Monday, June 15, 2009

Appalachia and Colombia: The People Behind the Coal --An interview with Aviva Chomsky


(PHOTO: Aviva Chomsky with delegate Sandra Díaz from Appalachian Voices)


Aviva Chomsky is professor of history and Latin American Studies at Salem State College in Massachusetts. The most recent books she has written are Linked Labor Histories: New England, Colombia, and the Making of a Global Working Class. (Duke University Press, 2008) and They Take Our Jobs! And Twenty Other Myths about Immigration. (Beacon Press, 2007). She has also recently co-edited The People Behind Colombian Coal: Mining, Multinationals and Human Rights/Bajo el manto del carbón: Pueblos y multinacionales en las minas del Cerrejón, Colombia (Casa Editorial Pisando Callos, 2007) and The Cuba Reader: History, Culture, Politics (Duke University Press, 2003).


Chomsky is also a founder of the North Shore Colombia Solidarity Committee, which has been working since 2002 with Colombian labor and popular movements, especially those affected by the foreign-owned mining sector. She just returned from the Witness for Peace delegation (May 28 – June 6) that traveled to two regions devastated by coal mining: the state of Kentucky and to northern Colombia. The Kentucky segment was sponsored by Kentuckians For The Commonwealth (KFTC), where participants witnessed the impact of Mountain Top Removal mining and Valley Fills on local communities. In Colombia the delegation met with human rights activists, trade unionists, members of Afro-Colombian and indigenous communities, and others affected by coal production in Colombia.


Read the full interview here.


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PHOTO: Cerrejón mine, Colombia