Bolivian president rallies New Yorkers to protect nature


NEW YORK—The earth has its own rights, and we are responsible for protecting them, Bolivian President Evo Morales told a standing room-only crowd at the Community Church of New York in Midtown. These rights, he said, must be taken into account when we consider environmental and climate change policies.

The church was full to capacity; 600 people turned out to hear Morales. The audience reflected the city of New York in all its glory, including many young people.

The president waxed nostalgic, speaking about his childhood and how his family related to the environment. The indigenous community, of which he is a part, shared the resources. But now, he said, referring to people in his country and elsewhere who have waged fights against corporate agricultural interests, "those of us who want to protect Mother Earth are labeled terrorists."

The church's pastor, Bruce Southworth, recognized the connection between his church's mission and having Morales speak. According to the mission statement, the congregation promotes "a just world in which all persons can share equitably in the wealth of the world, and freely develop their gifts and potential."

Southworth highlighted the similarities between that mission and the Bolivian president, saying that putting faith into action means being part of the movement against neoliberal economic policies, which Morales helps to lead.

Tiokasin Ghosthorse, a member of the Lakota people, a Native American tribe whose land is in the Dakotas, is an activist for the rights of indigenous people. In his introduction, he praised Moralas for his struggle to protect the environment. He said, "We must change our thinking about the earth's resources" and that President Moralas is a voice for change, especially in his appeal to the industrialized nations.

Morales spoke in calm yet passionate tones. Those who came before him who also wanted to preserve the earth's resources are heroes, he said, but were demonized as "terrorists, communists" and killed. And now, he said, "the same powers accuse me of being a terrorist. When people organize for peace and protection of the earth's resources, we once again are accused of being terrorists. We know these lies will be spread against us, but the people continue to push back."

Morales said that in Bolivia the seasons are "mixed up." Drilling for water and getting water is becoming more and more difficult. Globally, he opined, there is a lot of money available for war and destruction but money to find solutions to the coming global crisis is hardly available.

"We must have a strong movement in the 21st century for the rights of Mother Earth," Morales said. "This is the most important thing for humankind if we are to survive."

Image: Evo Morales

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  • From Quito to Cancun, From Abya Yala to the World: From Civil Rights to Human Rights and, the Rights of Mother Earth! The Declaration of Interdependence

    Posted by Tupac Enrique Acosta, 09/28/2010 10:39am (5 years ago)

  • All americans who wish to see the end of headlock private investment bankers have on us, controlling our pseudo-elected goverment, 'our' sources of information and media, sucking billions of dollars out of the public coffers and worse of all continuing to plan, create, propagate and continue the mass-millions of death dealing wars on the poor nations that never recovered from invasion, occupation, enslavement and exploitation by the weaponized industrialized white nations of Europe and North america should spend some time talking up, writing up and holding up the example of Evo Morales leading one of those above mentioned poor nation out of poverty, out of imperialist military and economic domination by virtue of an amazingly exceptional election wherein the CIA somehow was not able to stop the majority of discriminated against indigenous population from winning national elections and making a government truly of the people, for the people and by the people.

    Posted by jay janson, 09/25/2010 9:24am (5 years ago)

  • Viva Evo. According to UN Bolivia, Evo had this to say at a press conference in NYC today:

    "No me arrepiento de haber gritado ayer en Naciones Unidas, planeta o muerte!"

    (I do not regret shouting at the U.N yesterday, planet or death!)

    Posted by Jihad Punk 77, 09/24/2010 12:48pm (5 years ago)

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