Sunday 9 June, 2013.

Today marks our seventh full day here.  For many of our team of people representing different ILPS member organizations and peoples (with representatives from indigenous peoples of the Philippines, Latin America, Switzerland, and others) this is our first experience working directly with the native peoples of this land.  It has been a worthwhile experience.

It’s noon as I write this in my camp notebook.  I’m sitting in the diffused blue light under the tarps tied onto A-frames made of thin pine trees chopped down during our first day.  It is our camp centre and kitchen.

Clearing the location of the cabin.  To the left under the blue tarps is the kitchen common area, to the right will be the cabin, this is from earlier in the week. In the photo Sara is clearing away debris.

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Image*The below was a talk I delivered on 9 Dec 2012 at an International Human Rights Day event in Toronto, Canada*

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Today we celebrate International Human Rights Day.  We believe that the resistance borne of the struggle for the rights of the people is truly something to celebrate.  That said it is also fair to ask ‘why?’

Well the truth is, we don’t celebrate Human Rights, we celebrate the rights of people.

As Wendy Brown writes in “Human Rights and the Politics of Fatalism:”

[H]uman rights are vague and unenforceable; their content is infinitely malleable; they are more symbolic than substantive… in their primordial individualism; they conflict with cultural integrity and are a form of liberal imperialism; they are a guise in which super-power global domination drapes itself; they are a guise in which the globalization of capital drapes itself; they entail secular idolatry of the human and are thus as much a religious creed as any other.

In contrast People’s Rights look at the rights of the people as a whole; the rights of communities over the benefit of the individual; the right to rebel.  (more…)