GREENPEACE vs. TOXIC POLICIES & LEADERS

donald trump tweet global warming

In an interview, the Campaigns Manager of Greenpeace Spain argues how Trump’s administration represents a threat to the progress that has been made in terms of gender and ethnic equality, and for sure: global warming. 

“Because environment is not isolated”

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María José Caballero,  Campaigns Manager of GP SPAIN and volunteer.

 

Maria José Caballero, Campaigns Manager of Greenpeace Spain has been almost 10 years working in this great NGO. Graduated as a biologist by the Universidad Complutense de Madrid and then specialized in Management of NGO’s by ESADE, it’s pretty clear the profile of professional and conscious person she wanted to be: a volunteer.

I feel so grateful about how comfortable she made me feel, the interview turned into a close conversation. I’ve learned so many things thanks to this great woman in such a short time! She showed being an expert on international affairs because -among other things.- I had not even warned about my visit.

We started talking about her current projects, in order to understand deeply what are her functions in the core of the NGO.  In fact, she and her team are working on the “Break Free from Fossil Fuels” international campaign. And many others such as the Artic and Amazonas Projects; also they are working on national issues as the bees affected by insecticides with neonicotinoids and the help to the artisanal fishermen. The women as one of the main collectives affected by climate change also play an important role in their agenda-setting.

“Environment is not isolated, we fight for reach a fair society passing through people rights to climate protection” she said. Apparently, both of them with nothing in common. The thing is that the ecosystem needs to be carefully protected by institutions: the water we drink, the food we eat, the air we breathe, the jobs we keep in order to survive, the home where we rest… and this is the aim of Greenpeace, rebuild an environment corrupted by corporations that, protected by states, destroys our ecosystems where human being, fauna, and flora must be keeping in balance. “We are living in a globalized world where the rules of the market are being imposed” she complained.

Related to “the water we drink”,  M. J. Caballero remind the situation living by the population along to the threatening pipelines of Keyston XL and Dakota. That last one, is feared because of the tribe’s water supply could be in danger and it also desecrated sacred lands. She said they and the population -without under the brand of Green Peace.- have stopped temporarily the construction of that pipeline. They are clearly more than social denouncement. They achieve real merits with real action.

resistAfter dissertation, I cut straight to the point, inquiring her about the “RESIST” banner by GREENPEACE USA in front of the White House and the consequent idea of political positioning or political lobbying that could be understood, she answered that Trump’s assumptions are totally against to the goals of the NGO and GP as a movement that pretends bring the power back to the people, they just pretend to protect the society from the threat that is living in their government by encouraging people. “We believe in a diversity world, far from xenophobia, racism, and sexism, and we are absolutely independent of political parties, nor ideologically neither economically speaking .” Obviously is the essence of any NGO being totally impartial in order to defend public interests, that specific topics states tend to avoid or forget.

Surprisingly, sometimes political parties and GP defend same laws reinforcements or paralyze them at international cooperation scenarios…

Protest ahead of Vote on EU-Canada Trade Deal at EU Parliament in Strasbourg


Action of GP while is approving CETA in the EuropeanParliament (Strasbourg)

…but with different intentions. Is the case of CETA agreement that was positively voted in European Parliament the past 15 of February. Between its opposition were Podemos, Marie Le Pen, and Los Verdes, for instance. Some because of their populist way to work and the achievement of their isolation aspirations; some others because of real worries about people and dangerous environment which is involved. And some, for the combination of both of those.

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The label of any product

CETA is a new ‘toxic’ trade agreement between EU and Canada that allows the free exportation between its territories. Why is it ‘toxic’? Easy. It would be toxic for our European democracy which has restrictive politics about toxic elements of hormone foods and its labels (“If they take away from us the capacity to choose freely, what’s left?” warned M. J. Caballero), not to mention the specific Tribunal that is pretending to implement to judge harmful reports to that trade individually from European and national laws from the Member States; or the dismissing of employees, taking into account that a lot of current European trade of food are producers from our borders.

While we were discussing these topics, we realized that she was running out of time, and I didn’t want to obstacle the key role that she means in the team of Campaigns with such an important work to do in this shocking scenario. So we said goodbye at the shout of:

“The fight continues!”

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María José Caballero being interviewed by student Alba Tissera at the headquarter of GP in San Bernardo,107, Madrid.

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“It could become the most expensive waste of money in history”

Marina Barberá Matías

All the actions done by the president Donald J. Trump have been done to “make America great again” but despite of what people may say the intention is not what matters. Those political moves may produce different outcomes of those sought by Mr. Trump.

One of the f086c412irst decisions when he arrived to his actual position and one of the well-known promises done during the presidential campaign of Mr. Trump was the withdrawal of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Charles Kushner program director of the Bachelor in International Relations at IE University in Madrid Spain, sees it like the perfect opportunity for Canada to step into America’s leadership role in order to facilitate better trade, as Canada largely avoided the 2008 financial crisis by avoiding the risky banking practices that were responsible for the collapse, thus they are well poised to step into this leadership role.

Mr. Trump said “now American workers will be protected against competition from low-wage countries like Vietnam and Malaysia.” but the reasons established by experts for the manufacturing jobs decline differ from his. The central cause is the automation, which has developed into the decline of human labour. It is a fact that despite the decline in manufacturing jobs, the productivity in American factories has been increased. We are producing more while employing fewer. “This is exactly why Donald Trump’s plan to pull out of trade deals won’t only not bring back jobs to the American economy, it will actually hurt the economy further, as products exported by America would undoubtedly suffer with less trading partners.” Mr. Kushner said. The economic position of the U.S. as the world leader can be at risk by the isolationist strategy followed by Mr. Trump as affects their international image in the free market. Mr. Kushner said that in order to maintain its status as the beacon of the free world, America in fact needs to be a part of the world. It cannot afford to shut itself in behind pointless and costly walls.

Also, the acts done by the new president will without discussion cause changes on the relation between the U.S. and the countries from all around the world. The TPP was a pact in which the United States, the world’s largest economy and Japan, the third world largest economy, were together in a free-trade pact. The end of this agreement could cause some differences in the relation between Japan and the U.S., but the reality is that their relation despite the event from the past is better than the one that Japan has with its neighbours. “The dismantling of the TPP doesn’t affect current trade deals the U.S. and Japan share. Currently Japan is the United States 4th largest trading partner”. The relation among them will remain as usual but it is a fact that the withdrawal of the U.S. from the TPP will cause an economic vacuum that China will look forward to fill. It will be matter of time see if the relation between other members and the U.S. is enough to prevent China of fulfilling that position.

The relation with Mexico is the most affected by the actions of Mr. Trump as one of the most polemic orders is the construction of the wall in the frontier between Mexico and the United States. The main cause of its controversy is the dispute about who is going to pay for it, as the president of the United States has affirmed from the campaign that his country will not pay and the president of Mexico also declared that no Mexican money will be used for the construction of that wall, Mexico is face to face against the multimillionaire Donald Trump who has promised to find the way to make them pay and one of the ideas is through taxes. This will not be a good option as Mr. Kushner says that Mexican exporters would likely just raise taxes on American products as well as the prices of their own exports, resulting in price increases in the U.S. and ultimately the cost of the wall would be paid by Americans, not Mexico. Moreover, the construction of the wall will be unproductive as there are another ways through which the immigrants arrive to the U.S. so “it could become the most expensive waste of money in history as most undocumented immigrants in America fly into the country and overstay a valid visa.”

Not so “great great wall”

The U.S. President Donald Trump has signed an executive order to begin the construction of his famous wall along the 1,900-mile border with Mexico but the outcome will not be as good as he promised due to the arguments he gave during the campaign haven’t got any sense.

During the campaign, Trump promised a wall in the U.S.-Mexican border which would be paid by the Mexicans. The wall will cost nearly twice the $10 billion estimated by Trump, which by the moment will be paid with U.S. federal dollars as Mexico still refuses to pay for it. This dilemma has broken the historical relationship among them, as they used to fight together against illegal immigration. Recently the Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto cancelled a landmark meeting with the new President. The different ways Trump may use to make Mexican pay (as a sky-high export tax), will cause economic damage on both countries.

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The Department of Homeland Security’s estimates that the total undocumented population peaked at 12 million in 2008, and has fallen since then. And that decline is not because of rising border enforcement but because Mexico is producing less demographic pressure to migrate to the U.S.. Moreover, according to the BJS, black males are 37% of the male prison population, white males made up 32%, followed by 22% of Hispanics that were in state or federal prison at yearend 2014. So the “malos hombres” that Trump always talked about are not the main cause of criminality in U.S..

Also, Trump said that “undocumented immigrants take jobs away from native-born Americans”, but it has been proved that most of immigrants take different jobs than American. For example, farmers can’t find enough native-born Americans to pick crops, as often Americans are unwilling to do the jobs done by immigrants. There has been numerous cases in towns of the U.S., where they enforce laws against immigrants, which has led to a catastrophic result in their town.The Town of Riverside, New Jersey is a clear example of it. 11 years ago, the Town Comitee became the first municipality in New Jersey to establish a law against illegal immigrants, by fining or even sending to jail to their householders. This led to a massive exodus of immigrants in the Town, leaving it without workers or customers. Their local economy suffered to the point that the local shops, like hair salons, restaurants and corner shops that catered the immigrants went broke, which made a big part of them close.

If Trump thinks that kicking the immigrants out of the U.S. is a good thing, we think that there are more reasons showing the opposite. The diversity of ethnics has always been one of the pillars of the U.S. in terms of economy, referring that any person of any country could seek fortune in the U.S., which turned the U.S. into “the land of opportunity and liberty”, and the construction of the wall will suppose the end of it.

By Marina Barberá, Alejandro Martín, Alba Tissera.

An Airstrike kills two Palestinians on the border of Gaza-Egypt.

On the morning of February 9th, an explosion killed two Palestinians and left five wounded on a smuggling tunnel between the Egypt-Gaza border. The origin of the airstrike is a question, Palestinian officials said that the explosion was caused by an Israeli airstrike, but the Israeli army denied any involvement in the incident.

Gaza’s health ministry spokesman, Ashraf al-Qidra (also known as Ashraf al-Qedra), has pointed out that the aim of the attack was the tunnel that unifies the city of Gaza and Rafah. The tunnel is normally used as a way to pass products between Gaza and Egypt. It has become an important means for transports and exchange of armament and basic resources to survive. The huge tensions in the border have caused that more than 2 million Palestinians in Gaza are still living since 2014 under a military blockade.

Ashraf al-Qidra said that the two men were “martyred and five other people were wounded as a result of being targeted by the Israeli warplane along the Palestinian-Egyptian borders”. According to Al-Qidra, the Two Palestinian victims have been identified as Hossam Al-Sufi, 24, from the town of Rafah, and Mohammed al-Aqra, 38, resident of Gaza City.

Some witnesses said that they saw an Israeli airplane threw a missile against the entry of the tunnel on the bounder, but the Israeli army denied having carried on these attacks. The facts happened a few hours after the draw of several rockets on Wednesday night from the Sinai city, Egypt, that is between the border of the East side of Israel and Gaza, Palestine.

The Gaza-based al-Mezan Center for Human Rights has expressed their concern that Israel could be starting a high-scale military offensive. Also, the non-governmental organization has prayed to the international community to “act promptly against Israel’s military escalation, to fulfill their obligations to protect civilians, and ensure respect for the rules of international law,” claiming that “acting before a full-scale military bombardment is launched is crucial to ensuring the protection of Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip.”

The idea of building the tunnels comes from Hamas, who decided to build this grid of tunnels in order to support the Gaza strip. They built two kinds of tunnels: on the one hand, the one used by the Gaza strip and another one used to infiltrate Israel. The first category allows the terrorists of Gaza to hide their weapons, their commander center and their launching rockets ramps underground. The second one was made in order to kidnap and kill civilians from Israel.

In the past years, Egypt has destroyed more than 2,000 tunnels that provides basic resources to more than 2 million Gaza citizens. Also, Tamer al-Rifai, the Egyptian army spokesman, stated that in the past two months the Egyptian army has destroyed and uncovered six tunnels at the border between Gaza and the North Sinai, Egypt.

Angela Cantero, Alejandra Torres and Marie Camacho. 

United States Court of Appeals Denies Trump’s Travel Ban

The controversial decree signed by President Donald J. Trump banning refugees and restricting travel from seven Muslim-majority countries to enter in the U.S. was declined by the U.S. Court of Appeals.

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President of United States Donald J. Trump

Mr. Trump signed the Executive Order 13769 under the name of “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States”resulting in the suspension of this decree on 3rd February. The U.S. Court of Appeals on 9th February unanimously rejected President Trump’s attempt to re-apply it

From this declarations, CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad said:

This victory should not lead to complacency. This and other Trump administration orders and policies still pose a threat to communities of color, religious minorities, women, and others.”  

Three judges supported arguments in order to keep the suspension of the traveling ban and Mr. Trump said he would take the case to the Supreme Court.

Trump defend his travel ban and accused the judiciary branch of becoming “political” during an address to the Washington, D.C.conference of the Major Cities Chiefs Association. He also made references to his current measures related to the electoral campaign:


“One of the reasons I was elected was because of law, order, and security.”

Mr. Trump talks directly to the American people, Courts of Appeal and to the Opposition:


“You are great men and women, and we have to allow you to do your jobs, and we have to give you the weapons that you need […] they are trying to taking away from you, because of politics, or political views.”


In those statements, he is calling for Americans to understand the travel ban as a tool for increment security and jobs. Then Trump alleged the possibility of the Courts of being influenced by the opposite party in its decisions. 

This article from The Guardian informs about Trump called for surveillance against mosques and support the idea of establishing a database for all Muslims living in the United States. This ideology has led Trump wants to the shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until he was able to figure out how to attack horrendous threats by people who believe only in Jihad, and have no sense of reason or respect for human life, in his own words.

Trump’s executive order of the travel ban restriction proposed (also applied to permanent US residents, like green-card holders and foreign visitors) the imposition of a 90-day ban on travelers from Syria, Iran, Sudan, Lybia, Somalia, Yemen, and Iraq, according to the Telegraph

However, the ban is not applied to Christians of these countries. 

Trump’s executive order has been strongly criticized by many people, as the Court of Appeals alleged that the travel ban has nothing to do with the reach of ‘national security’:

The decision to ban people from seven-Muslim majority countries to enter the United States will give further arguments to extremist groups, such as the Islamic State, and will not guarantee national security.”


By Alejandro Martínez, Marina Barberá and Alba Tissera.

Hillary Clinton – The next US President?

With the upcoming election campaigns in the US taking shape, we argue that Hillary Clinton will make headlines and break boundaries become the first female president of the USA after she announced she will be running for office on April 12th.

Hillary Clinton is a globally dominating figure who actively is promoting gender equality (if not inadvertently) in the USA. Potentially as the first female president Mrs Clinton has the opportunity to bridge the gaps in wage equality and supports that we are all human, therefore Human Rights are for all, we are people as equals.

Clinton represents a strong figure that is defying a patriarchal society and demonstrating that it is possible for females to enter politics and take charge. “Human rights are women’s rights and women’s rights are human rights” – Hillary Clinton

Clinton’s willingness to participate in social media was demonstrated on April 12th. Mrs Clinton used twitter as a platform to announce her running for the US presidency, showing commitment to modern changes and appealing to a wide range of audiences, including connecting with the youth population. Clinton had reached over 95,000 re-tweets by 7am and stated “I’m running for president, everyday Americans need a champion and I want to be that champion”

Clinton has had global support in response to her tweet including the ex President of France Nicolas Sarkozy who tweeted “…I know how strong your passion is for the United States”. Further support came from Madeline Albright the first female secretary of state who tweeted “@hillaryclinton is smart, caring and determined…”

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There are many individuals who believe that Mrs Clinton is in fact not a suitable role model; as she has been criticised for her previous support of President Bush during the Iraq war but nowadays she has made a positive change of mind about this; showing that she accepts her mistakes and listens to the public opinion that was against this idea.

Hillary Clinton also changed her point of view regarding the international environment when referring to the embargo of Cuba. She refused to accept a trade between Cuba and the USA but she recently supported President Obama in his relations with Cuba; Demonstrating that she is an open-minded woman.

Who knows if Hilary Clinton is the right candidate to lead the Democrats in the 2016 Presidential Elections, but what it is clear is that has enough credentials to say that she is fully prepared to occupy such an influential position, much more than Obama was in 2008. Hillary stood by her husband’s side during his time in office and as 2008 was Obama’s first campaign he was not accustomed to it, Hillary is already more aware of the procedures of campaigning and successful campaigning at that. The United States experienced a huge change when Obama became the first black president, and in our opinion, it is the right moment to take another step in the history of United States and embrace the first female in the White House.

We All Can Do It!

The role of women in politics is something that has been disputed for many years and in the region of Asia-Pacific we have seen throughout the years some examples of the power that women have in politics. The first female ever to be head of government in the world was Sirinavo Barandike, president of Sri Lanka in 1960. Other women such as Corazon Aquino, mother of the current president of Philippines, and Prathiba Patil, were a fresh air for their countries, as being the first female president.

Margaret Chan - WHO Director General

Margaret Chan – WHO Director General

Sri Mulyani Indrawati - World Bank Manager Director

Sri Mulyani Indrawati – World Bank Manager Director

Nowadays we don’t see many women taking important roles in Asian policy, at the moment only one is head of an Asian state, Park Geun-hye of South Korea. Other countries, as Japan, are trying to improve and the current president wants to have 30% of women in the government by 2020. We can see protests similar to the Suffrage movement due to the lack of female representation in Asian governments.

On the other hand, since 1894 in New Zealand and 1919 in Australia, women have played an active role within their political systems. In New Zealand the movement started with Elizabeth Yates, Mayor of Onehunga a province of Auckland. She became the first female mayor of the British Empire. Respectively in Australia it started in 1919 with Grace Benny, however in 1921 Australia made a huge statement when Edith Cowen was elected as a member of parliament. Australia and New Zealand have since then paved the way for women in Asia to stand for parliamentary positions with key figures such as Julia Gillard, first female leader of the Australian labour party and the first female Prime Minister of Australia (2010 – 2013). Now in Australia we have seen Julia Bishop become the Minister of Foreign Affairs and a leading member of the Australian liberal party.

Although New Zealand has not been as active as Australia, Margaret Wilson, former Speaker of the New Zealand House of Representatives, is one of their key representatives of women in politics as well as a key figure for the New Zealand Labour Party.

We can see that the majority of female representation in Oceania comes for the left to central wings, showing a trend of the modernisation of the liberal politics, yet that the right is still somewhat male dominated. However the change that has taken place in these countries is a prime example of how Asia can change and educate women to become key members of parliament, changing their perspective.

Asia is perceived as a male dominated and chauvinistic continent where women are under represented. A region where we would never imagine women would have such important roles, both on a regional and an international level, since they have always been oppressed and their voice was never strong enough to make a change. Nowadays, women are “climbing the ranks”, making their way to the top. We find women not only in all sorts of high professional positions, such as diplomats, but also in the most influential humanitarian organizations in the world and in politics as we can see in South Korea or the Philippines. Now women will not be ignored, they now have a strong voice and due to the power many of them have they can finally make a difference and be “more influential than ever”.

We ALL can do it!

We ALL can do it!