The Power of Protest: September 17th - 23rd on openDemocracy

Cynthia Weber reflects on the first year anniversary of Occupy Wall Street, Imad Mansour voices a plea for the role of intellectuals in the Arab Spring, Vivenne Matthies-Boon’s offers an analysis of the entrenchment of the ‘clash of civilisation’ discourse, while Sara Azmeh Rasmussen calls for Muslims to embrace reason within Islam and accept the fallibility of the prophet.

openDemocracy Opendemocracy
5 October 2012

Geopolitical concerns in the Middle East are still pressing, from the question of whether Lebanon’s fate is ‘beyond its control’ in light of the ongoing conflict in Syria, to the issue of Libya’s post-election security after the attack on the US ambassador, and Paul Rogers’ wake-up call on the America-Israel-Iran dynamic: that there is “an acute danger of war before the US Presidential elections.” Rita from Syria writes of people coexisting with respect and hospitality, despite being on opposite sides in the raging civil war. Both Sudan and South Sudan are examined in terms of protest and power – ‘Kandaka Friday’ protests earlier this year showed the power of women in #SudanRevolt, while negotiations between Sudan and South Sudan appear to falter.A huge demonstration on the national day of Catalonia under the banner of ‘Catalonia, a State of Europe’ has changed the stakes of independence from Spain, but Joan Subirats asks if it makes sense to ask for sovereignty in a time where no-one knows where to find it. oDRussia investigates the plight of migrant workers in the post-Soviet world, from Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan to Russia itself. Britain’s tolerance is scrutinized over a transplant patient’s removal from the UK to Nigeria, and Natasha Tsangarides describes how pregnant women are being held in immigration detention by the British government, violating statutory legislation. Anthony Barnett and Simon Parker debate whether Labour is pandering to bigots – join the many readers who continue the discussion in the comments.The UK Feminista conference provided space for reflection on the future of feminism. Jennifer Allsopp looks at the co-option of feminism by states at a time when states’ economic policies are corroding women’s lives, and Rahila Gupta asks “who can, should and does the women's movement speak for?” before Gavin Thomson supportively responds by asking, “Can men be feminists?” Also: an analysis of Britain’s nuclear plans in the light of Fukushima, a Turkish boat in Amsterdam gay pride parade, a look at what HBO’s The Newsroom can tell us about BBC impartiality, and Mali in crisis – on which there will be much more to come.Whether you take to the streets or not, remember to go beyond the slogans at openDemocracy.


Links not to miss:

Nik Rosen in Syria gives us the perspective of the Alawites, the once oppressed Shia minority that rose to power with the Ba’ath state and now faces perilous times as a defender of the regime.

  • Beautiful graphic piece in the New York Times on the number of traffic accidents in the US and what influence those stats.



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