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.

Tim DeChristopher: How to Start a Movement

People, power, pressure: These three components are necessary for any social justice movement to have an effect. This post isn’t specific to one student activism group, but to all of these groups grappling with human rights issues. Being a member of such groups, one question we constantly ask one another is, “What can we do that will truly have an effect?” We can talk, and brainstorm, and talk some more, but we need concrete action. In a digitized world, how can we be a part of, or start our own, movement?

Syria: The Silenced Third Side

To no surprise, the events in Syria have hit almost every media outlet. However, much of the focus has been whether or not there will be outside intervention in response to the accused use of chemical weapons, making for very one-sided news. There are so many aspects of these events that are underreported, which led me to start seeking additional articles and perspectives.

“I’m not trying to cause a big sensation…I’m just talking about my generation.”

Thank you Roger Daltry, Pete Townshend and the rest of The Who gang for the musical inspiration as I shed light on yet another underreported story.

Librarians and Archivists in Palestine

Solidarity Statement from Librarians and Archivists to Palestine following their recent visit to Palestine.  I have been following their work with great interest and admiration in recent months. 


Public Education, Police Intimidation

More than forty years after Henri Lefebvre proposed the concept of the “right to the city” amidst the urban uprisings of the late 1960s, we are witnessing a new wave of mass protest in cities across the world in response to widespread austerity cuts, entrenched corruption, plutocracy, police violence, and other injustices. Cairo, Athens, New York, Istanbul, Sao Paulo, and other major cities have been focal points of media coverage in recent years, providing endless material for scholars who study the dynamics of globalization, social protest, state repression, and the evolution of the “right to the city” movement. It’s important to remember, however, that while mass protests (especially those that feature violent clashes between demonstrators and police) tend to draw the most media attention, there is also much to learn from the everyday interactions that almost never receive any coverage.  On a recent trip to Spain, I witnessed a small but ominous example of this. 

The "Pacification Industry" Comes to Chiapas

Sometimes the most seemingly innocuous “local” news reports are the ones that contain the seeds of the most profound global understanding. Such is the case with a May 8 report in the Mexican newspaper Excélsior detailing a meeting between a Mexican security official in the southern province of Chiapas (site of the famous popular rebellion led by the Zapatista Army of National Liberation) and a representative of the Israeli military.

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.