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Agricultural Missions, Inc. and the Oakland Institute Launch On-Line Forum and Discussion on Immigration, Free Trade and US Farm Policy

With the historic mobilizations and public debate on immigrant rights in the U.S., whether documented or undocumented and following the passage of the punitive and draconian Sensenbrenner Bill in the House of Representatives, many issues have bubbled to the surface. There is a common and misleading image of immigrants being pulled to the U.S. due to affluence and alleged 'goodness' and democratic freedoms, but often missing from the explanation is the brutal reality of increasing impoverishment south of the U.S. border as well as in Africa and Asia. The most important root cause of the high levels of immigration to the U.S. in the past two decades is due to a shift in economic policy emanating from Washington D.C.

The proposed on-line discussion from June 7-28, 2006 is designed to be a short course on some of these interconnections and structural issues. It will serve as a place to learn about excellent advocacy work and to participate in such work to impact real change.

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In an editorial, "France's Misguided Protesters," dated March 27, 2006, the New York Times hails the new labor law in France as a partial answer to "sons of North African immigrants," greatly affected by unemployment, who rioted in the suburbs last November. The editorial would have the readers believe that the current movement is a selfish move by privileged university students who are blind to the necessity of reforming labor laws and are solely driven by the "knee jerk defense of the job security" that the French hold sacred.

In an article published by Common Dreams on March 31, 2006, Senior Fellow Frederic Mousseau states that the New York Times editorial is an example of American media's misleading coverage of the issue and demonstrates its poor understanding of the movement.

Read the whole article and readers responses.

The Oakland Institute provided daily reports and live radio broadcasts with independent analysis covering the latest negotiations from inside the convention center and updates from the streets where activists and social movements from around the globe mobilized and organized against the WTO.

Daily Reports analyzes key events and negotiations, and highlights opportunities to take action.

Live Radio from Hong Kong hosted panels and discussed issues affected by the WTO such as food aid, workers' rights, environmental agreements, and agriculture.

View the Hong Kong Resistance Photo Gallery

From mid-April to May 2005, thousands of Brazil’s rural workers will march hundreds of miles to converge on the capital of Brazil and deliver a message to the public and the governing Workers Party: land reform is the critical path to Brazil’s development of social equality, food security and a vibrant civil society. Your contribution to this effort is crucial to the success of this march.

Farmworkers win decisive victory for human rights!

After nearly four years of a national boycott, the CIW and Taco Bell have reached a historic agreement. Taco Bell has agreed to pay penny-per-pound surcharge demanded by workers and will work with CIW to raise farm labor standards in supply chain, across industry as a whole.

Following the World Social Forum and the European Social Forum, the Dutch Social Forum held from November 26-28, was an open meeting place for the exchange of ideas, the creation and the strengthening of networks and a breeding ground for action.