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Global Palestine: Contemporary Collisions

John Collins (@djleftover), author of Global Palestine (Hurst/Oxford UP, 2011), explores the global politics of violence and the representation of violence, paying particular attention to the microcosmic and prophetic location of Palestine in relation to these processes.  (Image: Diego Lopez Calvin)

Dangerous Solidarities at Northeastern and Beyond

Upon hearing the news that student activists at Northeastern University (“a leader in global experiential learning”) were being targeted for punishment by the university administration in response to their work in solidarity with Palestinians, I was immediately reminded of an episode from my own career as an activist.  I was also reminded of how dangerous the impulse of human solidarity can be, at least in the eyes of those who desperately seek to police it and blunt its impact. 

Intifada, Trauma, and Social Transformation: An Interview with Dr. Eyad El-Sarraj (2)

607 Dr. Eyad El-SarrajThe following interview with Dr. Eyad El-Sarraj, internationally renowned founder of the Gaza Community Mental Health Programme (GCMHP), was conducted in May 1997 as part of field research for my Ph.D. dissertation focusing on popular memories of the first Palestinian intifada.  The research was subsequently published in the book Occupied By Memory: The Intifada Generation and the Palestinian State of Emergency (NYU Press, 2004). I have chosen to publish the interview now in memory of Dr. El-Sarraj, who died on December 17, 2013. (Image source: www.palestinechronicle.com)

Intifada, Trauma, and Social Transformation: An Interview with Dr. Eyad El-Sarraj (1)

606 Dr. Eyad El-SarrajThe following interview with Dr. Eyad El-Sarraj, internationally renowned founder of the Gaza Community Mental Health Programme (GCMHP), was conducted in May 1997 as part of field research for my Ph.D. dissertation focusing on popular memories of the first Palestinian intifada. The research was subsequently published in the book Occupied By Memory: The Intifada Generation and the Palestinian State of Emergency (NYU Press, 2004). I have chosen to publish the interview now in memory of Dr. El-Sarraj, who died on December 17, 2013. (Image source: www.palestinechronicle.com)

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. 

Source: http://librarians2palestine.wordpress.com/solidarity-statement-3/

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 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.