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.
The results of the 2015 regional elections in France are known: the far right FN (National Front) has made major gains. In other countries polled in Europe - Poland, Hungary, Denmark, the Netherlands and Sweden - the far right has also scored major successes or even rules the country (Poland, Hungary). There are many reasons for this xenophobic, racist and reactionary surge, which in many cases resemble the reasons behind the success of reactionary and racist Donald Trump in the US.
On 12th December at 7:16 p.m. Laurent Fabius, French Minister for Foreign Affairs and President of COP21, announced to a room packed with ministers, negotiators, NGOs and prominent guests "I see the room and I see that the reaction is positive. I don't hear any objection. The Paris Agreement for the Climate is adopted." His voice quivered with emotion as he banged his gavel on his sounding block, marking the end of a tense and often strained two weeks of climate negotiations.
Imagine a respite from the relentless torrent of bad news! Both The Transition Towns (Transition) and Intentional Communities movements facilitate secession, to varying degrees, from the exploitive culture that surrounds us, and build alternatives that are supported by broad networks. Now the two movements have joined together to share lessons learned about egalitarian community building.
The details of the MSF Report on the US attacks of the Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz reveal a potential war crime. This underreported atrocity that killed civilians and deprived thousands of lifesaving healthcare in Afghanistan, risks creating more enemies and offers perspective for any further attacks in Syria.
After months with no Illinois state budget in place, professionals who provide services for infants and toddlers at developmental risk are still scrambling to be paid. With the window of access in Illinois soon closing even more tightly, many more children will be denied the help they need. This is a quandary faced in Illinois, but a challenge with hard-fought funds delivered or denied to families and communities in every state.
An international jury of independent human rights experts and advocates has found Mexico, the US and key countries of origin of migrants in transit jointly responsible for widespread human rights violations in Mexico, based on hearings held at New York University (NYU) in September 2015. The jury has called for the suspension of US military and police aid to Mexico.
The recent killings in Paris and San Bernadino have many people at once scared for themselves and their families, angry in a way that makes some susceptible to anti-Muslim rhetoric, and also utterly shaken that people in our own midst can be drawn to ISIS and others who want to do us great violence for seemingly no reason. How could anyone wish to start shooting and killing large numbers of innocent, anonymous people in the name of restoring a patriarchal Califate from a thousand years ago?
The Miraflores Locks are perhaps the principal tourist attraction of Panama City. Visitors are more than willing to pay the $15 admission to a state-of-the-art museum espousing the grandeur of this enormous emblem of human engineering and its contribution to the global economy. There is another museum, though.
It appears that the US is not the only nation forced to tiptoe around a blundering, blockading Republican-dominated Congress. In fact, the monumental COP21 climate talks in Paris were forced to create an agreement that was crafted to specifically leave them out of the equation.
For only the second time in House of Representatives history, a committee boasts women Members of Congress in both the Chair and Ranking Member leadership roles. In fact, the chair of this committee will be Representative Marsha Blackburn from my own home state of Tennessee. So why am I not celebrating this watershed moment forwomen in Congressional leadership?