Mama Grizzlies against Global Green Greed

Posted on June 19, 2012


One thing about topics that always amazes me is how I find them – or maybe, how they find me. It’s kind of like the saying ‘I’ll know it when I see it’ and today was no exception. It just reached out and smacked me, but it felt like a kiss.
It had to happen sooner or later, but it has finally happened. Women’s and worker’s rights organizations in emerging economies are now officially in opposition to ‘Green’ initiatives! Yes, you heard me correctly. There was a United Nations ‘sustainable development’ conference in Rio deJaneiro, Brazil today and as is often the case, there were protesters. Only these protesters were loudly disapproving the goals and objectives being planned with reference to the ‘Green Economy’.
The United Nations describes the purpose of the conference as follows:
“At the Rio+20 Conference, world leaders, along with thousands of participants from governments, the private sector, NGOs and other groups, will come together to shape how we can reduce poverty, advance social equity and ensure environmental protection on an ever more crowded planet to get to the future we want.”
Who exactly is discussing the plans that will affect millions of people’s lives in all of these places on the Earth?
“The Rio+20 Conference It is envisaged as a Conference at the highest possible level, including Heads of State and Government or other representatives. The Conference will result in a focused political document.”
Interesting, nobody from the class that these people want to ‘help’ have been invited to put their ideas, concerns and perspective into the mix.  No, instead it is the same old story – the elites tinkering and making decisions among themselves. I can’t help but thinking that the protesters are as skeptical as I am when they hear that these ‘benign tyrants’ want to look after their best interests while looking after the planet.   Indeed, one veteran Women’s rights activist from Vietnam, said “We are suspicious of this talk of a green economy. It seems like another attempt by the rich powers to impose a model on poor countries”.
Thousands of women, behind a large banner of the International Peasant Movement ‘Via Campesina’ marched several miles through the city on their way to Flamengo Park where a ‘People’s Summit’ was staged to protest the Rio+20 Conference. Atop a truck equipped with a P.A. System, one woman proclaimed, “This is a march of urban and rural women against this Rio+20 charade.”
I love the fact that working people can spot an exploitative phony power grab disguised as a poverty program, a mile off. I also love that this is not simply a matter of middle class people sounding the alert against let’s say, the Bilderbergs for example (which can be dismissed or ignored by the media as merely paranoid reactionaries). No, this is a genuine, bonafide, grass roots populist movement that consists of the people who will be most impacted by these decisions.
Wait, it gets better. Shouts of “No to green capitalism! Yes to an economy based on solidarity, yes to people’s sovereignty,” were heard, along with other sentiments based on the protesters’ beliefs that the “green economy” concept touted by organizers of the official Rio+20 gathering are just “another stage of capitalist accumulation” after the failure of the current model.
Naturally, it is no surprise that this protest against what is essentially just another climate change / environmental conference, is not attracting attention in the legacy media – it doesn’t fit the narrative.
While many at the People’s Summit viewed the U.N. Green agenda as a predatory capitalism scheme, there actually were, in attendance at the park, entrepreneurs with a vision of empowerment via free enterprise.   The head of Brazil’s Small Business Association, Luis Barreto, said the People’s summit was an important way of sharing good ideas and changing perceptions. “We’re here to highlight business opportunities and show that there is no contradiction between being sustainable and making money.”
This is delicious. There is now an authentic groundswell of resistance that could be defined as coming from the Left – against the sustainability scam. I think it is more basic, however. These women are the ‘mama grizzlies’ of the developing world and they smell a predator looking for yet another society ripe for serfdom and exploitation. And they are saying ‘Hell No!’
These women are also of the mind that organizations of bureaucrats and diplomats like the United Nations are interested not in their plight, but in the prospect of accumulating more wealth at their expense.   “We are out on the streets to give visibility to our world struggle for an end to violence against women, for peace and demilitarization, access to common goods and economic empowerment for women,” said 36-year-old Celia Aldridge, a member of the march secretariat who described herself as “half English, half Swiss”.
It seems logical that women’s rights should be in the mix.  Where is N.O.W., Code Pink, Emily’s List and so forth? Shouldn’t they be marching arm and arm with these women?  Huh, what about it feminists???  Hello?