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Written by DrP on Nov 6, 2009

Some workers are exploited in the most absurd ways...While government agencies like the US Census Bureau figure out how best to measure poverty, grassroots organizations like P.O.W.E.R. (People Organized to Win Employment Rights) inform, organize, and mobilize working class citizens, demanding political solutions to the social ills of poverty. P.O.W.E.R. is a San Francisco based organization with a twofold mission: "to build unity between African American and Latino communities to increase the POWER of low-income workers and tenants." To these ends the group employs a multilayered strategy: build a broad local coalition of grassroots organizations, labor unions, religious leaders, and community activists; oppose discrimination and exploitation; propose political and practical reforms to lawmakers; and organize/mobilize local campaigns to affect change.

P.O.W.E.R. is currently working on two projects. The Bayview Organizing Project intends to improve Bayview Hunters Point, a longstanding African American community in San Francisco, racked by poverty, and whose residents have been threatened by municipal neglect and gentrification. The...

Written by awball04 on Nov 6, 2009

 

 "But our situation in Somalia is different, we were attacked in our own home. I haven’t attacked Ethiopia or Kenya. I live in thecountry where I was born and where I have been subjected to all sorts ofatrocities. We are defending ourselves against our external enemies whoattacked us. Even animals defend themselves. If you lock a cat in a room, beat it up, and block its exit- then it will definitely fight back and defend itself. Even small birds in their nests will instinctively fight to protect itseggs. First of all, we aspire to free ourselves from occupation and oppression. After that we will take the fight outside our country, as I told you.  It is notessential that this happens in my lifetime. This cause will continue whether weare alive or not.  It was promised by God.”

 

The above quote comes from Islamic insurgent groupAl-Shabaab’s leader Shaykh Abu Mansur. In an interview with Al-Jazeera from earlier this year, which can be seen below, Abu Mansur mentions the reasons for resistance within Somalia. The video also details Al-Shabaab, who they are and what their history is. There is much to disagree with in their mission and ideology and much that is a cause for concern. However, the main purpose...

Written by johncollins on Nov 5, 2009

72 Dr. Haim YacobiIsrael is now home to a sizable group of residents who are neither Jewish nor Palestinian.  Many of these people are labor migrants who occupy a precarious position within Israeli society and a relatively invisible position within the often binary discourse on Israel/Palestine.  In order to get at some of the specific political dynamics associated with these realities, I recently interviewed Haim Yacobi, a lecturer in the Department of Politics and Government at Ben Gurion University in Israel.  An architect and planner by training, Yacobi does research on the geopolitics of cities. In 1999 he formulated the idea of...

Written by andreateti on Nov 4, 2009

[Continues from Part 1

 

…Ok, I feel a lot better after that Margherita, and the ‘espresso’ was nice too…

Yeah. Postmodern irony-schmirony…

So, anyway, the first article: “Whosoever acquires, receives or hides anything involved in any offence or otherwise becomes involved...

Written by brianlind on Nov 4, 2009
Obama salutes fallen soldier
 
Last week President Obama did something that former President Bush could never quite find time to do, he went to Dover Air Force Base and honored the return of a few soldiers who had made the ultimate sacrifice for him as Commander and Chief.  His visit is already being spun, with the Right claiming Obama was just looking for a photo opBut you needn’t look further than the somber pain on President Obama’s face as he salutes the casket of Army Sergeant Dale R. Griffin , who was killed by a roadside bomb last Tuesday in Afghanistan....
Written by nicoleszucs on Nov 4, 2009

Climate talks in Barcelona were interrupted yesterday by a series of protests from African nations. The African delegates  expressed their frustration with the current climate talks and policies.   They are calling for a suspension of all further negotiations on the Kyoto protocol until substantial progress is made by rich countries on emission cuts. They are not by themselves on this, the Alliance of Small Island States (Aosis), the Least Developed Countries (LDC) group, as well as Bolivia and Venezuela   backed up this group.  The Guardian say s that "in a press conference, the poorest countries demanded that the rich adopt the science-backed target of a 40% overall cut on emissions on...

Written by DrP on Nov 4, 2009

Different cities approach the problem of urban poverty in different ways. And within these cities some plans come from the political authorities and others from the people, each with different focuses and different effects... What happens, however, when one considers the national outlook? Is urban poverty a domestic issue of top priority? Are there anti-poverty plans that treat the problem as a national one?

US Census Bureau works to revise its poverty formula

Here again we find a bifurcation of approach. On the federal level recent efforts to address poverty have focused on measurement devices. According to a recent report on MSNBC.com the Census Bureau is considering a new formula by which to calculate poverty. The new formula, devised by the National Academy of Sciences, takes into account variables that the old Census formula does not (e.g., expenses like clothing, housing, and medical costs; differences in the cost of housing per state and region; and additional non-cash income like food stamps, public housing, and free school lunches). Using data for 2008, then, the Census Bureau revised their poverty projections; while the old formula concluded that 40 million...

Written by Khady on Nov 3, 2009

My first encounter with Richard Florida was in a Global Studies (Cities and Globalization) class taken at St. Lawrence University. Even though his ideas came across to me as “elitist” and “naïve”, I did not completely disregard his theories. Since then Richard Florida has been at the back of my mind, and I have tried my best to keep my “eyes” and “ears” open to anything that will assist me in making sense of his ideas. Thus, needless...

Written by awball04 on Nov 2, 2009

 

endgame

 The fall premiere of PBS' Masterpiece Contemporary Theatre this past week was a film entitled Endgame. It outlines the secret negotiations between the white minority led apartheid regime and the ANC (African National Congress). The discussions begin thanks to a British business executive, Michael Young, who is concerned with losing assets in a diamond company. Young enlists deputy representative, Thabo Mbeki to the president of the ANC, Oliver Tambo, to be the voice for the ANC. Finding people to take with Mbeki was Young's challenge as the ANC was being depicted as violent and dangerous at this time, which is arguably true. Fortunately, Young is able to find voices to speak for the whites, among them Professor Willie Esterhuyse.

The film is masterfully done. Not only does it provide excellent content and an understanding of the time period, it also provides a rare glimpse into the success of the ANC and the birth of the new nation of South Africa without shining the spotlight on Mandela. Instead, it is Mbeki who is able to shine as he helps explain to the white coalition why there are factions amongst the ANC, mainly known as Umkhonto we Sizwe, who feel relegated to violence...