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Globalization

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    South Africa: One for our Side Rami El-Amine June 1, 2001

    AIDS, health, and anti-globalization activists scored a major victory against corporate greed in mid April when they forced 42 Pharmaceutical companies to drop their lawsuit against the South African government’s production of generic AIDS drugs. The HIV/AIDS pandemic had reached such a catastrophic level in South Africa that the government was forced to take drastic measures to begin addressing the problem. South Africa has the highest number of people living with AIDS: 4.7 million. Four hundred thousand South Africans have died of AIDS related illnesses since a generic drug law was introduced in 1997.

    The WTO in practice

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    Rattling the System from Seattle to Quebec Bilal El-Amine June 1, 2001

    I’m in my late 40s. I’ve worked inside government. I’ve worked in the trade union movement. It’s easy to become cynical. But this, this is real. This is a rejection of, I guess, capitalism.

    —Carol Phillips, Director of the International Department of the Canadian Auto Workers

    A rising tide

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    Haiti and the Human Made Disaster Sameer Dossani April 1, 2010

    On January 12, 2010 Haiti was rocked by a massive (MMS 7.0) earthquake. The epicenter of the earthquake was not far from some of the major population centers of Haiti, including the capital, Port-au-Prince and the city of Jacmel. As of January 28, the confirmed death toll is 170,000, though that number is expected to continue to rise.

    The current outpouring of support for those who survived the earthquake and now find themselves without shelter, food or clean water is much needed. It is worth bearing in mind, however, that the January earthquake is the latest in a long list of disasters that have marred Haiti’s history, most of them caused by human activity as opposed to natural forces. For those of us in the US it’s also worth paying attention to the bigger picture of suffering in Haiti, as our government—and by extension all of us—have been its primary cause.

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    Reclaiming Power: On Copenhagen and Climate Justice Doyle Canning April 1, 2010

    The fifteenth Conference of Parties (COP 15) in Copenhagen in December 2009 was hotly anticipated as one of the most important meetings in the history of the world. One hundred ninety-two countries gathered in Denmark’s capitol city to hash out the next iteration of climate policy before the 2012 expiration date of the Kyoto Protocol, the primary mechanism for mandating cuts in greenhouse gas emissions and establishing a global carbon market. The tense negotiations inside the Bella Center unfolded amidst a blizzard of hype, media attention, and intense pressure from all corners of civil society. 

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    El Salvador and Gold Mining: International Resistance to Transnational Attacks Lisa Fuller June 1, 2010

    Transnational corporations have a new tool for appropriating resources, the latest in the long and sordid history of colonial resource theft from the Global South. According to a recent report by the Institute for Policy Studies, multinationals are increasingly turning to international tribunals when denied access to a country's natural resources. And this new weapon is aimed squarely at Latin America.

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    Playing Games with the Poor: The 2010 World Cup in South Africa Anna Majavu June 1, 2010

    Different oppressed groups in South Africa, having been promised for years that great things will happen to them during the World Cup, are now waking up to the fact that 30 days before kickoff their lives are unlikely to improve.

    Those who work as taxi drivers, hawkers, and vendors have recently been displaced from their places of work amidst the different cities’ last minute frenzies to shut down entire streets in order to create tourist-friendly walkways. They say they are realizing with a shock that the World Cup will not only fail to bring the promised positive change, but that it has made their lives demonstrably worse.

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    AFRICOM in Action: Undermining Democracy and Promoting Militarism in Africa Nii Akuetteh June 1, 2010

    On Monday, May 3, 2010, 600 US Special Forces kicked off exercises close to the Sahara Desert. They were not alone. Four hundred soldiers from ten African armies and 150 troops from five European countries participated. The diverse group was beginning Operation Flintlock 2010, the latest AFRICOM escalation of militarism across Africa.

    Notwithstanding the exercise’s multilateral nature, AFRICOM privileged one of the countries: Mali. Flintlock’s opening ceremony was held in Bamako and U.S. Ambassador Gillian Milovanovic delivered the keynote.

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    Unmasking Microfinance: From an Interview with Maria Darria - Institute for Popular Education, Mali Beverly Bell June 1, 2010

    Touted as the solution to women’s poverty, microfinance is anything but. Often it is a trap where vulnerable women become mired and indebted in an economic system in which they cannot compete. Former “development” worker Maria Diarra of Mali talks here about the problems of microfinance and offers alternative solutions.

    The thing that makes me scared is micro-credit. People think that cash is the only way to get out of poverty, and the only place to get cash is micro-credit because the bankers only give to the rich. When the micro-credit industry first came to Mali, the programs spoke of fighting poverty, but that’s not what they’re doing.

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    Grassroots Struggles for Dignity and Democratization in Africa Toussaint Losier June 1, 2010

    On the morning of May 22, 2010, South African President Jacob Zuma made a second unannounced visit to the small mining town of Balfour in Mpumalanga province. About ten months ago, over a thousand residents of Balfour's impoverished Siyathemba township took to the streets for several days, blockading roads with burning tires over the continued failure of municipal officials to meet their most basic needs like clean water, street lighting, and paved roads.

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    Israel: Cornerstone of the “New Middle East”, Palestine: Cornerstone of Resistance Jamal Juma October 1, 2006

    Until the beginning of this year, Israeli colonialist plans had been going ahead smoothly. Almost half of the Apartheid Wall project—that steals 48% of the West Bank land—had been built. The de-Arabization of Jerusalem was progressing rapidly leaving the city almost completely isolated. The Orwellian terminals to funnel goods and workers among the Palestinian ghettos carved out by the Wall were edging closer to completion (for more information see Cementing Israeli Apartheid: The Role of the World Bank in the Oct/Nov 2005 Left Turn).

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