Human Rights

The past century has seen a revolution in the struggle for human rights, but the revolution remains unfinished. There is an ongoing need to share knowledge and transform it into action and meaningful change. This section of the Weave is devoted to raising awareness of some of the world's most pressing human rights issues.

April 15, 2013: A Day in Bombs

This article is not meant to disrespect the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings, nor is it meant to make light of the tragedy.  On the contrary, it is meant to honor the victims and give additional meaning to their deaths and injuries by placing them in a broader human context.    

The following is a list of news items published online during a (roughly) 24-hour period on/around April 15, 2013.  All concern bombings and explosions.  They are organized alphabetically by the locality in which the events took place.

WSF2013: Declaration of the Social Movements Assembly

Given the tremendous lack of media coverage of the World Social Forum, held this year in Tunisia, I am reprinting the March 29 Declaration of the Social Movements Assembly. It deserves to be circulated and discussed widely, and something tells me we can't rely on CNN or even MSNBC (which likes to "lean forward" but not nearly far enough to reach the WSF) to do the job. 

Declaration of the Social Movements Assembly – World Social Forum 2013 - 29 March 2013, Tunisia

As the Social Movements Assembly of the World Social Forum of Tunisia, 2013, we are gathered here to affirm the fundamental contribution of peoples of Maghreb-Mashrek (from North Africa to the Middle East), in the construction of human civilization. We affirm that decolonization for oppressed peoples remains for us, the social movements of the world, a challenge of the greatest importance.

"The TERMINATOR" surrenders!

Today, many human rights activists who closely watch stories of war-minerals and violence acts committed daily in Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), were alarmed by information of surrendering of one of the most cruel warlords Bosco Ntaganda to The United States Embassy asking for a transfer to The International Criminal Court (ICC) in Hague. One of those activists, who I know personally, pointed out how rarely violence in DRC makes it to the mainstream media headlines, but also how much this entire case is covered with question marks.

Neurotypicality and The Cartography of the Mind

Several years ago I read a book entitled The Physics of Star Trek. My memory of it is vague, but I can say with confidence that the chapter that fascinated me the most was on Star Trek's relationship to matter: transporting, warp drive, and the holodeck. In other words, vaporizing humans and reassembling them at a chosen geographical location, traveling one-to-nine times the speed of light, and virtual reality programs.

Curiousities Primed for Scientistic Discourse

A piece entitled 'Primed for Controversy' appeared in the February 23rd New York Times. Written by a psychiatric scholar known for her critique of 'therapy culture' and forthcoming critical appraisal of the popular appeal of neuroscience, it discusses how one of one of psychology's most popular and captivating findings - the effects of 'priming' - has come to be widely disputed.

The Use of Mental and Physical Illness

These categories tell you something about the way in which sophisticated human beings think, but it is doubtful they tell you anything about the things themselves. -Wilfred Bion

The Other New Jim Crow? (UPDATED)

Ask anyone you know: when you hear the phrase “segregated buses,” what comes to mind?  Most people will respond by referring to the racist laws that prevailed in the southern United States during the infamous Jim Crow era that lasted (formally) until the mid-1960s.  While these laws affected many different aspects of people’s everyday lives, the racial segregation of public buses remains one of the best-known aspects of the Jim Crow era thanks to the efforts of courageous civil rights activists like Rosa Parks, who was recently honored with a statue at the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, DC.  Coinciding with the 100th anniversary of Parks’ birth, the unveiling of the statue appeared to mark a recognition that the days of segregated buses are now firmly part of “history.” Or are they? 

Guest Blog: The Execution of Christopher Dorner

I am reprinting the following piece originally published today by Counterpunch, with permission, because it gets at some very important issues about structures of violence that resonate not only throughout the U.S., but also in Palestine (the normal topic of this blog).  One of the authors, George Ciccariello-Maher, is a St.

The Rohingya of Myanmar (Burma)

The Rohingya of Myanmar (Burma)

    "This [Rohingya persecution] is truly systemic. It's part of Myanmar's legal and social system to discriminate against the Rohingya on the basis of their ethnicity … all the facets of life are affected by a system that codifies and makes lawful their persecution and discrimination."
Benjamin Zawacki, a Myanmar researcher for Amnesty International

Gaza Lesson #3: Gangnam Gaza Style!

For those who have been following the global cultural tsunami known as “Gangnam Style,” you’ll be interested to know that a group of Palestinians in Gaza have gotten into the act with a “Gangnam Gaza Style” video.  Published on YouTube just a few days ago, the video slyly offers a window into how Palestinians under occupation are forced to improvise (e.g. by riding donkeys when there are fuel shortages) and how they are able to create forms of black humor to help themselves get by.  Take a look: