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ew Internationalist september Issue 435

This month’s main theme focuses on seeds – the real things, that is. In their bounty, however, they also offer a lazy metaphor for almost anything that f lourishes. So here goes.

The next time you see New Internationalist magazine it will have grown. For the past few months a fresh variety has been germinating in the fertile soils of Oxford, Adelaide, Ottawa and Christchurch. It has evolved organically in response to runaway climate change in the media, but without genetic modification to its roots. It will blossom in October to attract the pollinators it needs (not beleaguered bees, by the way, but you, our beloved subscribers, and your friends) to fertilize an ecosystem otherwise suffocated by invasive corporate monoculture. People have three-colour vision just to tell the difference, so the red of this new growth’s delicious fruit will be set against a background of leafy green. A staple crop of information, ideas and inspiration from around the world is, assuredly, the best way to nourish and propagate a future worth having.

So, elsewhere in this ‘ heritage’ magazine, there’s a foretaste

Contents of greater diversity to come: the long-awaited cross-fertilization of a major trade union (the United Steelworkers in the US) with a big co-operative (Mondragón in the Basque Country); a bloom of activism, and another potential infestation of corporate control, on the World Wide Web. The seeds of possibility may lie dormant in ground made barren by corporate globalization, but they are still fertile.

David Ransom for the New Internationalist Co-operative main Feature

Seed savers

4 Seed savers The world’s seed




M u n o z markets are being gobbled up by ‘ life-science’ corporations – but peasant farmers still feed the world. David Ransom reports.

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8 Crops of truth You have to travel with Jaideep

Hardikar to meet the women at the bottom of the social scale in rural south India to find knowledge and wisdom.

10 SEEDS – the facts

12 The seeds of sovereignty Francisca Rodríguez talks with Camila

Montecinos about the women who work with Vía Campesina, the world’s largest and most active organization of peasant farmers.

14 Surviving climate change What was once almost a sacred duty provides a vital clue to the future, reports Isaiah Esipisu from Kenya.

16 A very short natural history of seeds

18 Merchants of death! The troubling story of a corporate bid to take control of the world’s food supply, told by Sue Branford.

20 Action Contacts, links, books...

DONOU G H O ’ MALEY / n c i l r o b o t . n e t

PECIAL Feature

21 A world wide web of change Digital activism has come a long way, but its principles still reflect its analogue ancestry, argues Adam Ma’anit.

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Regular Features 2 Letters Time to investigate the

Bolivarian alternative, and a Canadian comes clean. 3 Letter from Cairo Maria Golia witnesses an unlikely form of protest in the heat-addled capital. 25 Currents A Canadian filmmaker wins damages from the government; Burmese military complicity in opium growing exposed; and climate wars in Kenya’s nomadic communities. 27 Only Planet Getting humans’ attention is a ball, discovers Gort in Marc Roberts’ cartoon. 28 Big Bad World A matter of concern in Polyp’s cartoon. PLUS: NI Prize Crossword. 29 Worldbeaters Big coal equals big profits, so

Don Blankenship doesn’t worry too much about pollution. 30 Mixed Media Super Furry Animals (and a penguin) on a Patagonian quest in new film Separado, and a musical trio collaborates on the Road to Damascus. 32 Southern Exposure Andrés Lofiego’s photograph is symbolic of a threatened way of life in Argentina. 33 Mixed Media PV Rajagopal seeks a return to

Ghandian values and wonders what happened to his country. 34 Essay: Working together A common vision has joined two major players in the labour and co-op movements. Erbin Crowell considers the implications. 36 Country profile: Bangladesh

Front cover photograph: Jaideep Hardikar. Magazine design: Alan Hughes. All monetary values are expressed in US dollars unless otherwise noted.