Tags: solidarity


 - stop violence and unnecessary deaths now!



Honoring our fallen brothers and sisters victims of the Bagua massacre of June 5 and 6, 2009.

Our condolences go to the people of Peru, to the relatives, friends and communities of the Indigenous activists and the Police members who were killed in a tragic event that should have never occurred.

Emergency Demonstrations in the United States
of Protest and Solidarity
with the Amazon Indigenous Peoples of Peru
"Amazon Indigenous peoples are not first class citizens in Peru"
Peru's president Alan Garcia, justifying his attacks on civilians using snipers and bombs, which has caused between 35 to 85 deaths and hundred of injured people.

Protest in front of the Peruvian Embassy in Washington DC
1700 Massachusetts Ave., N.W
Washington D.C. 20036

Monday June 8, 2009
12:30 PM EST


Protest in front of the Consulate General of Peru in Los Angeles, CA
3450 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90010

Monday June 8, 2009
3:30 PM PST


Protest in front of the Consulate General of Peru in New York, NY
241 East 49th Street
between 2nd and 3rd Aves, Manhattan, NYC.

Wed, June 10
12:00 noon EST


The message is simple: stop genocide, stop violence, respect human rights, avoid useless casualties, promote dialogue and respect of Indigenous peoples rights in Peru, stop using U.S. free trade policies to destroy the lives of millions of peoples in Peru, promote democracy and equality.
Contact the government of Peru
Demand to cease the State of Emergency and martial laws that are a threat to other communities that are still protesting. Demand the end of violence against Indigenous peoples of the Amazon and Andean regions, to restore peace and to restart dialogue so that Indigenous peoples can keep their lands and the environment can be protected.

Send a Message to the President of Peru:

President of the Council of Ministers of Peru, Yehude Simon Munaro
ysimon@pcm.gob.pe / Fax +51 1- 716- 87-35

President of the Congress of Peru, Javier Velásquez-Quesquén

Embassy of Peru in Washington, DC:
Telephone: (202) 833-9860 to 9869 Fax: (202) 659-8124
Ambassador Luis Valdivieso Montano
Emails: lvaldivieso@embassyofperu.us

Consulate General of Peru in Los Angeles
Telephone: (213) 252-5910
Emails: jsanchez@embassyofperu.us

Public Ombudsman Office of Peru

Peruvian Embassies in your country

List of Peruvian Consulates in the U.S.:

Contact the U.S. government
Request for the Obama administration to take a stand in defense of human rights in Peru and for the government of Peru to stop using the U.S.-Peru Free Trade Agreement FTA as a legal tool to attack the Indigenous communities.

Tell president Barack Obama, Congress members and State Secretary Hillary Clinton, that this is not the way to promote trade and progress, and that Peru must comply with the labor and environmental rights regulations included in the Peru FTA, which president Obama praised during his campaign.

Contact president Barack Obama and vicepresident Joe Biden:

Contact U.S. Senators:

Contact U.S. House Representatives:

Contact the U.S. State Department
You can contact the U.S. Department of State in any of the following ways:

Main address:
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20520

Main Switchboard:
TTY:1-800-877-8339 (Federal Relay Service)

Public Communication Division:
PA/PL, Rm. 2206
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington, D.C. 20520

To e-mail the U.S. Department of State, please visit the following website:

Contact the UN and OAS human rights organizations
UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances

UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom expression

United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues

IACHR Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

ACHR Rapporteur on the Right to Freedom of Expression

Talking points
Few minutes of your time can make a huge difference!

Indigenous peoples rights must be respected by Peru, included in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, adopted in 2007.

The right of consultations with Indigenous peoples is included at the ILO 169 Convention. This must be done with respect and honest intention of defending the rights of all Peruvian citizens and not only the interests of multinational corporations.

This massacre is a direct result of an abusive implementation of policies included in the US-Peru Free Trade Agreement, by Peru’s president Alan Garcia who used it as an instrument of corporate corruption and collusion in the genocide of the Indigenous peoples.

The Peruvian government is presenting this tragedy as if it was caused by the Native peoples, which is not truth. Amazonian peoples protested without violence for almost 2 months, until the Police attacked them. All the casualties are unjustified and should have never happened.

The Peruvian media which is mostly biased and controlled by the government and corporate interests, is reporting that Police officers were kidnapped and massacred by the Indigenous peoples, but is not reporting about the abusive attack on civilians, and snipers and helicopters shooting at civilians including children. Witnesses have said that dead bodies were burned down and thrown to the rivers, and that police prevented civilians from rescuing injured protesters.

In the last 56 days, Amazonian Indigenous peoples of Peru are fighting to protect their territories, as the government of Lima has passed decrees that lease 73% of the Amazon forest and allow extractive industries corporations to take over their land, without previous consultation. The Amazonian peoples are requesting especifically for Lima to repeal those decrees.

Indigenous peoples do not oppose progress and private investment. They want to protect their land, their families and the environment, they want for corporations to respect their traditions and ways of living.

There have been years of protests since the signing of the Peru FTA by then presidents George W. Bush and Alejandro Toledo. Indigenous peoples have tried to dialogue, but the Lima government refused to listen and even prevented a national referendum in 2006.

As a way to protest and demand to be heard, the Amazon Indigenous peoples started popular strikes, oil facilities takeovers and road blockades in 8 regions of the country. This was replied by the Garcia administration by sending police and military forces to repress the protesters violently. People in Bagua responded burning down government buildings and lootings have also occurred.

Indigenous peoples value the land as a part of a our system of life, we don't own the land but we belong to it. There will not be a way for the government of Peru to impose its corporate benefiting laws because Indigenous people will defend their territories.

After the recent bloody attack, violence has slowed as today Sunday June 7. The military has taken over control of the region in conflict, but Lima has issued a warrant arrest for Alberto Pizango, the most prominent leader of the Amazon Indigenous peoples and his whereabouts are unknown at this moment.

Unfortunately, other leaders are also being prosecuted by the government and there is a possibility of future attacks of the military on other Indigenous communities. WE MUST ACT NOW!

Peru Emergency Fund
Please donate to Amazon Watch, a non profit that is working directly with the Indigenous peoples in strike. This fund will be used for medical relief for the wounded, media campaign led by indigenous organizations, and legal defense for those being charged.

And there's a whole lot more here:

‘Bullet holes in fire engines – & firefighters’ in Palestine

‘It’s about peace,

security and justice for us all’

Hatem /P


‘Bullet holes in fire engines – and firefighters’

As a trade union official I was aware, at some level, of the Israeli occupation of Palestine. As a political activist I was aware of some of the many issues requiring resolution before peace could be a possibility. As a human being nothing could have prepared me for the visit to the occupied Palestinian territories (OPTs) in June 2008.

It started with a briefing from United Nations Office of the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) on the wall, Israeli settlements, checkpoints, road closures, land seizures, military exclusion zones and unequal access to water. I instantly understood that the rest of the world is not being told about what is happening in Palestine.

For the next week our delegation saw and experienced the day to day life of Palestinians across the OPTs, whether being confronted by settlers and armed security/Israeli Defence Force (army) whilst walking along a street in Hebron accompanied by a member of ‘Breaking the Silence’, an organisation of veteran Israeli soldiers, or being teargassed when attending a peaceful protest against the apartheid wall in Bil’in.

The wall separates cities, towns, neighbourhoods and even farmers from their land – all unlawful according to the International Court of Justice.

The wall and checkpoints impact on every aspect of daily life, turning the West Bank into one huge prison with people penned in like cattle, having to form queues in order to do routine chores such as shopping, working or even going for medical treatment.

Our meetings with leaders of the PGFTU (the Palestinian TUC) outlined the frustration but resilience of those under occupation in the labour movement, especially when the economy is all but bankrupt.

International aid cannot replace control over one’s own economy – a message repeated

We saw the refugee camps in Bethlehem and Nablus, where thousands of families are packed together in conditions totally unsuited for human occupation.

As a firefighter I could only imagine the horror of a property fire in these conditions. As a firefighter I also watched aghast as a fire engine, responding to an emergency call, was stopped and delayed at one of the checkpoints.

Firefighters we met in Nablus told me this is not uncommon, nor is it uncommon for one of these vehicles to be detained for up to an hour. Pumps – and firefighters – also received bullet holes when providing emergency deliveries of water to hospitals.

I carry these images with me, and everyone I meet will be told about them otherwise the Palestinians’ story and struggle for everyday existence and dignity will remain hidden and forgotten.

over and over by those we met.

Kevin Brown, Regional Secretary

On a trade union delegation to Palestine in June, three FBU officials met firefighters struggling to protect their local communities in the face of extreme danger. They also saw and heard from trade unionists, human rights activists and other progressive organisations of the humanitarian disaster created by the illegal Israeli occupation.

Palestinian firefighters put out a fire at a factory in northern Gaza.

The factory was set on fire by Israeli artillery, according to witnesses



Nablus firefighters struggling to do their job in the Israeli-occupied West Bank

I watched aghast as a fire

engine, responding to

an emergency call, was

stopped and delayed at

one of the checkpoints

Abu Azam and his ‘Palestinian F-16’

"Climb aboard my Palestinian F

Abu Azam drives us to a gate in the Israeli ‘separation barrier’. The electrified wire, ditch and road stand out like a fresh scar on the landscape, forming part of the 700km ‘apartheid’ wall that snakes through Palestinian land in the West Bank. It was built here in 2003 and cuts off two thirds of Jayyus’ 3,200 acres of farmland from the village.

The gate is one of only two access points hereabouts to the other side of the barrier and is only opened by Israeli guards for an hour three times a day, though not always and not always when farmers need to be on their land.

Under Israeli law areas not cultivated for three years become state property, so the barrier helps to lever Palestinians from their land. For the last five years Abu Azam has struggled to go on farming, but Israeli authorities also require Palestinians to apply for ‘visitor permits’ to farm their own land, and these are refused to all but a few. Out of 32 Jayyus farmers requesting permits in June, only four including Abu Azam were granted them, and only then for three months. So there is no guarantee of even being able to see crops through to harvest. Abu Azam has three sons but none have been granted permits, so he must farm largely alone.

Israel claims the barrier protects its citizens, in this case an Israeli settlement called Zufin. But Zufin is itself illegal under international law since it was established in 1989 on land everyone in the world except Israel says is Palestinian.

In addition the barrier encloses ten times the current built up area of Zufin, has taken six out of seven of Jayyus’s ground wells, and uprooted over 6,000 olive trees, devastating the livelihoods of Jayyus’ 3,500 inhabitants, 85% of whom used to be farmers.

The fortitude of Palestinians like Abu Azam is inspiring, somehow managing to maintain pride, joy and humour despite the injustices heaped on them. Israeli occupation is relentless however. A new plan to reroute the fence has just been released which would return about a quarter of the land to the Jayyus side, but remove the gates completely, leaving no access at all to the other 1,500 acres of land! It would be annexed, and deemed Israeli state property in three years. In other words, stolen.

The day before our visit the European Union voted unanimously to upgrade its relations with Israel, with the UK a key supporter. Meeting Abu Azam I feel ashamed to be British and party to such hypocrisy and callous disregard. When crimes like these receive support rather than condemnation it undermines peace, security and justice for us all.

-16," declares Abu Azam, and we can’t possibly refuse. However, Abu Azam is not the ‘terrorist’ Israel would claim, but an energetic and articulate 65-year-old Palestinian farmer from the West Bank town of Jayyus, and his F-16 is perhaps the oldest working tractor I have ever seen.

Dave Chappell,Regional health and safety rep

From Tel Aviv to the West Bank – a world apart

We arrived at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion airport terminal – a very modern and comfortable building. Later, on the West Bank, we saw other ‘terminals,’ or at least that’s what the Israel authorities call them. But the Qalandia and Eretz checkpoints are a world apart from Ben Gurion airport. No air conditioning, no designer shops, no bars or cafes. Instead, there are armed soldiers, five-metre high fences, watchtowers, razor wire, turnstiles designed for one person at a time, restricted access for vehicles and an atmosphere of harassment.

I saw mothers with young children struggling with bags of shopping trying to get through the turnstiles. Israel says these checkpoints are necessary for its security – but all I could see was an elaborate system of control, humiliation and outright harassment.

These people are not anti-semitic, terrorists, or fundamentalists, they are mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers – and they are desperate to be allowed to live in peace.

John McGhee, National Officer

Following the visit, the Union agreed:

More info: http://www.fbu.org.uk/campaigns/   and http://www.palestinecampaign.org



2008 FireFighter 21Available with pics & pdf:

n FBU branches should be encouraged to affiliate to Palestine Solidarity Campaign

n FBU should continue to be involved in future delegations

n FBU should continue engagement with progressive Israelis and organisations campaigning for peace, justice and equality with the Palestinians

n FBU should continue to develop links with Palestinian FRS workers, including twinning fire stations

n FBU should seek funding for training Palestinian FRS staff and raise this issue with politicians, fire authorities and CFOA