February 2011

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Revolution Comes Like a Thief in the Night

Picture: Chris Corwin Richard Pithouse - Life, ordinary life, is meant to follow certain rhythms. We grow, seasons change and we assume new positions in the world. When you have finished being a child you put away childish things and move on to the next stage of life. But there is a multitude of people in this world who cannot build a home, marry and care for their children and aging parents. There is a multitude of people who are growing older as they remain stuck in an exhausting limbo, perhaps just managing to scrape together the...

The History of Military Dictatorship in Egypt

Video Egypt has essentially been a military dictatorship since 1952, argues Gilbert Achcar professor of development studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London. His most recent book is the Arabs and the holocaust: The Arab-Israeli War of Narratives. The backbone of the political system has been and continues to be the army that seized power after a civil uprising against the British-backed monarchy that coincidentally erupted on 26 January 1952, almost exactly...

Will 2011 Bring the End of the Israeli State as We Know It?

Picture: hoyasmeg Katie Halper - I first heard of Jeff Halper at Israel-Palestine-related events, where people would ask me if I was related to him. It took me 30 seconds of Googling to realize that I’d love to be related to this Minnesotan anthropologist, activist, writer, Nobel Peace Prize nominee, and founder and coordinator of Israeli Committee Against Housing Demolitions (ICAHD). Though kindred spirits, we don’t seem to come from the same Halper stock. But we are Facebook friends, and it was through a...

Haiti's Troubled Democracy

Video As Haiti prepares for a presidential run off in March, thousands are protesting against a three month extension to outgoing president, René Préval's term. In November 2010, Haiti held a presidential election. Mark Weisbrot, co-director of the Centre for Economic and Policy Research, an economic think tank in Washington DC, contends that the US government, using the Organisation of American States as a political instrument, forced the government of Haiti to change the...

Lessons for South Africa from England's Messy Public-Private Partnerships

Picture: I-Freed.org Saliem Fakir - As we embark on transforming South Africa’s health care system through a National Health Insurance (NHI) scheme, the question will arise as to how we fund the scheme and support facilities to accommodate the growing demands on the system. South Africa will have to build new hospitals and other support infrastructure. How we do that really depends on whether the government digs into its own coffers - for which the national debt level will increase - or funds new infrastructure...

From Tahrir Square to Dakar and Back Again

Video An activist from Egypt who spent days on Tahrir square has traveled to Dakar to attend the World Social Forum (WSF). Here she talks about how the revolution was started in Egypt, who the main organizers and supporters of the protest are, as well as emphasizing the secular nature and diversity of people involved in the call for President Mubarak to step. Find part two of her interview here. The WSF, the counterpoint to the World Economic Forum, is currently underway in Dakar, Senegal....