This struggle is about a group of people, the Awá, and their unconditional natural rights. It’s also about much more. As with the landmark battles and victories fought and won by the San in South Africa in 2006 and again in 2011, this is undeniably a fight against entrenched and purposeful brutality and irrefutable corruption, the outcome of which will influence the future of native peoples everywhere.
Whatever you thought about “KONY” or any number of similar things, this is not that in any way, shape, or form. If you thought that was important, this is infinitely more so. If you thought that was irrelevant or fraudulent, this is categorically not. It is, in fact, one of the most pertinent campaigns one could possibly support: whether you value human rights, diversity, national sovereignty, the environment, so on and so forth, this is part and parcel of the big and all-encompassing picture that includes whatever it is that normally presses you toward action.
Survival International - the organization responsible, in part, for the handful of tangible, enforceable victories won by indigenous peoples over the last four decades - represents a widely varied range of groups across the world. This isn’t history or sociology and it’s not anthropology. Rather, what they do is aid native peoples as they fight the monolithic instruments of despoliation that threaten - realistically threaten - to cause the wholesale extermination of entire groups of people and ways of life.
Don’t mistake the gravity of the situation. It won’t lessen anytime soon.