Saturday, June 6, 2009

"Happy the nation whose people has not forgotten how to rebel" - R.H. Tawney

Well, perhaps not happy - but the people are not zombified either. Rebellion against indecent government begins at the local level, yet these events are exactly the ones likely to be omitted from our nightly news round ups, intently focusing us on half truths about global crisis which we can do little to change from our local communities.

Sometimes, it is necessary to look in the underbrush of current events to find the truth of the past and the seedlings of the future. The big stories have so much spin and razzle dazzle for the audience - like a 17 ring circus: I can never get to the details of each ring if I am to glimpse all of them. So when I find a story like the one below, linking many different themes (and is an almost invisible sideact that few are watching), I become absorbed in connecting the other dots it helps me to see.

The headline that caught my eye was At least 30 reported killed as Indians protest oil and gas exploration in Peru.
Indians protesting oil and gas exploration on their lands battled police in Peru’s remote Amazon yesterday, with authorities and Indian leaders reporting at least 30 deaths.

The violence broke out before dawn as officers tried to end a road blockade by some 5,000 Indians in an area called Curva del Diablo - or “Devil’s Curve” - in the northern province of Utcubamba.

Protest leaders said police opened fire from helicopters with bullets and tear gas, while national police director Jose Sanchez Farfan said Indians attacked officers with firearms. He said they also set fire to government buildings....

Indian leader Alberto Pizango said 22 Indians were killed in the clash and he accused the government of “genocide” in attacking what he called a peaceful protest. Another 50 Indians were injured, 14 of them seriously, said Servando Puerta, president of a second indigenous umbrella group for the region.

Indians have been blocking roads, waterways, and a state oil pipeline intermittently since April, demanding Peru’s government repeal laws they say make it easier for foreign companies to exploit their lands.

This all happened in the PROVINCIA DE UTCUBAMBA
Peruvian police fire on unarmed indigenous tribes' oil and gas protest

Or if you prefer the oil company's response: Oil Company Says Protests Causing Fuel Shortages in Peru

There is a similar issue here in Ireland concerning the Corrib Shell Pipeline in the West and people are still resisting and protesting this firehouse sale of Irish natural resources to a multinational corporation. Native and indigenous people fighting the big oil companies, who have managed to create unholy alliances with corrupt governments which sacrifice the well being of their citizens for GDP growth and to curry favours from imperialists goverments.

(If there are any doubts about whether these sorts of deals happen, a look at John Perkins
Confessions of an Economic Hit Man will be enlightening.)

Corrib pipeline protest leads to eight arrests

PROTESTERS OPPOSED to Shell EP Ireland’s controversial Corrib gas pipeline in Co Mayo have been involved in fresh clashes with gardaí leading to the arrest of eight people.

Gardaí said up to 120 protesters gathered over the weekend at a “peace camp” beside Glengad beach, close to Belmullet. Around half of the group approached Shell’s fenced off construction site on the beach just before 5pm yesterday and tried to gain access to the site....

A statement from those at the camp said five people had been arrested after they gained access to Shell’s compound. It said a sixth person was arrested later when “Gardaí targeted a prominent campaigner and forcibly detained him for speaking out against the actions of the Gardaí”....

Meanwhile, a report by the human rights organisation Afri has said spending cutbacks and extra levies on the taxpayer could be alleviated if the State took a greater stake in offshore oil and gas resources.

Under current licensing deals, companies are liable for 25 per cent tax on profits. “However, there are considerable write-offs on exploration and development costs which means such tax paid is minimal,” joint-author Andy Storey explained.

“We believe that projects such as Corrib should be environmentally safe, that the human rights of residents should be protected and that the State should get a fairer share of proceeds.”

The Afri report, The Great Gas Giveaway; How The Elites Have Gambled Our Health And Wealth , says it is “not too late” for Ireland to renegotiate Corrib.

Protest at site of Corrib gas terminal
Royal Dutch Shell Group Updates

“War is when the government tells you who the bad guy is.
Revolution is when you decide that for yourself.”

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