to fight Imperial Wars was over, it’s easy to see how the bottom fell out of the anti-war movement. Recent Imperial Wars, fought predominantly with “volunteers,” are just as heinous as Vietnam, but with few highly-educated, comfortable kids’ lives being on the line, we have yet to see anything approaching the across-the-board, massive opposition that Vietnam engendered. (Astonishingly, this very year during yet another ill-fated Imperial misadventure, we saw the “Peace” Movement line up vociferously behind a proudly-stated “I’ll hunt ‘em down and kill ‘em” warmonger for president!)

Same with Roe v Wade. A whole lot of steam went out of progressive social efforts once this same socioeconomic group could gain access to affordable, legal abortion. (It appears to be the sole bottom line litmus test still applied to the Democratic Party.) Remove the pain and the rulers gain.

It really did become — remove the personal pain from these me firsters and the hiccup of resistance vanishes. I already felt that way about these two issues. But, Lisa’s expansion of the concept to include the rise of the “Nonprofit Sector” put the final piece of the puzzle in place.