Tag: WNV

Repression backfires in Serbia, fueling anti-corruption movement

On Wednesday, July 13, over 10,000 protesters in Serbia filled the streets of Belgrade, marching as part of a growing popular movement against political corruption and criminal acts surrounding the Belgrade Waterfront Project.

The march was the fifth so far in an ongoing movement that has gained momentum since April. Dubbed “Beograd NIJE MALI” or “Belgrade is not small,” the name of the march also carried a direct message to Belgrade mayor and project supporter Sinisa Mali that “Belgrade is not Mali.”

Opposition to the waterfront project began with a small group called Ne Da(vi)mo Beograd, or Don’t Let Belgrade D(r)own. It has since swelled to a mass movement denouncing government corruption and calling for the mayor’s resignation after a series of illegal demolitions were undertaken in late April to clear land along the Sava River for the new development.

Policing Isn’t Working for Cops Either

police tape

“It’s okay mommy…. It’s okay, I’m right here with you…”

Those were the words of four-year-old Dae’Anna, consoling her mother Lavish Reynolds after she witnessed the police shoot and kill her boyfriend Philando Castile.

Those words are now scarred into the psyche of America, much like words that came before it: “Hands up, don’t shoot.” “I can’t breath.” “It’s not real.”

If you haven’t realized that the system of policing isn’t working for the black community, you haven’t been paying attention. Just hours after the killing of Alton Sterling, a four-year-old child witnessed someone getting shot and bleeding out while she sat in the backseat. The system didn’t work for her, her mother or for Philando Castile. The system didn’t work for Alton Sterling, or for Mike Brown, or for Freddie Gray or for countless others.

Veterans Lead Fight Against Sexual Assault in the Military

By the Pentagon’s own estimate, some 20,300 sexual assaults involving the U.S. military took place in the last fiscal year. About one quarter, or 6,083, of those were reported; 543 cases came to court martial by the year’s end; in 413 of those cases, the accused was found guilty; and 331 of them were imprisoned. Do the math and you’ll find that about one in 60 of the estimated sexual attacks in the military last year resulted in j­ail time.

At a moment when it seems that everyone with thumbs and a keyboard has weighed in on the rape case at Stanford University, less attention is being paid to sexual aggression in the military, where it is more likely to occur and nearly inconceivable that a similar kind of viral shaming would follow. Civilian-military comparisons are approximate at best: Sexual assault statistics are notoriously unreliable and susceptible to confirmation bias, and the Pentagon’s count includes attacks on family and other civilians, as well as on servicemembers. Still, it appears that while reporting and conviction rates are low for both, in recent years about four times as many sexual assaults have been reported in the military as in the general U.S. population.

Anti-Israeli Occupation Group Struggles to Reconcile Movement Building and Allyship

The security guard didn’t look angry, but instead bemused. A hundred or so young Jews — replete with skinny jeans and matching white t-shirts — circled his desk, hand-in-hand, singing. They’d come to the glass-enclosed lobby of a high rise in midtown Manhattan to protest one of its tenants: the Anti-Defamation League, a pro-Israel Jewish organization.

They’d also come to celebrate the holiday of Passover, drawing a parallel between the Jewish exodus from Egypt and the liberation of Palestinians in the occupied territories. An air of unabashed jubilance, on account of the festivity, seemed to cause the guard some discomfort. Mere demonstrators, he may have encountered before. These Jewish 20-somethings, however, began to dance.

Soon enough the cops arrived, arrests were made, and the crowd dispersed.

What’s fueling China’s aggressive crackdown on activism and media?

Ilshat Hassan is a person not easily frightened.

Chinese security forces have detained Hassan, an ethnic Uyghur from China’s troubled Xinjiang province, on multiple occasions. He’s been beaten in police custody and shocked with an electric cattle prod.

In a particularly harrowing incident, he’s even had an assault rifle pointed at him by an agitated paramilitary officer.

It was 1998, and Hassan was on a long-distance bus trip to visit his parents’ home in Xinjiang. In the middle of the night, during a particularly isolated stretch of the journey, the bus was stopped and boarded by armed security officials.

Guatemala’s campesinos march to demand right to water

Across Guatemala, both rural communities and urban centers have mobilized to protest the systematic theft and privatization of water by transnational companies and the Guatemalan oligarchy. On April 22, nearly 15,000 gathered in Guatemala City to demand an end to this control over water. Marchers had set out on April 11 from the city of Tecun Unam in the northwest department of San Marcos, and from Puruhá, Baja Verapaz. The various columns of demonstrators walked over 263 miles for 11 days to demand that the state address the right to water across the country.

What role can external actors play in Uganda’s post-election plunge?

In any true democracy, the streets are filled with rejoicing upon a popular candidate’s electoral victory. The majority are excited and satisfied for a new beginning. In Uganda, the only things filling the streets after the February 18 voting day were military machinery and silence. General Yoweri Museveni’s continued stranglehold on his 30 years in power was underway.