Blood, freedom and the nation: May 20th – 26th on openDemocracy

In Britain, the brutal murder of a soldier in south London provoked media hysteria that openDemocracy set out to counter. Anthony Barnett warned that the act of terror would strengthen the surveillance state, while Paul Rogers urged us to recognise the links between the killing and Britain's record in Afghanistan.

25 May 2013

Just days before, our columnist Jim Gabour wrote on killing and media coverage around the globe, and his words rang true again for Britain. Meanwhile, the UK confronts two very real threats to the status quo: the referendums on the EU and Scottish independence.

Sri Lanka, through its celebration of the end of its civil war, bothremembers and attempts to forget, while the spectre of interreligious violence is again raising its head with a new Buddhist radical group, the BBS.

In Syria, the deadlock continues to block any attempt at a resolution, and an opposition activist asks whether the fracturing of the Syrian identity is a price worth paying for peace. Japan, meanwhile, looks set to row back on its historic Peace Pledge.

Over at 50.50, solutions to violence are discussed through their coverage of the Nobel Women's Initiative Conference, Beyond Militarism and War. While laureate Mairead Maguire calls for the building of a new culture of love, Madeleine Rees conveys the urgency of addressing the patriarchal framework of justice.Valerie Hudson meanwhile advocates for a world in which women are empowered to rebuild societies after war.

Questions of European identity are raised in Niccolo Milanese’s vision of a post-crisis Europe, philosopher Etienne Balibarexplores how we can create a ‘European party of Europe’, while we have a foretaste of a new book on the very future oftransnational cooperation in an essay on its global breakdown. OurKingdom, meanwhile, discusses whether we can all be global citizens, or whether action for democracy in Britain begins with the local.

We get a glimpse of Jordanian identity through the stories of its citizens, and see how anti-austerity protests in Israel relate to the Palestinian question. In Spain, meanwhile, the government iscracking down on a citizen’s campaign to support mortgage victims.

Elsewhere, David Graeber attempts to untangle liberty and slavery, our power over our own bodies is examined in Notes on a Hunger Strike, while a US army veteran and former diplomat tells us why she resigned in favour of the freedom to protest. We also have dispatches from Romania, on their troubled media,from Moldova, on a bitter struggle for power, and Croatia, on an initiative to end segregation in schools.

Links not to miss:


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Stop the secrecy: Publish the NHS COVID data deals

To: Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care

We’re calling on you to immediately release details of the secret NHS data deals struck with private companies, to deliver the NHS COVID-19 datastore.

We, the public, deserve to know exactly how our personal information has been traded in this ‘unprecedented’ deal with US tech giants like Google, and firms linked to Donald Trump (Palantir) and Vote Leave (Faculty AI).

The COVID-19 datastore will hold private, personal information about every single one of us who relies on the NHS. We don’t want our personal data falling into the wrong hands.

And we don’t want private companies – many with poor reputations for protecting privacy – using it for their own commercial purposes, or to undermine the NHS.

The datastore could be an important tool in tackling the pandemic. But for it to be a success, the public has to be able to trust it.

Today, we urgently call on you to publish all the data-sharing agreements, data-impact assessments, and details of how the private companies stand to profit from their involvement.

The NHS is a precious public institution. Any involvement from private companies should be open to public scrutiny and debate. We need more transparency during this pandemic – not less.

By adding my name to this campaign, I authorise openDemocracy and Foxglove to keep me updated about their important work.

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