Saturday, November 24, 2007
1:30 am est
Navy's bomb testing is over, but Vieques still suffers
Even though the United States Navy' ended its testing of bombs on Puerto Rico's island
of Vieques in 2003, islanders are still suffering high cancer rates from the radiation fallout.
"The Puerto Rico Health Department reports 40 new cases of cancer in Vieques every year, or one per every 250
residents," writes Jeannette Rivera-lyles in the article
"Navy's bomb-testing fallout plagues Vieques 4 years later" in the Orlando Sentinel. "The cancer rate on Vieques is 27 percent higher than
on mainland Puerto Rico, and the mortality rate for cancer patients here is 50 percent higher, official data show."
Many Viequens believed that the island's long suffering economy would recover as soon as the Navy left, Rivera-lyles writes, but Vieques itself is so contaminated that "there is no
guarantee the island will be ecologically restored. After the clearing of debris, the Navy says it will take soil samples
to determine the level of contamination.
RICARDO RAMIREZ BUXEDA, ORLANDO SENTINEL
/ September 13, 2007
Whether it would then come back to remove
the pollution will depend on Fish and Wildlife's plans for the land and on Congress allocating the millions of dollars
it will cost."
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
9:26 pm est
Zelaya administration published a commitment to Afro Hondurans
Five of the candidates for the presidency of Honduras made speeches, campaigned for votes and even signed a “Campaign
Promise” to live up to any pledges made to help the Black community when they attended the Second National Assembly
of Afro-Hondurans back on May 26, 2005.
The Organización Negra
Centroamericana/Central American Black Organization (ONECA – the largest umbrella organization for Black communities in Central America and the Caribbean) asked each of the candidates to make a “Campaign Promise”
that had an economic, social, cultural and environmental plan of what the candidate – should they
win the presidency – would do to benefit Afro Hondurans.
Since José Manuel “Mel” Zelaya Rosales won the November 27, 2005 presidential elections, his administration has been making efforts to make
sure his promises come true.
The majority of Afro Hondurans are known as Garífuna,
descendants of Africans and Carib-Indians who resisted slavery and were able to retain their own language
– a patois of Creole, Bambu, and Patua – and to live independently for years. Because of many have immigrated, Garífuna communities
have spread out across Central America, the Caribbean, and the United States in
the last few decades. Yet, historically, the Garífuna were established in the countries of Belize,
Guatemala, Panama, and Honduras and along the coastlines of Nicaragua, Colombia, and Venezuela.
This past May of 2007, the Zelaya administration published a portion of its commitment to Afro Hondurans in the official
La Gaceta newspaper. Now, the campaign promise is officially a national commitment to better the lives of Blacks in
Monday, November 19, 2007
12:11 am est
Brazil gears up to celebrate Black consciousness
By Karen Juanita Carrillo
More than half of the citizens of São Paulo, Brazil celebrate
November 20th as “National Black Consciousness Day (Dia da Consciência Negra),” the editors of the Brazilian
website Afropress.com have declared .
In Salvador da Bahia, where the entire month is being celebrated as “Black November,” 80 thousand people are expected to take part
in a “Freedom Walk” on Tuesday, November 20th. But in São Paulo - which is both Brazil's most populous city and the city with the largest population of people of African descent outside of Africa - preparations are underway for what’s expected to be a major march along the
Avenida Paulista, it is being called the Marcha da Consciência Negra/Black Consciousness March or Parada Negra/Black
Parade. Contingents from various other cities are on their way to São Paulo to take part in the
Sunday, November 18, 2007
9:14 pm est
Purpose Prize Winner
The Michigan Citizen profiles 63-year-old Marian Kramer who has worked for more than 40 years with the Michigan Welfare Rights Organization (MWRO).
MWRO works "to eliminate poverty in Highland Park, Detroit and communities throughout Michigan." And
the newspaper article notes that Kramer has won national acclaim by winning a "$10,000 Purpose Prize for her 'grassroots,
legal and legislative fight for the right to affordable water in Detroit.'
Marian Kramer of the Michigan Welfare Rights Organization (MWRO)
"Kramer, long respected in the community," the paper adds, "has championed, among
many initiatives, a Water Affordability plan. After learning that Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD) had shut off
water to 40,000 people, Kramer declared the action a public health emergency. Kramer, along with Maureen Taylor and Michigan
Welfare Rights mobilized people, protests and community meetings. Kramer even collaborated with lawyers, drafting what would
become-in essence-the city's current Water Assistance Program."