Friday, 29 July 2016 / TRUTH-OUT.ORG

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Speakout

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.

Jan 05

Refugees en Route, on Film

By Yosef Brody, Speakout | News Analysis

Three new documentaries (The Dream of Europe, Lampedusa in Winter, Salam Neighbor) track the journeys and lives of Middle Eastern and African asylum seekers.

What is it really like to be forced to flee the place you call home burdened with the uncertainty that you may never go back? To live most of your life in a refugee camp? To crowd onto a small rickety boat, or evade the police in a forest, unsure if you’ll survive the night?

Millions of Americans believe that war doesn't work, that war cannot end terrorism because war is terrorism and that US war-making is breeding a new generation of terrorists around the world. Millions also want the senseless killing to stop and they realize we must begin with ending our own military's killing sprees. Americans want a new nonviolent response to the violence in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Yemen.

Jan 04

What Is Nonviolence Anyhow?

By Tom H. Hastings, Speakout | Op-Ed

What is it, this nonviolence? Who gets to define it? A kindergarten teacher is nonviolent when she puts a vase of fresh flowers on her desk and smiles at her little students, right? A young man who publicly refuses to be drafted during an invasion of another country is nonviolent, certainly. How about an old man who writes a letter to the editor arguing for peace on earth? And really, how about a rich man who makes money entirely by playing the stock market from his home computer? That's nonviolent, eh?

In 2016, Brazil's prestigious federal universities will be required to confirm that fifty percent of their incoming students come from public schools. Furthermore, slots for self-identifying Black, mixed-race and Indigenous students must correspond to the proportion of the local population.

Dec 29

How Can We Win "America's Peace"?

By Robert Hinds, Speakout | Op-Ed

The United States is in a standoff with Russia over Ukraine. The "war on terror" has been ongoing for 14 years. US political pressure is being brought to bear on any kind of a negotiated agreement with Iran. US military involvement continues in Iraq and Afghanistan as tensions rise with other powers in the region. Yemen is dissolving into a state of civil war and Syria has become a crucible of international conflict, record refugee flight and armed rebellion.

Dec 29

Let Us Build Bridges

By Majd Isreb, Speakout | Op-Ed

At times of increased tension, both ISIL and racists in the west are taking a similar path to polarize the public. I'd propose an alternative approach to avoid a bleak future with limited civil liberties. Coming back from a medical mission that treated the unfortunate Syrian refugees in Jordan, I could imagine the customs and border protection officer denying my entrance to the country of my citizenship because I am a Muslim.

There's an alarming trend that few seem to have noticed: According to World Values Survey data, a growing number of Americans believe that having a democratic system is a bad idea. Using the annual average rate of growth from 1995-2011, I've estimated that over 60 million Americans - that's more than twice the size of Texas - are of this view today. 

Glenn Edward Greenwald is an American lawyer, journalist and author. In June 2013, Greenwald became widely known after The Guardian published the first of a series of reports detailing United States and British global surveillance programs, based on classified documents disclosed by Edward Snowden. The series on which Greenwald worked along with others won the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service. 

The Force Awakens is the most racially diverse and feminist of the franchise. Its leads are two men of color and a white woman. Some fans seethed at the new cast but they are the result of conflicting values within Star Wars. On one side, progressive politics; on the other, a racial and gender conservatism. The first film came out in 1977, it's only now, more than three decades later that this fictional world is catching up with the diversity of our real one.

Let's be clear. Most modern liberal democracies have not come close to reaching gender parity in politics. In 2015, the global participation rate of women in parliament hovers around 20 percent, according to UN women. In the United States, only 104 (76 Democrats and 28 Republican) members of Congress are women, making women 19.4 percent of the 535 members. 

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Featured On Speakout

Speakout

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.

Jan 05

Refugees en Route, on Film

By Yosef Brody, Speakout | News Analysis

Three new documentaries (The Dream of Europe, Lampedusa in Winter, Salam Neighbor) track the journeys and lives of Middle Eastern and African asylum seekers.

What is it really like to be forced to flee the place you call home burdened with the uncertainty that you may never go back? To live most of your life in a refugee camp? To crowd onto a small rickety boat, or evade the police in a forest, unsure if you’ll survive the night?

Millions of Americans believe that war doesn't work, that war cannot end terrorism because war is terrorism and that US war-making is breeding a new generation of terrorists around the world. Millions also want the senseless killing to stop and they realize we must begin with ending our own military's killing sprees. Americans want a new nonviolent response to the violence in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Yemen.

Jan 04

What Is Nonviolence Anyhow?

By Tom H. Hastings, Speakout | Op-Ed

What is it, this nonviolence? Who gets to define it? A kindergarten teacher is nonviolent when she puts a vase of fresh flowers on her desk and smiles at her little students, right? A young man who publicly refuses to be drafted during an invasion of another country is nonviolent, certainly. How about an old man who writes a letter to the editor arguing for peace on earth? And really, how about a rich man who makes money entirely by playing the stock market from his home computer? That's nonviolent, eh?

In 2016, Brazil's prestigious federal universities will be required to confirm that fifty percent of their incoming students come from public schools. Furthermore, slots for self-identifying Black, mixed-race and Indigenous students must correspond to the proportion of the local population.

Dec 29

How Can We Win "America's Peace"?

By Robert Hinds, Speakout | Op-Ed

The United States is in a standoff with Russia over Ukraine. The "war on terror" has been ongoing for 14 years. US political pressure is being brought to bear on any kind of a negotiated agreement with Iran. US military involvement continues in Iraq and Afghanistan as tensions rise with other powers in the region. Yemen is dissolving into a state of civil war and Syria has become a crucible of international conflict, record refugee flight and armed rebellion.

Dec 29

Let Us Build Bridges

By Majd Isreb, Speakout | Op-Ed

At times of increased tension, both ISIL and racists in the west are taking a similar path to polarize the public. I'd propose an alternative approach to avoid a bleak future with limited civil liberties. Coming back from a medical mission that treated the unfortunate Syrian refugees in Jordan, I could imagine the customs and border protection officer denying my entrance to the country of my citizenship because I am a Muslim.

There's an alarming trend that few seem to have noticed: According to World Values Survey data, a growing number of Americans believe that having a democratic system is a bad idea. Using the annual average rate of growth from 1995-2011, I've estimated that over 60 million Americans - that's more than twice the size of Texas - are of this view today. 

Glenn Edward Greenwald is an American lawyer, journalist and author. In June 2013, Greenwald became widely known after The Guardian published the first of a series of reports detailing United States and British global surveillance programs, based on classified documents disclosed by Edward Snowden. The series on which Greenwald worked along with others won the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service. 

The Force Awakens is the most racially diverse and feminist of the franchise. Its leads are two men of color and a white woman. Some fans seethed at the new cast but they are the result of conflicting values within Star Wars. On one side, progressive politics; on the other, a racial and gender conservatism. The first film came out in 1977, it's only now, more than three decades later that this fictional world is catching up with the diversity of our real one.

Let's be clear. Most modern liberal democracies have not come close to reaching gender parity in politics. In 2015, the global participation rate of women in parliament hovers around 20 percent, according to UN women. In the United States, only 104 (76 Democrats and 28 Republican) members of Congress are women, making women 19.4 percent of the 535 members.