These actions on Disabled Greens News and discussion:
Green Week and Earth Day, celebrate with actions:
This petition on change.org: Green Week, Earth Day, Act:
Raise your voice for safe chemicals!:
April 18, 2011
Senator: Be our hero, co-sponsor the Safe Chemicals Act of 2011
Today we have exciting news to share; Congress is poised to take a meaningful step to protect you and your family from toxic chemicals. We need your help to make sure your Senators know that fixing the toxic chemicals law is important to American families!
We know you’re tired of having to worry about which products in your home are safe and which ones may contain toxic chemicals like lead, formaldehyde or dangerous plastic additives. So are we. We believe Americans shouldn’t need a Ph.D. in chemistry to make safe purchases at the checkout counter. The just introduced Safe Chemicals Act of 2011 would require chemical makers to prove their chemicals are safe before they are allowed in our homes, schools, and workplaces.
Click here to take action!
Just as we have laws against people breaking into our homes and threatening our safety, we can have laws against chemical intruders that enter our bodies. Without our knowledge or consent, these toxic intruders put us and our children at risk. Science is linking toxic chemical exposures to all kinds of serious diseases and disorders, including childhood leukemia and brain cancers, breast and testicular cancer, neurological disorders like autism and Alzheimer’s, and fertility problems.
We need you to tell your Senator to co-sponsor this important piece of legislation. By signing up as a co-sponsor, your Senator can show their commitment to putting common sense limits on toxic chemicals.
Will you take a minute to ask them to co-sponsor the Safe Chemicals Act?
If you prefer to make a two-minute call to your Senator, please call the Capitol switchboard at: (202) 224-3121.
Thanks for your continued support. Asking your Senators to co-sponsor the Safe Chemicals Act is an important step towards safer products, stronger businesses and healthier families!
Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families
April E-news: Your Letters Helped Pass Legislative Action in Mexico:
April 2011 E-Newsletter
Mexico Campaign Updates:
Environment Ministry Replies to Cultural Survival
Mexico’s Secretariat for the Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT) is mailing replies to people who wrote letters urging Mexican authorities to withdraw mining permits in the Wirikuta Cultural and Natural Reserve. The Secretariat says they have not received an application from First Majestic Silver nor from any other mining company in the region of the Wirikuta Reserve. Read more.
Global Response Letters Help Pass Legislative Action
Muchas gracias to everyone who sent letters to the Mexican Senate, in response to our appeal at the end of March! Our campaign was a success! After receiving 2,748 international letters in a single week, the Senate approved a “point of agreement.” Read more.
Panama Campaign Update: Ngöbe Introduce Bills to Protect Their Governance and Territories
After half a year of constant protests which were supported by Global Response campaigns, the Ngöbe people have proposed two bills to Panama’s National Assembly. One bill would revoke an executive decree that violates their right to freely choose their own political leadership. The other bill prohibits mining and dam construction that would negatively affect Ngöbe communities.
Bangladesh Campaign Update: Energy at what cost? Protests Against Coal Mine Continue
Two thousand Bangladeshi citizens blocked major highways and railways for six hours on March 28, and demanded a response from the prime minister by April 11. They are calling on her to honor a 2006 agreement to ban open pit coal mining in the country. For seven years, Bangladeshi citizens, including the National Indigenous Union (Jatiya Adivasi Parishad) have fiercely protested a British company’s plan for open pit mining in Phulbari.
Papua New Guinea Campaign Update: Indigenous Villagers Express Losses and Fears in Video
In a very effective short film documentary, Indigenous villagers speak about everything they have lost and may yet lose as the Ramu nickel mine project affects their lands and their lives. A court is currently hearing the case of coastal clans who are trying to prevent the Chinese mining company from dumping toxic waste from the Ramu mine and refinery into the Bismarck Sea. Read more.
Endangered Languages Program Updates
Wampanoag Language Film Screening This Month in Boston.
We Still Live Here.
Presented by Independent Film Festival Boston.
Dir Anne Makepeace [82 min, USA].
Spurred on by celebrated Wampanoag linguist Jessie Little Doe Baird, the Wampanaog Nation of southeastern Massachusetts revive their long-forgotten language.
Saturday, April 30th, 2011 2:15 PM
Brattle Theatre, 40 Brattle Street, Cambridge, MA
Watch the trailer and purchase tickets here.
Guatemala Radio Project Updates
Guatemala Radio Project Forms New Network of Pilot Stations
In a new initiative of the Guatemala Radio Project, Cultural Survival’s Guatemala based team is building capacity in a select group of community radio stations that have emerged as leaders within the broader movement of local radio stations in Guatemala. Read more.
Mayan Priests Pray for Community Radio
A Mayan spiritual ceremony was held last Saturday, April 2nd, to celebrate the initiation of a new network of pilot radio stations broadcasting in rural communities of Guatemala. Read more.
Community Radio Listener Profile: Francisco Garcia
Next door to the community radio station La Doble Via in San Mateo, Quetzaltenango, Francisco Garcia and his family are busy planting potatoes on a Sunday afternoon. While working the field, they bring a radio and loudspeaker to help pass the time. Read more.
Cultural Survival Bazaars: Summer 2011
The Cultural Survival Bazaars are a series of cultural festivals that give Indigenous artists, their representatives, and fair trade companies from around the world the chance to sell their work directly to the American public. More information.
May 28th, 29th, and 30th — Amherst, MA
June 4th — Boston, MA
July 23rd & 24th — Falmouth, MA
July 30th & 31st — Tiverton Four Corners, RI
Cultural Survival Member Profile: Making a difference as a family
The Balcom family of Clovis, California — Jan, Mark, and daughter Heather — have been involved in Global Response campaigns since Heather was in middle school. Jan relates, “Our daughter found it empowering as a relatively powerless youngster to be able to help make a difference by writing letters.” While their daughter is now grown, Jan is still actively involved: writing letters, reading and then passing on her copy of the Cultural Survival Quarterly to her local library (where she assures us it “is prominently displayed”), and donating to Cultural Survival.
Today, Jan says, “I appreciate the important work of the Global Response program and of Cultural Survival. We NEED the cultural knowledge and wisdom that we endanger and extinguish every day — knowledge our civilization has largely forgotten of how to live sustainably with this world. You recognize this and do something about it.”
Cultural Survival’s Annual Report 2010 Now Available
For Cultural Survival, 2010 represents a year of transition and change, while holding the course on our mission and programs. We are pleased to share with you information about our programs and activities.
To download the report click here.
Cultural Survival Quarterly: Spring 2011
Indigenous Rights and Truth Commissions
By Joanna Rice
This special theme section was produced in partnership with the International Center for Transitional Justice, which works to redress and prevent the most severe violations of human rights by confronting legacies of mass abuse.
By Fien Jarangga and Galuh Wandita
Papuan women have been suffering terrible violence both outside and inside their homes for the past 40 years, and for most of that time, they’ve suffered in silence. But now a group of women has launched their own truth commission to give support to the victims and to pressure the government to change its behavior.
Indian Residential School Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada By Joanna Rice
For 100 years the Canadian government ran a system of boarding schools specifically designed to destroy Indigenous culture and language, and they required all Native children to attend. Now the government is using a truth commission to heal some of the damage.
Become a member or subscribe today!
Thank you for standing with Indigenous Peoples and for your ongoing support.
Cultural Survival partners with Indigenous Peoples around the world to defend their lands, languages, and cultures.
To read about Cultural Survival’s work around the world, click here. To explore 40 years of information on Indigenous issues use our Search function.
For ways to take action to help Indigenous communities, click here.
We take on governments and multinational corporations-and they always have more resources than we do-but with the help of people like you, we do win. Your contribution is crucial to that effort. Click here to do your part.
Cultural Survival | 215 Prospect St | Cambridge | MA | 02139
Breaking: House passes Dirty Air Act!:
Yesterday, the House of Representatives passed the “Dirty Air Act”, an extreme bill that would permanently strip the EPA of its power to hold polluters accountable under the Clean Air Act.
This Act, backed by Big Oil and Dirty Coal and championed by House Republicans, would have disastrous effects on public health and our environment.
Please contact President Obama to urge him to stand firm on his pledge to veto this bill!
Introduced by Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI), the “Dirty Air Act” passed the House with a vote of 255-172 and would:
Block the EPA from cutting carbon dioxide and other global warming pollutants from coal-fired power plants, oil refineries and other industrial sources. Coal-fired power plants are the largest single source of global warming pollution in the United States.
Overturn the EPA’s scientific determination that global warming pollution poses threats to public health and welfare – essentially saying that Congress knows climate science better than the climate scientists themselves.
Prevent the EPA – and states – from issuing new standards for cleaner vehicles after 2017, and open up the 2012-2016 federal clean car standards to serious legal challenges. These standards are regarded as one of the easiest ways to cut our reliance on oil and save consumers money at the gas pump.
Last year, the Clean Air Act prevented 160,000 premature deaths; 54,000 cases of chronic bronchitis; as well as 41,000 respiratory and 45,000 cardiovascular hospital admissions. It’s estimated that if the EPA’s ability to enforce clean air standards is weakened, thousands of Americans will die prematurely in the coming years due to toxic air pollution.
Please urge President Obama to make good on his pledge to veto this dangerous bill.
Big Oil, Dirty Coal, the auto industry and other dirty energy interests are working aggressively to render the EPA powerless to protect our air, water and land.
We are mounting a powerful, coordinated campaign to protect public health and our environment by blocking these attacks and supporting the EPA and will be in touch again soon to let you know how you can help.
Thank you again for your help in preventing this dangerous Act from becoming disastrous law.
HCWH Responds to Safe Chemicals Legislation:
Health Care Without Harm Sent out the Following Press Release today following the introduction of the Safe Chemicals Act of 2011.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 14, 2011
Health Care Sector Supporting Comprehensive Chemical Reform Legislation
Toxic Chemicals Contribute to Chronic Disease Epidemic, Sector Says
(Washington, DC)—Health care sector leaders are urging Congress to move swiftly to pass chemical reform legislation, citing the measure as critical to public health protection. As Senators introduce comprehensive legislation intended to overhaul the nation’s chemical regulatory system (the “Safe Chemicals Act of 2011”), the health sector is highlighting the link between preventing disease, containing costs, and reforming the law.
“In order to reduce the chronic disease burden of Americans and to contain health care costs, we need to eliminate toxic chemicals that have trespassed into our bodies and into our lives,” stated Gary Cohen, President of Health Care Without Harm, an organization that works to help hospitals reduce the amount of environmental harm associated with the delivery of health care. “There is a wave of real concern in the health community about the link between the widespread exposure to chemicals and the overwhelming epidemic of chronic disease burdening the U.S. health care system.”
Last year, the President’s Cancer Panel issued a dire warning about the role chemicals play in the development of some cancers, and called on the president to use the power of his office “to remove the carcinogens and other toxins from our food, water, and air that needlessly increase health care costs, cripple our Nation’s productivity, and devastate American lives.” The Panel characterized the federal law governing chemical safety as the “most egregious example of ineffective regulation of environmental contaminants.”
With a significant body of evidence linking chemical exposures to a wide range of diseases and health conditions, the health care sector has begun to transform itself by developing more ecologically sustainable operations to protect patients, employees, and communities.
“This is an important issue for Catholic health care providers because of our commitments to improve community health, to provide safe health care, to be good stewards of health care resources, and to protect creation,” said Julie Trocchio, senior director for community benefit and continuing care with the Catholic Health Association of the United States, representing Catholic hospitals, health systems, and long-term care facilities. “We welcome legislation that seeks to eliminate exposures to harmful chemicals and protects the health of our communities, especially vulnerable populations who may be most harmed.”
“Kaiser Permanente invests significant time and resources to identify products free from chemicals that are harmful for humans or the environment,” stated Kathy Gerwig, Vice President, Workplace Safety and Environmental Stewardship Officer of Kaiser Permanente. “That degree of investment is simply not feasible for most products and materials we buy, nor is it possible for most organizations that do not have the resources and skills that we have developed over decades.”
One of the problems facing health care as it attempts to reduce chemical exposures is the lack of publicly available information on the chemical ingredients of many products used daily in health care facilities. Chemical companies are not required to disclose the ingredients or the health and safety of their chemicals to product manufacturers. The “Safe Chemicals Act of 2011” would require chemical manufacturers to provide basic health and safety information for all chemicals as a condition for them remaining on or entering the market, or to generate such data to the extent they do not exist. It would also require chemical companies to make the information public.
“In health care, we have a moral imperative to do no harm. We are very pleased this legislation gives the EPA the proper authority to restrict the most toxic chemicals,” stated Gina Pugliese, vice president of the Premier Healthcare Alliance’s Safety Institute. “Requiring the EPA to incorporate the latest science will go far to help determine the impact these chemicals could have on patients, health care workers, the environment, and local communities, thereby achieving a higher standard of safety.”
The “Safe Chemicals Act of 2011” was introduced by Senators Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), and Charles Schumer (D-NY). If the bill is enacted, it would be the first time that the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA)—the legislation by which the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulates chemicals—has been updated since it was first passed in 1976. In that period, the EPA has only required testing on approximately 200 of the more than 80,000 chemicals on the market.
“Most people believe that the chemicals we use today would not be on the market unless they are safe,” stated Cohen. “Unfortunately, this is not true. Chemicals have been regulated under a lax and ineffective system that puts the burden of proof on consumers and those harmed by the chemicals, not on the chemical industry itself. The bill would give the EPA the authority and tools it needs to better protect our society from unregulated toxicants.”
For additional information on the “Safe Chemicals Act of 2011”, visit
HCWH is an international coalition of more than 430 organizations in 52 countries, working to transform the health care industry worldwide, without compromising patient safety or care, so that it is ecologically sustainable and no longer a source of harm to public health and the environment. As a founding member of Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families, a diverse coalition advocating for TSCA reform, HCWH will work to ensure passage of the newly introduced legislation. Visit the chemicals section of the Health Care Without Harm website for more information.
Director of Communications
Health Care Without Harm
Note New Phone: 540-479-0168
follow HCWH at
Success! Morrisons change their tuna – which just leaves John West…:
Brilliant news! Morrisons have announced a new policy on tinned tuna, committing to stop sourcing fish caught with destructive methods. This means that now all major UK supermarkets are moving to 100% sustainably sourced tuna in their own brand tins.
However, John West is the one last dark cloud hovering over our supermarket shelves, stubbornly holding on to catastrophic methods.
If you haven’t already, please email John West now to tell them to change their tuna. And, if you have, please ask five friends to send an email:
The move by Morrisons follows fast behind promises made by supermarket giants Tesco and Asda, leading brand Princes, plus existing commitments from Sainsbury’s, Marks & Spencer, Waitrose and the Co-op to ditch dangerous fish aggregating devices which kill endangered sharks, rays, turtles, juvenile tuna and other tuna species.
Thanks to your support our mission to clean up the UK’s tuna industry has gone (aherm) swimmingly with rapid progess: it was described by the Independent newspaper recently as “one of the most successful environmental campaigns in years”.
Over 41,000 emails have been sent to John West already, asking them to ‘change their tuna.’ Plus, now all consumers in the UK have better, less destructive choices when buying tuna tins.
So incredible pressure is now on for John West to switch to sustainable techniques – and match the rest of the UK marketplace.
We’ve had mass exposure of our campaign against damaging fishing practices thanks to Hugh’s Fish Fight TV programme.
Even fisheries minister Richard Benyon pledged support in parliament to tinned tuna companies trying to stop bycatch.
We’re so very close to 100% Fad-free tinned tuna in the UK – with just one brand left to clean up their practices.
So please do keep the pressure on – email John West now:
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A tragic day for American wildlife:
I am dismayed — and heartbroken — to report that the last-minute budget deal agreed to by Congressional leaders on Friday night will strip endangered species protection from gray wolves across most of the Northern Rockies, leaving them at the mercy of states that plan to kill hundreds of them.
This stealth attack on wolves — which circumvents the will of the courts and good science — was inserted by Representative Mike Simpson (R, ID) and Senator Jon Tester (D, MT). It was approved by the leadership of both the House and the Senate, and it was okayed by the White House.
It is a shameful day for this nation when both parties unite behind the slaughter of an endangered species — without public hearing or debate.
And there is another victim here as well: the Endangered Species Act.
Congress has never before removed an animal from the endangered species list. By replacing scientific judgment with political calculation, the House and Senate have struck at the very heart of wildlife protection in America.
We have to make sure that the political door is not thrown open to new attacks on other imperiled species.
Send a message to your Senators and Representative right now, expressing your outrage at this attack on wolves and telling them to keep their hands off the Endangered Species Act.
In the meantime, I urge you to keep faith with our shared dream of a sustainable future for wolves in the Northern Rockies. Tens of thousands of you made your voice heard over the past six months as we tried to stave off this worst-case outcome in Congress.
We fought the good fight but, in the end, we could not overcome the Beltway politics of cynicism and deal-making. We are left feeling terrible sorrow for the wolves that will now die as a result.
But make no mistake: we have fought too long and too hard for wolf recovery to give up. We always knew that achieving our goal could take years, perhaps decades. And as I write this, NRDC is already preparing for the next phase of this fight.
Our Montana office will be monitoring the states to ensure that they uphold their commitment to protect viable populations of wolves — and we intend to hold those states accountable. We will also continue to promote practical methods for ranchers to end wolf conflicts without shooting these magnificent animals.
I’ve never been more determined that wolves be allowed to roam wild and free in the Rockies. I know you’ll stand with us.
Natural Resources Defense Council
P.S. Part of what makes this defeat so hard to stomach is that the Senate and White House stood strong against 18 other anti-environmental riders. Thanks to your phone calls and emails, we staved off an attempt to cripple the EPA’s ability to control air and global warming pollution. That makes the bipartisan attack on wolves all the more unconscionable.
Life in a bubble?, a DIY approach to illegal logging, and more:
Life in a bubble? A new film from Brazil’s isolated Zo’é tribe
After a devastating first contact in the 1980s, the Zo’é have bounced back. The Brazilian government has gone to extraordinary lengths to protect them from disease, but do the Zo’é now live in a bubble, separate from the rest of society? Survival researcher Fiona Watson investigates.
Watch now »
Invaded by illegal loggers, Peruvian Indians take matters into their own hands
Peruvian Indians have been forced to set up a guard post themselves to protect an uncontacted Indians’ reserve, after the authorities ignored their repeated pleas for action to evict illegal loggers.
Survival has collected nearly 100,000 signatures asking President Alan García to put a stop to the logging and safeguard tribal lands.
This year’s April Fool…
On April 1, we reported on a ‘ruling’ that South American Indians should receive 1% of the profits from potato sales worldwide, given that the potatoes we know today are an indigenous creation. The piece, which quoted ‘Dr. Desiree Dauphinoise’, was playful – but it’s no joke that indigenous people across the Amazon have hardly ever seen any royalties from the foods and medicines they’ve given the world.
Read the full April Fool »
… and a story we wish was an April Fool – but isn’t
A Rwandan government programme to destroy all thatched roofs in the country is leaving thousands of Batwa ‘Pygmies’ homeless. The Governor of the Southern Province has justified the demolitions by saying ‘people were seemingly happy to stay in their thatched houses and showed no commitment to leave them.’ If you’re on Twitter, please direct a protest tweet at the Rwandan government »
In the next edition
We’ll be releasing a gallery of extraordinary pictures of the Moken, or ‘Sea Gypsies’, of South-East Asia. The Moken are dependent on the sea, and the family that acclaimed photographer Cat Vinton stayed with lived almost entirely on their boat. These beautiful images also feature in Survival’s book celebrating tribal peoples, ‘We Are One’.
Work for Survival
Survival is looking for a full-time Press Officer. Getting tribal peoples’ issues into the press, and media in the wider sense, is crucial to their long-term survival, so this position is at the heart of Survival’s work. If you’re interested, or know someone who might be, please read the online job ad.
Supporter updates Monthly e-news Urgent actions:
Survival International USA, 2325 3rd Street, Suite 413, San Francisco, CA 94107, USA
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T +44(0)20 7687 8700