The #Occupy protests continue to pose questions about the nature of contemporary protest, and the identity and goals of those involved. Lawrence Rosenthal situated the Occupy Wall Street protests in the broader American political landscape, finding points of comparison with the Tea Party protesters of the Obama era. Ryan Gallagher noted how, although the #OccupyLondon site at St Pauls is a thriving community, lack of transparency could defeat the movement’s own demands. In ‘So goes California, so goes the nation?’ Alex Andrews talked to Oakland activist Brad Johnson about the protest’s prospects and calls for a general strike in California.
Paul Rogers anatomises the role of NATO and arms companies in Libya, as the story of how Gaddafi fell and who benefits continues to be contested. Aaron C Taliaferro and Shanthie Mariet D’Souza, meanwhile, explored Washington DC’s incoherent position on Afghanistan, notably the absence of frameworks of reconciliation; while Sadegh Zibakalam tracked Iranian incoherence on the Arab spring.
This week, openDemocracy’s 50.50 section launched Centrestage, a series asking what it will take to build a truly inclusive society in the UK. Editor Barbara Gunnell set the context of economic exclusion; while Melissa Benn looked at Britain’s ‘educational apartheid’; and Shauneen Lambe drew attention to the UK’s credibility gap on securing children’s rights, three years after the UN criticised Britain for its negative public attitudes to children.
From debates on inclusion and exclusion in the EU, the US and in Britain, the week ended on a more contemplative note, with Daniel Zylbersztajn reflecting on neighbourly relations in the 1930’s and now, and a potentially transformative dialogue which has taken decades to cultivate.
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