„We need Hope, Justice, Freedom!“
International ethecon Blue Planet Award 2011 for Angela Davis
(Berlin) The afro-American civil rights activist and political icon, Angela Davis, was enthusiastically greeted by the numerous participants at this year‘s ethecon conference. She was in Berlin as the recipient of the International ethecon Blue Planet Award 2011. She was presented with the award trophy, designed by the internationally renowned artist Katharina Mayer, by Axel Köhler-Schnura, a founder of ethecon - Foundation Ethics & Economics. In his laudation, Dr. Gregor Gysi talked about the various influential periods of her life „which had made her such an extraordinary activist“. At the same time he emphasized the fact that this award was not meant to honour her personal commitment alone. „Angela Davis is so well known to all of us because she is recognized throughout the whole world as a symbol for the anti-racist, political and social campaigns for the emancipation of us all.“ She became world-wide known at the beginning of the 1970s when she was to be executed in the gas chamber on the grounds of a construed murder charge. Her life was saved by an unparalleled solidarity campaign. Since that time Angela Davis has fought untiringly for social and political rights, such as currently in the Occupy movement. She stands for the fight against the death penalty and for the termination of the increasing exploitation of prisoners through the prison industries system. „Prisons are the slave drivers of the 21.Century. More afro-Americans are exploited in the prison system than during the entire period of slavery.“ Instead of solving problems, people are simply shoved off to prison. She demands instead: „We need housing, jobs, education, health care. And we need community, we need peace, we need love, we need hope, justice, creativity, equality and freedom.“
Further information regarding the choice of the prize winner may be downloaded from the ethecon website. There is a dossier on Angela Davis.
Along with this positive prize, Foundation ethecon‘s negative award was also presented. The International ethecon Black Planet Award 2011 exposes and condemns Chairman Tsunehisa Katsumata, President Masataka Shimizu who was responsible for the Fukushima disaster, his successor Toshio Nishizawa, other accountable managers und major share holders of TEPCO. Because of the Fukushima desaster ethecon criticizes with its Black Planet Award 2011 Tsunehisa Katsumata, chairman of the Japanese Tokyo Electric Power Corporation/TEPCO, the then president Masataka Shimizu, accountable managers and the major share holders standing behind them. In his critical speech political scientist, Prof. Elmar Altvater, emphasized: „The managers of TEPCO have more than earned this award.“ He connected this with the conclusion that the nuclear phase-out, as well as the phase-out of fossil fuels, is more than urgent. The criticized TEPCO executives and share holders will be given the award itself at a later time accompanied by wide-spread public actions in cooperation with victims and international social movements.
Further information regarding the choice of the prize winners may be downloaded from the ethecon website. There is a dossier on them.
With its positive prizes ethecon honored in past years Diane Wilson/USA (2006), Vandana Shiva/India (2007), José Abreu und Hugo Chávez/Venezuela (2008), Uri Avnery/Israel (2009) as well as Elias Bierdel/Austria (2010). The censure awards went to the owners, shareholders and executive management of the following companies: Monsanto/USA (2006), Nestlé/Switzerland (2007), Blackwater (Xe)/USA (2008), Formosa Plastics Group/Taiwan (2009) and BP/Great Britain (2010).
The presentation of the two international ethecon awards war included in the conference held under the topic „Genetic Engineering – made by profit“. Dr. Steffi Ober, consultant for agricultural technology and bio-diversity with NABU (a German organization for environmental protection), criticized in her speech above all the fact that it has been made most difficult for independent scientists to examine genetically engineered plants in terms of risks and impact on nature. Genetic engineering companies and their lobbyists do everything they can to inhibit objective analysis.
In contrast to many corporate, family, church, political and state foundations, ethecon is one of the few foundations empowered by ordinary citizens. There are currently 23 endowment contributors. Following the credo „for a world without exploitation and oppression“, it see its mission in its responsibility toward coming generations. The young foundation is financed through endowment contributions, donations and sustaining memberships.