In the beginning of the second day of the third World Meeting of Popular Movements there was a tribute to remember every person who has given their life for fighting for their rights. There was a special tribute to the activis Berta Cáceres, murdered because of her commitment with the environment in Honduras; she also participated in the first Meeting. After this manifestations started the discussions about “Territory and Nature.
This panel was integrated by Dr. Vandana Shiva, from Navdanya Trust (India); Rosaline Tuyuc, from the Coordinadora Nacional de Viudas (Guatemala); Mónica Crespo from the Federación de Cartoneros y Recicladores (Argentina) y Te Ao Pritchard from the Pacific Panthers Network (Nueva Zelanda). Nohra Padilla, de la Asociación de Recicladores de Bogotá (Colombia) y Ana de Luco de Sure We Can (EEUU) was the coordinator of the debate.
As an introduction for this panel, Ana de Luco quote Pope Francis and the meaning of defending Mother Earth. Therefore, discussions surrounded the facts of recuperation, respect and taking care of the Land.
In the first intervention, Dr. Vandana Shiva, wellknown ecofeminist remarked “everyone who defens nature and people’s rights and persecuted”. She also talked about the importance of “living as Allmighty asks for, respecting the earth and creation”. Each one of us “are the Earth. We are not separated from it. Those who have power built a separation, what I call ecoapartheid: in our conscience and in reality, building people without home and without land. Revolution is coming back to our “common home”, the Earth, as Pope Francis says. But once in home we have to respect it”. Shiva talked about the role of science, economy, and technology; and made the conclusion that what’s priority nowadays is the respect and caring about of creation. She blame commercial industry for the destruction of species on more than 35% in the last years: “We made an art on selling poison for the agriculture”. Schiva challenged us all saying that “all churches and confessional institutions should turn into a seed’s sanctuary”. Concluding she showed against TTIP and CETA agreements saying “these agreements ruin our lives”. And finally pronounced about agro-ecology “The Eath is given to us for we to live it, so we have to live it well”.
Continuing with the subject of “Territory and Nature” we heard the voice of Rosalina Tuyuc “Talking about Mother Earth and Mother Nature is thinking of life in all its integrity”. Thinking of life makes us “defend and respond to any threat”. Tuyuc thinks that the importance of the role of women as protectors can’t be bought by business. “Our people don’t take any offer in change of death: “We are the product of life, that’s why we have the necessity of seeing water, land and seed, they are elements of life and not market or death. When the sons of Mother Earth are threatened, we have to work together”.
The discussions continued with Te Ao Pritchard. He presented a group called “Las Panteras del Pacífico” that incorporate native a migrant population to dialogue about different subjects as taking care of creation. The experience of Ao show us the importance of action, “we prepare ourselves to respond to the problem of arms selling; also we are taking action with the solidarity and collaboration of another native populations. We have warships in our territory contaminating our waters. We are going to manifest with our traditional ships to defend our rights, the rights of native populations. I want to insist in the importance of education for the youth, and fighting for their vulnerabilities. We say that they don’t have to surrender, but keep on and dialoge to the outside, but most of all with equality and trying to define a common position.
The last intervention was made by the argentinian Mónica Crespo. She presented the work she and her partners are doing “The conquests we have achieve through defending our rights. Our people is persecuted and excluded. We are people who haven’t already learnt that recycling is important to take care of the planet, as Pope Francis says”.
From this experience she remarked “We accomplish the support of the State into our work, and made recycling the official work of pickers and not business. This is an important recognition for all the work, salaries, transport, etc”. This constant struggle for defending their rights built a concrete proposal calle “Ley de Envases”, an alternative that promotes recycling and taking care of “common home”: “This would improve better work conditions”. Pickers and recyclers have shown the capacity for attending the necessity of recycling in our society. “We work with sun or even if it rains to recycle and taking care of Mother Earth (…) We are glad to see that a lot of countries are fighting for recycle and against contamination. To help this process is important to end the persecution of the recycle workers, because they are defending the environment”.
The end of the panel is made by Norha Padilla, making a call to “establish an alimentary, laboral and popular sovereignty”. If there’s something you want, fight for it and you’ll have it”.