Greetings from Johannesburg.
Zambia is a country that is not often in the news. But it should be. It is a major source of copper for the world. Indeed, its copper is sluiced out by major multinational corporations based in Canada, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and China. What is extraordinary is that the children that grow up on the land above the copper mines suffer from an illiteracy rate of 60%. That is shameful. There needs to be scrutiny on these multinational corporations that have made it their business to drain the wealth out of Africa
Turkey made the inevitable move into Syria with air strikes and artillery bombardment of Kurdish positions along the Turkish-Syrian border. Turkish and allied troops have entered Syria, moving towards the town of Afrin. The policy, which Turkey has made clear, is to remove Syrian Kurdish control over the land along the border which the Kurds call Rojava, or Western Kurdistan. The Kurds - organized as the YPG and the YPJ as well as the Syrian Democratic Forces - are well dug in with a network of tunnels and hardened bunkers to give
South African Metalworkers Mourn the Death of South Africa's Radical Trumpeter, Hugh Masekela - Bra Hugh
[The picture above was taken by Alf Khumalo, one of South Africa's most important photo journalists, of a 16 year old Masekala after he received a trumpet from Louis Armstrong. Below, Masekala and Miriam Makeba with Soweto Blues with a commentary from Makeba]
23 January 2018
NUMSA mourns the passing on of Bra Hugh Masekela
The leadership of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) and all its members and the working class in general, mourn the departure of Bra Hugh Masekela.
Our sincere and deepest condolences to his family, friends and indeed the music
Looking at the photographs by Shahidul Alam - pictured above - in Dhaka last week reminded me of the migrants from Ethiopia who returned home from Saudi Arabia without shoes. His pictures were about Bangladeshi migrants in Malaysia, but the stories seemed to mirror those of Ethiopians in Saudi Arabia. These are people who remit more money to their home countries than the Foreign Direct Investment that goes into them, and yet while the FDI merchants are treated as saviors, the migrant workers are treated as criminals. There is no secret to why this is so. It is the
Shithole? That is what US President Donald Trump is said to have called certain countries of the three continents of Africa, Asia and Latin America. This is familiar language. Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger once called Bangladesh a 'basket case'.
It is well worth remembering that in 1757 Major General Robert Clive of the East India Company described Dhaka as 'as extensive, populous and rich as the city of London'. Before the Select Committee on East India (1840) Sir Charles Trevelyan said, 'The population of the town of Dacca has fallen from 150,000 to 30,000
<Dhaka> Tomorrow, January 11, I'll be giving a lecture - On the Ruins of the Present: Imperialism Today - in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Thanks to Shahidul Alam, the crack photographer, for asking me to give the Golam Kasem Lecture 2018 (Golam Kasem, known as Daddy, was a pioneer photographer of Bangladesh - on whom, see Shahidul's essay: http://www.shahidulnews.com/when-the-mind-says-yes.). The photo is by Golam Kasem.
6:00 pm Welcome Address
Shahidul Alam, Managing Director, Drik
6:10 pm 7th Golam Kasem Daddy Lecture
‘The Ruins of the Present: Imperialism Today’
Welcome to 2018. It promises to be a year of protest and unrest.
It begins in Iran. These are little understood protests. It says a great deal about the impoverishment of the use of a class analysis in the corporate media that it would like, therefore, to link these protests to the Green Movement of 2009. Those are utterly different - different classes and different horizons. Indeed, the standard bearer of their reformism is now in power in the government and the more radical elements of the Green Movement have been long made marginal.
In Alternet today, I have a brief report
The picture above could have been taken yesterday. Instead it was taken in 1984 by the great Brazilian photographer Sebastião Salgado in the Korem Refugee Camp in Korem, Tigray, Ethiopia. It is a picture that has long haunted me. It seems the quintessential image of refugees in the Sahel region of Africa.
2017, like 2016 before it, seems to me to have been the Year of the Refugee. The UN Refugee Agency now says that the total registered displaced people amount to over 65 million. There are others who are not registered and outside the UN system. The number of those registered
On Saturday, the Movimento dos Trabalhadores Sem Terra (MST) or the Landless Workers' Movement of Brazil inaugurated a new football field at its Florestan Fernandes National School (ENFF) in Guararema, 80 km from São Paulo. There is no better way to inaugurate a football field than to hold a football match. That is what the MST did. One of the players was former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who governed the country between 2003 and 2010. The field was named after the Brazilian football player and doctor Sócrates.