Workshop Notes: Randa Solnick
USSF June 2007: My notes from programs/ workshops I attended
Randa Solick, Santa Cruz WILPF
Welcome program: Recognition we're here on Cherokee land, speaker Cherokee 'auntie': “We believe in multi-generational trauma; what happened to our ancestors gets passed down to us. So we're working to bring back some of the ceremonies, language, values, and working with our young people to bring back our traditional values again, which allowed us not to have police, lawyers, jails - and gave us our sense of well-being.”
Plenary: New York immigrant organizer: “It is our duty to fight and to win. We must love each other, and protect each other. We have nothing to lose but our chains. We know we have a movement when the poets tell it, the dancers dance it, and the singers sing it. We gather together in 2007 to mobilize, to organize, to strategize - so get ready world.”
Freedom comes and it won't be long -New Orleans jazz takeoff.
United in Support of Palestinian struggle - Palestinian rep
Unions and workers organizations; hospital workers - all translated into Spanish and signed.
Dr. CT Vivian - Civil Rights elder, preaching: “Dream no little dream, for they do not have the power to move the minds and spirits of men and women. Castro said: Never forget that revolutionaries love people - you know, he didn't have to do anything; he had money and family, excellent education, he was a great baseball pitcher! Like Jesus, you end up loving everybody, even those who disagree with you -because they deserve better too! Plan, train, don't let anything stop us! Like Mandela, are you a long-term runner? Like Joe Hill, MLK - no excuses for us, they changed the world in which we live. If this nation can be changed on the powerful race issue, we can change it on the economic issue. Plan and plan well, but it's in the action that we win.” In the action that things go deeper than any plan. Solutions come serendipitously out of the actions - and if we succeed, and we will, it will transform us. We come to be transformed, to transform the world.
We must change America, and then the world can change themselves.1-3% of us control 100% of wealth - we need the change. We call ourselves democratic, but behind it we're closer to fascism than we've ever been. We thought we had the right to vote, but found we didn't have the right to count it! And two elections in a row - a new US is necessary.
MLK said three things we must do: end racism in the US and the world, end poverty in the US and the world, we must end war.”
Member of international social forum - from Brazil Workers Union:
Seattle 1999 WT struggles saw birth of world global justice movement - and world social forums. 8 years later, a lot of movement forward against imperialism, neo-liberalism, but the war is alive and well.. The World Social Forum is ready to jump into the next and stronger phase; US Social Forum will do the same, take us to new phase of this struggle against neoliberalism, imperialism and war.
AFL CIO union organizer from Miami Jobs with Justice: 1) Connection between local fights and issues of global economy. 90s, NAFTA, CAFTA, FTAA (Miami). 2) 2001: First World SF - Porto Alegre in Brazil, 12,000 people, social movements together in World Social Forums - Brazil, Nairobi, Mumbai - it's taken seven years to build relationships between grassroots organizations here. We've got to build movement differently in this city - Atlanta and civil rights, indigenous people, grassroots movements - do this movement-building differently.
Heather Milton Lightning - originally Canadian, national native communities - we acknowledge Trail of Tears in SE, which was relocation and genocide - all over the country. USSF National Planning - change that, asking native communities if it's okay, be respectful, protocol. 570+ tribes - respectful of history, relations.
Jerome Scott - Project South in Atlanta - first really multinational march in Atlanta. Wanted the Social Forum here in the South - genocide, slavery, Jim Crow - and all resistance struggles, tradition of resisting the most exploitative conditions - so USSF here recognizes that tradition will continue. Corporate elite ruling class is dug in, and thinks we can't do anything to them - witness Katrina. So we need a powerful movement, make government do what we want.
Brooklyn and Miami Workers Center: leaders of USSF focused on right to return and restorations in Gulf Coast, immigration, homeless, low income, workers, queer reps, women, women of color. So USSF process is to help build movement - what is our accountability to people who couldn't come - and to the global south?
Alice Lovelace (slam poet) - daughter and granddaughter. “In my off-kilter world I can say what I want - poets reign supreme … Scientists say there will come a day when you can't tell shit by the smell of it.”
Colombia - Building a Solidarity Economy
14,000 people, often in peasant Peace Communities , killed, lots of kids. Paramilitaries supported by Uribe - and financed by cocaine and multi-nationals. Coke, Chiquita Banana, others. Talking directly to each other - because media won't carry.
Women's Court, Violence against Women.
Injustice system: Movement to End Prison as We Know It:, movement for poor women, violence, health care, drug problems. 70% of women in prison are mothers - so family problems.
Violence: domestic violence, sex trade, child labor.
1) Criminal Injustice system - abolition movement - abolish prisons as we know it, consider victims and consequences of incarceration of women. It's possible -
Gandhi's advice: first they laugh at you, then they ignore you, then they fight you, then you win.
Women in prisons: Over 70% in for nonviolent crimes, especially drugs. Over 1 million women in prison, parole, or probation; 2/3 of the women are women of color. 1995 - 2005, 57% increase nationwide in number of women incarcerated
Men prisoners too of course. But different roles for women and different circumstances, so we need particular need in policies for incarcerated women. Women don't have same access to programs as do men - example, in NY 30 vocational programs for men, 11 for women. Insufficient family reunification programs; substandard healthcare; little substance abuse programs.
Impacts: 8.3 million children with parents in prison, jail, parole, or probation.
1.5 million with parents in state or federal prison, 22% of them under five years old. 64% of women were living with kids before jail, 1/3 of those single parents.
Disrupts families and communities. ASFA - Adoption Safe Families - parent in jail, can't work with agencies to plan for stable place for child - if you fail (from jail) your parental rights can be terminated, no more legal relationship with their children, no contact permitted. Many states have that - 62% of parents are jailed further than 100 miles from where they live. Federal prisons can be 500 miles away. Women often get moved a lot in prison system, often without notification. Others: shackling women during labor, treatment of babies of drug-addicted women in public hospitals. See: Freeing Black Bodies. Male guards targeting and raping lesbian women.
Substandard healthcare - maybe once a month ob/gyn doctor comes to jail, most women's health problems are going untreated, many diseases undetected and undertreated. Rape in prison. Harsh stigma when getting out.
Girls almost invisible - often in solitary when under 18. Girl population is increasing, so often isolated. Darker skinned girls more often incarcerated - issues of racism, self-esteem.
And what are we doing to help women when they've gotten out of prison? No jobs, no food stamps, kids gone - do what?
Drugs are a public health issue, not a criminal justice issue.
Health care deplorable - 70% depressed, 2% seriously. Symptoms treated late or not at all, little medical care leading to deaths and permanent disabilities.
Women's Project of the ACLU: 15,000 girls under 18 are in US prisons. Texas stories, typical of experiences in US - excessive unlawful use of force, sexual abuse - even though they're legally required to rehabituate juveniles, get counseling for drug dependency, mental problems. Longer prison time because not enough halfway houses to be released to. See ACLU website.
2) Gulf Coast Section Two things connecting the Middle East and Katrina: 1) oil,
2) right to return - not as refugees, but as internally displaced people. Racist response, especially bad for women - little safety for women in trailer camps, violence and rape and prostitution.
Gender different needs - some women not strong enough to push through the roofs or climb trees. Bad relief planning by government, private sector, agencies, police.
Rebuilding in a people-centered way - not fancy rebuilders But right of eminent domain upheld by Supreme Court, if city can make money on land, and they've tightened bankruptcy laws. Both will be used in New Orleans.
So needed - reopen schools, public housing, health and mental care. Get people home as soon as possible. NO had largest public housing in nation - most single women and kids, elderly - they can't even go back to get any stuff.
51,000 women workforce dropped by half; 7,000 public employees fired within 2 weeks after Katrina, most women.
Education system - bad before, money stolen - worse now.
Pit returnees against migrant workers,
80% of health clinics patients who are pregnant Latinas are living in toxic environments; in five years from now, what about those kids?
Many women small business owners - no plans to reestablish them at all.
Human rights and maybe reparations - we're going to get it by any means necessary. Hurricane was just the eye - effects will be felt for years to come.
Schools - 50 -60,000 before, now 10 - 15,000 kids. New Orleans still bad, worse now with schools in portables, no parks for kids, toxic environment - Katrina is still going on.
Panel Conclusion: We have to come together, no response to the government's failure in New Orleans unless we work together to bring people home and make communities. Good outcome - blacks and Latinos now communicating; we must have one agenda and one plan.
Oxfam America workers helped gather women: Coastal Women for Change. Issues: affordable housing, women's rights, transportation, black and La Raza. Also in Mississippi - houses, tent, but not getting funds for community development or addressing childcare, elders, etc.
Immigrants - ex., from Peru - came to find work after Katrina. Workers with New Orleans Center for Racial Justice: Latino workers brought to be used, after African-Americans gone. We're poor workers who are here to seek money for our families, but when we arrived, we realized the people had lied to us. We're owned by one employer, whose name is inscribed on our passports; if we disobey that employer, they can deport us. We call that modern-day slavery. Sometimes that company sells us to another for $2000 - slavery. Not true that I came here to take work away from African-Americans - clear that they want our communities to fight - the old and the new slaves. This can't go on - we're making the alliances.
Fight worth having - people in NO see the loss of everything parents and grandparents fought for, house to pass down as inheritance. Also environment - like people in superfund sites - New Orleans East is not getting any levy improvements, lower 9th ward either - unlike rich white wards. Lower 9th ward still not getting any government help - so they decided to do it themselves. Keep finances going to grassroots organizations, not nationals (carpetbaggers!)
Katrina also symbol - criminal justice, housing, healthcare - all of us living this Katrina nightmare. Source is this racist capitalist system. Contrive to take this to the international community - Human Rights Council, for example - but we have to organize ourselves or these human rights. We can choose how we respond to the conditions we find ourselves in. Reminded of our historical responsibility - we have a responsibility to build a new revolutionary movement in this country.
To see judges' decisions from the Women's Court, write to M. Sc. Teresa C. Ulloa, Coalicion Contra el Trafico de Mujeres y Niñas en América Latina y El Caribe, firstname.lastname@example.org <mailto:email@example.com>.
Plenary - US Imperialism, War, and Militarism:
Secretary General All Workers Union in Iraq
Yaqui Woman who served in US military
Southwest Organizing Project - youth member
Women of Color Resource Project
Youth Rights Campaign vs. Militarization in Schools
Especially low income schools with many students of color, exposing truth behind military recruitment in Albuquerque, were able to keep guns off campus.
Critical Resistance - against prisoners and gender violence. Imagine a world without prisoners. The prison/industrial complex is not normal, we don't have to have it. Not fixable, not kinder and gentler - have to get rid of it. Mid 2006 1/133 US residents was in prison or jail; 6/10 black or Latino. Blacks were 41% of two million men in prison. June 30, 2006 - 5% of all black men were in custody. Black women four times the number of white women, fastest growing prison segment.
Corporations migrating out of country for cheap labor - leading to communities poor, no jobs, no schools, no services - leading to young people going to jail or war. We can deal with harm in a way that is healthy; we don't need a perfect solution before we can begin to change the world and provide for our needs.
Speaker on Palestine/Israel: Hamas/Fatah split: democracy promotion backfired and elected Hamas, economic sanctions we imposed then on Hamas, propping up compliant corrupt local rulers - for us it is not enough to support 'good Palestinians” vs. “bad Israelis,”, but how do we support the people? Hamas not progressive, driven by militarism, repressive on gender, uses religion as means to push conservative agenda. Needed discussion, mistake to glorify Hamas just because they're opposing the US and Israel - but we must not feed into Bush's anti-Arab stance. So clarity on what it is we want to help create, and support those Palestinians who share that view.
** Later, this speaker was denounced by a Palestinian-tent representative as not having had the right, being a 'woman of privilege' - to speak for the Palestinians.
United for Peace and Justice - Connect peace and justice, no money for social justice programs unless we have peace. How to bring those 70% who agree with us on the war into play and unravel lies? How to engage, mobilize, organize them? End war and shift money to rebuild our communities. The cities need that money; 47 out of 51 mayors voted to withdraw troops.
Women of color leading the fight in Congress - Maxine Waters, Barbara Lee, others, in the knowledge our movements are united in linking peace to justice issues. World is counting on us.
By 2014, no more oil in the US - so Bush is trying to secure 50% of Iraqi oil. Up to people in every country to secure the wealth of the people of the country for themselves - - it's their wealth, not the wealth of their governments!
Center for the Homeless: art and art classes, Katrina shrine, photos from Center for Immigrant Families Literacy Project - Iraq, Colombians displaced by violence; women warriors.
Workshop: Women Write the Agenda to Prevent War, by WILPF and WAND.
Effects of war on women. To prevent war: maximize women power in government, maximize women in human rights. 80% of displaced people in conflict zones are women, subject to sexual violence, sexual trafficking, poor health in armed conflict areas, social divisions. Sexual violence: rape, forced abortions and sterilizations, STDs, targeted by fighting forces, forced to bear children, trafficked as sex slaves. Domestic violence up with increased access to weapons in conflict areas, loss of employment, military mindset. Example: Iraqi women forced to cross borders into Syria to work as prostitutes as a way to live - barter themselves - 2 million women annually. Health - HIV, STDs way up, increased birth mortalities without prenatal care and increasing stress.
Socio-economic dimensions: forced into being heads of households, so need to work - increased number of girls heading households with parents dead.
Women full participants in government as means for ending war. So, do women govern differently? They have in the US focused in women's issues, reproductive care, environment, international aid, health care - have promoted social justice issues. But during wartime, polls show people less likely to vote for women. Women's Legislative Lobby, funded by WAND, will recruit women to actively vote against war and militarism. Deal with national security issues, environment, women's issues.
WILPF workshop, Gillian Gilhool and Tonya McClary: Human Rights Organizing to Get What You Want: Using International Treaties to Promote Human Rights. Security Council Resolution 1325 was a benchmark for Women's Rights - but not a single female member on the UN security Council. We should request gender balance on Security Council.
Femicides in L America - state homicides with complicity of police and national and international militias, army, paramilitaries.
UN stats: 113 - 200 million missing women each year. 2-3 million dead each year. Every 2 - 3 years, the world looks away from a holocaust on the scale of Hitler's.
Sex traffic: 6000 genital mutilations a day - some leading to lifelong pain.
4 million girls recruited for sex industry each year.
International Court of Justice - should be a serious international investigation of killings, country by country; and country by country change the cultures that exploit women. All crimes related to women during war are considered as war crimes by International Criminal Court.
UN Commission on Violence against Women - not enough, past 40 years - women must be in decision process, as 1325, when more than ½ population is subjected to violence against women.
Promote Security Council 1325 - 6th anniversary now of 1325 - consider gender in resolution of conflicts and in preventing war. Reparations - as in Zapatistas in Chiapas, Oaxaca's teachers' union, indigenous women in Michoacán
All women of peace can use 1325 in all these situations - for example, state actions, discrepancies, peace education for children, train armies and police - we should use it to train lawmakers, use it for UN millennium goals, to empower women and girls of the world.
1325 gives us a framework for dignity and for all human rights. Use as instrument to empower women, take to governments, to prevent, protect, and reconcile.
*** Commit candidates to use 1325, ratify CEDAW and Rights of Child Convention!
What is US government doing to change the conscription of child trafficking, of drugs? How to educate people about 1325?
Representative Bernice Johnson promoting recognition of 1325. Here's a Security Council Resolution - we've agreed to it, it's the solution to everything! Put this in your group's language. Button 1325, the answer to everything - it can buy you your rights! Teach the Girl Scouts - get a new UN badge. Reach out to coalition organizations, community organizations, to use 1325. Teach teachers to rephrase things in terms of 1325; use in ESL classes.
Jean Verthei, UN WILPF rep, says WILPF has 1325 project called peacewomen.org - translated into 75 languages. Ask national WILPF for 1325 toolkit.
Use with women's organizations here, lobby candidates. National Council of Women - get Hilary to back this, get candidates to commit at forums.
See more notes below on pg. 13
Southwest People's Caravan - USSF is not an event, it's a process for thinking about how to build a movement. Influencing immigration reform. Support rebuilding of Gulf Coast. Putting social service providers and social justice people together.
Fierce - NYC youth of color, in alliance with GLT
Right to the City organization
National Org of Day Laborers
National Org of Domestic Workers (formed this week from 13 domestic workers' unions)
Puerto Rico Libre (vs. capitalism, imperialism, racism, patriarchy)
Labor community strategy - out of L.A., Bus Riders' Union - fight for clean fuel and air, for working class of color in L.A., billions for busses - fight L.A. transit recommendations..
Cuba and Venezuela were the first to respond to Katrina.
We've got to begin this collaboration against police/prison/national security state.. Don't sell out most neglected - gang members, prostitutes, homeless, unemployed working class.
Indigenous people - Indigenous Environmental Network - Dineh and Dakota Water Ceremony was unification - we are not looking for reform, but transformation. U.S. has to recognize treaties it has violated. Now, united and building solidarity - take down the borders that divide us.
Black/brown unity, working group undertaking collective struggle against capitalism.
Northwest Area - keeping ports for people and not military; port militarization resistance. And “None of us are illegal” - Washington State, shut down Tacoma ICE detention center, privately owned - so, shut down all ICE detention centers
Miami group: Luis Carillo should be turned over the to Bolivaran Republic of Venezuela - call your member of congress. See www.rethinkVenezuela.org <http://www.rethinkVenezuela.org>
Right to the City Alliance - free from market speculation, right to public space. Oakland, and other cities. www.rightthe <http://www.rightthe> city.org
Troops Out Now Coalition - keep up pressure in D.C..
Immigration Rights caucus - Resources to protect people from raids. year-long campaign against enforcement, acts of civil disobedience. We will not accept any legislation that includes border enforcement, interior enforcement.
People's Hurricane Relief Fund - all internally displaced people have the right to return. UN should get out of bed with World Bank and do what's needed.
Puerto Rico's People's Assembly - UN 1514, right of all people to self-determination.
Media Justice Activists - won't get to another world without another media.
Task Force for the Homeless - protesting the Atlanta Housing Authority - evictions from public housing.
Indigenous People's National Declaration - After 514 years of genocide, we will stand by mother earth, we stand in solidarity with all people.
Queers for Economic Justice: contact Southerners on New Ground website.
Women's Working Group - Bush didn't protect women against violence, didn't take two months of the money we spend in Iraq for funding Katrina relief.
Free Palestine - US supporting apartheid State. Divestment movement.
Reparations Movement - Africans and descendants, slavery still exists in prison system, worldwide diaspora - holocaust reparations.
Solidarity with Costa Rica - within the next ten days, CR people here have ten days to stop CAFTA! July 11th, CR Court will decide if CAFTA unconstitutional - write to CR people, sign banner of women, write Congress - Stop CAFTA Now~ website: CR against CAFTA.
Food and Justice movement
Cuba Organizations, in solidarity with struggle re black/brown solidarity.
Jobs with Justice - December 10, International Human Rights Day - links between jobs and justice, oppose all free trade agreements - Korea, Colombia, Peru and others.
Freedom of speech at DePaul University - tenure for Norm Finkelstein - see finkelgate.com
Grassroots Global Justice Alliance - 60+ countries vs. neoliberal trade agenda - Korea, Colombia, Panama, Peru - oppose all free trade and imperialistic militarism. Jan 2008 week of action.
Youth Justice Coalition - millions in the prison system, it all must be torn down, funds to support communities to stop incarcerations. Military recruiters out of schools. Probation and paroled and all youth released are immediately enrolled in quality education programs
Poor People's Economic Human Rights Campaign - unites poor people over color lines - health care, education, living wage jobs. Jan 26 join people everywhere in Global Day of Action. 60th anniversary of UNHR . Food, housing, healthcare, education, water, living wage jobs. Involve poor people in 2008 campaign.
Corporate Accountability International. Sierra Club National Water Campaign. Alliance for Democracy. Food and Water Watch.
Launch last year of Blue October - challenging privatization of water systems and corporate control of food and water. Increased support for public water. Chicago Catholic orders want water brochure. Center for International Policy, in DC, Central America Program - Salvador writes rights including new water law.
Mexico City March 06 - corporations hold World Water Forum, corporate - same time as UN Water day. Last World Water Day, corporations like Coke did 'actions.” Joint Declaration form Mexico City March 2006 - Caracas World Social Forum previously brought together water activists - with holistic vision of right to water, framework of global strategy. Download Mexico City Statement and call for organization.
“The right to water is possible” - slogan of public, participatory movement. Every three years after Kyoto, to film “Thirst” - so third meeting, Mexico City, World Water Forum - our own response was a forum. Bolivaran water - how corporations co-opting right to water, 300 groups in alternative forum signed onto this, but US still didn't' sign
So corporate and alternative forum at same time - and protests outside corporate one as well.
Uruguay Oct 31 2004 - national plebiscite on 'if water is a formal right should it be provided by government, public trust - should it be in the constitution? - WON! South Africa has it, Colombia now has a drive for the issue on a ballot - our thinking is to get it in constitutions around the world.
2006 events - Cochabamba, Bolivia - two week long festival - films, music, dance - national coalitions vs Bechtel, in La Paz.
Canada - was day of action re bottled water on college campuses. Hooked up with native Americans fighting Coke.
India - march protesting Coca Cola, to headquarters.
Uruguay -Food and Water Watch held 35 house parties, screened film about LaPaz' fight to kick out French company Suez, sent letters to Bolivia.
+30 countries participated.
So plans for Oct 2007:
Oct 18 - 35th anniversary of Clean Water Act - clean water now and for future generations. Under Bush, main source cut in half to $800 million for public water (state revolving funds, loans to states) - so full funding of public water infrastructure. EVEN THOUGH IN Mexico City, head of World Bank said, “We've already seen that privatization of water has not worked.”
Food and Water Watch, working with groups, public utilities, etc., to create a new source of money, a trust fund for clean water - as we have with airports, highways, social security - we already have national trust funds. Blue October campaign starts in August when Congresscritters are home, to raise issues and ask them to support public water with national trust fund.
Seattle - some people's strategy is based on who owns the property water source comes from = maybe control for leverage. Like, land trust for huge plots of land.
In National Trust Fund research, found there is one in N Carolina - from money for land trusts to conserve watershed. Tricky in west because of water laws - in general, ownership of land does not covey rights to water, but rather prior appropriations; if you continue using it, you continue to have right to water. So land trust different than in the east. Different way to convey water rights to public sector - and even that oversubscribed - more water rights than water.
Work with Native Americans.
No, not land trust, but money for infrastructure. Grants - current funding is revolving fund, we want to continue that but add grants.
So strategy - lots of local things or focus on a few things?
SF mayor ordered city ban on buying bottled water for city functions - SF and other mayors. Mayor of Salt Lake City banned bottled water at city offices and functions. So Corporate Accountability had organizers in cities, and SF signed onto ban, no longer will the city buy bottled water. Mayor of Minneapolis too hopefully.
US Conference of Mayors, resolution presented to all of the majors - cities will conduct a study into city use of bottled water, and waste disposal costs, and look at public water systems. Passed on Monday, all major cities in US, even though Coke came to conference to lobby against the resolution.
So Corporate Accountability will have water campaign kit at end of summer.
Seattle thinking about film festival with Thirst - in English, Spanish and other languages.
Focus on municipal water systems support. Keep anti-corporate focus.
First Sat in Oct - Inter-American Day on Water. In El Salvador, will be events.
Wind River Alliance - Shoshone and Cheyenne in Wyoming - educate youth to become monitors around watershed.
Rhizome Collective (rhizome.org) - Radical Urban Sustainability Training - water, food, energy
Nevada campaign - clean up water from uranium tailings.
Outside the Bottle.org
Grassroots Activists Victory Stories - Food and Water Watch
Felton Flow, New Mexico Aceqia Association, Ron Reed of the Karuk Tribe around Klamath dams, EFlow, Ruth Kaplan from New Hampshire, Michigan Welfare Rights from Detroit
Flow - no negative campaigning, only positive, project will win and you want to join.
Whistler, Council of Canadians - voluntary organizations throughout Canada. Public/private partnerships (P3s)- contract to provide company, municipality rents back service - ex., of sewage treatment plant. To upgrade plant, international companies (Am Water was one) concerned for 1) partnerships, 2) NAFTA implications. Keeping local control - Food and Water Watch. Give out local info right away; concentrate on local jobs, threat to community. Show “Thirst” Stockton group. Ron Reed, NCalifornia River, Kaduk people - Klamath River. FERC licensing of hydroelectric dams on Klamath. (Hupa, Yurok, Karuk in California - those are the three largest tribes in California.)
Dams cut off 350 miles of prolific spawning and rearing habitat. Less than 5% of millon fish return to the river. Tribe of 340 people, caught less than 300 fish last year; water quality down, fertilizing nutrients from agriculture promoting algae which smother river, huge health implications from less number of fish and ceremonial and social impacts. Social aspects of unhealthy river systems - doctor from Davis said diabetes up, blood pressure up. Subsistence fishers -social system. Karuk one of 18 tribes in California with no ratified treaty. 1.8 million acres taken, given nothing. 70 miles of river, 100 villages or tribal towns -each village had 1 fishery; now there's only one fishery in all. Environmental impact to human health. If we get one dam out, would be the largest dam removal in US history - all four would be largest dam removal in world. Coalition of tribes, fishermen, health people, etc. Report said “denied access to traditional food.” Now Ron on California Environmental Quality Project - and other boards - Native American Board, strategizes with NGOs for dam removal..
Buffet said - he has a share in energy companies - Pacific Cove subsidiary of Brooks.. Hathaway - and so he has no influence on Klamath.
rreed@karuk. us, for the dam campaign.
Michigan Welfare Rights - last few years more people with utility bills they can't pay have been seen. More than 45,000 homes (800,000 in district) had water shut off. So, picketing in front of water dept., pickets in front of city council people. Proposed water availability plan - Public City helped them get lawyers to support water as a human right, and counted people without water - public health crisis - municipal system with efforts to contract out work, cutting unions, cutting services. Old system, needs repair - and other cities, ex., Highland Park - Ford set up own water plant, but as auto makers disappeared, people getting estimated bills every 6 - 9 months, put those water bills on property taxes , and when they can't pay city takes the homes. So losing homes to water.
Water Affordability Plan - poverty attorneys helped - University of Michigan, Boston advisor - helped develop plan - residents can contribute to fund, and fees from collections - $5 million fund set up - people who need assistance can get into payment plans.
Alliance for Democracy - Ruth Kaplan - since 1996. Problems with corporate personhood; using 14th amendment to protect their 'rights' as 'people'. Rural conservative farming communities in Pennsylvania - Republicans! - taking charge that Sierra Club and Farm Bureau and Democrats send corporate hog farms need permits to reduce pollution. Rural townships protested - they didn't want law, or corporate hog farms - no pollution! We have small farms. So, they wrote an ordinance for towns. There can be no corporate farms in this town unless corporation is owned by town. 100 townships passed that, and no right of corporate personhood.
New Hampshire Save Our Groundwater - corporation winning regulatory system. So got together in town of Barnstead, had seen Thirst - wanted to protect groundwater - organized grassroots and people, Select Board, told them about Pennsylvania lawyer (Lindsay), want him to write an ordinance - no corporation can take our water. Presented at town meeting after grassroots organized about ordinance. Passed 136 - 1. No corporation can come to our towns and take our water. Town of Barnstead proclamation - all of our water is held in the public trust for people and the ecosystem of Barnstead. And, no corporate personhood.
New Mexico acequia system. Harold Trujillo said they'd had 900 years of pueblo water,
Maintain with sweat equity - sustainable system that deals with drought and needs. 1907 water privatized in NM, allowed water transfers. For first time, people could sever water from land, sell it. Since 1990s, threat increasing, with NM increased pop - Santa Fe doubled pop from 50 to 100k last 10 years. Pressures on small farms and communities increasing. So organizing acequias to protect water rights. Example, from developers or cities. Would dry up communities around state. Acequias recognized as state government changed transfer laws - transfers would first have to be approved by local boards. Water banking law - farmers could bank and others could use it . 82-83 laws enacted and bylaws. Hispanola had meeting giving up private contract, 193-7 vote for community control instead of ability to sell water; first presented to local community before transfer can be made. Being challenged legally, hoping NM Superior Court will uphold laws.
Paul and Joyce Marin, Emmaus, Pennsylvania - water board said we would have to double our rates to improve aging system - so let's sell. Get contract with honeymoon period where no rate increases - until councilpeople are out of office. Efficiency and benefits of scale - but really only benefit company!
NAFTA and Gatt trade agreements”” international agreements supercede local and state law - go to international agency. (Yeah, they're making 100% profit on bottled water - and they also own our rainwater!)
So they organized community, formed Emmaus Flow - Emmaus for locally Owned Water. Demanded a public meeting, people demanded to keep water public.
“Stop the Corporate Water Grab, Save Our Water for Future Generations.” Helped by Food and Water Watch, made allies.
Advice: go to local water board meetings.
Space For Peace - see brochure, talking points.
Code Pink - dogging the candidates
Human Rights Organizing to Get What You Want: WILPF, run by Tony McLeary and Gillian Gilhool. Conventions that have not been ratified by US : 1) CEDAW 2) CRC rights of child 3) Convention on People with Disabilities.
San Francisco WILPF - Rhoda Norman - wants to amend the Constitution to include Human Rights - timed to Eleanor Roosevelt's birthday in October. In California laws, in city council resolutions
Allison McCrary, New Orleans - worked with UN WILPF NY on 1325.
Carol Umer (?) International human rights treaties are set up to have grasssroots organizations keep national governments on track.
Laura Reskin - co-chairs WILPFs Human Rights Committee - Mass CEDAW Project. What rights are we trying to protect/promulgate in our community? Immigration? Water? To achieve social justice.
UN Article 55 of Charter - observe and universally respect human rights for all - human rights reside in people, not governments. 1993 Vienna UN Human Rights conference - “human rights are the ultimate norm of all politics.”
Universal Declaration of Human Rights is not a treaty and has no enforcement mechanism - so UN members wanted specific conventions. Two parts 1) yellow booklet: civil and political rights, 2) economic, social and cultural rights. US did ratify International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Also 3) CERD - ratified, 4) CEDAW (Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women) - not ratified, 5) Convention on the Rights of the Child CRC ratified, 6) Torture - yes, ratified, 7) Convention on Disabilities - presented Dec 2006, not ratified yet.
Structure of treaties: 1) first, definitions, 2) general provisions, 3) enforcement necessary. Generally, enforcement is 'shame'. States that have ratified treaties have to submit periodic reports to expert body which review and make recommendations. NGOs provide additional material - shadow reports - for the treaty body to review and compare to government submissions - and reviewing body refers to NGO reports too, part of the 'shame' and 'bringing to light' process.
CEDAW, proposed in Mexico City 1975, adopted 1979 - now the thinking is it should be called the Women's Treaty. See history update handout.
U.S. Constitution on ratification - Article 2 Section 2: President negotiates treaties and binds country with advice and consent of Senate.
Dept of State negotiates, President signs, presents to Senate. Senate Foreign Relations committee reports out to Senate for 2/3 vote. Carter submitted CEDAW in 1977 to Senate, hearings 1990. 1993 Clinton Administration, 68 senators - 67 needed - asked him to get active with this. Clinton asked Foreign Relations Committee to have hearings, they reported it out to Congress in 1994 - but with the Gingrich revolution, it lapsed. 2002 again, but lapsed. Now - still in Senate Foreign Relations Committee and lots of activity to ratify it.
Women have worked state by state for local and state support to send resolutions to their senators. In San Francisco, for example, locals adopted that language.
Resolution's language has broad definition of discrimination, could lead to broader applications for basic human rights. In some way is stronger than US laws - ex., pro affirmative action.
CRC - Convention on the Rights of the Child. 70 - 89 all sorts of advocates from all over the world developed language, careful of childrearing practices of 200+ nations. US under Reagan and Bush administration helped. 89, UN adopted treaty - more countries signed this than any other UN treaty. Ratified by all except US (And Somalia, which is working on it now). Only 2 articles inconsistent with US law - and we have good CPS laws, but 1) we have no national health care, and 2) we oppose elimination of death penalty for under 18 year olds - moot now since gone now. So only national health care plan. 1995 we signed but never submitted to US Senate. Recognizes family right to standard of living for physical, social, spiritual needs, peace, dignity, etc - right to health, medical attention, treatment for abuse and neglect. Radical!
Disability Convention - took 4 years to negotiate - landmines treaty with support outside of UN - by NGOS mostly). So NGOs were invited into negotiations, “nothing about me without me” - fine for people to come from all over, put up website for total inclusion and input. US hasn't signed - reasoning our current ADA act is better. And, we have a federal system, preventing us from letting states decide what to do. But ADA is a federal law that applies to the states - as do all other treaties. The provisions of the human rights treaties are binding on states. But there's been no education by feds of states to bring local governments into compliance. Disability Treaty - see handout. Article 6 and 7 about women and kids with disabilities.
Initiatives taken to bring human rights home locally. HR documentation - you have to tell the stories of the people most affected by the lack of rights. Informs local government about needs in the community, compare what people entitled to with what they get. So, gather stories to document hr abuses.
US Human Rights Network is going to organize a shadow report on CERD -primary shadow reports (on justice with police, transgendered and on torture after Katrina) comments on official US reports' inaccuracies - have been accepted by UN.
SF - CEDAW adopted into city charter. NY - CEDAW and CERD to NYC Council for rights of NY citizens.
Santa Cruz County??
Carol used 1325 in Lesotho - as check on government living up to Rights of the Child. Plenty of UN publications to help all of us with education. So help us, grow in our understanding of hr.
Oaxaca - can Santa Cruz help?
Gilhool and Laura - article 20 prohibits propaganda for war. Mass CEDAW project - about people who die in prisons; also prison health care. Early 90s, with Shoshone land rights in Nevada - gradual encroachment, UN ruled they were a sovereign nation.
Jody uses it around Non-proliferation Treaty. WILPF has provided information for shadow reports to UN, so that our government is not the only voice speaking for what's happing in US. They've developed relationships with Egypt, Mexico and others to work on non-proliferation. We have access to other countries' governments.
Death Penalty - LA prisoners on death row - they got French people to adopt him and apply international law re no death penalty
Maybe get special Rapporteur to visit - even for treaties not ratified in US.
CEDAW had provision that individuals can go directly to the UN - for example, disability rights groups can bring complaints - but you have to have exhausted all national possibilities.
Ex: Cases of Mexican women raped and murdered have been brought to CEDAW. And can go to special Rapporteur on violence against women. Ex. Can use with human trafficking. So, some articles can be applied and used as framework to deal with local, state, national governments for remedy of violations. In shadow reporting, you have to allege which article is violated. See handouts on 1325. 1) allege violations, 2) evidence, 3) recommendations.
NY Human Rights Project: firstname.lastname@example.org <mailto:email@example.com>
San Francisco Wild for Human Rights: firstname.lastname@example.org
US HR networking: ushrnetwork.org
CERD - hrpujc.org - against racial discrimination
WILPF working now on shadow report for recruiting child soldiers, high school recruiting.
Contact senators, ex., Boxer, on Senate Foreign Relations Committee - to ratify CEDAW.
New Mexico Water Rights - Acequias Southwest Organizing Community - preserve water rights.
Intel New Mexico uses 300 million gallons a day of water! They say they're putting it back in, but wells drying up below the company. IRB - industrial reserve bonds - tricky way to get money to private sector - negotiation between city or government and corporation. Has largest IRB in the world - county gave Intel free rent for 25 years, no property taxes, and other breaks - with few requirements for number of jobs or anything else, worth $3 billion to Intel - more than New Mexico's $1.2 billion budget - and now they've eliminated jobs.
Even if Intel puts back 250 million gallons/day, 50m lost would irrigate enough to feed so many people in NY.
So goal - sustainable. No water can be transferred out of a watershed - principal of SWAP. Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District - elected position. Now - 3 acre/feet/acre a year is allocated. Goals: conserve and bank water, reconstitute acequia. How to organize people without having them want to keep all that money? $20,3000 for water rights (forever)
Water bank, like land trust
Build huge campaign, educate community
Adopt an acequia, carbon trading
Water Right trust - prioritize, water to consumers, farmers
Educate the people - start in primary school
Educate community how to negotiate with companies
Think of the future generations.
“shame” with corporate accountability
Declaration of reclaiming our sovereign rights - use to organize, make cultural value
Tie water rights to land
Regulations on corporations
IRB for traditional farmers.