World (Waging Nonviolence) – “Bernard? Oh yeah, he’s great. He was always the principles guy.” That was what an old Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, or SNCC, organizer told me when I mentioned that I had been trained by Bernard Lafayette, co-author of the Kingian Nonviolence curriculum and a legend of the civil rights era. “I was always a strategies guy,” this elder went on to tell me. “I believed in nonviolence as an effective strategy, but Bernard was always talking about nonviolence as a principle.” I let out a little laugh. In that moment, I was proud to have been Read MoreRead More
World (Sputnik) – Responding to an alarming rise in science denial in the West, hundreds of thousands of people in more than 600 cities around the globe are celebrating the use of science as the way to view the physical and natural world when formulating global policy. March for Science, taking place in hundreds of cities, seeks to be “the first step of a global movement to defend the vital role science plays in our health, safety, economies, and governments,” the movement’s website explains. “We are at a critical juncture,” said science communicator and event emcee Cara Santa Maria. “Science is under attack,” she said, according to the Washington Post. Read MoreRead More
US (Greed)— Of all the talk, debate, and observations over the resistance against the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), there’s one thing I find absent. We’ve all talked about militarized police operations, whatever our stance is. Very few, if anyone seems focused on what happens to officers after policing DAPL. What are the psychological ramifications of participating in such an unusually prolonged display of force and violence? Who were the deployed officers, and how experienced were they? Are there risks to returning them to “everyday community policing” without evaluation? Though routine policing isn’t as dangerous as some let on, it’s Read MoreRead More
Chile’s earthquakes were not the only shattering revelation the country and its people had in store for this Scottish traveller to the long and thin country.
Until the earthquake on Friday the 4th of November, my experience of Santiago, the Chilean capital, was fairly typical of the gringo experience; I downed terremoto cocktails in Bellavista, hiked amidst the stunning snow-flecked mountainous vistas of Cajon del Maipo and danced, if falteringly, through the intricate steps of La Cueca in the city’s dancehalls till the early hours. On Friday afternoon, as I was working on my computer, I looked up at a tremendous bang and the bizarre sensation of my chair shaking below me as my flatmates´ house plant, named terremoto, tumbled off the bookshelf. Rushing to the window and looking out over my balcony on the 17th floor, I saw everyone walking about, continuing with their daily business in the street below, as skyscrapers wavered and shook around them. The earthquake only measured 6.1 on the Richter scale, a level that caused devastation in Italy recently, but is only called a mere temblor by Chilenos – tremor in English. However, the experience of the earthquake was followed by a second shattering of perspective as I walked to La Moneda; my previous views of Latin America and the nature of democracy here realigned; my frames of reference suddenly shifted.Read More
Since Colin Kaepernick, a quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, began sitting for the national anthem during the National Football League’s preseason, national anthem protests have surged into the national spotlight. Across the country, athletes from around the NFL and from other sports have joined, some taking knees and some raising fists — an homage to Tommie Smith and John Carlos’ 1968 Black Power Olympic protest — yet all recognizably taking part in the same demonstration.
The protests have prompted a barrage of outrage, support and discussion. The story has been widely covered in the mainstream media, and is routinely discussed on sports channels and in social media. Whether or not Kaepernick planned it this way, he has kicked off a phenomenal episode of civil resistance against racism and police violence.Read More