Silence can sometimes say more than a thousand words. When colleagues from our partner organisations tell us their stories,* our reaction is often silence; a dejected silence.
Civil society organisations from around the world condemn the statements by representatives of palm oil companies during a meeting with the Malaysian government. In this meeting, the company representatives called critical NGOs "toxic entities" and asked the Malaysian government to not let these NGOs into the country. Both ENDS' partners have published a reaction in which they defend their right "to expose the realities we face in their communities about the impacts of the palm oil sector".
We are shocked and alarmed by the news of a planned raid into the headquarters of an environmental organisation in the Philippines. Although the raid has not materialised until now, we are deeply concerned for their wellbeing.
The counterpower does not accept 'business as usual' because it is not fair. The race after the big money is not leading to happiness for everyone, and is usually not good for, for example, the environment or women.
September 22nd websites of civil society organisations and NGO's all over the world will go black, in protest and solidarity. Protest against the shrinking space for civilians and organisations to speak out, unite and protest peacefully.
This is the text of the speech given by Danielle Hirsch on the 'Nacht van de Tegenmacht' (Night of Countervailing Power)
To me, our partner organisations are a significant counterpower. Both ENDS supports them to raise their voices in policy discussions. This way I also see myself as a 'counterpower' against the current economic system.