Sunday 19 June 2011

También La Lluvia / Even The Rain.

or Who to trust? and, What about thugs?
Up, Down, Appendices, Postscript. 
On the incipient Alzheimer's front, here's:
'Vantage #4: Since none of the spell-checkers work very well anyway, and since the one provided in Blogger is particularly useless (it just stops after a few hundred words), AND since I try to spell things properly but often can't remember well enough anymore to be sure, and since the Toronto Public Library provides access to the OED (to card-holders) - I quite often find myself browsing around in there, fossicking in one of the better compost heaps ever piled, which for an old garbage picker is one of life's pleasures.
Gotta love them Canucks. :-)A delight in fact; and none of it would be happening without my old friend Mr. Gout, and my new one, Mr. ... ? ... wazizname again?
Christ, Buddha, and a hippie are hitch-hiking together under the hot sun on a long and empty road. A truck passes them by, leaving a cloud of dust, and as it passes a lemon falls off the truck, bounces, and lands at their feet.

Christ picks it up and says, "Ah! The lemon is bitter, like the fruits of sin," and passes it to Buddha who holds it up in his fingers and says, "But the bitterness of the lemon, like sin, is no more than an illusion."

And he passes it to the hippie - who tastes it, smiles, and says, "Sweeeeet!"
Gotta love them Canucks though eh? :-)(I believe this story is told by Tom Robbins in one of his books, Even Cowgirls get the Blues or maybe it was Another Roadside Attraction ...) 
Luis Tosar & Icíar Bollaín.Icíar Bollaín & Juan Carlos Aduviri.Icíar Bollaín.Hardly seems to be the same woman in all of these three photographs eh? She has a twin, Marina - there could be a switcheroo goin' on (but I don't think so). Icíar Bollaín, director of También La Lluvia / Even The Rain (& here), a woman of a certain age, with facets.

The movie is now around on Demonoid for download. I am loath to appear to be promoting theft in this case - the movie deserves support - but first it deserves to be seen. If and when it comes to town I will go and pay a theatre to see it again, with a friend if I can find one - there.

Wiphala.Quite a snotty nariz em pé review in the NYT. The critic, Stephen Holden, says, "The title, 'Even the Rain', refers to the notion that catching rainwater would be illegal." Apparently unaware, according to his dismissive 'the notion' and 'would be', that indeed it has been the law in large parts of his America for many a long year that you cannot be going around catching raindrops without a licence: see here in his very own NYT. It is an interesting topic in fact (Who gets the licences?), you can begin to follow it up here and here if you want to. The ins and outs of compulsive anal-retentive legislators.

There was a time when I viewed aboriginal rights as impossible nonsense. But we all have to start somewhere I suppose. Over the years my thinking has changed, by slow degrees. My mother told me that Residential Schools were to help people escape from savagery. So many points like that, buried in 'the social imaginary' that take decades and more to wash out if they ever do. And she was not entirely wrong either - my friend Simon initially preferred me as a worker simply because I tended to show up when I said I would, and sober.

Yakumama.This movie helps the sifting process. It draws a convincing line five centuries long, half a milenium, from Columbus in 1492 to Bolivia in 2000, and then beyond, to the present, 2011, my present, where it lands with an ominous thump. Maybe the line is a trifle broad for some hair-splitters, ok, whatever ... One place to start examining it is the history of the water troubles in Bolivia culminating around 2000: here.

The NYT reviewer doesn't like the moral to-ing and fro-ing between Sebastian & Costa either (It's ok, he probably liked Iron Man). When Costa flips over and chooses a very specific & non-ideological struggle ... well, I was not surprised, and found myself musing again on Illich's network of human flesh, the network of agapé and Maritain's "l'armée des étoiles jetées dans le ciel." - see here.

I can't make out Icíar Bollaín, though I went looking for clues this week and watched a few of her other films: El Sur (1983), Te doy mis ojos (2003), Mataharis (2007). She could be another roto-rooter going after the patriarchy on some deeply buried personal issue. How would I know? I can't make her out any more than I can make out, say, Bob Dylan. For me their figures are so strongly backlit that they shimmer and wink in and out of perception. I can't even pretend to make them out ... I have no idea, none (well, hardly any) ...

Though I do, just now, imagine a sort of planetary Tantra and Yoga, an awakening Shakti and an unstoppable kundalini orgasm ... or whatever it is you get when you combine wish and transcendence ... I could also be completely mistaken and it could be Kali, come to crush us all to ketchup.
"Look out! The saints are comin’ through, and it’s all over now, baby blue."
   (Thanks again Bob.) 
Another killing in the state of Pará in Brazil - two reports translated below: one on the 14th by Renata Giraldi and one on the 15th by Pedro Peduzzi. Both originating at Agência Brasil, which is reputable as far as I know, but ... the (inflammatory) one was picked up and passed on by Friends of the Earth - Amazonia Program aka Amigos da Terra - Amazônia Brasileira. The second one was passed on too, eventually, though the lack of fact-checking in the first instance didn't merit a retraction.

So. What are the facts? and, Who do you trust? Or maybe it's just a matter of not flying off the handle so quickly? Is that it?

Here is a map I customized using the Google 'My Map' interface - another technological nightmare. My objective was simply to put more than one 'marker' on the same view of the same map, and as you can see it can be accomplished.

The procedure is to set up the view you want, save it as a My Map under whatever name you select, and then, in a separate window on a separate map, get the marker that you want, and use the 'Save to map' feature in the marker list in the leftmost frame to transfer the marker to your map. If this is not clear I will be glad to follow up via comments or email. 
Glenn Weddell, Toronto police.Glenn Weddell, Toronto police.Glenn Weddell, Toronto police.Todd Storey, Toronto police.Luke Watson, Toronto police.Three more thugs have been flushed out from under the thin blue wainscotting in the halls of the Toronto Police Service.

Hell, even in a third-hand photograph from the Toronto Star and with my tired old eyes I can make out 99944 on his damn helmet - don't need to call in a fancy pants 'forensic computer technology' expert for that.

One can hardly call them 'sacrificial lambs' - sacrificial cockroaches then - because the real perpetrators are very well protected (if not very well hidden): Bill Blair, Julian Fantino, Stephen Harper ... and all their creepy & cowardly associates up and down the line.

FAO Food Price Index, June 2011.And anyway, they were just testing their equipment, just getting ready for the innings to come, so they will be prepared to deliver serious and unmistakable lessons in civics when the time comes (like the good Boy Scouts we know them to be).

Round numbers - three-quarters of humanity now live in or around cities. And the story is beginning to fray, and not just at the edges. Uh oh! Take a close look at that FAO Food Price Index graph there - no cause for immediate personal alarm maybe, but certainly cause for some ... planning? Wouldn't you say? Has your income doubled since 2003? Just asking ...

'Ragpicker child' in Jammu India, photo by Channi Anand.'Ragpicker child' in Jammu India, photo by Channi Anand.Two pieces of a photograph found at the Globe and here and here, taken at the dump in Jammu, India (here's a map, I didn't know either).

Just time for a short meditation on the 'granularity' (as the techno-geeks call it) of this virtual reality we now inhabit ... and then remembering Supriya Bhadakwad & Vatsala Gaikwad.

Vatsala Gaikwad.Supriya Bhadakwad.I think this is the proper Vatsala (in the rightmost photo) but I could be wrong - naturally the press focussed upon Supriya. These women came to the bollocks climate fiasco in Cancún last December to tell the good burghers assembled there that incineration plants do not benefit them, rather the opposite.

So. Three generations ... that's not quite the point either ... suffice to say that in my constellation, ragpickers shine as brightly, and moreso, than, say, the trophy wife of some Koch brother ka-zillionaire with her plastic tits and her deer-in-the-headlights smile.

Maybe someone thinks it demeans these women to be associated with my shit, aimed at the IPCC and the Koch brothers and so on? What could I say to that? beyond - I hope not ... 
We weep for Fukushima. Paris June 11.June 11 marked three months since the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. In Tokyo there were large anti-nuclear demonstrations, with protesters numbering from 5,000 (police estimate) to 20,000 depending on who you believe. In Paris there was also a demonstration, with 1,100 (police estimate) to 5,000 marchers, again depending on who you trust. Even if you only accept the conservative estimates of the police - these are significant numbers. There was a demonstration in New York too - 60 people - that number I believe.

Tokyo June 11.Tokyo June 11.Tokyo June 11.Tokyo June 11.Tokyo June 11.Tokyo June 11.The demonstrations were briefly reported on, and in the NYT, but the news never appeared in the Toronto papers, the Globe and the Star. Why is that do you think? Considering that Ontario Power Generation (OPG) is doing its worst to shove another one or two reactors up our ass at Darlington you might almost think that large demonstrations in Tokyo and Paris are ... relevant?

Italy says Non! to nuclear.It really did happen. Here is a collection of excellent photographs: Part 1 & Part 2; by a western guy (by the look of him - go to Shoot Tokyo and click the 'About Me' tab) named Dave, who lives in Tokyo with his family and speaks Japanese - I for one am very glad he is, and does, and did etc. - Good on 'im!

The referendum kiboshing nuclear development in Italy also recieved scant attention - in the Globe it was tacked onto a discussion of Berlusconi's probable fate, a footnote.

So what is it? Gross bourgeois complacency? A conspiracy? What? Any connection that on Earth Day a mere handful of people showed up to demonstrate at Queen's Park in Toronto? (see here)

Burning Police cars in Vancouver.Burning Police cars in Vancouver.Burning Police cars in Vancouver.Burning Police cars in Vancouver.Burning Police cars in Vancouver.Here's another - Things are rarely as they seem.Here's a clue. He's almost got his finger on it.Gotta love those Canucks! That the Canadian thugs lost the Stanley Cup to the American not-quite-such-thugs-but-thugs-all-the-same is worthy of going full-on berserkers and burning police cars?! In Vancouver yet! Where fog and moss and lichen are news!

... and I have to ask - WTF?
(Where are your priorities boys and girls?)

Speaking of lichen reminds me of propagation by 'death from behind'. We have the IPCC apparently planning to preserve their fat bureaucrat salaries in perpetuity (however long that turns out to be) by ... endorsing ... geo-engineering. Et Voilà!

UN FCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres.UN IPCC Chairman Rajendra Pachauri.The rationale is obvious and I am not going to go into it ... the news is there to be read. How could a smart guy like Gwynne Dyer fall for this shit? Or pretend to? Whatever ...

But hear this: What the misbegotten assholes of the industrial-military complex and their misbegotten servants, the politicians & bureaucrats & scientists & technologists, will do to the planet - a nossa querida Terra - with geo-engineering will make what they have already done with coal & oil & nuclear waste look like kid stuff, tiddley-winks.

These people, Rajendra Pachauri & Christiana Figueres and all their legions of scribbling bureaucrats - if there was ONE of them who could just stand up and speak out the truth - but they are irretrievably crippled by their diplomatic culture, they can't make it work and they won't speak out.

Ian Fry.Ian Fry.Hang on a sec' ... there was one, here he is in Copenhagen, Ian Fry representing Tuvalu, one.

Lula da Silva & Barack Obama.Lula da Silva & Evo Morales.Okokok, two. Here's Lula da Silva of Brazil: Part 1 & 2 (each about 10 min.).

It still makes me weep to listen to them. Who else was listening? Apprently not Rajendra Pachauri & Christiana Figueres and their flunkies who are now being successfully pressured by the paymasters to promote geo-engineering. Maggots!

There is a word in Greek bailouki (rhymes with the musical instrument bazouki), and as it was explained to me years ago by a young Greek woman I knew, it means 'something blocking the way' and is used to refer to menstrual tampons. 
That's pretty ugly eh? Childish. Comparing the UN with Tampax? I do sometimes, often, consider the shittiness of some of what I say here, rasgando o verbo; but then, what little mind there is or ever was, wanders off the Emperor's New Clothes, and the Please Stop Your Infernal Forebearance aka Cut the Correctitude Crap-o-la, and the Make Of It What You Can and closely related Make Of It What You Will ... and anyway, no one says anything, so ... whatever.

Robert MacKay.Robert MacKay.I noticed this video featured in the Toronto Star, and a related article. I said, "this is what you call a good samaritan? someone who wades into a fight swinging, to protect a store? not much of a standard by my lights, the good samaritans were the ones who helped him up again, no?" and was roundly trounced by the trolls ... and it set me back.

I went down yesterday to the Toronto Day of Action – International Stop the Tar Sands Day. All the same people were there and no one else that I could see. I was late, maybe I missed 'em. My feet swelled up like red baloons, riding on the streetcar, lumbering around, and though some of them knew me, even by name, they didn't want to talk ... turned their backs when they saw me looking over, so I put my paw-print on their mural, made a donation and left. A kind man cleared his bags from a seat for me to sit on the way back to this place that is not a home - and I was thankful.

Oh well, people back away on ideological grounds which are often no more than disguised insecurity, even family & friends, and one ends up PNG, as the brit diplomats say. All good.

If you were to analyze the last few weeks' worth using Martin Buber's keyword-counting method, you might arrive at 'thug' & 'trust' (and 'bureaucrat' & 'bourgeois' of course, though these seem to have somehow become stop-words?).

Did I mention Pynchon's paranoid paradise recently? ... Oh yeah, just last week ... ok then, maybe it's time to read Gravity's Rainbow again. 
Brother Bob is showing up on YouTube again (?) For several years at least the copyright minions were taking it all down - but now some of his songs are reappearing?

So here's some music to take us all on outa here ... Bob Dylan singing It takes a lot to laugh, it takes a train to cry.

I sat listening to a guitar picker practicing this tune in ... 1966 in the McGill Student Union? But I didn't really listen to it until Bloomfield Kooper & Stills' version came along in the summer of 1968 on Super Session, in Halifax that was.

I remember the line as:
I ran to tell everybody but I just could not get across.
but it seems to be:
I went to tell everybody but I could not get across.
There you go ... lame I know. I could have done better ... I did the best I knew how to do.

And some (not all but some) of the frost that is filling the windows he is singing about is the damned forbearance and crepuscular (when the vampires come!) correctitude that goes on, dig it.

A-and so, finally there is an excellent and engaging suite of videos featuring Michael Sandel at Harvard.

Be well gentle reader, and all of my best beloveds. 

Oops, forgot to do the second translation, just noticed, I'll get around to that. ... OK, that's it done.

1. Review: Even the Rain, Stephen Holden, February 17 2011.


2. It’s Now Legal to Catch a Raindrop in Colorado, Kirk Johnson, June 28 2009.


3. Mais um trabalhador rural é assassinado no Norte do país, Renata Giraldi, 14/06/2011.


4. Trabalhador assassinado no Pará não era ambientalista, diz CPT, Pedro Peduzzi, 15/06/2011.


5. Search on for beating victim in Vancouver, Joanna Smith, June 16 2011.

Review: Even the Rain, Stephen Holden, February 17 2011.

Icíar Bollaín’s bluntly political film “Even the Rain” makes pertinent, if heavy-handed, comparisons between European imperialism five centuries ago and modern globalization. In particular it portrays high-end filming on location in poor countries as an offshoot of colonial exploitation.

The movie is set in and around Cochabamba, Bolivia’s third-largest city, which the movie’s fictional penny-pinching film producer, Costa (Luis Tosar), has chosen as a cheap stand-in for Hispaniola in a movie he is making about Christopher Columbus. The year is 2000, and Costa is unprepared to deal with the real-life populist uprising in Bolivia after its government has sold the country’s water rights to a private multinational consortium.

Local wells from which the people have drawn their water for centuries are abruptly sealed. Riots erupt when the rates charged by the water company prove ruinous. The rebellion ends only after the protests have brought Bolivia to a standstill and the company has withdrawn. The title, “Even the Rain,” refers to the notion that catching rainwater would be illegal.

Just as Costa and the film crew arrive to make a high-minded, myth-shattering exposé of Columbus’s exploitation and suppression of native populations, hostilities between Bolivian peasants and the government are about to explode. For Sebastian (Gael García Bernal), the project’s idealistic director, the movie-to-be is a chance to subvert the myth of Columbus as a heroic New World explorer by portraying him as a rapacious, greedy perpetrator of atrocities and a despoiler of nature.

Costa has no interest in the people of Bolivia and is overheard boasting on the telephone to a financier that the clueless extras are thrilled to be paid as little as $2 a day.

During the casting process a rebellion flares up when Daniel (Juan Carlos Aduviri), a fiery young Indian who traveled a long distance with his daughter to try out for the film, insists on an audition even though the roles have been filled. He makes such a fuss that hundreds of others who had lined up for hours without being tested are given a chance.

Daniel, a charismatic firebrand, wins the role of Hatuey, a Taino Indian chief who spearheads the rebellion against Columbus’s forces. When Daniel is not being filmed in the movie, he leads the protests against the new government-protected water company. Arrested and beaten up, he is temporarily freed only after the filmmakers intervene.

At its best “Even the Rain,” directed by Ms. Bollaín from a screenplay by Paul Laverty (“The Wind That Shakes the Barley”), suggests a politically loaded answer to Truffaut’s “Day for Night.” The scenes of Columbus’s arrival and subjugation of the indigenous people, whom he coerces to convert to Roman Catholicism, are milked for inflammatory outrage. Having persuaded the Indians to collect gold dust in a river, Columbus makes them slaves. Brutal punishment is meted out for malingering. In the most horrifying scene — the money shot, if you will — Hatuey and two other prisoners are tied to crosses and burned alive.

Although the movie punches hard, its impact is diminished by an overly schematic screenplay and excess conceptual baggage. An unnecessary layer involves the filming of a documentary about of the making of the film. The story brings in two heroic 16th-century missionaries, Bartolomé de las Casas and Antonio de Montesinos, who defend the Indians but they are given minimal screen time.

A more serious problem is the moral seesawing of Costa and Sebastian. While Costa suddenly and mysteriously acquires a social conscience that leads him to risk his life by driving a girl wounded in protests to the hospital, Sebastian, alarmed that his pet project is in jeopardy, callously begs him to stay and finish the movie. A film is forever, he argues, while the social turmoil around them will be resolved and quickly forgotten.

“Even the Rain” is splendidly panoramic. The scenes of Columbus’s arrival and of his imperialist and religious sloganeering, and of the carnage he wreaks, have a grandeur and a force reminiscent of Terrence Malick films. The segments about the chaotic water riots have a documentary immediacy.

In his weighty portrayal of Costa, Mr. Tosar goes as far as he can to make the character’s change of heart believable, but he can’t accomplish the impossible. And as Anton, the cynical, hard-drinking actor playing Columbus, Karra Elejalde lends the film a welcome note of antic unpredictability.

Consciously or not, “Even the Rain” risks subverting its own good will. You can’t help but wonder to what degree its makers exploited the extras recruited to play 16th-century Indians. Inevitably “Even the Rain” is trapped inside its own hall of mirrors.

It’s Now Legal to Catch a Raindrop in Colorado, Kirk Johnson, June 28 2009.

DURANGO, Colo. — For the first time since territorial days, rain will be free for the catching here, as more and more thirsty states part ways with one of the most entrenched codes of the West.

Precipitation, every last drop or flake, was assigned ownership from the moment it fell in many Western states, making scofflaws of people who scooped rainfall from their own gutters. In some instances, the rights to that water were assigned a century or more ago.

Now two new laws in Colorado will allow many people to collect rainwater legally. The laws are the latest crack in the rainwater edifice, as other states, driven by population growth, drought, or declining groundwater in their aquifers, have already opened the skies or begun actively encouraging people to collect.

“I was so willing to go to jail for catching water on my roof and watering my garden,” said Tom Bartels, a video producer here in southwestern Colorado, who has been illegally watering his vegetables and fruit trees from tanks attached to his gutters. “But now I’m not a criminal.”

Who owns the sky, anyway? In most of the country, that is a question for philosophy class or bad poetry. In the West, lawyers parse it with straight faces and serious intent. The result, especially stark here in the Four Corners area of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah, is a crazy quilt of rules and regulations — and an entire subculture of people like Mr. Bartels who have been using the rain nature provided but laws forbade.

The two Colorado laws allow perhaps a quarter-million residents with private wells to begin rainwater harvesting, as well as the setting up of a pilot program for larger scale rain-catching.

Just 75 miles west of here, in Utah, collecting rainwater from the roof is still illegal unless the roof owner also owns water rights on the ground; the same rigid rules, with a few local exceptions, also apply in Washington State. Meanwhile, 20 miles south of here, in New Mexico, rainwater catchment, as the collecting is called, is mandatory for new dwellings in some places like Santa Fe.

And in Arizona, cities like Tucson are pioneering the practices of big-city rain capture. “All you need for a water harvesting system is rain, and a place to put it,” Tucson Water says on its Web site.

Here in Colorado, the old law created a kind of wink-and-nod shadow economy. Rain equipment could be legally sold, but retailers said they knew better than to ask what the buyer intended to do with the product.

“It’s like being able to sell things like smoking paraphernalia even though smoking pot is illegal,” said Laurie E. Dickson, who for years sold barrel-and-hose systems from a shop in downtown Durango.

State water officials acknowledged that they rarely enforced the old law. With the new laws, the state created a system of fines for rain catchers without a permit; previously the only option was to shut a collector down.

But Kevin Rein, Colorado’s assistant state engineer, said enforcement would focus on people who violated water rules on a large scale.

“It’s not going to be a situation where we’re sending out people to look in backyards,” Mr. Rein said.

Science has also stepped forward to underline how incorrect the old sweeping legal generalizations were.

A study in 2007 proved crucial to convincing Colorado lawmakers that rain catching would not rob water owners of their rights. It found that in an average year, 97 percent of the precipitation that fell in Douglas County, near Denver, never got anywhere near a stream. The water evaporated or was used by plants.

But the deeper questions about rain are what really gnawed at rain harvesters like Todd S. Anderson, a small-scale farmer just east of Durango. Mr. Anderson said catching rain was not just thrifty — he is so water conscious that he has not washed his truck in five years — but also morally correct because it used water that would otherwise be pumped from the ground.

Mr. Anderson, a former national park ranger who worked for years enforcing rules and laws, said: “I’m conflicted between what’s right and what’s legal. And I hate that.”

For the last year, Mr. Anderson has been catching rainwater that runs off his greenhouse but keeping the barrel hidden from view. When the new law passed, he put the barrel in plain sight, and he plans to set up a system for his house.

Dig a little deeper into the rain-catching world, and there are remnants of the 1970s back-to-land hippie culture, which went off the grid into aquatic self-sufficiency long ago.

“Our whole perspective on life is to try to use what is available, and to not be dependent on big systems,” said Janine Fitzgerald, whose parents bought land in southwest Colorado in 1970, miles from where the pavement ends.

Ms. Fitzgerald, an associate professor of sociology at Fort Lewis College in Durango, still lives the unwired life with her own family now, growing most of her own food and drinking and bathing in filtered rainwater.

Rain dependency has its ups and downs, Ms. Fitzgerald said. Her home is also completely solar-powered, which means that the pumps to push water from the rain tanks are solar-powered, too. A cloudy, rainy spring this year was good for tanks, bad for pumps.

The economy has turned on some early rainwater believers, too. Ms. Dickson’s company in Durango went out of business last December as the construction market faltered. The rain barrels she once sold will soon be perfectly legal, but the shop is shuttered.

“We were ahead of our time,” she said.

Mais um trabalhador rural é assassinado no Norte do país, Renata Giraldi, 14/06/2011.

Mais um trabalhador rural é assassinado no Norte do país

Brasília – Menos de um mês depois de quatro ativistas ambientais serem mortos no Norte do país, o trabalhador rural Obede Loyla Souza, de 31 anos, casado e pai de três filhos, foi assassinado no Pará, no último dia 9. A Comissão Pastoral da Terra (CPT), ligada à Igreja Católica, informou que ele foi morto com um tiro no ouvido e que o corpo foi encontrado na cidade de Tucuruí – considerada uma das principais áreas de exploração ilegal de madeira da região, principalmente da castanheira.

De acordo com a CPT, não há informações sobre as razões que levaram à morte de Obede. Mas testemunhas contaram que, entre janeiro e fevereiro, o agricultor discutiu com representantes de madeireiros na região.

Informações obtidas pela comissão apontam que, no dia do assassinato de Obede, uma caminhonete de cor preta com quatro pessoas entrou no Acampamento Esperança - onde morava o agricultor. O presidente do Projeto de Assentamento Barrageira e tesoureiro da Casa Familiar Rural de Tucuruí, Francisco Evaristo, disse que viu a caminhonete e considerou o fato estranho. Como Obede, ele também é ameaçado de morte.

No fim de maio, quatro ambientalistas foram assassinados – três no Pará e um em Rondônia. A lista de pessoas ameaçadas, segundo a CPT, contabiliza mil nomes. O documento já foi entregue às autoridades brasileiras e também estrangeiras.

A presidenta Dilma Rousseff convocou uma reunião de emergência, no último dia 3, para discutir o assunto em Brasília. Ela ouviu os governadores do Pará, Simão Jatene, do Amazonas, Aziz Elias, e de Rondônia, Confúcio Moura. Também estavam presentes na reunião seis ministros – Nelson Jobim (Defesa), José Eduardo Dutra (Justiça), Maria do Rosário (Secretaria de Defesa dos Direitos Humanos), Gilberto Carvalho (Secretaria-Geral da Presidência) e Afonso Florence (Desenvolvimento Agrário).

Ao final da reunião, a presidenta determinou o envio de homens da Força Nacional de Segurança ao Pará. Os homens chegaram ao estado no último dia 7 e devem permanecer no local por tempo indeterminado, segundo as autoridades brasileiras.
 Another rural worker is assassinated in the north of the country

Brasilia – Less than a month after four environmental activists were killed in the north of the country, the rural worker Obede Loyla Souza, 31 years old, married and the father of three children, was assassinated on June 9th. The Pastoral Land Commission (CPT), connected to the Catholic Church, reported that he was killed with a gunshot in the ear and that the body was found in the town of Tucurui - known as one of the areas most affected by illegal logging, mostly cashew-nut trees.

According to the CPT there is no information about the reasons that led to the death of Obede; but witnesses said that in January and February the farmer had argued with logging representtives in the area.

Information obtained by the CPT points out that on the day of Obede's assassination a black SUV carrying four people entered Camp Hope where the farmer lived. The president of the Barrageira Settlement Project and treasurer of the Tucurui Local Family House, Francisco Evaristo, said that he saw the SUV and thought it strange. Like Obede, he is threatened with death.

At the end of May four environmentalists were assassinated - three in Para state and one in Rondonia. According to the CPT, the list of people who have been threatened contains 1,000 names. The document has already been delivered to Brazilian authorities and also to foreigners.

President Dilma Rousseff called an emergency meeting on the 3rd to confront the issue in Brasilia. She heard from the Governor of Para, Simão Jatene, of Amazonas, Aziz Elias, and of Rondonia, Confúcio Moura. Also present at the meeting were six Ministers - Nelson Jobim (Defence), José Eduardo Dutra (Justice), Maria do Rosário (Secretary of Defence of Human Rights), Gilberto Carvalho (Secretary General of the Presidency) and Afonso Florence (Agricultural Development).

At the conclusion of the meeting the President decided to send members of the National Security Force to Para. They arrived on the 7th and will stay for an undetermined length of time according to Brazilian authorities.
Trabalhador assassinado no Pará não era ambientalista, diz CPT, Pedro Peduzzi, 15/06/2011.

Trabalhador assassinado no Pará não era ambientalista, diz CPT

Brasília - O trabalhador rural Obede Loyla Souza, de 31 anos, morto no último dia 9, não era extrativista nem líder ambientalista no Pará. Além disso, seu nome não consta na lista de pessoas ameaçadas divulgada pela Comissão Pastoral da Terra (CPT). Esses fatores, de acordo com o Ministério da Justiça, amenizam as suspeitas de que sua morte seria mais um caso de violência contra líderes rurais da Região Norte. Em menos de um mês, a região contabiliza quatro mortes de lideranças.

“Assim como toda a população local, Obede e a esposa tinham seu roçado. Mas não era extrativista nem liderança. Muito menos ativista ambiental”, disse o agente da equipe da CPT de Tucuruí e integrante da coordenação da CPT no Pará Hilário Lopes Costa. “O nome de Obede não consta na lista que a CPT divulga, com os nomes de pessoas ameaçadas de morte por madeireiros”, afirmou.

“Trabalhando com todas as hipóteses”, a Polícia Civil do estado levantou a ficha do trabalhador e constatou que ele tinha antecedente criminal por atentado ao pudor. Isso será levado em consideração ao longo das investigações, mas, em princípio, não tem relação com o assassinato, e ficará limitado apenas às informações vinculadas ao perfil da vítima.

De acordo com o coordenador da CPT, a esposa do trabalhador, Éllen Cristina de Oliveira Silva, 29, omitiu algumas informações durante o depoimento que fez à Polícia Civil de Tucuruí. "Ela disse que Obede havia discutido com um vizinho do Acampamento Esperança por causa da demarcação do lote. Mas, por causa do nervosismo, acabou esquecendo de falar que os dois já tinham chegado a um acordo”, informou Hilário.

Ela não informou também, segundo o agente da CPT, sobre uma discussão que o marido teve com caminhoneiros que transportavam madeira ilegal na estrada que dá acesso ao acampamento.

“Não se tratou de uma discussão relacionada à madeira ilegal que estava sendo transportada, mas aos danos que esses caminhões estavam causando à estrada de chão batido. Por transportarem até 20 toras de árvore de uma vez só, esses caminhões ficam muito pesados e acabam tornando a estrada intransitável. Como sempre chove na região, o estrago fica ainda maior”, disse Hilário.

“Ela acabou não falando isso durante o depoimento na delegacia por medo do grupo de madereiros de Tucuruí, que são muito poderosos e têm a conivência da Polícia Militar local”, justificou o integrante do CPT no Pará.

O Ministério da Justiça confirmou que o trabalhador assassinado não era líder extrativista e informou que a Força Nacional não está no local porque a solicitação do governo do Pará está restrita a apenas três municípios: Santarém, Marabá e Altamira.
 Worker assassinated in Para was not an environmentalist, says CPT

Brasilia - The rural worker Obede Loyla Souza, 31, who died June 9, was not a harvester or environmental leader in Pará state. In addition, his name is not on the list of threatened persons released by the Pastoral Land Commission (CPT). According to the Ministry of Justice, this settles suspicions that his death was another case of violence against rural leaders in the North. In less than one month, the region has seen the deaths of four leaders.

"Like all the locals, Obede and his wife had their small plot of land. But he was neither a harvester nor a leader, much less an environmental activist," said the agent of the CPT team in Tucuruí and a CPT coordinator in Pará, Hilário Lopes Costa. "Obede's name is not in the list that the CPT gave out, with the names of people being threatened by loggers," he said.

"Looking at all possibilities," the Civil Police of the state looked at his record and found that he had a prior offence for indecent exposure. This will be taken into account during the investigation, but in principle, it has no connection with the murder, and will simply be kept in the victim's profile.

According to the CPT coordinator, the wife of the worker, Ellen Cristina de Oliveira Silva, 29, omitted some information in the statement she made to the Civil Police in Tucuruí. "She said Obede had argued with a neighbor in Camp Hope about the demarcation of their lot. But, because she was upset, she forgot to mention that the two had already reached an agreement," said Hilário.

She also did not speak, according to the CPT agent, about an argument her husband had with some of the truckers who carry illegal timber on the road that leads to the camp.

"The argument was not related to illegal timber being transported, but to the damage that the trucks were causing the dirt road. Carrying up to 20 logs at a time, these trucks are very heavy and end up making the road impassable. As it is always raining in the region, the damage is even greater," said Hilário.

"She didn't say this during the interrogation at the police station for fear of the group of loggers in Tucuruí, who are very powerful and have the connivance of the local Military Police," explained the member of the CPT in Pará.

The Ministry of Justice confirmed that the murdered worker was not a leader of the harvesters, and said that the National Force is not in the area because the request of the government of Pará is restricted to three municipalities: Santarem, Maraba and Altamira.
Search on for beating victim in Vancouver, Joanna Smith, June 16 2011.

“Canada needs more people with his character and courage,” federal Heritage Minister James Moore wrote on the social media site Twitter Thursday of the man beaten by a mob during Vancouver rioting.

VANCOUVER—The search is on for the unidentified man in black who was attacked by a mob of rioters after he tried to discourage them from smashing the windows of a downtown department store.

“Canada needs more people with his character and courage,” federal Heritage Minister James Moore and proud Vancouver Canucks fan wrote on the social media site Twitter.

Moore posted a link to the video showing the man yelling at the rioters to back away from the Bay store on Granville and W. Georgia Sts. Wednesday night before he was dragged down and beaten.

An employee at the Bay, where Vancouverites gathered to write apologetic and positive messages on the wooden boards covering its damaged windows Thursday morning, began to cry as she described how grateful she was to the anonymous strangers who risked their safety to try to protect the store.

“It was so wonderful because there were so many Good Samaritans, young men that were standing there holding people back from coming in and a couple of them started chanting ‘Please have respect! Please have respect!’ It was just amazing,” said store director Dana Hall, who was working during the riot and helped shepherd employees and customers up to the seventh floor to wait out the danger.

“They supported us. They helped us. They put their lives on the line,” said Hall.

A company spokeswoman said the Bay has been “absolutely overwhelmed by the outpouring of public support” at its flagship store and added they are currently focused on the damages but considering reaching out to the public later on.


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