November 2012

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Covering Poverty in an Indifferent World

Picture credit: Why Poverty Video "Why Poverty?" is an international multi-media campaign that seeks to answer some of the most pressing questions about the systemic causes of poverty through documentaries. As part of the series, the Frontline Club in London hosted a panel discussion this week about how to improve the media’s coverage of poverty in a world that seems largely indifferent to the problem. Related to this issue is the role of public figures in anti-poverty campaigns. An important question...

Dreaming of Our Own Lula Moment

Picture credit: Former Brazilian President Lula da Silva courtesy European Parliament Richard Pithouse - We need to draw a clear distinction between redemptive fantasies that, while they may be comforting, ultimately function to legitimate injustice and, on the other hand, redemptive visions that can inspire collective action against injustice. We also need to understand that politics is dynamic - that organisations, processes and ideas that emerge from living struggles ossify, exhaust their capacity to express emancipatory energies and become detached from the lived experience of struggle that...

How Walmart and Other Huge Companies Support Horrific Conditions that Kill Workers

Picture credit: Bangladeshi Garment Worker Courtesy International Labor Rights Forum Adele M. Stan - A day after Walmart workers and their allies staged protests and rallies outside the company’s stores across the U.S., a fire erupted in a factory across the globe in Bangladesh, killing 112 workers who were trapped inside, where they sewed jeans and other apparel for the retail giant’s Faded Glory brand. Another 200 were injured in the fire. On Monday, the streets of Dhaka, the capital city, were filled with thousands of garment workers, who demanded justice. The main doors of...

Writer's Block: Motoring Journalists and the Seduction of Power

Picture credit: The Tizona Group Glenn Ashton - Read any newspaper, magazine or blog about cars and similar symptoms of a pernicious ailment are revealed: big powerful cars are potent, sexy, macho and cool. Green, economical or hybrid cars are underpowered, boring, made for bunny huggers, lentil eaters, housewives or any other cliché springing from the abridged motor writer’s thesaurus. There is a serious disjuncture here, which needs to be remedied. It is time for motoring journalists to cease portraying themselves as...

COP 18 Gets Underway in Doha as Kyoto Protocol Winds Down

Picture credit: www.sott.net Video The UN Climate Conference, COP 18, gets underway this week in Doha, as the Kyoto Protocol winds down and is set to expire by the end of this year. COP 18 is unlikely to emerge with a suitable replacement for Kyoto, as yearly climate talks grind on and disagreements about emissions reductions continue to foil any meaningful agreement that would halt global warming. Kyoto set binding targets for industrialised countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by an average of 5% against 1990...

The Israeli-Palestinian Holocaust

Picture credit: Rusty Stewart/Flickr Eddie Cottle - In 2008-09 Israel’s Blitzkrieg against Gaza resulted in the deaths of over 1400 Palestinians, four-fifths of whom were civilians and of which 350 were children. Amnesty International and other human rights groups had officially reported that Israel was in violation of international law as Israel had bombarded defenceless Palestinians with the white phosphorous bombs which caused most of its victims to be burned alive. Ironically in Greek, the word Holocaust means “sacrifice by...