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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.