Friday, January 29, 2010

First Brainstorm for The Chico Mendes Justice and Sustainability Tour

So here is the first blog installment of an idea I had about 7, 8 months ago, to tour across Latin America from Mexico to the end of Argentina on my bicycle, kind of like the Ernesto Guevara and Alberto Granados tour in 1952, only in reverse and with no motor on my wheels. The tour would be to raise funds for three causes, three important elements of Social Justice.

The first being alternative media, with the funds raised for that chapter most likely going to Democracy Now (, The War and Peace Report), in my opinion the world leader in alternative news and reporting the Truth. Alternative Media as one of my choices because information is the newest religion. The world is so devastated to a large extent because of the control and manipulation of information, The universal System of the Lie, as Eduardo Galeano puts it, and the majority of people, at least from the wealthy North, are reliant on mainstream media which delivers only duplicity, slander, and lies, or are simply not interested in knowing whats going on. If we don't first manage to address the problem of deceit and disinformation, and if Alternative Media does not flourish, social injustice will remain. Truth is one of the main pillars of our struggle.

The second element I have chosen, the second chapter of the fundraising tour would be Fair Trade. I have not yet decided which organization would receive funds for the Fair Trade chapter, and this will most likely be decided by my friend, companero, and colleague Kenny Porter who is more educated than I am with the topic of Fair Trade. Fair Trade because it appropriates or takes back resources, production, and market share from free trade, open markets, capitalism. It allows the economy to restructure itself into a smaller-scale, locally oriented, equitable, ecological, and sustainable system of production, trade, and consumption. Fair Trade encompasses elements such cooperatives, democratic workers' control and decision making, participatory management and budgeting, and in general, equality and stability with employment.

The third Chapter would be Campesino and Indigenous Movements. Both can be either owners of territory, often struggling to retain their traditional lands, or can be completely landless, either poor dating back decades, or recently chased from their lands by neoliberal displacement. The recipient organization for the Campesino/Indigenous chapter of the fundraiser would be possibly the Movimiento Sem Terra (MST, Movement Without Land) of Brazil, or any other Latin American affiliate member organizations of the Via Campesina. The Via Campesina is the world's largest genuine, militant Peasant and Indigenous organization which comprises dozens of social movements from all over the world. Organizations such as the Via Campesina and social movements such as the MST fight against neoliberalism and the global corporatization of agriculture, and for fair, organic, and sustainable farming, while maintaining a "harmonious relationship between community and the biosphere based on smallholder agriculture."

Fair Trade and a communitarian agrarian system together will eventually yield self-sufficiency and food sovereignty for all peoples of the world.

Information, Economy, and Food. If we can reclaim control over all three, then the Communitarian Future of the 21st Century
will begin to take shape.

I will finish giving details of the project, mainly on the fundraising and structure of the tour in a second blog installment to be posted soon.

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