July 2009

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Naomi Klein on the Importance of the BDS Campaign against Israel

Naomi Klein delivered a speech on 27 June 2009 in Ramallah about the importance of the BDS (boycott, divestment, sanctions) campaign against Israel. Her speech was filmed in two parts. Watch part one in the clip above. To watch part two of Klein's speech, please click here. Below you will find an excerpt of her speech, transcribed by Toufic Haddad for the Faster Times and published by the Global BDS Movement. Highlighting the significance of intensifying economic sanctions...

The Hidden Mental Health Crisis in South Africa

Picture: Unknown Glenn Ashton - South Africa has some of the highest levels in the world of mental health disability and disease, with around one in five people affected. While popular belief holds that mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, obsessive behaviours, depression, bipolar disorder and various phobias are caused solely by individual susceptibility to these maladies, the reality is rather more nuanced. It appears that susceptible individuals are more likely to exhibit symptoms when stressed by personal or...

Pirate Bay Spawns International Political Movement

Picture: Svennevenn David Bollier - A lot of politics comes down to making a point through colorful theatrics and stories. By that reckoning, Sweden’s Pirate Party deserves an Oscar for the edgiest, most innovative and dramatic advocacy since Abbie Hoffman’s Yippie Party ran a pig for president in 1968. This time, however, the “pirates” are actually electing their own to serious positions. The story starts with a website that inspired the Pirate Party, Pirate Bay a frankly subversive file-sharing...

Who's in Charge of Zuma's Presidency 2.0?

Picture: World Economic Forum Ebrahim-Khalil Hassen - The Presidency has a new website, let us call it Presidency 2.0. As I visited the site after Minister Manuel had announced the details of the government’s plan till 2014. Officially, it is called the Medium Term Strategic Framework (MTSF). The website and the strategic framework share a surprising usability, because usually government’s information is inaccessible. I clicked on the section called “Presidency Kids,” but the site took so long to download. I instead...

Wall Street Recovery Based on Profits Gained from Intensifying Exploitation

We are told that Wall Street is bouncing back and the recession is bottoming out, but Richard Wolff, economist from the New School in New York City, pokes holes in the economic recovery and false euphoria of Wall Street. He says, what we are seeing now is a peculiar economic phenomenon. Across the United States, business are hurting. Revenues are down for almost every kind of business.  And in response, the businesses have done what businesses always do. Cut back in order to survive....

South Africa and the World Development Report: Urbanisation or Balanced Growth?

Picture: Kool_Skatkat Stephen Greenberg - The World Bank’s recently released 2009 World Development Report - titled Reshaping Economic Geography - suggests South Africa may be out of step with mainstream thinking on economic development approaches. But what is this ‘mainstream’ thinking, and is South Africa really so out of step with it? In the report, the Bank argues that successful development will result from increasing economic concentration in urban areas, and that the role of the state is to enable...