Vermonters March Toward a Better World–Saturday, 1/26 (Part of a Global Day of Action)

For Immediate Release
24 January, 2008

Vermonters March Toward a Better World – Saturday, 1/26 (Part of a Global Day of Action)

Burlington, VT — Workers, health care advocates, environmental activists, global warming groups and social justice advocates will join together this Saturday for a march through the streets of Burlington, as well as informational events under the theme of “Many Struggles, One Movement.”  These events are part of a global day of action under the banner of “Another World Is Possible”—the rallying cry of the World Social Forum (1).

The day begins at 9am with the “Building a Movement for Worker Justice” conference at the UVM Davis Center.  Following the conference, activists, groups and citizens unite for the “March Toward a Better World” which begins at the Davis Center at 2:30pm and marches to downtown Burlington.  The march was called to united the common themes of Troops Home Now!, Health Care is a  Right, and Climate Justice Now!.

Following the march there will be a panel on global warming featuring international climate change activists who recently returned from the UN Climate Change Conference in Bali, Indonesia.  The panel will be at 4pm at Contois Auditorium in Burlington’s City Hall.  The featured speaker is renowned author England-based Larry Lohmann who wrote “Carbon Trading: a Critical Conversation on Climate Change, Privatization and Power (2).  Lohmann will speak on the failures of carbon trading, the principle climate change strategy of the Douglas Administration.

“The unjust war in Iraq uses working-class people and people of color as cannon fodder, and its costs starve public services and public education,” stated James Haslam of the Vermont Workers Center. “Our healthcare ‘system’ leaves 63,000 Vermonters uninsured, overworks and underpays front-line healthcare workers, and cannot even care for our returning veterans,” adding, “The current global economic crisis was caused, in part, by mounting U.S. debt due to the war in Iraq and by banks taking advantage of the working poor in this country through unpayable loans.”

“The brunt of climate change is being borne by people of color, indigenous peoples and countries of the Global South, with Hurricane Katrina being a perfect example of the lethal intersection between poverty, racism and global warming,” said Dr. Rachel Smolker, of Global Justice Ecology Project.  “Climate justice means we are committed to make sure that voices from the groups and communities most affected by the global warming crisis are heard,” she continued.

Dr. Smolker recently completed a major 80 page report detailing the social and environmental impacts of biofuels (called agrofuels by critics) on forests and forest-dependent peoples around the world (3).  Dr. Smolker Coordinates Global Justice Ecology Project’s Agrofuels Campaign, which initiated a call for a national moratorium on U.S. in incentives for agrofuels, U.S. agroenergy monocultures, and global trade in agrofuels. GJEP as joined in this initiative by organizations including Rainforest Action Network, Food First and Grassroots International (4).

Sponsored By:
VT Workers’ Center
Iraq Veterans Against the War
Global Justice Ecology Project
Central Vermont WILPFPeace and Justice Center
Student Labor Action Project (SLAP)

Contact: Anne Petermann, Co-Director, Global Justice Ecology Project: 802.482.2689

End Notes:

1) The World Social Forum is a global gathering of social movements and organizations to discuss alternatives to corporate globalization.  It is held annually as a counter-summit during the World Economic Forum, which is happening right now in Davos, Switzerland.  The WSF has occurred in Porto Alegre, Brazil, Caracas, Venezuela, Mumbai, India and Nairobi, Kenya.  The WSF organizers this year have called for social movements and groups to organize events in their own regions as part of a global day of action.

2) The book, Carbon Trading: A Critical Conversation on Climate Change, Privatization and Power can be downloaded from the website of the Dag Hammarskjold Foundation at
http://www.dhf.uu.se/FMPro?-db=pub1.fp5&-format=/publications/dd/apubdddetail.html&-lay=weblayout&-sortfield=pubyear&-sortorder=descend&-sortfield=pubissuewithoutcolon&-sortorder=descend&pubtype=development&-max=2147483647&-recid=66&-find=

3) The report, The True Cost of Agrofuels: Impacts on Food, Forests, Peoples and the Climate, will be completed in early February and released internationally at the meeting of the scientific body of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity in Rome, Italy February 18-22, 2008.

4) The Call for the US moratorium on agrofuels can be found at http://ga3.org/campaign/agrofuelsmoratorium

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