Tag Archives: United States

[Repost] An urgent demand from a Filipina especially in the light of the recent devastation caused by Yolanda

An urgent demand from a Filipina especially in the light of the recent devastation caused by Yolanda.

Photo extracted from www.cnn.com

Photo extracted from http://www.cnn.com

An Open Letter to the US and the EU Countries on Climate Justice and the Need for Drastic Emissions Cut:

June 2013

In my country, the Philippines,December marks the onset of rainy season—a welcome departure from the torrid tropical heat of summer and high time for crop production, colder breezes during morning commutes, and indulgent frolics under the rain. That was not the case four years ago as this season unexpectedly brought about the tropical cyclone Ketsana, which devastated my country to an unprecedented state of calamity. This incident took 500 lives, displaced thousands from their homes, submerged upscale and poor communities in mud, and endangered the health of tens of thousands.

The following years were far less promising as the country was successively distraught with uncommonly powerful and destructive typhoons such as Typhoon Bopha in 2010, Tropical Storm Washi in 2011, and the seasonal southwest monsoon (locally known as Habagat) in August 2012. For the past four years, every rainy season produced stronger calamities, which consequently led to weeklong suspension of classes, slippery and damaged roads, and greater exposure to health risks. Not surprisingly, in 2013, the GermanWatch Climate Risk Index identified the Philippines as the fourth most vulnerable country to the damaging effects of climate change.

I am Alenz Avril De Torres and I am a Filipino student. I am writing because it is yet again June and I am haunted with the realization that this year and for the coming years, every rainy season will no longer be a pleasant favorite but rather a potentially irreversible nightmare.

The root of climate change and the solution to it is right in front of our faces that it baffles me why you remain unfazed with the adverse consequences of unabated emission of greenhouse gases (GHG). It has been scientifically proven that industrialized countries, comprising mostly of your countries, are the main source GHG over the last century yet poor and developing countries like my country absorb the backlash of your emissions. This unusual accumulation of emissions in the atmosphere has produced global increase in temperature, resulting in erratic and abnormal weather that occurs frequently in third world countries such as the Philippines, which contribute less than 1% to global GHG emission. The obvious and logical solution is to radically cut down GHG emissions and repair countries damaged, and continuously damaged, by the accelerating changes in climate. Simply put, cut and be just.

Just last month, scientific agencies revealed that the carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere have already reached 400 parts per million (ppm), the highest level in human history and 50 ppm higher than the amount our atmosphere can safely absorb. If this will be the state of affairs in the next decade, then humanity is bound to perish. Thus, we call on you to be responsible and accountable for your historical contribution to Earth’s damage. A first, albeit huge, step that you should take is to ratify and adhere to the second commitment period for 2013 to 2020 of the Kyoto Protocol and to divest from band-aid and gibberish solutions such as Clean Development Mechanisms (CDMs) and Reducing Emission from Deforestation and Forest Degradations (REDDs). If we are to stabilize the Earth’s temperature to a threshold of until 1.5 degrees Celsius, a goal set by climate scientists and supported by 112 countries, then there should be no space for your “flexibility” mechanism mumbo jumbos, where carbon credits are traded and bought. Each and every country must play their role for the reversal of climate change and to make the Earth a livable place for all, and your role is to cut GHG emissions.

Most of all, we call on you to be just. We are undoubtedly prejudiced by the socio-political and economic adjustments demanded of us to be able to adapt to climate changes given the minute amount of GHG emissions we have contributed. I think that it is cogent for us to demand that you, wealthy countries, pay your climate debt, and pay reparation to poor countries. As nationals from the Global South, we demand that you no longer put off owning up to your responsibility to take lead in solving the climate problem. We cannot, and most importantly, should not bear the brunt of climate change alone; reduced to being dispensable and second-class citizens of the Earth.

Amid the gloom from looming rain clouds, numerous climate justice campaigns will be launched this month in the Philippines. I hope that in these efforts to raise the issue of climate justice within the discourse of global democracy, you show cooperation and finally share the same activism with us. I invite you to completely leave self-serving interests and to join us in our defense of climate justice and promotion of a livable and sustainable Earth. I know that there are always reasons for hope and none for defeatism. I am optimistic that every June may still be the onset of a beautiful rainy season.

Always hopeful,

A young Filipina

Source: https://www.facebook.com/ClimateJusticePH

Excerpts from Report of the Special Rapporteur on the right to freedom of expression

Report of the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, Frank La Rue

Frank La Rue. Photo source: www.unmultimedia.org

Frank La Rue. Photo source: http://www.unmultimedia.org

States’ use of blocking or filtering technologies is frequently in violation of their obligation to guarantee the right to freedom of expression…
The types of action taken by States to limit the dissemination of content online not only include measures to prevent information from reaching the end-user, but also direct targeting of those who seek, receive and impart politically sensitive information via the
Internet. Physically silencing criticism or dissent through arbitrary arrests and detention, enforced disappearance, harassment and intimidation is an old phenomenon, and also applies to Internet users. This issue has been explored in the Special Rapporteur’s report to the General Assembly under the section on “protection of citizen journalists” (A/65/284). Such actions are often aimed not only to silence legitimate expression, but also to intimidate a population to push its members towards self-censorship.


The Special Rapporteur remains concerned that legitimate online expression is being criminalized in contravention of States’ international human rights obligations, whether it is through the application of existing criminal laws to online expression, or through the creation of new laws specifically designed to criminalize expression on the Internet. Such laws are often justified on the basis of protecting an individual’s reputation, national security or countering terrorism, but in practice are used to censor content that the Government and other powerful entities do not like or agree with…


Stand for Human Rights, Defend Internet Freedom! – Dakila

Stand for Human Rights, Defend Internet Freedom!

January 19, 2012

We cannot deny the power internet has brought upon every individual – suddenly we all have a say; suddenly we can influence many; suddenly, earning knowledge is a click away. As Dakila pointed out in its Digital Activism Program, the extensive reach of social media and digital applications have facilitated the spread of social advocacies by exponential numbers in ways we have never imagined before.

Civil society has no doubt been empowered through the internet. We see this evidently in the latest uprisings and revolutions that have been happening around the world. And the internet has been instrumental in communication and knowledge sharing which has eventually lead to the success of many of these revolutions.

As an organization composed of artists, Dakila understands the need for a law to stop piracy and copyright infringement and to protect intellectual property rights but not at the expense of free speech and integrity of the internet. Simply put, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect IP Act (PIPA) are poorly constructed bills that threaten free speech on the internet more than it protects intellectual property rights.

Although SOPA and PIPA are American legislations, its effects will not stop at American borders. The internet is a global village, where physical geographical borders are blurred and where people share information and knowledge among each other regardless of geographical location. With SOPA and PIPA, information and knowledge sharing not only threatens America, but threatens the world as a whole.

Dakila opposes SOPA and PIPA. The internet has been one of the keys to the democratization of several countries, has helped the fight of the 99%, has aided in bringing human rights violations to light. Now more than ever we see its importance in the role to uphold human rights and people’s dignity. The internet, an activist’s tool for revolution and social change, should not be bound by laws that harm more than they benefit.

We have been more empowered and have done things which, ten years ago, we would not have thought we were capable of doing. Let’s us not let an ill-conceived bill take these away from us.

Dakila – Philippine Collective for Modern Heroism
19 January 2012

Source: https://www.facebook.com/notes/dakila/stand-for-human-rights-defend-internet-freedom/10150541261749344

{Repost} Why SOPA Is Dangerous posted @ www.youtube.com

uSharing this video Uploaded by cellphonegetmoney on Jan 17, 2012 at youtube

content that is owned or licensed by Farolatino

{Repost} What Is SOPA Anyway? A Guide to Understanding the Online Piracy Bill -online.wsj.com

What Is SOPA Anyway? A Guide to Understanding the Online Piracy Bill


It will undermine free speech and due process, says one side. It will protect America’s creative class from thieves, says the other. But what’s really in the Stop Online Piracy Act? A guide:

Q: What is the purpose of the bill?

A: There are actually two bills, the Stop Online Piracy Act, known as SOPA, in the House and sister legislation called the Protect IP [Intellectual Property] Act, or PIPA, in the Senate. Both are designed to tackle the problem of foreign-based websites that sell pirated movies, music and other products.

Federal law enforcement has the authority to shut down U.S.-based websites that offer pirated content, but they can’t directly do the same to foreign sites like Pirate Bay. The Motion Picture Association of America, the legislation’s main backer, estimates 13% of American adults have watched illegal copies of movies or TV shows online, and it says the practice has cost media companies billions of dollars.

Websites like the Huffington Post and Boing Boing as well as teenagers on Twitter each had their own take on the SOPA protests, Zach Seward reports on digits.

MarketWatch‘s Jon Friedman on The News Hub explains why be believes Wikipedia’s 24-hour blackout, to attempt to stop Internet piracy legislation under consideration by Congress, is a terrible idea. Photo: AP

Q: How do the bills attempt to stop piracy?

A: The basic method is to stop U.S. companies from providing funding, advertising, links or other assistance to the foreign sites. The bills would give Justice Department prosecutors new powers to prevent pirate sites from getting U.S. visitors and funding.

Read complete article @ online.wsj.com