farmers' rights

Brazil: Thousands of families occupy senator's farm

More than 3000 landless families occupied the Santa Monica farm in Brazil on August 31.

The farm, registered in the name of businessperson and Brazilian Democratic Movement Party Senator Eunicio Oliveira, is a complex of more than 20,000 hectares. It is self-declared as unproductive.

The occupation was organised by the Landless Workers' Movement (MST), a powerful Brazilian social movement that fights for land for the poor.

Farmers say no to invasive mining in South Australia

About 1000 people marched from parliament house to Victoria Square in Adelaide on August 2, to show opposition to the proposal to turn farmlands into gaslands.

The rally and march, organised to show the danger to South Australia’s food bowl, water and tourism, was jointly organised by the Limestone Coast Protection Alliance, Stop Invasive Mining Group — Eyre Peninsula, and the Yorke Peninsula Landowners Group.

It had a strong rural focus, with people travelling from all over rural and urban South Australia to attend.

Australia’s biggest coalmine gets green light

The largest coalmine ever built in Australia, and one of the biggest in the world, received final approval from the federal environment minister Greg Hunt on July 28.

The Carmichael coalmine in central Queensland, owned by Indian company Adani, is forecast to produce 60 million tonnes of coal a year over the next 60 years. This dwarfs Australia’s current largest mine, which produces 20 million tonnes a year.

United States: Green groups stand with Utah ‘land defenders’

Twenty-one people were arrested last month while engaging in peaceful civil disobedience in protest against a proposed tar sands mine in north-eastern Utah. This would threaten local land and water, as well as contribute to the global climate crisis.

As they await charges, US environmental groups expressed solidarity with the protesters who stood for freedom from dirty fossil fuels and devastating climate impacts.

From World Cup to Washington, indigenous people fight to be heard

A 13-year-old boy from Brazil’s Guarani tribe makes a political stand in front of 70,000 football fans and what he thinks is an international audience. A movement led by indigenous women in the United States beats a billion-dollar brand of the big, bad NFL.

These two stories share more than the fact that they took place during the same week. They share the ways that people in power have sought to combat their courage by trying to render them invisible.

Evo Morales: 'Our liberation is for all humanity'

The Summit of the Group of 77 plus China, marking the alliance’s 50th anniversary, closed in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, on June 15 with the adoption of a declaration entitled “For a New World Order for Living Well”.

There were delegates from 104 nations out of the 133 from the global South that now make up the Group of 77 plus China. Bolivia is chairing the alliance this year, and its president, Evo Morales, hosted the summit.

Pilliga forest new CSG battlefront

The Pilliga State Forest in northern NSW will be turned into a gas field if the government approves Eastern Star Gas's (ESG) mining proposal for the region.

The proposal set out by ESG seeks to develop the Pilliga into the state's largest coal seam gas (CSG) project.

The development would include the drilling of more than 1000 gas wells and the clearing of vast stretches of native bushland to make way for gas pipelines and other associated infrastructure, such as a water treatment facility and access roads.

Are QLD and NSW the new gasland?

The gas industry is rapidly increasing its scope in the Australian energy market as, state and federal government approve drilling sites across the nation with little community consultation and relaxed environmental safeguards.

Natural gas will account for 33% of Australia's primary energy consumption by 2030, compared with 8% from renewables, according to the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics (ABARE).

Greens launch CSG moratorium bill in NSW

On Friday June 3, NSW Greens mining spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham launched a bill in state parliament that would place a 12-month moratorium on the coal seam gas (CSG) industry in NSW and prohibit CSG mining in the Sydney metropolitan area.

Speaking at the bill launch, Buckingham pointed out the risks associated with CSG extraction, including wastewater, fugitive emissions, land impact and depletion of aquifers.

Activists organise against coal seam gas

About 150 representatives engaged in the campaign against coal and coal seam gas mining attended the inaugural annual general meeting of the Lock the Gate Alliance, held in Murwillumbah, NSW, over June 11 and 12.

Lock the Gate (LTG) is a national body that represents more than 90 community groups and hundreds of individuals concerned about the impacts of coal and coal seam gas mining.

The meeting elected four office bearers and five committee members, including Sarah Moles as secretary and Sean Gough as treasurer.

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