The Robber Barons of Social Change

Ben & Jerry's Homemade, Inc., the maker of "Vermont's Finest" super-premium ice cream, was one of the feel-good business success stories of the 1990s. In addition to introducing frozen dessert lovers to now-famous flavors such as Cherry Garcia and Chunky Monkey, the company trumpeted its ability to make money and do good in the world at the same time. It publicized its decisions to buy ingredients from local farms, its refusal to use milk produced with bovine growth hormone, and its commitment to contributing 7.5 percent of all pre-tax profits to an employee-led charitable foundation. As the founders wrote, "We wanted to create a company we could be proud of."


No Tutu is Big Enough to Cover Up Israeli War Crimes

Human rights activists from Vermont, New York and Israel interrupted a performance of the Israel Ballet at the Flynn Theater in Burlington, VT on Friday, February 19th, calling attention to the dance company's complicity in Israeli war crimes. Using two banners that read "No Tutu is Big Enough to Cover Up War Crimes" and "Sponsored by Apartheid Israel", the activists, who had purchased tickets to the show, positioned themselves in front of the stage during the opening scenes of the performance.


Vermont Event: Report Back From Human Rights Delegation to Honduras

Fear and Defiance in Post-Coup Honduras

Monday, March 1st, 7pm, FreeBurlington College 95 North Avenue, Burlington, VTCommunity Room

Call 802-881-3293 for more info.

"Nos tienen miedo porque no tenemos miedo." (They are afraid of us because we are not afraid.)  – Slogan chanted by activists in the grassroots movement for democracy in Honduras The Honduran oligarchy and their military, backed by Washington, have long ruled their country by spreading fear and violence. But when they overthrew the democratically elected president, Manuel Zelaya on June 28, 2009, they awakened a new spirit of resistance.

Burlington resident Peter Lackowski recently returned from a two week Rights Action delegation in Honduras. On this trip he met with many of the people who are creating a brave new movement which aims to break free of the US empire, the Honduran elite and establish a real democracy in their country. At this event Lackowski will cover the events leading up to the coup and the various maneuvers of Zelaya and his supporters. He will share stories and analysis from interviews with the people he met, both activists and others, on the strategy of the resistance and what people in the US can do in solidarity. read more

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Community and Popular Radio in Haiti Today

Source: Truthout

Sony Esteus, popular radio promoter, at work in his post-earthquake office.(Photo: Roberto (Bear) Guerra)

Sony Esteus is squeezed into an elementary school chair, the kind with the curved piece of wood in front, in a courtyard. Around him are chickens, a fly-swarmed pile of compost, a truck and a tent. Sony runs his laptop off of an extension cord running out a window. The cord and the courtyard are on loan from a nonprofit, and they have formed Sony’s work station since the earthquake’s destruction of his own organization’s building. Sony is director of the Society for Social Mobilization and Communication – SAKS by its Creole acronym – which provides training, technical support, equipment and production to help popular radio stations educate and inform the community. read more


Nelson Mandela’s Walk to Freedom Remembered

Nelson Mandela, 1937

Twenty years ago, Janey Halim was part of the ANC welcome committee gathered outside Victor Verster Prison, waiting to greet Nelson Mandela as he emerged after 27 years of confinement. “It was a beautiful morning and we all just stood there with our eyes focused on the metal gate,” she recalls. “Then the gates opened and Nelson and Winnie walked towards us. Other people were cheering but I just cried and cried.” Two decades later, Ms Halim, known to most people as Auntie Janey, decided not to attend the commemorative event at the prison marking the anniversary of Mandela’s release because she feels let down by the African National Congress (ANC). read more

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Somalia: Piracy Redux

Source: Foreign Policy in Focus

Over a year after the scourge of piracy escalated in the Gulf of Aden, the world is still mired in misguided and misdirected militarist policies. Meanwhile, millions of Somalis are caught in desperate circumstances. One-third of the country is on the run. Thousands choose to make the horrendous trek to Kenya where they face relatively safe, yet empty lives in refugee camps. At the African Union summit last month, diplomats lamented that even though Somalia was a major security threat, it didn’t get anywhere near the attention that Afghanistan received. read more