On the eve of the biggest U.N summit of the decade in Paris, the climate movement is taking to the streets worldwide…Our message: keep fossil fuels in the ground and finance a just transition to 100% renewable energy by 2050.
Cover of A New Look at Jonestown: Dimensions from a Guyanese Perspective by Eusi Kwayana
November 18 marked the thirty-seventh anniversary of the Jonestown Massacre in Guyana. On that fatal Saturday in 1978, over nine hundred members of the Peoples Temple died from ingestion of cyanide-laced Flavor-Aid. Their leader, the Reverend Jim Jones, died from gunshot wounds. Seven miles away, American Congressman Leo Ryan and four members of his party lay dead on the Port Kaituma airstrip.
After all these years, several questions about the tragedy remain unanswered. The then Guyanese Prime Minister of the socialist cooperative ruling party, declared the Jonestown Massacre “an American problem.” No Guyanese investigation was ever conducted. To fill this void, A New Look at Jonestown: Dimensions from a Guyanese Perspective by Eusi Kwayana will soon be released (see below for details of ordering copies). Continue reading →
Nature is essential to every aspect of human life and well-being — we want to make sure it’s included in the conversation. People are taking more from nature than it has to give, and as a result, we’re putting our own lives on the line… Nature doesn’t need people. People need nature.
Unknown Pianist Performs John Lennon’s “Imagine”
Tribute to victims of terrorist attacks – Paris – France – November 13, 2015
This past week has been a difficult one for me. Today, November 15, I said goodbye to a couple and their six-year-old daughter: my dear friends and neighbors for the past six years. They are moving to another state to be close to the wife’s family. A victim of the toxic fumes and dust damaging his lungs, in the aftermath of the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center, the husband and father now faces a battle to keep breathing.
Unlike those who sought vengeance and war against the “barbaric” enemy, this man did not fill his heart with hatred for those responsible for taking away the life he once had. Instead, he and his wife raised their daughter with a bounty of love. At eighteen months old, on recognizing me, she ran towards me with her arms open in flight. Since then, she has been my joy and gardening companion. She and her parents welcomed me into their hearts and lives.
Today, my heart is heavy with loss. Though far away, they will remain close to my heart.
On Friday, November 13th, came the news of the attacks on Paris in France, leaving 129 dead and 352 injured. I feel the pain of the people of Paris who have lost a loved one during these attacks. I mourn their loss.
I feel the pain and desperation of millions of refugees from across Africa and the Middle East who have also lost loved ones, as well as their homes and means of livelihood, and have turned to Europe for a safe refuge. The attacks on Paris – allegedly carried out by jihadists posing as refugees – now place their lives in even greater jeopardy.
Following the 9/11 attacks on New York City, our government initiated what has now become an endless War on Terror. How does one fight terror with more terror? It beats me. Over the past fourteen years of terrorizing our enemies with our military might and raining bombs, we have created what I consider our “Terrorist Beast.” Created with deception, lies, and greed, this Terrorist Beast feeds on our hatred and acts of violence in its hunting grounds.
France’s President Francois Hollande called the recent attacks on Paris an “act of barbarism.” How easy it is for us to demonize our enemies as barbaric! Warfare is barbaric, no matter which side wields the weapon. Will France and its allies continue to feed this Terrorist Beast with more bombs and boots-on-the-ground?
Lest we risk losing touch with our shared humanity, I highly recommend that you set aside time to watch the three-part series of the documentary film, HUMAN. It’s producers give us a remarkable opportunity to listen to and reflect upon what it is to be human as expressed by other humans across our diverse planet.
The fate of humanity rests in our hands. Let us not allow the powers that be to continue stoking our fears and sabotaging our lives.
24 Hours of Reality and Live Earth: The World Is Watching (2015)
The World is Watching 2015
It’s not every day that you can say you were a part of history. On November 13-14, the world will come together to demand our global leaders act on climate change and set us on the path to a better future. Join us for 24 Hours of Reality and Live Earth.
Charred remains of room in trauma hospital run by Doctors Without Borders
Kunduz – Afghanistan – October 3, 2015
Photo Credit: Daily Mail/Associated Press
At home and abroad, Americans are on a killing spree. I struggle to understand what’s driving our propensity to violence. As a nation, we also seem to have become numb to this violence.
We do little to nothing to address the scourge of young, white, male loners who go on killing sprees in our schools, colleges, cinemas, and other public places. Our guns, it seems, are more sacred than the lives of our children.
Then there are cases of policemen who go rogue. What’s more, they show a preference for African American targets. Anything – even daring to look at them – is an excuse for killing. Peaceful demonstrators against such injustices must face a police force armed for war. Continue reading →
Our Generation, Our Choice: Mobilization for Justice November 9, 2015
“As young people, we have the right and the power to create the world we would like to see — a world which sustains life; a world which does not discriminate, commit violence, or value a life less based on race or class, nationality or immigrant status. The need to see these changes come about has never been so urgent…”
Saint Benedict Church seen from the Gardens of the Karnak Palace
Teresina – State of Piauí – Northeast Brazil
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons
My Poetry Corner November 2015 features the poem “Common Poem” (Poema Comum) by contemporary Brazilian poet Graça Vilhena, professor of Classical Portuguese Literature in Teresina, capital of her home state of Piauí. Her poetry, simple in its expression, tells stories of ordinary people in their everyday lives.
In “Common Poem,” Graça Vilhena uses poetic sensibility to address prostitution – affecting the most vulnerable, destitute children and adolescents – in Piauí and across Brazil. The first stanza describes the young woman, the central character of her poem. Continue reading →