August 2011

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Panic on the Streets of London

Picture credit: Al Jazeera Laurie Penny - I’m huddled in the front room with some shell-shocked friends, watching my city burn. The BBC is interchanging footage of blazing cars and running street battles in Hackney, of police horses lining up in Lewisham, of roiling infernos that were once shops and houses in Croydon and in Peckham. Last night, Enfield, Walthamstow, Brixton and Wood Green were looted; there have been hundreds of arrests and dozens of serious injuries, and it will be a miracle if nobody dies tonight. This is...

Women's Exclusion Worsens Somali Crises

Picture credit: UNIFEM Khadija O. Ali - On July 22, 2011 the newly appointed Somali Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali, a Harvard-trained professor of economics, announced his 49-member cabinet. There are only two women in it: one minister and one vice minister. Yet, Somali women and children are the primary victims of ongoing conflict and deepening drought and famine in Somalia. According to UNICEF, a child dies every six minutes in the areas hard hit by drought in the Horn of Africa. In addition, all international studies show...

A Message to Both Women and Men: Embrace Your Inner Girl

Video Playwright and activist, Eve Enslor, creator of the Vagina Monologues and founder of V-Day, a global movement to stop violence against women, takes the opportunity at this TED Talk to advise both women and men to embrace their inner girl. Enslor argues that there is a cell or grouping of cells that exists in both men and women -- she calls it the "girl cell." According to Enslor, the girl cell is central to the evolution of our species and the continuation of the human race. At...

Behind The 'Liberal' Good Goverance Facade: Fear, Loathing and Patronage in the DA's Suburban Heartland

Picture credit: Democratic Alliance Dale T. McKinley - “With one hand we hand out blankets, calm the tide with donations and good-works. On the other hand we unreservedly support a system which treats the poor like filth. We turn a blind eye when those self-same blankets are burnt by the powers we vote into place. We hide and we are afraid; afraid of ‘them’ coming over our walls, afraid of questioning those in power.”  No, these are not the words of an insecure and guilt-ridden white suburban ‘liberal’...

Meet the Right-Wing Hatemongers Who Inspired the Norway Killer

Max Blumenthal - Few political terrorists in recent history took as much care to articulate their ideological influences and political views as Anders Behring Breivik did. The right-wing Norwegian Islamophobe who murdered 76 children and adults in Oslo and at a government-run youth camp spent months, if not years, preparing his 1,500 page manifesto.  Besides its length, one of the most remarkable aspects of the manifesto is the extent to which its European author quoted from the writings of figures from...

Let's Take Back the Internet!

Video In this powerful talk from TEDGlobal, Rebecca MacKinnon describes the expanding struggle for freedom and control in cyberspace, and asks: How do we design the next phase of the Internet with accountability and freedom at its core, rather than control? She believes the internet is headed for a "Magna Carta" moment when citizens around the world demand that their governments protect free speech and their right to connection. According to MacKinnon private companies are applying...