Speakout is Truthout's treasure chest for bloggy, quirky, personally reflective, or especially activism-focused pieces. Speakout articles represent the perspectives of their authors, and not those of Truthout.
We stand again at historic crossroads where crucial decisions will have far-reaching consequences for life on Earth. This time however there are events in three countries offering unprecedented Indigenous influence that may illuminate the best road to take for the sake of future generations. In spite of the continuing habits of thought that tend to dismiss, ignore, attack or romanticize Indigenous perspectives, this light that recognizes the potential contribution of traditional Indigenous ways of being in the world is shining on 2018 elections in the United States, Mexico and Honduras in ways that may determine whether or not each country continues down the road to tyranny.
November 29 marks the International Women Human Rights Defenders Day. It is a tribute to the thousands of courageous women who stand up for human rights and the environment around the world. Let us call out the violence and repression that these women face in their daily struggles. Women everywhere face multiple forms of violence, and those who stand up to fight for their communities or the environment face unique challenges.
The holiday season seems to be a stressful time for many people. When I think of holidays, it seems like it should be about friends and family celebrating together and having a good time. However, the reality feels different. Before Christmas, people seem very anxious about buying presents and receiving them, rather than the spirit of the holidays.
In the short span of his Asia tour, Donald Trump made the case for war with North Korea, legitimized the brutality of the Duterte administration, and pushed for the increased militarization and neoliberalization of the Indo-Pacific region. While Trump's boorishness and impudence may be unique in magnitude, his policies are but a new chapter in more than a century of US imperialism on the Asian continent and the Pacific Islands.
In the past year there have been many brilliant publications written on anti-fascism, modern fascism and what is to be done. Of these publications I have no doubt Shane Burley's Fascism Today: What it is and How to End It, published by AK Press and slated for release on November 28, 2017, is an absolute must-read.
Noam Chomsky discussed the responsibility of intellectuals and pointed out how, "historical amnesia is dangerous not only because it undermines moral and intellectual integrity, but also it lays the groundwork for crimes that still lie ahead." According to Josefhine Chitra and Andhyta F. Utami, "His quote holds some truth for Indonesia's bleak past in settling its human rights violations [with US support]."
Billionaire Stan Kroenke earned his wealth in real estate, and later through his connections with the Walton family (of Walmart fame). A closer look at his finances reveal that his exorbitant wealth could and should fund public needs such as higher education and welfare.
The next several years will see a number of 50-year commemorations of the events that helped to launch the historic Chicano Movement of the 1960s and 1970s. For some, the movement was a series of legal actions, strikes or huelgas, civil rights protests, and mass rallies and marches, all challenging the permanent dehumanization of Mexican peoples in the United States.
Who ever thought that the USA would be the place where journalists would fear for their safety? The home of the First Amendment and the rhetorical respect for a free press, while ebbing and flowing, is heading into a crisis. In 2011, when I wrote Kill the Messenger: The Media's Role in the Fate of the World, I focused on how hate messages, blame frames and an "us-versus-them" mentality contributed to widespread violence, antagonisms and polarization in 10 case studies.
Sixteen years ago, here in Boston on the afternoon of 9/11, we created the United for Justice with Peace coalition with the slogan "No More Victims Anywhere." The next day, as police in Boston swarmed Copley Square in search of the bombers and their associates, our quickly planned vigil was moved to Harvard Square in Cambridge. To our surprise, 700 people gathered there, silently and powerfully with our message "War is Not the Answer." We couldn't imagine that we'd be out here 16 years later in what may still be the early stages of an endless war.