The deadliest war since Adolf Hitler marched across Europe is starting again – and you are almost certainly carrying a blood-soaked chunk of the slaughter in your pocket. When we glance at the holocaust in Congo, with 5.4 million dead, the clichés of Africa reporting tumble out: this is a 'tribal conflict' in 'the Heart of Darkness'. It isn't. The United Nations investigation found it was a war led by 'armies of business' to seize the metals that make our 21st-century society zing and bling. The war in Congo is a war about you.
Every day I think about the people I met in the war zones of eastern Congo when I reported from there. The wards were filled with women who had been gang-raped by the militias and shot in the vagina. The battalions of child soldiers – drugged, dazed 13-year-olds who had been made to kill members of their own families so they couldn't try to escape and go home. But oddly, as I watch the war starting again on CNN, I find myself thinking about a woman I met who had, by Congolese standards, not suffered in extremis.
I was driving back to Goma from a diamond mine one day when my car got a puncture. As I waited for it to be fixed, I stood by the roadside and watched the great trails of women who stagger along every road in eastern Congo, carrying all their belongings on their backs in mighty crippling heaps. I stopped a 27 -year-old woman called Marie-Jean Bisimwa, who had four little children toddling along beside her. She told me she was lucky. Yes, her village had been burned out. Yes, she had lost her husband somewhere in the chaos. Yes, her sister had been raped and gone insane. But she and her kids were alive.
I gave her a lift, and it was only after a few hours of chat along on cratered roads that I noticed there was something strange about Marie-Jean's children. They were slumped forward, their gazes fixed in front of them. They didn't look around, or speak, or smile. 'I haven't ever been able to feed them,' she said. 'Because of the war.'
Their brains hadn't developed; they never would now. 'Will they get better?' she asked. I left her in a village on the outskirts of Goma, and her kids stumbled after her, expressionless.
There are two stories about how this war began – the official story, and the true story. The official story is that after the Rwandan genocide, the Hutu mass murderers fled across the border into Congo. The Rwandan government chased after them. But it's a lie. How do we know? The Rwandan government didn't go to where the Hutu genocidaires were, at least not at first. They went to where Congo's natural resources were – and began to pillage them. They even told their troops to work with any Hutus they came across. Congo is the richest country in the world for gold, diamonds, coltan, cassiterite, and more. Everybody wanted a slice – so six other countries invaded.
These resources were not being stolen to for use in Africa. They were seized so they could be sold on to us. The more we bought, the more the invaders stole – and slaughtered. The rise of mobile phones caused a surge in deaths, because the coltan they contain is found primarily in Congo. The UN named the international corporations it believed were involved: Anglo-America, Standard Chartered Bank, De Beers and more than 100 others. (They all deny the charges.) But instead of stopping these corporations, our governments demanded that the UN stop criticising them.
There were times when the fighting flagged. In 2003, a peace deal was finally brokered by the UN and the international armies withdrew. Many continued to work via proxy militias – but the carnage waned somewhat. Until now. As with the first war, there is a cover-story, and the truth. A Congolese militia leader called Laurent Nkunda – backed by Rwanda – claims he needs to protect the local Tutsi population from the same Hutu genocidaires who have been hiding out in the jungles of eastern Congo since 1994. That's why he is seizing Congolese military bases and is poised to march on Goma.
It is a lie. François Grignon, Africa Director of the International Crisis Group, tells me the truth: 'Nkunda is being funded by Rwandan businessmen so they can retain control of the mines in North Kivu. This is the absolute core of the conflict. What we are seeing now is beneficiaries of the illegal war economy fighting to maintain their right to exploit.'
At the moment, Rwandan business interests make a fortune from the mines they illegally seized during the war. The global coltan price has collapsed, so now they focus hungrily on cassiterite, which is used to make tin cans and other consumer disposables. As the war began to wane, they faced losing their control to the elected Congolese government – so they have given it another bloody kick-start.
Yet the debate about Congo in the West – when it exists at all – focuses on our inability to provide a decent bandage, without mentioning that we are causing the wound. It's true the 17,000 UN forces in the country are abysmally failing to protect the civilian population, and urgently need to be super-charged. But it is even more important to stop fuelling the war in the first place by buying blood-soaked natural resources. Nkunda only has enough guns and grenades to take on the Congolese army and the UN because we buy his loot. We need to prosecute the corporations buying them for abetting crimes against humanity, and introduce a global coltan-tax to pay for a substantial peacekeeping force. To get there, we need to build an international system that values the lives of black people more than it values profit.
Somewhere out there – lost in the great global heist of Congo's resources – are Marie-Jean and her children, limping along the road once more, carrying everything they own on their backs. They will probably never use a coltan-filled mobile phone, a cassiterite- smelted can of beans, or a gold necklace – but they may yet die for one.
Sources: Johann Hari Thursday, 30 October 2008 Independent. UK
As Rainforest Action Network Prepares to "Revel", What Has Become of Their Old Growth Forest Campaign? By Ecological Internet's Climate Ark, http://www.climateark.org/ and Rainforest Portal, http://www.rainforestportal.org/ September 26, 2008
TAKE ACTION There is no chance of achieving global ancient forest protection, climate stabilization and ecological sustainability until RAN and other ancient forest logging apologists follow Friends of the Earth in withdrawing from the Forest Stewardship Council and uniting to work to end ancient forest logging http://www.rainforestportal.org/shared/alerts/send.aspx?id=ran_ancient_forest_logging Rainforest Action Network (RAN) is one of a shrinking group of international environmental NGOs that supports industrial logging of ancient primary and old-growth forests by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). Sadly, as RAN prepares to gather for their annual lavish, celebrity studded "Revel" fund-raiser, there is little to celebrate regarding their disjointed and harmful Old Growth Campaign -- legitimate questions regarding their FSC support have been stonewalled, Ontario's continued ancient forest destruction legitimized, and the forest protection movement needlessly divided. Last week Friends of the Earth (FoE) became the first major international NGO to confirm they no longer support FSC certification; which falsely suggests primary and old-growth forest logging is desirable, benefits the climate, and is even sustainable; and that plantations are forests. RAN must stop supporting outdated, destructive logging. The following alert lets Revel's many sponsors know they are funding greenwashing of ancient forest devastation -- and asks that RAN immediately review and cease their support for destruction of centuries old ancient trees and their ecosystems. Please note, there are two different protest emails to send.
TAKE ACTION NOW: http://www.rainforestportal.org/shared/alerts/send.aspx?id=ran_ancient_forest_logging
DISCUSS THIS ALERT: http://www.rainforestportal.org/issues/2008/09/alert_as_rainforest_action_net.asp
Bishop Teixeira has received an "Order of Notice" from Brockton Housing Court to appear, just one week after the hearing this past Tuesday where the City of Brockton Building Department's politically motivated case against his church was continued to December. Here is the message from Bishop Teixeira:
My dear friends,
This afternoon, I received an ÖRDER OF NOTICE” from Brockton Housing Court to appear to the court this coming Tuesday at 10:00 AM.’
This City of Brockton - Building Department is charging me with using the Building unsafely and with out permit. All this is a result of retaliation and anger towards my position on the social issues in Brockton.
I need your support this Tuesday.
+ Bishop Teixeira, OFSJC
Calling all progressives! Defend the Peoples' Church in Brockton! This exceptional church is led by Bishop Filipe Teixeira, who has made the church a center for immigrant rights in Brockton and Massachusetts, used the church as a base to fight for workers rights and to fight against racism wherever it appears, including in the case of the Somerville 5. Bishop T has also used the church to provide serve the people programs including childcare, healthcare and food programs.
Because of his unflinching stance against racism and advocating for the poor, the racist power structure in Brockton is doing everything in its power to shut down the Peoples' Church. When they went so far as to get the church removed from a building provided by the Episcopal diocese of Boston, Bishop T mobilized help from progressive forces and physically built a church space in his back yard to continue the work. He has successfully fought off repeated attacks on the church based on petty regulatory requirements that are all clearly a smokescreen for the continued racist attack on the important community based anti-racism and immigrants rights work the church is doing.
BE THERE TO STAND UP FOR BISHOP T AND THE PEOPLES CHURCH! COME OUT THIS TUESDAY at 9:30 AM AND SAY NO! TO THE FORCES OF RACISM IN THE BROCKTON ESTABLISHMENT!
SPREAD THE WORD!
International Action Center Boston www.iacboston.org 617-522-6626 firstname.lastname@example.org
Efforts to Halt the National Animal Identification System Head to Court Animals (tags: identification, animals, homeland security ) Maryann - 16 hours ago - naturalnews.com
A couple of speed bumps have developed in rolling out implementation of the National Animal Identification System (NAI, the joint effort of the USDA and big agribusiness to legislate mandatory registration of everyone who owns just one livestock animal.
The Organic Center :: State of Science :: Latest News Green Lifestyle (tags: sustainability, green, farming, organics, farming ) Maryann - 17 hours ago - organic-center.org
"Going green" seems to be the new sustainability watchword designed to save the planet. The question is: if we all go green, will that get us to sustainability? A typical dictionary definition of sustainability is "to maintain," "to keep going
BBC NEWS | Asia-Pacific | 'Thousands Ill' Due to China Milk World (tags: deaths, infants, China, ethics, humans ) Maryann - 2 days ago - news.bbc.co.uk
Nearly 13,000 children in China have been hospitalised due to tainted Chinese milk powder, officials say. China's health ministry said 104 out of 12,892 babies showed serious symptoms. Four infants have died after drinking the milk of the Sanlu
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Canadian national Omar Khadr has spent his 22nd birthday in Guantanamo Bay having been captured in Afghanistan at the age of 15. Khadr has now spent nearly a third of his life in the notorious US-run prison in Cuba. He is accused He is accused of throwi
BBC NEWS | UK | Black Police 'Are Spied on' Claim World (tags: Britan, ethics, humans, politics, police ) Maryann - 2 days ago - news.bbc.co.uk
Senior members of the Met's Black Police Association (BPA) say they are concerned they are being spied on by fellow officers, the BBC has learnt. Some are so worried that they are taking counter-surveillance measures, such as having rooms
BBC NEWS | UK | England | Nottinghamshire | Millionaire Spooked From Mansion Offbeat (tags: bizarre, interesting, ghosts, haunting ) Maryann - 2 days ago - news.bbc.co.uk
A millionaire businessman from Nottinghamshire has said ghosts forced him to flee his 52-room mansion. Clifton Hall was bought by Anwar Rashid for £3.6m in 2007, but he has now handed it back to the bank. Mr Rashid claimed that during the eight months t
Michigan Messenger Obama Campaign Files Suit Over Voter-ForeclosureâEUR US Politics & Gov't (tags: Obama, law suit, McCain, abuse, corruption, dishonesty, congress, propaganda, media, crime ) Maryann - 3 days ago - michiganmessenger.com
The Obama campaign and the Democratic National Committee have filed a lawsuit in federal court in Michigan over the Michigan GOP's plan to use foreclosure lists to challenge voters at the polls, as first reported by the Michigan Messenger.
BBC NEWS | Special Reports | Vote USA 2008 | Who Has Cash Advantage in US Race? US Politics & Gov't (tags: candidates, elections, obama, mccain, democrats, republicans ) Maryann - 3 days ago - news.bbc.co.uk
By the end of August, Barack Obama's campaign had raised $440 million. That includes a total for August alone of $66 million - a monthly record for any candidate, ever. John McCain also had his best ever fundraising month in August raising 47 Million
Saudi Women Find An Unlikely Role Model: Oprah Â« Women News Network Breaking News Portal World (tags: Saudi Arabia, women, Ophra, middle-east, interesting ) Maryann - 3 days ago - wnnbreakingnewsportal.wordpress.com
A young Saudi homemaker who covers her face in public might not seem to have much in common with an American talk show host whose image is known to millions. Like many women in this conservative desert kingdom, Nayla does not usually socialize with people
Womens Prisons A Global State of Crisis Women News Network - WNN Society & Culture (tags: women, mistreatment, prison, abuse, rape, torture, violence, crime, corruption ) Maryann - 3 days ago - womennewsnetwork.net
"The strategy used in women's prisons now is one of humiliation rather than rehabilitation," said Jane Evelyn Atwood in her 2007 Amnesty International video documentary, "Too Much Time." For nine years, Atwood photographed and documented the conditions fo
Take Action: Who Ordered the Shooting of a Guatemalan Environmental Leader? Environment (tags: Petitions, central america, indigenous cultures, attemted murder, death theats, crime ) Maryann - 6 hours ago - action.humanrightsfirst.org
On September 4, Yuri Melini was shot three times in Guatemala City and, despite grave injuries, was fortunate to survive. Melini is a leading environmental activist and had just won an important Court victory striking down aspects of Guatemala's Mining La
Take Action: Urge Japanese Govt. to Place Warning Labels on Poisoned Dolphin Meat Animals (tags: Japan, petitions, animalwelfare, killing, slaughter, AnimalCruelty, death ) Maryann - 7 hours ago - ga0.org
Every year along the Japanese coast, fishermen massacre about 20,000 dolphins, porpoises, and small whales for their meat. Laboratory tests show that much of this meat is contaminated with dangerously-high levels of mercury, a poison that can cause perman
Take Action: El Paso County Officials Plan to Use Cruel Traps to Capture Dogs Animals (tags: petitions, animalcruelty, animalrights, cruelty, abuse, AnimalCruelty, death, sadness, slaughter ) Maryann - 8 hours ago - ga0.org
Officials in El Paso County, Colorado, have allocated thousands of taxpayer dollars to fund a heartless arrangement with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in a misguided effort to rid the community of homeless and roaming dogs. The county plans to
Take Action: Ask Rochester Hills to Not Allow Deer Bow-Hunts Animals (tags: AnimalCruelty, animalrights, death, conservation, slaughter, killing, protection ) Maryann - 8 hours ago - ga0.org
Rochester Hills, Michigan has proposed a three-year moratorium on the city's bow-hunting ban, due to increasing collisions with vehicles. Killing deer is not an effective population reduction method. In fact, deer hunting actually increases deer populati
CJR: Covering Candidates' Medical Records US Politics & Gov't (tags: candidates, cover-up, mccain, lies, propaganda, dishonesty ) Maryann - 8 hours ago - cjr.org
Three weeks ago, John McCain, who would be the oldest president in history if elected, released 1,173 pages of his medical records to the press. He did so only after a series of delays, however, and then granted a pool of about a dozen news outlets access
Home at Alaska Wilderness Leaguelease Sign! Environment (tags: Alaska, ANWR, Oil, conservation, habitatdestruction, protection, pollution, Sustainabililty, wildlife, endangered, ecosystems ) Maryann - 10 hours ago - capwiz.com
Congress is back and determined to address our energy crisis. An overwhelming majority of the American public agrees that now is the time for us to take real steps toward a smarter, cleaner energy future. But Big Oil has their dirty hands in every part of
Great News! Americans With Disabilities Act Passes in a Landslide Vote! Health & Wellness (tags: disabilities, healthcare, protection, prevention, illness, government ) Maryann - 1 day ago - advocacy.diabetes.org
Last night, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Amendments Act (S. 3406) passed the U.S. Senate in a unanimous voice vote. This is a major victory for people with diabetes and other chronic illnesses. This bill ensures that people with diabetes wi
Sri Lankans Trapped By Conflict, Left Without Aid | OneWorld.Net (U.S.) World (tags: asia, government, violence, war, conflict, freedoms, humanrights ) Maryann - 2 days ago - us.oneworld.net
The Sri Lankan government's order for United Nations (UN) and non-governmental aid workers to leave the war-torn northern Wanni region could further endanger tens of thousands of displaced persons trapped between the two parties to the conflict, Amnesty I
First International Labor Conference in Iraq World (tags: Iraq, unions, solidarity, 'CIVILLIBERTIES!' ) Maryann - 2 days ago - workerstoday.com
Dear Brothers and Sisters in the global struggle for workers' rights, peace and justice: Plans are underway to hold an International Labor Conference in Iraq in February 13 & 14, 2009. We see this as an important and urgent step towards strengthenin
INTERIOR: Sex, Drugs, Booze and Industry Cash in MMS Ethics Scandal Society & Culture (tags: corruption, crime, dishonesty, sex, perversion of justice ) Maryann - 2 days ago - biologicaldiversity.org
INTERIOR: Sex, drugs, booze and industry cash in MMS ethics scandal By Noelle Straub, E&E News Interior Department employees accepted gifts from oil and gas companies, participated in "a culture of substance abuse and promiscuity" and considered them
In Bangor Maine yesterday. Any Goodman speaks of the photos of Abu Ghraib and of them being THE most memorable photos of the war. Wether she meant to or not, the picture of Christ in orange robes made a very poignant comparison, at least to me. Please check out my photo blog of the demonstration. It was awesome!!
Amy speaks about many things including the story of her arrest in Minneapolis. She was trying to tell the police that her co-workers were press when they arrested her. The secret service took her press pass and has yet to return it. Police took batteries out of her co-workers cameras. Her co-workers were both assaulted and they were forced to the ground and handcuffed.
Amy Goodman is going to be in Bangor tomorrow!! I can't believe it, especially since she just got out of jail in Minnesota for doing her job of journalism at the Republican National convention!! There is going to be a peace rally at 11:00 and then a peace walk to the church where Amy will be talking! I will be sure to take loads of pictures so I can post them here on Sunday.
Police Give Up Taser for Forced Injections Total Criminal Defense US Politics & Gov't (tags: abuse, corruption, crime, ethics, freedoms, terrorism, constitution, cover-up ) Maryann - 6 hours ago - totalcriminaldefense.com
While most people are aware of police use of Taser weapons, many may be fairly shocked to learn of an alternate method used by police in Nashville, Tennessee to subdue "unruly" people. The city has a policy allowing police to inject unruly people that the
Just Foreign Policy World (tags: iraq, government, conflict, violence, corruption ) Maryann - 7 hours ago - capwiz.com
Secretive Iraq agreement includes no date for U.S. withdrawal Critics urge no agreement without Congressional Approval The Bush Administration and the Iraqi government have been negotiating a "security agreement." Both Congress and the Iraqi parliament
Daily Women's Health Policy Report: ELECTION 2008 | USA Today Examines Practice of Billing Rape Survivors for Medical Exams in W US Politics & Gov't (tags: Palin, rape, corruption, ethics, candidates ) Maryann - 7 hours ago - nationalpartnership.org
Rape survivors in Wasilla, Alaska were billed for forensic medical examinations when Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin was mayor of the town, USA Today reports. According to USA Today, when state lawmakers in 2000 learned that
Haiti: 'I Have Never Seen Anything as Painful' | OneWorld.Net (U.S.) World (tags: Haiti, floods, displacement, death, natural disasters ) Maryann - 8 hours ago - us.oneworld.net
A series of hurricanes has left hundreds of thousands of Haitians struggling to cope as local groups strive to provide much-needed relief in the "disastrous" absence of international aid, writes Dr. Paul Farmer, who has worked for many years with the coun
Universal Education Is Key to Increasing Equality | OneWorld.Net (U.S.) World (tags: children, education, poverty, human rights, dignity ) Maryann - 8 hours ago - us.oneworld.net
The social and economic gap between the world's richest 1 billion people and its poorest 1 billion has no historical precedent. Not only is this gap wide, it is widening. The poorest billion are trapped at subsistence level and the richest billion are bec
Rich Country Emissions 'Violate Poor's Human Rights' | OneWorld.Net (U.S.) World (tags: climate change, poverty, emissions, 'HUMANRIGHTS!' ) Maryann - 8 hours ago - us.oneworld.net
Rich countries must start basing their climate change policies on existing human rights principles and stop using economic excuses to wriggle out of their responsibilities, says international agency Oxfam in a new report today. Oxfam is submitting
The PETA Files: Ricky Gervais Declares: Save the Queen's Bears! Society & Culture (tags: GoodNews, culture, death, activists, heroes ) Maryann - 8 hours ago - blog.peta.org
Looks like one of the funniest celebrities in the world is joining PETA Europe's worldwide fight to stop the slaughter of Canadian black bears for silly hats. And I'm particularly excited about this celebrity, who is probably one of my favorite entertaine
Safer Buildings Save Lives. We Can't Have Another 9/11.Please Sign! US Politics & Gov't (tags: Petitions, infrastructure, building codes and regulatiosn, safety ) Maryann - 9 hours ago - act.credoaction.com
The federal government is using your tax dollars to fight against building codes written specifically to prevent another 9/11. Of course, we all know that terrorists were responsible for the tragedies on 9/11. But the devastating truth is tha
The Right Way to Remember 9/11 US Politics & Gov't (tags: 9/11, canidates, Bush administration, preparing, homeland security, terrorism ) Maryann - 9 hours ago - americanprogress.org
As leaders gather today at Ground Zero and the Pentagon, the most fitting memorial we can offer U.S. citizens is the assurance that, if we face another 9/11 in the future, we will respond with policies and actions that are more effective and more consiste
KDC Solar and North
Jersey Media Group Cut
Ribbon on Large Solar
(SPX) May 10, 2013The
solar operation will
cover more than 60
percent of the power
needs at North Jersey
Media Group's printing
Mama's Day Cards You
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a group of artis...
The largest genocide in
human history happened
where? Most people would
answer Germany, and the
Actually though, the
largest genocide happened
in the USA, with the
native American Indians,
with estimates of 19
million to 100 millio...
Radiation Study; Tokyo
Hayno, R.S., et al
of Adults and Children 7
to 20 Months After the
Fukushima NPP Accident as
Measured by Extensive
Surveys, Proc. Jpn....
accumulates in water
supplies after nuclear
bioconcentrates in fish
that live in fresh water
and salt water. Runoff of
fresh water from land
which has been
contaminated ends up
contaminating oceans, and
66 Atomic Bombs were
exploded on the Bikini
Island Atolls. Hundreds
of islanders were removed
from the islands, but not
from harms way. One
hydrogen bomb exploded
near the islands, and the
children played with the
dust from the bomb, as it
Dominion Virginia Power
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May 06, 2013File image.
Dominion Virginia Power
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"Under our current law,
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the FBI's No-Fly List
can't board an airplane
-- but they can still
legally purchase guns and
This loophole, known
Germany added more
solar panels in one
month, than the US did in
ONE YEAR. Nearly 1/3 of
Germany power output is
handled by bottoms up
solar energy during the
middle of the day. The
transition to a 100%
renewable energy nation
is in process. T...