John Collins (@djleftover), author of Global Palestine (Hurst, 2011/Columbia UP, 2012), 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)
|Aug 05 2013||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.
|Jun 19 2013||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.
|May 12 2013||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.
|Apr 15 2013||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.
|Mar 31 2013||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
|Mar 03 2013||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?
|Feb 13 2013||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.
|Feb 06 2013||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:
|Jan 29 2013||Breaking News! CNN Finds Israelis to Confirm the Obvious|
I’m fond of quoting Gil Scott-Heron’s sarcastic observation that “America leads the world in shock!” It’s a concise way of expressing how easily people in a position of privilege can bury their heads in the sand for years…decades…generations…and then suddenly realize the obvious – and then expect everyone else to congratulate them for discovering it. So it’s no surprise to find CNN expressing shock – shock! – at the content of The Gatekeepers, the Oscar-nominated documentary that features the perspectives of six former heads of the Shin Bet (Israel’s "internal security service"). In a January 28 blog post, CNN’s Samuel Burke breathlessly tells us that the film contains “stunning revelations.” Money quote:
|Jan 22 2013||Gaza Lesson #2: Endless Deferral|
As I continue to reflect on what can be learned from a close look at the discourse surrounding Israel’s November 2012 “Operation Pillar of Cloud” in Gaza, I want to leave the media discourse aside for a moment and report on something more local. Back in December I participated in a UVA-style “Flash Seminar” at my university’s new Global Dialogue Center (a project co-sponsored by the Weave). The topic was Gaza, and the conversation unintentionally revealed yet another way in which our ways of talking about Israel/Palestine often serve to obfuscate as much as they explain. With that in mind:
Lesson #2: The dominant discourse on Israel/Palestine produces a tendency to defer endlessly any systematic attention to Palestinians themselves, as real human beings – their rights, their experiences, and the real conditions of their lives.