Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)

The unprecedented corporate power grab known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal could be headed for a possible vote in Congress later this year. But thanks to the work of thousands of CREDO activists, whether it has enough support … Continue reading

The unprecedented corporate power grab known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal could be headed for a possible vote in Congress later this year. But thanks to the work of thousands of CREDO activists, whether it has enough support to pass is still an open question.

Unfortunately, the TPP just got a major boost from some of the largest and most well-known internet companies. A trade association representing companies including Google, Amazon, Netflix, Facebook, Twitter, and Yahoo just announced their full support of the TPP.1,2

This is outrageous. The TPP is antithetical to the interests of internet users. Furthermore, many of these companies pride themselves on putting the rights and interests of their users first and claim that principles such as free speech and privacy are at the core of their mission. TPP directly undermines those values in favor of corporate profit.

Tell members of the Internet Association: Disavow endorsement of the TPP. Click here to sign the petition.

Google, Amazon, Netflix, Facebook, Twitter, and Yahoo don’t have to go along with the Internet Association’s disastrously poor decision to endorse the TPP. One of its members, Reddit, has just come out and disavowed the endorsement.3 This is why we are joining with our friends from Fight for the Future to pressure other members to do the same.

The TPP was written and negotiated in absolute secrecy, and it’s easy to see why. It would eviscerate broad swaths of regulations that protect consumers, workers, the environment, and the soundness of our financial system. And it would set up a global system where corporate profits trump the policy priorities of sovereign governments.

Passage of the TPP could mean more American jobs offshored, developing countries losing access to lifesaving medications, and unsafe foods and products pouring into our country. The deal includes countries that are notorious for human rights violations without once mentioning “human rights” in its 5,600 pages.

The deal could also mean the end of internet freedom as we know it. It would expand corporate copyright enforcement at the expense of privacy and free speech. It would criminalize tinkering and modifying products under fair use purposes. And it would allow corporations to avoid the legal and democratic process by using secretive international tribunals to attack internet users’ rights – the same tribunals that could be used to undermine environmental and consumer protections.

The members of the Internet Association have no obligation to support this wrongheaded endorsement of the TPP. And, fortunately, many of these companies would be extremely sensitive to a backlash from their own users. After all, companies like Facebook and Twitter wouldn’t have a product if it weren’t for their users’ ability to freely express themselves and create content on a daily basis.

Tell members of the Internet Association: Disavow endorsement of the TPP. Click here to sign the petition.

With the media currently focused on the corrupt practices of corporations revealed in the release of the Panama Papers,4 we have the opportunity to shine the spotlight on how the TPP is just another attempt by corporations to skirt domestic and international law.

If we can get these major internet companies to publicly reject the TPP, as Reddit just did, we can turn this pathetic and self-defeating endorsement into exactly the opposite: A major public statement against the TPP and the corporate power grab it represents.

Tell members of the Internet Association: Disavow endorsement of the TPP. Click below to sign the petition:

http://act.credoaction.com/sign/TPP_Internet?t=7&akid=17517.5084505.ftxYLO

Thank you for your activism.

Murshed Zaheed, Political Director
CREDO Action from Working Assets

Add your name:

Sign the petition ?
  1. Internet Association Member List.
  2. Statement In Support Of The Trans-Pacific Partnership,” Internet Association, March 30, 2016.
  3. Reddit statement on Twitter disavowing TPP endorsement,” Reddit, March 30, 2016.
  4. Panama Papers: Leaks spur global investigations,” BBC, April 4, 2016.

Sometimes, you’ve just got to tell it like it is

Arctic discovery LINDSAY ABRAMS WEDNESDAY, AUG 6, 2014 03:27 PM -0500 The study concerns the large deposits of methane (CH4) — a greenhouse gas over twenty times more potent than CO2 — known to be buried beneath the Arctic. Stockholm University … Continue reading

Arctic discovery

WEDNESDAY, AUG 6, 2014 03:27 PM -0500

The study concerns the large deposits of methane (CH4) — a greenhouse gas over twenty times more potent than CO2 — known to be buried beneath the Arctic. Stockholm University researchers found that some of that methane is leaking, and even making it to the ocean’s surface. They called the discovery “somewhat of a surprise,” which, according to Box, doesn’t quite communicate its importance.

“Even if a small fraction of the Arctic carbon were released to the atmosphere, we’re fucked,”

The religious police in Saudi Arabia

Published on Jun 6, 2013

Saudi Arabia has released prominent novelist Turki al-Hamad, who was arrested in December after a series of tweets criticising Islamism and saying Islam needed renewal, an activist said.

“He is in his house now in Riyadh,” said Waleed Abu al-Khair, a lawyer and human rights activist in the conservative Islamic kingdom, where criticism of the Muslim faith, or senior members of the clergy and ruling family, is not tolerated.

Hamad, one of Saudi Arabia’s best known liberal thinkers, was not tried during his six months in jail, Abu al-Khair said on Wednesday.

Before his detention he wrote tweets that likened some ultra-conservatives to Nazis and called for a renewal of Islam.

The Justice Ministry was not immediately able to comment on Hamad’s release or the reasons for his detention. Hamad’s mobile telephone remained switched off on Wednesday.

Last year Saudi Arabia imprisoned a young blogger, Hamza Kashgari, on blasphemy charges after he published tweets that imagined a conversation with the Prophet Mohammad. Kashgari remains behind bars.

Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of Islam and home to the faith’s holiest sites in Mecca and Medina, practises Islamic law, allowing judges to pass verdicts and sentences based on their interpretation of religious and legal texts.

Blasphemy is illegal, as is leaving the Islamic faith.

Morality police patrol public areas to ensure strict religious norms, including modest dress, are observed, while the public practise of other religions is forbidden.


Published on Nov 21, 2013

Two men have been arrested in Saudi Arabia for offering free hugs to passers-by in the capital, Riyadh.

The Saudi religious police detained the two young men for indulging in exotic practices and offending public order.

The free hugs movement aims to “brighten up” people’s lives by offering strangers hugs.

A young Saudi man, Bandr al-Swed, posted a video of himself offering hugs to male strangers on YouTube, where it has received nearly 1.5m views.

“After seeing the Free Hugs Campaign in many different countries, I decided to do it in my own country,” Mr Swed told al-Arabiya news.

“I liked the idea and thought it could bring happiness to Saudi Arabia.”

Britain’s Independent newspaper reports that his video inspired two more young Saudis, Abdulrahman al-Khayyal and a friend.

They offered hugs, advertised on a placard, in one of Riyadh’s main shopping streets.

They were subsequently arrested by the kingdom’s religious police, the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, which is charged with ensuring that sharia law is strictly adhered to.

The two were required to sign a pledge that they would not offer hugs again, reports say.

The duties of Saudi Arabia’s religious police, or mutawa, include preventing women driving, enforcing modest dress codes, policing bans on public entertainment and making sure all businesses close for prayers five times a day.

Some in the kingdom find the mutawa’s powers an interference in their lives.

The religious police attracted criticism for their role in a 2002 fire at a school in Mecca in which 15 girls died. The police were accused of trying to keep the girls inside the burning building because they were not wearing the proper black robes required of Saudi females.


January 5

Saudi pilot arrested in the US for raping a boy

A Saudi Arabian military officer has been charged with raping a boy in a hotel on New Year’s Eve. The 23-year-old sergeant in the Royal Saudi Air Force, Mazen Alotaibi was arrested on New Years eve in Nevada and accused of assaulting a 13-year-old boy in a Circus Circus hotel bathroom, while three other men were in the adjoining room smoking marijuana. According to the police report, Alotaibi said he offered to pay for sex but raped the boy when he refused. The accused was in the US for a training mission.


Published: 28 December, 2012, 12:05

The religious police in Saudi Arabia have raided a house in the Al Jawf Province and arrested 41 people, who were “plotting to celebrate Christmas,” a police statement said.

­The police said that the detainees were Christian guests of an Asian diplomat, reports the Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar.

There were also a Saudi Arabian and an Egyptian, both Muslims, present at the gathering. The police account says the host and the two Muslim guests were “severely intoxicated.”

It is unclear whether or not the people detained in the Wednesday night raid were released or face further prosecution.

Saudi Arabia outlaws any religious practice except those in line with a strict version of Sunni Islam, the state religion in the theocratic monarchy. The authorities usually turn a blind eye to private ceremonies, but this policy is neither set in law nor observed at all times.

The “virtue and vice” police, which enforce religious norms in the country, regularly launch crackdowns on Christians and Hindus living in Saudi Arabia.

The attitude is encouraged by religious leaders, who justify the persecutions. Saudi Arabia’s head mufti Sheikh Abdel Aziz bin Abdullah had previously condemned “invitations to Christmas or wedding celebrations,” the newspaper says.


Hamza Kashgari’s tweets on the prophet Muhammad’s birthday have resulted in charges of blasphemy, apostasy, and atheism – and Saudi Arabia appears to be making an example of his actions.

By Elizabeth Dickinson, Correspondent / February 14, 2012

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

As dawn rose over Saudi Arabia on Feb. 4, the Muslim holiday marking the prophet Muhammad’s birthday, a 23-year-old business administration graduate named Hamza Kashgari posted three tweets in which he imagined himself speaking directly with the founder of Islam.

“On your birthday, I will say that I have loved the rebel in you, that you’ve always been a source of inspiration to me, and that I do not like the halos of
divinity around you,” read his first tweet, translated here from the original Arabic. “I shall not pray for you.”

One of Mr. Kashgari’s friends noticed the tweets when he woke up. As he rushed off to work, he said to himself, “I’m afraid for him,” he recalls.

By the time the friend ended his shift, he switched on his phone to find thousands of Twitter users calling for Kashgari’s execution. Furious at what they saw as insulting the prophet Mohammad, critics also created a Facebook page called: “The Saudi people want the execution of Hamza Kashgari.” The next day, a famous Islamic activist, Sheikh Nasir al-Omar, used his daily YouTube lesson – watched by thousands online – to call Kashgari a blasphemer.

Kashgari’s friends sent him a short message: Run.

He fled, but only got as far as Malaysia before being deported back home to face charges of blasphemy, apostasy, and atheism – charges that carry a death sentence in Saudi jurisprudence. But Kashgari’s trials are not just about three phrases of 140 characters or less. They stem from broader tensions in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, where the monarchy has in recent years pushed back on the more conservative religious establishment but is now – in the wake of Arab revolts around the region – anxious to shore up support.

“Certainly since the upheavals, there’s been even more concern on the part of the regime to appeal to religious constituencies,” says political scientist F. Gregory Gause, author of “Saudi Arabia in the New Middle East.”

Kashgari was an easy target, says Pascal Menoret, professor of Middle East Studies at New York University Abu Dhabi.

“This is a very characteristic story of repression in Saudi,” says Professor Menoret, author of The Saudi Enigma: A History. “Get rid of a young man – it’s costless, and everybody’s scared.”
A willingness to push against limits

Kashgari’s friend described him as someone who was always walking close to the edge. Several years ago, he started attending meetings of intellectuals in the city who gathered to read and discuss religion and philosophy. Not long after, he became a columnist for the local paper Al Bilad, where his writing was sometimes critical of the government. He criticized flood relief when his city of Jeddah was overrun with water last year; he raised questions about the religious police.

His prominent role as a commentator got him invitations to a number of social forums, including the Saudi Intellectuals Forum sponsored by the Ministry of Culture. “We were talking to him, and we told him, ‘Kashgari you are [a] known, famous person,’ the friend recalled. ” ‘Be careful with what you are writing.’ I remember the look in his face when one of my friends told him that: He [was] staring at the wall, like he doesn’t want to accept this fact [that he could be in danger.]”

His tweets on the prophet’s birthday were not new ideas; he had shared them before on his blog. But when he sparked public uproar this time when he wrote, “On your birthday, I shall not bow to you,” according to a translation by Menoret. “I shall not kiss your hand. Rather, I shall shake it as equals do, and smile at you as you smile at me. I shall speak to you as a friend, no more.”

Published on Jun 6, 2013

Saudi Arabia has released prominent novelist Turki al-Hamad, who was arrested in December after a series of tweets criticising Islamism and saying Islam needed renewal, an activist said.

“He is in his house now in Riyadh,” said Waleed Abu al-Khair, a lawyer and human rights activist in the conservative Islamic kingdom, where criticism of the Muslim faith, or senior members of the clergy and ruling family, is not tolerated.

Hamad, one of Saudi Arabia’s best known liberal thinkers, was not tried during his six months in jail, Abu al-Khair said on Wednesday.

Before his detention he wrote tweets that likened some ultra-conservatives to Nazis and called for a renewal of Islam.

The Justice Ministry was not immediately able to comment on Hamad’s release or the reasons for his detention. Hamad’s mobile telephone remained switched off on Wednesday.

Last year Saudi Arabia imprisoned a young blogger, Hamza Kashgari, on blasphemy charges after he published tweets that imagined a conversation with the Prophet Mohammad. Kashgari remains behind bars.

Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of Islam and home to the faith’s holiest sites in Mecca and Medina, practises Islamic law, allowing judges to pass verdicts and sentences based on their interpretation of religious and legal texts.

Blasphemy is illegal, as is leaving the Islamic faith.

Morality police patrol public areas to ensure strict religious norms, including modest dress, are observed, while the public practise of other religions is forbidden.


Published on Nov 21, 2013

Two men have been arrested in Saudi Arabia for offering free hugs to passers-by in the capital, Riyadh.

The Saudi religious police detained the two young men for indulging in exotic practices and offending public order.

The free hugs movement aims to “brighten up” people’s lives by offering strangers hugs.

A young Saudi man, Bandr al-Swed, posted a video of himself offering hugs to male strangers on YouTube, where it has received nearly 1.5m views.

“After seeing the Free Hugs Campaign in many different countries, I decided to do it in my own country,” Mr Swed told al-Arabiya news.

“I liked the idea and thought it could bring happiness to Saudi Arabia.”

Britain’s Independent newspaper reports that his video inspired two more young Saudis, Abdulrahman al-Khayyal and a friend.

They offered hugs, advertised on a placard, in one of Riyadh’s main shopping streets.

They were subsequently arrested by the kingdom’s religious police, the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, which is charged with ensuring that sharia law is strictly adhered to.

The two were required to sign a pledge that they would not offer hugs again, reports say.

The duties of Saudi Arabia’s religious police, or mutawa, include preventing women driving, enforcing modest dress codes, policing bans on public entertainment and making sure all businesses close for prayers five times a day.

Some in the kingdom find the mutawa’s powers an interference in their lives.

The religious police attracted criticism for their role in a 2002 fire at a school in Mecca in which 15 girls died. The police were accused of trying to keep the girls inside the burning building because they were not wearing the proper black robes required of Saudi females.


January 5

Saudi pilot arrested in the US for raping a boy

A Saudi Arabian military officer has been charged with raping a boy in a hotel on New Year’s Eve. The 23-year-old sergeant in the Royal Saudi Air Force, Mazen Alotaibi was arrested on New Years eve in Nevada and accused of assaulting a 13-year-old boy in a Circus Circus hotel bathroom, while three other men were in the adjoining room smoking marijuana. According to the police report, Alotaibi said he offered to pay for sex but raped the boy when he refused. The accused was in the US for a training mission.


Published: 28 December, 2012, 12:05

The religious police in Saudi Arabia have raided a house in the Al Jawf Province and arrested 41 people, who were “plotting to celebrate Christmas,” a police statement said.

­The police said that the detainees were Christian guests of an Asian diplomat, reports the Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar.

There were also a Saudi Arabian and an Egyptian, both Muslims, present at the gathering. The police account says the host and the two Muslim guests were “severely intoxicated.”

It is unclear whether or not the people detained in the Wednesday night raid were released or face further prosecution.

Saudi Arabia outlaws any religious practice except those in line with a strict version of Sunni Islam, the state religion in the theocratic monarchy. The authorities usually turn a blind eye to private ceremonies, but this policy is neither set in law nor observed at all times.

The “virtue and vice” police, which enforce religious norms in the country, regularly launch crackdowns on Christians and Hindus living in Saudi Arabia.

The attitude is encouraged by religious leaders, who justify the persecutions. Saudi Arabia’s head mufti Sheikh Abdel Aziz bin Abdullah had previously condemned “invitations to Christmas or wedding celebrations,” the newspaper says.


Hamza Kashgari’s tweets on the prophet Muhammad’s birthday have resulted in charges of blasphemy, apostasy, and atheism – and Saudi Arabia appears to be making an example of his actions.

By Elizabeth Dickinson, Correspondent / February 14, 2012

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

As dawn rose over Saudi Arabia on Feb. 4, the Muslim holiday marking the prophet Muhammad’s birthday, a 23-year-old business administration graduate named Hamza Kashgari posted three tweets in which he imagined himself speaking directly with the founder of Islam.

“On your birthday, I will say that I have loved the rebel in you, that you’ve always been a source of inspiration to me, and that I do not like the halos of
divinity around you,” read his first tweet, translated here from the original Arabic. “I shall not pray for you.”

One of Mr. Kashgari’s friends noticed the tweets when he woke up. As he rushed off to work, he said to himself, “I’m afraid for him,” he recalls.

By the time the friend ended his shift, he switched on his phone to find thousands of Twitter users calling for Kashgari’s execution. Furious at what they saw as insulting the prophet Mohammad, critics also created a Facebook page called: “The Saudi people want the execution of Hamza Kashgari.” The next day, a famous Islamic activist, Sheikh Nasir al-Omar, used his daily YouTube lesson – watched by thousands online – to call Kashgari a blasphemer.

Kashgari’s friends sent him a short message: Run.

He fled, but only got as far as Malaysia before being deported back home to face charges of blasphemy, apostasy, and atheism – charges that carry a death sentence in Saudi jurisprudence. But Kashgari’s trials are not just about three phrases of 140 characters or less. They stem from broader tensions in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, where the monarchy has in recent years pushed back on the more conservative religious establishment but is now – in the wake of Arab revolts around the region – anxious to shore up support.

“Certainly since the upheavals, there’s been even more concern on the part of the regime to appeal to religious constituencies,” says political scientist F. Gregory Gause, author of “Saudi Arabia in the New Middle East.”

Kashgari was an easy target, says Pascal Menoret, professor of Middle East Studies at New York University Abu Dhabi.

“This is a very characteristic story of repression in Saudi,” says Professor Menoret, author of The Saudi Enigma: A History. “Get rid of a young man – it’s costless, and everybody’s scared.”
A willingness to push against limits

Kashgari’s friend described him as someone who was always walking close to the edge. Several years ago, he started attending meetings of intellectuals in the city who gathered to read and discuss religion and philosophy. Not long after, he became a columnist for the local paper Al Bilad, where his writing was sometimes critical of the government. He criticized flood relief when his city of Jeddah was overrun with water last year; he raised questions about the religious police.

His prominent role as a commentator got him invitations to a number of social forums, including the Saudi Intellectuals Forum sponsored by the Ministry of Culture. “We were talking to him, and we told him, ‘Kashgari you are [a] known, famous person,’ the friend recalled. ” ‘Be careful with what you are writing.’ I remember the look in his face when one of my friends told him that: He [was] staring at the wall, like he doesn’t want to accept this fact [that he could be in danger.]”

His tweets on the prophet’s birthday were not new ideas; he had shared them before on his blog. But when he sparked public uproar this time when he wrote, “On your birthday, I shall not bow to you,” according to a translation by Menoret. “I shall not kiss your hand. Rather, I shall shake it as equals do, and smile at you as you smile at me. I shall speak to you as a friend, no more.”

Monsanto

Published time: April 04, 2013 16:34
Edited time: April 05, 2013 12:28  

 
Monsanto on Wednesday reported that its net income rose 22 percent to $1.48 billion, or $2.74 a share, in a one-year period. The profit increase, which occurred in the three-month period through February, marked a new record for the lucrative biotech company. Revenue rose 15 percent to $5.47 billion, much of which came from the sales of genetically modified corn seeds, particularly those sold in emerging markets like Brazil, Argentina, and other Latin American countries.


Monsanto’s seed business, particularly its genetically engineered corn, cotton and soybeans, increased by more than 10 percent in the second quarter. The seeds repel bugs and are resistant to weed-killers, making them popular among farmers trying to yield more produce.
The profit spike exceeded expectations and Wall Street predictions and may have widened the gap between Monsanto and other seed businesses. The company’s shares also rose 89 cents, closing at $104.51 on Wednesday. Over the past years, the shares have risen by about 10 percent.
“So our bottom line business outlook today means the momentum that we anticipated in our first quarter has clearly carried through into even stronger business results for the second quarter,” said CEO Hugh Grant, on a call with analysts, as reported by the Associated Press.
And the company only predicts to be making more money this year: Monsanto expects $2 billion in free cash flow in 2013 and will become “more aggressive” in returning cash to shareholders through dividends and “opportunistic” share purchases,” Chief Financial Officer Pierre Courduroux said during the call with analysts.
But it’s not just the corporation’s seeds that are spiking revenue: the company also sells crop chemicals, which saw a 37 percent increase in sales. The herbicide Roundup, a popular weed killer, jumped by 73 percent to $371 million.
News of the company’s financial success comes just days after US President Barack Obama signeda bill into law that protects the billion-dollar corporation from any sort of litigation. Known by critics as the ‘Monsanto Protection Act’, section 734 of the Agricultural Appropriations Bill gives biotech companies immunity in regards to the production and sale of genetically modified seeds. The company would therefore have free reign to sell genetically engineered products the long-term effects of which remain unknown, without the prospect of facing a lawsuit for it.
Nationwide, Americans from the far right and the far left have united in their condemnation of the provision that benefits Monsanto, and a petition against the provision generated more than 250,000 signatures. Critics claim the legislation allows the company to bypass the court system and continue to dominate the US seed industry.


Published time: July 23, 2013 17:14
Edited time: July 24, 2013 18:12

Biotech giant Monsanto has been awarded yet another victory by the federal government thanks to a recent Environmental Protection Agency decision to allow larger traces of the herbicide glyphosate in farm-grown foods.

Despite a number of studies linking exposure to the chemical with diseases including types of cancer, the EPA is increasing the amount of glyphosate allowed in oilseed and food crops.

The EPA announced their plans on May 1 and allowed critics two months to weigh in and object to the ruling. Following little opposition, though, the EPA is on path to soon approve of levels of glyphosate being found in crops several times over the current concentration.

Glyphosate, a weed-killing chemical developed by Monsanto in 1970, is the key ingredient in the company’s “Roundup” label of herbicides. In the decades since, Monsanto has created and patented a number of genetically-modified organisms and genetically-engineered crops resisted to glyphosate that are sold worldwide under the company’s “Roundup Ready” brand. Those GMO products are then planted in fields where glyphosate, namely Roundup, is used en masse to eliminate weeds from taking over harvest. With scientists linking that chemical to cancerous diseases, though, critics decry the EPA decision and caution it could do more harm than good.

Through the EPA’s new standards, the amount of allowable glyphosate in oilseed crops such as flax, soybeans and canola will be increased from 20 parts per million (ppm) to 40 ppm, which GM Watch acknowledged is over 100,000 times the amount needed to induce breast cancer cells. Additionally, the EPA is increasing limits on allowable glyphosate in food crops from 200 ppm to 6,000 ppm.

Just last month, The Cornucopia Institute concluded a study by finding glyphosate “exerted proliferative effects in human hormone-dependent breast cancer.” A similar study released in April concluded that “glyphosate enhances the damaging effects of other food borne chemical residues and environmental toxins.”

“Negative impact on the body is insidious and manifests slowly over time as inflammation damages cellular systems throughout the body,” independent scientist Anthony Samsel and MIT’s Stephanie Seneff concluded in the April study. “Consequences are most of the diseases and conditions associated with a Western diet, which include gastrointestinal disorders, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, depression, autism, infertility, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.”

Dr. Don M. Huber, emeritus professor of plant pathology at Purdue University, found in yet another examination that “Glyphosate draws out the vital nutrients of living things,” in turn removing most nutritional value from GMO foods.

A press release issued by the group Beyond Pesticides criticized the decision as well. “Given that alternative methods of growing food and managing weeds are available, like those that exist in organic agriculture, it is unreasonable for EPA to increase human exposures to Roundup,” they wrote.

In the past, Monsanto has long-defended their use of the chemical. “We are very confident in the long track record that glyphosate has,” Jerry Stainer, Monsanto’s executive vice president of sustainability, stated previously. “It has been very, very extensively studied.”


Published time: September 25, 2013 01:55
Edited time: September 26, 2013 17:41  

In its short-term government-funding bill, the US Senate will propose an end to a budget provision that protects genetically-modified seeds from litigation despite possible health risks.
Called “The Monsanto Protection Act” by opponents, the budget rider shields biotech behemoths like Monsanto, Cargill and others from the threat of lawsuits and bars federal courts from intervening to force an end to the sale of a GMO (genetically-modified organism) even if the genetically-engineered product causes damaging health effects.

The US House of Representatives approved a three-month extension to the rider in their own short-term FY14 Continuing Resolution spending bill, which was approved last week by the lower chamber.

The Senate version of the legislation will make clear the provision expires on Sept. 30, the end of the current fiscal year.


Published time: October 17, 2013 03:53

A lobbying group for major US manufacturers has violated Washington state campaign finance law while opposing a ballot initiative that would require labeling genetically-modified foods, according to a lawsuit filed by the state attorney general Wednesday.
The Grocery Manufacturers of America (GMA) ran afoul of state law in collecting and spending $7.2 million against ballot initiative 522 – which voters will consider in November – while not disclosing the individual donors funneling contributions to the organization, alleged State Attorney General Bob Ferguson.
“Truly fair elections demand all sides follow the rules by disclosing who their donors are and how much they are spending to advocate their views,” Ferguson said in a statement.
The measure would require the proper labeling of goods which contain ingredients with genetically-modified organisms (GMOs), as well as the labeling of seeds and seed products containing GMOs sold in the state.
With over $7 million spent, GMA is the largest donor to the “No on I-522” campaign. GMA and other opponents have raised over $17 million, spending $13 million thus far, in the effort to block labeling.
The “Yes on I-522” campaign has raised around $5.5 million in support of the labeling. They believe it is crucial for the public’s right to know what is in their food and say the labeling is a positive move considering the numerous questions surrounding the safety of GMOs to human health.
Ferguson’s office alleges GMA set up a “Defense of Brands Strategic Account” and asked its numerous high-powered members to contribute money in an effort to oppose the ballot initiative.
In the process of spending the money, GMA shielded contributors’ identification from public disclosures, the lawsuit alleges.

GMA has a total of 300 member organizations in its ranks.
The attorney general is seeking a temporary restraining order to force GMA to comply with disclosure laws. In addition, civil penalties are included in the suit.
GMA claimed to be surprised by the developments, though it did not say if it asked members to fund the drive to oppose I-522, which would have required a political action committee and disclosure of donors.
“GMA takes great care to understand and comply with all state election and campaign finance laws,” the organization said. “GMA will review its actions in Washington state and relevant statutes and continue to cooperate with state authorities to fully resolve the issue as promptly as possible.”
Supporters of the ballot initiative pushed a similar claim that was rejected by a Thurston County judge, who said the matter needed to go through the state Public Disclosure Commission, which Ferguson is representing in the suit filed Wednesday.
Washington’s consideration of a GMO labeling measure comes one year after a similar measure was rejected by California voters after companies like Monsanto contributed $44 million for “No on Prop 37.”
Proponents of the California labeling measure only raised $7.3 million in defeat.
Monsanto has contributed about $5 million in opposition to Washington’s I-522. Corporate giants Bayer, Dupont, BASF, and Dow have also contributed to block labeling.
In June, Connecticut became the first state to pass a labeling bill, though legislative requirements demand it would only go into effect once four states – including one adjacent to the state – passes similar regulations.


Published time: October 11, 2013 06:16
Edited time: October 11, 2013 07:22

Joining six continents, 52 countries and over 500 cities, ‘March against Monsanto’ is planning its second mass rally Saturday against the biotech giant and genetically modified food. A number of Agent Orange victims are expected to join the protest.

“Saturday is a big day of action against Monsanto. We took our lights out to a local cornfield. Monsanto is bad for our food and bad for our planet,” the March against Monsanto’s movement posted on its Facebook page.

The rallies, which come four days ahead of World Food Day on Oct. 16, will call on millions of activists to boycott “Monsanto’s predatory business,” genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and other harmful pesticides, which threaten “health, fertility and longevity.”

On October, 5, Movement against Monsanto launched a global ‘Twitter storm’ asking people to tweet and post certain hashtags as frequently as possible.


Monsanto is a multinational agricultural biotechnology corporation headquartered in Creve Coeur, Missouri. With the exception of weapons manufacturers and other private military firms, there is perhaps no corporation that provides such a dramatic example of corporate influence over government. Not only does Monsanto spend a staggering $8 million a year lobbying government officials (imagine 80 full-time lobbyists each paid $100,000 a year), but many former Monsanto executives hold key positions in the FDA, EPA and USDA, where they have made favorable regulatory decisions regarding Monsanto products.
One of those products, recombinant bovine somatotropin, commonly known as “bovine growth hormone” (rBGH), is a synthetic hormone injected into cows to increase milk production. It also increases the levels a substance called IGF-1 in their milk, which is then passed on to humans. Elevated blood serum levels of IGF-1 have been linked in numerous studies to breast, colon and prostate cancer. For this reason, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and all 27 European Union countries have banned the use of rBGH. The FDA’s highly controversial 1993 decision approving rBGH was overseen by former Monsanto attorney, Michael R. Taylor, who was serving as the FDA’s Deputy Commissioner of Policy at the time. After the decision Taylor left the FDA and again joined Monsanto, becoming the company’s chief lobbyist and Vice President for Public Policy. He has since gone back and forth between Monsanto and various government positions in the FDA and the USDA, highlighting the “revolving door syndrome” that has become a hallmark of corporate-government collusion.
Monsanto’s genetically modified (GM) crops consist primarily of those modified to be resistant to the herbicide Roundup (another Monsanto product) and those modified to contain within their cells the biological pesticide called Bacillus thuringiensis (or Bt). Widespread health and environmental concerns over both these types of GM plants are based on numerous scientific studies and have resulted in many countries banning GM crops entirely. In the European Union a moratorium on new GM crops has been in effect since 1998 and strict labeling is required on all genetically modified food products approved before the moratorium. Monsanto has spent millions of dollars pressuring EU officials to allow the introduction of GM foods into Europe, and—more significantly—recent Wikileaks documents reveal U.S. State Department officials also pressuring EU officials on Monsanto’s behalf.
Monsanto’s actions run the gamut of illegality and dirty tricks, and include the attempted bribery of Canadian officials; the intentional dumping of toxic waste into the environment; and the filing of hundreds of lawsuits alleging “patent infringement” against small farmers whose crops became contaminated with their patented genes, etc. Mass protests against Monsanto have spread to dozens of countries around the world and have included civil disobedience actions like the burning of experimental crop fields and the nonviolent occupation of Monsanto facilities.

References and external links:

http://www.corporatewatch.org/?lid=209
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jan/03/wikileaks-us-eu-gm-crops
http://www.businessweek.com/ap/financialnews/D9RL51J81.htm
http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article…
http://www.ejnet.org/bgh/igf-1science.html
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1082559/The-GM-genocide…
http://www.biolsci.org/v05p0706.htm
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/2961284.stm
http://www.nytimes.com/1998/10/25/magazine/playing-god…
http://www.fda.gov/AboutFDA/CentersOffices/OfficeofFoods…
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=6262083…
http://facebook.com/geneticcrimesunit
http://www.facebook.com/occupymonsanto

Published time: April 04, 2013 16:34
Edited time: April 05, 2013 12:28  

 
Monsanto on Wednesday reported that its net income rose 22 percent to $1.48 billion, or $2.74 a share, in a one-year period. The profit increase, which occurred in the three-month period through February, marked a new record for the lucrative biotech company. Revenue rose 15 percent to $5.47 billion, much of which came from the sales of genetically modified corn seeds, particularly those sold in emerging markets like Brazil, Argentina, and other Latin American countries.


Monsanto’s seed business, particularly its genetically engineered corn, cotton and soybeans, increased by more than 10 percent in the second quarter. The seeds repel bugs and are resistant to weed-killers, making them popular among farmers trying to yield more produce.
The profit spike exceeded expectations and Wall Street predictions and may have widened the gap between Monsanto and other seed businesses. The company’s shares also rose 89 cents, closing at $104.51 on Wednesday. Over the past years, the shares have risen by about 10 percent.
“So our bottom line business outlook today means the momentum that we anticipated in our first quarter has clearly carried through into even stronger business results for the second quarter,” said CEO Hugh Grant, on a call with analysts, as reported by the Associated Press.
And the company only predicts to be making more money this year: Monsanto expects $2 billion in free cash flow in 2013 and will become “more aggressive” in returning cash to shareholders through dividends and “opportunistic” share purchases,” Chief Financial Officer Pierre Courduroux said during the call with analysts.
But it’s not just the corporation’s seeds that are spiking revenue: the company also sells crop chemicals, which saw a 37 percent increase in sales. The herbicide Roundup, a popular weed killer, jumped by 73 percent to $371 million.
News of the company’s financial success comes just days after US President Barack Obama signeda bill into law that protects the billion-dollar corporation from any sort of litigation. Known by critics as the ‘Monsanto Protection Act’, section 734 of the Agricultural Appropriations Bill gives biotech companies immunity in regards to the production and sale of genetically modified seeds. The company would therefore have free reign to sell genetically engineered products the long-term effects of which remain unknown, without the prospect of facing a lawsuit for it.
Nationwide, Americans from the far right and the far left have united in their condemnation of the provision that benefits Monsanto, and a petition against the provision generated more than 250,000 signatures. Critics claim the legislation allows the company to bypass the court system and continue to dominate the US seed industry.


Published time: July 23, 2013 17:14
Edited time: July 24, 2013 18:12

Biotech giant Monsanto has been awarded yet another victory by the federal government thanks to a recent Environmental Protection Agency decision to allow larger traces of the herbicide glyphosate in farm-grown foods.

Despite a number of studies linking exposure to the chemical with diseases including types of cancer, the EPA is increasing the amount of glyphosate allowed in oilseed and food crops.

The EPA announced their plans on May 1 and allowed critics two months to weigh in and object to the ruling. Following little opposition, though, the EPA is on path to soon approve of levels of glyphosate being found in crops several times over the current concentration.

Glyphosate, a weed-killing chemical developed by Monsanto in 1970, is the key ingredient in the company’s “Roundup” label of herbicides. In the decades since, Monsanto has created and patented a number of genetically-modified organisms and genetically-engineered crops resisted to glyphosate that are sold worldwide under the company’s “Roundup Ready” brand. Those GMO products are then planted in fields where glyphosate, namely Roundup, is used en masse to eliminate weeds from taking over harvest. With scientists linking that chemical to cancerous diseases, though, critics decry the EPA decision and caution it could do more harm than good.

Through the EPA’s new standards, the amount of allowable glyphosate in oilseed crops such as flax, soybeans and canola will be increased from 20 parts per million (ppm) to 40 ppm, which GM Watch acknowledged is over 100,000 times the amount needed to induce breast cancer cells. Additionally, the EPA is increasing limits on allowable glyphosate in food crops from 200 ppm to 6,000 ppm.

Just last month, The Cornucopia Institute concluded a study by finding glyphosate “exerted proliferative effects in human hormone-dependent breast cancer.” A similar study released in April concluded that “glyphosate enhances the damaging effects of other food borne chemical residues and environmental toxins.”

“Negative impact on the body is insidious and manifests slowly over time as inflammation damages cellular systems throughout the body,” independent scientist Anthony Samsel and MIT’s Stephanie Seneff concluded in the April study. “Consequences are most of the diseases and conditions associated with a Western diet, which include gastrointestinal disorders, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, depression, autism, infertility, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.”

Dr. Don M. Huber, emeritus professor of plant pathology at Purdue University, found in yet another examination that “Glyphosate draws out the vital nutrients of living things,” in turn removing most nutritional value from GMO foods.

A press release issued by the group Beyond Pesticides criticized the decision as well. “Given that alternative methods of growing food and managing weeds are available, like those that exist in organic agriculture, it is unreasonable for EPA to increase human exposures to Roundup,” they wrote.

In the past, Monsanto has long-defended their use of the chemical. “We are very confident in the long track record that glyphosate has,” Jerry Stainer, Monsanto’s executive vice president of sustainability, stated previously. “It has been very, very extensively studied.”


Published time: September 25, 2013 01:55
Edited time: September 26, 2013 17:41  

In its short-term government-funding bill, the US Senate will propose an end to a budget provision that protects genetically-modified seeds from litigation despite possible health risks.
Called “The Monsanto Protection Act” by opponents, the budget rider shields biotech behemoths like Monsanto, Cargill and others from the threat of lawsuits and bars federal courts from intervening to force an end to the sale of a GMO (genetically-modified organism) even if the genetically-engineered product causes damaging health effects.

The US House of Representatives approved a three-month extension to the rider in their own short-term FY14 Continuing Resolution spending bill, which was approved last week by the lower chamber.

The Senate version of the legislation will make clear the provision expires on Sept. 30, the end of the current fiscal year.


Published time: October 17, 2013 03:53

A lobbying group for major US manufacturers has violated Washington state campaign finance law while opposing a ballot initiative that would require labeling genetically-modified foods, according to a lawsuit filed by the state attorney general Wednesday.
The Grocery Manufacturers of America (GMA) ran afoul of state law in collecting and spending $7.2 million against ballot initiative 522 – which voters will consider in November – while not disclosing the individual donors funneling contributions to the organization, alleged State Attorney General Bob Ferguson.
“Truly fair elections demand all sides follow the rules by disclosing who their donors are and how much they are spending to advocate their views,” Ferguson said in a statement.
The measure would require the proper labeling of goods which contain ingredients with genetically-modified organisms (GMOs), as well as the labeling of seeds and seed products containing GMOs sold in the state.
With over $7 million spent, GMA is the largest donor to the “No on I-522” campaign. GMA and other opponents have raised over $17 million, spending $13 million thus far, in the effort to block labeling.
The “Yes on I-522” campaign has raised around $5.5 million in support of the labeling. They believe it is crucial for the public’s right to know what is in their food and say the labeling is a positive move considering the numerous questions surrounding the safety of GMOs to human health.
Ferguson’s office alleges GMA set up a “Defense of Brands Strategic Account” and asked its numerous high-powered members to contribute money in an effort to oppose the ballot initiative.
In the process of spending the money, GMA shielded contributors’ identification from public disclosures, the lawsuit alleges.

GMA has a total of 300 member organizations in its ranks.
The attorney general is seeking a temporary restraining order to force GMA to comply with disclosure laws. In addition, civil penalties are included in the suit.
GMA claimed to be surprised by the developments, though it did not say if it asked members to fund the drive to oppose I-522, which would have required a political action committee and disclosure of donors.
“GMA takes great care to understand and comply with all state election and campaign finance laws,” the organization said. “GMA will review its actions in Washington state and relevant statutes and continue to cooperate with state authorities to fully resolve the issue as promptly as possible.”
Supporters of the ballot initiative pushed a similar claim that was rejected by a Thurston County judge, who said the matter needed to go through the state Public Disclosure Commission, which Ferguson is representing in the suit filed Wednesday.
Washington’s consideration of a GMO labeling measure comes one year after a similar measure was rejected by California voters after companies like Monsanto contributed $44 million for “No on Prop 37.”
Proponents of the California labeling measure only raised $7.3 million in defeat.
Monsanto has contributed about $5 million in opposition to Washington’s I-522. Corporate giants Bayer, Dupont, BASF, and Dow have also contributed to block labeling.
In June, Connecticut became the first state to pass a labeling bill, though legislative requirements demand it would only go into effect once four states – including one adjacent to the state – passes similar regulations.


Published time: October 11, 2013 06:16
Edited time: October 11, 2013 07:22

Joining six continents, 52 countries and over 500 cities, ‘March against Monsanto’ is planning its second mass rally Saturday against the biotech giant and genetically modified food. A number of Agent Orange victims are expected to join the protest.

“Saturday is a big day of action against Monsanto. We took our lights out to a local cornfield. Monsanto is bad for our food and bad for our planet,” the March against Monsanto’s movement posted on its Facebook page.

The rallies, which come four days ahead of World Food Day on Oct. 16, will call on millions of activists to boycott “Monsanto’s predatory business,” genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and other harmful pesticides, which threaten “health, fertility and longevity.”

On October, 5, Movement against Monsanto launched a global ‘Twitter storm’ asking people to tweet and post certain hashtags as frequently as possible.


Monsanto is a multinational agricultural biotechnology corporation headquartered in Creve Coeur, Missouri. With the exception of weapons manufacturers and other private military firms, there is perhaps no corporation that provides such a dramatic example of corporate influence over government. Not only does Monsanto spend a staggering $8 million a year lobbying government officials (imagine 80 full-time lobbyists each paid $100,000 a year), but many former Monsanto executives hold key positions in the FDA, EPA and USDA, where they have made favorable regulatory decisions regarding Monsanto products.
One of those products, recombinant bovine somatotropin, commonly known as “bovine growth hormone” (rBGH), is a synthetic hormone injected into cows to increase milk production. It also increases the levels a substance called IGF-1 in their milk, which is then passed on to humans. Elevated blood serum levels of IGF-1 have been linked in numerous studies to breast, colon and prostate cancer. For this reason, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and all 27 European Union countries have banned the use of rBGH. The FDA’s highly controversial 1993 decision approving rBGH was overseen by former Monsanto attorney, Michael R. Taylor, who was serving as the FDA’s Deputy Commissioner of Policy at the time. After the decision Taylor left the FDA and again joined Monsanto, becoming the company’s chief lobbyist and Vice President for Public Policy. He has since gone back and forth between Monsanto and various government positions in the FDA and the USDA, highlighting the “revolving door syndrome” that has become a hallmark of corporate-government collusion.
Monsanto’s genetically modified (GM) crops consist primarily of those modified to be resistant to the herbicide Roundup (another Monsanto product) and those modified to contain within their cells the biological pesticide called Bacillus thuringiensis (or Bt). Widespread health and environmental concerns over both these types of GM plants are based on numerous scientific studies and have resulted in many countries banning GM crops entirely. In the European Union a moratorium on new GM crops has been in effect since 1998 and strict labeling is required on all genetically modified food products approved before the moratorium. Monsanto has spent millions of dollars pressuring EU officials to allow the introduction of GM foods into Europe, and—more significantly—recent Wikileaks documents reveal U.S. State Department officials also pressuring EU officials on Monsanto’s behalf.
Monsanto’s actions run the gamut of illegality and dirty tricks, and include the attempted bribery of Canadian officials; the intentional dumping of toxic waste into the environment; and the filing of hundreds of lawsuits alleging “patent infringement” against small farmers whose crops became contaminated with their patented genes, etc. Mass protests against Monsanto have spread to dozens of countries around the world and have included civil disobedience actions like the burning of experimental crop fields and the nonviolent occupation of Monsanto facilities.

References and external links:

http://www.corporatewatch.org/?lid=209
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jan/03/wikileaks-us-eu-gm-crops
http://www.businessweek.com/ap/financialnews/D9RL51J81.htm
http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article…
http://www.ejnet.org/bgh/igf-1science.html
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1082559/The-GM-genocide…
http://www.biolsci.org/v05p0706.htm
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/2961284.stm
http://www.nytimes.com/1998/10/25/magazine/playing-god…
http://www.fda.gov/AboutFDA/CentersOffices/OfficeofFoods…
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=6262083…
http://facebook.com/geneticcrimesunit
http://www.facebook.com/occupymonsanto

Tuitea por los derechos humanos

La libertad de expresión es un derecho humano y no dejaremos que nos lo quiten.

En México como en otros países, la libertad de expresión está en riesgo. Periodistas y usuarios de redes sociales se enfrentan frecuentemente a amenazas ya sea desde los gobiernos o grupos criminales.

¿Utilizas Twitter? Súmate a nuestro proyecto “Tuitea por los derechos humanos” y contribuye así a defender la libertad de expresión. Súmate en: www.amnistia.org.mx/twitteros

La libertad de expresión es un derecho humano y no dejaremos que nos lo quiten.

En México como en otros países, la libertad de expresión está en riesgo. Periodistas y usuarios de redes sociales se enfrentan frecuentemente a amenazas ya sea desde los gobiernos o grupos criminales.

¿Utilizas Twitter? Súmate a nuestro proyecto “Tuitea por los derechos humanos” y contribuye así a defender la libertad de expresión. Súmate en: www.amnistia.org.mx/twitteros

#YoSoy132

MÉXICO, D.F. (proceso.com.mx).- Unas 500 personas se congregaron en las inmediaciones de la Agencia del Ministerio Público número 50 para expresar su inconformidad por la detención de sus familiares durante los disturbios de este sábado en el Cent…

MÉXICO, D.F. (proceso.com.mx).- Unas 500 personas se congregaron en las inmediaciones de la Agencia del Ministerio Público número 50 para expresar su inconformidad por la detención de sus familiares durante los disturbios de este sábado en el Centro Histórico de la Ciudad de México.

Además, aproximadamente 100 miembros del Consejo Estudiantil de Lucha de la Universidad Autónoma de la Ciudad de México (UACM) marcharon hacia dicha agencia en protesta por la agresión de policías a uno de sus compañeros en las inmediaciones de San Lázaro, lo que le provocó la pérdida de un ojo.

La marcha se llevó a cabo sin agresiones o daños a la infraestructura urbana.

Ante la situación, los granaderos reforzaron la vigilancia en el edificio, para evitar cualquier contingencia.

El procurador general del Distrito Federal, Jesús Rodríguez Almeida, señaló por su parte que entre los detenidos por los desmanes en el Centro Histórico algunos forman parte de grupos anarquista –que no identificó– y otros del movimiento #YoSoy132.

El funcionario indicó que hubo premeditación, un plan específico, para cometer los actos violentos registrados ayer en la Ciudad de México.

Agregó que siete visitadores de la Comisión de Derechos Humanos del DF dan seguimiento al caso para garantizar que no de violen los derechos de los detenidos.

Rodríguez Almeida explicó que entre los detenidos está un ciudadano rumano y que mañana será determinada la situación jurídica de todos ellos.

Al respecto, el colectivo #YoSoy132 dio a conocer que este lunes marcharán del Ángel de la Independencia al Zócalo para exigir la liberación inmediata e incondicional de sus compañeros detenidos, a los que considera “presos políticos”.

En conferencia de prensa en el deportivo del SME, precisaron que la movilización se realizará a las 14:00 horas.

En la reunión, reiteraron que su movimiento es pacífico y consideraron que hubo un “dispositivo desmesurado de fuerzas policiacas” durante las protestas contra el ascenso al poder de Enrique Peña Nieto.


Manifestantes que salieron de San Lázaro se enfrentaron contra elementos de la Policía frente al Palacio de Bellas Artes y calles del Centro Histórico

México, DF.- Luego de un feroz operativo de más de 7 horas, implementado por parte de elementos de granaderos de la Secretaría de Seguridad Pública capitalina durante la toma de Enrique Peña Nieto en el primer cuadro de la ciudad, el movimiento #YOSOY132 se deslindó de los actos vandálicos y violentos en las inmediaciones de San Lázaro, responsabilizó al ex presidente Calderón y al nuevo mandatario Peña Nieto por la seguridad de los jóvenes.

Asimismo arremetieron contra el jefe de gobierno del DF, Marcelo Ebrard, por permitir que la fuerza pública persiguiera a los manifestantes anti Peña Nieto por el primer cuadro de la ciudad.

Javier Bautista de la Asamblea General del movimiento #YoSoY132, dijo que ellos arribaron de manera pacífica a San Lázaro para protestar contra Enrique Peña Nieto y después de los enfrentamientos que iniciaron los maestros de la Coordinadora Nacional de Trabajadores de la Educación (CNTE), ellos quedaron solos y fueron recibidos con gases lacrimógenos y balas de goma.

De igual forma reiteraron su condena a las autoridades del DF, por la persecución, y no descartan que haya habido infiltrados durante los choques para inculpar al movimiento.


Gisela Pérez de Acha, ex integrante de #YoSoy132 y del programa “Sin Filtro” expresó los motivos que la hicieron abandonar la producción de Televisa

México, DF.- A través de una columna Gisela Pérez de Acha, ex panelista del programa “Sin Filtro” dio a conocer sus razones por las que decidió abandonar las filas de Televisa.

En una columna invitada en el portal de noticias Animal Político, la ex integrante del movimiento #YoSoy132 señala que fue un error haber acudido a grabar los programas a la empresa de Emilio Azcarraga, pues al igual que la política en el país, fue un show bien montado por Televisa.

“La pregunta entonces es, ¿por qué una empresa de televisión necesita legitimarse? Cualquier intento de legitimación supone el ejercicio de un poder. Televisa es un actor político con poder, y lo ha sido mucho tiempo”, señala en su columna Gisela Pérez.

Asegura que los participantes de este programa no tenían idea de donde se metían, pues fue una propuesta muy seductora por parte de la producción, “Le preguntamos al productor: ¿vamos a poder decir lo que sea?, el programa es suyo -respondió- tendrán plena libertad editorial y de producción”.

Asimismo destaca que “En el primer programa, todos (menos Daniela) éramos del ITAM. Esto contribuyó a la emisión de un mensaje aún más perverso: en México sólo las élites tienen acceso al poder y su ejercicio”.
Por último lanza varios cuestionamientos a la juventud mexicana y les pide que sigan innovando para no caer en los discursos y acciones de siempre que no llevan a ningún lado.


MÉXICO, D.F. (apro).- En medio de las protestas realizadas por el movimiento #YoSoy132, la lideresa estudiantil chilena Camila Vallejo Dowling, afirmó que la educación es la antesala de la democracia y que no es posible formar estudiantes y ciudadanos si no se les permite organizarse.

De visita por segundo día consecutivo en la Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana (UAM) campus Xochimilco, donde participa en un foro sobre Universidades Públicas en Latinoamérica, Vallejo, quien reiteró que no viene a dar consejos a los estudiantes de #YoSoy132, dijo:

“La educación es la antesala de la democracia. No podemos formar estudiantes y ciudadanos si es que no le permitimos organizarse (…) la juventud de hoy no puede conformarse con salir a las calles o incluso proponer una alternativa… tiene que generar una mayoría social y política capaz de disputar las correlaciones de fuerza” en el ámbito social y político, aseguró.

Vallejo añadió que la juventud con su ímpetu y su capacidad crítica de ver la realidad tiene mucho que aportar al proceso de transformación que vive el país pero no va a estar sola.

“No es una lucha sectaria ni generacional, es una lucha intergeneracional de todo un pueblo que tiene que ponerse a disposición de transformar la educación para transformar la sociedad”, dijo en su ponencia, que desató el aplauso de los asistentes.

Cientos de estudiantes y académicos de universidades públicas y privadas asistieron al encuentro con la joven chilena.

Vallejo llegó a las 11:00 horas al campus de la UAM Xochimilco acompañada de una comitiva que estuvo a su lado en el estrado durante el evento.

Agradeció a los estudiantes de la UAM Xochimilco por la invitación a “esta bonita y gran ciudad” e inició su exposición con un relato sobre la experiencia de los estudiantes chilenos en la lucha por mejores oportunidades educativas.

Ataviada con jeans, tenis y playera, la expresidenta de la Federación de Estudiantes de la Universidad de Chile cuestionó nuevamente la vigencia del modelo educativo privado sin regulación del Estado que, dijo, vulnera los derechos de las distintas sociedades y obstruye la democracia.

“La educación es la antesala de la democracia. No podemos formar estudiantes y ciudadanos si es que no le permitimos organizarse”, aseguró.

Vallejo evitó por segundo día consecutivo dar su opinión sobre la relevancia del movimiento #YoSoy132; y reiteró que ella y la comitiva chilena que la acompaña no vinieron a decirle a los estudiantes qué deben hacer.

Luego de la clausura formal del foro, Vallejo Dowling recibió en el estrado a la académica jubilada de la UAM, de origen chileno, Graciela Lobos, quien llegó a México en 1974 tras el golpe de Estado que derrocó al presidente Salvador Allende. Abrazó a Camila y le expresó su admiración, luego juntas levantaron la bandera chilena.

Más tarde, Vallejo participó en un encuentro de estudiantes en las canchas de futbol de la UAM Xochimilco.


Solitario en la cumbre de las encuestas, a partir del incidente del viernes 11 de mayo en la Universidad Iberoamericana, Enrique Peña Nieto ve su aspiración presidencial al filo del abismo. El candidato puntero, su partido y Televisa, su principal promotor y beneficiario, enfrentan el acoso inesperado del grito estudiantil, el de las redes sociales contra el que apenas se defienden, el de las autoridades hacendarias que hurgan las finanzas de dos de los colaboradores más cercanos a Peña Nieto y el del bien calculado golpe del gobierno de Washington contra el exgobernador priista de Tamaulipas Tomás Yarrington. Lo más temible para el candidato, el PRI y Televisa parece ser, sin embargo, el movimiento de los jóvenes universitarios #YoSoy132, cuyos alcances son aún imprevisibles. Esta es la breve e intensa historia de cómo se generó.

Nacido del desprecio, el Movimiento 131 que se originó en la Universidad Iberoamericana el undécimo día de mayo, durante la visita de Enrique Peña Nieto, puso en jaque a la clase política y a los medios que los desestimaron.

Durante días se encontraron con el rostro mutado. Distorsionados sus dichos y sus gestos, no se reconocieron en la realidad que proyecta la televisión, tampoco en la que escribe un sector de la prensa. Los llamaron fascistas, porros, acarreados de un partido político que los había entrenado para “reventar” adversarios. Los desconocieron como alumnos con un discurso legítimo. Censurados en medios electrónicos, los insultaron también con el silencio.

El enojo inundó el mundo virtual que los jóvenes de hoy habitan. La indignación se propagó como un virus. Miles de jóvenes estaban atentos a las redes sociales, espacio que no sabe de timidez o de miedos, esperando una reacción que pudiera ser suya.

Entrevistados por Proceso, incendiados sus ojos, los fundadores de ese movimiento cuentan que su raíz está en Atenco, en los feminicidios, en los desplazados, en la corrupción, en el hartazgo del “sistema” y los relatos que, en la prensa, no llegan.

Rodrigo Serrano tuvo la iniciativa. “Había que responderles”, relata al reportero. Por Facebook que desde la tecnología agrupa a la comunidad más grande del mundo que conocemos, convocó a que cada uno de los manifestantes disconformes de la Ibero elaborara un video simple, con su credencial de estudiante en mano, para recobrar la identidad robada.

(Extracto del reportaje que se publica esta semana en la revista Proceso 1856, ya en circulación)


Juhani Espinoza

México, DF.- A las 8:00 horas, los alumnos comenzaron a llegar. Decenas de ellos se formaron afuera del auditorio José Sánchez Villaseñor, de la Universidad Iberoamericana, para asistir al encuentro con el candidato presidencial del PRI, Enrique Peña Nieto, quien, después de varias semanas, finalmente había aceptado la invitación de la comunidad.

Las cuatro primeras filas del auditorio se llenaron de inmediato. “Acarreados”, aseguraron alumnos que estaban en la fila y quienes, a diferencia de los primeros ocupantes, debían pasar por un fuerte dispositivo de seguridad.

La molestia se hizo presente desde antes de entrar al recinto. A diferencia de los candidatos del PRD y del Panal, el personal de seguridad del priista sometía a los alumnos a una minuciosa revisión, en la que confiscaban cartulinas y mantas que tuvieran mensajes negativos en contra del abanderado.

Hacia las 9:00 horas y ante la llegada de cientos de estudiantes, una autoridad universitaria aceleró el acceso y algunos alumnos lograron entrar con sus mensajes de protesta.

Poco antes de la llegada de Peña Nieto, más elementos de seguridad arribaron al auditorio. Querían acceder sin permiso y controlar más el área, lo que provocó un altercado con los organizadores del evento, pero éste no pasó a mayores.

Pasadas las 10:00 horas, apareció el candidato. Ataviado de traje negro y corbata roja llegó caminando por la puerta principal del auditorio… entonces, todo explotó.

Al verlo, los alumnos que no lograron entrar al auditorio unieron sus voces en un solo grito: “¡fuera Peña Nieto!”

El ex gobernador mexiquense pasó enfrente de ellos con una sonrisa cordial, ignorando los gritos y aparentando tranquilidad. Pero al entrar al auditorio la cosa no mejoró, pues fue recibido con una carretada de abucheos y un sonoro “¡fuera! ¡Fuera!”.

Las autoridades universitarias pidieron calma para dejar hablar a Peña Nieto. Los alumnos guardaron silencio y dejaron que el candidato expusiera sus propuestas de campaña sobre economía, empleo, educación y seguridad.

La calma duró poco. Apenas unos 20 minutos después, una alumna apostada a la izquierda del auditorio lo increpó sobre su actuación en el caso Atenco. Los gritos de “¡asesino!” llenaron cada centímetro del lugar. Peña Nieto se esforzaba por dibujar una sonrisa nerviosa.

El abanderado tricolor fue interrumpido por los universitarios en varias ocasiones más, e, incluso, lo trataron de exhibir. Un alumno de la carrera de Comunicación lo cuestionó sobre las “Anomias” que sufren los indígenas.

Peña Nieto puso cara de no saber de qué le hablaban. El alumno terminó por explicarle que al candidato que “Anomia” significa el conjunto de situaciones que derivan de la carencia de normas sociales o de su degradación. Risas de burla se oyeron entre el público asistente.

Por la puerta trasera

A las 11:40 el viacrucis parecía llegar a su fin, sin embargo, antes de salir del recinto, Peña Nieto volvió a ser increpado por los alumnos, quienes le exigían hablar del tema de Atenco. El priista, ya de pie y a punto de retirarse, se limitó a explicar que restableció el orden con el uso legítimo de la fuerza pública. Más gritos de “¡Asesino!” se hicieron sonar.

Ante un auditorio hostil, el equipo de campaña de Peña Nieto no tuvo más remedio que sacar al candidato por la puerta trasera. Sin embargo, fue perseguido por estudiantes que los esperaban para gritarle, entre otras cosas,” ¡cobarde, danos la cara!”.

Horas más tarde, el priista se refirió a lo sucedido en su cuenta de Twitter. “El diálogo y el debate son ejercicios que enriquecen a la democracia. Agradezco a los estudiantes que esta tarde privilegiaron la apertura.

“Jamás rechazaré la oportunidad de escuchar a la sociedad, mucho menos a los jóvenes. De mi parte, reciban mi respeto ante todas las posturas”, agregó.

(CNNMéxico) — Inició con una protesta de alumnos de la Universidad Iberoamericana (UIA) contra el candidato presidencial Enrique Peña Nieto. Días después, estudiantes de al menos una decena de universidades públicas y privadas del Distrito Federal, más instituciones de 10 estados de la República, se unieron bajo el lema #YoSoy132 para pedir la democratización de los medios y el derecho a la información.

Este miércoles, los estudiantes se congregarán a las 18:00 horas en la Estela de Luz, monumento ubicado en Paseo de la Reforma, en la Ciudad de México.

Lo que busca este grupo de universitarios es “la democratización de los medios con información transparente, plural y veraz, que haya oportunidad de generar pensamiento crítico”, señaló Janine, estudiante de una universidad privada, quien decidió no dar su apellido por razones de seguridad.

Estudiantes de instituciones públicas y privadas de los estados de Hermosillo, Oaxaca, Mérida, Morelia, Guadalajara, Puebla, Querétaro, Monterrey, Hidalgo, Tijuana, fueron convocados para hacer manifestaciones en sus estados, también a l8:00 horas, informó Andrea Ruíz.

De las redes a las calles

Las redes sociales han sido claves para la conformación, organización y difusión del grupo #YoSoy132. Tras la publicación del video en YouTube 131 alumnos de la Ibero, jóvenes de otras universidades decidieron apoyar la causa de los estudiantes de la UIA.

La primera marcha de los universitarios, la del viernes 18 de mayo, fue organizada únicamente a través de Twitter y Facebook, comentó Saúl Alvídrez, estudiante del Tecnológico de Monterrey.

Ese día estudiantes de la Ibero, del Tec, de la UNAM, entre otras, caminaron de la UIA a las instalaciones de Televisa Santa Fe (la televisora más importante del país), mientras que otro grupo de alumnos del ITAM se manifestó frente a Televisa San Ángel, para exigir apertura mediática.

Un día después de la marcha, alumnos de diez instituciones en el Distrito Federal realizaron una junta: la Universidad Iberoamericana, el Tecnológico de Monterrey, La Salle, Anáhuac, el Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM), la escuela de periodismo Carlos Septién García, algunas escuelas del Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes, el Instituto Politécnico Nacional (IPN), la Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), la Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana (UAM) y la Universidad del Valle de México (UVM).

“A los grupos que fueron de una universidad, les preguntábamos quién quería ser nuestro contacto. No el líder, sólo el contacto, pues no tenemos líderes, intentamos que nuestra estructura sea lo más horizontal posible”, comentó Andrea Ruiz, estudiante de la Universidad Iberoamericana.

En la junta los alumnos de la Ibero propusieron que se realizara la marcha de este miércoles en la Estela de Luz propuesta que todos aceptaron, pues está en una ubicación accesible.

Desde el pasado sábado, el grupo de jóvenes universitarios ha realizado reuniones en persona y en redes para ponerse de acuerdo sobre los objetivos, puntos petitorios y las siguientes acciones de #YoSoy132, los cuales darán a conocer en la concentración de este miércoles, informó Saúl Alvídrez.

Agregó que en las juntas – a las que asistieron 20 o 30 representantes de las universidades –decidieron que un alumno del Tecnológico del Monterrey será el moderador de las juntas del grupo. Él coordinará las propuestas sobre los objetivos y puntos petitorios.

Las reuniones siempre se hacen en espacios públicos y fuera de los campus universitarios, dijo Saúl.

¿Y después de la manifestación?

Alina Rosas, alumna de la UNAM asegura que la participación de todos los estudiantes es necesaria para el desarrollo de la nación. “Hoy yo creo que no se puede concebir un país sin la participación universitaria ya sea pública o privada. La lucha estudiantil es una y los propósitos son uno”.

Los universitarios han recibido apoyo a través de las redes sociales. “Desde Dubai y varios países del mundo nos están demostrando su solidaridad, que son sensibles con la causa, incluso gente que no es joven, universitarios y no universitarios”, comenta Carlos Brito, miembro de #YoSoy132.

Carlos señaló que el grupo es incluyente, por lo que pueden participar alumnos de escuelas públicas y privadas, personas jóvenes y “no tan jóvenes”, así como personas que no estén estudiando actualmente, ya sea porque ya egresaron de sus instituciones, porque no encontraron cupo o decidieron no estudiar. Jóvenes que no estudian ya han participado en algunas de las juntas, señaló.

¿Qué pasará después de la marcha de este miércoles? Aldo Sotelo responde que continuarán realizando videos para difundir #YoSoy132 a través de redes sociales, pero aún no han decidido si realizarán más concentraciones o marchas.

“Así va a ser la dinámica de muchos videos, se van a hacer en internet, para que alcancen al público joven que se está convocando. Pero se les hace mucho hincapié a todos los participantes en que se difunda entre las personas que no tienen acceso a internet… Se les invita a que den difusión, mostrándole la pantalla de la computadora a las personas que puedan estar interesadas en el movimiento y en lo que luchamos”, señaló.