Wednesday, April 21, 2010

21 Apr 2010: Today's Democracy Now!

Evo Morales Opens Climate Change Conference in Tiquipaya
As the peoples’ climate change talks here move into their third day, thousands of participants from across Latin America and around the world are streaming into this small Bolivian town to discuss how to slow the impact of global warming. Anjali Kamat and Rick Rowley file this report on Tuesday’s opening ceremony. [includes rush transcript]

“The Most Important Event in the Struggle Against Climate Change”–Nigerian Environmentalist Nnimmo Bassey on Bolivia Climate Conference
Among those who spoke at the inauguration ceremony for the World Peoples’ Climate Conference was Nnimmo Bassey, the prominent Nigerian environmentalist and chair of Friends of the Earth International. By contrast, at the UN climate summit in Copenhagen in December, his group, along with several other mainstream environmental organizations, was barred from the talks. “Here you get a real sense that government wants to speak to people,” Bassey says. [includes rush transcript]

Why Is the US Cutting Off Climate Aid to the Poorest Country in South America?–Bolivian Climate Negotiator Angélica Navarro
The Obama administration has confirmed it’s denying climate aid to at least two countries that refused to sign onto last year’s Copenhagen environmental accord. The State Department has canceled funding of $3 million to Bolivia and $2.5 million to Ecuador. The funding was canceled at a time when Bolivia is losing its glaciers and suffering mass drought due to climate change. Bolivia’s lead climate negotiator Angélica Navarro calls on the developed world to pay a climate debt to poor nations suffering the impact of climate change.

“The World Is Changing in a More Progressive Way, and It’s Taking Place Here”–Boaventura de Sousa Santos on Bolivia Climate Summit
Among the thousands of participants at the World Peoples’ Climate Conference in Cochabamba is Boaventura de Sousa Santos, an internationally respected scholar and one of the leading organizers of the World Social Forum. He is a professor of sociology at the University of Coimbra in Portugal and a distinguished legal scholar at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Bolivian Indigenous Activists Call for End to Polluting Extractive Industries Inside Bolivia
As the World Peoples’ Summit on Climate Change gets underway in Tiquipaya, an estimated 700 indigenous activists are continuing their occupation of a mining firm in the southeastern Bolivian province of Potosi. The Qulla people have blocked access to a key railway line from the San Cristóbal silver-zinc-lead mine owned by Japan’s Sumitomo Corporation. They say Sumitomo is contaminating their land and water with mine waste. We speak to two activists from CONAMAQ, the National Council of Ayllus and Markas of Qullasuyu. Erminia Colque and Gabino Apata Mamni want their concerns to be heard at the summit.


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