New Internationalist

Briefly…

Issue 156

new internationalist
issue 156 | February 1986

[image, unknown] BRIEFLY...

[image, unknown] INDIGENOUS PEOPLE[image, unknown]

Navajos move

The US is preparing a resettlement of Indians typical of the harshest times of the country's frontier past. Because of the 1974 Navajo-Hopi Relocation Act, 10,000 Navajos must move out of their homes in north-eastern Arizona by 1986. It is the largest peace-time relocation in US history.

Indian protestors claim they have found the real reason for the move. While the government claims it is to settle a land dispute dating back to 1882, Navajo leaders insist it is to improve access to rich coal deposits for the Peabody Coal Company, already operating in the area. The driving force behind the relocation plan is that well-known Republican senator, Barry Goldwater.

Any similarity between this relocation of 10,000 indigenous North Americans and South Africa's policy of resettling blacks in bantustans is, of course, coincidental.

From Granma October 13, 1985

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[image, unknown] FEMINISM[image, unknown]

Adam and Eve

'Now the Lord God, having created man, said, "It is not good that man should be alone in the workplace. I will make a helpmate for him, to get his coffee." And the Lord caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and took one of his ribs, and with it made a woman.

And the woman looked upon the man as he slept, saying, "There he is, dead unto the world, and paid roughly half as much again for work of equal value." And Adam, upon awakening, said, "You are quite beautiful without your clothing, and do you come here often?"

But the woman said, "Put a sock in it, Charlie; that is sexual harassment".

from 'Canadian Business.' Toronto

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[image, unknown] FOOD[image, unknown]

US breadlines

There are 47 million 'at risk' of hunger in the United States and only 21 million getting food stamps. The effects of the recession and the inadequacy of welfare programs have caused a rising problem of hunger. In the industrial Midwest where entire industries and local communities have been collapsing people over the past few years have reached out to help themselves and their families by setting up soup kitchens in church basements and empty storefronts.

What used to be a resource for alcoholics and disorientated street people has become the only source of food for countless families with young children; for unemployed teens and young adults; for elderly people whose medical expenses have grown so much that they have little money for food; and for parents whose wages won't cover both high rents and food.

Three to five years after the establishment of these emergency sources the volunteers who run them are wondering if the 'crisis' will ever end. They now believe that the unemployed and the underpaid are being made dependent on charity by the choices of politicians. A growing number of studies have shown how the increase in poverty in recent years has been the result of federal policies, including changes in tax laws.

The problem is highlighted in the Seeds Reader produced by Seeds, a magazine for US Christians concerned about hunger. Available from 222 East Lake Drive, Decatur, GA 30030, USA.

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[image, unknown] TOBACCO[image, unknown]

Nicotine abuse declines

Vital and sometimes fatal statistics on cigarette smoking in Britain show:

· In 1984, 34 per cent of adults smoked cigarettes.

· Amongst men prevalence fell from 52 per cent in 1972 to 36 per cent by 1984, a decline of a third.

· Amongst women the fall was from 41 per cent in the early 1970s to 32 per cent by 1984.

· For the first time smokers were a minority in every social group, although prevalence among both men and women continued to be much higher in the manual rather than the non-manual groups.

From UK's Office of Population Censuses & Surveys. Sept 1985

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[image, unknown] CONSUMER POWER[image, unknown]

Smoking anti-freeze

Diethylene glycol, the antifreeze derivative identified in polluted Austrian and German wine, is now found in tobacco and snuff, says the Munich magazine Natur. The chemical is used in most tobaccos to keep the leaf damp. It is absorbed by the saliva of smokers and thus finds its way into the stomach.

Natur says it is incomprehensible why tobacco regulations should permit up to five grams of the substance per 100 grams of tobacco when wines with 10,000 times less diethylene glycol are declared unfit to drink.

German Times, September 1985

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[image, unknown] CRIME[image, unknown]

Blacks in danger

Why is it that conditions of blacks in the US have deteriorated when segregation and blatant discrimination have been significantly reduced? That's the question being asked by black leaders.

They cite the federal government statistics showing that a white woman has one chance in 369 of being murdered, a white man one chance in 131, a black woman one chance in 104 and a black man one chance in 21. Among black males aged 15 to 24, the leading cause of death is murder by other blacks. The number - more than 6,000 of all ages killed annually - far exceeds the rate of blacks killed at the height of the Vietnam war.

From Toronto's Globe and Mail, Sept. 17, 1985.

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[image, unknown] AID[image, unknown]

Helping evictions

In Bangladesh the World Bank has consistently financed owners, users and tradespeople, allowing them to expand their property at the expense of small peasants. Each year, the latter join the ranks of the landless and the new-landless, the numbers of which have swelled from 20 per cent of the rural population in 1947 to 60 per cent in 1984, or from eight to 50 million in absolute numbers.

Rene Dumont, Speech to Montreal Right to Food Conference, 1984

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[image, unknown] MINORITIES[image, unknown]

Swamping the people

The largest colonisation programme in history is now in progress in Indonesia, and millions of dollars of international aid are being spent on it. The programme involves moving people from the populous island of Java to outlying islands of the archipelago - tribal peoples who have been displaced have not even been compensated. The next target of the 'transmigration' programme is aimed at West Papua - the Government plans to relocate over half a million Javanese to the island in the next five years - and it threatens to make the Papuans a minority in their own land. The real motive behind transmigration is political - since Indonesia achieved independence from the Dutch in 1949 it has had difficulties maintaining unity within its vast area and the ethnic diversity of its inhabitants. 'Indonesianisation' has always effectively meant 'Javanisation', and the military admit that transmigration is primarily an exercise in ensuring 'national security'. 500 villagers were killed in West Papua in June and July by the military in their campaign against OPM guerillas.

From Survival International

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[image, unknown] THE FAMILY[image, unknown]

Single parents

In Europe as a whole the proportion of children born to unmarried parents rose from 4.5 per cent in 1960 to 10.2 percent in 1982. Denmark holds the record: in 1982, 38.3 per cent of births were to unmarried mothers.

Women of Europe, No. 40 1985

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Endquote

'If you're not part of the answer,
you're part of the problem.'
Eldridge Cleaver

'The cultivation and expansion of needs is the antithesis
of wisdom. It is also the antithesis of freedom and peace.
Every increase of needs tends to increase one's dependence
on outside forces over which one cannot have control.'
F Schumacher, Small is Beautiful

'The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who,
in a time of great crisis, maintained their neutrality.'

John F Kennedy


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