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Violence, silence and absence – The Week in 1 Minute: Apr 28 – May 4 on openDemocracy

This week openDemocracy marked International Workers' Day by joining the queue outside the jobcentreThe global effects of crisis on the labour market are clear, calling for a more secure 'equality economy'. The European Progressive Economists Network asks if another road for Europe is possible, while Simon Maxwell and Margaret Jay insist that Europe should lead the way in world development.

3 May 2014

Transformation too tells us it’s time for a new definition of global activism, arguing that anger should not be the dominant motivation behind the fight for equality, and looking at a project to bring ‘Cowboys and Indians’ together.

ourKingdom continues its countdown of the 40 reasons to support Scottish independence and reminds us that the NHS is not safe in David Cameron’s hands (nor is our public health data). But there are people standing up to be counted for the NHS.

openSecurity puts child marriage in the spotlight, shining a much needed light on the plight of hundreds of young girls in north-eastern Nigeria who have been kidnapped and forced into marrying members of Boko Haram.

Tom Cowan draws fourteen months of Cities in Conflict to a close with a meditation on urbanism, trapped between saviourism and withdrawal, and a new feature for openDemocracy - our first timeline - dedicated here to a rare feast of favourite articles, interviews, photo-essays and films.

This week also marked the hundredth year of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, and 50.50 takes a moment to look at the roots of the women’s peace movement, prelude to a new series on Northern Ireland’s women peacebuilders.

Meanwhile, the toll of violence in Yemen continues unabated—if largely unreported, and there is yet more violence as thebloodletting continues in South Sudan. Neither of its factional leaders, with blood on their hands, can be part of its future.

Cas Mudde and Donald Beaudette address a similar theme in joining Robin Wilson and Lorcan Mullen to look at lessons from the arrest of Gerry Adams. Cas Mudde also has his doubts as to whether Eurosceptic parties, with more MEPs than ever before in the next European Parliament, will be able to work together.

Anton Shekhovtsov lays out the deep links the Kremlin has established with far-right parties throughout Europe, while Nikolay Nikolov looks at these links to populist parties in his native Bulgaria and concludes that all players are engaging in cynical and ideologically-bankrupt politics.

Transformation asks what’s normal? in its exploration of the politics of psychiatric labelling. Drawing on a deeply personal trauma, Nina Power examines the nexus between mental health and state violence, while Peter Beresford draws our attention to the ways in which mental health is being cut and privatised.

We end with the sad news that Magnus Nome, our Editor-in-Chief, is leaving us to pursue new challenges. After two years at the helm, he is passing the torch on to someone new (here’s the job ad). The whole of openDemocracy thanks him for his hard work!

In case you missed:

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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