An American Uprising: Assessing Opportunities For Progressive Political Change

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By Anthony Dimaggio for Counter Punch – We live in a time of tremendous instability and change. Concerns about growing authoritarianism in American politics – as reflected in the rise of corporate power in politics, the intensification of militarism, and the diversion of the masses from political participation – are legitimate. There’s always been negativity on “the left” regarding American politics and society, and for good reason. We live in a time of ecological unsustainability that threatens human survival. Record inequality means a growing number of Americans are economically insecure and struggling to pay for basic goods such as health care and education. The threat of militarism is real, with the Trump administration’s saber rattling against Russia and North Korea. Militarism was a problem under Obama as well, although many Americans held out hope based on Trump’s rhetoric that he’d cool relations with Russia. Progressives are right to spotlight the dangers to democracy and human survival we face, and to condemn a political-economic system that’s engaged in an all-out assault on the public. But these dangers are far from the whole story when we talk about American politics today.

The Sixth Anniversary Of The Start Of The Arab Uprisings

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By Gilbert Achcar for Jadaliyya. What started in the Arab region in 2011 actually is a long-term revolutionary process which, from the beginning it was possible to predict, would take many years, or even several decades, and would not reach a new period of sustained stability short of the emergence of progressive leaderships capable of bringing the Arab countries out of the insuperable crisis into which they have fallen after decades of rotting under despotism and corruption. This brings us to the second issue that it is necessary to emphasize on this anniversary of the uprisings. To say that the old Arab regime is better than the revolt against it is like saying that the accumulation of pus in a boil is better than incising the boil and letting the pus out. The tragedies that we are witnessing now are not the pro.duct of the uprising, but indeed the product of decades of accumulation of rot in the heart of the old regime. The “Arab Spring” provoked the explosion of this accumulation, which inevitably would have happened sooner or later. The truth is that the longer the explosion was delayed, the more rot accumulatedIf there is indeed one thing to be regretted in the Arab explosion, it is not that it happened but that it took so long to happen.

CIA ‘Siren Servers’ Can Predict Social Uprisings 3-5 Days In Advance

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By Tim Hinchliffe for The Sociable – The CIA claims to be able to predict social unrest days before it happens thanks to powerful super computers dubbed Siren Servers by the father of Virtual Reality, Jaron Lanier. CIA Deputy Director for Digital Innovation Andrew Hallman announced that the agency has beefed-up its “anticipatory intelligence” through the use of deep learning and machine learning servers that can process an incredible amount of data.

More Murder, Arrests And Torture: Israeli Response To Uprising In Palestine

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By Richard Hardigan for Counter Punch. Waleed was freezing. He was wearing only a thin t-shirt, and it was a cold March night earlier this year in his village of Awerta, which lies just outside Nablus in the northern half of the West Bank. The soldiers had come for him at two o’clock in the morning. Abdullah, his younger brother, had been awake, and when he felt the soldiers’ heavy steps and heard their loud voices speaking Hebrew outside their home, he rushed upstairs to warn the rest of the family. The element of surprise is an important tool in the home invasions the Israeli army conducts in the Occupied Territories. That is why the soldiers come at night. Most likely the residents will be sleeping, and they will not have time to hide whatever is they want to keep from the soldiers.

Soweto Uprising: Four Decades On, South Africa Still Struggles

A recent protest by South African schoolchildren which had to be quelled by an under-resourced police force. Reuters/Siphiwe Sibeko

By Andrew Faull for The Conversation – June days in South Africa can be dark, cold and short. The sun rises late and sets early. Highland frosts feel their way through blades of blemished veld; mists mask roads ahead and behind. The month brings with it the year’s mid-point and shortest day; a chance to reflect on what has been, and what may lie ahead. Five days before the equinox South Africa celebrates Youth Day. Forty years ago on 16 June 1976, thousands of school children in Soweto, Johannesburg, braved the Highveld cold to protest the apartheid government’s decision that they be educated in a strange tongue: Afrikaans.

The Soweto Schoolchildren’s Revolt That Shook Apartheid

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By Baruch Hirson for ROAR Magazine – In this exclusive extract from Year of Fire, Year of Ash: The Soweto Schoolchildren’s Revolt that Shook Apartheid, re-published this month by Zed Books (US/World), Baruch Hirson describes the socio-political and economic backdrop to the 1976 Soweto Uprising, which kicked off exactly forty years ago today. Tens of thousands of school children took part in the uprising that started off as a protest against the proposed introduction of compulsory tuition in Afrikaans

We Need To Consciously Spark, Amplify And Harness Mass Protest

A protester holds a sign at the Democracy Spring demonstration in Washington, DC, on April 13, 2016. According to Mark and Paul Engler, momentum­-driven organizing uses the tools of civil resistance to consciously spark, amplify and harness mass protest. (Photo: Stephen Melkisethian)

By Mark Engler and Paul Engler for Nation Books – By 1963, the Dorchester retreat center near Savannah, Georgia, had emerged as a buzzing hub of activity for the civil rights movement in the American South. The site where Project C was hatched was also the home of a thriving social movement ecology. With the help of veteran organizers at the Highlander Folk School, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference had renovated the facilities at a former missionary school located just a few miles off Georgia’s Atlantic coast.

Reykjavik Rising: Iceland’s Untold Uprising

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By Danny Mitchell for ROAR Magazine – October 2008, Iceland was hit by one of the worst financial disasters any nation in the world had ever experienced. In response, citizens took to the streets in what has since become known as the “Pots and Pans Revolution”. In response to widespread media silence and a budding wave of popular movements, this documentary explores how and why the people of Iceland resisted the measures imposed by their government following the crisis of 2008 and how they forced their government to resign in an attempt to forge a new political path.

Holman Prison In Alabama Sees Two Mass Uprisings

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By Casey Tolan for Fusion – Inmates who took over part of an overcrowded prison in southern Alabama two times over the last few days are demanding that the state change its draconian sentencing laws. The uprising at Holman Correctional Facility in Atmore, Alabama, began on Friday night, when more than 100 inmates barricaded themselves in a dormitory and began lighting fires. It took officers hours to regain control, and at least two officers—including the prison warden, Carter Davenport—were stabbed in the process, The Associated Press reported.

Using Momentum To Build A Stronger Movement

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By George Lakey for Waging Nonviolence – We always looked forward to the annual visit of Saul Alinsky when I taught at a small graduate school. Alinsky was the terror of city hall bosses everywhere, and he told us colorful stories from his organizing experience. Ours was the Martin Luther King School of Social Change. The students could earn an M. A. in Social Change, which, when asked, I would explain stood for “Master’s in Agitation.” This was the late 1960s and most of our students were drawn from front-line communities where the struggles were hot.

What Is Happening In Haiti Is An Anti-Imperialist Popular Revolt

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By Carlos Aznárez for Resumen Latinoamericano – Port-au-Prince and other Haitian cities are today the stage of the largest popular uprising in decades of the suffering Haitian nation. Tens of thousands of demonstrators have taken to the street to show their revulsion against the current government of Michell Martelly and his decision, against the will of the vast majority of Haitians, to hold elections on Sunday January 24. Opposition parties have labeled the whole process as an “electoral masquerade”. A Deafening scream has begun to rise from the poorest corners of the cities that has even overflowed into the residential streets of Petion-Ville with unusual ferocity.

During B’more Uprising, City Officials Criminalized Hashtags

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By Kevin Gosztola in Shadow Proof – The surveillance by the city, a security company, and a corporation reflects how scared everyone was of the protesting. The uneasiness was used to justify the bolstering of security, even though there was only one day in the beginning where riots occurred. Such monitoring, much of which was aimed at protesters, fits in with DHS’s practice of tracking “Black Lives Matter” demonstrations closely since Michael Brown was gunned down by Officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri. The FBI has used its Joint Terrorism Task Force to provide support to the Mall of America for a Black Lives Matter protest on December 20. Mall of America security have catfishedBlack Lives Matter activists in order to collect intelligence against them.