Commemorating 5 June, World Environment Day, Women in Black of Madrid against war, focus our attention on the relationship between environmental destruction and violation of human rights.
We are adamant that the causes for war are bound to the exploitation of natural resources. Even without declared wars, armies and paramilitaries use violence to defend the interests of transnational enterprises above those of the security of the planet. The Environmental Justice Atlas lists more than 2400 socio-ecological conflicts around the world. In 2016, 200 persons were assassinated for defending their habitat, 60% in Latin America. In 2017, 312 defenders of human rights were assassinated.
In the last decade, global warming has increased, placing us in a scenario of unstoppable climate change, and at the same time increasing various types of contamination. Economic inequality is on the rise (1% of the world population has amassed 82% of the wealth). It is the poorest communities that end up being displaced, becoming environmental refugees because of the degradation of their surroundings.
In armed conflicts, the situation becomes critical, as has happened in Iraq after 30 years of wars, where contamination of water sources has been used as a weapon. Voluntary contamination, scarcity or unhealthfulness of water resources is one of the great global dramas from South Sudan to Latin America.
We want to make visible the work of the ecologist groups and indigenous communities who defend life as they confront the economic and militaristic interests of the great transnational enterprises. We highlight the involvement of women in these initiatives. They assume the responsibilities of providing food and health to their families for which they give deserved value to the protection of their surroundings and the entire planet.
Spain also participates in this global phenomenon. The transnationals of Ibex35 generate significant social and ecological impacts, including the violation of human rights, as detailed in the report of Ecologistas en Acción (Ecologists in Action) “El Ibex35 en guerra contra la vida (Ibex35 at war against life)”.
Women in Black against war – Madrid:
♀ We support the direct nonviolent actions that help to redirect this situation. We point out as an example the action of “ACS against life” confronting the board of stockholders of the ACS group (Actividades de Construccion y Servicios) by requesting binding mechanisms that will establish obligatory regulations for transnational companies with regard to human rights.
♀ We demand that all governments guarantee the health and security of the people and the planet.
♀ We invite the civil society to join in alternatives for responsible consumption that create more just and ecological relationships (groups dealing with consumption, ethical banking, electricity cooperatives, etc.).
♀ We defend life in the face of economic and militaristic interests.
Translation: Trisha Novak, USA – Yolanda Rouiller, WiB Spain