In Bahrain, Stephen Nash reports from Pearl Roundabout, where ‘Freedom Square’ is being kept in a lock-down but resistance continues. There is better news from Burundi, where a campaign is freeing many women from a climate of fear and silence. However, in England, while poverty may be ‘more comfortable’ now than it was when George Orwell published The Road to Wigan Pier in 1937, we ask is this the best that could have been done? Anthony Lock claims that a ‘cyborg-Orwell’ would be looking very hard in 2012 for that democratic socialism he sought 75 years ago.
Britain’s prison service still maltreats the mentally ill, as a shocking exposé reveals and the fate of another type of prisoner, Abu Qatada, is still to be decided as Robert Lambert says lessons must be learned about detention without trial.
Nicu Popescu argues that the EU and the US positively hamper opposition movements in Russia by offering their vocal support. They should strengthen civil society instead by backing the media and a visa-free regime. A stronger grassroots base would help in India, too, says Siddarthya Swapan Roy, where the privileged, urbanised ‘Twitterati’ have not done enough. And in one of this week’s most important debates, we consider the campaign to bring down Joseph Kony of the Lord’s Resistance Army. Here, too, an international media event is bringing questionable benefits, while local communities often bear the brunt of the resulting violence.
Also not to be missed this week -
Three articles we wouldn’t want you to miss from elsewhere on the web:
openDemocracy’s week in 400 words is emailed to Members and Friends to help pay for our great content. Please forward this to any contact you think might be interested and want to join; they should see here or email[email protected].