Tag Archives | Activism

Orphanage trips by Aussie schools are doing more harm than good

Australian private schools are increasingly taking their senior students to volunteer in orphanages, but they’re doing more harm than good.  Lemuellz/Flickr, CC BY-SA

Australian private schools are increasingly taking their senior students to volunteer in orphanages, but they’re doing more harm than good.
Lemuellz/Flickr, CC BY-SA

By Karleen Gribble, University of Western Sydney

Australian private schools are increasingly taking their senior students to volunteer in orphanages in Asia. During these trips students undertake maintenance or building work, but invariably they also spend time playing with the children in the orphanages. Schools see these visits as an opportunity for their students to help others and to gain perspective on their privilege.

What do these trips mean for the children in orphanages?

Before answering this question it’s important to understand what it is like for a child to grow up in an orphanage. Decades of research have proven that children need to be loved and cared for by a limited number of people who are dedicated to them and able to respond to their needs.… Read the rest

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Rodney Reed: You can help save his life

Rodney Reed sits on death row in Texas, facing an execution date of March 5th for a murder that even the victim’s family thinks he didn’t commit. It would take a simple DNA test to prove his innocence – and you can force the Governor of Texas to make that happen. Here’s a website with more info – http://justice4rodneyreed.org/

BREAKING NEWS: 

We have just learned that the execution of Rodney Reed has been stayed for now, by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals (CCA). The fight isn’t over until a new trial is granted, but this is great news!!

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Indonesian Villagers Stand Up Against Illegal Miners

"Mount Merapi in 2014" by Crisco 1492 - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Mount Merapi in 2014” by Crisco 1492Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Bambang Muryanto writes at the Jakarta Post:

Hundreds of residents from four villages on the slopes of Mount Merapi in Sleman regency, Yogyakarta, have taken it into their own hands to stop illegal sand mining near their homes and demand that Sleman regency take firm action.

They also took a stand by driving out heavy machinery from the sand quarry.

“We demand the heavy machinery be pulled out today,” said rally coordinator Maryono, during an event dubbed “the people’s hearing” at an intersection in Candi hamlet, Purwobinangun, Sleman, on Tuesday.

The protesters — hailing from Girikerto, Wonokerto, Purwobinangun and Hargobinangun villages — included housewives, teenagers and adults and called themselves the Concerned Residents Forum.

They also cut down several trees and used the trunks to block hundreds of sand trucks from leaving Purwobinangun, including those belonging to the Army’s ZENI Engineering Directorate.

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In the lion’s den: my victory against Monsanto


Zen Honeycutt / Moms Across America via The Ecologist:

Moms Across America founder Zen Honeycutt took on Monsanto chief Hugh Grant at the company’s Annual General Meeting – and won, winning 53% of the vote on a call for Monsanto to reform its practices and safeguard the health of millions of children exposed to its toxic products – and Roundup in particular. In her own words, this is what took place …

The sounds of the boisterous rally crowd faded behind me in the distance as I walked toward building A of Monsanto Headquarters in St. Louis Missouri for the shareholder meeting.

The security stationed on the perimeter of the property, without a word between us, relayed my pending arrival to the headquarters, “Ms. Honeycutt approaching building A.” The staff inside also knew me by name and greeted me cordially.

After a thorough security check and receiving my ‘Shareowner’ sticker, I was escorted to a conference room where Lisa from SumofUs was also sitting.

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Seattle’s Left Coast Formula

Anupam_ts (CC BY 2.0)

Anupam_ts (CC BY 2.0)

Via James N. Gregory at Dissent Magazine:

Contemporary Seattle is a city with a dual personality. On one hand, a dramatic building boom is underway. Towering cranes crowd the skyline as scores of new office and apartment buildings race to accommodate the thousands of code warriors whom Amazon and other tech companies are hiring. Since the start of the twenty-first century, the city’s population has grown by 14 percent and its workforce by at least that amount. Median income is now the third highest in the nation among big cities, behind only San Jose and San Francisco. New restaurants, trendy stores, massive new transportation projects and waterfront developments add to the feeling that a new Seattle is taking shape—a richer, younger, denser, faster city that may loom larger in the world of commerce and culture than the old one. It is a Seattle re-engineered by billionaires, especially Jeff Bezos and Paul Allen.

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A ‘Lively’ Day at Monsanto Headquarters

Via Alexis Baden-Mayer at Organic Consumers Association

On January 30, the Organic Consumers Association (OCA) joined Moms Across America (MAA), SumofUs, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Harrington Investments and GMO Free Midwest in a protest and confrontation at Monsanto’s annual shareholder meeting.

The meeting was held at Monsanto corporate headquarters outside St. Louis, Mo., in a town called Creve Coeur—which in French means Broken Heart.

It’s a fitting name for the location of a company that has caused so much heartache with its toxic chemicals.

OCA’s mission on January 30 was to let Monsanto know, in no uncertain terms, that its so-called science—bought and paid for with dirty corporate money—is no match for the research being conducted by honest, independent scientists. And that research is clear: Monsanto is making us sick.

OCA launched our “Monsanto Makes Us Sick” with speeches by medical doctors Jeff Ritterman and Norm Shealy who summed up the scientific case against Monsanto’s flagship product, Roundup herbicide.

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President Obama Just Renewed the Drug War

Cannabis Culture (CC BY 2.0)

Cannabis Culture (CC BY 2.0)

Via Mike Adams at High Times

The Obama Administration has officially renewed the War on Drugs. The Fiscal Year 2016 budget plan released earlier this week, shows, despite the illusion of the puppet show in the nation’s capital working to reform failed drug policies, the master is hell bent on spending more money than ever to protect America against the wrath of controlled substances.

Although the President, at times, displays a progressive attitude in regards to making changes to the drug laws in the United States, this sentiment was not represented on Monday when he requested $27.6 billion to combat the domestic drug war – nearly $2 billion more than was allotted in 2014.

The White House calls the strategy behind this madness a “21st century approach to drug policy that outlines innovative policies and programs and recognizes that substance use disorders are not just a criminal justice issue, but also a major public health concern,” and suggests it is “an evidence-based plan for real drug policy reform, spanning the spectrum of prevention, early intervention, treatment, recovery support, criminal justice reform, effective law enforcement, and international cooperation.”

However, the scam is revealed in the numbers.

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Illinois Governor Awards Medical Marijuana Licenses

Ian Sane (CC BY 2.0)

Ian Sane (CC BY 2.0)

February 2, 2015 by Carla K. Johnson via The Cannabist:

CHICAGO — Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner awarded licenses Monday to dozens of medical marijuana businesses across the state after conducting an internal review that found flaws in the never-completed license award process under former Gov. Pat Quinn.

Letters to 18 winning cultivation centers and 52 retail shops were sent out Monday afternoon, Rauner spokesman Lance Trover told The Associated Press. In eight districts, Rauner delayed the licenses for further review, leaving those jurisdictions awaiting word on which companies will be able to join what could be a $36 million industry in 2016.

“I believe the right companies were rewarded,” said Tim McGraw, CEO of ACE Revolution Cannabis, which won licenses to build marijuana-growing facilities in the Illinois cities of Delavan and Barry. “We’re excited to get to work to bring safe medicine to the patients of Illinois.”

Letters sent to the cultivation center winners from the Department of Agriculture inform them of a number of conditions.

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Software That Helps Businesses Rid Their Supply Chains of Slave Labor

Daniel Oines (CC BY 2.0)

Daniel Oines (CC BY 2.0)

Issie Lapowsky writes at Wired:

Steve Jobs helped convince Justin Dillion he could change the way some of the world’s biggest companies do business.

It was 2008, and Dillon, a musician turned anti-forced labor activist, had just launched an online campaign called Chain Store Reaction that asked everyday consumers to write letters to their favorite companies, urging them to eradicate forced labor in their supply chains. On a whim, Dillon dashed off an email to Jobs, asking if the iPhone was made of tantalum, a material used to make mobile phones, that had been mined by forced labor. Dillon never expected a response, but four hours later, he got one. It looked like this:

I have no idea. I’ll look into it.

Steve
Sent from my iPhone

It was then that Dillion and his colleagues realized that his project might actually work. “We were like: ‘This isn’t that hard.

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