For decades, affected communities around the globe have been resisting the modus operandi of transnational corporations (TNCs) in their territories and workplaces and documenting systemic human rights violations and the track record of corporate impunity with their lives and their deaths. Corporate impunity is embedded in and protected by an ‘architecture of impunity’ that legitimises and legalises the operations of TNCs. This architecture has been established through free trade and investment agreements, the World Trade Organisation (WTO), the structural adjustment policies of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank and other financial instruments and the aggressive push for public-private partnerships (PPPs). At the core of this architecture is the infamous investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) system, a private arbitration system that allows TNCs to sue states whenever they consider that their future profits are threatened by new measures or policies aiming at improving social and environmental protection. Thus, it neutralises the function of the state, whose primary responsibility is to defend public interest and protect the well-being of its citizens and the planet from corporate interests.
A widening pattern of repression of social movements has taken shape around the world. Everywhere, space for dissent is shrinking rapidly. Governments and corporations alike are working to suppress and silence movements, organisations and individuals who organise against repression. This shrinking of public space threatens virtually all social movements. Around the world, the legality, physical safety, and public access of dissident movements and civil society more broadly are being threatened. This report examines the legal and political pressure exerted on the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Movement, a global campaign aimed at pressuring Israel to end human rights violations, launched in 2005 by a group of Palestinian activists.
Member states of the European Union and Schengen Area have constructed almost 1000 km of walls, the equivalent of more than six times the total length of the Berlin Walls, since the nineties to prevent displaced people migrating into Europe. These physical walls are accompanied by even longer ‘maritime walls’, naval operations patrolling the Mediterranean, as well as ‘virtual walls’, border control systems that seek to stop people entering or even traveling within Europe, and control movement of population.
Este informe revela que los estados miembros de la Unión Europea y el Espacio Schengen han alzado cerca de 1.000 km de muros, lo equivalente a más de seis Muros de Berlín, desde los años 90, con el objetivo de frenar la migración de personas desplazadas por la fuerza a Europa. Estos muros físicos van acompañados de los aún más largos “muros marítimos”, operaciones navales patrullando el mar Mediterráneo, así como los “muros virtuales”, sistemas de control fronterizo que buscan parar a las personas que intentan entrar en Europa, incluso aquellas que están viajando por el continente, y controlar el movimiento general de la población.
Yasha Maccanico, Ben Hayes, Samuel Kenny, Frank Barat
06 November 2018
Europe’s “refugee crisis” triggered a wave of solidarity actions by both civil society organisations and ordinary citizens. Their efforts were part of a wave of compassion, as people organised convoys to refugee reception centers, warmly greeted arrivals at train stations and lined highways to provide food and water to those making the journey from Syria and elsewhere. Just a few years later those same activists are treated as criminals and humanitarian search and rescue missions are criminalised.
Durante décadas, comunidades afectadas de todo el mundo han opuesto resistencia a la forma de actuar de las em- presas transnacionales en sus territorios y lugares de trabajo, y documentando violaciones sistémicas de los derechos humanos y la trayectoria de impunidad empresarial con sus vidas y muertes. La impunidad de las grandes empresas está protegida por una ‘arquitectura de impunidad’ que legitima y legaliza sus operaciones. Esta arquitectura se ha establecido mediante acuerdos de libre comercio e inversión, la Organización Mundial del Comercio (OMC), las políticas de ajuste estructural del Fondo Monetario Internacional (FMI), el Banco Mundial y otros instrumentos financieros, así como la promoción implacable de las alianzas público-privadas (APP).
Jair Bolsonaro's victory on October 28 turns Brazil towards the extreme right and backwards in several aspects of its democratic transition initiated with the 1988 Constitution, especially those related to social justice, environment, human rights and the economy. Understanding why he was elected and what he represents is key to grasping the new Brazil emerging from the election and what to expect for the near future.
Los electores, y sobre todo las electoras, que ganan menos de dos salarios mínimos no votaron por Bolsonaro a pesar de la zambullida en las sombras del 55 por ciento: la bancada de militares y policías supera a cualquier otra.
For the first time Brazil has elected a president without the support of the poorest or the destitute. Though 55 percent of the electorate opted to steer the country into the abyss, people with lower incomes did not vote for Bolsonaro. In the new Brazilian Congress the military and police caucus overshadows all others.
The voice of communities involved in illicit cultivation had long been excluded from policymaking platforms. However, thanks to growing networks such as the Myanmar Opium Farmers Forum, more and more farmers have gained more space to provide input to drug policy discussions at the UN level.
The Network for Police Monitoring (Netpol) campaigns against police surveillance on political dissent and the regular smearing of activists and groups as “domestic extremists”. Kevin Blowe explains how the police are closing down the space for protest in the UK.
This brief explores the politics behind the promise of ‘blue growth'. We have discovered that the discourse around blue growth, blue economy, blue revolution and the like is a masterfully mixed and powerful cocktail. The ingredients that make up this mix are the subject of this brief, and our intention is to explore the function of each component of the cocktail.
In a Europe governed in the interests of the few, where the far right is on the rise, towns and cities are building new ways to do politics and defend the common good from the bottom up. In Spain, 'cities of change' are combating speculation and defending the right to housing. In Italy, local governments are creating new legal mechanisms to protect the urban commons, and cities across Europe are taking energy and water delivery back into public hands after failed privatisations. Municipalism is transforming Europe from the bottom up.