By Farah Theodore
Trust. Should it be blind? The concept can be considered almost sacred yet in today's world one would think that it is used as a tool of trickery. Being bullied into trusting that which has already proven to be deceptive is nefarious. One would think only a fool would get caught in such a ploy yet it seems either the majority in this world…citizens, governments, corporations, etc. are fools, or are those in positions of influence part of the con? The vaccination scheme. A modern-day trojan horse to usher in a new age of global centralized and dictatorial government; a dystopia where major multinational corporations are the puppeteers. This is worrisome in more ways than one. The only vaccine we need right now to salvage our human rights and freedoms to exercise personal autonomy is that of investigative journalism. Turning a blind eye to yellow journalism while trying to go green will leave everyone in the red.
In 2010, news broke about a $6 billion lawsuit against Pfizer, which was reduced to a $75m settlement in 2009 with the Government of the Kano state in Nigeria. Investigations by the Washington Post revealed that Pfizer conducted trials of the experimental drug Trovan on children in 1996 during the meningitis epidemic, without consent from parents, or relevant authorities. Wall Street analysts were elated by the idea that Trovan could earn about $1b annually in sales. It was most alarming when WikiLeaks leaked information that showed attempted blackmail by Pfizer on the Attorney General then to drop the charges in the $6b suit. Now in 2021, people on the island of St. Vincent, under threat of a volcanic eruption are coerced into inoculation during an emergency!
These types of situations where major corporations act with impunity is disconcerting for the environmental movement. Environmental activism is a dangerous business and when major corporations acquire and wield so much power and influence, indigenous peoples and others will always have a stony hill to climb. Honduran activist Berta Cáceres (who was assassinated in 2016 for her activism) is an example where corporate interest was placed before people in their own country on their own land!
This 22 April 2021 is the designated International Mother Earth Day and the theme this year is "Restore our Earth". How will this be possible when many are denied access to information, justice, public participation even the ability to think and exercise freedom of choice, association and dissent? Julian Assange, Edward Snowden and others have done great service to humanity by daring to expose how dark the authorities and the elite are; yet the masses seem to either not care, or lack the capacity to grasp the gravity of the situation. For as far as most can recall we've been told how poor and corrupt Africa is - yet no one addresses the overexploitation of both resources and people who are left impoverished and broken, bribery and coercion of local representatives by imperialist tactics, and stirring up of civil wars to form an ideal cover to serve foreign economic interest. What exactly do you think true environmental activism entails? It encompasses issues of human rights to a clean, healthy and safe environment, sustainable development that safeguards resources and puts the people first and empower rather than impoverish them. Do you think governing bodies and corporations really want a better world where they can be held accountable for their deleterious ways, eradicate their insatiable greed on a planet with finite resources? They'd rather destroy this earth than change their ways and then seek other planets to continue. Leeches serve a nobler purpose than these folks.
If Mother Earth decided to become a radical feminist we'd all be done for. At some point enough is bloody enough. For too long man has shown no regard or appreciation for the earth or each other. This selfishness coupled with a fear of annihilation is destructive to everyone and everything. All these baseless wars and ever-expanding military operations are insane. The drug wars are examples of how cunningly dangerous the West is in getting their way - notably the opioid wars and war against cannabis. At the end of the day, it's all about economic power and security.
A breakthrough treaty called the Escazú Agreement is a great step in the right direction among Latin American and Caribbean countries. It comes into force on 22 April 2021 and it is worth celebrating on International Mother Earth Day for unlike the famous Paris Agreement which has no teeth, the Escazú Agreement is legally binding and offers hope for the region it serves.
The words of Native American Chief Seattle in 1854 are timeless: "Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect".