December 15, 2011

The People indict Agrochemical corporations

Tribunal verdict vs. 6 agrochemical TNCs hailed, urgent action on recommendations urged

Pesticide Action Network (PAN) International hailed the verdict of the Permanent People's Tribunal (PPT) against the world's six largest agrochemical companies Monsanto, Syngenta, Bayer, Dow Chemical, DuPont and BASF after a historic four-day session that culminated in Bangalore, India yesterday.

Victims and survivors of the pesticide industry from all over the world, represented by PAN International, testified before a distinguished international jury to indict the "Big 6" for human rights violations. Based on evidence presented before it, the Tribunal found the Defendant agrochemical TNCs "responsible for gross, widespread and systematic violations of the right to health and life, economic, social and cultural rights, as well as of civil and political rights, and women and children's rights." see the verdict

Read the whole Press release

What is the Permanent People's Tribunal?

* The Permanent People's Tribunal (PPT) is an international opinion tribunal founded in 1979, in Italy based on a "Universal Declaration of the Rights of Peoples".
* It looks into complaints of human rights abuses submitted by the communities facing the abuses.
* It uses the rigorous conventional court format.
* It issues indictment, names relevant laws and document findings.
* While its verdicts are not legally binding, these can set precedent for future legal actions against, in this case, agrochemical corporations.


December 14, 2011

fundamentally screwed

The conservative government who won the last election by a popular vote of 39% has this to say about the democratic process for Canada's wheat farmers.

"Let me be clear, we will never reconsider western wheat and barley farmers' fundamental rights to market their own wheat and barley," Federal Agriculture Minister Ritz said. CBC Winnipeg

Ritz's words (from an Ottawa area farm) followed A Federal Court judge's ruling last week that the Agriculture Minister "breached the Canadian Wheat Board Act by making changes without holding a plebiscite for producers".

Here are some voices of Canada's wheat farmers:

December 11, 2011

North Mountain woods

The mountain to the north of the farm has lost most of its autumn leaves. The orange clad hunters have abandoned the woods so it is safe to venture in. We go up looking for the fire and orbital agate veins that sudden chunks along leaf choked streams tease up. Or black crystal magnetite that sticks to a magnet and will get you lost as the compass needle swings a jig. The deer are still hiding out, but there are grouse and white rabbits and wild apples rotting in hidden vales. The walks and a few good books by the fire distract me from the work left undone, which can wait till spring; the fields are tucked in with a flush of fall rye, the garlic is rooted and the chickens are in the freezer. It has been my strategy since living in Nova Scotia to leave the farm to enjoy rest and perspective for the winter (while working in some remote camp). This year we will brave the Atlantic storms in this old house that my sweetheart has made into a warm and exciting home, Joy and gratitude spring up every day at the miracle of love in its beautifully unexpected permutations. I found an old lapidary unit, a gem maker of unknown vintage but solid character, and I am learning to cut the magical stones that cross my path, find pleasing patterns and grind out their potential. I have ground out a fingernail or two in the learning curve and have found a strategy for not getting soaked in an icy cold shop. The colours of the north mountain woods are in the stones whose patterns swirl and fuse some ancient stories that I am humbled by and hope to be present for with fingers intact. The stonework is a welcome transition from the laborious and often thankless work of market gardening to a creative process that while a new unexplored medium, feels like a comfortable old friend

December 9, 2011

Prayer for Snow

let our weary bodies rest
let it snow deep and long
have the north wind give her best
whirl and sweep an icy song
with us in warm and grateful lifts
reflect upon three fruitful seasons
with bluegrass lullabies in time to drifts
larders full and no laborious reasons
to rise or strain or bend or task
just dance that amber dormant glow
until the earth warms and lifts the wintry mask
oh please just please let it snow