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April 6, 2018

British Columbia: Tsleil-Waututh Nation defies the Trans Mountain Pipeline

Water is life, no matter where you live. In British Columbia, Canada, the Tsleil-Waututh Nation is leading the fight against the Trans Mountain Pipeline. First built in 1953 through native lands without the consent of indigenous tribes, the Trans Mountain Pipeline has received Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s approval for expansion. The new pipeline would pass through Tsleil-Waututh Nation territory and nearly triple the amount of tar sands being transported. Notorious for massive oil spills, pipelines not only increase the risk of environmental pollution but also breach indigenous land rights.

On Thursday hundreds of protestors gathered in Vancouver while Cedar George-Parker of the Tsleil Waututh Nation interrupted Mr. Trudeau’s speech at a Liberal fundraiser. Together with other First Nations groups and the British Columbia government, the Tsleil Waututh Nation is escalating nonviolent actions against the national government to resist the pipeline.

In October the Tsleil Waututh Nation and their supporters opened a lawsuit against pipeline owner Kinder Morgan, the Canadian government and the National Energy Board.

Gaza: Palestinians fight for their right of return

They’re staying put. From wearing onion masks to reduce the effects of tear gas, to burning tires to create a smokescreen and block the vision of Israeli snipers, Palestinians in Gaza are fighting to protect themselves as they demand their basic human rights.

Undeterred by the fatal violence resulting from last Friday’s Land Day protest, thousands of Palestinians remain at the Gaza border to continue calling for their right of return. As part of the Great March of Return movement, demonstrations are expected to continue until May 15, the 70th anniversary of the Nakba, or “the catastrophe”, when 750,000 Palestinians fled or were forcibly evicted from their homes in 1948 to make way for what is now known as the State of Israel.

On Thursday Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem launched a campaign urging soldiers not to shoot unarmed Palestinian protestors. Adalah, the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights, also condemned the Israeli military’s excessive use of force against the civilian protestors.

Oddar Meanchey: Cambodian farmers sue sugar company for land grabbing

Taste the feeling… of loss. A decade after Mitr Phol Sugar Corporation destroyed their land and livehoods, farmers from the Cambodian village of Oddar Meanchey are suing Asia’s largest sugar producer for human rights violations.

Starting in 2009 Mitr Phol forced hundreds of families off their land and burned entire villages to make way for sugar plantations. Though the company says it ended its sugar production project in 2014, many farmers are still experiencing homelessness and struggling to maintain a steady income.

One of the largest sugar producers in the world, Mitr Phol counts Pepsi and Nestle among its clients and is a major supplier to Coca-Cola.