Seattle 11/15: Resistencia film screening with Honduran social movement leaders

Resistencia - Poster Seattle - ENG - 8-1_2x11

Join Honduran Resistance leaders Miriam Miranda and Berta Cáceres and film-maker Jesse Freeston for a special evening & screening of the film “Resistencia: The Fight for the Aguan Valley”

Cost: $10 at the door. ¡Evento bilingüe!

Resistencia: The Fight for the Aguan Valley from Makila, Coop on Vimeo.

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Seattle, 11/23: “Drug War Capitalism” release with Dawn Paley @ Left Bank

Drug War Capitalism author event with Dawn Paley, Seattle, Left Bank Books, Sunday November 23 6:30pm

Drug War Capitalism

Book release event with author Dawn Paley,
published by AK Press

Left Bank Books
Sunday, November 23, 6:30pm

92 Pike St. 206 622 0195

Drug wars are good business.

Though pillage, profit, and plunder have been a mainstay of war since precolonial times, there is little contemporary focus on the role of finance and economics in today’s “Drug Wars”—despite the fact that they boost US banks and fill prisons with poor people. They feed political campaigns, increase the arms trade, and function as long-term fixes to capitalism’s woes, cracking open new territories to privatization and foreign direct investment.

Combining on-the-ground reporting with extensive research, Dawn Paley moves beyond the usual horror stories, beyond journalistic rubbernecking and hand-wringing, to follow the thread of the Drug War story throughout the entire region of Latin America and all the way back to US boardrooms and political offices. This unprecedented book chronicles how terror is used against the population at large in cities and rural areas, generating panic and facilitating policy changes that benefit the international private sector, particularly extractive industries like petroleum and mining. This is what is really going on. This is drug war capitalism.

Dawn Paley is a freelance journalist who has been reporting from South America, Central America, and Mexico for over ten years. Her writing has been published in the Nation, the Guardian, Vancouver Sun , Globe and Mail, Ms. Magazine, the Tyee, Georgia Straight, and NACLA, among others.

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Toronto: Conmemoración pública de dirigente comunitario guatemalteco

Under-Mining Guate

Conmemoración de Adolfo Ich Chamán En Toronto, llegaron más de 40 personas a la conmemoración del 5to aniversario del asesinato de Adolfo Ich Chamán. Foto de Allan Lissner.

Territorio de los Pueblos Huron-Wendat, Anishinaabe, Haudenosaunee (Toronto, Canadá) – viernes, 26 de septiembre de 2014 – Decenas de personas asistieron a la conmemoración del 5to aniversario del asesinato de Adolfo Ich Chamán supuestamente perpetrado por las fuerzas de seguridad de Hudbay Minerals. La conmemoración planteó el apoyo a las comunidades indígenas maya q’eqchi’ de la región de Izabal, Guatemala en su demanda contra Hudbay y se realizó paralelamente con una conmemoración en El Estor, donde ultimaron a Ich Chamán.

foto por Allan Lissner El ajq’iij Tata Bartolo, guía espiritual maya quiche, dirigió el memorial frente al torre donde se encuentra la oficina de Hudbay en Toronto. Foto de Allan Lissner.

El ajq’iij Tata Bartolo, guía espiritual maya quiche, llevó a cabo la ceremonia organizada por la Red de Solidaridad Contra…

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Rivers for Life: Cultural Resistance to the Xalalá Dam (NISGUA Fall Tour 2014)

Rivers for Life: Cultural Resistance to the Xalalá Dam (NISGUA Fall Tour 2014)

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Until the Rulers Obey: March 8 @ Black Coffee

Until the Rulers Obey-Seattle

Social movements across Latin America powered a huge wave of change at the turn of the 21st century. The new book, “Until the Rulers Obey: Voices From Latin American Social Movements” (PM Press) brings together interviews with more than 70 leaders, organizers, and activists from 15 countries. Please join co-editors Clifton Ross and Marcy Rein, and contributors Phil Neff and Marie Trigona, in dialogue about what these movements represent and what we can learn from them.

Saturday, March 8, 7:00pm
Black Coffee Co-op
501 E. Pine St., Seattle

Co-sponsored by NISGUA, Network in Solidarity with the People of Guatemala

For more information on the book, see the PM Press web site and the book’s companion site,

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For those who have not lived to see justice

Today more than ever I dedicate this poem to those who have not lived to see justice. For full updates on the Guatemala genocide trial and to support survivors and human rights defenders, connect with the Network in Solidarity with the People of Guatemala@NISGUA_Guate.

Interment (For those who have not lived to see justice)

The General’s sickroom is a cell—
through drapes a glimpse
of bloody bougainvillea,
an elegant spiral of razor wire.
Withering fingers grip the stock of a rifle,
shove home a bayonet to its depths,
grasping at satin sheets.
The voice that severed the raw will of conscripts,
exhorting conquest of coward morality,
is silenced in fevered gasps.
Somatic provinces in open revolt,
its body becomes shadow
of the blood-slicked torture chamber.

His will be an honorable death,
unstained by official infamy.
Military-school comrades will send their condolences,
bouquets stinking with hollow awareness
of their creeping fates.

The General will be congratulated in state
by high society, by the economists,
for a life spent crushing the dreams
of peoples whose dreams mean nothing to their world,
except as things to be crushed,
and feared.

The General yet sleeps fitfully,
suffocating on a goose-down pillow.
Silent men and women come to his bedside,
dressed brightly, as for a carnival procession.
The celebrants carry heavy sacks anchored to their foreheads,
small wooden boxes balanced like crowns.
The lids are lifted with an echo
of laughter disinterred.

A sudden cry—
the notes of laughter crystallize their air,
falling in a rain of shattered bones.
With a sighing of machetes the sacks are slit open—
in the dream of the celebrants
the General drowns
in a torrent of ashes.

Photos via other content copyleft

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Chapín black humor meets the Guatemala genocide trial

Today I found myself absorbed in the Network in Solidarity with the People of Guatemala’s  coverage of the country’s historic first trial for genocide, which opened today. See NISGUA’s Twitter feed for an archive of live updates, and NISGUA’s blog for a summary of the first day’s proceedings.

This hopeful and emotionally charged moment felt even more intense as it comes during a wave of brutal repression against social movement activists across Guatemala, including most recently the kidnapping of four indigenous Xinca community leaders Sunday night following a community consultation regarding mining. Exaltación Marcos Ucelo was found murdered, with hands tied and signs of torture. Two of the other men escaped, while Xinca Parliament President Roberto Gonzalez was released the next day in Chimaltenango. NISGUA has updates and links to actions, as well as information on the broader context of criminalization that activists face.

In this climate, I was heartened to see Guatemalan commentators online reacting with great interest to the trial, as well as showing evidence of the indomitable Chapín tendency to confront horror with the blackest of comedy. The jokes mostly took the piss out of the Generals’ malicious and bumbling defense strategy, and dropped off as survivors of genocide began to give their devastating testimony of genocide lived in the flesh, picking up again at the end of the day. Here, without further comment, I want to collect some of the cutting and sidesplitting examples of this tendency that I saw today, as well as some more philosophically contemplative aphorisms:

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