(TMU) — The indigenous communities living along Brazil’s Xingu River basin are setting aside years of destructive ethnic conflicts to unite against what they see as an existential threat: the administration of President Jair Bolsonaro.
Since the 16th century, the original peoples of the region have faced a constant threat from Portuguese colonialism and the arrival of subsequent waves of settlers from Europe.
However, the devastation of their way of life has never drawn so close as it has under Bolsonaro’s far-right administration, which openly promotes the genocide of indigenous people and the clearing of the Amazon rainforest in the name of economic development.
And with forest fires continuing to rage across the fragile ecosystem due to Bolsonaro’s encouragement of the queimada—the burning of forests for the sake of clearing them for farming, logging and mining—indigenous communities are responding to an acute threat with extraordinary measures.
Last week, 14 indigenous groups and four riverside reserves in the Xingu basin sent representatives to an unprecedented meeting in the Kubenkokre village where the communities discussed the basic need to stave off the potential genocide threatening roughly a million indigenous people residing in the rainforest.
The meeting was hosted by the Kayapós group who are one of the largest communities in the region, reports BBC Brazil.
For the first time, the participating communities agreed to form a representative council that would unite their demands and lend them a strong, collective voice.
The Kayapós even invited their former enemies, the Panara people, to participate. The Panaras were previously driven to the brink of annihilation in 1968 when the Kayapós slaughtered them with modern arms while Panara fighters sought to defend themselves with bows and arrows.
Mudjire Kayapó, an indigenous leader, told the network:
“Today we have only one enemy, which is the Brazilian government, the president of Brazil, and the invasions of non-indigenous people.
We have internal fights, but to fight this government, we join.”
For Sinku Panara, a leader of the Panara community, the looming threat of total extermination—and the fact that their home is literally in flames—requires that indigenous communities unite against their common threat.
“We killed the Kayapó, the Kayapó killed us… but we didn’t know what was happening…. we didn’t know about that [white] threat yet.
Then we cool our heads, reconcile, talk to each other again and we will not fight anymore.
Because there is a common interest for us to fight together, so that non-Indians don’t kill us all.”
These Indigenous people are putting everything on the line to protest the Amazon rainforest from raging fires. pic.twitter.com/lNAgjc6XD9
— AJ+ (@ajplus) August 31, 2019
Vast swathes of Brazilian society have soured to their president due to the Amazon fires, which were largely a result of Bolsonaro encouraging the illegal deforestation of the rainforest through his hostile attitude toward the environment and his genocidal rhetoric toward indigenous peoples whose ancestral land lies in the Amazon.
Bolsonaro and his officials regularly blame environmental laws, activist groups, non-governmental organizations and indigenous peoples for allegedly hindering Brazil’s economic potential. Following his inauguration last year, the far-right president pledged to undo the protections that ensure that 15 percent of Brazil’s territory is reserved for indigenous tribes.
“Let’s integrate these citizens and bring value to all Brazilians.”
Amid the peak of global concern over the Amazon fires, Bolsonaro joked, “I used to be called Captain Chainsaw. Now I am Nero, setting the Amazon aflame. But it is the season of the queimada.”
As the Amazon burns, I stand with indigenous peoples. It's their home that's going up in flames. Join @Survival, as they fight against Bolsonaro with their tribal partners to save their forest from destruction 🏹https://t.co/yux7GkTSES pic.twitter.com/uK8xoJscvB
— Gillian Anderson (@GillianA) September 2, 2019
Akon Finally Breaks Ground On His Futuristic $10 Billion Solar Powered “Crypto City”
The rapper, entrepreneur, and philanthropist Akon has been making significant progress on his development plans in Africa, which involve the creation of a futuristic city that runs on clean energy and cryptocurrency.
In January of last year, Akon revealed that his agreements with Senegal President Macky Sall were going forward, and a few months later it was announced that the engineering and consulting firm KE International was awarded a $6 billion contract to build the city. The company previously said it had already received $4 billion from investors for the first two phases of Akon City’s construction, giving the project a price tag of at least $10 billion.
The project goes much further than just this one city and it has already begun to make an impact across the continent. In the short time since the deal was finalized last year, a large number of solar street lights, and solar home lighting units, have been installed across 14 African countries, according to Akon Lighting Africa.
The effort was made possible by a private-public partnership model and a well-established network of partners including SOLEKTRA INT, SUMEC, and NARI.
Phase 1 of construction on the city is expected to be completed in 2023, and will include roads, a hospital, residences, hotels, a police station, a waste facility, a school, and a solar power plant. The entire city is expected to be finished around 2029. The city’s economy will be facilitated by Akon’s cryptocurrency “Akoin,” which runs on the Stellar blockchain. Stellar is a crypto ecosystem that includes its own cryptocurrency XLM, and also allows for the development of other projects, such as decentralized exchanges and additional currencies like Akoin. Banks around the world have also been considering using the Stellar blockchain for stablecoin deployment.
Akon believes that cryptocurrency is the solution to the corruption problems that create widespread inequality in Africa because the blockchain provides a record that would make corruption extremely obvious if it were to take place. With an independent cryptocurrency, governments are unable to print money and devalue the currency, and the control of the money is decentralized.
In an interview with TMZ last year, Akon compared the vision that he has for the city with the fictional “Wakanda” from the movie Black Panther.
“This movie literally made an idea of what Africa could really be. It’s just ironic that I was already working on this before the movie came out, but it’s something that helped me a lot when I was trying to explain to explain to people what I was trying to do,” Akon said.
The city’s crypto-economic system will also solve many problems specific to the developing world, like instantly calculating conversation rates for currencies, which is often an obstacle because there are so many different regional currencies and methods of trade. In some cases, people even use prepaid cellphone minutes as a currency because it is easier to use and exchange than traditional currencies. Akon says that the Akoin wallet will allow users to trade between cryptocurrencies, fiat currencies, and cellphone minutes instantly without having to go through a major exchange using Atomic Swap technology. The app will also teach users to become more familiar with the technology in general.
Florida Man Uses Stimulus Check to Start Thriving Home Garden to Feed His Community
When millions of people across the United States received their federal stimulus checks to help them cope with the devastating economic repercussions of the novel coronavirus pandemic and resulting lockdown, most people spent their checks on basic necessities like food, rent, mortgage, utilities, and other basic necessities
However, one man from East Tampa, Florida, decided to use his funds to invest in a much more long-term project: building his own garden at home and using it to help provide food for himself. He’s now teaching his community about the massive benefits of food independence.
Michael Chaney, who goes by the nickname “Spirit Mike,” has long been interested in gardening. It wasn’t until the pandemic struck and local supermarkets were struck by the crisis that he was able to muster the self-motivation and time to fully pursue what began as a hobby and now has turned into his passion.
When he received his first stimulus check, he immediately used the funds to purchase some pots and start growing his first tomato plant. He also spoke to seasoned gardeners at the nearby A Land of Delight Natural Farm to pick up some materials and advice that would enable him to begin growing his own food, he told local radio station WMNF.
Now, Chaney is growing not only tomatoes but also collard greens, ghost peppers, mustard greens, strawberry guava, eggplants, onions, papaya, cashew apples, sugar cane, lemon, yucca, and lettuce, among other plants on his .3 acres of land.
“I do biointensive gardening, which means planting as much as you can in a small space,” Chaney told Atlanta Black Star. “I specifically picked these types of fruits [dwarf plants] because they grow fruit fast.”
Chaney derives the most pride from his moringa trees, which he values for its high viamin C content and celebrated medicinal properties as well as its antifungal, antiviral, anti-inflammatory and antidepressant qualities.
“That is the Michael Jordan and the Kobe Bryant together,” Chaney told WMNF with pride.
“If you were stranded somewhere and all you have his this and water you would not only survive, you would thrive,” Chaney added. “I don’t work out. All I did was add this to my diet and add flax seed fiber and I lost 65 lbs.”
Chaney also has nine chickens that he purchased for only $3 per chick.
“My aim is to make my food cost zero,” he explained. “So, my food scraps go into the soldier fly larvae bin, they eat that and produce more larvae. Those larvae get fed to the chickens. The chicken produces eggs, I sell the eggs and eat the eggs; life is good.”
Chaney made sure to meticulously plan his garden so that actually managing it and ensuring its success would be much easier.
“It’s very important that you plan your garden. Do your research before you put a dollar down because you want your dollar to go as far as it can,” Chaney said.
He is now upholding the garden – which he has named New World Growers – as an example of community self-determination and food independence at a time when food insecurity is sharply on the rise.
Edward Snowden Applies For Russian Citizenship As He Announces He’s About To Be A Dad
U.S. NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden has announced that he is going to be a dad and that he has applied for Russian citizenship due to the coming change in his life. Snowden said the move is to prevent separation from his unborn son.
Snowden and his wife are applying for Russian citizenship in order not to be separated from their future son in an era of pandemics and closed borders, he said on Monday. Snowden’s wife, Lindsay, is expecting a child in late December, the RIA news agency said, citing his Russian lawyer Anatoly Kucherena, Reuters reported.
Snowden fled the U.S. and was given asylum in Russia after leaking secret NSA files in 2013 that revealed vast domestic and international surveillance operations carried out by the U.S. National Security Agency where he was a contractor. Snowden exposed various capabilities by the NSA by revealing various extensive privacy violations. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently found one such program was unlawful and that the U.S. intelligence directors who publicly defended it had lied to the public. The court determined that the warrantless telephone dragnet that secretly collected millions of Americans’ telephone records violated the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
U.S. authorities have for years wanted Snowden to return to the U.S. to face criminal charges on espionage brought against him in 2013.
“After years of separation from our parents, my wife and I have no desire to be separated from our son. That’s why, in this era of pandemics and closed borders, we’re applying for dual US-Russian citizenship,” Snowden wrote on Twitter. “Lindsay and I will remain Americans, raising our son with all the values of the America we love, including the freedom to speak his mind. And I look forward to the day I can return to the States, so the whole family can be reunited. Our greatest wish is that, wherever our son lives, he feels at home.”
Russia has already granted Snowden permanent residency rights, his lawyer said last month, a requisite step towards Russian citizenship.
Snowden’s wife recently publicly announced her pregnancy last week in a photograph posted to Instagram. “A long time in the making,” she wrote. “Our greatest collaboration coming soon.” Snowden said; despite applying for Russian citizenship, he hopes to one day return to the U.S. to reunite his family.