New Internationalist

Cover for April 2008 - Issue 410

April 2008's Issue

Something is happening. In different parts of the world indigenous people are organizing, demanding justice and fighting back. The election of indigenous president Evo Morales in Bolivia has been having ripple effects in other Latin American countries. In Africa, the so-called ‘Pygmy’ people of the Congo basin are taking on the World Bank. In India tribal adivasi people are doing battle with big business. While in Australia aboriginal activists are urging their new government to rethink the disastrous racist policies of the Howard era.

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Featured in issue 410

A Short History of Burma

Today over 80 per cent of Burma’s people are Buddhist and the country has the largest number of monks as a percentage of the total population.

From a scorched land

Two survivors from Karen state, where the Burmese military has been laying villages to waste, tell their stories.

Activists accused of terrorism

Government to be investigated for human rights abuses

E-wasted

Electronic waste from the US and Europe disguised as ‘charitable donations’ to Lagos

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Fistful of yuan

Oil, war and the fall of the US dollar

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The Trouble with Diversity

Has the left been duped or duped itself into pursuing the holy grail of identity politics?

Kosovo’s other colonizers

Pitiful UN performance in Kosovo

The Rich Man of Pietermaritzburg

A simple tale of great subtlety and power set in Nyanyadu in the rural hinterland of KwaZulu Natal

Africa resists EU bullying

Resistance to the introduction of Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs)

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The Whistler

A beautifully crafted fable by Angolan author Ondjaki

Questing the ayllu

The journey continues into Bolivia’s mining and peasant heartland. Some surprises are in store.

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African Psycho

Alain Mabanckou’s scathing attack on greed and material values

We Are Together (Thina Simunye)

Agape orphanage singers from South Africa

Kül & Ashes

Beautiful music from trained earthquake engineers

Trouble in paradise

Venezuela spreads oil on tropical waters

The colour of dreams

Aboriginal art from Christine Christopherson and Bronwyn Bancroft.

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The barnstorming barista

Daniel Gross worked as a Starbucks barista for three years before being fired in 2006 for union activity. The Federal Government investigated his termination, concluding that it was illegal under US labour laws, but Starbucks have challenged that ruling.

Arise!

Tales from the indigenous fight-back around the world.

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Import Export à la Turka

Turkish sounds from Germany

Journey to the half moon

The battle lines are drawn in Santa Cruz – where resistance to Bolivia’s indigenous President, Evo Morales, is most ferocious.

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Divorcing the US

Shane Bauer went to Pine Ridge to find out why some Native Americans have ripped up the treaties and declared an independent country – Lakotah.

I will return...and I will be millions

Are things beginning to look up for the world’s indigenous peoples? Vanessa Baird begins a series of three reports from Bolivia, where the signs look most hopeful – and most precarious.

Lebanon

Living in Lebanon is like watching a dramatic thriller unfold. At times it’s exciting, at other times heart-wrenching or just petrifying.

The triumph of triviality

Our culture’s tolerance for seriousness has never been lower, argues John F Schumaker.

Interview with Vandana Shiva

Vandana Shiva, Indian environmentalist extraordinaire, on her new movement challenging supermarkets

The people vs Starbucks

Starbucks has become an icon of globalization – and a target for protesters. It claims to strike a balance between ‘profitability’ and ‘a love of benevolence’. Rowenna Davis finds out if farmers, consumers and workers agree.

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Plenty to shout about

…if you’re indigenous. THE FACTS.

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Big Bad World

Polyp on the origins of wealth and poverty.

‘Decent Work for Persons with Disabilities’

Asia-Pacific Photo Competition

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Cockroached

A hapless cockroach gets 30 people sacked

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Cover of the Trade unions: rebuild, renew, resist of New Internationalist

On Newsstands

Trade unions: rebuild, renew, resist

Trade unions

A relic of a bygone era – or a billion-strong social movement fighting for workers’ rights everywhere? The reality of trade unionism today falls somewhere in between. In the Western world, union-busting laws, globalization and internal conflicts have left many trade unions reeling. In some countries of the Global South, trade unionists face discrimination, danger and even death. Meanwhile, workers’ rights are being sacrificed on the altar of corporate greed gone mad: zero-contract hours, sub-contracting, privatization, outsourcing and special economic zones are all part of a ‘race to the bottom’ being run by transnationals concerned only about their profits.
Yet all is not lost. From Colombia to China, Bangladesh to Barcelona, workers are still fighting for their rights – and, sometimes, winning. This issue, New Internationalist looks at the state of the unions, how they need to adapt to the new reality for workers in the 21st century, and why they are more important than ever.

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Smiley-faced monopolists

For Facebook, Amazon and Google, we have traded our privacy for something we find useful and put on hold our support for ethical shopping in exchange for the ease of low (or no) price and almost-instant gratification. This month's magazine looks at just how far down the line we are and asks how deeply exploitative and anti-democratic is this new ‘surveillance capitalism’ under which we now live. This month’s contributors include security expert Bruce Schneier, psychologist Robert Epstein and engineer and software activist Prabir Purkayastha.

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