Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Theme: Protest

  • In a letter dated Jan 6, 2014, London Mayor Boris Johnson declared that he would support—both politically and financially—the Metropolitan Police’s request for water cannons. The 2011 summer riots in England prompted the Home Office to look into the possibility of equipping police forces with water cannons, already actively deployed in Northern Ireland and used in countries across the world to disperse and demoralise crowds.Read more
  • The students were the first to protest against the regime of President Viktor Yanukovych on the Maidan, the central square in Kiev, last November. These were the Ukrainians with the most to lose, the young people who unreflectively thought of themselves as Europeans and who wished for themselves a life, and a Ukrainian homeland, that were European. Many of them were politically on the left, some of them radically so.Read more
  • Cities have emerged as a key site of popular struggle in post-apartheid South Africa. But with the ANC responding to independent organisation in an increasingly violent and repressive manner the future of these struggles is deeply uncertain.Read more
  • Femen’s April 4 protests in response to death threats against Tunisian nude blogger Amina Tyler have prompted much debate. How do we reconcile the need to defend free expression with the ambiguities of using nude women to market feminism?Read more
  • The weather changed Sunday and became clear and perfect, in the 70’s, as if it knew people would need to call upon their highest potential of energy. Throughout the week, the weather would hold this way—truly beautiful, unusual in Chicago—weather where you can feel yourself spun with the sight of your eyes up, up, up into the sky.Read more
  • I’m sitting at home one day a few weeks later, early hours, bang, bang! Seven o’clock in the morning. I was just about to open it but they banged through. I was so calm, they were shouting so loud, all red in their faces, shouting at the top of their voices, “GET ON THE FLOOR!” I go, “I’m not resisting.” My dog didn’t bite nobody.Read more
  • “The police can see the defeat in our eyes. They know they’ve beaten us,” an Occupy Wall Street organizer told me a few days after the 2012 May Day demonstration that marked the movement’s fizzled attempt to stage a spring resurgence. “They used to look at us as adversaries. There was a certain respect. Now we’re objects of contempt, an excuse for them to get paid overtime. A safe, live-action game.”Read more
  • Lea, the officer, had stopped feeling her own body. She lay on top of an anti-sniper barricade, holding up a page from a newspaper, blocking the stars. She had to stretch out her arms to hold the wide page above her head.Read more
  • It would be impossible to cover here the range of ideas in David Harvey’s recent book, Rebel Cities, but it is worth considering one of its key themes: how might the city, rather than the workplace, be the key site of anti-capitalist struggle?Read more
  • On April 23, writing in the Chronicle of Higher Education, Lilian Radovac aptly described the past few months of upheaval across Quebec as "the biggest student uprising you've never heard of." Read more
  • Physical distance is difficult because of the helplessness it engenders. To see one’s world unraveling continents and oceans away and to feel that you can’t do anything can be terribly frustrating. But with distance, one also sees more clearly. Art, as I understand it, and this includes philosophy, is about cultivating a certain distance so that we might, in turn, lend our vision to those in the thick of historic events.Read more
  • The economic rise of China now dominates the entire landscape of international affairs. In the eyes of political analysts and statesmen, China is seen as potentially “the world’s largest economic power by 2019.” Read more
  • Dictators, be they benevolent or malevolent, are incapable of compromise, and because of their constitutional makeup they see the world as black or white. Syrian president Bashar al-Assad is not an exception to the rule. He is not receptive to engagement in serious political reforms to placate his country’s burgeoning protest movement.Read more
  • Since its establishment in 1949, the People's Republic of China has upheld a nationwide ban on pornography, imposing harsh punishments on those caught purchasing, producing or distributing materials deemed a violation of public morality.Read more
  • In the course of my life, for more than half a century, June 1989 was the major turningpoint. Up to that point, I was a member of the first class to enter university when collegeentrance examinations were reinstated following the Cultural Revolution (Class of ’77).Read more
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