Black Youth and Elusive Freedom

Black Youth and Elusive Freedom

This summer brought too many new videos of black men — Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Phillando Castile in a St. Paul suburb, Terrence Crutcher in Tulsa, Oklahoma — losing their lives at the hands of police officers. As these videos circulated, I found myself crying...
The Roots of Social Rebellion? Social Movements.

The Roots of Social Rebellion? Social Movements.

Historic change eventually comes via small and modest beginnings. The current revolts in Brazil and Turkey actually started in low-key fashion at least one decade ago. Had they been spotted earlier, there would be less befuddlement about explaining the genesis of the...
Brazilians’ Demands: From Lower Bus Fares to a Fair Society

Brazilians’ Demands: From Lower Bus Fares to a Fair Society

With a million people demonstrating in the streets of cities throughout Brazil, everyone’s scrambling to understand how a 20-cent bus fare hike turned into a social revolt. Government officials are the most surprised. President Dilma Rousseff hastily cancelled a...
Trouble on the Other Side of the Euphrates

Trouble on the Other Side of the Euphrates

Millions of Iraqis made national history last month when they voted in provincial elections secured entirely by the Iraqi army and police. For a country that was in the depths of a vicious sectarian civil war only six years ago, merely defending a nationwide vote is a...
Morsi’s Last Chance

Morsi’s Last Chance

Egypt is rapidly approaching its most acute political and economic crisis since the 2011 revolution that swept dictator Hosni Mubarak from power. Poverty is at an all-time high of 25 percent, with youth unemployment at a record 40 percent. Foreign currency reserves...
The Roundabout Road Back To Tahrir

The Roundabout Road Back To Tahrir

It’s not even a square—it’s really more of a roundabout. And in person, Tahrir Square appears dramatically smaller than the sweeping images broadcast across the globe documenting the unprecedented demonstrations that toppled the seemingly unshakeable...
Embassy Protests and Middle East Unrest in Context

Embassy Protests and Middle East Unrest in Context

It seems bizarre that right-wing pundits would be so desperate to use the recent anti-American protests in the Middle East—in most cases numbering only a few hundred people and (except for a peaceful Hezbollah-organized rally in Lebanon) in no cases numbering...

Occupy Wall Street, 1979 Edition

Thirty-two years ago, the two of us and 1,043 other protesters were arrested for what one would now call “occupying” Wall Street. It was October 29, 1979, the 50th anniversary of the Wall Street crash that ushered in the Great Depression. We two were then...

Bolivia After the Storm

It was caused by an excessive increase in the price of fuels. The event demonstrates the difficulties of entering into a truly alternative mode of development, but it also reveals the limits of the Bolivian government’s stated effort to re-establish and...
Spitting in the Face of U.S. Troops

Spitting in the Face of U.S. Troops

Cross-posted from the Dissent Magazine blog Arguing the World. Last week, the Supreme Court took up a case regarding a right-wing fundamentalist pastor, Fred Phelps, whose anti-gay congregation has taken to protesting at military funerals, carrying signs that read...

Pakistan’s Dictatorships and the United States

In his 2005 inaugural address, President George W. Bush declared that the United States would support democratic movements around the world and work to end tyranny. Furthermore, he pledged to those struggling for freedom that the United States would “not ignore...

The Taiwan that Roared

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the ending of martial law in Taiwan. But don’t expect any major global celebrations of Taiwanese democracy. For all the vibrancy of Taiwanese politics and the high performance of Taiwan’s economy, the island is...

A Modest Proposal

Immigration is one of the top election-year issues. When the Bush administration tried earlier to push through a comprehensive immigration reform bill, anti-immigrant groups unleashed a grassroots protest over the proposed amnesty measures and helped to defeat the...

The Grim Numbers

At the corner of 18th and K Streets in Washington, DC, a banner keeps a running tally of U.S. casualties in Iraq. The United Food and Commercial Workers Union updates the banner daily so that “corporate lobbyists and the foreign policy think tanks that dominate...