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Foundations of big capital stalk social movements

Foundations of big capital stalk social movements


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By Pacopuche

For people who are close to alternative movements of all kinds, it should not be strange that big capital assembles good-looking entities that allow them to reach the entrails of their potential antagonistic forces. As they also carry perks and money generously, it is common to observe how easily they enter us.

Beyond this obvious logic of capitalism, you can already see which of these foundations are the most relevant and how they roam. Two names must be retained because they have their preferred fields of action in Spain and Latin America: Avina and Ashoka; o Avina / Ashoka because both have a strategic agreement, financing, ideas, directors and partners in common, which allows us to identify them.

Being very synthetic, we will say that Avina is linked to the Swiss magnate S. Schmidheiny, who owes his fortune to the criminal business of asbestos. We say that all those who have received money and other perks from this foundation (and after knowing it, have not rejected it) carry the curse of asbestos dust in their guts. It is not necessary to insist, asbestos (uralitas) is the cause of half of the cancers of work origin and kills each year more than 150,000 people around the world. Ashoka, his ally, comes from big capital and, among other awards, shows off being one of the Monsanto / Gates partners to implement a transgenic seed program in Africa. For this reason the Rural Platform (an entity formed by the most distinguished of the Spanish agroecological movement), has called this action “a murderous attempt”.

Surprise!; Which will not be the confusion in which this same Rural Platform, implacable with Ashoka, has been chaired for about 15 years by Jerónimo Aguado, financed by Asoka for three years, month by month (and also by Avina). This fact is a clear example of the ease with which philanthrocapitalism (so called this activity of the foundations of big capital) penetrates the so-called alternative and anti-capitalist social movements.

What does philanthro-capitalism seek? Look for the following: Legitimacy, information, business with the poor and introducing confusion in social movements to control dissent from the system. Schmidheiny / Avina also seeks to get rid of the genocidal image that the shadow of asbestos hangs over him wherever he passes.

Who and how do they interfere in social movements?

Clearly, at the height of the circumstances, this is the main issue. We have already said that the logic of big capital will always lead them to be on the lookout for alternative movements. No one has fallen off the cherry.

The way to enter is by giving perks and money, wrapped in a false and empty verbiage of "changing the world" and "sustainability." Ashoka pays up to three years a salary, today, important (about 1,500 euros / month); facilitates meetings, training, advice, lawyers, contacts, awards (Goldman), public relations, etc. Avina is used to taking her co-opted leaders around Latin America (her preferred continent of action) for a walk with one of her companies and sometimes finances groups whose leaders are those benefited leaders.

In almost all cases, the selection of the leader or entrepreneur is made from scouts, who provide the initial names, and then go through a rigorous selection process, in five stages in the case of Ashoka, which ends with the final decision that comes from the US or Costa Rica, from the highest levels. Since they have the McKinsey advisory company, the largest in the world, the chosen one is supposed to have a high degree of functionality with these philanthro-capitalist foundations. In all cases, they sign a contract by which they keep the image rights of the co-opted (hence how difficult it is to get rid of posing with Ashoka, for example); agreement, as they boast from the philanthropic, which has the character of "a contract for life." That awful! Where are the resistance groups falling?

In Spain, at the moment, up to 21 more or less alternative groups are known in which: or they have appointed entrepreneurs, or partners, or they have financed, or they are present in representative positions, or they have had close collaborations. Among them some as named as the Rural University Paulo Freire, Greenpeace, REAS, Fiare, Cifaes de Amayuelas, IU, Rural Platform, New Culture of Water Foundation, SEO, Fe y Alegría, ACSUR las Segovias, Red Calea, CNT, etc. Indeed, even in the CNT Ashoka itself has had a notable and unjustified presence. The penetration is very subtle and deep in a very short time.

And committed prestigious names, it hurts to name them, some like Jerónimo Aguado, already mentioned, Pedro Arrojo, Victor Viñuales, Ainhoa ​​Zamora, Sandra Benveniste, Beatriz Fadón, Xavier Pastor, Miren Gutiérrez, Leonardo Boff, etc. Unfortunate sight.

But as Luther King would say, the worst has been the silence and the protection of "the good people" that have surrounded these leaders of the social movements. When the first warnings began to be made and then the first serious warnings of what was happening were published, back in 2008 and 2009, the reaction to these voices of the Cassandras on duty was to “kill the messenger”. You can see on the Internet, in the entry "infinite manifesto", how the COAG leadership and the groups that make up the Rural Platform have tried to silence those who subscribe to this. Indeed, under the crude argument that he was mounting a campaign of lies against the blessed Jeromo, for denouncing the penetration of foundations in social movements with names and surnames, he proposed that: “to drown these falsehoods this infinite manifesto is born ( …). Each comment will be an annex that turns the manifesto into a cataract ”. I am not exaggerating when I invoke the metaphor of silence by suffocation. Raúl Contreras, a distinguished member of Ashoka, wrote in the aforementioned manifesto: “I am also Jeromo. And I am because he is MY FRIEND, because I also nominated him for his selection by Ashoka and because I share the poster and the photo. Because we have both met so many people and so many impressive projects that make up that other family, Ashoka, that I only find reason for joy ”. It is clear.

This was in 2011. Time is putting things in their place. Plataforma Rural, as we have seen, could not help but call Ashoka's performance a "murderous attempt", that family of "impressive projects" ... and so much, nothing less than for African agriculture at the hands of Monsanto / Gates. Ecologists in Action, a member of the Rural Platform, took the initiative to disseminate a manifesto against Avina / Ashoka that was signed by more than 200 organizations from 23 countries. Pedro Arrojo, Jeromo and Miren Gutiérrez resigned from their management positions after the complaints. Ainhoa ​​Zamora from IU and Ashoka's national team just quit. The New Culture of Water Foundation, recipient of Avina's funding, signed a rejection manifesto against Stephan Schmidheiny, and the REAS, which since 2009 propagates Ashoka events in its digital bulletin, has just published a harsh article against Ashoka herself. Not to mention that since last year Avina has been under the rocks in our country. The task of proclaiming the truth is paying off.

As much as my "chokers" may dislike them, asbestos dust will not be able to get rid of this story. It is a genocide, a systematic slaughter of hundreds of thousands of people for the benefit of Schmidheiny; and for this reason it is necessary to have a zero tolerance with these foundations.

The victims ask for truth, justice and compensation, that is why I never tire of repeating that those who have fallen into the Avina / Ashoka networks must publicly express their rejection of them and return the money and benefits received to the victims of asbestos, if they want to have some legitimacy and acceptability in social movements. Meanwhile, escracheo is imposed as a last measure, and ostracism.

And likewise, to prevent an episode as unfortunate as the one we are reporting from happening again, alternative movements must be endowed with rules of incompatibility, renewal and revocability of positions, and adequate filters for collaboration with other entities to prevent them from let us continue to be bored as if it were a Gruyère cheese. It is not paranoia, it is legitimate defense.

And as Naredo, Riechmann, Carpintero, Aguilera and myself wrote together last March 2012 on this matter: “It would be difficult to understand that, once warned of the situation, we would insist on denying reality and continue without correcting the course or clarifying the circumstances and responsibilities. In such a case, we would be doing a disservice to social movements ”.

The best summary, to finish, of everything we have been saying was made by the aforementioned GRR on the occasion of the Cancun meeting, 2010, on climate change in which they rejected Avina from the alternative summit saying that: “foundations like Avina and Ashoka are the enemy of the Mother Earth and the oppressed populations ”.


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