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Portugal Fires: ASMAA Challenges MPs in Portuguese Parliament

Photo: Rede Pronta - Ana Perpétuo Photo: Rede Pronta - Ana Perpétuo

After many nights without being able to sleep, with images of a “war zone created by questionable fires”, and destroyed areas crossing my mind every time I close my eyes, at ASMAA we launch today a challenge to our MPs in the Portuguese parliament.

 

We invite you to go and volunteer in the areas affected for a few days, without taking your assessors and advisors. We challenge you to join the volunteers in the terrain that are overworked but keep on going.

Leave the comfort of your parliamentary seats, the comfort of your offices … the comfort of your political life. Go and join the real people on the ground and put your hands to some real work. (But please leave the cameras and selfies behind)

 

Maybe, just maybe after a few days working in the middle of rubble, thousands of burned trees, and seeing the risks that these many villagers are facing, you may do the right thing every time the industry lobbyists enters your offices - you send them packing.

Every time a proposed new law that will have a negative impact on the people, animals and environment you will reject it, opting instead for proposing and supporting laws that will redress the situation in favour of the people, animals and the nation, not these that just favour multinationals.

 

I dare each and everyone of you. Join the volunteers in Oliveira do Hospital, Tabua, Penedo, etc. With so many thousands of kilometres burned and hundreds of villages facing a crisis you are indeed spoiled for choice of where to go …

We challenge you to do your bit on the ground. Show the people of Portugal that you really care about them – join them for a day, a few days, a weekend.

 

We don’t want to hear excuses that you are doing your bit by ordering studies, reports, opinions that will cost thousands. The fact is that most people will not have the opportunity to read them, and in all probability must of them will go directly to file 13 (the dustbin) …

We don’t want to see you going on a merry go round of kisses and selfies hosted by local leaders or signing protocols that will only benefit a few; we want to see you working alongside the volunteers and the locals.

 

We challenge you to go and see for yourself, be part of the action … there’s more knowledge and wisdom on the ground, you do not need consultants and advisors, you need the know-how that is already there.

 

And once you return to your air-conditioned offices and your life of privilege paid by taxpayers, you will be better equipped to do the right thing. You don’t need months of studies, decision-making protocols and bureaucracy … you just need to act now! Not tomorrow, not next week, not next year!

 

Its time to act responsibly … we challenge you to do the right thing NOW!

 

Comments   

 
+4 # ian dixon 2017-11-05 20:22
The eucalyptus fires are an apocalypse devastating the lives of villagers and destroying the villages and eco-systems of Portugal.
These villagers are largely good honest and caring people. Many are elders. They deserve your love and respect.
If you personally had witnessed these fires I am certain you would be deeply affected.
At least visit and see the truth of the devastation your current forestry policies are causing.
I pray for your wisdom and inspiration to retain the beauty of Portugal for future generations.
Thankyou
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+4 # Ann lancaster 2017-11-04 12:14
We should all be helping, but if we cant help physically we should at least donate whet is needed ASAP no one should suffer unaided in these terrible times.
Ann Lancaster, FREEMAPS
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