Grassroots International

Nikhil Aziz, Author at Grassroots International | Page 5 of 6

  • Red, Green, and Brown: the Colors of Haiti’s Central Plateau

    From the capital, Port Au Prince, we take a small five-seater plane to the Central Plateau in Haiti's interior. My colleague Maria Aguiar and I are flying to Hinche, the capital of the Department of the Centre. From there we will drive to Papaye to visit Grassroots International's partner the Mouvman Peyizan Papay (Peasant Movement of Papaye), which is convening to celebrate its 35th anniversary and chalk out a plan of action for the next five years.

  • A Big Thank You from Grassroots International

    Dear friends,

    I want to thank you on behalf of Grassroots International’s board, staff, advisors, and partners for your invaluable support over this past year. Your support has sown the seeds of a just and sustainable world by weaving a web of alliances among progressive movements, providing grants to them, and joining them in advocating for social change.

    Your loyal support in 2007 meant that together, we provided $1.3 million in cash grants to our extraordinary partners around the world and, additionally, over $1.4 million in much-needed material aid - in the shape of vital medicines to our partners in Gaza.

    I want to highlight just a few of the things that your solidarity enabled this past year.

  • Annapolis 2007

    Grassroots International colleague Institute for Policy Studies' Phyllis Bennis is a long time scholar of Middle East policy, having written and spoken widely on the politics of the region and U.S. Middle East policy. In a recent article on the talks beginning today in Annapolis, MD, she pointed out that "Besides her [Condoleezza Rice's] urgent need to update her legacy (which is currently that of the person who stood before the world at the United Nations and announced 'we don't want a ceasefire yet' as Israeli jets bombarded Lebanon in summer 2006), Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice urgently needs to win flagging Arab government support for the Bush administration's failing war and occupation in Iraq and its escalating mobilization against Iran.

  • Cyclone Sidr devastates Bangladesh

    The impact of Cyclone Sidr on Bangladesh has been enormous. Over 3,500 people have been killed, tens of thousands are still missing, and millions have been left homeless. Crops have been devastated and livestock destroyed. The bulk of the devastation has been in the southern coastal region-including the vast delta of the Ganga and Brahmaputra rivers-where more than 40 million people live.

    Grassroots International currently does not work in South Asia but our Staff, Board and supporters recognize that besides the widespread devastation and the impact on peoples in the region, groups engaged in ongoing struggles for social and economic justice are also affected.

  • The Threat of Agrofuels

    Wisconsin based Family Farm Defenders (FFD) is a leading member of Grassroots International's ally National Family Farm Coalition. FFD was formed in 1994 and works to create a family farmer-controlled and consumer oriented food system, and has been a leading ally of farm workers and minority farmers including indigenous farmers. John Peck, the executive director of FFD recently wrote an article warning against the threat of agrofuels for family farmers in the Global South and here in the U.S.

  • What’s the Bush administration cooking up now?

    World Food Day was recently observed around the world with people everywhere taking the opportunity to organize and act on our obligations to ensure "The Right to Food." Here in the United States, the Right to Food is as relevant as anywhere, especially in light of our recent imported food safety crisis that is causing many citizens to question their grocery purchases.

  • NAFTA is Killing Tradition of Corn in Mexico

    Sin maíz no hay país is the resounding clarion call given by Grassroots International’s Mexican partners, grantees and their allies in rolling out the National Campaign in Defense of Food Sovereignty and the Revitalization of Rural Mexico.

    Corn is indigenous to Mexico, and the alliance of peasant, farm worker, indigenous peoples, fisher, consumer, environmental and human rights groups and other organizations that came together to declare sin maíz no hay país are making the point that corn is intrinsically tied to the very idea and identity of Mexico.

  • Biting the Hands that Feed Us

    "Punjabis are poisoning themselves" declared the Economist not too long ago, quipping that the poster child of India's green revolution is now "in the throes of a grey revolution." We take heart that the Economist, a cheerleader for "free trade" and neoliberal economic policies, is raising questions about policies that have caused massive environmental degradation and serious public health consequences for India's bread basket state.

  • Senate to Vote on Local Food Aid in Farm Bill Next Week

    We have some exciting news to share.

    Your voice was heard in the U.S. Senate.

    The Farm Bill, scheduled to be voted on by the full Senate next week, includes funding for a $25 million pilot project for locally-sourced food aid for hungry people around the world.

    We want to thank you for your support of this crucial legislation.

    This is a big win.

    At the last minute, Senator Pat Roberts (KS-R) threatened to call an amendment that would have squashed the pilot project. Thanks to the support of activists like you, this program that will offer support to family farmers around the world and improve our ability to feed the hungry is alive.

  • World Food Day: The Right to Food IS Food Sovereignty

    More and more people around the world are taking up the call by peasant and small farmers, indigenous peoples and pastoralists for food sovereignty as an expression of, and a way to realize the right to food. Earlier this year members of the Via Campesina and other organizations met in Mali to put in motion an action plan for achieving food sovereignty. On October 16th, World Food Day, the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) endorsed food sovereignty as the right to food. As IFOAM notes, food sovereignty as the right to food means the right to feed oneself as opposed to the right to be fed.

  • Another World is Possible; Another US is Necessary – the United States Social Forum

    “Our Youth is not the Future, Our Youth is the Present” – Julian Moya, Southwest Organizing Project (SWOP), Albuquerque, New Mexico

    “We cannot choose the historical conditions we find ourselves in, but we can choose how we respond to them” – Ajamu Baraka, Director, U.S. Human Rights Network, Atlanta, Georgia

    These two quotes, among many other hopeful messages I heard at the U.S. Social Forum (USSF) from June 27 to July 1, 2007 in Atlanta epitomized for me the USSF – what it stands for and envisions in terms of a different kind of United States. Both represent the truth embedded in the official slogan of the USSF – Another World is Possible; Another US is Necessary.

  • 40 Years Too Long

    Dear Friends,On the occasion of the 40th anniversary of Israel’s illegal occupation of the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem, Grassroots International wishes to express its solidarity with the Palestinian people in their struggle for a just peace. Our work in the Occupied Palestinian Territories began in 1986, growing out of the work the organization had done since its founding in 1983 with Palestinian refugees in Lebanon after Israel’s invasion in 1982 and over the years we have had the privilege to work with and support some of the most dynamic and creative Palestinian organizations. As a member organization of the U.S.

  • The Road to a Just Peace in the Middle East goes through Washington

    More than 5000 people rallied on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol on Sunday, June 10th to call for an end to the 40 year Israeli Occupation of the Palestinian Territories of East Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. They represented over 300 organizations from around the country including Grassroots International—Grassroots’ Executive Director Nikhil Aziz participated in the rally. The organizations ranged from faith-based groups and labor unions to civil rights, students’, women’s and lesbian and gay groups. They demanded that the U.S. government act to bring about a lasting and just peace and an end to the occupation and conflict.

  • International Peasants’ Struggle Day – April 17

    The 17th of April is International Peasants' Struggle Day, established after the massacre of 19 landless peasants belonging to the Landless Movement (MST) in Brazil on the 17th of April 1996 which occurred during the second conference of the Via Campesina in Tlaxcala Mexico. Many of Grassroots International's partners, including the MST are members of the Via Campesina, and Grassroots directly works with the Via as well.

    In commemoration of International Peasants' Struggle Day, the Via Campesina and its allies are organizing activities and actions all over the world. Peasants and friends will rally around the demands that the Via posted on its website.

  • Korea-United States Free Trade Agreement Signed, 713 Organizations Oppose Fast Track Authority

    Christine Ahn of the Korean Americans for Fair Trade sent us this statement opposing the KorUS FTA (the free trade agreement signed between South Korea and the United States) that was reached today. Through organizations like the Korean Peasant League, a member of the Via Campesina, South Korean farmers and workers have been global leaders in the opposition to free trade agreements like KorUS FTA and the World Trade Organization's Agreement on Agriculture. KPL and its allies continue to struggle for food sovereignty and fair trade in the face of this assault on human and resource rights.

    Meanwhile, last week, Grassroots International and 712 other human rights, development, environmental, farm, labor, faith-based and other organizations signed a letter initiated by Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch to Speaker Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Reid opposing Fast Track Authority for the President for such free trade agreements.

  • Harvest of Shame: Bush’s Guatemala Visit Masks CAFTA’s Rotten Produce

    In the wake of President Bush's visit to Guatemala as part of his 5 nation Latin America tour, the National Labor Committee (NLC, New York) and the Center for Studies and Support for Local Development (CEADEL, Guatemala) just released a joint report "Harvest of Shame" that details the exploitation and human rights violations of children in Guatemala.

  • Free Trade in Agriculture: A Debate

    Foreign Policy in Focus (a joint project of the Institute for Policy Studies and the International Relations Center) recently invited Anuradha Mittal (of the Oakland Institute) and Gawain Kripke (of Oxfam America) to debate free trade. Anuradha was also on a recent panel with Colin Rajah (of the National Netowrk on Immigrant and Refugee Rights) titled, "A Perfect Storm: U.S. Trade, Agriculture and Immigration Policies Undermining Human Rights" that Grassroots International organized at the International Human Rights Funders Group conference in January 2007.

  • Peasants Cannot Do it Alone, Need Strong Alliances with Consumers, Environmentalists, Indigenous Peoples and Others

    Peter Rossett, from the Center for the Study of Rural Change in Mexico (CECCAM), is a member of Grassroots International's Resource Rights Advisory Group. He was in Mali for the Nyeleni Food Sovereignty Forum this month and in a piece that was first posted on the Nyeleni website, he stressed the need for different sectors to collaborate, pointing out that "It is clear that the peasant sector cannot change the food system alone; it needs strong alliances with consumers, environmentalists, indigenous peoples, women, fishermen and even herders."

  • Joao Pedro Stedile (MST) Says International Financial Institutions Do Not Represent People

    Joao Pedro Stedile, an MST leader and member of Grassroots International's Resource Rights Advisory Group participated along with his colleagues at the Nyeleni Food Sovereignty Forum. While there he spoke with Radio Mundo Real about how the World Trade Organization, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank do not represent the interests of ordinary people and argued that international trade must first and foremost meet the needs of people not corporations. The interview originally appeared on the Nyeleni website.