12 victories of social movements

On the 12 days of Christmas, TNI inspired me with:

Four Nigerian farmers

Photo Credit: Friends of the Earth Europe

The Court of Appeals in The Hague ruled in December that four Nigerian farmers could proceed to sue Shell in the Netherlands for causing extensive oil spills in Nigeria. Campaigner Geert Ritsema said: "This ruling is a ray of hope for other victims of environmental degradation, human rights violations and other misconduct by large corporations."

Five? No, 235(!) reclaimed public water utilities

Photo Credit: Evan Clayburg

In April, Jakarta was the latest major world city to join a gathering wave of communities taking back water services back under public control. TNI released a report showing that 235 communities in 37 countries had remunicipalised public water services, affecting over 100 million people.

Six thousand women occupying

Photo Credit: Mathrubhumi.com

6,000 Keralan women teapickers blocked a road and laid siege to the Munnar, one of Kerala's most popular tourist destinations bringing trade and tourism to a near standstill. 9 days of protests forced the multinational plantation company to reinstate a work bonus and negotiate on pay and working conditions.

Seven years of pipeline resisting

Photo Credit: 350.org

An expected approval of the Keystone XL pipeline extension linking Canada's tarsands to Illinois and Texas was overturned when 7 years of campaigning and direct action, that linked ranchers with indigenous leaders, forced Obama to reject the pipeline.

Eight hundred thousand refugees a-welcoming

Photo Credit: Ilias Bartolini

A mass outpouring of popular solidarity in Europe in the summer led to people opening up their houses, cities declaring sanctuary and ships rescuing refugees in the Mediterranean. The popular response was in contrast to the continuing racist EU migration policies that militarises borders and denies safe routes for refugees.

Nine Canadian judges agreeing

Photo Credit: Caroline Bennett/Rainforest Action Network

Canada's Supreme Court agreed to uphold the original decision of the Ecuador Supreme Court that demanded Texaco-Chevron pay $9.5 billion damages for the contamination caused by oils spills in Ecuador. This victory was a result of years of campaigning by the Union of People Affected by Texaco (UDAPT) representing the Indigenous and farmer communities of the region.

Ten year renewable revolution

Photo Credit: Nordex

A decade of progressive governance and social mobilisation has led Uruguay to become a world leader in sustainable energy. The country has pledged an 88% cut in carbon emissions by 2017 and has already increased the renewable component of its electricity to 95%, focusing on wind power.

Eleven hundred thousand students protesting

Photo Credit: Tony Carr

In the biggest protests since the 1976 Soweto uprising, huge numbers of South Africa's 1.1 million students took to the street against proposed tuition fee increases. The protests, notably led by women, forced President Zuma to reverse the cuts and have created an energised student movement.

Twelve states rethinking

Photo Credit: Neon Tommy

At least 12 countries are rethinking the failed war on drugs that has increased violence and crime, threatened health and criminalised the poor. After Uruguay became the first country to regulate cannabis, there were moves in 2015 towards a harm-reduction approach in Jamaica, Mexico, and the Czech Republic among others.

What were your favourite moments in the struggle for social and environmental justice in 2015? Email your suggestions to webmaster AT tni.org with a web link to the full story and we will do our best to list them here.

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Transnational Institute wishes you a happy and restful holidays!