Tuesday, December 17, 2019

The Children Shall Lead

"The future is not something we enter.
The future is something we create." 
Leonard Sweet

The Children Shall Lead
by C.A. Matthews

It's the time of year where children take the lead on social activities. There are holiday parties, Christmas pageants, end-of-the-year award ceremonies, and of course, lots and lots of gift shopping. We as a society don't have any problems with putting the needs, wants, and desires of our children first during this particular season. 

This begs the question then: How come we don't put our children first the remainder of the year?

When people say, "Our children are our future," do they really mean it? If you state you prioritize your offsprings' health and happiness, then why protest when someone reveals how you aren't actually doing anything to protect the environment and curb greenhouse gases? Why does your twisted desire to make profits through ravishing Mother Nature--and possibly annihilating the human species--come first over your kids' very survival?

And when a child (that is, a young person) stands up to this hypocrisy, why do you act surprised and insulted? Surely you realize the consequences of your harsh actions against the environment, so there's no use in pretending to be astonished when Greta Thunberg lays out the scientific evidence demonstrating the foolhardiness of your activities. The Trumps of the world have nobody to blame for feeling uncomfortable about their poor choices except themselves.
Choosing Greta as Time magazine's "Person of the Year" really was a no-brainer. It is not kings or princes or presidents or popes or bishops who have taken the point on this all-encompassing issue of the Climate Emergency. It is a child, a commoner, a person without status or title. What better way to usurp the power pyramid and instigate the necessary worldwide revolution to save Planet Earth than by subverting it starting at the bottom? 

It is We of the 99% who will suffer--and currently are suffering--the cataclysmic destruction of our environment through wildfire, windstorms, and flooding. The revolution to stop this travesty must begin with those who have firsthand knowledge of it. It must start with us and not our so-called political leaders. 

Greta intuitively understands this and acts upon it. After all, it is her generation with the most to lose. Therefore, she is the perfect leader to rally the troops to fight the battle to save our precious home.

In this season where many pause to reflect upon the birth of a low-born child and the revolution of brotherly love he began among the ranks of the poor and oppressed, let us consider how fortunate we are to have such a child as Greta to lead her generation--indeed all of us--into a better and brighter future.

The children shall lead us. It's up to us old-timers to put aside our petty differences for the sake of humanity and follow.

The wolf shall live with the lamb,
    the leopard shall lie down with the kid,
the calf and the lion and the fatling together,
    and a little child shall lead them.
Isaiah 11:6 (NRSV)

Time Magazine said this about Greta:
That Thunberg is the youngest individual ever named TIME’s Person of the Year says as much about the moment as it does about her. The 92-year-old franchise is rooted in the so-called Great Man theory of history, the notion that powerful individuals shape the world. Historically that has meant people who worked their way up the ladders of major organizations and were at home in the corridors of power. But in this moment when so many traditional institutions seem to be failing us, amid staggering inequality and social upheaval and political paralysis, we are seeing new kinds of influence take hold. It is wielded by people like Thunberg, leaders with a cause and a phone who don’t fit the old rubrics but who connect with us in ways that institutions can’t and perhaps never could.

Related articles:

Dear Youth, Keep Challenging the Systems of Power – No Matter Who Tells You to "Chill".  https://www.lgbtqnation.com/2019/12/dear-youth-keep-challenging-systems-power-no-matter-tells-chill/

Don't Mock Greta Thunberg. Listen to Her (She's Right About the Science)

Scientists Want to Make Harming the Environment a War Crime

Greta Thunberg: Climate Crisis "Not Just About Environment," But Also "Colonial, Racist and Patriarchal Systems of Oppression"
Families Belong Together

Families Belong Together and Doctors for Camp Closure march to demand CBP give flu shots to detained children
Photo credit: Patrick McElhenney

BREAKING: Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) officials in paramilitary gear ARRESTED doctors attempting to offer flu vaccines to jailed children in San Diego. Tell CBP: stop denying medical care to jailed children.

16-year-old Carlos Gregorio Hernandez Vasquez had a fever of 103. Rather than send him to the hospital -- the CBP locked him into an isolation cell.
With proper care, the flu can be treatable. 

But Carlos was denied medical care and left to die alone in a detention center in Texas, laying in a pool of his own vomit on a cold concrete slab next to a toilet.
Immigration authorities did NOTHING as their security camera recorded Carlos's last moments. 

SIGN THE MOVEON PETITION: No child should die from the flu.
On Monday, Families Belong Together marched with Doctors for Camp Closure to the Chula Vista border station in San Ysidro, California, with 120 flu vaccines in hand. The doctors -- including the physician in charge of the California Medical Association -- volunteered their time and were ready to treat the children -- but the Trump Administration's Department of Homeland Security barred them from entering. 

For six hours, we stood in the driveway of the camp with the vaccines, but the metal gates remained closed. The CBP sent four police cars and five armed officers to keep watch on us as we peacefully stood vigil for the children who died. 

So, on Tuesday, we headed to the CBP headquarters in San Diego to demand they let the doctors in -- only for armed officers in full paramilitary gear to arrest six of us.

Protesting doctor is arrested by armed officer in full paramilitary gear
Photo credit: Patrick McElhenney
Children in detention are nine times more likely to die from the flu than the general pediatric population. But as flu season ramps up, the Trump administration has ignored demands from medical professionals and the Centers for Disease Control to vaccinate children in their immigration jails. 

Carlos was the third child to die of flu-related illnesses in immigration detention in the last year. His death was preventable.
Tell the Trump Administration: Withholding medical care from children and families in custody is appalling and inhumane.
We've got to stop throwing children in jails, we've got to undo the damage of the Trump administration's cruel immigration policies. But right now, we've also just got to give these kids urgent medical care.
We're keeping up on the pressure on the Trump administration and are doing everything we can to prevent more deaths in custody. 
Add your name: Demand flu vaccines for children and families in detention.
Thanks for all you do,
Paola Luisi
Families Belong Together Communications Director 


We're excited to announce the publication of World BEYOND War's new 3-part series of fact sheets on the impact of sanctions in Iraq, Cuba, and North Korea. You can view and download the fact sheets for free from our website.

The fact sheets are designed as printable handouts that can be used for tabling events, lobby meetings, and much more. Each reference is meticulously footnoted, so you can cross-check every fact and go to the original source for more details.

Simply put, sanctions can kill. Time and again, sanctions are utilized as a brutal tool of war and repression, destroying innocent communities. Some eye-opening statistics stand out from our research:

  • According to UNICEF, sanctions on Iraq killed half a million children under the age of 5, due to restricted access to adequate food and clean water, which caused widespread malnutrition and disease. Likewise, 60,000 malnourished children are facing starvation in North Korea due to sanctions.
  • The embargo on Cuba has cost the country over $130 billion in losses.
  • A ban on employing North Korean construction workers in Russia, China, and other countries has eliminated tens of thousands of jobs.

The fact sheets document these statistics and much more, illustrating the widespread negative impacts of sanctions in Iraq, Cuba, and North Korea. View and download the full fact sheet series from our website.

A shout-out to volunteers Ben, Gayle, Gar, Joanne, Emily, Eleanor, and Alice for their assistance with detailed research, writing, editing, and graphic design for this fact sheet series!

Please utilize these fact sheets as an educational tool in your community and share them far & wide!

For questions or more information about our peace education programs and volunteer opportunities, email Greta at greta@worldbeyondwar.org.

For a world beyond war,

Greta Zarro
Organizing Director
World BEYOND War

From Friends of the Earth:

Bees are dying! You know it. I know it. And supermarket giant Kroger knows it. But Kroger is still selling food grown with bee-killing pesticides. And rather than addressing its role in bee declines, it’s rolling out a new slogan: “Fresh for Everyone!”

The truth is, Kroger’s policy is more like “pesticides for everyone.” Kroger’s new ad campaign is pure “bee-washing” -- featuring happy bees and happy families. Meanwhile, our 2018 research found toxic pesticides like glyphosate -- the key ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup® -- and bee-killing neonics in Kroger store brand foods.

Kroger can’t hide behind its fancy new branding. It must stop selling food grown with toxic pesticides. But we need your help pushing the supermarket giant to act. Can we count on your support?

Beekeepers lost nearly half their hives this past year. 40 percent of wild pollinators are at risk of extinction. 75% of songbird species are in decline. And driving this crisis are toxic pesticides like bee-killing neonics, butterfly-harming Roundup®, and chlorpyrifos -- the second-most toxic pesticide to bees.

But these pesticides aren’t just hurting birds and insects, they’re also harming our health and putting kids at risk. Right now, Bayer-Monsanto is facing lawsuits from more than 40,000 people because they believe their exposure to RoundUp® caused their cancer.

But, thanks in part to Kroger, this pesticide is still ending up on our plates. Recent independent lab testing found that Kroger’s store-brand foods including apple sauce, spinach, cereal and beans contain toxic pesticides like neonicotinoids, glyphosate and organophosphates.

Even in trace amounts, these pesticides have been linked to reduced IQ, attention deficit disorders, autism, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and cancer. They have no place in the food on Kroger’s shelves.

Scientists are warning that we’re in the middle of an “insect apocalypse.” Pesticides and habitat loss are hurting everything from bees and butterflies to the birds and other wildlife that rely on insects for food. We must get toxic pesticides like neonics and RoundUp® out of our environment and our food system.

Food retailers play a key role in turning this crisis around. Building on policies released by Costco and Aldi, Rite Aid just released the strongest retailer pollinator policy yet, encouraging its suppliers to phase out the use of glyphosate, neonicotinoids and organophosphates, including chlorpyrifos and expanding offerings of bee-friendly organic food. But while other companies are leading the way, Kroger is spending money on new ad campaigns with “happy bees” while real bees are suffering.

As the largest traditional grocery store in the U.S., Kroger has the power to change our toxic food system. It must go beyond a new branding campaign if it wants to make a difference for bees and kids. It must lead the way and phase out bee-killing pesticides. Otherwise, “Fresh for Everyone” will only mean toxic pesticides for everyone.

Standing with you,
Jason Davidson,
Food and agriculture campaigner,
Friends of the Earth

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