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Sunny Hundal is openDemocracy’s social media editor.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

New York empties its jails

A huge achievement that could even signify the beginning of a more rational, humane approach to American criminal justice: how was it done?

Silence = death: Sarah Schulman on ACT UP, the forgotten resistance to the AIDS crisis

When the AIDS activist movement ACT UP was formed in New York in 1987, 50 per cent of Americans wanted people with AIDS quarantined, while 15 per cent favoured tattoos. An interview with Sarah Schulman on her film United In Anger: A History of ACT UP. 

Bloomberg's biopolitics: the molecular mayor

Looking back on three terms of Michael Bloomberg we see a mayor who sought to fundamentally change New York’s character through a series of interventions in the City’s body and the bodies of its citizens.

After Snowden: UN takes first small step to curb global surveillance

The debate on international electronic spying, blown open by the US National Security Agency whistle-blower Edward Snowden, moves this week to the United Nations General Assembly. It begins what is set to be a long battle to affirm the privacy rights of global citizens

Unreformable: an end to stop-and-frisk in NYC?

Under Mayor Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelley stop-and-frisk has been a racist technology of control wielded by an unchecked police force. With large-scale popular mobilisations against police racism and violence, and de Blasio set to take over as mayor of New York City, reform of stop-and-frisk seems in sight. But is such a practice reformable? 

The modesty wars: women and the Hasidim in Brooklyn

The recent cultural wars between the Orthodox Jewish Hasidim in Brooklyn, New York and their neighbours are really about women’s appropriate role in their families and communities, as well as youthful rebellion among the Hasidim,says Ruth Rosen

Hurricane Sandy: Romney's missed opportunity

Mitt Romney's lackluster response to Hurricane Sandy has been a wasted opportunity, both for his campaign and, more importantly, for the hard-hit people on the East Coast.

Occupy a narrative

One year on, the Occupy movement is but the shadow of its former self. Whatever happened to the 99%?

Uniting States of Americans: Are we the 99%?

Internationally, we should all be concerned by how the unifying discourse of the 99% occludes important differences amongst political, economic, and socially disaffected peoples that the OWS brand can never fully capture.

Uniting States of Americans: We are the 99%!

A year ago this month, 'the 99%' changed the discourse of US politics. But did this call to action for 'American Revolution’ issued by the Occupy Wall Street movement change politics itself? In this first of two multimedia articles, filmmaker and academic Cynthia Weber, introduces us to a range of impressions and reflections in the field.

Being secure in the space of occupation: notes from a student-led experiment in New York

Security is nothing if not the radical equality experienced when acting in concert. But even in spaces created through collective action, producing security in the commons requires positive action.

Jimmy Wales or Kim Dotcom - is anti-SOPA about fundamental principles or competing commercial interests?

In this podcast, Tony Curzon Price talks to Albert Wenger, partner at Union Square Ventures, the venture capital fund behind a lot of the most innovative and visible web companies of today, to try to understand: is anti-SOPA activism more about principle or about the competing interests of big Tech vs. big Entertainment

The movement moves on: what happens after Zuccotti Park

From Manhattan, what happened in the aftermath of the New York Mayor's action to clear the Occupy Wall Street protest, and what needs to happen next

Clearing Zuccotti Park: the strange resilience of democracy with a thin skin

The occupation of Zuccotti Park was only the visible tip of a movement whose significance and power goes well beyond the tent city. The next moves of the movement need to remember the nature of the symbol they are building. The author's 2c: they should virtualise while spreading physical meetings to many ad hoc locations

The Internet is still changing everything. Now, the rendez-vous with ourselves

The Club de Madrid convenes its annual conference this week, which this year is themed on Internet and Democracy. Down the road, indignant protesters camp in Zuccotti Park, networked through the Zeitgeist and the ether with many other groups worldwide.

Ressentiment: how sniping at OWS feeds a dangerous populism

The right criticises OWS because it lacks order ... or surreptitiously injects hierarchy; because it respects private property ... or doesn't ... What drives the rhetorical sniping against OWS is the need for scapegoats. The media that offers them up is playing a dangerous game

Occupy Wall Street: where are the migrants?

The lack of demographic diversity amongst the protestors and uncertainty about their demands make Occupy Wall Street difficult to take seriously, argues Shilpa Kameswaran from a migrant's perspective

Intellectuals against the public sphere: how to do debate better than Evgeny Morozov's tear-down

Evgeny Morozov, an engaging thinker whom we have enjoyed publishing on openDemocracy, produced an intemperate review of a peer's book. Here, that peer responds in an exemplary way. An attempt to shut down conversation has, in the best sort of Streisand effect, back-fired and opened it up.

The United States and Pakistan – beyond the verbal division

The United States and Pakistan engage in a war of words. Iraq to strengthen air sovereignty with the acquisition of 18 F-16 jets. Protests continue in Andhra Pradesh as demands increase for Telangana state. Unguarded weapons depots in Libya cause concerns. Anwar al-Awlaki is killed, but his legacy remains. All this in today’s briefing…

Pakistan and India revive peace process after meeting of foreign ministers

Pakistan and India have revived the peace process after the foreign ministers of the two countries met in New Delhi. North Korean envoy is in New York to hold nuclear talks. Russian navy to commission eight Graney class nuclear submarines by 2020. Powerful bomb blast rocks Cotabato City, Southern Philippines. All this in today's security briefing...

Jennifer Egan and the Extraneous Center

Jennifer Egan's fiction asks whether our experience is now technologically mediated to the point that we routinely mistake the map for the territory. In her book A Visit from the Goon Squad, she evokes a world where the pressure constantly to self-reinvent threatens to erode our sense of identity.

US to extend sanctions on Syria for another year

US extends sanctions on Syria for a further year. Times Square bomb suspect. Yemeni ship seized by Somali pirates. Greeks take to street in protest at latest package of austerity measures. All this and more in today's update.

McChrystal apologises for Afghan civilian casualties

General McChrystal offers public apology for Afghans killed by NATO airstrike. Turkish top military officials arrested over alleged coup plot. US army has contingency plans for delaying Iraq withdrawal. Afghan immigrant admits plans to bomb New York subway. All this and much more, in today’s security briefing.

Securing our cities

The city forms a unique security environment and should be recognised as such
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