David Harvey is unabashedly political in his book Rebel Cities, published in 2012. He roots urban planning firmly in the realm of human rights and draws a distinct ‘line in the sand’ between cities which honor the rights of its citizens and those which have been ‘bought out’ by greater powers.
It is a shock. Not an unexpected one, because though the mind was alive, the body had been declining for months. I shall miss him, because Tony Benn was a towering figure, one of the rare politicians, in his day, who was a household name, bigger than any post he held. It will not emerge from the tributes we will hear today, but it was also staggering how much he was reviled in his time, because he was not some gentle socialist guru, he was a political sreet fighter, warm in his friendships and harsh in his judgements.
The first time I met Tony Benn was years ago at the WBAI Pacifica radio station in New York. We were both being simultaneously interviewed about the events of the day. He was delighted to be able to speak his mind and share his progressive views with mine on the radio. “There’s much more freedom of speech in the U.S. than in the U.K.,” he remarked to me. “Not that much more,” I said. That was the closest we came to a disagreement.
The former Labour Cabinet Minister, author and long-serving MP Tony Benn has passed away today, aged 88. In 2009, our deputy editor Mary Wakefield interviewed Benn about the financial crisis and the basic decency at the heart of all human beings. Here is the article in full.
For those of us inspired by mass mobilizations in Egypt’s Tahrir Square, Turkey’s Gezi Park, Greece’s Syntagma Square, Spain’s Plaza del Sol, and even our “own” Zuccotti Park, it is easy for protests in Venezuela to evoke the same emotions. But this would be a mistake: there is no equivalence between those seeking social transformation and economic justice on the one hand and those wishing to deepen their integration into a fundamentally unjust and unsound global economic system.
LSE SU Terra, an indigenous rights group at LSE who I have the pleasure of knowing and sometimes working with, organised Indigenous Genius week last week. There was a string of events- talks on ‘The Dread’ of New Zealand, a meeting with Nixiwaka Yawanawá, an indigenous Amazonian working with Survival International, and a panel debate on whether ‘Development=Progress?’.
( March 12, 2014, Tokyo, Sri Lanka Guardian) World-renowned political dissident, linguist, author and MIT Professor Noam Chomsky traveled to Japan last week ahead of the three-year anniversary of the Fukushima crisis. Chomsky, now 85 years old, met with Fukushima survivors, including families who evacuated the area after the meltdown. "[It’s] particularly horrifying that this is happening in Japan with its unique, horrendous experiences with the impact of nuclear explosions, which we don’t have to discuss," Chomsky says. "And it’s particularly horrifying when happening to children — but unfortunately, this is what happens all the time."
On Thursday 3 April 2014, Birkbeck’s Department of Politics will be hosting leading social theorists David Harvey and Andy Merrifield in conversation about the contradictions of capitalism and the new urban question.
Catching up with Isaac Wilder, who we first met during the height of Occupy actions as he and a small band of hackers set out to build the people's Internet. (Two years later, where is Occupy's Internet?
“Now in a world of international capitalism, we are being dominated increasingly by people we did not elect, can’t remove and who therefore do not have to listen to us…..” Tony Benn, Steps of St.Pauls, 9/11/11.