Do you know the story of Mexico’s 43 missing student-teachers? Scrutinize any in-depth account, and you’ll start to question everything you thought you knew about the so-called war on drugs.Read More
“On top of a train,” Salvadoran journalist Óscar Martínez observes, “there aren’t journalists and migrants, there are only people hanging on. There is nothing but speed, wind, and sometimes a hoarse conversation. The roof of the cars is the floor for all, and those who fall, fall the same way. Staying on is all that matters when The Beast, La Bestia, a popular name for the train, is on the move.”Read More
When 27-year-old Daniel Davis was gunned down by a gang member in Scarborough in July 2012, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford announced it was “time to declare war” on gangs. The Toronto Sun’s Farzana Hassan took the rhetoric one step further, calling for a “war on drugs” involving “longer prison terms and larger fines” for drug dealing and possession, as well as racial profiling of “certain communities [who] are more prone to drug violence and gang activity.”Read More
If someone has compiled an Occupy Wall Street reading list, investigative journalist Matt Taibbi's book Griftopia is surely on it. Taibbi argues:
"The financial leaders of America and their political servants have seemingly reached the cynical conclusion that our society is not worth saving and have taken on a new mission that involves not creating wealth for all, but simply absconding with whatever wealth remains in our hollowed-out economy."Read More
On April 20, the first day of the demonstrations, we marched in our thousands towards the fence, behind which 34 heads of state had gathered to hammer out a hemispheric trade deal. Under a hail of catapult-launched teddy bears, activists dressed in black quickly removed the fence's supports with bolt cutters and pulled it down with grapples as onlookers cheered them on. For a brief moment, nothing stood between us and the convention centre. We scrambled atop the toppled fence, but for the most part we went no further, as if our intention all along had been simply to replace the state's chain-link and concrete barrier with a human one of our own making.
The next move was ours, and we just stood there, waiting for something to happen, like good conscientious objectors awaiting our punishment after our purely symbolic point had been made. We had no plan. The wall in our own minds, it seemed, would be much harder to overcome than the one that lay broken beneath our feet.Read More
You’re 15 years old, in the company of hardened militants who are associates of your father. A foreign army has invaded the country and unleashed a massive bombing campaign. Soldiers come knocking one morning and demand entry. The men around you refuse and a firefight ensues, culminating in the occupying air force bombarding the compound you’re in, killing everyone but you and one other person.
What happens next is disputed. As the soldiers enter the bombed-out compound a grenade is thrown and explodes near one of them. He later dies of his wounds. Based on witness reports, the thrower could have been one of three people: you, the man lying beside you, or a U.S. soldier outside the compound wall.
The man beside you is shot by an advancing soldier as he reaches for an AK-47 lying beside him. Cowering in the corner, you, in turn, are shot twice in the back. As shock sets in, you plead with the soldiers to kill you, to finish the job.
You are Omar Khadr. Your ordeal has barely begun.Read More
After the unprecedented commercial and critical success of Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri’s dense and manic Empire (2000), which the Marxist critic Frederic Jameson called “the first great new theoretical synthesis of the new millennium,” and cultural theorist Slavoj Žižek praised as “nothing less than a rewriting of The Communist Manifesto for our time,” the publication of its sequel, Multitude: War and Democracy in the Age of Empire (2004), has generated a significant amount of interest. Empire’s theorization of “a fundamentally new form of rule,” a new global sovereignty that transcends both national borders and modern imperialism, was eagerly seized upon by many in the anti-globalization movement and the academic Left seeking a theoretical framework for naming that-which-they-opposed, in place of the vague and inaccurate term “globalization.” Hardt and Negri’s new book Multitude picks up where Empire left off, theorizing the potential forms that popular resistance to Empire might take.Read More