Indigenous fight for Lake Titicaca - Tree of Souls - An Avatar Community Forum
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Old 05-30-2011, 10:26 PM
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Default Indigenous fight for Lake Titicaca

BBC News - Peru: Indigenous protests erupt in city of Puno
Quote:
Thousands of angry indigenous protesters have taken over the city centre of Puno in south-eastern Peru.
...
Cars and buildings were torched on Thursday night when protesters went on the rampage, demanding an end to a Canadian silver mining project.

The protesters have blocked the main roads into the city.

A customs office was set ablaze on Friday and several other buildings are still smouldering after being torched in the night.

The indigenous Aymara activists say the mining company will pollute their ancestral lands.

The activists say the mining corporation will contaminate nearby Lake Titicaca, decimating the fish stocks.
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Old 05-31-2011, 02:25 AM
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My heart goes out to them. Eywa knows the forces they are going up against.
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Old 05-31-2011, 04:26 AM
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But did the city people have anything too do with it ? It seems like a bad idea to attack a random city, then people who would otherwise help them wouldn't
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Old 05-31-2011, 09:13 AM
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I seriously doubt it is a "random city". But yes, the lack of information in the article is sad. Also what really is missing is information on what these mining company wants to do. It makes it sound a bit like the company just wants to build a harmless mine and the stupid indigenous burn down buildings in response in acts of random violence. Usually in such cases, this is not so. And usually this kind of action follows unsucessful nonviolent or legal activities.
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Old 05-31-2011, 09:40 AM
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Talking problems through doesn't work anymore (in fact did it ever work?). If razing buildings is what it takes to get rid of these miners and save the indigenous then so be it. May they get as much publicity as they want.

Last edited by Marvellous Chester; 05-31-2011 at 09:43 AM.
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Old 05-31-2011, 10:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vawm tsamsiyu View Post
But did the city people have anything too do with it ? It seems like a bad idea to attack a random city, then people who would otherwise help them wouldn't
Exactly. A bit stupid really, and a great way to build up support for the companies' actions.
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Old 05-31-2011, 03:16 PM
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Hmm - I'd be interested to know if these people instead held hands, holding candles and sand some songs in front of the majors house it would have gotten any press at all internationally. Somehow I doubt it. I am not saying that violence is the prime choice of action. It most certainly is not. But when other things failed, when talking to the skypeople failed, when trying to teach them your ways failed, when they simply do not want to listen or hear what you have to say - what then shall you do - no really, what would be the next step if not carrying the fight to the physical, to stand up and say "this is our land".

This is what I like about the CE version of Avatar by the way - the reaction of the people to the assault on their tree of voices is to burn the trucks. The retaliation is a full scale war of course. This reflects so much the real situations in these earthly cases. The powerful poke with sticks at the people for so long, nibbling at the edges of their territories and subsistence until they get angry and out of helplessness decide to strike back. And then this is taken as an excuse to drive them off their land, which was (as in Avatar) the plan all along.

But honestly what means do you think these people have that are both successful and acceptable to you. This is not a rethorical question and not directed at only one of you who read this: If a community has written letters, somehow managed to pay an attorney, stood outside of the majors office with posters and all of that has failed, what should they do? Give in to "the law" that they did not make and retreat from their ancestral lands or accept to live with pollution, declining food supplies and increasing poverty? Start over again and write some more letters and paint some more signs?

Do you think the NA'Vi would, after the dozers arrived like to do some diplomacy and talk to the RDA about relocation conditions? We know that they would not. Why really should the indigenous people of Earth do so? And to push it a bit further why should anyone else do so who is defending what she loves?

Again, I am not saying that the first reaction should be to burn down cities and I am not even saying that the situation I described above fits to this particular struggle (I know too little about this but I suspect it is cutting close), but I am asking a question about what would be ANY viable, sane, successful, effective and realistic option after "diplomacy has failed"?
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Old 05-31-2011, 03:43 PM
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People in Puno and those who were on the road there are the victims of the blockade. These protests actually are doing more harm to the people that lives there than to Santa Ana Mining. I don't know why the protesters had to use extreme violence against Puno:
Damage done to Puno



Damage done to Santa Ana Mining:
-------------------none-------------------

And the Aymaras were those who encouraged blockers to loot Puno:Aimaras deslindan con actos de violencia en paro antiminero | El Comercio Perú
You need some translation.
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Old 05-31-2011, 05:33 PM
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PUNO, Peru: Mine opponents paralyze city in Peruvian highlands | Business | Kentucky.com
It started with peaceful protests that went unheard:
Quote:
The mostly Aymara Indians had been peacefully demonstrating for more than two weeks demanding Peru's government revoke the license for the Canadian-owned Santa Ana mine, mainly with a blockade that paralyzed commerce at the nearby Bolivian border crossing.
When the violence erupted, the builkdings that went up in flames were government buildings (though local businesses also were damaged):
Quote:
Protesters set fire to a customs warehouse, destroying at least 20 cars.
The city is not without involvement though - it supports the mining operation despite its toxicity (and unfinished environmental impact statement):
Quote:
Swarthout [from the mining company] told the AP the project is supported by local communities and would directly benefit with 1,000 jobs. The mine would use toxic cyanide to separate out the silver in what Swarthout called a common and proven technology. An environmental impact statement is under government review.
And the riots have had some effect on behalf of the protesters:
Quote:
"There are many companies watching this situation," Bear Creek's Swarthout said. "If we run into serious problems and are not able to complete our investment on this project or another couple of projects that we're looking at, other companies are going to take pause as well."
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"Humans are storytellers. These stories then can become our reality. Only when we loose ourselves in the stories they have the power to control us. Our culture got lost in the wrong story, a story of death and defeat, of opression and control, of separation and competition. We need a new story!"
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Old 05-31-2011, 08:11 PM
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These people still have something worth fighting for.
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Old 06-01-2011, 02:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fosus View Post
These people still have something worth fighting for.
Agreed. It's just too bad there isn't another way.
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Old 06-01-2011, 05:38 PM
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This is sad. Very sad only. But nothing new.
About the historical struggle for independence of the Peruvians - the Incas:

Tupac Amaru

Tupac Amaru II - he was granted the title of Marquis by the Spanish authorities, & "frequently petition for the improvement of Indian labor in the mills, farms and mines; even using his own wealth to help alleviate the taxes and burdens of the natives. After many of his requests for the alleviation of the native conditions fell on deaf ears, Condorcanqui decided to organize a rebellion" but it went out of his hand & it was like what we are seeing now in Puno, only much more cruel. Which of course gave the invadors an excellent excuse to crush it.

THIS makes me even more sad & angry:
"In Cuzco in 1589, Don Mancio Serra de Leguisamo — one of the last survivors of the original conquerors of Peru—wrote in the preamble of his will, the following, in parts:
We found these kingdoms in such good order, and the said Incas governed them in such wise [manner] that throughout them there was not a thief, nor a vicious man, nor an adulteress, nor was a bad woman admitted among them, nor were there immoral people. The men had honest and useful occupations. The lands, forests, mines, pastures, houses and all kinds of products were regulated and distributed in such sort that each one knew his property without any other person seizing it or occupying it, nor were there law suits respecting it… the motive which obliges me to make this statement is the discharge of my conscience, as I find myself guilty. For we have destroyed by our evil example, the people who had such a government as was enjoyed by these natives. They were so free from the committal of crimes or excesses, as well men as women, that the Indian who had 100,000 pesos worth of gold or silver in his house, left it open merely placing a small stick against the door, as a sign that its master was out. With that, according to their custom, no one could enter or take anything that was there. When they saw that we put locks and keys on our doors, they supposed that it was from fear of them, that they might not kill us, but not because they believed that anyone would steal the property of another. So that when they found that we had thieves among us, and men who sought to make their daughters commit sin, they despised us."

What has it been? 450 years since then? Well I don't see much change in the essence of the things...
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Old 06-01-2011, 05:52 PM
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What just came to my mind in sort of a defense of the more unfriendly action of property destruction (or even violence, though I definitely make a distinction there between property destruction and violence, with the latter only applying if people are hurt). Even if these riots are crushed, the fear of those in power that something like this may happen again can, in a society that is not totally over the edge in terms of opression of people, lead to a situation in which the voices of protests are heard more loudly afterwards - if onyl to avoid nasty riots again.

This is why Germany now has 7 nuclear plants less than 5 months agao and why until 2022 all of the rest will be gone. Because the environmental movement here used a combination of petitioning, politics and pleas backed up by direct action against facitilies under construction. The direct action made the whole thing very expensive, because police had to guard trains with nuclear fuel rods, repair railways that have been undermined or cut and take away protesters. The public did not like to see all that so much, but the only way to stop it was to listen to the more benign voices of the green party that asked for a political solution and a shutdown of reactors within a decade.

So I guess this is sort of a "good cop/bad cop" play - "Please give in to our demands and do not build these nuclear plants/toxic mines/oil drilling platforms - otherwise, some people we cannot really control will pull out their torches"
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Old 06-01-2011, 08:15 PM
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A couple of years ago, a fraction of those Aymaras hanged and beheaded two dogs in front of their town saying that that was going to be the fate of all those eastern leaders who opposed the "change". The rumours in Peru and in La Paz are pointing to the same fraction causing the riots in Puno.
Second, the history of Tupac Amaru might be a bit biased. Many history books make him a martyr of liberty. However, that might have been a bit optimistic. The main purpose of Tupac Amaru was the recognition of his former title, he wanted to be recognized as the Inca and, obviously, the Spaniards would have to be crazy to allow such thing.
Another thing, the Inca empire wasn't as peaceful as it seems. A lot of the former inhabitants of what became the Tawantinsuyo were exterminated (yes, because their race was not the race of the Quechuas) or forced to live in small isolated towns, a clear example are the Uru people. Another example of racial segregation are the inhabitants of the Chaco (in Bolivia, Argentina and Paraguay). They used to play an instrument called Erke, which can be found in Ecuador (the northern part of the Tawantinsuyo). Recent research in our local university strongly suggest that the Erke arrived to Ecuador by means of slavery by the Incas. Their customs were brought by means of force, that's why Tupac Amaru and Tupac Katari failed in their rebellions, people simply didn't want to return to the Inca dominance.
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Old 06-01-2011, 10:33 PM
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Aurora has a hugely simple and romanticised view of any native people and likes any simply if they are not part of the modern world, no matter what their actual practices were - I've pointed this out many times before, it's as if they are assumed to automatically be perfect and great because they are different.

As for energy, I thought the reason was due to uncertainty over Japan, and soon Germany will have huge energy security problem and be forced to rely even more on imports (then what happens when France decides there is more profit in selling that capacity elsewhere?). Either way, I see literally zero relevance to this thread, and I think you are just using this forum as a complaining board AGAIN. You already have several blogs, why not post there, or does nobody read those?
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