It has been a monumental year for the global Indigenous movement, to say the least. During the course of 2012, Indigenous Peoples led more than a thousand protests, occupations, blockades and other essential actions around the world, to turn back the tide of colonialism, to protect cultures and lands, to assert basic rights and, quite simply, to defend the Earth.
It was almost impossible to keep up with it all. Almost. Most impressively, there was the Nasa’s expulsion of military personnel from their territory in Colombia, the group of villagers in India who enforced the destruction of Monsanto test crops; a dozen solid victories against the tar sands and associated pipelines; And let’s not forget the sudden appearance of #idlenomore in Canada and the equally sudden establishment of new Indigenous governments in Nigeria, Australia and West Papua.
There were just as many tragedies: Ethiopia started a full-scale assault against the Anuak Peoples; China announced plans to forcibly “settle” 1.5 million nomads; and Israel passed the controversial Prawer Plan, paving the way for the theft of Bedouin lands. Hundreds of leaders were also killed around the world in a desperate attempt by governments, corporations, and military bodies to extinguish Indigenous resistance.
Another tragedy was the sheer amount of silence that surrounded these life-and-death struggles despite their overwhelming significance to global politics, economics, human rights, and environmental issues. That is precisely why we decided to publish this annual briefing: to give you a chance to know this global struggle as it unfolded in 2012.
However, we wish to point out that INDIGENOUS STRUGGLES is far from being a complete archival record. Rather, it is a collection of events based on our monthly report, “Underreported Struggles”. This annual briefing includes all the monthly reports we published in 2012, which have been revised and extended after a thorough review of more than 2000 articles, reports and press releases.
In order to make this briefing as timely as possible, we limited our coverage to two main subjects:
1) the policies and practices of governments, corporations, NGOs, military and paramilitary organizations, international institutions and settler populations; and
2) the efforts of Indigenous Nations to hold those parties accountable for any actions that threatened traditional lands, cultures, communities, livelihoods and basic rights.
We did not, for instance, include much about food sovereignty, poverty, gender equality and women’s rights or the global effort to reclaim indigenous languages. It was very difficult to exclude anything from this report; but we had to draw the line somewhere.
We also limited our coverage of each event to a single paragraph, which means it will be up to you to take the time to learn more about these events. We hope you will take that time out, to inform yourself and support these struggles as best you con
In closing, let me just say that there is no one struggle that’s greater or more important than the rest. Indeed, there is but one struggle: the struggle for life itself. We’re in this together.
For more information
John Schertow, firstname.lastname@example.org