Oppose The Maasai Evictions Avaaz* Digital, 2022
Neo-colonial capitalist efforts worldwide continue to threaten Indigenous communities and the traditional lands they steward. In Tanzania, the Maasai herders of Loliondo are actively defending their traditional lands from seizure by the Tanzanian government. In 1959, British colonial forces removed thousands of Maasai from their ancestral lands. In 2009, thousands of Maasai families were displaced from Loliondo to make way for UAE’s Ortelo Business Corporation to run hunting trips. In January of this year, the Maasai learned of renewed efforts to forcibly remove them from 1,500 sq km (580 sq mi) of land with the hopes to convert it into a privatized safari and game reserve, sponsored by a United Arab Emirates-owned company. In June, paramilitary forces began erecting boundaries on the land. Over 70,000 Maasai face removal, and many have already been injured and arrested by police forces attacking homes.
Is He Protecting You? Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) Photo: Danny Lyon Offset, Ca. 1964 New York, NY 3486
Meanwhile in Atlanta, Georgia, the Atlanta Forest, “a region with the highest percentage of tree canopy of any major metropolitan area in America,” is at risk of being destroyed. The land was originally stolen from the Mvskoke (Muscogee) in the 1800s and later turned into a prison farm in the early 1900s. Now the Atlanta police seek to turn 300 acres into a $90 million police training ground and Hollywood production company Blackhall Studios intends to raze 170 acres to make America’s largest sound stage This biodiverse region is Atlanta’s major shield against the effects of climate change and prevents flooding that impacts the local Black and Brown neighborhoods. The building of a “Cop City” only benefits the police and the powerful, and attempts to turn Atlanta into a new Hollywood will only massively gentrify the region, making the city unaffordable. Forest defenders are temporarily occupying the Atlanta Forest, leading to conflicts with police and multiple arrests. Attacks on Maasai land and the Atlanta Forest highlight the continued assault on life in favor of profits. With the climate crisis reaching dangerous levels, we cannot afford to allow the powerful and wealthy to continue harming Indigenous people and land. *According to their website, Avaaz means "voice" in several European, Middle Eastern and Asian languages
References: About the Maasai: https://www.africanews.com/2022/06/23/tanzania-government-accuses-kenyan-maasai-of-helping-opponents-of-nature-reserve/ https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2022/jun/23/tanzania-charges-20-maasai-with-after-police-officer-dies-during-protests https://www.survivalinternational.org/news/13051 https://www.climatechangenews.com/2022/06/10/tanzanian-authorities-seen-opening-fire-on-maasai-people-in-game-reserve-dispute/ About Atlanta Forest: https://defendtheatlantaforest.org/ https://www.instagram.com/defendatlantaforest/?hl=en https://actionnetwork.org/forms/defend-the-atlanta-forest https://unicornriot.ninja/2022/atlanta-fights-to-save-its-forest/