16 September 2011


Over 8 million online viewers around the world participated in the recent 24 hour Climate Reality Project to raise awareness about the reality of climate change and combat the disinformation circulating by vested interests and those in denial about the major environmental crisis that our planet is facing.

The project starkly presents the reality of what is already happening to our planet and exposes the tactics of corporations that stand to lose in any large scale movement away from carbon polluting industries - the same tactics used by giant tobacco companies that poured money into campaigns in an attempt to cast doubt on the scientific evidence that linked smoking to health concerns.

Those who missed taking part in the project can click on the above link to view the videos of the presentations made from 24 different locations in 24 different time zones around the world calling attention to what is currently happening to our climate.

On Sep 24th there will be another worldwide rally to demand solutions to the climate crisis.

Moving Planet is demanding the adoption of science-based policies to return the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere from its current level of 392 parts per million (ppm) to below 350 ppm (the figure that climatologists argue is necessary to avert both human and natural disaster); a rapid, just transition to zero carbon emissions; mobilizing funding for a fair transition to a 350 ppm world and putting the rights of people over the rights of polluters.


The Christian Brothers have decided they cannot remain silent in the face of recent events in Bolivia.

The Bolivian government has decided to build a road through a National Park which is home to some sixteen thousand indigenous people. Opponents of the project claim that the decision violates the Bolivian Constitution and existing laws such as the Environment Act and the Protected Areas Act among others, and that the road, will cause great ecological destruction in Bolivia, as well as ignoring the rights of the indigenous peoples who inhabit the region.

The people invited the President Evo Morales to come and talk with them but he declined. In response the people and their supporters have undertaken a peaceful march - "The Long March on behalf of the Loma Santa (Mother Earth) and Indigenous Rights" - to the capital city La Paz in order to plead their case, although the march has been blocked and obstructed by those supporting the government’s decision.

Christian Brothers have been active in organizing and attending meetings and providing support for the marchers eg. through the delivery of food, with one Brother even being detained by the police for a time as a consequence.

The Brothers have also decided to place an statement in the Sunday newspaper publicly expressing their solidarity with the indigenous people and rejecting the climate of harassment, intimidation and violence that has developed in opposition to the march.

The statement also expresses the conviction that the issue needs to be resolved by guaranteeing the full exercise of collective rights, including the right to free, prior and informed consultation as guaranteed in the Bolivian Constitution which requires transparency from all government authorities in providing all information regarding the highway project.

More information about the protest campaign can be found at the TIPNIS website.


A recent UN sponsored exhibition in Geneva highlighted the incidence of slavery like situations that still exist today affecting an estimated 27 million people.

Persistent modern-day slavery covers a variety of human rights violations and includes the practices of child labor, bonded labor, serfdom, servile marriage, trafficking in persons (especially women and children), and the exploitation of domestic and migrant labor. Such slavery-like practices remain clandestine in nature and, in certain cases, accepted as a part of society, making them difficult to root out and eliminate.

Public ignorance has contributed to governmental and international inaction to abolish such forms of slavery. The problem is compounded by the fact that, worldwide, victims of contemporary slavery are characterized by their poverty and vulnerability.

In Australia ACRATH (Australian Catholic Religious Against Trafficking) have been active in lobbying Australian Parliamentarians about their concerns for people who are trafficked to Australia. These concerns focused both on the well-being of those trafficked and of prevention strategies in regard to the problem. At least two Christian Brothers are active members of ACRATH.

In Kenya the Edmund Rice Justice and Advocacy group has recently organised an essay writing competition in Nairobi schools to raise awareness about child labour, whilst in the US the Christian Brothers continue to have an outreach to migrant workers and contributed to a submission as part of the UPR of the United States at the UN Human Rights Council.


Governments collectively lose hundreds of billions of dollars in tax revenue each year due to tax evasion by multinational companies and super wealthy individuals. Developing countries lose more in tax evasion than they get in aid. This tax evasion for the benefit of the wealthy is facilitated by tax havens.

In November 2011 the countries of the G20 will be meeting in France.

The End Tax Haven Secrecy campaign is asking the G20 leaders to introduce measures to end the tax haven secrecy that allows companies to hide their profits and avoid paying taxes in developing countries. As a result millions of children are denied a basic education.

These measures include requiring companies to report on the profits made and taxes paid in every country in which they operate and automatic exchange of information between different tax jurisdictions. This would help developing countries collect the taxes they are owed.

You are invited to sign the online petition to the G20 urging action to end tax haven secrecy that facilitates tax evasion and money laundering.

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