Global Crisis – Global Solidarity #7 - Kerala’s Communists against Corona
Wednesday, 5 August, 13:00 GMT/15:00 CET
India is one of the countries hardest-hit by the coronavirus pandemic, with total cases topping 900,000 and continuing surge. One modest, positive exception to this trend has been the southern Indian state of Kerala, governed by the Left Democratic Front, an alliance of Communist and socialist parties. Under the slogan of “Physical Distance, Social Unity”, the left government mobilized civil society to participate in the government’s public health measures while also ensuring that Kerala’s most vulnerable were not left behind during the lockdown. As the crisis in India worsens, we invite Prof. V.K. Ramachandram of the Kerala State Planning Board to learn more about the state’s response, the role of socialist politics in the state, and how it compares to the performance of India’s right-wing national government as a whole.
with Prof. V.K. Ramachandram, Vice-Chairperson, State Planning Board, Government of Kerala
Global Online Launch of the first Uranium Atlas
The Uranium Atlas tells the global story of uranium through maps, graphics and narratives covering every phase of the uranium fuel chain. The raw material of the Atomic Age was or is mostly mined in African countries, Australia, Kazakhstan and Canada, and the consequences for the inhabitants of these mining areas have been fatal from the very beginning. The victims of global nuclear colonialism are mostly Indigenous peoples whose voices remain unheard.
July 16 is seared in the memory of New Mexicans: On July 16, 1945, at 5:30 in the morning, scientists from Los Alamos detonated Trinity, the first atomic bomb, in the White Sands desert. On July 16, 1979, at 5:30 in the morning, the tailings dam of the Church Rock uranium mill broke, contaminating the drinking water of the Diné (Navajo) people.
We dedicate the launch of the Uranium Atlas to all the victims of July 16.
Despite the disastrous consequences of mining, arms testing and nuclear disasters, Europe, with 124 nuclear reactors, remains the world’s largest consumer of uranium, while North America is home to another 114 reactors. Not even the economic fiasco of new reactors has been able to sufficiently weaken the nuclear lobby. Uranium mining continues and could be expanded in North America, Africa and elsewhere. Meanwhile, radioactive waste – 350,000 tonnes worldwide – keeps piling up with no safe place to go. These and every aspect of uranium’s use – and abuse – are highlighted in the Uranium Atlas and will be presented during the event, which will include a question and answer session with the audience.
The international guests participating in this event are: Makoma Lekalakala (Earthlife Africa, South Africa), Ian Zabarte (Western Shoshone Nation, USA), Sascha Hach (Nuclear Free Future Foundation, Germany) and Anna Rondon (New Mexico Social Justice and Equity Institute, Navajo Nation, USA). There will be additional recorded statements from Tina Cordova (Trinity Downwinders, USA) and Larry King (Navajo Nation, USA).
The online launch will be hosted by Linda Pentz Gunter (Beyond Nuclear, USA) and Claus Biegert (Nuclear Free Future Foundation, Germany). It is jointly co-organized by Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung, Nuclear Free Future Foundation, Beyond Nuclear, IPPNW, oekoem e.V. and Münchener Zukunftssalon.
For the last few years, the Green New Deal or GND has been the watchword of large parts of the international Left. Envisioning a massive, state-funded overhaul of the global economy towards sustainable production and agriculture, it was crucial to the visions put forward by Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn and gave millions hope that there was a viable alternative to neoliberal capitalism and climate catastrophe in the near- to medium-term. Some critics argue, however, that the GND fails to take realities in the Global South into account – specifically, the amount of rare metals and other resources that would need to be extracted from the ground in order to build the renewable infrastructure that underpins the Green New Deal. Can these interests be reconciled? Can we envision a world that is both environmentally sustainable and socially just? We’ll be speaking with Maristella Svampa of the Pacto Ecosocial del Sur, a new Latin American initiative based around similar principles as the GND but with a distinct emphasis on the Global South, to find out. With Maristella Svampa, an Argentine sociologist, researcher, and activist.