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Censored News Stories 16-20

Posted by libhom Monday, November 24, 2008

contre la censur
Image: Joooule [ Funky Daddy ]

Here are items 16-20 in Project Censored Top 25 censored news stories of the last year. Blogs and other independent media provide an important venue to get around the corporations that want us all ignorant of so much that goes on around us.

16: Annual Survey on Trade Union Rights

The first Annual Survey of Violations of Trade Union Rights to be published by the year-old International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) documents enormous challenges to workers rights around the world. The 2007 edition of the survey, covering 138 countries, shows an alarming rise in the number of people killed as a result of their trade union activities, from 115 in 2005 to 144 in 2006. Many more trade unionists around the world were abducted or “disappeared.” Thousands were arrested during the year for their parts in strike action and protests, while thousands of others were fired in retaliation for organizing. Growing numbers of trade union activists in Africa, the Americas, Europe, Asia, and the Pacific are facing police brutality and murder as unions are viewed as opponents of corporatist governments.
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17: UN’s Empty Declaration of Indigenous Rights
In September 2007, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The resolution called for recognition of the world’s 370 million indigenous peoples’ right to self-determination and control over their lands and resources. The adoption of this resolution comes after twenty-two years of diplomatic negotiations at the United Nations (UN) involving its member states, international civil society groups, and representatives of the world’s aboriginal communities.

The declaration emphasizes the rights of indigenous peoples to maintain and strengthen their institutions, cultures, and traditions, and to pursue their development in keeping with their own needs and aspirations. The declaration was passed by an overwhelming majority vote of 143–4. Only the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand voted against the resolution, expressing the view that strong emphasis on rights to indigenous self-determination and control over lands and resources would hinder economic development and undermine “established democratic norms.”
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18: Cruelty and Death in Juvenile Detention Centers
In states across the country, child advocates have harshly condemned the conditions under which young offenders are housed—conditions that involve sexual abuse, physical abuse, and even death. The US Justice Department (DOJ) has filed lawsuits against facilities in eleven states for supervision that is either abusive or harmfully negligent. While the DOJ lacks the power to shut down juvenile correction facilities, through litigation it can force a state to improve its detention centers and protect the civil rights of jailed youth.
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19: Indigenous Herders and Small Farmers Fight Livestock Extinction
The industrial model of livestock production is causing the worldwide destruction of animal diversity. At least one indigenous livestock breed becomes extinct each month as a result of overreliance on select breeds imported from the United States and Europe, according to the study, “The State of the World’s Animal Genetic Resources,” conducted by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Since research for the report began in 1999, 2,000 local breeds have been identified as at risk.
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20: Marijuana Arrests Set New Record
For the fourth year in a row, US marijuana arrests set an all-time record, according to 2006 FBI Uniform Crime Reports. Marijuana arrests in 2006 totaled 829,627, an increase from 786,545 in 2005. At current rates, a marijuana smoker is arrested every thirty-eight seconds, with marijuana arrests comprising nearly 44 percent of all drug arrests in the United States. According to Allen St. Pierre, executive director of the National Organization for Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), over 8 million Americans have been arrested on marijuana charges during the past decade, while arrests for cocaine and heroine have declined sharply.
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Commentary on Item 17
The basis for the view that the declaration of indigenous rights was "empty" was explored further in the article: the exclusion of indigenous peoples in climate change conferences and World Bank policy formulations after the declaration passed the UN General Assembly. I agree that the resolution has not been enforced, but I have heard indigenous activists take the resolution quite seriously as a way to push governments to take the rights of indigenous people into consideration. This makes the resolution far from "empty," though a lot more work needs to be done.

One area that the article gets right is the fraudulent nature of what is usually called "carbon trading" in the US. This is just a scam to make it look like corporations are cutting their impact on global warming without actually cutting their impact on global warming.

Stories 21-25


1 Responses to Censored News Stories 16-20

  1. GDAEman Says:
  2. And to think that Cheney and Gonzalez have been indicted for profiting off of detention centers.



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