Perspectives: Housing is a Human Right

By Rob Robinson, Take Back the Land Leadership Committee The movement should be led by impacted communities, primarily women of color.  This core principle of Take Back the Land (TBTL) stands front and center on this December 10th, 2013, a day that is recognized around the world as Human Rights Day.  TBTL is a network of grassroots organizations from around the country which uses non-violent civil disobedience and direct action…

December 10, 2013

Perspectives: Mobilizing for Justice in the Tea Gardens in Assam

By Francesca Feruglio Background on Assam’s Tea Gardens and Nazdeek The State of Assam, in North-East India, is home to more than half of India’s tea production and one sixth of the world’s production. However, thousands of tea garden workers living and working on the gardens have yet to benefit from such large-scale profit. Over 150 years ago Adivasi (indigenous) communities, were forcibly brought to Assam from India’s Central States…

November 6, 2013

Perspectives: Democracy, we have a problem: Religion

Lailufar Yasmin is an Associate Professor with Department of International Relations, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh, and currently undertaking research on ‘secularism in International Relations’ at Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia. Immanuel Kant, a principle theorist on secularism proposed that human beings should assume responsibility for their acts in the public sphere instead of taking refuge to some divine explanation for such acts. Referring to the principles of secularism, Kant suggested that…

October 3, 2013

If GMO Foods Are Safe, Put a Label On It

I expected that the supposed benefits of GMO foods would be heatly debated, but why is there such fierce opposition to GMO labeling laws.  If it is in fact safe, then, companies should put a label on it.  Stand by your product, and educate consumers on its benefits.

August 7, 2013

Eggplant and the Constitutional Right to Health and a Balanced Ecology

Pamphlet to Farmers from ABSP-II funded by USAID Imagine if people living in the United States could petition the courts on the grounds that they have a constitutional right to their individual health and a balanced and healthy ecology.  Imagine if companies were required to demonstrate with full scientific certainty that any product entering into the market for human consumption is free from harmful consequences or food produced would not…

July 17, 2013

Monsanto – A Legal Bully

A basic tenet of our American democracy is that where there is an injury there is a remedy as articulated in Marbury v. Madison, a landmark Supreme Court decision which established judicial review of executive decisions.  There, the court wrote: The very essence of civil liberty certainly consists in the right of every individual to claim the protection of the laws whenever he receives an injury. That basic principle is…

May 24, 2013

Bangladesh Building Collapse Has Political Consequences in US

Bangladesh collapse has political consequences in US Raising the level of standards for workers’ rights If workers rights are given, will they ask for more accountability

May 22, 2013

Crushing Greed; Building Transnational Labor Solidarity

“The hierarchy of poverty has deadly consequences.” Born during Bangladesh’s war for independence, our home was bombed and I survived as the family tale goes cocooned by the rubbles of concrete and iron bars. Soon after, in December 1971, Bangladesh gained its independence.  Intertwined with the genesis of Bangladesh, I grew up on a steady narrative of survival stories from political unrest, floods, and garment factory tragedies. Bangladeshis would repeat…

April 27, 2013

If There’s a Movement, and NYT Doesn’t Cover it, Is it a Movement?

Police Crush Pro Democracy Movement – 1987 Nobel prize poet laureate Rabindranath Tagore has a famous song cherished by Bengali activists which loosely translates to:  If no one heeds your call, then travel the road by yourself.  This has been interpreted as a call for courage and an inspiration to chart a path for social justice on one’s own.  But does that make a social movement? Of course, quotes abound…

April 16, 2013

Perpetual Trespasser

To be in the margin is to be part of the whole but outside of the main body.       We looked both from the outside in and from the inside out.                                    We understood both.  This mode of seeing reminded us of the existence of a whole universe, a main body made up…

February 26, 2013