Tag Archives: poverty

Stand with the Maasai

Dear friends,

We are elders of the Maasai from Tanzania, one of Africa’s oldest tribes. The government has just announced that it plans to kick thousands of our families off our lands so that wealthy tourists can use them to shoot lions and leopards.The evictions are to begin immediately.

Last year, when word first leaked about this plan, almost one million Avaaz members rallied to our aid. Your attention and the storm it created forced the government to deny the plan, and set them back months. But the President has waited for international attention to die down, and now he’s revived his plan to take our land. We need your help again, urgently.

President Kikwete may not care about us, but he has shown he’ll respond to global media and public pressure — to all of you! We may only have hours. Please stand with us to protect our land, our people and our world’s most majestic animals, and tell everyone before it is too late. This is our last hope:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/maasai_fb_dm_3/?bNDofcb&v=23793

Our people have lived off the land in Tanzania and Kenya for centuries. Our communities respect our fellow animals and protect and preserve the delicate ecosystem. But the government has for years sought to profit by giving rich princes and kings from the Middle East access to our land to kill. In 2009, when they tried to clear our land to make way for these hunting sprees, we resisted, and hundreds of us were arrested and beaten. Last year, rich princes shot at birds in trees from helicopters. This killing goes against everything in our culture.

Now the government has announced it will clear a huge swath of our land to make way for what it claims will be a wildlife corridor, but many suspect it’s just a ruse to give a foreign hunting corporation and the rich tourists it caters to easier access to shoot at majestic animals. The government claims this new arrangement is some sort of accommodation, but its effect on our people’s way of life will be disastrous. There are thousands of us who could have our lives uprooted, losing our homes, the land on which our animals graze, or both.

President Kikwete knows this deal would be controversial with Tanzania’s tourists – a critical source of national income – and does not want a big PR disaster. If we can urgently generate even more global outrage than we did before, and get the media writing about it, we know it can make him think twice. Stand with us now to call on Kikwete to stop the sell off:

This land grab could spell the end for the Maasai in this part of Tanzania and many of our community have said they would rather die than be forced from their homes. On behalf of our people and the animals who graze in these lands, please stand with us to change the mind of our President.

With hope and determination,

— The Maasai community of Ngorongoro District

Sources: 

PLEASE REBLOG THIS AND SPREAD THE WORD GUYS. Traditional cultures in East Africa have been getting completely trampled on by the government and barely anyone seems to know or care. And this loss of land isn’t just destroying their livelihood but their entire culture. These really are issues that could actually get some backing if people just freakin’ knew about them, so PLEASE SIGNAL BOOST!

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Video: When Theocrats Have Power

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Orphan Abuse and Church Crimes in Quebec

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Arkansas Enacts Strictest Abortion Law In The Country

Arkansas Enacts Strictest Abortion Law In The Country

Arkansas has just enacted the most extreme abortion law in the country – barring abortion at 12 weeks.

Despite the Governor’s veto, both chambers of the legislature voted to override, making it illegal to have an abortion after 12 weeks – still in the first trimester and only shortly after most women will have learned they are pregnant. This ban is two months earlier than any other state in the country. And it comes soon after the legislature banned abortion after 20 weeks.

Certain politicians in Arkansas don’t seem to care that this law is unconstitutional. Nor do they care that this law strips women of their ability to make deeply personal reproductive health decisions.

The Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision affirmed the right to a safe & legal abortion. However, opponents of abortion in Arkansas disregard this ruling in their effort to both remove the right that Roe affords women and to force the Supreme Court to reconsider the constitutionality of abortion. These bans in Arkansas are one more step in their strategy to make all abortions completely illegal.

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Trailer: “A place at the table” (Theaters on March 1st, 2013!)

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Years ago, a friend of mine who immigrated from Iraq told me that one of the biggest shocks in arriving wasn’t how people behaved, but the overabundance of choices, in of all places, a supermarket. The fact that she would be nearly paralyzed by the amount of choices made me appreciate the “super” in supermarket. The dark side to all those choices and why a nation should be ashamed is featured in the poverty documentary A Place at the Table.

Directed by Lori Silverbush and Kristi Jacobson, A Place at the Table opens brilliantly, quickly tackling possible stereotypes by featuring Rosie, a white fifth grader in Colorado who has to depend on charity from friends and neighbors to have enough to eat. Not only does she have to deal with a growling tummy, but she has to deal with failing grades caused by that growling tummy. Her teacher, herself a part of the hunger cycle in the past, tries to help and has some success. The problem is we learn there’s millions of Rosies out there. How many? Try 1 in 4 American children.

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Video: Religous Hypocrisy

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