Sports events turn into big advertisement campaigns and entertainment shows. Asics, PowerBar, Red Bull, and other products the sports commentator talked about at length at today’s Ironman triathlon in Frankfurt, Germany. The focus was less on the strong athletes and their outstanding efforts but the products the sportsmen wear and consume as well as on the sponsors of the event.
While the Ironman triathlon and like commercialized events get immense coverage, invisible in mainstream media is another very remarkable effort. People of diverse nations, colors and countries have been walking along, sharing their own histories and situations during the 2008 Longest Walk for the last 5 months. The commemorative walk marks the 30th anniversary of the original Longest Walk in 1978. It is a 4,400 miles long journey from Alcatraz to Washington D.C which started on February 11,2008 and which will arrive in Washington, D.C. on July 11.
Along the way, the group has stopped at the Governor’s Office of each state it passed through and was taking notes on environmental problems in the cities it crossed to present a Manifesto for Change to the United States government.
The Longest Walk raises awareness of environmental and justice issues. Indigenous peoples are disproportionately faced with pollution, devastation of the people and the land as well as some of the most destructive industries on the planet, such as the military and mining industries.
Multinational corporations responsible for the exploitation take the resources but do not care what happens afterwards in the area. They will be gone.
The ones who continue to live on the land and have to deal with the devastation caused are indigenous peoples. We need to hear about and make known their efforts and protect indigenous rights all over the world, as indigenous peoples are the ones still in close relation to the earth. And they do care. Teaching the world and singing: We are still strong!
The library is dedicated to the memory of Secwepemc Chief George Manuel (1921-1989), to the nations of the Fourth World and to the elders and generations to come.access here