Gut Check: Making simple sense out of life
By Lenore Skomal Erie Times-News staff blogger
Lenore Skomal is an award-winning author and veteran journalist in all forms of media. She is a weekly columnist and daily blogger for the Erie Times-News. She’s authored 17 published books, including an anthology of her columns, Burnt Toast available on her website www.lenoreskomal.net.   Read more about this blog.
Posted: April 23rd, 2012
World’s most endangered tribe is going extinct thanks to genocide

You’ve heard of Colin Firth, the actor? He won an Academy Award for his portrayal of King George VI in “The King’s Speech.”

Well, this notable actor has expressed his own dislike of being the public face of activism. He is quoted as saying, in 2009, “Why do you have to hear it from an actor? I have a profound dislike of activism. I don’t enjoy hearing dispatches from the crisis zone delivered by actors and rock stars.” 

But it all comes down to a larger sense of conscience.

Despite all of that, he is getting behind the smallest tribe in the world, who faces extinction thanks to what is being called a genocide.

Logging companies exploiting Brazil’s rainforest have been accused by human rights organizations of using gunmen to wipe out the Awá, a tribe of just 355. Survival International, with backing from Firth, is campaigning to stop the slaughter.

According to a recent article in the U.K’s Guardian, “People are pouring on to the Awá’s land, building illegal settlements, running cattle ranches. Hired gunmen – known aspistoleros – are reported to be hunting Awá who have stood in the way of land-grabbers. Members of the tribe describe seeing their families wiped out. Human rights campaigners say the tribe has reached a tipping point and only immediate action by the Brazilian government to prevent logging can save the tribe.”

The campaign to draw attention to this appalling crisis is launching this week by Survival International.

Read the entire story on the Guardian website.

 

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