Did you catch that there is an Activist Prize? Last week there were buried blurbs about it but we think it is a big story so we are unearthing it. In 1980, Jakob von Uexkull felt the “Nobel Prize” overlooked significant achievements and so he funded the Right Livelihood Awards. This years’ awards, announced last week and to be presented December in Stockholm, recognize that “true change starts at the grassroots.” The winner are:
- Nnimmo Bassey, who chairs Friends of the Earth International and directs Environmental Rights Action, groups resisting the ecological disasters of oil production,
- Catholic Bishop Erwin Kraeutler, who fought to have the rights of indigenous people included in the Brazilan constitution in 1980 and continues to organize, more recently to protest an ecologically destructive hydro-electric plant on the Xingu River,
- Shrikrishna Upadhyay, who founded Support Activities for Poor Producers of Nepal to fight poverty by bringing infrastures and economic aid, and
- Physicians for Human Rights Israel, a group that supports the rights to health in Israel and Palestine.
Each of these are great stories. We need to stick with them.