22 May 2015
BP has been taken to the High Court, in London, by a Colombian trade unionist after he was kidnapped and tortured by paramilitaries. Gilberto Torres is challenging the actions of BP, its successors and subsidiary companies. He is represented by London law firm Deighton Pierce Glynn, working with Colombian lawyer Francisco Ramirez. They are seeking compensation for negligence, conspiracy and false imprisonment.
Gilberto Torres was held captive in an insect-infested pit and had to witness another captive being dismembered by paramilitaries. The reason for his release is unclear, but it seems to be due to the threat of a national strike backed by international solidarity. On Gilberto’s release, the police advised him to flee Colombia with his wife and son. He still lives in exile because it is not safe to return. Their lives have been ruined. Gilberto had been campaigning on labour and environmental issues in the oil-rich Casanare area exploited by BP from the 1990s, and then passed on to companies connected to BP until they pulled out in 2011.
The Guardian produced a documentary showing Gilberto's plight and the impact of BP operations in Colombia.
BP had admitted paying millions of dollars to the Colombian army to patrol its installations. However, it is refusing to publish relevant documents related to Gilberto’s case. Countless other community activists, environmentalists and trade union members who have opposed resource extraction multinationals have been murdered or disappeared in the past 25 years since oil exploration started.Add Comment
21 May 2015
TTIP successes and what's next - get your MEP to take action NOW
21 May 2015
We're frantically busy trying to stop TTIP, with your help. Here's what's happening right now, and a round up of recent activity in our campaign against the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).
Right Now - if you do one thing, do this:
MEPs are preparing to vote on the mechanism that allows companies to sue governments if their actions impact on company profits, in specially created courts. This puts our very democracy in jeapordy. Tell your MEP to vote against special rights for foreign investors.
Read this Guardian article by our campaigner Mark Dearn 'Privatising public services is no way to fund sustainable developement'
In the USA, TTIP is being fast-tracked through Congress, and campaigners are battling hard to stop it. If it succeeds, it could hit the Palestinian boycott movement and solidarity campaigning.
18 May 2015
Glencore owns a controlling stake in the Tampakan mining project to build a huge copper and gold mine on Mindanao island, southern Philippines. The project threatens to displace thousands of people and destroy 10,000 hectares which are home to rainforest and the source of five rivers. Local B'laan indigenous communities which oppose the project have faced continuous threats and violent action by military and paramilitary forces.
This documentary was first shown last Saturday at UNISON and is brought to you by War on Want, Campaign for Human Rights in the Philippines, UNISON and PIPLinks.
Glencore stands to make enormous profits from the exploitation of the B’laan ancestral lands. Together, we can stop this deadly mining project from going ahead.
01 May 2015
1st May 2015
'UDITA' (Arise) - Life, death, oppression and resistance - 5 Years with the women of Bangladesh's sweatshops and their fight for a better life.
'Udita' is a film by acclaimed documentary makers Rainbow Collective. It follows the lives of female Bangladeshi garment workers as they organise into a union and fight for their rights. The Union highlighted: the National Garment Workers Federation [NGWF] has been a partner of War on Want for many years.Add Comment
22 April 2015
Civilians killed during crossfire between Colombia military forces and the FARC guerrilla in the Southwest area of the country. War on Want’s partner NOMADESC reports that despite repeated calls from communities and civil society organisations to the government and the FARC to respect International Humanitarian Law civil, casualties continue.
Many of the conflicts in North Cauca have been created and sustained because the Colombian state does not provide guarantees for respect of collective rights relating to autonomy and self-determination for Afro-descendent and indigenous communities. For over 20 years the government has systematically ignored laws and previous agreements relating to communities, which would assist in bringing peace and justice to the region. Indigenous communities have been criminalised and severely repressed when reclaiming lands taken by sugar companies.
The Colombian government has been asked to promote a bilateral cease-fire and to protect civilians to prevent further atrocities. Yet bombardment in the region has resumed leaving communities trapped in the middle of the conflict.
A petition signed by several Colombian and international organisations states:
The Colombia government and FARC must remove civilians from the armed conflict. They must respect life, territories, and the communities' own forms of organising.Add Comment
21 April 2015
Tens of thousands of people took to the streets of Europe at the weekend to protest at TTIP – the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.
European activists joined protestors around the world who came out in force to oppose the so-called ‘free trade’ deals which many rightly recognise to be corporate agreements that threaten jobs, public services and the foundations of democratic government. In total, there were some 750 separate protests in town and cities throughout the world, from Europe to Asia, to Latin America and beyond.Add Comment
13 April 2015
The 2015 General Election is just around the corner, and the party manifestos are out. We have collected together their policies on TTIP for ease of comparison, plus links to the manifestos themselves. In the order they were published...Add Comment
30 March 2015
War on Want's Executive Director John Hilary spoke to the 1,000 people who attended the amazing This Changes Everything event in London on Saturday 28 March, looking at how we can build a movement for climate justice that also calls for system change. Here is what he had to say:
30 March 2015
War on Want joined thousands of people at the World Social Forum 2015 in Tunis from 24th to 28th March. It is over thirteen years since the first World Social Forum took place for the first time in Porto Alegre, Brazil. Fulfilling its original purpose, the forum continues to be the space for people to gather, organise and mobilise to contest capitalism. Social movements with millions of members and individuals from all continents had the opportunity to share experiences of resistance as well as to propose alternatives to economic, financial and political systems that subjugate humans and nature.
Around 70,000 people participating in the forum roamed around 200 workshops and many cultural events. Debates about climate change, trade, land and water struggles, illegal occupation and many more were organised by convergence alliances of movements such as La Via Campesina, World March of Women, World Forum of Fisher Peoples, trade unions from all sectors, global campaigns like the Dismantle Corporate Power and Stop Impunity, the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel, and the campaign against TTIP where War on Want is an active member.
27 March 2015
Workshop at War on Want TTIP event - March 2015
The workshop first highlighted the main impact TTIP would have on our food and how it would fundamentally contravene our demands for food sovereignty: the control over what we eat, who produces it, how and where. The packed audience then broke into small groups to discuss potential campaign actions at a local level. Highlights from the workshop can be viewed below and on YouTube. Below is a list of useful resources highlighted during the workshop.Add Comment
26 March 2015
Last weekend, War on Want held its annual conference under the theme, TTIP: Building the Fightback. Attended by more than 300 people, the conference was a key moment in galvanising the broad opposition to TTIP across a range of active groups, including War on Want members, trade unions, members of 38 Degrees, Keep Our NHS Public, and Students Against TTIP (SATTIP) – which launched at the conference – among others.Add Comment
23 March 2015
This morning, War on Want joined members of the UK Food Sovereignty movement in solidarity with African family farmers to protest against the takeover of seed and agricultural markets in Africa by big corporations.
The demonstration was held in response to a secret meeting convened today by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the US Agency for International Development (USAID) to discuss the findings of a recent report detailing how corporations could achieve maximum gain through the privatisation of potentially lucrative seed markets across Africa.
Neither farmers nor civil society organisations were invited to the meeting, which was held solely for private seed companies, private and government donors, and trade representatives.
Photos credit Jess Hurd/Global Justice NowAdd Comment
18 March 2015
A huge thanks to everyone who came to Saturday’s packed out Viva Pacifico event at Rich Mix, London. It was a day of performance poetry, fantastic music, and above all solidarity with the communities of Buenaventura in the Colombian Pacific. Here are the short videos which were shown during the evening, along with some photos from the afternoon’s poetry workshop and the evening event which was attended by almost 400 people.Add Comment
04 March 2015
More than 200 people, women and men from across the world – peasant and family farmers, fisherfolk, indigenous people, pastoralists, rural workers, and urban people – gathered last week at the Nyéléni Centre in Mali for the first International Forum on Agroecology. They affirmed with one voice that agroecology, as practised for millennia by millions of people and communities, is the unique answer to the current agricultural model, which has made the world more vulnerable and has resulted in severe crises in the environment, climate, food, and public health.Add Comment
03 March 2015
We're honoured to have the Real Junk Food Project Manchester provide lunch for our participants at our national gathering on TTIP in Central Hall on Saturday 21 March.
The Real Junk Food Project intercepts food that would otherwise go to waste from supermarkets, restaurants and a number of other sources, and turns it into healthy, nutritious meals for those in need on a pay-as-you-feel donation basis. They are currently running pop-up events while they get their cafe in Manchester City Centre set up.
5.8 million people in the UK live in ‘deep poverty’, making it hard for them to afford every day essentials, including food. Yet in Britain alone an estimated 15 million tonnes of food wasted from the plough to the plate. Read more food waste facts here
War on Want is a proud supporter of the global food soveriegnty movement. We are really happy to have RJFP at our event!
Our conference is free and open to all but please register now.
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