April 2011

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Libya and the BRICS: Currency Wars, Imperial Wars and Popular Uprisings

Picture: Copyright Nvosti. Dmitry Astachov Leonard Gentle - On one side of the world NATO bombs Libya and on the other, the newly expanded BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) meet on the island of Hainan, off the south coast of China. Two seemingly unrelated events. But there are links and forces at play fuelling important new power contestations in the world.  Western bombs are raining down on Libya and a “no-fly zone” is being imposed after a United Nations (UN) Security Council resolution. At the UN,...

The US, Gulf Kings and Brutal Repression in Bahrain

Video In Bahrain, brutal repression of pro-democracy protests continues. At least 31 people have been killed, four of them after they were arrested. Approximately 600 people have been picked up in raids conducted by the authorities. Many of those taken into custody face torture. Saudi troops have been dispatched to Bahrain to help the Al Khalifa monarchy suppress the pro-democracy uprising. There has been limited international condemnation of the suppression of the pro-democracy movement in...

The Fine Arts in South Africa: Towards Straddling the Great Divide

Picture: www.art.com Glenn Ashton - The fine arts in South Africa are not yet representative of our not-so-new democracy. Nor have they gained their own voice in the broader art world. While South Africa has stamped its imprint on the world of opera and film, with diverse products like U-Carmen eKhayelitsha and District 9, while our theatre and culture has fed the world, the fine arts continue to stagnate in a foetid and untransformed backwater, hemmed in by stale commercial and academic influences abetted by indolent state...

The Shiceka Syndrome and the Corrupting Power of the Status Trap

Saliem Fakir - Political misdemeanours don’t come with a light touch but are systemic problems engulfing the entire governance of state and electoral politics. The indulgence sees no end and whether it will end depends on whether the ANC values its party and the people who support it. What it confesses in public, as a set of beliefs and morals, live far apart from the reality of its practice. It is clear that just being a struggle hero alone is insufficient a credential for the self-policing of...

On the Murder of Andries Tatane

Picture: uriohau.blogspot.com Richard Pithouse - There are moments when a society has to step back from the ordinary thrum of day to day life and ask itself how it has become what it has become. There are times when a society has to acknowledge that it cannot go on as it is and ask itself what must be done to set things on a new and better course.  The historians of our children and grandchildren’s generation will write the history of our failure to redeem the promise of our democracy and the struggles that brought it into...

Protesting the French Niqab Ban in Hot Pants

Video When the French ban on the niqab was passed into law last year, two French students protested the ban by donning niqabs and hot pants to test the reaction of French authorities. The women, both students in their 20's, stomped around Paris targeting the administration buildings of French authorities, notably the immigration office. The French niqab ban went into effect on 11 April 2011. According to the Telegraph, the women call themselves the "Niqabitches" and...