We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Nigeria: Shell Oil's 'License to Kill'

by Abena Ampofoa Asare from Toward Freedom

US court paves the way for multi-national corporations to kill and pollute with impunity. This occurred in a recent ruling against Nigerian activists who protested some of the most egregious environmental destructive actions that has led to the deaths and illnesses of many Nigerians. 

The destruction of the environment in the Niger Delta is an ongoing event that is carried out by the multi-national oil companies through their support of, and in collaboration with, a brutally oppressive government. It is much like a never-ending BP Gulf of Mexico oil gusher, but Africans are of little concern to the US ruling class. See this and this.
Last month, Judge José A. Cabranes of the Manhattan-based federal Second Circuit Court of Appeals issued a judicial opinion that sent international lawyers, human rights advocates and African environmental activists reeling.