Maidan, Ukraine… Tahrir, Egypt… the square symbolises failure and not hope
Squares are famously potent political theatres. This year is a second showing for Ukraine’s revolution, and a third for Egypt’s. Western TV viewers have cheered them all on. We thrill to see young people hurling rocks at power. Fire, smoke, bloodstained flags, broken heads, water, gas and sinister paramilitaries are Les Misérables for slow learners. We can sit with a front seat in the auditorium of history. It beats polling booths any day.
The lesson of Egypt for Ukraine is that defiant crowds may destroy an old regime – but they seldom build a new one.
Tahrir and Maidan squares thus join Istanbul’s Taksim, Tehran’s Azadi, Beijing’s Tiananmen, Prague’s Wenceslaus, Athens’s Syntagma, London’s Trafalgar and a dozen other urban spaces the world over as icons of modern revolutionary politics. Their furniture is the barricade, their tipple the Molotov cocktail, their tonic the tear gas canister. They gather people in their thousands to sacred forums and invite the world to witness the latest trial of strength with a supposedly oppressive regime. Sometimes they even win.
11:12 am • 28 February 2014
“I hope everyone who believes in basic press freedoms will defend those journalistic outlets when they are under attack – all of them – regardless of how much one likes or does not like them.”
— Glenn Greenwald
8:48 pm • 5 November 2013 • 3 notes
How to protest in the age of austerity
So much for a winter of discontent. The etiolated state of the British left in 2013 gives us no right to expect any such climax. All the seasonal metaphors – red-hot autumns, summers of rage, even democratic springs – have eluded us.
Why is the landscape so bleak? In 2011, things looked different. The election of a Tory-led government in the UK and a spate of Tea Party Republicans in the US initiated a sequence of austerity programmes – prompting direct conflicts between governments and organised workers. And this seemed to fuse with a heterogeneous series of global struggles, from Middle East revolutions to strike action in Greece to the indignados in Spain and the Occupy movement.
8:48 pm • 30 October 2013
Evidence social moves fast, but the Internet and social media moves faster
It looks like the overlapping of time became quite evident in the Navy Yard shooting. It’s almost like each step of the grieving process overlapped and became one. In this case, it looks like the event, the ongoing media coverage with developments, the time to grieve and the political backlash all overlapped and became one - one Monday morning. The rest of the day went on.
10:47 pm • 22 September 2013 • 1 note
Iran opens up access to Twitter and Facebook for the first time since 2009.
8:19 pm • 16 September 2013 • 3 notes
Protesters get repressed by the Enrique Peña Nieto’s government in Mexico City, on Septembrer 13th 2013.
Reportedly a few photographs from the protest crackdown in Mexico. More from AP’s report here
12:53 am • 15 September 2013 • 3,799 notes
“The right to privacy is often understood as an essential requirement for the realization of the right to freedom of expression. Undue interference with individuals’ privacy can both directly and indirectly limit the free development and exchange of ideas … An infringement upon one right can be both the cause and consequence of an infringement upon the other. […] Communications surveillance should be regarded as a highly intrusive act that potentially interferes with the rights to freedom of expression and privacy and threatens the foundations of a democratic society.”
— The United Nations on Internet surveillance and free speech
10:44 pm • 4 June 2013
Turkey update from reuters: Turkey’s Prime Minister Erdogan accused opposition parties on Sunday of provoking protests across the country.
Erdogan made a defiant call for an end to the fiercest anti-government demonstrations in years on Saturday. He is accused of authoritarianism and abusing privacy and secularism. There were more than 90 separate demonstrations around the country on Friday and Saturday. On Sunday, tens of thousands gathered in Taksim Square.
More than 1,000 people were reported injured in Istanbul and several hundred in Ankara.
[Photo: A man is hit by a jet of water as riot police use a water cannon to disperse demonstrators during a central Ankara protest June 1, 2013. REUTERS/Umit Bektas]
8:55 pm • 2 June 2013 • 93 notes
Everyone needs to read this.
An op-ed from a hunger striker Guantánamo Bay, sharing details on his case and his force feedings, citing that “the situation is desperate now.”
1:03 pm • 15 April 2013