Friday, October 30, 2009
Thursday, October 29, 2009
"The discovery that most of the 130,000 people to whom the organisation provided food vouchers had mobile phones gave officials the idea for the pilot scheme, to be targeted at 1,000 families in the first instance.
Families will be sent voucher numbers every two months by text message, one for each member of the family. The voucher, worth $22 (£14), can then be redeemed at any branch of a local government-owned food outlet in the two suburbs where Iraqi refugees have concentrated, Jaramana and Sayeda Zeinab."
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
"In a report, the human rights group says Israeli water restrictions discriminate against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank.
It says that in Gaza, Israel's blockade has pushed the already ailing water and sewage system to "crisis point".
Israel says the report is flawed and the Palestinians get more water than was agreed under the 1990s peace deal." (Thanks Laila)
"Hundreds of farmers demonstrated along the Arava Highway on Sunday in protest of cuts to their allotment of foreign workers.
Several protesters drove their agricultural vehicles slowly down the highway to disrupt traffic." (Thanks Marcy, and for the title too!)
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Thursday, October 22, 2009
"We should note that social movement rebellions do not suddenly occur because all of the contingencies are in place. The social upheavals at the end of the nineties and early half years of the new millennium had a decade ofgestation: organizing, accumulating social forces, creating alliances with institutional dissidents – like radical church people – and developing leaders and cadres. Economic crises, at best, were “trigger” events which severely discredited the ruling class, undermined the dominant ‘globalization’ ideology, and allowed the movements to make a qualitative leap from protest to political rebellion and regime change.
Finally though, it is not central to this paper, we should note that while social movements at their height were able to oust incumbent neo-liberal regimes, they were not able to take political power and revolutionize society: to their upheavals allowed center-left politicians to come to power. Ironically, once in power they passed sufficient social economic reforms to fend off the re-radicalization of the movements when the world economic crises struck again at the end of the first decade of this century."
Friday, October 16, 2009
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Writing as Bedounia at Dove's Eye View, Leila started blogging in January 2004. In that month she wrote:
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Green laymoun abu surra (navel oranges) has arrived along with their more-ripe incarnation.
An argument about potatoes (Egyptian vs. Saudi vs. Levantine ends with the shopkeeper stating aloud: "There is no better potato!" referring to the local produce covered in red earth.
The economic crunch expresses itself in requests for produce. Instead of asking for "a kilo of...", for the first time we hear: "I want a thousand lira's worth of...." 1,000 LL does not buy much of anything these days.
There is a dangerous guessing game concerning some of the neighborhood's children; estimates of their ages based on appearance will be anything from two to four years off the mark.
Local workers from Syria, Egypt, and Sudan living in the buildings that they spend the day constructing are likewise malnourished; there is a box of produce in the shop that technically would be referred to as "garbage"; the discussion of the price of the contents of this box is such that the dignity of these men is maintained.
The Khudarji Report, by Zayd, reflects conditions unique to a neighborhood in central Beirut; the status at your local mahal al-khudra will most likely vary.
Sunday, October 11, 2009
With the trade deal between India and the United States, known as the Knowledge Initiative on Agriculture (KIA), the Indian markets and agricultural policies are increasingly coming under the influence of transnational companies such as Monsanto, Archer Daniels Midland Company, a US grain purchaser and trader and is, with Cargill, one of the companies that maintains “oligopolistic control of the American food-manufacturing and food-processing markets”, and Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer.16 These three companies are members on the KIA Board, which implements the KIA. The Board has decided to focus initially on four core areas: agricultural education, food processing and marketing, biotechnology and water management.17 “The KIA is part of the US comprehensive strategy on revitalizing the bilateral relationship in agriculture with India,” said Susan Owens, director of the FAS Research and Scientific Exchanges Division. Owen stated: “We want to broaden the scope of the AKI (or KIA) beyond just research…We want to use the AKI (or KIA) to increase agricultural production in India….”18
In many regions of the world, transnational corporations now have unprecedented control over food, and there is no coherent system of accountability to ensure that they do not abuse this power. Global food companies have become too powerful and are undermining the right to adequate food in developing countries.
Saturday, October 3, 2009
"I never thought it would be like this in Italy. Even dogs are better off than us," said Bailo, a 24-year-old from Guinea struggling to survive in an area of Puglia known as the "Red Gold Triangle" which produces 35 percent of Italy's tomatoes." (Thanks Marcy)
Migrant farmworkers in Italy: a new feudal system