January 2010

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Copenhagen Accord Makes Sham of Global Environmental Justice

Picture: KK+ Michelle Pressend - After the 1999 WTO meeting in Seattle, the Copenhagen Climate Summit will probably go down as the next biggest multilateral meeting failure of the 21st century, but I wouldn’t say for the right reasons.  In biting cold Copenhagen, there was little recognition that 400 years of capitalism is the underlying cause of global warming and simply not enough understanding that the market-driven solutions espoused by the Kyoto Protocol will only exacerbate the climate crisis and global...

Taking Democracy Seriously

Picture: Frames of Mind Richard Pithouse - The democratic ideal, the idea that the people should rule themselves, is grounded in equality. It recognises that everyone is capable of thought and it is committed to the right of all people to shape society via free and equal participation in deliberative processes. Because democracy is a politics of equality it is a fundamental rejection of the idea that people should know or be forced to accept their place in society. One way of containing the radical force of the democratic ideal has...

Landmark Apartheid Reparations Case Underway in American Federal Appeals Court

A landmark case against several international corporations accused of aiding South Africa’s apartheid regime is underway. The companies include Daimler AG, General Motors, Ford Motor Company and IBM. They are accused in a class-action lawsuit of complicity in human rights abuses during the years they did business in apartheid South Africa. The suit was filed several years ago by black victims of white minority rule. Their lawyers are seeking up to $400 billion in compensation....

Was Copenhagen the Death of Multilateral Environmental Agreements?

Picture: United Nations Climate Talks Saliem Fakir - What do secret declassified documents from the Clinton era tell us about the future of climate negotiations? While a great hope hung on the Copenhagen Climate Summit, right up to the end, the meeting was bogged down with uncertainty and controversy. There were no targets, no binding agreements and there was no real money to show. Some governments didn’t even bother with the requirements of science or the immorality of not acting with urgency. Denmark’s inability to play...

2010: Welcome to the Upside Down World of South Africa

Picture: Audrey & Patrick Scales Dale T. McKinley - Even if the meanings we give to measurements of time are most often overblown, there is something about the mark of a new decade. In the case of South Africa, 1990 marked the beginning of the end of the apartheid system, ushering in a period pregnant with new hopes, possibilities and dreams. When 2000 rolled around it heralded not only a once in a lifetime turn of a century but carried with it the delayed weight of majoritarian expectation of an age of progress and plenty. So what are our...

Israeli Repression Wave Targets Human Rights Activists

Israeli repression against human rights activists has increased since Palestinian civil society started pushing for the adoption of the Goldstone Report, the Real News Network reports. It is believed that the repression is planned. Night raids, kidnappings and arrests have led to the detention of many prominent human rights activists in recent months. Israel currently holds 7,122 Palestinian political prisoners in detention. Since its occupation of the West bank in 1967, Israel has set up...