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Written by johncollins on Mar 15, 2014

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. 

While the details of the Northeastern case are still emerging and are inevitably subject to dispute (obligatory disclaimer: I have no particular inside information on what happened there, nor do I necessarily support everything...

Written by Łukasz W. Niparko on Feb 28, 2014

Weaving the Street & People's Archive (WSPA)

 

AGAINST THE CURRENT

by Łukasz W. Niparko

 

Rozbrat definitely is an outsider from our reality. It does not follow any rules of today’s world. Rozbrat claims that everyone can live there without paying a rent and taxes, regardless who you are, in what you believe, what is your economical status, background, and sexual orientation - the WSPA Team visited Rozbrat in June of 2013.

 

Claiming freedom

It was October 15th, 1994, when the first inhabitants came to Rozbrat [what in Polish literally means "separation"]. They claimed a city block in Poznań (between Rozbrat Street and Kazimierza Pułaskiego Street left by the old warehouse) as “the environment of freedom.”...

Written by Łukasz W. Niparko on Feb 19, 2014

Written by carolyn_dellinger on Feb 10, 2014

Walking through Brick Lane, one is almost overwhelmed by the amount of street art present, from stickers covering poles to miniscule stencils on yellow traffic lines to three-story-tall murals. With the amount of street art available, one wonders, is this considered vandalism or a form of public works? Up until recently, governments have battled street art because it supposedly desecrates public space and dirties the city; however, street art has actually become beneficial to areas like Brick Lane because it brings in people from all over to admire the art. Street art has actually become a commercial industry with companies offering tours of “Alternative London.” With its increase in popularity, street art is beginning to gain credibility. In fact, this December the House of Commons hosted Smile Britannia, a charity auction featuring street art from the likes of Banksy, Inkie, Nick...

Written by Łukasz W. Niparko on Feb 9, 2014

When most of mainstream media attention in the last couple of days was concerned about the fall due to an overdose of some Hollywood star, and another young celebrity that may go that way very soon. When our commentators were so concerned “why the fifth circle of the Olympic symbol did not work at the opening ceremony in Sochi…" meanwhile in Bosnia and Herzegovina people on the streets were rising, burning presidential and governmental offices, in their disagreement to the neoliberal creed of those in power.

 

Hundred years ago, in 1914, the First World War started in Sarajevo, what later led to other unprecedented catastrophes of the 20th century. These days Bosnians accelerated something what the Occupy Movement tried to ignite more than three years ago. People of Bosnia and Herzegovina noticed one simple flaw in the neoliberal agenda: privatization and...

Written by nicoleszucs on Feb 8, 2014

Latin America has a very dynamic and contrasting culture. It is full of life and colors, yet the social, environmental and economic situation is still hard and unfair in many places. The political environment is gearing towards more populist governments, which shows us the struggle of the people, and the need for change. On the other hand, the growing economic status of the countries emphasizes the gap between the rich and the poor. Young people all over the region are manifesting their concerns about society and their future. Human rights, violence, environmental issues, woman’s rights, unemployment, indigenous rights, neo colonization are some of the topics for which activists stand up. Often times, the form of expression of these concerns are popular art and street art. 

I love Latin America, I love the people and the fact that there is history and art in every corner...

Written by Jana Morgan on Feb 3, 2014

If keeping citizens in the dark is your thing – you might have been better off staying in bed on January 16, 2014.

Yesterday marked an important milestone in the global fight for transparency. Canadian mining industry associations – representing over 1,300 companies – and civil society organizations released recommendations to the government for a mandatory disclosure requirement in the Canadian mining sector after nearly a year and a half of consultation and negotiation. The Resource Revenue Transparency Working Group members include the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada, the Mining Association of Canada,...

Written by steveperaza on Jan 29, 2014

Will increasing the minimum wage protect workers from poverty? 

623 President Obama says, yes. His logic is simple: If minimum-wage workers fall into poverty because their wages are too low, then increasing the minimum wage will prevent them from backsliding into poverty. In his 2014 State of the Union Address, therefore, the president encouraged employers to “raise your employees’ wages,” and in order to “lead by example,” Obama promised to pass “an executive order requiring federal contractors to pay their federally-funded employees a fair wage of at least $10.10 an hour because if you cook our troops' meals or wash their dishes, you should not have to live in poverty.”  

I applaud the...

Written by steveperaza on Jan 20, 2014

622 University at Buffalo (SUNY) is one of many research institutions invested in the digitization of archival records. UB recently published an audio recording of a 1967 speech delivered by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in Buffalo called “The Future of Integration”.

Perhaps this is professional bias, but I’m convinced that history is one of the most underreported stories in the world. Now that everything is a mouse click away, I want to encourage students of the past to be their own historians and make use of the primary source materials available to you on the Web. Help history get the coverage it deserves! 

The decision-makers of the past have shaped the...

Written by steveperaza on Jan 17, 2014

621 I wish I could celebrate President Obama’s antipoverty program and commend the national media for finally spotlighting the issue of poverty. But I can’t because the Promise Zones Initiative, in theory, attacks the social safety net and, in practice, benefits too few Americans to really make a difference.   

If you let D.C. tell the story, the keyword is “partnership.” The President’s flagship program, the Promise Zones Initiative, will handpick a total of 20 sites across the country, where local leaders in public, private, and faith-based institutions have demonstrated success fighting poverty and crime. The government will...