Should it have happened sooner?
(GVO) – Videos published on social media by the investigative journalist Lázaro Mabunda documented scenes of torture, allegedly at a ruby mine in Namanhumbir, a northern city in Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado province. Globally, Namanhumbir rubies are traded in large auctions generating millions of dollars. In 2016, the company Gemfields,…
Across the country the largest prison strike is taking place, vowing to “finally end slavery in 2016.”
Right now there’s a national movement mobilizing to raise the federal minimum wage to a living wage of $15 an hour. But imagine if instead of earning even that much, you could only earn a few cents an hour.
If that sounds like something from the developing world, think again. The reality is our prisons are perpetuating slave labor.
Every day, incarcerated people work long hours for barely any money. Meanwhile, prisons charge inmates for everything from telephone calls, to extra food and convenience items, to occupying a bed.
What role does memory play in the politics of the present? How can we build better futures through politicising the past? The Brigstow Institute brings us a series reflecting on these questions.
Tomorrow, 23 August 2016, is International Slavery Remembrance Day; yesterday, the UK’s first ever memorial service to the victims of the transatlantic slave trade/African holocaust was held in Trafalgar Square. But what exactly should or can we remember, and why, and what should we ‘do’ with these memories? The forthcoming series of articles will reflect on these questions as they relate to the memory of slavery and the different conversations that can be had about its past and present. But they do not, and cannot, provide the answer to these questions, for there is no simple or single answer.
Following June 29 clashes between angry residents and security forces during an operation to expel the inhabitants of a Ksar district slum, west of Mauritania’s capital Nouakchott, several anti-slavery activists were arrested and their homes searched homes reportedly without a warrant.
The activists, who belong to the organization IRA-Mauritanie (the Initiative for the Resurgence of the Abolition Movement in Mauritania) had been at the evictions protesting against slavery and in support of reform allowing everyone to own land.
Mauritania was one of the last countries to officially abolish slavery, doing so in 1981, but the law isn’t enforced. An estimated 10% to 20% of the country’s 3.4 million people are enslaved. Mauritania is an Islamic republic, and distorted local interpretations of the religion are used to justify the continued existence of the practice — although the Mauritanian government denies that slavery exists and often blames the Western world or enemies of Islam when faced with allegations.
As the Fourth of July approaches and social media is once again bombarded with falsely patriotic notions, I feel the need to ask: America, what do you know about Freedom? Are you truly free? With the stipulation that you are not inflicting pain upon another human being, are you free to live as you so please? No? That’s what I thought.
So, now I ask you this, at what point did slavery become perfectly acceptable for the whole of society? Or any part of society for that matter? Certainly our chains may not be visible, however, one should have no doubt that they are ever present in this world of modern slave masters.
Joe Bowman takes an historical view of the rise of the current police state.