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Human Rights

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    “Our Dead Died for Us to Live:” A Conversation with Patrick Elie Avi Lewis April 1, 2010

    Patrick Elie was Minister of Defense under Jean-Bertrand Aristide, and is currently an advisor to Haiti’s President René Préval. Just over two weeks after the earthquake that killed more than 200,000 people on January 12, 2010, Al Jazeera English’s Avi Lewis spoke with Elie in Pétionville, a suburb of Port-au-Prince.

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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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    Gender, Technology, and Social Change Across Africa Sokari Ekine June 1, 2010

    The introduction of mobile phones in Africa over the past decade has transformed people’s lives.  Unlike in the West, where there was already an existing network of communication through landlines, mobile phones in Africa provide communication where previously there was none.   What makes the mobile phone such a dynamic tool for supporting social change is its sheer range of actual and potential functionality, making it an extremely versatile technology. 

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    With Liberty and Justice for All? Jon Liss June 1, 2010

    The war against immigrants has just taken another turn for the worse with the passage of SB 1070 by the Arizona state legislature. This law is designed to criminalize undocumented immigrants, all who help them, and ultimately all who "look" like them! It is a continuation of a 20-year battle that will ultimately determine the future of the US. Winning full political and economic rights for 10 to 15 million immigrants will have an impact comparable to that of freed slaves and the rise of Black reconstruction in the 1860s and 1870s or to the formation of Roosevelt's New Deal coalition in the 1930s and 1940s.

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    Echoes of Seattle: From Manama to Casablanca Sonya Meyerson-Knox July 14, 2002

    They’re talking about McDonald’s and Starbucks. Someone’s already downloaded the facts about a Burger King restaurant in an Israeli settlement, and now they’re compiling a “Top Ten American Companies to Boycott—and Why” list. They’re talking about petitions, about email forwards, maybe building a website, sending out cellular phone text messages. It could be New York or San Francisco, Porte Allegre or Buenos Aires. It happens to be Beirut, Lebanon.

    America’s left had its Seattle. The Middle East just had its equivalent.

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    Rabih Haddad Speaks Out from Detention Rabih Haddad July 14, 2002

    “The real scoop is that the government lied”

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    War and Terror Pranjal Tiwari September 14, 2004
      As the “war on terror” announced by our rulers approaches its third year, it is receiving bad reviews all around, even in the mainstream media, establishment, and intellectual circles. Pranjal Tiwari takes a look.

    Typical of the barrage of criticism that the war on terror has been subjected to is a recent report from none other than the Army War College which concluded that “[T]he global war on terrorism as currently defined and waged is dangerously indiscriminate and ambitious,” but qualified that “its parameters should be readjusted.”

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    Torture, Inc. Rayan El-Amine March 01, 2006

    “Black sites,” “ghost prisoners,” and “points of darkness” are all real terms used to describe the clandestine nature of US detention facilities all over the world being used as part of the “war on terror.” Hearing these terms, one might think of a Hollywood movie of espionage and intrigue. But as more stories come out on torture and abuse in these detention facilities, the reality seems less like an action drama and more a like a horror film.

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    Colonial Mentality Rami El-Amine October 01, 2006

    The failure of many in the US antiwar movement to fight anti-Arab/anti-Muslim racism is often rooted in conscious or unconscious acceptance of two interconnected racist ideologies—Islamophobia and Zionism. A good example of this is the anti-war movement’s wary response to Hamas’ overwhelming victory in this year’s Palestinian legislative elections.

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    American Methods:Torture and the Logic of Domination Dan Horowitz de Garcia February 01, 2007

    American Methods is the latest from the author of Our Enemies in Blue: Police and Power in America. In his latest book, Williams has produced a well-documented and extremely readable, if also extremely disturbing, piece of work that seeks to lay out the idea that torture works. He explains that torture is not something used to get information or punish, but is rather a system designed to control populations and is a base characteristic of state power. He writes, “Torture doesn’t represent a system of failure; it is the system.”

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