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“Phoebe

Phoebe Braithwaite is openDemocracy’s submissions editor.

Hamburg transformed itself into an Orwellian dystopia for the G20 Summit

On July 7-8 the G20 Summit took place in Hamburg. The city’s authorities plan to transform it into a democracy-free zone of complete surveillance, enforced by paramilitary means. We wrote the open letter below to the Senate of Hamburg to protest.

Pride 2017: five British LGBT writers on books that inspired them

50 years after the UK decriminalised homosexuality, authors and activists talk about literary representations of gay relationships – and more.

The man in black: interview with Russian anarchist Dmitry Buchenkov

For Russian investigators and judges, it doesn’t matter if you’ve taken part in protest actions or not. Public criticism of the state can serve as a pretext for imprisonment.

Here’s What Violence Along the U.S.-Mexico Border Really Looks Like

Northern Mexican cities are among the hemisphere's most violent. Across the border, it's a different story. Español

This article is published as part of the campaign Instinto de Vida

Drowning mothers

As refugees try to cross the Mediterranean Sea - women are more likely to drown.

Can there be a progressive patriotism?

The left must find a way to incorporate love of country into a new political vision.   

Historical amnesia and Europe’s migration relations with Libya

Driven by domestic politics and the need to be seen to be doing something, Europe has locked itself in a cycle of dodgy deals.

The new Brexit minister, the arms industry, the American hard right… and Equatorial Guinea

Steve Baker, the new Brexit minister, has taken cash from the shady Constitutional Research Council… and a whole lot of other people too.

Nothing to lose but our chains: cycling is the people’s sport

As the annual cycling spectacle of the Tour De France begins, are two wheels good?

PKK music: engineering a social revolution

Music has shaped the social engineering of the entire Kurdish community, be it in Turkey and Syria to the swathes of Rojava in northern Syria.

Pakistan’s jirgas: buying peace at the expense of women’s rights?

Why are foreign donors so enthusiastic about alternative dispute mechanisms when they deliver second class justice for women?

The devil is in the detail: the problem with the UK’s legal basis for self-defence

With a lower threshold for the use of lethal force, the government must ensure greater clarity over how it avoids individuals paying the ultimate price for UK mistakes.

Twitter and tear gas: on the power and fragility of networked protest

Twitter and Facebook offer opportunities for mobilising on a new scale. But do they weaken and limit the commitment to resistance? Book review.

As the dust settles: Russian authorities move against protesters and campaigners

New evidence of police violations against protesters emerges, and regional authorities take aim at Alexei Navalny's campaign offices. 

No seat is unwinnable: how Labour activists set out to reclaim Tory strongholds and defy predictions

In North London’s Chipping Barnet, pop-up alliances and an emerging ecology of democratic campaigning came together to renew participatory politics. 

Portrait of a Greek refugee camp

Refugee camps are neither all milk and honey nor are they all misery and suffering. To find a way forward, we must first understand where we are.

If there is hope in Colombia, then there can be hope everywhere

There's an opening for progress in Bogotá, but it could close soon.

Books and dreams: an autocrat’s nightmare

If seventeen activists can destabilize a regime that has been violently repressing and harassing those fighting for democracy and freedom for nearly four decades, what can 22 million Angolans achieve? Português

The right way to be left

Breaking up is easy, but sticking together?  That's the real test of one's ideals. 

Scrapping human rights is as great a threat to democracy as terrorism

Now is the time to defend human rights in the fight against terror – not throw them away. 

Preparing Iraq for the defeat of IS

Multiple segments of the population, including at elite level, have come together in the fight against IS and now the time has come for this effort to extend beyond the battle.

Charting Russia’s most dangerous cities for LGBT people

Here are the towns where it’s dangerous to be gay in Russia. A culture of silence and a law “against propaganda” are keeping them that way. Русский

Scaling back on healthcare may start with Russia’s migrants. But it won’t end there

The Russian state has absolved itself from providing social services to migrant workers. Are its own citizens next? RU

Banding together to defeat Argentina’s utterly unfit candidate to the IACHR

Carlos Horacio de Casas is a lawyer with virtually no human rights experience and a long history of defending corporate interests. He cannot be trusted to defend the rights of the vulnerable.

ISIS: the long-term prospect

The caliphate is besieged. But ISIS can take heart from global trends working in its favour.

Reconstructing the power vertical: the authoritarian threat in Ukraine

Subverting the fight against corruption, whipping up patriotic publics and coopting the media and judiciary — this is the face of authoritarian drift in Ukraine.

After Everest: can mountaineering tackle gender myths in Sri Lanka?

Mountaineering is an elite sport, but becoming the first Sri Lankan to summit Everest has given me a rare public platform to challenge gender stereotypes.