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.
My first stop, after living for 22 years in a refugee camp in Gaza, was the city of Seattle, a pleasant, green city, where people drink too much coffee to cope with the long, cold, grey winters. There, for the first time, I stood before an audience outside Palestine, to speak about Palestine.
Here, I learned, too, of the limits imposed on the Palestinian right to speak, of what I could or should not say.
Malala Yousafzai of Pakistan, much like Malalai Joya of Afghanistan before her, is a remarkable person with an important critique of US warlords, invasions and bombings in the Middle East. But if you saw He Named Me Malala you'd never know it. With animated pastel, Disney-styled paintings and illustrations, the film opens with a scene from one of the Anglo-Afghan wars. "It is better to live like a lion for one day, then to be a slave for 100 days," voices over the artistic and captivating drawings. The film claims a "documentary" genre and label, but somehow I sense that is a generous and loose description.
The Department of Justice recently announced a decision to release 6,000 people from federal prison. As part of that announcement, agency officials noted that one-third of the people released are immigrants who will be quickly deported. There is a clear and troubling pattern where policy reforms in the criminal legal system do not extend to immigrants in the criminal justice or immigration enforcement systems. The glaring question is: Why not?
It was 9:30 pm on Thursday, October 1, 2015, when a huge landslide, triggered by heavy rains, completely buried hundreds of homes and families in the village of El Cambray II in Santa Catarina Pinula, located about 30 miles outside of Guatemala City, Guatemala.
It has been weeks since the rescue efforts began, and the National Coordinator for Disaster Reduction, CONRED, estimates the number killed to date amounts to 280.
Higher education's contribution to society rests upon the ability of educators to wrestle with challenging topics, no matter how complex or difficult to discuss. Such is the case with food safety, income inequality, institutionalized racism and a wide range of matters pertaining to public policy, just to name a few. Universities have historically expected the educators themselves to know how best to foster critical thinking about these issues in their classroom; hence we have come in the US to recognize the importance of academic freedom.
No responsible educator would argue that student assessment is unnecessary, but assessment in the United States has taken on a corporate life of its own. Regrettably, publishing companies that represent a billion-dollar-a-year industry have been seducing the US public into believing that national standards and high-stakes tests (including Common Core state tests) are necessary for improving teaching and learning and for making classroom teachers and school administrators accountable for students' achievement.
A lawsuit in the United States has been filed against former Israeli Prime Minister and Defense Minister Ehud Barak for his role in the 2010 Israeli commando attack upon the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, in which eight Turkish citizens and one US citizen were executed by Israeli forces and more than 50 Turkish passengers were wounded. The trial will be the first time a former Israeli Prime Minister will be put on trial for reasons of international terrorism.
We've all heard of the Blue Helmets - the United Nations armed peacekeeping wing. But have you heard about the White Helmets, the unarmed peacekeeping and first responders in Syria?
Seeing organized nonviolence in the midst of violent conflict is not expected and not often found, but it's on the increase.
Blackface. Chains. Baggy Pants. There it is again. Another university fraternity party engaging in some classic racism. On October 6, fraternity brothers of Sigma Phi Epsilon and sorority sisters of Alpha Phi took part in reproducing racist stereotypes. Just in case you are wondering, yes it is 2015. And yes, the nation is currently engaged in a national Black Lives Matter movement to bring attention to the horrendous and fatal material implications of anti-Black racism. But no matter for University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) students, the party must go on.
Every once in a while, a new technology threatens to fundamentally change life in the US as we know it. But we're living in unprecedented times, and we may be on the verge of two such revolutions at once: the world's tech giants are in the process of building an industry around wearable technology and, meanwhile, Google (and plenty of others) are working to fill our streets with autonomous cars.