April 2009

Visit the archives.

Obama Boycotts Anti-Racism Conference

The Real News Network provides this clip in which President Barack Obama defends America's decision not to attend the United Nation's (UN) Racism Conference. Billed as the Durban Review Conference, the conference hosted by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, opened in Geneva today. Obama's statement, transcribed below, is somewhat vague in its justifications. However, the one thing that does come out clearly in the subtext of his statement is his administration's...

Our Responsibility Doesn't End at the Ballot Box

Picture: mystic musing Glenn Ashton - When we vote in South Africa we enter the voting booth burdened by the weight of history and by our responsibility to the future. We weigh up some increasingly obscure choices and make our mark. But is this then the total sum of our democratic interaction? Are we fulfilling our social obligations by voting? Or is there more to it than this? The world is not in particularly good shape. There is an economic hurricane building and we don't yet know how hard the winds will blow. The world...

Keith Olbermann: 'President Obama, You Are Wrong'

On Thursday, America's Justice Department publicized detailed memos describing brutal interrogation techniques used by the Central Intelligence Agency (C.I.A.). Meanwhile, President Obama said that C.I.A. operatives involved in the torture would not be prosecuted. MSNBC's Keith Olbermann, well known for his candid and stinging commentary, is among many Americans taking issue with Obama's decision. While acknowledging that the act of publicly releasing the torture memos is important for...

How 9/11 Derailed the African Peace Process

Speaking at a roundtable discussion last month on the topic "Challenging Militarism: Feminist Activism and Scholarship", Professor Fumi Olonisakin Director of the Conflict, Security and Development Group at Kings College, London, argued that global security changes brought about by 9/11, ended the process of post-Cold War demilitarization in Africa and "arrested" security sector reform, threatening democracy and civil society's calls for change on the continent....

Is It Not Time to Cast Aside Party Politics when It Comes to Local Government?

Picture: Kerry Chance Glenn Ashton - A strong case can be made that the most important tier of government is that of local government. Local communities are the most acutely aware of their own unique needs and how these can best be met. If participatory democracy is to be truly participatory it can be argued that we need to shift away, at least at local level, from political delineations and instead shift toward co-operative local governance based on common local interests. Party politics is a demonstrably poor mechanism to...

Election 2009: A Rite of Passage

Picture: United Nations Charlene Houston - The ANC does not deserve my vote.  I dedicated my life to the fight for freedom and a better life for South Africa's poor.  During the anti-apartheid struggle, we mobilised people under the banner of the Freedom Charter.  But today I’ve come to realise that the ANC does not deserve my vote because it doesn't live up to the vision of the Freedom Charter. This has been coming for a long time – before the sensationalist hype around the private lives' and lies of...