Adam Ma’anit peers beyond the smoke and mirrors at BP’s ‘clean up’ of the Gulf of Mexico.
Adam Ma’anit peers beyond the smoke and mirrors at BP’s ‘clean up’ of the Gulf of Mexico.
The fundamentals of digital activism are little different from its analogue ancestry, argues Adam Ma’anit
With governments doing so little about climate change, civil disobedience, such as that taken by the Drax 29, may be our only hope.
The New Internationalist is getting a major online overhaul, and we need your help to make it that extra bit spectacular.
Willie Corduff hospitalized after severe beating by masked men at Shell pipeline site in County Mayo, Ireland.
G20 communiqué goes boldy nowhere where everyone has gone before…
University of East London closes off space for those seeking alternatives to the global economy.
Video summary of the March 17, Put People First event in Bristol, featuring NI co-editor David Ransom and other prominent activists.
In Thailand, criticizing the king can land you in a heap of trouble.
This just in from the Keep NHS Public Campaign:
When Gordon Brown insists that the illegal invasion of Iraq, which has cost tens of thousands of lives and is paid for by the British taxpayer, is to ensure that ‘the new Iraqi democracy is properly safeguarded’ – where are the 30,000 complaints to the BBC when that that particular obscenity is broadcast on Newsnight?
A recent farewell letter by famed hedge fund manager Andrew Lahde, gives an interesting insider’s perpsective into the financial crisis. Lahde’s fund, Santa Monica-based Ladhe Capital, made headlines when it produced over 1000% returns for its investors in 2007. How did it achieve this? By betting on the sub-prime mortgage market. The more it fell, the more money was made through clever use of ‘short selling’ – borrowing assets such as stocks, then selling them on with the assumption that their value will drop, and then buying them back cheaper so they can be returned to the lender, with the profits pocketed by the short seller.
The US National Debt Clock – a fixture at New York’s Times Square for over twenty years – has recently run out of numbers to display the correct level of national debt which now exceeds a mind-boggling $10 trillion.
The activists behind Climate Rush are invoking the power and memory of the Suffragettes to take urgent action on climate change. If you’re in London on 13 October, you should come down to Parliament Square at 5:30pm. Wear white/period clothing if you can. Extra credit for handlebar moustaches, bloomers, frilly hats, etc.
We are gathering an audience of experts, including government representatives, and members from the academic, Ecuadorian and NGO communities, and supporters of the campaign to discuss the role the UK can play in saving Yasuní.
Adam Ma’anit navigates the snakepits of global carbon trading in the context of Yasuní.
NI co-editor Dinyar Godrej, alterted us to the situation regarding political psychologist and NI contributor, Professor Ashis Nandy. Nandy is at the centre of a firestorm over an article he wrote after last year’s elections in the Indian state of Gujarat which resulted in the re-election of one of India’s most incendiary politicians – Narendra Modi of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party. In his article published in the Times of India, Nandy bemoans the current state of affairs in this deeply divided state, and lays the blame firmly at the feet of the urban middle class that have been fanning the flames of communalism, religious nationalism and fundamentalism.
Water privatization has been high on the globalisation agenda over the last years. But privatizers haven’t necessarily found it easy to get their way, thanks to vibrant campaigns by local residents, trade unionists and environmental and social justice activists. Campaigns against water privatization have been so successful – and privatization experiements so disastrous – that a trend towards de-privatization of water services has been gathering a head of steam.
I’m currently writing an article for our forthcoming issue of the New Internationalist magazine that looks at some of the potential dangers of relying on carbon markets for preserving forests and biodiversity. The global carbon market is worth $64 billion but has yet to produce much in the way of reductions in emissions. It has however delivered huge profits to some of the world’s worst polluters who have been investing heavily in carbon trading, offsets and ‘environmental services’.
Some great news coming out of Johannesburg in the battle against water privatization.
A High Court Judge has ruled the city’s controversial usage of prepayment water meters unconstitutional. This is a tremendous victory for those fighting water privatization in South Africa, and particularly for residents of townships such as Soweto where the use of prepayment meters has restricted people’s access to water drastically.
Not long after environmental groups lambasted the UK Government’s cop-out on carbon offsets, the policy directors of some of the country’s leading development and aid agencies have now written a letter to The Times weighing-in on the debate. If you were persuaded by some of the development claims of the offset industry, then square that with the likes of Oxfam, the World Development Movement, Christian Aid, Tearfund, Practical Action and the New Economics Foundation who said today:
You may recall that we ran a special feature by regular NI contributor Mari Marcel Thekaekara on the worldwide protest to free Dr Binayak Sen – a doctor who works with poor communities in central India and who was arrested on trumped-up charges of ‘terrorism’ by the Indian Government.
The British Government’s introduction of a ‘Code of Conduct’ for the voluntary carbon offset industry has been met with gaping yawns from environmentalists. Most greens have come to the conclusion that carbon offsets offer little in the way of effective climate solutions and can actually exacerbate the climate crisis by delaying the inevitable paradigm shift that takes us away from the fossil fuel economy.
Oxford University student Clare Fisher writes in to tell us her views on the recent controversy surrounding the Oxford Union’s decision to hold a debate on free speech including the controversial head of the Far Right British National Party (BNP), Nick Griffin, and Holocaust denier David Irving.
A reader wrote us recently about her concerns about the Heads of Commonwealth meeting taking place now in Uganda. She raises some important issues:
We feel guilty about what we do (flying, driving a car) and about what we don’t do (not making that demo, not recycling enough). Adam Ma’anit traces the roots of these feelings and argues that we need liberation.
With the Climate Camp in the UK now underway, it is a good moment to reflect on some of the stakes involved in climate change activism. For many people, climate change is an abstract ‘environmental’ issue with little impact on their lives – but there are many people on the front lines who often face a life and death struggle. Such was the story of Sajida Khan, who’s battle was not with climate change per se, but with some of its so-called ‘solutions’.
There are some more reflections coming out about the recent World Social Forum. South Africa-based scholar activist Patrick Bond does a nice roundup of some of these and provides some further analysis about the various opinions about what is needed for the Forum’s future.
I recently submitted this post on the Guardian’s Comment is Free section which has started a little bit of a discussion. Please join in and contribute your own thoughts about these issues. It’s a good opportunity to get some kind of debate going about the Social Forum process, reflections, criticisms, anecdotes, etc.
Despite the underwhelming emphasis
on climate change at the World Social Forum, there were a few
interesting sessions and issues worth noting, many of which might not
have been labeled as strictly ‘climate change’ sessions.
One in particular was a workshop on biofuels, organized by the Global Forest Coalition.
For me, one of the real achievements of this WSF has been the wonderful turnout of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Intersex (LGBTI) activists here (particularly from Africa). The Q-Spot, a venue setup by GALCK (the Gay and Lesbian Coalition of Kenya), was one of the most popular hangouts in the stadium. Numerous workshops, trainings, debates, film screenings, exhibits, and poetry readings were well attended and there was a real buzz about the place. ‘Sexual rights’ as a concept has really captured people’s imaginations as both straight and gay alike were able to connect with and rally behind the simple yet powerful assertion that all human beings have the fundamental right to express their own sexuality and be free from persecution.
Of the few languages I’ve had the privilege to learn (badly) in my life, Kiswahili (Swahili) is my favourite. It’s wonderful expressionism and rich use of proverbs is a window into a different way of looking at life and communicating with one another.
Anti-water privatization activists from all over Africa met today at the World Social Forum to launch a new African Water Network aimed at strengthening co-operation and co-ordinating efforts to ‘oppose water privatization in all its forms’; to work for a participatory model of public control over water; and to assert that water is a fundamental human right. Virginia Setshedi from the South African Coalition Against Water Privatization explained the significance of the event: ‘Today we celebrate the birth of this network to resist the theft of our water, tomorrow we will celebrate access to clean water for all!’
With a renewed vigour and fresh intensity, the World Social Forum feels like it’s beginning to hit its stride. Thanks to the Kenyan activists’ inspiring agitation, there is a feeling of genuine possibility in the air. WSF Organizers have made good on some of their assurances that the Forum will be a more open space and those unable to pay will be allowed in. Vendors from nearby areas are now selling food, water and wares and the prices have dropped substantially. There are more Kenyans participating and leading workshops here, and even inquisitive street kids from nearby are here seemingly dazzled by the spectacle that is the Forum. As Wangui Mbatia, one of the Kenyan activists from the People’s Parliament said: ‘They went to Kibera (ed. Nairobi’s largest slum), and saw the worst part of our poverty. Now we want to come here for the Forum to see the best part of us.’
Day 2 of the Forum and the wazungu (white people) are all starting to turn various shades of pink from sunburns and heat exposure. The drums and singing are a constant thrum in the background as thousands move from workshop to workshop or just wander around sluggishly browsing the various stalls.
NAIROBI. There are a few things about Kasarani stadium, the venue for the 2007 World Social Forum, that seem at odds with the spirit of this now institutionalised annual civil society gathering. The gates, razor wire and sentries stopping-and-searching at the main entrance certainly contradict the spirit of openness that the WSF purports to foster. So too do the regular patrols of red-beretted soldiers toting AK-47s.
Carbon offsets are not a solution. There are no quick fixes, time to ditch the guilt and get active argues Adam Ma’anit.
Grassroots organizer Damu Smith has spent his life battling against the odds. Now he’s taking on his two biggest challenges: the US healthcare system (or lack of it) and his own cancer.
Nuclear is becoming cool again, thanks to concerns over global warming. Adam Ma’anit thinks it’s all just a lot of hot air.
As the statues of Saddam Hussein tumbled in Basra, Baghdad and Mosul, it might have been simple to conclude that the war had been won, the warmongers proved right, the killing worthwhile.. but we have no intention of reading from this script.
The other Israel edited by Roane Carey and Jonathan Shainin
Adam Ma’nit yearns for the release of Jews from the strangling vines of stereotype and bigotry.
Adam Ma’anit steps towards a world without the IMF and the World Bank.
Adam Ma’anit gives the Bank and the Fund a taste of their own medicine.
Music has always played an important role in Zimbabwe’s popular uprisings. Adam Ma’anit meets Thomas Mapfumo – one of the country’s most celebrated music agitators.
Radical music can be a powerful force for change. Adam Ma’anit explores the world of political music.