The rise of the right and the growing difficulties faced by national progressive projects, including the apparent end of the cycle of left governments in Latin America and the challenges encountered by the Syriza-led administration in Greece, brings the issue of strategy into central focus. The election of Donald Trump, a right-wing populist, as the US President, combined with the resurgence of extreme-right forces in Europe, makes the rethinking and renewal of emancipatory politics that more urgent.
In Europe, land speculation and land concentration are an increasing threat to small and medium sized family farms and new entrants. Soaring land prices make it increasingly difficult for farmers to have access to land. In the meantime, investors are buying up enormous pieces of land, sometimes using legal loopholes. Land is increasingly becoming a globally tradable commodity and an object of financial speculation. Examples such as Scotland and Andalusia, where arable land, pastures and forests are highly concentrated since centuries, show the negative effects for sustainable rural development and societies as a whole.
Violations of human rights and the rights of peoples and nature have become an all too common part of transnational corporations’ operations. There are no binding rules for corporations on Human Rights at the international level. That’s why again this year, in coordination with the Treaty Alliance, the Global Campaign is returning to Geneva to advocate directly to UN member states to engage in a process to create a treaty, and to ensure they hear the voices of communities impacted by corporate violations loud and clear. Inside and Outside the UN dozens of delegates from social movements and civil society networks worldwide will participate in the Week of Peoples Mobilisation.
The Transnational Institute, La Via Campesina, BioWatch/South Africa, FIAN, Friends of the Earth International, Global Justice Now, and Corporate Europe Observatory will be co-organizing a series of workshops at the Peoples' Assembly, linked to the Monsanto Tribunal in the Hague. These workshops will highlight peoples' struggles against corporate power and for peoples' sovereignty, peasant rights, and food sovereignty, and will provide a space to further develop strategies for the future of the movement.
The processes involved in working towards energy democracy are not limited to the local level. Energy democracy also means to envisage the energy transition within the public administration, the energy market and to democratize energy companies. A transition towards energy democracy faces major challenges. Institutions tend to resist the process towards energy democracy, even when left governments (local, regional and national) are in place. Nevertheless, many inspiring developments towards energy democracy are taking place at the municipal level – e.g. in London, Bristol, Nottingham, Barcelona, Pamplona, and Cádiz.
TNI is hosting with Platform London a 6-week pilot online peer learning course on energy democracy. The course will include lectures by experts and practitioners along with discussion and active participation, sharing and learning by all participants. It is intended for people who have some experience in working on energy systems, who wish to take a holistic and global look at energy systems and politics, and learn from others. Deadline has passed (3 October), but feel free to register to be on waiting list or for the next course.
With the topic ”Tipping points” , the 5th edition of the Green Academy 2020 will continue with modulary work in three thematic blocks (commons/degrowth/climate justice) but large parts of the program will be also focused on issues like suspension of democracy, strengthening of social movements, development of new economic alternatives, all aimed to identify terrain, topics and strategies for systemic change and bold political action.
The Southern Africa Campaign to Dismantle Corporate Power is holding its first session of the Permanent Peoples Tribunal on Transnational Corporations. 10 communities from Southern Africa will present their cases – the suffering they have endured at the hands of Transnational Corporations protected by the current structure of free trade agreements.
The Transnational Institute will take part in the World Social Forum in Montreal, Canada, from 9 to 14 August 2016. Staff from TNI will be active in the space “People and the Planet Before Profit: Moving away from Free Trade and Extractivism to Dismantle Corporate Power”. Hundreds of organisations and movements will meet to discuss resistance, establish strategies to expand the many progressive alternatives activists build in their daily lives, and take action together to change the prevailing neoliberal capitalist system, which creates inequality and exclusion and destroys our environment.
The Praful Bidwai Memorial Award has been set up to commemorate the life and work of one of India’s most outstanding journalists as well as accomplished author, committed activist and public intellectual, so that his legacy would inspire others.
We welcome you to participate in the training weekend ‘Food Sovereignty in Practice’, an inspiring exchange of alternatives to our current food system. It will take place on the organic farm Buitenverwachting near Leiden and is meant for both students, practitioners and (prospective) farmers who are interested in movement building and deepening their knowledge of food sovereignty, agroecology, urban food systems and the human right to food.
TNI is one of the major partners of the International Peace Bureau Congress on Military and Social Spending that will be held in Berlin. TNI will be organising workshops on the links between militarism and climate change, extractivism, racism and the rise of the homeland security industry.
COPINH, together with EU based NGOs, demands that following the murder of Berta Cáceres after years of violence and intimidation in relation to the Agua Zarca project, international companies and financiers, specifically FMO, Finnfund, CABEI and Voith Hydro (Siemens/Voith), immediately withdraw all support and funding from the Agua Zarca project, and end any ongoing or prospective involvement in any other project impacting the indigenous Lenca in Honduras.
As commons mentalities and subjectivites, commons oriented civic initiatives and infrastructures and peer production are rapidly gaining ground, it may become a useful 'paradigm' or framing for rethinking progressive politics. In this introductory seminar we will introduce commons oriented peer production, its political aspects, earlier projects around commons oriented policy or political transition frameworks, and collectively discuss the potential for local and European scale approaches
Farmers, fishermen, citizens, scientists and grassroots organisations will converge again to take further steps towards contemporary, sustainable and fair food production and consumption, with new relationships between food producers and (urban) citizens.