‘NGOisation of resistance’ by Arundhati Roy

The NGO-ization of resistance

Arundhati Roy

2014-09-23, Pambazuka.org, Issue 695

NGOs give the impression that they are filling the vacuum created by a retreating state. And they are, but their real contribution is that they defuse political anger and dole out as aid or benevolence what people ought to have by right. They alter the public psyche.

A hazard facing mass movements is the NGO-ization of resistance. It will be easy to twist what I’m about to say into an indictment of all NGOs. That would be a falsehood. In the murky waters of fake NGOs set up or to siphon off grant money or as tax dodges (in states like Bihar, they are given as dowry), of course, there are NGOs doing valuable work. But it’s important to consider the NGO phenomenon in a broader political context.

In India, for instance, the funded NGO boom began in the late 1980s and 1990s. It coincided with the opening of India’s markets to neoliberalism. At the time, the Indian state, in keeping with the requirements of structural adjustment, was withdrawing funding from rural development, agriculture, energy, transport and public health. As the state abdicated its traditional role, NGOs moved in to work in these very areas. The difference, of course, is that the funds available to them are a minuscule fraction of the actual cut in public spending.

Most large-funded NGOs are financed and patronized by aid and development agencies, which are, in turn, funded by Western governments, the World Bank, the UN and some multinational corporations. Though they may not be the very same agencies, they are certainly part of the same loose, political formation that oversees the neoliberal project and demands the slash in government spending in the first place.

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Chile: Police Special Forces Evict Mapuche Community From Contested Lands

By • Oct 21, 2013

 

“Welcome to the Temucuicui Autonomous Community” Photo by Donmatas1 on Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

“Welcome to the Temucuicui Autonomous Community” Photo by Donmatas1 on Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

In the early morning of Wednesday, October 9, riot police and members of the Group of Special Operations (GOPE in Spanish), an elite, special unit of the Chilean Police, raided the Temucuicui Autonomous Community [es], an indigenous Mapuche community located near the town of Ercilla in the Araucania Region of Southern Chile.A self-denominated “autonomous” community, Temucuicui has occupied what they consider to be ancestral lands for over two years. They have resisted several eviction attempts, and their resistance has landed many community leaders and members in jail.

The land where the community lives is part of what the Mapuche call “Wallmapu”, meaning Mapuche country, where clashes between police forces and Mapuche activists are common. Currently, these lands are contested, but legally owned by landowners Rene Urban, Martin Ruf and the Zeit family. Continue reading

Testimony on Solitary, the Routine of Torture: “SACRAMENTO: ABOLISH THE SHU TODAY!”

“It is said that no one truly knows a nation until one has been inside its jails. A nation should not be judged by how it treats its highest citizens, but its lowest ones.”  ― Nelson Mandela


Video of the Joint Informational Hearing on Segregation Policies in California Prisons in the California Legislature on October 9, 2013.

BRAZIL: Combative protests during the visit of the Pope

[Three videos from Brazil, documenting the massive protests at the corruption and mis-use of State resources for the Pope's visit.  The videos are narrated in Portuguese, and the videos give visual testimony to the ongoing problems of credibility and legitimacy of the Brazilian state, in the face of massive protests of bus fares, World Cup extravagance and Pope extravagance.  Sports and religion seem to have greatly declined in their ability to confuse, distract, and pacify the anger of the masses.  --  Frontlines ed.]

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Scenes of confrontation between PMs and demonstrators during the visit of Pope John Paul II San Francisco to Rio de Janeiro

Jul 22, 2013 — Jornal A Nova Democracia – Yesterday afternoon, thousands of people took to the streets of Sula River to protest against the exorbitant spending on the Pope’s visit to Brazil for World Catholic Youth Day. As on other occasions, demonstrators demanded the impeachment of the governor, Sergio Cabral, and the end of the annihilation of the poor in the slums — and the whereabouts of the worker/resident of the Rocinha slum, Amarildo de Souza Lima, who disappeared after being arrested by PMs of CPE. A barrier formed by 350 police officers of the Shock Battalion was jamming the access to Guanabara Palace, where there was a meeting between the Pope and the political managers of Dilma and Cabral e Paes, declared enemies of the masses. The demonstrators were not intimidated and, with courage and determination, faced the huge repressive apparatus of the old State.

Cenas do confronto entre PMs e manifestantes durante visita do papa Francisco ao Rio de Janeiro

Jul 22, 2013 — Jornal A Nova Democracia — Na tarde de ontem, milhares de pessoas tomaram as ruas da zona Sula do Rio para protestar contra os gastos exorbitantes com a visita do papa ao Brasil para a Jornada Mundial da Juventude Católica. Como em outras ocasiões, manifestantes exigiram o impeachment do governador Sérgio Cabral, o fim do extermínio de pobres nas favelas e o paradeiro do operário e morador da favela da Rocinha, Amarildo Souza Lima, que desapareceu depois de ser detido por PMs da UPP. Um cordão de isolamento formado por 350 policiais do Batalhão de Choque bloqueava o acesso ao Palácio Guanabara, onde acontecia uma reunião entre o papa e os gerentes de turno Dilma, Cabral e Paes, declarados inimigos das massas. Os manifestantes não se intimidaram e, com coragem e determinação, enfrentaram o incrementado aparato repressor do velho Estado.

RJ: exclusive Footage of the courageous resistance of the masses to the violence of the PM in Leblon
July 18, 2013 — Jornal A Nova Democracia – Last Wednesday night, thousands of people have protested in the street where the governor of Rio de Janeiro, Sérgio Cabral Filho, lives. The demonstrators denounced the corruption of Cabral, the theft and waste of public money, the displacement of poor neighborhoods for construction of mega-sports-events, the criminalization and elimination of the youth in the slums, and the attack on indigenous peoples. The demonstrators have walked the streets of Leblon, one of the most expensive neighborhoods in the world. A few meters from the house of Cabral, PMs did not hesitate to attack. But as has happened repeatedly, the masses resisted bravely and faced the repressive troops of the fascist State.
RJ: Cenas exclusivas da corajosa resistência das massas à violência da PM em ato no Leblon
Jul 18, 2013 — Jornal A Nova Democracia – Na noite da última quarta-feira, milhares de pessoas fizeram um protesto no acesso à rua onde mora o governador do Rio de Janeiro,. Os manifestantes denunciaram a corrupção na gestão Cabral, o derrame do dinheiro público, as remoções de bairros pobres por conta dos megaeventos, o extermínio da juventude nas favelas e o ataque aos povos indígenas. Os manifestantes caminharam pelas ruas do Leblon, um dos bairros mais caros do mundo. A poucos metros da casa de Cabral, PMs não hesitarão em atacar. Mas como tem acontecido repetidas vezes, as massas resistiram bravamente e enfrentaram as tropas de repressão do Estado fascista.

 

Police arrest filmmaker from Media Ninja and shoot lethal ammunition at protesters during the Pope’s visit to Rio

July 23, 2013  – Jornal A Nova Democracia — Yesterday afternoon, thousands of people have faced the police, denounced the exorbitant spending for the Pope’s visit to Brazil, and demanded the impeachment of governor Sergio Cabral. After the showdown, PMs chased demonstrators through the streets of the barrio de Laranjeira. A filmmaker of Media Ninja was arbitrarily arrested while transmitting live news of the protest  to thousands of people. One protester identified as Leonardo Caruso was shot with live ammunition and cared for by the red cross, then taken to the hospital de Souza Aguiar, in the Center of the city.
Polícia prende Mídia Ninja e dispara munição letal durante visita do Papa ao Rio

Jul 23, 2013– Na tarde de ontem, milhares de pessoas enfrentaram a polícia em um ato que, entre outras bandeiras, questionava os gastos exorbitantes por conta da visita do papa ao Brasil e exigia o impeachment do governador Sérgio Cabral. Após o confronto, PMs perseguiram manifestantes aleatoriamente pelas ruas do. Um cinegrafista da Mídia Ninja foi preso arbitrariamente enquanto transmitia a manifestação ao vivo para milhares de pessoas.
Um manifestante identificado como Leonardo Caruso foi alvejado com um tiro de munição real e atendido por socorristas da cruz vermelha. Em seguida, o manifestante foi levado para o hospital Souza Aguiar, no Centro da cidade.

Missteps by Brazil Mar Visit by Pope

In this photo provided by the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano on Tuesday, July 23, 2013, Pope Francis shares a word with Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff during a welcome ceremony at Guanabara Palace in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Monday, July 22, 2013. Pope Francis returned to his home continent for the first time as pontiff, embarking on a seven-day visit meant to fan the fervor of the faithful around the globe.  (AP Photo/L'Osservatore Romano, ho)

Pope Francis with Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff. Pope Francis, with a long history of support for repressive powers in Latin America, became an object of the ongoing mass protests against Dilma Rousseff’s corrupt and repressive regime — an unintended consequence of a visit planned to “fan the fervor of the faithful” and to distract the anger of the oppressed.

RIO DE JANEIRO — Pope Francis celebrated his first public Mass on Wednesday at one of Latin America’s largest shrines, asking Catholics to shun the “ephemeral idols” of material success, power and pleasure, but his visit to Brazil continued to be marked by tension over blunders by its Brazilian organizers.

The missteps began minutes after Francis arrived in Rio on Monday, when his small motorcade got stuck on a crowded thoroughfare, exposing the pope to a mob scene of people trying to touch him through the open window of his car. On Tuesday, Rio’s subway system broke down for two hours, leaving thousands gathered here for a conference of Catholic youth scrambling to reach a seaside Mass.

Rio’s political authorities have also faced scrutiny over their handling of street demonstrations around the pope’s visit. They acknowledged using undercover agents to infiltrate the protests but denied claims that their intelligence officers were to blame for violence, including the throwing of firebombs. Continue reading

Chhattisgarh: Maoists Torch Road Construction Machines

Outlook India | Raipur | Jun 10, 2013
Maoists today torched two road construction machines and took away a tractor in the insurgency-hit Kanker district of Chhattisgarh.”Maoists torched a bulldozer and a JCB machine of the forest department, apart from taking away a tractor, engaged in road construction work in Mendra village,” Pakhanjore Sub-Divisional Officer of Police Anil Kumar Soni told PTI.

Maoists are observing Jan Pituri Week from June 5 to June 11 to commemorate their `martyrs’.

Vehicular traffic was thin at many places in south Bastar’s remote areas. People faced difficulty in reaching their destinations.

As the Railways have decided not to run the passenger train from Visakhapatnam to Kirandul beyond Jagdalpur fearing Naxal attacks during the week, passengers were forced to travel by bus from Jagdalpur to Kirandul.

Police said patrolling by paramilitary forces had been intensified in the Naxal-infested areas.

However, this time Maoists neither announced any relief for public transport system nor gave any call for bandh during the Jan Pituri week, contrary to their past practice.

Meanwhile, a Naxal was arrested from Mardapal police station area of Kodagaon district, police said. “Guddu Muriya, 25-year-old member of Usri Jan-militia, was arrested in Mulnar village on Sunday late night,” Additional Superintendent of Police Surjeet Atri said.