Good news out of Cartagena, Colombia, where the FARC and the State signed a peace deal ending a 52 year civil war. But matters are still on the edge. This Sunday, on 2 October, the people of Colombia will go to the polls to vote on a referendum towards peace. A lot rests on this vote. It will be a dangerous situation if the vote goes against peace, although the mood suggests that peace is inevitable.
My report in Alternet is on the peace deal, between the signature and the referendum. The last paragraph is here:
- October 2nd is Gandhi’s birthday. It is a fitting day for the
The picture above, from 2014, is from Za'atari refugee camp in Jordan. It is now about the eighth or ninth largest city in Jordan - estimates for the population sit at around 80,000. It is hard to know the exact number.
In today's Alternet, I have a short report that draws from a series of UNICEF reports on the situation of child refugees. Currently, children comprise almost half the world's refugee population. UNICEF says that there are about 50 million children who are in the status of refugee. My report notes,
- The term ‘refugee’ denudes the people of their humanity. The
Forgive me for coming to you with so much to read. But so be it. Too many things happening in the world; too much to cover.
The ceasefire in Syria is now slated to be extended for another forty-eight hours. Each time it is extended that is a relief for the people who are trapped by this war. No such ceasefire is in place for Yemen, which was bombed on Eid by Saudi war planes. Nonetheless, for Syria this is a brief respite. Aid is not able to get to besieged places as it should - according to the UN.
Just before the ceasefire deal was announc
Last week, as many as 180 million Indian workers went out on strike. It was - by all indications - the largest strike in recorded history. Unsurprisingly, media reports of the strike have been anemic. There is a grudging recognition that this happened, but only to suggest either inconvenience or futility. There was little attempt to understand the essence of this strike and what this means for Indian politics.
In Alternet this week, my column addresses this strike. The last paragraph reads,
- What the strike says is that India’s workers remain a
Today, as dawn breaks, over a hundred million - perhaps as many as 150 million - Indian workers will be on strike. What is this strike about? It is for workplace democracy and against the neo-liberal policy slate which is eviscerating their ability to live. This is a joint trade union strike, part of a wave that began in 2008. The message to the Indian bosses is loud and clear: workers are not subordinate, prone to the policies of the Washington Consensus.
In Alternet, I have a speculative essay - indebted to Fanon - which starts with the qu
I was on Democracy Now! to talk about my new book (see below). This interview is available in many parts:
(1) Turkey's Offensive Against ISIS & Press Crackdown is Really Just War on Kurds, part 1.
(2) Turkey's Offensive Against ISIS & Press Crackdown is Really Just War on Kurds, Part 2.
(3) Regime Change in Libya Mirrors Iraq: Both Efforts Led to Failed States & Destabilized Region
(4) Yemen & Palestine: Vijay Prashad on the Two "Ruthless" Bombing Campaigns
(5) Hillary Clinton Shows Dangerous Tendency to Go to War No Matter the Consequences
(6) India's Crackdown in Kashmir
Turkish armed forces have moved towards Jarabulus, ostensibly to take the Syrian town from the Islamic State. But - at the same time - the assault seems calculated to prevent the Syrian Kurdish forces from creating a statelet in northern Syria, what the Kurds calls Rojava. These Syrian Kurds in alliance with Arab and other fighters had - as the Syrian Democratic Forces - seized Manbij. This opened up the possibility to push for a contiguous Syrian Kurdish region.
No wonder that the Syrian Kurdish leader Saleh Moslem responded to the Turkish assault harshly, "Turkey is in Syr
A special offering: a report on a walk through Bombay's journalism history with P. Sainath. During our LeftWord Books Bombay tour, our team (Sudhanva Deshpande, Suvendu Mallick and I) encouraged Sainath - one of India's finest reporters - to give us a tour of his Blitz Days. He agreed.
We began at Kitab Khana, one of Bombay's fine bookstores and ended at the office of the People's Archive of Rural India. It was a magical trip.
I've heard these Blitz stories for years, but never thought to write them down. So this time, with the benefit of having gone to the old Blitz buildi