On Running African the IRIE FM FORUM Sunday June 9, 6 - 10AM! Professor of Africana Studies and former Chair of the Department of Black Studies at the City College of New York, Dr. Leonard Jeffries ON Pan Africanism and the African Renaissance; Award winning Ghanaian Blogger / Social Media Strategist , TEDx Fellow, 2011 Knight Digital Media Fellow at the University of California Graduate School of Journalism and US State Department 2013 Internet Freedom Fellow, Mac - Jordan Degagjor ON Tecnological advancement on the Continent of Africa; Senior Partner in the Law Firm of Gifford Thompson & Bright, Lord Anthony Gifford ON Britain’s compensation/reparations to Mau Mau Warriors AND the Politics of US Mining of internet data, how are Jamaicans impacted? What of the records of Digicel and Cable and Wireless?
THE BOTTOM LINE IS THAT EVEN WHILE WE LAMENT THE GLOBAL FOOD SHORTAGE AND TRY TO MAKE SENSE OF THIS ARTIFICALLY CREATED PHENOMENON……WE MUST TAKE INTO CONSIDERATION THE POSSIBLITY OF THE SYSTEMATIC AND DELIBERATE, CREATION OF MARKETS FOR GENETICALLY MODIFIED CROPS…….
…..AND THE LIKLIHOOD OF POWERFUL GOVERNMENTS WORKING TOGETHER WITH MULTI NATIONAL CORPORATIONS TO MAKE IT IMPOSSIBLE FOR SO CALLED THIRD WORLD…DEVELOPING…. COUNTRIES TO REFUSE THE AID WHICH COMES MARRIED TO GMOs….LIKE SALTFISH AND SOAP.
THE BOTTOM LINE IS THAT ………GENETICALLY MODIFIED CROPS HAVE GRAVE IMPLICATIONS FOR HUMAN HEALTH, THE ENVIRONMENT AND GLOBAL TRADE…AND IF ITS BEING FORCED ON AFRICA…….IT IS ONLY A MATTER OF TIME BEFORE WE TOO WILL HAVE TO FACE THAT MUSIC…OF WHETHER TO FIGHT ITS INFILTRATION LIKE MALAWI……..OR ACCEPT THE CONSQUENCES.
PUT THIS IN PERSPECTIVE……..JUST LISTEN TO THIS:
MAY 21, 2010…..THE UNITED STATES FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION ISSUES A NATIONWIDE ALFALFA SPROUT RECALL BECAUSE OF A SALMONELLA OUTBREAK IN 10 STATES
APRIL 27, 2010 – FOR THE FIRST IN ITS HISTORY THE SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES HEARD ORAL ARGUMENTS ON A CASE INVOLVING GENETICALLY MODIFIED CROP MADE BY MONSANTO. THE CROP USES A GENETICALLY ENGINEERED HERBICIDAL IN ALFALFA…KNOWN AS ….”ROUND UP READY”
APRIL 27, 2010…..THE COURT OF JUSTICE OF THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITIES WAS REFERED BY WAY OF A PRELIMINARY RULING ON FEB. 3, 2010….CASES INVOLVING MONSANTO SAS….MONSANTO INTERNATIONAL…MONSANTO TECHNOLOGY LLC….MONSANTO INTERNATIONAL S.A.R.L…….MONSANTO AGRICULTURAL FRANCE SAS….MONSANTO EUROPE SA ET.AL……
THE BOTTOM LINE IS THAT ……THE DEBATES HERE ARE RELEVANT…..WE MUST STOP AND EXAMINE ….LIKE CIVILIZED, THINKING PEOPLE…THE SCIENTIFIC AND POLITICAL ISSUES SURROUNDING GENETICALLY MODIFIED CROPS AND FOODS….THE ETHICAL AND VALUE ISSUES…..THE LEGAL AND INSTITUTIONAL IMPLICATIONS OF COUNTRIES DUMPING GMO CROPS ON DEVELOPING NATIONS……AND DETERMINE THE RISK ASSEMENTS AND SOCIETAL OUTCOMES.
THE BOTTOM LINE IS THAT ……AS A NATION……AS A PEOPLE IT IS OUR DUTY TO ENGAGE IN THESE DISCUSSIONS…….OUR UNIVERSITIES MUST ENGAGE IN SCEINTIFIC RESEARCH….FOR THE BENEFIT OF OUR PEOPLE….ON THE CONTINET OF AFRICA…IN THE CARIBBEAN AND….WHEREVER WE ARE…..
THE BOTTOM LINE IS THAT ….WE MUST ENGAGE IN DEBATES ON THE BENEFITS OR LACK THEREOF OF GENETICALLY MODIFIED CROPS….WHAT THEY ARE, WHAT THEY DO….HOW MIGHT GENETICALLY MODIFIED ORGANISMS AFFECT THE HUMAN GENOME?…….WHAT ARE THE IMPLICATIONS FOR HUMAN HEALTH…..ARE THEY LIKLEY TO CAUSE CANCERS, FOR EXAMPLE….WHAT ARE IMPLICATIONS FOR HUMAN BEHAVIOUR……ARE THEY LIKLEY TO CAUSE PSYCHOTIC TENDENCIES OR PERSONALITY DISORDERS?
THE BOTTOM LINE IS THAT……WE MUST DETERMINE IF WE HAVE A RIGHT TO KNOW THE POTENTIAL HARMFUL SIDE EFFECTS OF GMOs… IN THE SHORT, MEDIUM OR LONG TERM……AND ITS IMPLICATIONS FOR THE CURRENT GENERATION AND GENERATIONS TO COME.
THE BOTTOM LINE IS THAT ……..WE MUST DECIDE IF WE HAVE A RIGHT TO KNOW THE DEGREE OR EXTENT OF OUR EXPOSURE TO GMOs….ARE THEY ON OUR SUPERMARKET SHELVES………UNLABELED ?….MASQUARADING AS CORNMEAL….FLOUR….RICE…..PEAS AND BEANS….TOFU….SOYA BEANS…..CHICKEN ……. BEEF?
……ARE THEY BEING DOLED OUT TO OUR FARMERS THROUGH OUR OWN MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE….AND IF SO TO WHAT EXTENT?….
THE BOTTOM LINE IS THAT ….WHETHER WE KNOW NOW….OR NOT…..DO WE AS CITIZENS HAVE A RIGHT TO BE INFORMED OF OUR EXPOSURE TO THESE PRODUCTS……OR ARE WE SATISFIED TO ALLOW OUR PUBLIC OFFICIALS TO MAKE THESE DECISIONS ON OUR BEHALF….WITHOUT OUT CONSENT? ARE WE SATISIFIED TO REMAIN TOTALLY IGNORANT ABOUT THE TYPE OF FOOD WE ARE EATING? ……..IF IT IS AFFECTING OUR HEALTH….OUR ENVIRONMENT?
THE BOTTOM LINE IS THAT ……MONSANTO IS ONE OF THE MULTI BILLION DOLLAR CORPORATIONS PRODUCING GENETICALLY MODIFIED CROPS AND HERBICIDE….SOYABEANS, COTTON ETC….AND ITS MONOPOLY ON THIS MARKET…..MEANS THAT IT IS ONE OF THE FEW MULTINATIONAL CORPORATIONS THAT IS POISED TO ULTIMATELY DRIVE AND DICTATE FAMINE…..TO DETERMINE THE DEMOGRAPHICS IN TERMS OF STARVATION OR PLENTY…..AND WE ARE OF THE VIEW THAT ….IN SOME TWISTED WAY …WE ARE ALREADY EXPERIENCING THE IMPACT OF SUCH POLITICAL GAMES….IN AFRICA…..IN HAITI…..IN LATIN AMERICA AND SOME PARTS OF ASIA.
THE BOTTOM LINE IS THAT….WE MUST TALK ABOUT REGULATION WHEN IT COMES TO FOOD IMPORT…..IGNORANCE IS NOT BLISS…..WHAT ARE THE LONG TERM BENEFITS OR HARM OF GMOs ….WHAT DO WE KNOW….AND HOW DO WE KNOW IT…..IN OTHER WORDS HAVE WE BEEN GIVEN THIS INFORMATION BY RESEARCHERS FUNDED BY COMPANIES LIKE MONSANTO?……DO WE HAVE INDEPENDENT KNOWLEDGE OF THE IMPLICATIONS…OR BENEFITS… OF GMOs? WHAT IS THE ROLE OF CODEX ALIMENTARIUS?
THE BOTTOM LINE IS THAT…..UNTIL WE DO….WE ARE IN DANGER OF FOOD SHORTAGE BY DESIGN AND STARVATION BY PROXY!
THAT’S THE BOTTOM LINE!
|—||Running African - The IRIE FM Forum - a Platform for Social Justice in Africa and the African Diaspora!|
PLUS: What are we going to tell our Children about their future? Join us for a provocate discussion on Youth Empowerment and Development - Reclaiming our Children and Revitalizing our Responsibilities! Special Guests include Lecturer at UWI Mona and Snr Programme Development Specialist in the Ministry of Youth and Culture Miguel “Steppa” Williams and Author and Youth Empowerment Officer Anisa Wilson
|—||Running African - The IRIE FM FORUM|
Examining: the structural barriers and inequalities embedded in Jamaica’s social, political and economic fabric and how the relate to” (a) Crime (b) poverty (c) denial of access to education, housing and land!
The IRIE FM Forum - Running African Sunday April 21, 6 - 10am
The BottomLine - Stress, Hypertension and the Jamaican Economy, April 7, 2013
The BottomLine is that The Global brief on hypertension describes why, in the early 21st century, hypertension is a global public health issue.
It describes how hypertension contributes to the burden of heart disease, stroke and kidney failure; and premature death; and disability.
The document also explains how hypertension is both preventable and treatable and how governments, health workers, civil society, the private sector, families and individuals can join forces to reduce hypertension and its impact.
The BottomLine is that taking into consideration all the risk factors for High Blood Pressure and the attendant lifestyle diseases in our specific case here in Jamaica, within the context of sustained stress as a result of poverty and ongoing violence; trauma from high taxes and utility bills; an Unjust Justice System which blatantly protects the rich and the children of the privileged; and the callous insensitivity of Government to the suffering of the Jamaican people – it is no wonder that so many Jamaicans are presenting with High Blood Pressure, Diabetes, Kidney Disease, Heart Attacks and Stokes!
The BottomLine is that as Jamaicans we must pay special attention to the conversation on High Blood Pressure as a Global Public Health Crisis, but more than that we must be cognizant of our own special situation in the matter.
The BottomLine is that as a Nation, as a People, we have been under continued stress for so long we can’t even remember when the trauma began, BUT the last three decades have been especially traumatic for all African Jamaicans:
as we came face to face with crime AND VIOLENCE in a way in which many of us have never dreamt we would
As we witnessed successive Governments wantonly squander the public’s purse for their own personal gain with scant regard for “we the people”
as we watched seemingly helpless, as members of Parliament who were supposed to represent the people, and protect our rights, fill their pockets with our money, sold of our properties to the highest bidder and became rotten rich while we became poorer and poorer
The BottomLine is that many of us have already succumbed to High Blood Pressure, Diabetes and Kidney failure as a result of both, many of our warriors are dead; and many of us are now battling illnesses and diseases for which we have no name, except for the stress which has brought it on.
The BottomLine is that we have been beaten down with Tribal Politics as each political Party and its Leadership successively strengthen and institutionalize the politics of scarce benefits and spoils, and it seems that we’ve come to a junction, a fork in the road where we know that this is the place where we all must fight for our rights, for equal rights, for Justice - or else die like hogs!!
The BottomLine is that the implementation of exorbitant increases in property and all other taxes, the steady decline of the Jamaica dollar and the strident refusal of the Portia Simpson led Government to show empathy with our suffering, to show empathy with the people, through symbolic gestures of cabinet reduction, cuts in salaries, cut back on the wanton spending on high end vehicles and similar luxuries – rest heavily on many of us and many are presenting with High Blood Pressure, dying from Heart Attacks due to Stress and suffering all kinds of strokes.
As it is now, Jamaicans are bracing ourselves for another Budget presentation, in an cruel and brutal environment in which many are already feeling the stress of a system which after it has taxed its people within an inch of our lives, turns around and tax the barrels of food sent by our relatives and friends overseas.
The BottomLine is that Taxation without representation – is extortion!
So now we ask, as the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther Kings asked right here in Ocho Rios Jamaica in the 1960s - where do we go from here – Chaos or Community?
The BottomLine is that as daunting as things are, as angry as we may be, as hopeless as the situation might appear, we cannot, MUST NOT go down without a fight!
A fight against High Blood Pressure yes, a fight against strokes and Heart Attacks yes, a fight against Kidney Failure..
But more than anything, The BottomLine is that even while we fight these non-communicable diseases, we must also fight against injustice, against oppression against a system which is bent on bleeding us dry.
We Must fight for a better Jamaica for ourselves and and our families, for our children! We must reclaim Jamaica, take back Jamaica from the imbeciles who will drive it into the ground! W must take back Jamaica from those who reck this country while we are still on it! We must take back Jamaica!
We cannot lie down and die! We must not die like hogs!
Neither can we wait on the evolution of history at this critical juncture in our development, we who are concerned with unity and independence and prosperity and freedom - MUST like Osageyfo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, be prepared to give history a revolution push.
There is no better leader within the PNP or the JLP – There is no saviour who is going to come and miraculously change our fortunes. This is our fight. We are it. We are our own leaders. We must be the change that we want to see!
The BottomLine is that Hypertension can be prevented, so too can poverty, tribalism, oppression and injustice!
The World Health Organization says High Blood Pressure is a silent killer which rarely causes symptoms and that increasing public awareness is key. The WHO argues that High Blood Pressure is a serious warning sign that significant lifestyle changes are urgently needed.
The BottomLine is that poverty, injustice, tribalism, crime and violence and oppression are (like hypertension) preventable and treatable social disorders and governments, public sector workers, civil society, the private sector, families and individuals must join forces to reduce the impact.
Our situation tells us clearly that is a serious warning sign that significant lifestyle changes are urgently needed.
If we must die, let it not be like hogs
Hunted and penned in an inglorious spot,
While round us bark the mad and hungry dogs,
Making their mock at our accursèd lot.
If we must die, O let us nobly die,
So that our precious blood may not be shed
In vain; then even the monsters we defy
Shall be constrained to honor us though dead!
O kinsmen! we must meet the common foe!
Though far outnumbered let us show us brave,
And for their thousand blows deal one death-blow!
What though before us lies the open grave?
Like men we’ll face the murderous, cowardly pack,
Pressed to the wall, dying, but fighting back!
Thats the BottomLine!
Principal and Pro Vice Chancellor at the UWI Cave Hill, Prof. Hillary Beckles joins me from Barbados this Sunday on the IRIE FM FORUM - Running African! Prof. Beckles will speak on his latest work Britain’s Black Debt : Reparations for Caribbean Slavery and Native Genocide. Prof. Beckles holds a Chair in Social and Economic History at Cave Hill and his many publications include: Natural Rebels: A Social History of Enslaved Women in Barbados; Centering Woman: Gender Discourses in Caribbean Slave Society; and A History of Barbados: From Amerindian Settlement to Nation State
www.iriefm.net and on the 107s!
On the IRIE FM FORUM - Running African Sunday 6 - 10am! Examining the challenges facing the new President of Kenya Uhuru Kenyatta; Exposing the driving forces behind the Central African Coup and Nelson Mandela’s importance to South African politics and stability.PLUS the impact of Structural Violence on Jamaicans. Also what was LL CoolJ and Brad Paisley thinking with that “Accidental Racist” video? How does this affect the Reparations movement? and Prof. Verene Shepherd talks about Reparations and the latest publication from the BiCentennial Committee. www.iriefm.net and on the 107s!
|—||Running African - The IRIE FM FORUM|
The BottomLine is that today MARCH, 24, 2013 is declared the International Day for the Right to the Truth, Concerning Gross Human Rights Violations; and for the Dignity of Victims.
The BottomLine is that even as we observe this day in Jamaica – TODAY - the cries for Justice from every nook and cranny of Jamaica have shattered any illusion that we may have harboured about the social, economic and political growth and development of this country and any hopes that we may have had about the commitment of the State to Equal Rights and Justice for all its Citizens; To the Right to Truth – Concerning Gross Human Rights Violations; and for the Dignity of Victims!
The Coral Gardens Masascre is but one in a long list of State Terrorism against Jamaican Citizens which have not even been acknowledged as having happened much less, to begin to repair the damage or to dignify the victims with the basic right to the Truth about what happened.
Even on this day – Sunday, March 24, 2013 – declared by the United nations as International Day for the Right to the Truth, Concerning Gross Human Rights Violations; and for the Dignity of Victims.
The BottomLine is that before Coral Gardens, there was:
The decimation of Pinnacle in 1954
The raiding of Back – O – Wall and shaving of Rastafarians there in 1959
Coral Gardens Massacre in 1963
The Bulldozing and Displacement of Back – O – Wall in 1966
Political Tribalism and the Subsequent Violence of the 70s and 80s
And more recently the Tivoli Incursion of 2010
And now the wanton extrajudiciary killing of citizens by Police – who (as they were told to do at Coral Gardens in 1963) continue to shoot first and ask questions later
An Unjust Justic system, which seems incapable of convicting criminals
the denial of access to Public beaches to citizens
The BottomLine is that Jamaica has a legacy of violence and repression and successive Governments since so called Independence in 1962 have used both – Violence and Repression – to kill the revolutionary spirit of African Jamaicans; to deprive hardworking ciizens of the right to self determination and prosperty and to silence voices of descent.
This reliance on Violence and Repression by both the Jamaica Labour Party and the Peoples National Party have ultimately led to distrust and fear among Citizens on the one hand and cover ups, lies and Threats by agents of the State on the other. Simply put truth is often times swept under the carpet and is more often than not a casuality of the Unjust Justice System.
The BottomLine is that Truth is the Foundation of Justice and it is in recognition of this critical factor, that the United Nations three years ago, made the declaration that today, March 24, 2013 should be Globally marked as the International Day for the Right to the Truth Concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims.
Three years ago the U.N Secretary General Ban Ki Moon pointed out that “the rights to truth and justice are central to ending impunity for gross violations of Human Rights in all instances” and that it is in honouring this right that others are “put on notice that violationas cannot stay hidden for long”.
The BottomLine is that successive Governments have turned a deaf ear and a blind eye to the cries of Jamaicans for Truth and Justice and even when Commissions are set up, they are so controlled that no one – absolutely no one – has ever been held accountable for Gross violations and Jamaicans are left holding the bill, as in the case of the Manatt and the FINSAC Cmmissions of Enquiry.
The BottomLine is that Truth is the Foundation of Justice; Truth is the Foundation of a Just Society; Truth and the Right to Truth regarding Gross Human Rights Violations help to create conditions for Peace and a hopeful future.
The BottomLine is that today, March 24, 2013, we stand here to affirm the Rights of Victims of unspeakable atrocities such as what happened at Pinnacle, Back – O – Wall, Coral Gardens, Tivoli Gardens and the UNSPEAKABLE atrocities which continue to be played out across Jamaica – We affirm the Rights of Victims and Survivors to know about Human Rights violations, to know what happened to their loved ones and to have their suffering acknowledged and recompensed!
Today, MARCH 24, 2013, International Day for the Right to the Truth, Concerning Gross Human Rights Violations; and for the Dignity of Victims, we Affirm their Rights to know, what happened and to be dignified with an acknowledgement of what happened and for Reparatios to honour the memory of victims and to promote the Right, to Truth and justice!
The BottomLine is that the Jamaican Government has an obligation to protect and gurantee Human Rights, to conduct effective investigations and to guarantee effective remedy and reparations – In the matter of Pinnacle; In the matter of Back – O – Wall; in the matter of Coral Gardens; in the matter of Tivoli Gardens! And in the matter of police killings of citizens!
We MUST uncover the Truth – as the first step in transforming and reforming the Jamaican Society
The U.N. Underscores that the Right to Truth as implying knowing the full and complete Truth as to the events that transpired, their specific circumstances, and who participated in them, including knowing the circumstances in which the violations took place as well as knowing the reasons for them”
As Ban Ki Moon says “ to deny victims this vital knowledge, is to deny them Justice, dignity and recognition – as well as reparations for – their suffering and loss”
We have been denied this – Truth and Jsutice – and now we are saying with one voice – no more – no more – no more!
We ask you to Protest for Truth and the Right to Truth - with us on Holy Thursday
We ask that you March with us for Justice - on Holy Thursday
We ask that you meet us in Mandela Park – in the name of Truth, Justice and Dignity – on Holy Thursday
This is not a Rastafarian problem. This is not a Rastafarian issue. This is our problem! This is our fight. This is a Jamaican problem. We must in our numbers demand and affirm the Right to Truth, the Right to Justice.
That’s the BottomLine