Daily Archives: June 2, 2020

UN Chief on COVID-19 and People on the Move

United Nations

António Guterres (United Nations Secretary-General) on COVID-19 and People on the Move.

COVID-19 continues to devastate lives and livelihoods around the globe — hitting the most vulnerable the hardest.

This is particularly true for millions of people on the move — such as refugees and internally displaced persons who are forced to flee their homes from violence or disaster, or migrants in precarious situations.

Now they face three crises rolled into one.

First, a health crisis — as they become exposed to the virus, often in crowded conditions where social distancing is an impossible luxury — and where basics such as health care, water, sanitation and nutrition are often hard to find.

This impact will be even more devastating to the large number of people on the move who live in least developed countries. One-third of the world’s internally displaced population live in the 10 countries most at-risk to COVID-19.

Second, people on the move face a socio-economic crisis — especially those working in the informal economy without access to social protection.

In addition, the loss of income from COVID-19 is likely to lead to a colossal $109 billion drop in remittances. That’s the equivalent of nearly three-quarters of all official development assistance that is no longer being sent back home to the 800 million people who depend on it.
Third, people on the move face a protection crisis.

More than 150 countries have imposed border restrictions to contain the spread of the virus. At least 99 states make no exception for people seeking asylum from persecution.

At the same time, fear of COVID-19 has led to skyrocketing xenophobia, racism and stigmatization.

And the already precarious situation of women and girls is ever more dire, as they face higher risks of exposure to gender-based violence, abuse and exploitation.

Yet even as refugees and migrants face all these challenges, they are contributing heroically on the frontlines in essential work.

About one in eight of all nurses globally, for example, is practicing in a country different from where they were born.

The COVID-19 crisis is an opportunity to reimagine human mobility.

Four core understandings must guide the way:

First, exclusion is costly and inclusion pays. An inclusive public health and socio-economic response will help suppress the virus, restart our economies and advance the Sustainable Development Goals.

Second, we must uphold human dignity in the face of the pandemic and learn from the handful of countries that have shown how to implement travel restrictions and border controls while fully respecting human rights and international refugee protection principles.

Third, no-one is safe until everyone is safe. Diagnostics, treatment and vaccines must be accessible to all.

Fourth and finally, people on the move are part of the solution. Let us remove unwarranted barriers, explore models to regularize pathways for migrants and reduce transaction costs for remittances.

I am grateful to countries, especially developing countries, that have opened their borders and hearts to refugees and migrants, despite their own social, economic, and now health, challenges.

They offer a moving lesson to others in a period when doors are closed. It is essential that these countries are provided increased support and full solidarity.

We all have a vested interest to ensure that the responsibility of protecting the world’s refugees is equitably shared and that human mobility remains safe, inclusive, and respects international human rights and refugee law.

No country can fight the pandemic or manage migration alone.

But together, we can contain the spread of the virus, buffer its impact on the most vulnerable and recover better for the benefit of all.

Thank you.

Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media – Feature, Documentary

Encore +

Nov 6, 2017

Manufacturing Consent explores the political life and ideas of world-renowned linguist, intellectual and political activist Noam Chomsky. Through a collage of biography, archival material and various graphics and illustrations, Mark Achbar and Peter Wintonick’s 22-award-winning documentary highlights Chomsky’s probing analysis of mass media and his critique of the forces at work behind the daily news.

Manufacturing Consent examine la vie politique et les idées du réputé linguiste, intellectuel et militant Noam Chomsky. Ce documentaire vingt-deux fois primé de Mark Achbar et Peter Wintonick allie éléments biographiques, documents d’archives et illustrations diverses pour mettre en lumière l’analyse approfondie que Chomsky a faite des médias de masse et sa critique des forces qui influent sur les nouvelles quotidiennes.

“A Declaration of War Against Americans”: Trump Threatens to Deploy Military to Quell Protests

Democracy Now!

Jun 2, 2020

As a historic week-long uprising against police violence continues and curfews are in place across the United States, President Trump has declared himself “the president of law and order” and threatened to send thousands of heavily armed soldiers into the streets. “President Trump’s speech almost amounted to a declaration of war against Americans,” says Kristen Clarke, president of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. We also speak with William Arkin, longtime reporter on the military, who notes Trump is getting “no pushback” from Defense Department officials.

Trump’s threats toward protesters seek to derail calls for change

Democracy Now!

Jun 2, 2020

In response to a week of nationwide protests decrying anti-Black police violence, President Trump has declared himself “the president of law and order” and threatened to send thousands of heavily armed soldiers into the streets. As Trump spoke Monday, the National Guard and officers dressed in riot gear fired tear gas, rubber bullets and flashbangs to disperse peaceful protesters in nearby Lafayette Park. The Insurrection Act of 1807, the law Trump threatened to invoke, has been used to deploy the military for relief efforts in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and to force states to comply with desegregation, but Trump’s framing “almost amounted to a declaration of war … with the sole and singular purpose of silencing Americans,” says Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. The core demands of people in the streets must be heard above Trump’s attempts to derail the collective push for police reform, Clarke tells Democracy Now! “It is the public crying out desperately needed reform of the way policing is carried out in our country,” she says. “We need Congress to revise the federal statute which would make it easier to hold police officers accountable when they use deadly force against unarmed individuals.”

Top U.S. & World Headlines — June 2, 2020

Democracy Now!

Jun 2, 2020

Emerson College Pres. Lee Pelton & ACLU’s Rahsaan Hall On National Protests Against Police Brutality


Jun 2, 2020

As a mix of protests and civil unrest erupted across the United States this week in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd, President Trump announced Tuesday he would dispatch “thousands and thousands of heavily armed soldiers” across the nation to “quickly solve the problem.” The federal escalation of force added a new chapter to the nation’s most recent reckoning with the history of police brutality and racism in America. To discuss, Jim Braude was joined by Rahsaan Hall, director of the Racial Justice Program at the ACLU Massachusetts, and Emerson College president Lee Pelton.

The Global Citizen: Meadows, Donella H., Meloy, Ellen


In The Global Citizen, Donella Meadows challenges us to view the world as an interconnected system for which we are all responsible. This collection of the best of Meadows’s environmental writings demonstrates her rare ability to discuss complex issues such as population, poverty and development, and solid waste disposal in a clear, concise, engaging way for a wide audience.

Sea Change: Is Boston Climate Ready?

Chronicle 5 WCVB

Apr 5, 2018

First released in late 2016, the city’s “Climate Ready Boston” Report, is an ongoing, predictive study of the city’s structural vulnerabilities and – many hope, a plan for crafting new, long-term solutions.

Boston’s Plan to Fight Climate Change

Bloomberg Markets and Finance

Jul 29, 2019

Jul.29 — Boston has an ambitious plan to fight climate change and create a carbon-free future. This video is from the “Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular.”

‘Tip of the iceberg’: is our destruction of nature responsible for Covid-19? | Environment | The Guardian

John Vidal

Wed 18 Mar 2020 02.00 EDT Last modified on Thu 19 Mar 2020 16.41 EDT

As habitat and biodiversity loss increase globally, the coronavirus outbreak may be just the beginning of mass pandemics

2 is not a healthy place. The 150 or so people who live in the village, which sits on the south bank of the Ivindo River, deep in the great Minkebe Forest in northern Gabon, are used to occasional bouts of diseases such as malaria, dengue, yellow fever and sleeping sickness. Mostly they shrug them off.

But in January 1996, Ebola, a deadly virus then barely known to humans, unexpectedly spilled out of the forest in a wave of small epidemics. The disease killed 21 of 37 villagers who were reported to have been infected, including a number who had carried, skinned, chopped or eaten a chimpanzee from the nearby forest.

I travelled to Mayibout 2 in 2004 to investigate why deadly diseases new to humans were emerging from biodiversity “hotspots” such as tropical rainforests and bushmeat markets in African and Asian cities.

It took a day by canoe and then many hours along degraded forest logging roads, passing Baka villages and a small goldmine, to reach the village. There, I found traumatised people still fearful that the deadly virus, which kills up to 90% of the people it infects, would return.

Villagers told me how children had gone into the forest with dogs that had killed the chimp. They said that everyone who cooked or ate it got a terrible fever within a few hours. Some died immediately, while others were taken down the river to hospital. A few, like Nesto Bematsick, recovered. “We used to love the forest, now we fear it,” he told me. Many of Bematsick’s family members died.

…(read more).