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SAMOSA Festival: 22-29 September 2012

SAMOSA Festival: 22-29 September 2012 | Daraja.net | Scoop.it

2012 is a high impact year for Kenyans, and the Festival will vigorously drive the message of harmonious co-existence, cross cultural acceptance, cohesion and encounters in a soft, exciting, creative, innovative and dynamic manner. Using the primary theme of ‘Creating Cultural Encounters’, we will demonstrate how culture, music and art can be used as powerful tools to generate these encounters and to encourage people to learn about each other, and understand each other better.

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People's Climate March: Resistance against Climate Crimes: Nnimmo Bassey

People's Climate March: Resistance against Climate Crimes: Nnimmo Bassey | Daraja.net | Scoop.it

There is going to be a climate summit at the UN headquarters in New York on the 23st of September. In the US Barack Obama has again abandoned any attempts to go for a legally binding international climate deal at the climate summit next year. Nnimmo Bassey says that "governments cannot be depended upon to fight global warming (...) because governments are generally at the beg and call of big corporations". "The spark of hope lies in the people. In the people who are not negotiating". The "People's Climate March" should demand that "the money for climate debts should be paid to the global South and call for a reduction of expenditure on military hardware and war. If it makes such demands then that may be useful". People should also march to the "climate crime scenes", for example to the oil fields in Nigeria and "saying Shell, Exxon Mobile, Chevron, you are climate crimes, enough, you have to put a stop to it. We don’t have to go far away".

  
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It's time NGOs admit aid isn't going to 'save' Africa

It's time NGOs admit aid isn't going to 'save' Africa | Daraja.net | Scoop.it
The UK is a world leader in development aid. It's also a leader in greenhouse gas emissions, tax haven networks, and taking corporate profits out of Africa – which cause far more poverty there than aid relieves. Yet, the continent is often portrayed as "needing our help" and the question we must answer is what role have international NGOs – including my own, Health Poverty Action – played in portraying Africa as a continent in need of help?

Last week, along with 12 other UK and African NGOs, we published research that attempts to challenge the dominant narrative around aid and development. Our report quantifies the total resource flows in and out of Africa. It shows that Africa is losing £192bn to the rest of the world each year, while only £134bn flows in. This means Africa suffers a net loss of £58bn a year.

And against the £192bn annual losses, aid puts back less than £30bn. It's a tiny part of the picture – and clearly no solution to the regular and systematic impoverishment of a continent. Yet raising money, whether as government aid or charity donations, is what most development NGOs bang on about more than anything else.

This distorted communication implies aid is the answer. But the true figures highlight the dishonesty of the aid narrative, which portrays Africa as the grateful beneficiary of the rich world's generosity, and its hope for the future resting on how charitable we choose to be. To reinforce this perception – or to fail to challenge it – is to perpetuate a lie, and one that causes profound damage to the cause of poverty eradication.

First, it undermines public solidarity. Is it any wonder that the public have become tired and disillusioned when for years they have been told their donations and taxes are alleviating poverty in Africa, yet an end to poverty is nowhere in sight?

Second, it re-enforces power imbalances between north and south – consolidating perceptions of the poor and unproductive Africans dependent on their northern 'saviours'.

Worst of all, it diverts attention from the real issue – that the UK plays a key role in the theft of Africa's resources. Through the actions of its inadequately regulated multinational companies, its contributions to climate change, giving parts of its aid as loans that contribute to the debt crisis, and its network of tax havens through which it facilitates the looting of billions from Africa each year.

As NGOs we have constantly reinforced and validated this narrative. There has been – and is – an overwhelming tendency in the sector to lead with a focus on aid: how much it should be and what it should be spent on. These debates came to a head in the run-up to the 2013 budget, when (despite the budget being condemned by UK poverty groups) the international NGO sector warmly applauded the Chancellor for committing to meet the 0.7 target – a target that did nothing to change the UK's role in creating that poverty in the first place.

By holding this tiny gesture up as a heroic victory, the sector reinforced the perception that aid is the key tool in the fight against poverty, and wrongly validated the UK government's self-proclaimed image as the heroic saviour of the poor.

We (and I repeat, I'm including myself and Health Poverty Action too) have become part of the problem. Speaking up about resources between Africa and the rich world is not just a call to action to government, but also to ourselves.

So what do we do about it?

To start with, we need to end our obsession with 0.7%. With little time and space to talk about global poverty, when we get the chance we need to focus on what can really make poverty history. And that's not aid.

We have to examine our communications with the public, and be honest about what £3 a month can and can't do. We have a duty to those we purport to work on behalf of, and to our own public, to tell the truth. And the truth is the UK takes far more from Africa than it gives in aid. Africa subsidises us, not the other way around. The solution is to stop those losses, that drain of resources, not divert attention away from it by demands for aid and charity appeals.

We need to look at our own internal structures, policies and practices – in our campaign collations, and inside our organisations. We can't expect to change the power imbalances that create mass poverty in the world while retaining similar imbalances within our own partnerships.

Finally, the sector needs to shift the development debate to holding our government to account for its role in the global poverty. There are already impressive campaigns on tax and climate change – the sector needs to unite behind these. Yet challenging the government on their actions, while simultaneously congratulating them for their aid just doesn't make sense. It is the paradox at the very heart of the sector that undermines all that we are trying to achieve. Justice for Africa requires action to stop the resources being taken out. Let's focus on that.

Martin Drewry is director of Health Poverty Action. Along with others he's set up the Progressive Development Forum. Follow @HealthPoverty on Twitter
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Israeli intelligence veterans refuse to serve in Palestinian territories

Israeli intelligence veterans refuse to serve in Palestinian territories | Daraja.net | Scoop.it
Innocent people under military rule exposed to surveillance by Israel, say 43 ex-members of Unit 8200, including reservists
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Roundtable Introduction: New Media, New Politics? Revolutions in Theory and Practice

Roundtable Introduction: New Media, New Politics? Revolutions in Theory and Practice | Daraja.net | Scoop.it
In April of 2013, the Arab Media Center at the University of Westminster's CAMRI hosted its annual Arab media studies conference under the title of “New Media, New Politics?” At a critical juncture in the progress of the region’s uprisings, the ...
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On SJP’s Freedom to Organize: An Open Letter from CUNY Faculty

On SJP’s Freedom to Organize: An Open Letter from CUNY Faculty | Daraja.net | Scoop.it
[The following letter, signed by faculty from sixteen colleges of the City University of New York (CUNY), was released on 1 September 2014. For more information, or to sign on as a CUNY faculty signatory or an affiliate supporter, click here.]
As ...
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Urgent Action to Preserve Net Neutrality!

Urgent Action to Preserve Net Neutrality! | Daraja.net | Scoop.it
People around the world understand the battle for net neutrality as a defining moment for the Internet.
 
ThoughtWorks is joining Big Telecom vs. The World, a global effort of more than 50 groups in 22 countries who are calling on individuals, organizations and companies to be part of the historic campaign. 
 
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Tell Turkey’s dairy giant Sütas, to stop its shameful attack on human rights!

Tell Turkey’s dairy giant Sütas, to stop its shameful attack on human rights! | Daraja.net | Scoop.it
Please support this IUF urgent action campaign and spread the word.
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ISIS, Iraq, Syria and US Objectives | NewsClick

Aijaz Ahmad, the well-known political commentator discusses with Newsclick the so-called rescue of the Yazidis by the US, when in reality, on the ground it was Kurdish forces -- PKK forces from Turkey and YPG from Syria -- who had come to their rescue. Aijaz believes that the US wanted a change of guard -- replacing al Maliki with Haider al Abadi, and refusing to aid the Baghdad forces against IS before was a part of this plan. he also felt that though the current fighting is a danger to the Mosul Dam, held to be the most dangerous dam in the world, ISIS or IS, would not be able to hold it for long. . Aijaz also pointed out the recent concessions that Iran has made to the US and that this indicates a tacit understanding in Iraq of Iran, Baghdad forces and the US against IS. He suggested that chances are that IS would now turn to Syria for its next set of targets, where the US still seems to want a regime change. Despite the rise of forces such as IS, which could be against the interests of the US, the longterm objectives of the US to remake this whole region into a patchwork of ethnic and religious states still continues.

Firoze Manji's insight:

Newsclick is a site worth keeping an eye on - some of the best analyses to be found

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China's engagement with African agriculture

China's engagement with African agriculture | Daraja.net | Scoop.it
Some experts say that the Chinese engagement in African agriculture is still in the exploratory stage.
Firoze Manji's insight:

Like so many articles of the same kind, if you go through the details about China's involvement in Africa presented in the article you find sparse evidence of China's engagement with agriculture. China trades with Africa, but it is really difficult to find evidence of its investment or exploitation in agricultural exploitation. We need to compare whatever figures there may be with the investments and exploitation of Europe (see EPAs), Britain, France, Germany, Japan and the USA.

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The Middle East: US created ISIS to topple Libya

The Middle East: US created ISIS to topple Libya | Daraja.net | Scoop.it
TV about what's REALLY going on.

Via Enrique Ferro
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Enrique Ferro's curator insight, September 4, 5:20 PM



The origin of ISIS

Where there is smoke, there is
fire.

ISIS is just a little too slick to
have come out of nowhere.

So where did it come from?
We've got the answers.

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Ebola outbreak: call to send in military to west Africa: Case of militarisation of aid

Ebola outbreak: call to send in military to west Africa: Case of militarisation of aid | Daraja.net | Scoop.it
Head of Médecins sans Frontières says the world is 'losing the battle' as cases and deaths continue to surge
Firoze Manji's insight:

The role of NGOs is supporting the militarisation of aid is not new - they were up to the same game in Somalia. 

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Get Ready for the ‘Internet Slowdown’: Amy Goodman

Get Ready for the ‘Internet Slowdown’: Amy Goodman | Daraja.net | Scoop.it
Next Wednesday, Sept. 10, if your favorite website seems to load slowly, take a closer look: You might be experiencing the Battle for the Net’s “Internet Slowdown,” a global day of grass-roots action.
- 2014/09/03
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Police as occupying army

Police as occupying army | Daraja.net | Scoop.it
The death of a black teenager at the hands of a white policeman in Ferguson, Missouri, and the subsequent war-like response by the police to the protests expose a culture of hatred for the black community and the militarisation of the police in the United States. By Vijay Prashad
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Ferguson, the Black Radical Tradition and the Path Forward by Sundiata Keita Cha-Jua | The Black Scholar

Ferguson, the Black Radical Tradition and the Path Forward by Sundiata Keita Cha-Jua | The Black Scholar | Daraja.net | Scoop.it

Can’t you feel it? Feel the temperature dropping? Feel the icy winds blowing? It’s winter in America. Spring and fall seem to have enveloped summer. The chill comes sooner and lasts longer. It’s winter in America. There’s a blizzard coming. The first frost has already fallen, in Ferguson, Missouri, of all places. Ferguson has ripped the veil off. It is now clear for the world to see how the U.S. plans to deal with its black internal colony.

 
Firoze Manji's insight:

A really brilliant piece. Must read.

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Ferguson video shows witness saying Michael Brown's hands were raised

Ferguson video shows witness saying Michael Brown's hands were raised | Daraja.net | Scoop.it
Footage of two construction workers moments after black teenager's fatal shooting appears to support other witness accounts
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Beyond the code: register for conference

Beyond the Code is an exciting new conference that strives to build knowledge, grow connections, and bring diverse individuals with similar interests together f
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Italian-Palestinian Relations: What Went Wrong?

Italian-Palestinian Relations: What Went Wrong? | Daraja.net | Scoop.it
Throughout July, Zionist groups carried out a number of attacks against Palestine solidarity activists and Palestinian institutions in Italy. They attacked and abused seven young Italians in Rome. One of the victims was accosted merely for wearing a ...
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Haiti's Fragile Democracy: Defend Jean-Bertrand Aristide

Haiti's Fragile Democracy: Defend Jean-Bertrand Aristide | Daraja.net | Scoop.it

The latest chapter in a long series of preliminary legal actions against Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide has generated a series of standoffs. Outside Aristide's house in the suburb of Tabarre, his supporters have gathered several times in the past weeks to protest announced efforts to arrest him and have usually been dispersed with tear gas by Haitian police and UN soldiers. Inside the Courthouse Judge Lamarre Belizaire insists that the police execute an arrest warrant he issued on August 14, while his chief judge issues contradictory statementsabout whether the effort to have him recused—now before Haiti's Cour de Cassation (Supreme Court)—affects the warrant's validity. In the court of public opinion, Aristide's lawyers—who have not been allowed any hearings or access to the case file—argue that the Judge Belizaire is an illegally-appointed judge following a deeply flawed process to harass an opponent of the government that named him.

 
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The Myopia of Economics Journalism

The Myopia of Economics Journalism | Daraja.net | Scoop.it
Economics journalism in South Africa needs to wake up and smell the coffee. As things stand, the profession and its practitioners are apparently ill equipped to relate to recent developments, just as were professional economists when the crash of 2008 stunned the discipline. Unless the media recognises the need for a genuine contest of ideas and diversity of opinions, and starts to speak to the economic experiences of the majority of South Africans, then its future could be bleak indeed. After all, relevance is the most important guarantor of sustainability, not closeness to where the wealth lies in society at this current moment.
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Africans’ land rights at risk as new agricultural trend sweeps continent

Africans’ land rights at risk as new agricultural trend sweeps continent | Daraja.net | Scoop.it
The need for private sector investment in Africa is manifest, but the quality of those inflows of capital is vital if it is to enhance the livelihoods of millions of food producers in Africa.
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'No New Wars, No to NATO': Demonstrators Challenge Role of Western Military Alliance

'No New Wars, No to NATO': Demonstrators Challenge Role of Western Military Alliance | Daraja.net | Scoop.it
Calling for peace and an end to ever-expanding military intervention, up to one thousand protesters joined a march in Newport, Wales on Thursday, protesting the NATO summit taking place there September 4-5.
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Jadaliyya: September Culture Bouquet

Jadaliyya: September Culture Bouquet | Daraja.net | Scoop.it
Almost a decade ago, Saadi Youssef began his poem "Imru' al-Qays' Grandson" by asking: "Is it your fault that once you were born in that country? / Three quarters of a century / and you still pay from your ebbing blood / its ...
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▶ What I've Learned About US Foreign Policy: The War Against the Third World - YouTube

WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT Produced by Frank Dorrel A 2-hour video compilation featuring 10 segments about CIA covert operations and military interventions sin...
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Illicit outflows from Africa ‘mostly from extractive industries’

Illicit outflows from Africa ‘mostly from extractive industries’ | Daraja.net | Scoop.it
African Union Commission chairwoman Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma tells industry lekgotla mining companies among biggest culprits in illicit trading
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About

The BDS Ad Hoc Committee was struck at the September 2013 UTGSU General Council meeting to respond to the motion passed at the December 2012 UTGSU Annual General Meeting (the highest decision-making...
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