Yesterday I reported on the breaking news about the military coup in Honduras on Matador Pulse. Many are paying attention to how events are quickly unfolding. It’s quite a strange world when the likes of Obama and Clinton, Hugo Chavez, and European and Latin American leaders all are condemning the action simultaneously (though not in the same words or tone).
Rarely does a nation that so infrequently makes the news become an international pariah so quickly. Chavez has issued a warning of military action and cutting oil, other Central American nations have threatened trade cuts, and other Latin American countries have pulled their ambassadors. Today thousands of protesters marched, burned tires, set up barricades, and clashed with the military in front of the Presidential Palace, with over a dozen injuries due to rubber bullets.
I hope the military and congressional elite can see that they are not winning this one and say “oops, we’re sorry. Zelaya can serve until January.” But I’m not counting on it. They seem to be digging in their heels. Unfortunately that might mean an escalation of violence, both internally and possibly across borders.
While so far the coup seems the lone actions of the military and establishment elite, it’s worth noting some history and also who is involved (General Romeo Vasquez). See this nice piece in The Progressive putting the coup in the context of the not-so-subtle U.S. influence in Honduras.
Mexico City isn’t exactly on the leading edge of sustainability. It faces serious environmental challenges, including water shortages, smog, waste disposal problems, and of course traffic congestion. I looked into the Mayor’s Green Plan and found a place for bicycles. See more about the city’s Bike Plan from my post on Planetwize:
Also check out Mejor en Bici, a partner in the city’s ‘biyclification’ efforts.
Last week I met with Rebecca Griffin, Political Director at Peace Action West, and spoke with her about her recent trip to Iran, as part of a citizen diplomacy effort bringing voices of peace from Americans. Here is the article I wrote for Matador Travel:
Citizen Diplomacy in Iran
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What do you do if you find yourself in the middle of an urban healthy-food desert? Look for an oasis. Fortunately, an oasis has just appeared in West Oakland in the form of a worker-owned grocery store with a focus on healthy, organic, local food and community.
Mandela Foods Cooperative finally opened its doors on Saturday and I wanted to be there to help celebrate. A project that has been many years in the making, Mandela is one of the few places in West Oakland where residents can find fresh, healthy food.
Located on 7th Street across from West Oakland Bart, Mandela Foods Cooperative is worker-owned and sells healthy foods such as bulk cereals, dried fruit, and nuts and only organic produce. Continue reading »
I went to an event hosted by MECA (Middle Eastern Children Alliance) in Berkeley a couple weeks ago. The program featured Chris Hedges and Laila Al-Arian and their new book called Collateral Damage: American’s War on Iraqi Civilians.
Hedges is also the author of War is a Force That Gives Us Meaning (I highly recommend) and American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America. Collateral Damage chronicles 50 Iraq war vets who speak out about the terrorizing of civilians some U.S. soldiers–including themselves–carry out.
Al-Arian showed a short video clip from the Winter Soldier conference outside of D.C. in March. In the interview a vet who tells of his involvement with a terrible incident and breaks down in tears and buries his head. It is a heavy burden for him and the family of the people he terrorized to carry. If you haven’t listened yet to any Winter Solider testimony, do so today, but not before you go to bed or you will have nightmares.
British MP George Galloway was put on the program at the last minute. I am glad I took the time to get a CityCarShare for a couple hours to go hear him speak in North Berkeley. He is here in the U.S. to rally support for the Viva Palestina campaign to bring a convoy of aid to the people of Gaza. The convoy departs July 4.
I was inspired to write the following article for MatadorChange:
Stay tuned for a follow-up piece where I interview a Bay Area citizen-diplomat who will be going on the July convoy to Gaza via Egypt.
By the way, the olive oil I got through MECA was delicious and the procedes go to help Gazans.