I was asked this week what it takes to tell the stories of black lesbians killed in the townships in South Africa. The answer, in some ways, lies in Ferguson, Missouri, far away from South Africa, in an American community that has been burning all week.
The message arrives on my “clean machine,” a MacBook Air loaded only with a sophisticated encryption package. “Change in plans,” my contact says. “Be in the lobby of the Hotel ______ by 1 pm. Bring a book and wait for ES to find you.”
After the Snowden revelations, Internet governance has emerged from relative obscurity, involving only a small technical community, to occupy the center stage of human rights discourse and international relations.… Everyone agrees that digital technologies, including the Internet, are transformative technologies. They reorder society as a whole, as well as relations between society and individuals. But…[their] potential…has not been fully realized. A case in point: instead of the democratizing potential of the Internet, a few global corporations have created monopolies that are much bigger than those we have seen before, and this has happened in just two decades. What does this mean, for instance, for the plurality of media voices? We know that Internet advertising revenue in the United States, having previously overtaken the print media, has now overtaken even TV network advertising revenues. How did monopolies on such a scale happen, and happen so quickly? Does it have to do with the nature of the Internet? Or its architecture and governance?
Have my views changed? In many ways that I think the situation today is worse than when that article was published. The extent of land-grabbing, natural resource extraction, privatisation, freedom for transnational corporations to loot and avoid taxation, and the extent of collusion with this theft by the local elites is unprecedented. Our governments are ever more accountable to the coporations and banks. Everything is commodified and speculated upon. Millions are unable to buy basic foods not because of any shortage of food, but because food is speculated upon as commodities on the stock-exchanges. Our genetic resources are being looted and farmers are being imprisoned by the agro-industrial complex. Our countries are being turned increasingly into occupied territories by US Africom. And on these issues, most development NGOs are silent, or at best issue nice policy papers but deny that these are political, not policy, issues, and therefore a matter of power.
Every morning we wake up to an updated butcher’s bill: one hundred, two hundred, four hundred, six hundred Palestinians killed by Israel’s war apparatus. These numbers gloss over many details: the majority of Gazans, one of the most populated ...
[This Migrant Rights report sheds light on the response of Gulf regimes in general and the Geneva-based NGO International Gulf Organization (IGO) in particular to international criticism of migrant labor rights in the region.] This past ...
Two weeks ago the lower chamber of the Spanish parliament approved a number of changes to Spain’s Intellectual Property Law that directly threaten the ability of Spanish internet users to contribute to the commons. The law introduces a number of modifications to copyright law that expand the scope of exclusive rights over areas that were previously outside of the exclusive rights of copyright holders at the expense of users rights and the public domain
Last week, after days of violent police rampages in Ferguson, Missouri, Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-Michigan) said the Senate will "review" the Defense Department program that gives military weapons and equipment to civilian police departments for free. It took five apocalyptic nights in Ferguson for Levin to make that statement, but the national dialogue on the militarization of police has begun.
Following the police shooting of eighteen-year-old Michael Brown on 9 August 2014, images of Ferguson, Missouri conjure the atrocities suffered by those living under military occupation in war zones across the world. They depict Special Weapons and ...
Companies that have become notorious for supplying Israeli, Egyptian and Bahraini security forces with tear-gas have also supplied the police in Ferguson, Missouri with those products. Those companies' weapons are being fired on protesters livid over the police shooting of Michael Brown, an 18-year-old unarmed black teen hit six times by an officer named Darren Wilson. The use of tear-gas, armored vehicles and high-powered rifles on the streets of an American city to quell protests have fed anger over Brown's killing across the nation and has also sparked an unprecedented debate over police militarization in the country.
Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, in an exclusive article for Haaretz, calls for a global boycott of Israel and urges Israelis and Palestinians to look beyond their leaders for a sustainable solution to the crisis in the Holy Land.
Pan-African Baraza — baraza means a community meeting or forum or place for organizing. The idea is not to set up yet another Pan-African institution, but rather to establish a formation that is a convenor, forum and organiser, a safe place where activists, intellectuals and social movements can interact and debate and organise around key strategic issues facing the continent. Far from being in competition to other Pan-Africanist institutions, it is in many senses a complement to those institutions. The Pan-African Baraza will be an independent institution, with sponsorship and active participation from ThoughtWorks.
Aime Cesaire argued in 1955 that colonialism has a boomerang effect - what is done over there will eventually be done at home. When the overwhelmingly white police department in Ferguson, Missouri, some of whom are Israeli trained, responded to protest at their murder of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, they brought in equipment first used in the Iraq war. It was the boomerang effect. The images that rushed around the world showed what can only be understood as a colonial mode of policing.
The statistics coming out of Gaza as Israel’s most recent bombardment of that hapless territory gradually winds down capture the nature of a catastrophe methodically inflicted by one people on another. Yet for all of the sheer violence that Israel unleashed in Gaza, the indiscriminate scale of the bombing has actually seemed to accelerate BDS efforts around the world. Israel may have "won" this round of conflict, but in terms of the larger political struggle, it has almost certainly lurched from one loss to another as the world reacts in disgust.
[The following letter calling on scholars and librarians within Middle East studies to boycott Israeli academic institutions was submitted in the name of the below signatories to Jadaliyya on 6 August 2014.] We, the undersigned scholars and ...