The Week on Sunday (weekly)

  • Civil society responses to some of these social pathologies often take the form of essentially technocratic proposals. It is, for instance, argued that if hate crimes are given a particular legal status the police will be better equipped to deal with homophobic violence. There may be some potential value in this sort of measure but we need to recall that we have all kinds of laws, policies and institutions that are systemically ignored. Another law or policy offers no guarantees of any sort.

    The heart of our problem is the lack of a credible emancipatory vision for society as a whole. The inability of the ANC to sustain a credible emancipatory vision after apartheid, and its de facto collapse into a conception of social progress rooted, to a considerable degree, in private advancement has meant that from the top of the state to the transit camps and shack settlements where the poor have to make their lives there is an increasingly exclusionary, ruthless and masculinist contestation for what are seen as finite resources and possibilities.

    tags: SouthAfrica LGBTI+Africa Violence

  • Northern governments have ben conditioning development aid on other issues for a while, especially in the last 30 years— usually affixing economic strings (hire our consultants! buy our goods! privatize your hospitals, if you want our aid!), less often political or rights-related ones.  I’ll raise specific questions in my article about whether something around sexuality- and gender-related abuses makes them peculiarly resistant to being stopped by such linkages. There are also legitimate concerns, though, about whether such linkages ever work the way they’re meant to, or are ever justified. I’m skeptical they do, or are. I’d like to get some discussion going as I finish the article, and so I’ll share some resources here for others who are skeptical, or in favor, or undecided, in hopes you’ll argue or respond. Respond! Use the comments section, or write me directly.

    tags: AID_Conditionality Africa LGBTI+Africa

  • I was asked to speak to the question of whether ‘women are occupying new movements.’  There are a number of implicit assumptions in this framing. One of which is that the mass civil resistance that the world has recently witnessed in various places around the globe, including in Africa’s North[1] and North America, constitute movements rather than moments in a continuous process of transformative change.

    tags: Women OccupyMovement Movements

  • Many consider the concept of food sovereignty to be a comprehensive framework which addresses the issue of poverty, food security, climate and the environment, as well as issues of peasant, human rights, and animal welfare. Food sovereignty addresses poverty in both rural and urban areas through sustainable local food systems. Food sovereignty, which places at its center sustainable family farming, peasant agriculture and small scale fishing not only feeds the people with healthy, nutritious culturally appropriate food, but it puts the aspirations and needs of those who produce, distribute and consume food at the heart of the food systems and policies rather than the demands of corporations.

    tags: Food Food_Industry climatechange GreenEconomy

  • The response of Europe’s political class to the presence of Muslim minorities can be described most generously as a moral panic, and most accurately as a repressive legislative and rhetorical onslaught. A number of states from Scandinavia to the Mediterranean have gone to extraordinary lengths to ban what women can wear, what people can say, and where and how they can worship. Disproportionate in scale and disingenuous in conception, these laws–whatever their stated intent–were not about tackling any serious threat of Islamic extremism. Switzerland passed a referendum in 2009 outlawing the building of minarets; the country has four.

    tags: islamophobia Extremism Europe Hate

  • f public health is a legitimate reason to curb corporations’ advertising to kids, why limit bans to cigarettes, booze, and toys in happy meals, and not include, say, all unhealthy food?

    tags: Food Poison Food_Industry

  • Women protestors gathered in a public square in central Omdurman on Tuesday and lifted banners demanding the authorities to cease “violence against women,” citing the case Saffiya Ishaq, a young female activist who appeared in a Youtube video last month accusing members of Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Services of gang-raping her after she participated in anti-government protests late in January.

    tags: SudanRevolt SudaneseWomen

  • The planet is in a mess, and climate change is perhaps the biggest threat to both prosperity and political stability worldwide. It is always the poor who suffer most; and yet the battle continues to be led by those who do not have the best interests of the most vulnerable at heart. But why? Perhaps it’s time, instead, to mobilise the people.

    tags: climatechange

  • I want to preface the comments I’m about to make by acknowledging that our trans community (communitIES is really what I should say) is reeling from some events over the last couple of months.  I think many of us are heartbroken, as we should be, over a series of murders of young trans women of color across the U.S. in the last month followed by the recent development that CeCe McDonald had few better legal options than to plead to 2nd degree manslaughter with a recommended 41-month sentence.

    tags: transgender TWOC Murder

  • In the United States people are grouped in labels of race and class. This is done so the minority elites can control the masses and keep their political and economic privileges.

    That is why European descendants in the U.S. insist on imposing the term Hispanic on non-European communities in the U.S. who use the Spanish language. White Hispanics who are a tiny minority among us, force the numerous non-Hispanics to accept their identity, so that they can control us

    tags: Latino Native_American Indigenous_People White-Supremacy Naming Identity

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