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Economic dysfunction and organised resistance – The Week in 1 Minute: April 21 – 27 on openDemocracy

We have tributes to two anniversaries this week: one to an event which surely saved lives, the other to an event which cost more than a thousand. Mandela's iconic speech from the dock, “it is a cause for which I am prepared to die” perhaps saved his life, and contributed, eventually, to the transformation of his country. The Rana Plaza disaster, as openSecurity reminded us, shows that his work is not yet done and that we must continue to question the foundations of our economic system.

13 May 2014

That economic system can also be found on OurKingdom on discussions of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership and austerity in Britain – including the resulting rising numbers of fascists and hungry children, and falling numbers of hospital beds; and the woes of the EU on Can Europe Make It?.

But while the world may dance to a systemic tune, it plays out differently in each country. This week, we learn from 50.50 about the murder of a student protester in Sudan and the link between violence against women and HIV rates; from Arab Awakeningabout the failure of Tunisia's justice system; from Transformation about Body Dysmorphic Disorder, from oDR about Russia's continued involvement in Ukraine; and about sexism in China.

We look too at resistance and at how things could be different, with an examination of Russian civil society, a rallying cry to anti-fracking protesters from Britain's only Green MP and a commemoration of that great resister Gabriel García Márquez, from Sweden's former foreign minister.

This theme continues with a look at the global human rights movementa new series on economic alternatives in the UK and explanations of why well-beingdevolving powercare and the environment must be at the core of economics and why a better education system really is child's play.

We hear from '60s student radical and intellectual power-house Tom Nairn on how Scottish independence aligns with the shifting nature of the modern world, and Adam Ramsay's written up the first six of forty reasons why he supports it.

In all of this, it's important for those who write or talk about the world, from Easter Europe to Syria, to Rwanda to understand our role in shaping it and to ensure that the stories we tell are about those we are talking about, not just ourselves. This will never happen unless the media reflects on its ownership and whether it is holding power to account, or perpetuating it.

Elsewhere:

  • oD contributor Robin McAlpine writes in the Scotsman about how parties have lost control of politics in Scotland

  • Peter Geoghegan writes for al Jazeera about the surprising story of protestants learning Gaelic in Northern Ireland.

Who's getting rich from COVID-19?

Boris Johnson's government stands accused of 'COVID cronyism', after handing out staggering sums of money to controversial private firms to fight COVID-19. Often the terms of these deals are kept secret, with no value-for-money checks or penalties for repeated failures which cost lives. And many major contracts have gone directly to key Tory donors and allies – without competition.

As COVID rates across the country surge, how can we hold our leaders accountable? Meet the lawyers, journalists and politicians leading the charge in our free live discussion on Thursday 1 October at 5pm UK time.

Hear from:

Peter Geoghegan Investigations editor, openDemocracy, and author of 'Democracy for Sale: Dark Money and Dirty Politics'

Jolyon Maugham Barrister and founder of the Good Law Project.

Layla Moran Liberal Democrat MP (TBC)

Chair: Mary Fitzgerald Editor-in-chief of openDemocracy

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