Everyday Justice http://www.everydayjustice.net Fri, 02 Jul 2010 18:17:44 +0000 en hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.0.1 Songs for a Cause http://www.everydayjustice.net/2010/07/02/songs-for-a-cause/ http://www.everydayjustice.net/2010/07/02/songs-for-a-cause/#comments Fri, 02 Jul 2010 18:17:44 +0000 Julie Clawson http://www.everydayjustice.net/?p=347 Check out this great way to help out from One Days Wages

One Day’s Wages is incredibly pleased to announce our first compilation album: Songs for a Cause, Volume 1

In support and partnership with ODW and our movement to alleviate extreme global poverty, 21 amazing artists have donated their music to bring together a special compilation of 21 unique songs, including four never-before-released tracks. This unique album is available for download for one year from its release (June 29, 2010 – June 29, 2011).
Artists & Songs include:

1. All the Wine – Clare and the Reasons
2. Bless This Mess – David Bazan
3. Shoulder Full of You – Blitzen Trapper
4. Invisibrother – Polka Dot Dot Dot
5. Hi-Fi Goon – Throw Me the Statue
6. Skyscrapers – OK Go
7. Country of the Future – Mirah
8. Now! – Angelo Spencer
9. Bee of the Bird of the Moth – They Might Be Giants
10. Secrets – Headlights
11. Born in Spain – Sea Fever
12. Snowman in Tompkins Park – Mike Viola
13. The Jig is Up – The Tasteful Nudes
14. Crash Deconstructed – Eluvium
15. Woke Up This Morning – The Moondoggies
16. Don’t Give Up – LAKE
17. There There – Get Down Moses
18. Kingdom of Glass – Nick Drummond
19. Go From Here – Hiram Ring
20. Sunbeams and Some Beans – Kimya Dawson
21. Instrument (Live) – Rocky Votolato *

* Rocky Votolato is also donating 10% of the royalties of his new album, True Devotion to ODW. [read more]

Songs for a Cause is available for download now!

* $10 minimum donation
* Be generous and donate $21 ($1/song)
* Be generous and donate $42 ($2/song)
* Be generous and donate $100.

100% of your donations (minus credit card costs) go directly to projects to alleviate extreme global poverty.

* Once you make a donation, an email will be sent to you with a link to download the zip file for all the songs.

Learn more about how to become an artist for a cause, join our global street team, or start your own personal cause campaign.

Join us in our movement! Purchase the album, spread the word, and enjoy 21 fantastic tunes!

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Oil Spill and Nigeria http://www.everydayjustice.net/2010/06/16/oil-spill-and-nigeria/ http://www.everydayjustice.net/2010/06/16/oil-spill-and-nigeria/#comments Wed, 16 Jun 2010 18:41:57 +0000 Julie Clawson http://www.everydayjustice.net/?p=343 from boing boing

Imagine BP’s Deepwater Horizon Gulf oil disaster happening every single year, with little or no public outcry, no media coverage, and all but silence from government and the companies involved. Welcome to Nigeria.

Over the last 50 years, foreign oil companies have spilled over 1.5 million tons of oil here, but there have been no legal convictions against them, and no compensation for spill victims. The Niger Delta is now one of the most polluted places in the world. Snip from Guardian article by John Vidal:

On 1 May this year a ruptured ExxonMobil pipeline in the state of Akwa Ibom spilled more than a million gallons into the delta over seven days before the leak was stopped. Local people demonstrated against the company but say they were attacked by security guards. Community leaders are now demanding $1bn in compensation for the illness and loss of livelihood they suffered. Few expect they will succeed. In the meantime, thick balls of tar are being washed up along the coast.

Within days of the Ibeno spill, thousands of barrels of oil were spilled when the nearby Shell Trans Niger pipeline was attacked by rebels. A few days after that, a large oil slick was found floating on Lake Adibawa in Bayelsa state and another in Ogoniland. “We are faced with incessant oil spills from rusty pipes, some of which are 40 years old,” said Bonny Otavie, a Bayelsa MP. This point was backed by Williams Mkpa, a community leader in Ibeno: “Oil companies do not value our life; they want us to all die. In the past two years, we have experienced 10 oil spills and fishermen can no longer sustain their families. It is not tolerable.”

With 606 oilfields, the Niger delta supplies 40% of all the crude the United States imports and is the world capital of oil pollution. Life expectancy in its rural communities, half of which have no access to clean water, has fallen to little more than 40 years over the past two generations. Locals blame the oil that pollutes their land and can scarcely believe the contrast with the steps taken by BP and the US government to try to stop the Gulf oil leak and to protect the Louisiana shoreline from pollution.

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U.S. Trafficking Report http://www.everydayjustice.net/2010/06/15/u-s-trafficking-report/ http://www.everydayjustice.net/2010/06/15/u-s-trafficking-report/#comments Tue, 15 Jun 2010 18:17:23 +0000 Julie Clawson http://www.everydayjustice.net/?p=335 From Amanda Kloer at Change.org

This morning, the 2010 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report was released by the State Department, marking the 10th anniversary of America’s annual human trafficking report card for the world. Only this year for the first time ever, we’re grading ourselves. (You can check out the full report here.)

The 2010 TIP Report was announced in the Benjamin Franklin Room of the State Department, a Titanic-esque ballroom with glittering crystal chandeliers and inlaid gold covering the ceilings. But the fancy architecture was quickly obscured by the hundreds of people who packed in shoulder to shoulder to see and hear Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announce the 10th anniversary of the report. She even opened with a joke about the Fire Marshall, who could have easily mistook the crowd for the mosh pit at a rock concert, but with a higher concentration of pinstripes.

Secretary Clinton called the TIP Report a “fair and transparent” picture of human trafficking around the world, which it obviously strives (and often succeeds) to be. But for years, one crucial element of fairness was missing — although the U.S. saw fit to grade every other country in the world on their efforts to fight trafficking, we didn’t grade ourselves. Well, this year under the leadership of Clinton and Ambassador Lou CdeBaca, that changed, and America was added to the official class roster.

The grades, or “ranks” of the TIP Report each year are given on a tier system. Tier 1 countries are doing the minimum they need to be to fight human trafficking, and some are going above and beyond. Tier 2 countries aren’t doing as much as they should, but are working in the right direction. Tier 3 countries aren’t doing what they should and aren’t really trying. There’s also the Tier 2 Watch List, which is for countries who are working in the right direction, but are struggling in a few specific ways. Countries on Tier 3 may be subject to non-humanitarian economic sanctions.

So what grade do we Americans give ourselves on our very first test? Why, a Tier 1 ranking, of course. But before the chorus of “that’s just the U.S. patting itself on the back” gets going above a dull roar, I have to say that, overall, I think the ranking is deserved. By the standards used in the TIP Report, the U.S. really is doing a pretty decent job combating trafficking. Sure, there’s plenty of room for improvement, but we have developed good legislation, are creating better protections for victims, and have an actively engaged and effective group of NGOs. In fact, one of the biggest reasons the U.S. graded itself this year was pressure from NGOs to do so. I’ll have more detailed analysis on this year’s TIP report to come, but so far the “A” in the class is looking accurate.

In her speech at the launch, Clinton highlighted a few areas, which are arguably the ones the State Department will be focusing on. They include holding companies responsible for “reckless disregard” for slavery in their supply chains, focusing on building public-private partnerships, and giving resources and guidance to countries who want to improve their ranking. There were also all the general denouncements of slavery and congratulations for fighting it for the past ten years. But it was 2010 TIP Report Hero Laura Germino who really summed up the feeling of the room, the report, and the rankings, “We’re all of us fighting for a Tier Zero.”

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Human Trafficking and the World Cup http://www.everydayjustice.net/2010/06/11/human-trafficking-and-the-world-cup/ http://www.everydayjustice.net/2010/06/11/human-trafficking-and-the-world-cup/#comments Fri, 11 Jun 2010 18:35:49 +0000 Julie Clawson http://www.everydayjustice.net/?p=339 When South Africa was selected to host the World Cup, there was much rejoicing and reflection on how far the country had come. From the days of apartheid where human beings were not treated as fully human, the country has worked hard at reconciliation. The world used to forbid South Africa from even participating in global sporting events like the Olympics because of apartheid, so certainly, hosting an event like this was a great symbolic act for the country. No one is naïve enough to assume that all is well in South Africa. Dire poverty and economic disparity still plague the country. Old resentments still surface as forgiveness is not always easy. As with most countries, racial wounds do not heal quickly.

But amidst this celebration, it is troubling to hear one of the major stories coming out of the World Cup is the issue of all the sex slaves trafficked into the country for the event. While human trafficking is common for any major event like the World Cup or the Olympics, the problem is seemingly worse in a country like South Africa. The U.S. State Department considers South Africa to be a source of sexual slavery and forced labor, as well as a destination for human trafficking from other countries and a transit nation for the modern slave trade. South African human rights groups estimate that 38,000 children are trapped in the country’s sex trade. While there have been disputed reports regarding how many people have been trafficked in for the games, the fact remains that it is occurring.

For a games meant to symbolically celebrate a country’s efforts to see all of its citizens as full human beings worthy of respect, the widespread presence of human trafficking simply undermines that message. But while the country might be responsible for not trying harder to prevent trafficking in their borders, the real problem comes from the tourists and fans that create the demand for sex slaves. When the world gathers to celebrate sport and national pride together and the result is thousands of women and children abused and oppressed, good sportsmanship is nonexistent. There’s been much talk about what the governments did or did not do to prevent the trafficking, but why aren’t we talking about how to get fans to stop raping children as part of their celebration?

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World Fair Trade Day http://www.everydayjustice.net/2010/05/08/world-fair-trade-day/ http://www.everydayjustice.net/2010/05/08/world-fair-trade-day/#comments Sat, 08 May 2010 18:11:58 +0000 Julie Clawson http://www.everydayjustice.net/?p=330 May 8 is World Fair Trade Day. I thought I’d post the declaration for the day here. It’s a good reminder of why fair trade is important for helping bring about a better world. Check out the World Fair Trade Day site to see all the activities going on around the world. People whose lives have been changed simply because others are willing to trade fairly have great reason to celebrate on this day. So I encourage everyone to support them – in spirit, but also in choosing to tangibly help by purchasing fairly traded items whenever possible. As Trade As One told churches last Christmas, if every churchgoing American bought just one Fairly Traded item it would lift one million families out of abusive poverty for a year. That’s huge – but think of the impact if we choose to make ethical consumption part of our daily lifestyle.

So let’s celebrate the opportunity to love and care for the world by being fair with our dollars.

World Fair Trade Day 2010
8 May 2010, A Big Day for the Planet

World Fair Trade Day is a worldwide celebration of Fair Trade, initiative of the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO).

Fair Trade is a tangible and efficient response to poverty, economic and global food crises and climate change. The economic crisis confirms the need for trade to deliver sustainable livelihoods and development opportunities to small producers in the poorest countries of the world. This is evidenced by the fact that a third of the world population survives on less than US$2 per day.

“Fair Trade is a trading partnership, based on dialogue, transparency and respect, that seeks greater equity in international trade. It contributes to sustainable development by offering better trading conditions to, and securing the rights of, marginalized producers and workers – especially in the South. Fair Trade Organizations, backed by consumers, are engaged actively in supporting producers, awareness raising and in campaigning for changes in the rules and practice of conventional international trade.” FINE definition

The Fair Trade movement shares a vision of a world in which justice and sustainable development are at the heart of trade structures and practices which allow for a decent work and dignified livelihood and a fully developed human potential of small producers. Trade can be a fundamental driver of poverty reduction and greater sustainable development. Through Fair Trade small producers have the capacity to take more control over their work and their lives. Citizens, from small producers to informed consumers, and institutions worldwide are supportive of responsible production, trading and consumption practices and of Fair Trade.

World Fair Trade Day (WFTDay) is an initiative of the WFTO, and is supported by thousands of citizens, from producers to consumers, Fair Trade Organizations, social and environmental movements, local authorities, national governments and multilateral institutions all around the planet. During WFTDay hundreds of events will celebrate Fair Trade and trade justice.

The World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO) is the global network of Fair Trade Organizations around the planet, from Africa, Asia, Latin America, Europe and North America Pacific Rim. It represents more than 350 Fair Trade Organizations from more than 70 countries.

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Celebrate Earth Day with Everyday Justice http://www.everydayjustice.net/2010/04/21/celebrate-earth-day-with-everyday-justice/ http://www.everydayjustice.net/2010/04/21/celebrate-earth-day-with-everyday-justice/#comments Thu, 22 Apr 2010 03:34:37 +0000 Julie Clawson http://www.everydayjustice.net/?p=326 Earth Day is turning 40 and what better way to celebrate our commitment to sustainable living than with our everyday actions. Finding doable ways each of can commit to loving God by caring for creation is a significant part of what it means to pursue everyday justice. So in honor Earth Day, Amazon is offering a free download of the Kindle edition of Everyday Justice.

That’s right – a free digital copy of Everyday Justice!

From midnight to midnight on Thursday April 22 (Earth Day) downloading Everyday Justice from Amazon will cost you nada. So there’s no excuse to not find out simple everyday ways that you can care for our world and the people who inhabit it. And I know, not everyone has a Kindle. It doesn’t matter, there are Kindle apps available for Macs, and PCs, and iphones, and BlackBerry’s, and ipads. If you are reading this blog, you most likely own at least one of those. Remember – this is only a 24 hour deal, so seize the opportunity while it’s hot.

So celebrate Earth Day and download your free Kindle copy of Everyday Justice.

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Sustainable Farming CAN Feed the World http://www.everydayjustice.net/2010/04/21/sustainable-farming-can-feed-the-world/ http://www.everydayjustice.net/2010/04/21/sustainable-farming-can-feed-the-world/#comments Wed, 21 Apr 2010 20:47:10 +0000 Julie Clawson http://www.everydayjustice.net/?p=322 BETH DOOLEY covers Joel Salatin recent speech at The Bell Museum.

This past Sunday, the prettiest of the year so far, why would 300 people forsake biking, gardening, or napping for a lecture in the dark Bell Museum Auditorium? To hear Joel Salatin, the “libertarian, Christian, capitalist, environmentalist” grass-farming evangelist of Omnivore’s Dilemma, and the movies FRESH and FOOD, INC. fame.

If you’ve gotten this far, you might be familiar with the ideals of the movement: the industrial commodity system is dangerously wreaking havoc on the quality of our food, health, water, air, and land. Salatin addressed the protective myths and proposed solutions:

1) Sustainable heritage local artisan foods are NOT elitist. Everyone can eat well.
2) Sustainable methods CAN feed the world.
3) The history of where and how we went wrong AND how to change things, quickly and easily, before it’s too late.

Salatin was smart, funny, and irreverently mixed personal experiences with research to present his case. Drawing on examples of his own sustainable system as well as those in Japan and Europe, he showed how using integrated methods employing rotational grazing and “multi-speciation” (lots of animals) symbiotically could allow a lot of food to be produced on small parcels of land. He addressed the issue of price by showing that once we figure out how to aggregate product and become more efficient, prices will become comparable.

Blaming “the food police,” the extremely aggressive regulatory agencies whose policies hamper small farmers and producers, he argued that it is government policies (backed by corporate power and influence) that have cramped innovation and entrepreneurial enterprises.
“If some regulator demanded that the founders of Facebook have desks a certain height and computers wired a particular way and fined them if they didn’t have enough employee bathrooms, the business never would have taken off. Its founders may not even have tried,” Salatin claimed. “Regulations control the marketplace, they aren’t making our food any safer. Who says real or raw milk from a farmer you know is NOT safer than Twinkies or Mountain Dew?” Claiming that the chicken he slaughtered in his kitchen has a lower bacteria count than the one in an industrial slaughterhouse he says, “You cannot legislate integrity.”

Drawing on lessons from the Dust Bowl, Salatin identified the period when he thinks we took the “wrong fork in the road.” Just when Albert Howard, the father scientific composting, had identified natural methods for enriching soil, chemists were capturing ammonium nitrate (used to make bombs, fertilizers, and pesticides). In the face of an overwhelming land crisis, farmers (with government backing supported by corporate “know-how”) chose the “quicker fix.”

Salatin believes it’s one we are paying for in the long run. “If we are serious about having real choices, we need to address the obstacles that prohibit clean, local food. We need to deal with the government regulations, licensing, and insurance programs that make it impossible for small farmers and producers to get their goods to the consumer. We’ve got to dispense with farm subsidies and expose the hidden costs in food. Right now, you can’t buy pickles from your neighbor or milk from the farmer down the street. It’s illegal, yet humankind has been eating this way for centuries. It’s really about choice.”

Joel Salatin’s lectures at the Bell were in conjunction with a week of events around the release of the movie FRESH: New Thinking About What We’re Eating.

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Food, Inc. on PBS http://www.everydayjustice.net/2010/04/20/food-inc-on-pbs/ http://www.everydayjustice.net/2010/04/20/food-inc-on-pbs/#comments Tue, 20 Apr 2010 18:24:57 +0000 Julie Clawson http://www.everydayjustice.net/?p=317 The Academy Award nominated documentary film, Food, Inc. premiers on PBS’s POV April 21st! Watch the trailer and tell you friends. Check your local listings for the broadcast schedule, and visit the POV website to download materials and posters to host a viewing party or potluck.

If you don’t have television access, you can watch Food, Inc. online (Food, Inc. will be streaming in its entirety from April 22 to April 29, 2010)

About Food, Inc.

American agriculture has in many respects been the envy of the world. U.S. agri-business consistently produces more food on less land and at cheaper cost than the farmers of any other nation. What could possibly be wrong with that? According to the growing ranks of organic farmers, “slow food” activists and concerned consumers cited in the new documentary Food, Inc., the answer is “plenty.” As recounted in this sweeping, shockingly informative documentary, sick animals, environmental degradation, tainted and unhealthy food and obesity, diabetes and other health issues are only the more obvious problems with a highly mechanized and centralized system that touts efficiency — and the low costs and high profits that result from it — as the supreme value in food production.

Less obvious, according to Food, Inc., is the entrenchment of a powerful group of food producers, that sets the conditions under which today’s farmers and food workers operate, in order to maximize profits. The industry also maintains a revolving door of employment for government regulators and legislators to protect its power to set those conditions. Then there is “the veil,” a strange disconnect — propagated in good part by millions of dollars poured into marketing and lobbying by the industry — between the average American and the food he or she eats. As one chicken industry representative puts it, “In a way we’re not producing chickens; we’re producing food.”

Robert Kenner’s Food, Inc. has its American broadcast premiere as a special broadcast on Wednesday, April 21, 2010 at 9 p.m. on PBS as part of the 23rd season of POV (Point of View), American television’s longest-running independent documentary series. POV is the recipient of a Special Emmy for Excellence in Television Documentary Filmmaking.

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The Story of Bottled Water http://www.everydayjustice.net/2010/03/23/the-story-of-bottled-water/ http://www.everydayjustice.net/2010/03/23/the-story-of-bottled-water/#comments Tue, 23 Mar 2010 14:04:11 +0000 Julie Clawson http://www.everydayjustice.net/?p=312 The Story of Bottled Water, released March 22, 2010 on storyofbottledwater.org, employs the Story of Stuff style to tell the story of manufactured demand—how you get Americans to buy more than half a billion bottles of water every week when it already flows from the tap. Over seven minutes, the film explores the bottled water industry’s attacks on tap water and its use of seductive, environmental-themed advertising to cover up the mountains of plastic waste it produces. The film concludes with a call to ‘take back the tap,’ not only by making a personal commitment to avoid bottled water, but by supporting investments in clean, available tap water for all.

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Apple Admits to Using Child Labor http://www.everydayjustice.net/2010/03/02/apple-admits-to-using-child-labor/ http://www.everydayjustice.net/2010/03/02/apple-admits-to-using-child-labor/#comments Tue, 02 Mar 2010 21:21:18 +0000 Julie Clawson http://www.everydayjustice.net/?p=308 from The Huffington Post -

Apple Inc. said it found more than a dozen serious violations of labor laws or Apple’s own rules at its suppliers that needed immediate correction.

The findings were outlined in a company report on audits of 102 supplier facilities conducted in 2009. That was a year in which questions about the practices of one of Apple’s suppliers came into focus after the suicide of a Chinese worker who held a sensitive job handling iPhones.

Along with many other technology companies, Apple, based in Cupertino, Calif., relies heavily on foreign contractors to build its products. Monitoring their labor practices be difficult, and Apple has caught heat in the past on this issue.

The company said in its latest report that “by making social responsibility a fundamental part of the way we do business, we insist that our suppliers take Apple’s code as seriously as we do.”

Apple said it found 17 “core” violations, the most serious type.

Those included three cases of underage workers being hired; eight instances of workers paying “recruitment” fees that were above the legal limits in those countries; three cases in which suppliers used non-certified vendors to dispose of hazardous waste; and three others in which the companies gave false records during the audits.

In the cases involving underage workers, Apple said three facilities had hired a total of 11 workers who were 15 years old in countries where the minimum employment age is 16. Apple noted that the workers were no longer underage or weren’t working for the facilities anymore when the audits were undertaken.

Apple has been pressured before to answer questions about its suppliers’ practices.

Last July, a 25-year-old Chinese worker whose job involved shipping iPhone prototypes to Apple killed himself by jumping from the 12th floor of his apartment building amid an investigation into a missing iPhone. The worker, Sun Danyong, worked for the Foxconn Technology Group, a Taiwanese manufacturer that has long been one of Apple’s key suppliers.

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